In 2015, 761 people died in Kentucky motor vehicle accidents. So far this year, more than 150 people have already died in Kentucky traffic crashes. Many thousands more have been injured during this time.
A car accident is possible every time you get behind the wheel. You can’t anticipate it and you can’t go back and undo the significant harm that you’ve suffered.
However, the attorneys and staff at Gray & White Law have the experience, the resources, and the commitment that you need to protect your rights and possible recovery. Our lawyers have more than 70 years of combined experience, we know how to do comprehensive investigations, and we are dedicated to getting each and every client a fair recovery.
Common Causes of Kentucky Car Accidents
In order to recover damages, you are going to have to prove what happened to cause your accident. Some common causes of car crashes include:
- Distracted drivers. Any time a driver takes his eyes off the road, his hands off the steering wheel, or his concentration away from driving safely, the driver is distracted and may cause a serious crash. Kentucky has some laws to prevent against cell-phone–related distracted driving accidents, but not all distractions can be prevented and serious crashes still occur.
- Drowsy drivers. Hundreds of people are killed and tens of thousands of people are injured by drowsy drivers in the United States each year. Tired drivers can be just as dangerous as distracted or drunk drivers and should be liable for the injuries they cause.
- Drunk drivers. It is against the law to drive with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or higher in Kentucky. Yet each year people are killed and hurt by intoxicated drivers.
- Speeding drivers. Drivers who exceed the speed limit or who drive too fast for road conditions may be unable to stop in time to prevent a crash.
- Aggressive drivers. Aggressive drivers may weave in and out of traffic, follow the car in front of them too closely, or otherwise put themselves and others at risk of injury.
- Inexperienced drivers. New drivers, who are typically teenagers, lack the road experience of older drivers and may cause serious crashes. Additionally, teens may be distracted behind the wheel. Special graduated license laws apply to drivers under the age of 18.
- Older drivers. Senior citizens may have more driving experience than other drivers but may experience medical conditions or slower reflexes that impact their driving abilities and cause crashes.
- Poor driving conditions. Poorly designed or complicated roads, or roads that are impacted by weather conditions, can create difficult driving conditions and result in crashes.
Of course, anytime a driver is negligent or careless a serious accident may result in injuries.
Types of Injuries Suffered in Auto Accidents
Every accident injury is unique and depends on exactly how the accident occurred and other factors such as your underlying medical conditions. There are, however, certain kinds of injuries that commonly occur in motor vehicle accidents and those injuries include:
- Brain injuries. The brain may be injured in several different such as when it is bruised, it bleeds, it tears, or it swells. Any of these injuries can be life-threatening. Even when an accident victim survives a brain injury, they may have long-lasting problems associated with the head trauma.
- Spinal cord injuries. Spinal injuries can range from causing minor irritation to an accident victim’s death. A spinal cord injury is the most serious and can cause partial or full paralysis or a loss of function or sensation below the injured portion of the spinal cord. The most severe cases of spinal injury can cause the loss of life.
- Broken bones and other orthopedic injuries. Orthopedic injuries are the most common type of injuries found in car crash victims. They can range from any bone break or fracture, strained or sprained muscles, or torn ligaments and tendons. Though not always life-threatening, a broken bone, fracture or other injury can be very serious, and result in a lifelong disability.
- Amputations. An amputation may occur at the scene of the accident or later because of an infection. Whether it is an arm, hand or finger, a leg, foot or toe that is amputated, the injury is severe and life-changing.
- Burns. During an auto accident victims may incur either thermal burns, affecting the skin, or burns that affect the airway. Burns to the airway can occur when inhaling smoke, toxic fumes, or superheated air, all of which can be present in an auto accident. Thermal burns occur when flammable substances released from the vehicle or from a spilled cargo load ignite, burning everything in their path. The road to recovery is long and painful for burn victims. Depending on the severity of the burn, a full recovery may not be possible and the injured party may suffer lifelong complications.
- Mental trauma. An accident can also cause mental trauma. After a significant accident driving can become a frightening prospect. If the accident was seriously traumatic, a victim may even become afflicted by post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Pregnancy complications or loss of a viable fetus. Pregnant women face special health challenges and potential loss of their unborn babies due to car accident injuries.
- Death. Many of the injuries described above can lead to death. Each year hundreds of people die on Kentucky roads while thousands of loved ones mourn their loss.
If you were hurt or a loved one was killed in an auto accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, then you may be able to recover damages.
Compensation for Kentucky Accident Victims
Your damages may include money for past, current, and future:
- Medical expenses. All healthcare-related costs, including surgeries, hospitalizations, medications, doctors’ visits, physical therapy, and other expenses may be included in your recovery.
- Lost income. All of your lost income may be compensated. This includes any income you earn from being self-employed or that you earn as an employee. It includes any reduction in your income because of your accident injuries as well as a total loss of income if you can’t work at all. Lost benefits may also be compensated.
- Out-of-pocket costs. Any expenses that you incur because of your accident injuries may be compensable. This could include things such as alternate transportation costs, child care costs, and help around the house.
- Physical pain and emotional suffering. Your physical pain and emotional suffering may be your most significant car accident injuries. While money is an imperfect way to compensate you for these losses, it is the only way to do so and it may make your recovery easier.
Additional damages may be possible in a car accident wrongful death case.
Understand Your Legal Rights & Protect Your Chances of a Fair Recovery
Even if you are confident that someone else caused your accident injuries, you will not be able to recover damages unless you take action. You can begin protecting your rights by:
- Getting medical help. You will need to prove that the car accident caused your injuries. Accordingly, it is important to get prompt medical help to prevent your injuries from worsening, to manage your pain, and to protect your legal rights.
- Refusing to give a recorded statement or sign documents provided by the insurance company until you have spoken with your own attorney. Anything that you say to the insurance company may be used against you.
- Collecting the necessary evidence to support your claim. This could include photographs, witness testimony, police reports, and evidence gathered through interrogatories, depositions, requests for production of documents, and other legal discovery methods.
- Understanding how insurance settlements work. A fair insurance settlement will not be offered to you unless you take action. This may include a formal demand letter and include skilled negotiations.
- Contacting an experienced car accident lawyer. You have the right to work with a lawyer who cares about your recovery and who isn’t afraid to fight for your rights.
It is also important to understand how the legal process works and to know:
- You have a limited amount of time to file a case. In most cases, the Kentucky Statute of Limitations gives you only one year to file a personal injury lawsuit, although some exceptions do apply. If you fail to file your case before the statute of limitations expires, then your recovery will likely be barred.
- Whether you have legal standing to file a case. You may file a lawsuit if you have been hurt, if your minor child has been injured, or if you are the personal representative of someone who has died in a crash.
- If your actions during the accident will impact your recovery. If you were partly to blame for the accident, then you may still be able to recover damages in some circumstances.
- How and when to formally begin a lawsuit. A lawsuit begins when a complaint that meets all of the legal requirements is filed in court.
All of this can be confusing—but it’s important to your recovery and you don’t have to do it alone.
Contact Our Louisville Accident Attorneys After a Kentucky Car Wreck
Our attorneys and staff nurse know how to investigate complicated car accident cases. We are dedicated to the recovery of each and every client we represent and, if you’ve been hurt because of someone else’s negligence, then we will fight hard to get you the compensation you deserve. Insurance companies rarely take car accident victims seriously unless they are represented by counsel.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a car accident in Kentucky, please do not hesitate to call the Louisville auto accident lawyers of Gray and White Law at 1-502-210-8942 or 1-888-450-4456 (toll free) for your FREE CONSULTATION as soon as possible.