No one should have to suffer needlessly after being in a car accident. If you or someone you love is questioning their legal options after they were a victim of a serious wreck, the Lexington car accident lawyers from Golden Law Office can help you receive answers as to why the accident occurred and potentially get compensation that can aid the process of recovery. We’re on your side.
When tragedy strikes and you find yourself trying to recover from injuries sustained in a car wreck that was not your fault, a thousand thoughts run through your head. You wonder how long your recovery will be and how long you may have to take off work. You wonder how your insurance company and/or the other driver’s insurance company can cover every cost your injuries are requiring. These worries can cause you additional stress which can delay the healing process and make matters worse.
The good news is that you may have legal options. In the state of Kentucky, when an automobile accident is caused by another’s negligent, careless, or otherwise reckless actions or inactions, the victim may be eligible to seek legal aid and file a lawsuit against the guilty party. Personal injury lawsuits are civil claims and can aid the recovery process significantly while allowing you to receive answers for questions you may have about the wreck itself and why it happened.
A successful lawsuit can open many doors for recovering victims and potentially provide financial assistance to pay for the following:
- Past, current, and future medical expenses relating to the crash
- Past and future wage loss
- Pain and suffering, including emotion and mental stress
- Liability disputes
Additionally, your claim may help the driver who caused the accident to stop and rethink their actions the next time they’re tempted to get behind the wheel while drunk or make a careless decision while on the road. Lawsuits can be powerful and oftentimes correct wrongful behaviors, thereby protecting future drivers, passengers, and everyone who walks or bikes near streets and roadways.
To learn more, let’s first go over some facts about car accidents and how often they happen in Kentucky.
By the Numbers: Kentucky Car Accidents Statistics
Kentucky sees more fatalities on the road that are completely preventable than most residents would like to believe. According to the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety, 717 people in Kentucky lost their lives in traffic fatalities in our state during 2018. The numbers for 2019 are already on the rise.
In and around Lexington alone, there were 94 traffic fatalities between the period of January 2017 to March 2018. That puts Lexington as the city and surrounding area with the second-most fatalities in all of Kentucky. Coming in first place is Louisville.
Lexington is also home to some of the most dangerous intersections and interstates in our state. I-71 and I-75 are among the most dangerous highways in Kentucky; and according to a study conducted by the Kentucky State Police, most fatal car accidents in and around Lexington occur at intersections. Some of the most dangerous intersections—the ones with the most accidents during that year—include the following:
- South Broadway at West Vine Street
- Alumni Drive at Man O’ War Boulevard
- Man O’ War at Pink Pigeon
There are a number of reasons intersection are prime spots for collisions. First, negligent drivers may fail to properly look for traffic. This is especially dangerous while turning left. If a driver doesn’t stop and look, they could easily collide with another vehicle. Distractions are another major issue at intersections. Using a cellphone to text or check social media at a traffic light can put you at risk for rear-ending someone else or hitting a pedestrian. It’s crucial to always remain alert and aware at an intersection.
What Are the Types of Car Accidents?
There are several kinds of collisions that can occur when people are neglecting to drive safely. While they all have the potential to cause serious injuries, some are more dangerous than others.
- Head-on Collision. These accidents can easily cause fatalities. They occur when two cars are facing each other when they collide.
- Rear-end Collision. A car that runs into the back of the vehicle in front of them is a rear-end collision. This can happen when a car suddenly slows down or brakes and the person behind them wasn’t paying attention or didn’t react quickly enough.
- Side-impact or “T-bone” Collision. This happens when the front or rear of one vehicle hits the side of another. A T-bone is typically an issue when a car runs a red light or a driver isn’t paying attention to a vehicle turning in front of them.
- Side-swipe Collision. Drivers can sideswipe each other in tight spaces when they’re traveling in the same direction. In some cases, the only issue is the damage to the side of the vehicle. But if one of the drivers loses control, the accident could be much more dangerous.
- Single Car Accident. There doesn’t necessarily have to be multiple parties in an accident. A single negligent driver could run off the road, hit stationary objects like trees or property, or even roll over if they turn too quickly at high speeds.
- Multiple Vehicle Accident. These wrecks are more common on highways. It usually starts with one or two automobiles losing control and all the vehicles behind them create a pile-up. These can be dangerous and cause severe injuries to multiple people.
- Hit-and-run Accident. When a driver hits another car, person, or piece of property and drives away, they’ve committed a hit-and-run. In some cases, a person could unknowingly hit another car in a parking lot. But hit-and-runs can also be a criminal offense, like if someone hits another person and fails to stop to get them help.
Now that you know the kinds of accidents that can occur, it’s important to know how and why they happen. Let’s take a look at the main causes for Lexington car wrecks.
Why Do Most Car Accidents Happen in Kentucky?
Why have the above statistics continued to climb year after year even though our motor vehicles are technologically safer than they’ve ever been? This is a question everyone must ask themselves when it comes to looking at auto safety as a whole, but also when thinking about any recent accidents they may have seen or been personally involved in.
Here are some of the top causes of vehicle accidents in Kentucky and nationwide:
- Drunk Driving. Hundreds of fatal crashes in Kentucky every year are a result of driving under the influence of alcohol. Considering that drinking and driving is completely preventable and illegal, these accidents should not occur at all. Alcohol severely impairs a driver’s ability to analyze what’s happening on the road and act accordingly.
- Speeding. Speeding is one of the leading causes of most car accidents nationwide. Whenever a driver speeds, it becomes more difficult for them to slow down or stop should an emergency arise.
- Failing to Follow Traffic Laws. When traffic laws or posted signs are not correctly followed, a crash can quickly result. Accidents are often caused when a driver decides that they are exempt from the rules. Common ways this occurs is when a driver follows another vehicle too closely, when right-of-way laws are not followed, and when unsafe U-turns are made.
- Distracted Driving. When a driver is distracted by an incoming text, a smartphone app, a meal they’re enjoying, or even a conversation happening inside their car, they may take their eyes off the road for just long enough to cause an accident.
- Inclement Weather. Snow and ice make the roads slippery and drivers have reduced control of their vehicle. One of the biggest threats is black ice because drivers cannot anticipate the danger and may hit the ice while traveling at high speeds.
- Tailgating. Failing to give cars space on the road can intimidate other drivers and also gives the person tailgating no time to react to sudden stops or turns.
- Aggressive Driving. It’s important to not succumb to road rage while driving. If someone is angry, they may focus on cutting the other person off or trying to find a way to get even with them. This takes away their attention from the road and they risk losing control of their vehicle.
- Ignoring Red Lights and Stop Signs. Drivers may try to “beat” traffic lights or roll through stop signs without properly checking both directions. These actions put them at risk of causing a collision.
- Driving at Night. It takes practice to get used to driving at night. Drivers can’t see as well and may fail to see another vehicle, person, or object on the road.
- Defective Auto Parts. If the car’s brakes or steering systems fail, this could be because the vehicle contains a defective product. In this situation, the manufacturer may be at fault for selling an unsafe auto part.
- New Drivers. Inexperienced drivers may not be used to sharing the road with many others at a time or have the awareness required to make swift decisions on the road.
- Driving Mistakes. When people aren’t alert, they may forget to signal turns or adjust their car mirrors so they can clearly see others around them.
- Tire Blowouts. Drivers need to be aware of their tires. If they have low pressure or worn treads, there’s a chance the tire could fail while they’re driving. Tire blowouts are difficult to control and can easily lead to a car wreck.
No matter what caused your accident, the lawyers at Golden Law Office will investigate your case thoroughly. We’ll find who was at fault and how they acted in a way that caused you to unfairly sustain injuries and other damages. We’re on your side.
Common Car Accident Injuries
The human body isn’t equipped to handle the force of impact associated with an automobile collision. This is why our cars are outfitted with safety measures like seatbelts and airbags. Unfortunately, in the event of a serious accident, vehicle occupants are still likely to sustain physical injuries. Car crash consequences can vary significantly, but some of the most common resulting injuries or impairments include:
- Broken Bones. Depending on how the vehicle is struck, broken bones are a possibility. This is especially true when passengers are sitting with their feet on the dashboard or leaning their head against a window. While many bones can be set with a cast and will heal within a few months, other serious breaks require surgery.
- Neck or Head Injury. Whiplash is the most common neck injury a person is likely to sustain in the event of a car crash. This is especially true for rear-end collisions because of how the head and body are forced in different directions. If someone sustains serious head trauma, they could be at risk for brain damage – which can result in memory loss and cognition issues.
- Spinal Cord Injuries. The spine is a delicate part of the back. A car crash could result in a fractured spine. If the damage is severe, the victim could become temporarily or permanently paralyzed.
- Burn Injuries. In the event a vehicle collision results in a fire, the victims could become seriously injured. Burn injuries are among the most painful a person can experience. While less serious burns are often incredibly painful, they are likely to heal over time with minimal scarring. The most serious burns often result in no pain because of the damage to the nerve endings, but recovery can be long and difficult. Painful skin grafts may be needed.
No matter how you feel after the accident, it’s imperative that you get an evaluation from a medical professional. Your injuries may be masked by shock. Sometimes it takes injuries a few days or weeks to appear. Getting to a doctor will help you get compensation for your injuries and will help you start treating your injuries as soon as possible.
While the physical injuries related to a crash are often the most obvious, it’s important to not forget about the mental trauma associated with wrecks. Individuals may experience depression, irritability, difficulty sleeping, or altered eating habits. In the most severe cases involving PTSD, a person may refuse to drive or get into a car. While psychological trauma can take time to recover from, a mental health professional can provide options like cognitive therapy and medication.
If you’ve suffered from any of the above injuries that have seriously affected your life and/or will have lasting implications or require long-term medical care, you may find it difficult to get the compensation you need to make a full recovery. It’s in these instances when a lawyer may be able to help you the most.
Dealing With a Car Accident
After an auto accident, you may be at a loss for what to do. The situation is often sudden and stressful. But your actions after the wreck can help people, and you can also take steps that will help your claim in the future.
- Check Yourself for Injuries. Following a crash, it’s important to be evaluated by a health care professional. Even if you feel okay, you could have injuries that haven’t manifested symptoms yet. Having all your injuries and treatment plans documented will help you with your case because you’ll have an accurate record of what you’ve experienced.
- Call Police. If someone has been injured or a fatality has occurred, it’s imperative to contact law enforcement. They will need to file a report that can later be used by your lawyer and insurance company to help with your case.
- Provide Help If You Can. When the police are making their report, you can provide the facts. But it’s vital that you stick to what you know. Trying to fill in gaps or guess details could lead to an inaccurate report and jeopardize your claim. Remember to never apologize. You may have the urge to just because of the situation you’re in, but saying sorry can be considered an act of admission. This could significantly reduce your chances of receiving compensation.
- Exchange Information. You need to exchange information with the other party or parties involved in the collision. You should get the contact information, insurance policies, and make and model of the cars. You will need to provide this information to your insurance company so they can process your claim.
- Call an Attorney. You’ll want to get in touch with a personal injury lawyer who will fight for your rights. Car accident claims can become complicated and it’s important to remember that there’s a chance your insurance company could offer you a settlement that’s lower than what you deserve. Golden Law Office is prepared to help you get the compensation you are entitled to.
The Importance of a Lawyer You Can Trust
When you meet with an attorney from Golden Law Office, you’ll be able to get legal advice confidentially and quickly. We offer consultations for free and do not charge you anything upfront. Our lawyers have the experience your claim deserves. We can help you navigate any complex insurance settlements and speak on your behalf in court if necessary, to prove that negligence occurred and that you were not at fault.
The right legal help can deliver peace of mind. If you’re questioning your legal options after being involved in an auto accident in Kentucky, don’t hesitate to reach out to our office.