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Who’s at fault in a Kentucky rear end collision?

This is a video in our LawTok series: Straight Talk with a...
Featured Post

BLOG & ACCIDENT NEWS

Who’s at fault in a Kentucky rear end collision?

This is a video in our LawTok series: Straight Talk with a...
How Do Accidents Involving Out-of-State Drivers Work?

How Do Accidents Involving Out-of-State Drivers Work?

Tragedy struck on Interstate 75 in Kentucky in early January. A white pickup truck was speeding while traveling the wrong way on the highway. It crashed into a vehicle carrying a family of five. The family was traveling back to their home in Michigan after vacationing in Florida. All members of the family and the driver of the pickup truck were killed in the accident. News outlets throughout the country picked up the story, and many were left in shock at the nature of the accident. As the shock subsided, it left many with questions pertaining to these types of accidents that involve out-of-state drivers. How does insurance work? What laws govern these accidents – Kentucky’s, or the home state of the drivers involved? Out-of-State Insurance Generally speaking, an insurance policy is nationwide. This means it will cover a driver no matter where they go in the country. Assuming that the driver from Michigan had proper insurance, that insurance policy would still provide coverage in case of an accident, regardless of where it took place. As long as the issuing insurance company does business in the Commonwealth of Kentucky then they must provide at least the bare minimum insurance required by the laws of Kentucky even if such coverage is not in the insurance policy. Insurance issues become more complicated if the policy was purchased outside of the country. If the family had been from Canada, for example, that insurance policy is not typically applicable in the United States. Drivers that are from outside of the country need to purchase additional insurance that will cover them in case an accident occurs while they are not in their home country. While the insurance policy will still provide coverage, the coverage provided is governed by the state in which the accident occurred. Applying that to this latest story, Michigan is a no-fault auto insurance state. Kentucky on the other hand, is a no-fault optional state. If the pickup driver had Kentucky no-fault insurance, both drivers may have gone through their own insurance companies to collect accident benefits. If the Kentucky driver had rejected no-fault insurance, though, the Kentucky insurance company would need to determine fault before making a payment for the Kentucky driver, and the insurance company of the at-fault driver would provide accident benefits to each. Out-of-State Personal Injury Lawsuits Often, when an insurance company does not provide the coverage needed, a personal injury lawsuit is filed against the at-fault driver. Just as the insurance laws of the state in which the accident occurred apply, so do the negligence laws of that state. If the family’s remaining relatives wished to file a wrongful death lawsuit, they would need to do so in Kentucky, as that is where the accident happened. This doesn’t mean that they would need to spend weeks, months, or even years in Kentucky. Those who are filing a lawsuit in Kentucky but live in another state can hire an attorney to represent them and to appear on their behalf. Most communication is done by email or phone. However, if the case went to court, the family members will need to visit Kentucky for a short period of time and appear before a judge and jury. In the Most Complicated Cases, You Need a Richmond Car Accident Attorney Nearly every car accident has its own challenges. There are some cases, however, where the complexities make a case extremely challenging, such as when you are in a Kentucky accident with a driver from out of state. While having legal representation is recommended for any car accident involving a serious injury, in cases like these, speaking to a Richmond personal injury attorney is of critical importance. If you have been involved in a car accident, you know how important it is to get back to your best health right away. At the Morrin Law Office, we’ll help you do just that. Call us today at (859) 358-0300 to see how we can help sort out insurance issues, and even help you file a lawsuit against an at-fault driver but only if absolutely necessary. There are many difficult questions after an accident. We have the answers, and we will use them to protect your interests during this difficult time.

How to Prove that Another Driver Was Texting Before an Accident

How to Prove that Another Driver Was Texting Before an Accident

Kentucky passed the state’s texting and driving ban in 2011. Since that time, however, law enforcement has stated that the law has been difficult to enforce. This is largely due to the fact that while texting and driving is illegal in the state, using a handheld device is not. Drivers can still punch in phone numbers or use GPS systems. This poses a problem not only for police, but for other drivers, too. Texting and driving, just like disobeying any other traffic laws, is considered negligent. As such, if a driver is caught texting while behind the wheel and causes an accident, they can be held liable to provide compensation to other drivers injured in the accident. Unfortunately, the burden of proof is on the injured driver. This means they must show that the driver that caused the accident was negligent. So, if the police can’t prove a driver was texting, how can another driver? It’s not always easy, but it is possible, and a Kentucky personal injury lawyer can help. Tell Officers on the Scene When a motor vehicle accident occurs in Kentucky, those involved must report it to the Kentucky State Police if there is any injury or property damage over $500. When this is the case, the injured driver should tell the police officer if they believe the other driver was texting or if they think the other driver is drunk. The police may ask for that driver’s phone right at the scene to verify that texts were being sent at the time of the accident. According to Kentucky’s texting and driving law, it is also illegal for a driver to read any text messages while a vehicle is in motion. If the officer sees that a person even just received a text, this can help verify the story of the injured individual. If the police also believe the driver was texting while driving, they may issue a citation. The penalty for texting while driving in the state is very small. However, the citation will go in official records, and injured drivers can use this to strengthen their case in court. Subpoena Phone Records Perhaps the best way to prove that a driver was texting while driving, and therefore caused an accident, is to subpoena their phone records from their cell phone carrier. In order to do this, the injured individual must first file a personal injury claim. Subpoenas are difficult to come by for those not in a legal profession, but personal injury lawyers are very familiar with the process. An attorney can also file a personal injury lawsuit on the injured party’s behalf before getting a subpoena. It is important that both actions are taken as soon as possible. Cell phone providers only keep records for a specific period of time. Issuing a subpoena right away will ensure these records are still on file, which can help prove a case. In addition, accident victims find that an attorney is most helpful when they are part of the claim from the very beginning. Contact a Kentucky Car Accident Attorney Who Can Get the Proof You Need Car accident cases are often very complicated. When evidence is needed that is difficult to come by, such as that a driver was texting while driving, it becomes even more challenging. A car accident lawyer in Kentucky can help accident victims get the proof they need. If you or a loved one has been in an accident and believe someone else was at fault, contact Morrin Law Office at (859) 358-0300. We will help you get back to your best health, and best life, as quickly as possible and obtain any evidence needed to help further your claim.

Can I Claim Compensation for an Accident Caused by the Road?

Can I Claim Compensation for an Accident Caused by the Road?

Drivers have a lot to watch out for on the road. Negligent drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists are all on a driver’s radar when they’re behind the wheel. As it turns out though, cracked pavement, large potholes, and other poor road conditions are just as important to watch out for. These can cause damage to a vehicle’s suspension, shocks, tires, and more. They can also cause accidents with other vehicles. So, when poor road conditions have caused you to suffer losses, either through property damage or injury, do you have any legal recourse? You just might. The Data on Kentucky’s Roads Poor road conditions cause thousands of car accidents every year all over the country. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 34 percent of the roads in Kentucky are classified as being in mediocre or poor condition. More than 31 percent of bridges are now considered obsolete because they don’t function, or they are considered structurally deficient. The problem has many in Kentucky wondering why the number of poorly maintained roads is so high. For drivers who have to navigate roads with poor lighting, broken or missing guardrails, and ruts, they want to know what Kentucky is going to do about the problem. They also want to know if there’s anything they can do to claim compensation for damages. The 2018 Highway Plan While it’s already 2019, the 2018 Highway Plan set out by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is still being carried out. In fact according to the plan, it’s one that’s going to take six years to complete. The plan includes roadway maintenance programs, resurfacing programs, repairing guardrails, patching asphalt, and more. The plan is going to cost $8.5 billion, but taxpayers faced with car repair bills may not show concern over the plan’s cost. If it means they can stop paying out hundreds on car repair bills every year, it might just be worth it. The bigger problem is what to do in the meantime. With the plan taking Kentuckians until at least 2023, if it’s finished on time, do drivers have any recourse after sustaining damage to their vehicle? Recourse for Damaged Vehicles in Kentucky It’s possible to seek compensation from the state after sustaining property damage due to poor road conditions. The Kentucky Claims Commissions accepts and reviews claims, and there is no fee for filing. However, only claims for property damage in an amount more than $250 are accepted, and drivers must provide proof that the damage was caused by bad roads. After receiving a claim, the Kentucky Claims Commission will review it and make a decision regarding whether or not they will provide compensation for the damage. Claims for damage over $2,500 are decided on within 30 days, while those under $2,500 are decided on within 60 days. If the Commission decides to provide compensation, a check is written immediately for the damage. If the Commission determines they are not to blame and do not wish to provide reimbursement, a hearing will take place. Filing a claim with the Kentucky Claims Commission can quickly become complicated. They have strict deadlines and proper procedures to follow at all times. Having an attorney by your side will ensure fair treatment and consideration. In an Accident Caused by Poor Roads? Contact a Kentucky Personal Injury Lawyer If you’ve been in an accident due to poor road conditions, don’t try to take the state on by yourself. Call the personal injury lawyer in Kentucky who can help. At Morrin Law Office, we want to talk to you about your claim and the options you have available. We’ll help you file a strong claim that the Kentucky Claims Commission will have to take seriously, and we’ll fight for any reimbursement you are entitled to. Call us today at (859) 358-0300 or fill out our online form for a free case evaluation.

Should Police Be Held Liable for Injuries Resulting from a Chase?

Should Police Be Held Liable for Injuries Resulting from a Chase?

Police chases sound like something that only happens on television or in the movies. However, they occur more commonly than many people think. When they do, it may result in more than just the police catching the perpetrators they’re after; it could also result in injury to innocent bystanders that just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. When this is the case, should police officers be held liable for any injuries that resulted from the chase? This happened recently when another motorist, not involved in the chase, was killed during a police chase in Kentucky. Now, the son of the accident victim is suing the Scott County Sheriff’s Office. Two courts, including the Kentucky Court of Appeals, have already heard the case, and now it has gone to the Supreme Court. The Law on Police Chases in Kentucky The laws pertaining to police chases in Kentucky are found in the Kentucky Emergency Vehicle Statutes (KRS 189.910-.950). These laws state that police officers are exempt from regular traffic violations in a number of circumstances, including following a suspect during a police chase. However, officers are also required to have both their lights and their sirens working during the chase. This is not only to warn the suspect that the police want them to pull over, but also to warn bystanders to get out of harm’s way. This could prove a problem in this most recent news story, as the officer realized his siren was not working halfway through the pursuit. That makes it an illegal chase. Still, while some may consider this negligence because the officer should have known his siren didn’t work, the immunity officers are given protects them from negligence. In order for injured individuals to find an officer liable, they need evidence that points to more than just mere negligence. Liability in Police Chases In the past it has been true that police officers and other officials were often not held liable for negligent actions. However, in June of 2019, in Gonzalez v. Johnson, the Kentucky Supreme Court issued an opinion indicating that innocent bystanders may file a legal action against a pursuing officer and a jury may determine whether or not the officer’s pursuit was negligent and caused the injury to the bystander. When injuries arise from a police chase, it’s likely that those injuries are due to a fleeing suspect’s actions. These individuals are often feeling incredibly desperate and do not watch out for the safety of others. Police, on the other hand, will generally keep everyone as safe as possible. When a suspect has been involved in a police chase and hurts someone else, injured parties can hold the suspect liable if their negligent actions caused the accident. If You’ve Been Hurt, Contact a Kentucky Personal Injury Lawyer If you’ve been hurt, no matter if it was during a police chase or just on your way home from work, contact a personal injury lawyer in Kentucky who can help. A personal injury claim, guided by an injury professional, can provide compensation to ease the financial burden of your injuries and get you back to your best health as soon as possible. At Morrin Law Office, we know how to hold at-fault parties liable so you can claim the full amount of compensation you deserve. We’ll investigate the accident, collect evidence to back up your claim, and fight aggressively to ensure your rights are upheld throughout the entire process. Call us today at (859) 358-0300 to learn more about how we can help.

Questions After a Car Accident?  Don’t be Fooled!

Questions After a Car Accident? Don’t be Fooled!

After an auto accident, one of the most difficult things to deal with is the uncertainty and insurance hoops that follow. Not knowing if you are seriously injured, only adds to the stress of an already difficult situation. Knowing the truth and what your case is worth can make a BIG difference in how well you bounce back after a car accident in Richmond, KY. To that end, we would like to clear up a few things to empower you with knowledge so you may better handle your car wreck. Car Accident Misconceptions Misconception # 1- People who claim they are injured from an auto accident are just faking and trying to make a quick buck. The vast majority of people who claim they have been injured in an auto accident HAVE actually been injured. The fact that you have injuries and feel pain is not abnormal and is not suspicious. When two vehicles collide, it involves thousands of pounds of steel colliding together at high speeds and you are caught in the middle. It isn’t any wonder that you have been injured as a result. However, there are people out to abuse the system by faking injury. During an examination, it usually takes about 30 seconds to tell a real injury from a fake injury. Misconception #2 – Injuries from an auto accident should heal within 6 to 12 weeks. This is one of those statements that people tend to believe and perpetuate, when in fact the truth is the exact opposite. According to a report by Watkinson and Gargan (1), after an average period of 10.8 years, 86{2159c586533b4de4af2314f06db22218e2dc39950f3e2c4c92d8844439e44021} of patients who suffered a motor vehicle related injury experienced ongoing, related residual pain on a long-term basis with 68{2159c586533b4de4af2314f06db22218e2dc39950f3e2c4c92d8844439e44021} eventually displaying degenerative changes on x-ray imaging. 1. Watkinson A, Gargan MF, Bannister GC. Prognostic factors in soft tissue injuries of the cervical spine. Injury. 1991 Jul; 22(4): 307-9. Misconception #3 – Auto accident injuries work in proportion to the amount of damage to a vehicle. Put another way, if there is minor damage to the vehicle then the wreck couldn’t have hurt anyone. This is scientifically untrue (but it doesn’t stop the insurance adjusters). According to Martinez (1), an eight mile per hour rear end collision produces twice the normal force of gravity (2g) in acceleration of the vehicle. The occupants head will actually experience 5g of acceleration. At 8 Miles an Hour! MnNab (2) further showed that a 15 mph collision will accelerate the vehicle to 10g and the occupants head (and neck) to 20 – 25g. Additional research has been performed since this time and still no direct correlation has ever been found linking degree of car damage to severity of injury. (3) (1) Martinez, J.; Garcia, D. “A Model for Whiplash.” J. Biomech. 1968; 1:23. (2) McNab, I. “Acceleration Extension Injuries of the Cervical Spine.” The Spine, vol. II. Rothman, Richard, and Simeone 1975. (3) Freeman MD, Croft AC, Rossignol AM, Weaver DS, Reiser M. A review and methodologic critique of the literature refuting whiplash syndrome. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1999 Jan 1; 24(1): 86-96. Misconception #4 – If you don’t feel pain right away, you haven’t been injured that badly. Most people will feel pain from an auto accident within the first 72 hours, but this is not always the case. In some instances, such as with soft tissue injuries, you may not notice any symptoms until 1-2 weeks after the wreck. This is due to inflammation having a tendency to build up over time. This process can be slow and gradual at times. Another factor is the “pain gating” principle. Simply stated, this means that your body mainly detects or feels the most painful injury, which will act to mask or cover up other injuries. Once the most severe of your injuries and pain have calmed down, you may start to notice additional areas of injury. These injuries have been there all along, you just didn’t notice them because your pain in one area was so severe that your body blocked the other pains. Misconception #5 – If you have been in an auto accident, seek care within the first 30 days following an accident. If you have been in an auto accident, consult a physician such as a medical doctor or visit the ER within the first 30 days of the accident. Don’t delay and put this off because the insurance company will use that against you, even if you are seriously hurt. If you have an injury, it is better to find it early and begin treatment rather than wait until it becomes a bigger problem that may require more extensive treatment. If you delay in treatment, then the insurance company may deny your claim; don’t give them that opportunity. Now that you are aware of these misconceptions, and armed with the truth, you will be prepared to handle the immediate questions if you are ever involved in a vehicle collision in the future.