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Covington Law Blog

Impairment, speed continue to plague Kentucky roads

If you are like most people in Kentucky, you take care to drive your vehicle safely so as to protect yourself, your family and people in other vehicles. This would seem like something that every driver should do but, unfortunately, many people seem to be more concerned about other things and end up putting safety on the back burner. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that drinking and driving and speeding continue to be noted factors in many vehicular deaths across Kentucky.

The overall number of fatalities across the state from 2016 to 2017 declined from 834 to 782. However, the number of deaths associated with alcohol increased and the number of deaths associated with speeding remained consistent. In 2017, 181 people lost their lives at the hands of drunk drivers and 138 people died in crashes in which alcohol was a factor.  

How long are truck drivers allowed to work?

Despite your best efforts to avoid driving while drowsy, you likely understand what it is like to feel fatigued while behind the wheel. When you do, you typically can pull off the road to rest and recover. Yet what happens when those whose job it is to drive (such as truckers) begin to tire? The need to complete their routes may prompt them to try and power through their fatigue. The danger in this is that they drowsiness can inhibit their reaction times, making them a risk to you and others on the road. 

To avoid even the potential of truck drivers becoming fatigued while on the job, the federal government has established regulations related to the number of hours that they can be behind the wheel of their vehicles. Per the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, these regulations prohibit: 

  • Driving for more than 11 hours after having taken 10 consecutive hours off
  • Driving beyond the fourteenth hour after having a 10-hour off duty period
  • Driving for more than eight consecutive hours without taking a break of at least 30 minutes
  • Driving more than 60/70 hours during a 7/8 work week

What is loss of consortium?

Many viewing a situation from an outside perspective may question the motivation for you to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Covington, given that no amount of civil action will bring your loved one back. Yet while punitive measures may be among the reasons you might seek action for wrongful death (to the extent that it assigns responsibility for your family member or friend's death), the primary reason is often to compensate for the financial losses that their absence now brings. 

The common school of thought is that only those tangible types of losses can be quantified. Far greater, however, are the emotional losses you experience from being deprived of your loved one's company. Yet Kentucky law does indeed allow you (in certain situations) to recover damages for the non-economic losses (legally termed to be "loss of consortium"). 

Staying safe when you encounter an animal in the road

When you are driving, it often requires your full attention and then some to keep from becoming distracted. Often, you may encounter hazards that could potentially be dangerous if you are not prepared for them. At Russell Ireland Law Group, LLC, we have helped many people in Kentucky who are the victims of car accidents. 

Distractions can come in many forms including noisy passengers, texting, multitasking and sudden hazards that appear in the road. Animals, for example, can be a road hazard that if you encounter, could send you into a panic. One part of you is beginning to feel guilty for endangering the innocent animal's life while the other part of you may be scrambling to figure out how to avoid hitting the animal without hitting other motorists. 

What is the attractive nuisance doctrine?

The fall and Wintertime in Covington brings with it a whole new array of outdoor activities for kids to indulge in, from sledding and ice skating to camping in snow caves. As a parent, you hope that your kids will recognize which of those activities can be dangerous. At the same time, you also know that in their excitement, your kids might not think twice about playing with a risky attraction (especially young children).  

The attractive nuisance doctrine recognizes that there are certain elements that may be particularly appealing to your children, and that they might not have the good judgment to overcome such an enticement. Thus, responsibility goes to the owner of the property on which an attraction is found to restrict access to it. Many cases in which the attractive nuisance doctrine is invoked involve accidently drownings in swimming pools. Yet the case which prompted the establishment of an attractive nuisance standard in Kentucky actually involved a child being burnt after playing in a pile of burning leaves whose fire the owner had not fully extinguished. 

A lump sum of alimony may beat monthly payments

Navigating the divorce process can understandably be hard from both an emotional and a financial standpoint. However, if you earned less money than your spouse did while you were married, making the transition to an independent life can be even more intimidating.

The good thing about the divorce process, though, is that you might be eligible to get alimony. It is common for alimony recipients in Kentucky to receive monthly payments over the course of several years. However, you could also opt to get a large lump sum of alimony instead.

Big rigs and negligent driving

Construction areas, gravel or debris-covered roads and slick asphalt are common across Kentucky, from major thoroughfares to winding country roads. At Russell & Ireland Law Group, LLC, we often represent clients injured in a crash with a commercial or eighteen-wheeler.

According to the FMCAS, approximately 25 percent of big rig fatalities occur when road conditions are poor. In many cases, speed is a factor. Reducing speed by one-third or more and leaving more space between you and the vehicle in front of you are the best actions you can take when road and weather conditions are challenging.

Kenton County sees jump in vehicular fatalities

If you read or watch the news, you no doubt learn about more vehicle accidents than you would like to think happen in Kentucky. Even with numerous public awareness campaigns and strong law enforcement, too many drivers make choices that are dangerous not only for themselves for but anyone else who might happen to be on the road at the same time. From driving while texting to drag racing down area streets, there is no shortage to the negligent behaviors that result in serious accidents and even deaths.

According to records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of overall vehicular fatalities in Kenton County jumped from nine to 17 between 2016 and 2017. Of those 17 deaths last year, seven resulted from accidents in which alcohol was a contributing factor. In 2016, Kenton County experienced one drunk driving death. In the five years spanning 2014 to 2017, the county recorded 57 total deaths in motor vehicle accidents. Alcohol and speed were involved in 21 and eight of those deaths, respectively.

Field sobriety test accuracy rates

While advocacy groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving appropriately raise awareness about the risks of driving when drunk, they have also contributed to the creation of a strong and inaccurate stereotype about the people charged with driving under the influence offenses. Many people in Kentucky who are arrested for DUI charges are very responsible citizens. In addition, not every one of them is actually guilty of the crime they are charged with.

One potential issue with a drunk driving case may well be the accuracy, or the lack thereof, of the results of tests conducted prior to a person being placed under arrest. As explained by FieldSobrietyTests.org, the standard field sobriety tests used are approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and are designed to give law enforcement officers enough evidence to justify arresting the driver. They cannot prove that a person is intoxicated.

Knows the basics about brain injuries

Most Kentucky residents may not give brain injuries much thought until they or a person they love experiences one. Brain injuries can have serious ramifications for a person's health and it is important for people to know the basic information about this kind of wound.

People may not realize that there is more than one kind of brain injury. The Brain Injury Association of America says these types are non-traumatic and traumatic brain injuries. A non-traumatic injury is typically caused by something that happens inside a person's head, such as a seizure or stroke. When people incur the traumatic form of this wound, this is usually because some kind of outside force has affected their head. This outside force might be a ball if someone is injured while playing sports, or a steering wheel or headrest if someone gets into a car accident. Motor vehicle collisions and sports are only two of the ways someone might incur a traumatic brain injury. People might also receive this wound after slipping and falling.

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