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Covington Law Blog

Holding employers responsible for truck accidents

Commercial trucking is a vital component of America's economy, and the drivers directing the semi-trucks and tractor-trailers you see on Covington's roads are typically well-trained. Yet that does not mean that these massive vehicles pose no risks to the vehicles around them (indeed, according to data shared by The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there were 116,000 crashes involving large trucks and buses in 2017 alone). Truck accidents can often be catastrophic, leaving victims to have to deal with enormous expenses. The question then becomes who is liable for such accidents? 

The easy answer would seem to be the truck driver; they, after all, were driving the vehicle and thus responsible whatever events led to the collision. Yet about their employers? In some cases, truck drivers may be independent contractors, which makes the issue of sharing liability with their employers irrelevant. Yet when truckers are employed by a trucking company, could that company also be held responsible for an accident? 

Which vehicles are more likely to be in a fatal car accident?

No one wants to have a car accident, but they still happen to many of us. Car manufacturers are constantly creating new models of cars that adhere to changing safety standards. Even with these efforts, people suffer injuries and even lose their lives in car crashes every day.

If you're considering buying a new car for yourself or someone you care about, a new study claims to reveal what models of cars are the most dangerous. This is particularly important with younger and inexperienced drivers here in Kentucky, who may not know how to avoid a car accident.

Defining your duty of care

We here at the Russell & Ireland Law Group LLC are often asked how far does liability extend when an accident occurs on someone's property. You of course hope that no one who enters your property is ever injured or hurt, yet your responsibility to ensure that does not happen depends on the duty of care that you owe them. That duty can change depending on who is injured and why they were on your property in the first place. 

Kentucky state court rulings have broken down visitor classification into three distinct groups. These are as follows: 

  • Invitees: One who comes on to your land by your invitation or in some capacity connected with your own personal business
  • Licensees: One who seeks to come on to your land, and who secures your consent to do so
  • Trespassers: One who comes on to your land without any legal right to do so

Rainy roads create trouble for Kentucky drivers

Statistics show rain is a serious hazard to drivers in Kentucky. According to Courier Journal, Kentucky holds the title as third most dangerous state for driving during rain based on a study by SafeWise. The organization analyzed 2016 data and concluded there were 67 car accidents resulting in fatality in the state.

AAA Exchange offers advice on rainy conditions, and it is easy to see why driving is risky at those times. If a car is skidding, there is a temptation to slam brakes. Slamming brakes, however, is dangerous on a slippery road and can cause loss of control. Leaving too little space between cars is another issue. In wet conditions, there needs to be more space to allow a full stop without hard braking. Even cruise control can cause problems. Cruise control requires braking to slow down. However, when the road is wet, it is sometimes safer to slow the car by letting off the accelerator rather than brake.

Tabloid talk show host sued after guest suicide

For many decades now, tabloid talk shows have been on American television networks. Even if someone in Kentucky may not have watched one of these shows, most people are aware of the basic premise on which they are founded. Each show has its own unique twist but all in some fashion highlight what are usually painful or unpleasant areas of the lives of their guests. This approach to entertainment can be controversial and, for one family, has allegedly contributed to the death of their loved one.

In the spring of last year, a man from Kentucky appeared on one of the tabloid shows that airs on the network NBC according to a report by the New York Daily News. While on the show, he learned that the woman he had planned to marry had quite opposite plans. Not only had she already sold the ring he proposed to her with but she was apparently involved in a romantic relationship with a close friend of the man. 

What are common post-crash injuries?

Kentucky residents like you can have your whole life flipped around in an instant due to the negligent or reckless behavior of other drivers on the road. Russell & Ireland Law Group, LLC, are here to stand with you during these difficult times.

Some of the most common injuries of a car crash can also be some of the most devastating. Because of your position in a vehicle at the time of a wreck, it isn't uncommon for drivers like you to face head, back, and neck injuries. Damage done to the neck, back or spine can affect mobility, sensation, and dexterity. Severe damage can result in paralysis, but even a less extreme injury can result in you having to take time off of work to heal. The combination of medical bills and a lapse in paychecks can be financially devastating.

Brain injuries can have devastating consequences

Have you or a loved one suffered a traumatic brain injury? It can happen in the blink of an eye but have life-long consequences. Many people in Kentucky, including Covington, do not realize that brain trauma can occur even if there is no blow or penetration wound to the head. A slip-and-fall accident, a rear-end collision or an incident while participating in your favorite sport can change your life forever.

You could see your brain as the computer that controls all the functions of your body. A healthy brain allows the proper working of your senses, the ability to hear, see, move, think, your heart rate and more. Different areas of the brain control different functions, and the consequences depend on the location and severity of the injury. Although your skull encloses and protects your brain, rapid movement of your head -- such as from whiplash -- can cause it to slam into the thick walls of your skull.

Look twice for motorcycles

Spring has sprung in Kentucky and Ohio. As riding season swings into full gear, it is important for us all to look twice for motorcyclist.

The National Motorcycle Institute completed a five-year study of the number of motorcycle rider fatalities compared to passenger vehicle fatalities in the US. The study used data obtained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and found between 2012 and 2016, for every 100 million miles traveled on a motorcycle there are on average 22.5 deaths. However, for same miles traveled in a passenger vehicle there were only 0.583 deaths. Based on this data, it is 38.5 times more dangerous to ride on a motorcycle mile for mile. Kentucky's five-year average is 96 motorcyclist deaths per year and Ohio averages 159 deaths per year. 

When should you bring a wrongful death case?

It is natural to want justice for the wrongful death of a family member, but timing is often one of the most important elements of these types of cases in Kentucky. It is usually wise to start building your case as soon as possible, but there are certain concerns that could be more immediate than others.

In fact, your personal injury wrongful death action may not even be the most complex part of the legal ramifications of your loss. You may also have to consider estate planning issues, family law and even potential involvement in a criminal case. Please read on for a brief discussion of each of these elements.

Teen driver-involved crashes spike during “100 Deadliest Days”

When Kentucky high schools let out for the summer, you can expect an influx of inexperienced teen drivers on the state’s roadways, and as more teenagers take to the roads, crashes and automotive fatalities often increase. The length of time between Memorial Day and Labor is such a dangerous time to be on the road, in fact, that this period has become known as summer’s “100 Deadliest Days.” At Russell & Ireland Law Group, LLC, we know that automotive fatalities involving teen drivers rise considerably during the summer months, and we have helped many people who experienced an injury or lost a loved one in a car crash seek recourse in the aftermath.

AAA reports that, in the 100 Deadliest Days of 2017, alone, more than 1,050 people passed away on the nation’s roadways in car crashes involving teenage drivers. This is a 14% increase in comparison with teen driver-involved automotive fatalities that occur throughout the rest of the year, and it equates to about 10 people losing their lives every day throughout the duration of the 100 Deadliest Days.

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