Posted on December 15th, 2014 No comments
There is no doubt that as the busy holiday shopping season gets underway that it will lead to more parking lot wrecks. If you’re involved in a parking lot wreck during this busy holiday shopping season what should you do? Your first thought is probably to call the police. While this may be appropriate in some cases, it may not be necessary. After all, who wants to wait during the busy holiday shopping season for the police to make their way to your parking lot wreck just to fill out a report?
So, what are your obligations when you are involved in a parking lot wreck? Kentucky law is certainly not clear. First, every driver operating a vehicle on the highway of this state who is involved in an accident resulting in a fatal or non-fatal injury or damage rendering the vehicle inoperable shall notify the police. However, highways of this state does not include parking lots, which are most likely to be private property. Second, every driver operating a vehicle on the highways of this state who is involved in an accident resulting in any property damage exceeding $500 in which an investigation is not conducted by police shall file a written report of the accident within 10 days. Again, this does not include parking lots. Furthermore, while it’s very easy to damage property in excess of $500 given today’s cars, many parking lot wrecks are minor. In those circumstances, it’s safe to say that a simple exchange of information would be okay.
Arguably, there is no requirement that you contact police if you’ve been involved in a parking lot wreck. However, there are some guidelines all responsible drivers should follow regardless of where you wreck occurs. If your parking lot wreck involves a fatality or a nonfatal personal injury, it would be prudent to contact police or parking lot enforcement where the wreck occurs. You should do your best to assist those injured in the wreck within your capabilities. Police have experience in handling these cases and are better equipped with skills to make decisions that most driver’s lack. While many parking lot wrecks are minor, many also involve pedestrians, which result in a fatality or a nonfatal personal injury. If you are unsure, you should err on the side of caution and contact police or parking enforcement. If there are no injuries you can still contact police if you think the damage is significant or above $500 or if one of the vehicles is disabled.
It’s possible that police will make their own determination as to whether they need to respond. It’s possible that a car will not be dispatched if police do not feel it worth the time and attention of an officer given the lack of injury or significant damage. Some police agencies simply will not dispatch a car to file a report on private property like a parking lot. This is especially true if there is no injury. You are only responsible for contacting police if the situation requires it. You are not responsible for making sure they show up.
In many fender bender parking lot cases, a simple exchange of information will be okay. In those cases you want to get the name, address and contact information for the other driver and passengers, the driver license number of the driver, license plate numbers of all involved, and auto insurance information for each car involved. You should also attempt to get the contact information for any witnesses. Given that many people have cell phones, photographs of the information, the cars involved, and of the scene of the accident may be the best evidence of what happened and who was involved. I highly suggest that if you exchange information that you file a Civilian Collision Report with the Kentucky State Police. While only legally required if the accident occurs on state highways with damage in excess of $500, there is no penalty for filing one under $500, and most damage will exceed this threshold anyway. Sometimes this may be the only official document showing that the wreck occurred. You can download the Civilian Collision Report here.
What you should never do is leave the scene of any wreck under any circumstances without contacting law enforcement or exchanging information. You should exchange information even if the car involved in the wreck was unoccupied. In those circumstances you must act reasonably in trying to find the other driver or in leaving information for the other driver, so that they can find you. Leaving the scene of a wreck without proper reporting can result in legal trouble, including suspension or revocation of your driving privileges.
There is no doubt that the busy holiday shopping season is going to lead to more parking lot wrecks. Knowing what your obligations are in a parking lot wreck will make you better prepared to handle any parking lot wreck during the busy holiday shopping season.
Posted on June 30th, 2014 No comments
Injured Accident Victims can now be contacted immediately after an accident under a new ruling by a Kentucky Federal Court. The Courier Journal has a nice synopsis of the ruling by Federal District Court Judge Charles Simpson, here. Judge Simpson ruled that the law, which prevents “anyone” from soliciting an accident victim within 30 days of an accident, was unconstitutional because it violated commercial free speech rights and also the equal protection clause, because the law exempted insurance companies.
The intention of the law was to prevent injured accident victims from being preyed upon by unscrupulous people who would try to immediately sign up the injured victim to pursue a personal injury claim or medical treatment under Kentucky’s No Fault Law. Often, these people would use “runners” who would show up at the accident scene with information from a health care clinic specializing in car accident injuries. These health care clinics would then steer these patients to lawyers who would handle their bodily injury claim.
On it’s face the law would seem to be an unobtrusive means to provide accident victims some time to review their options and determine if they even need to pursue medical treatment or hire a lawyer. However, because the law did not prevent insurance companies from contacting the injured victim immediately after the accident, it provided an unfair advantage to the insurance company. This thirty day head start gave the insurance company every incentive to resolve an injured party’s claim as fast and as cheaply as possible, before they sought medical care or hired a lawyer. This ruling seeks to limit that advantage.
Of course, one unintended consequence of the ruling is that unscrupulous people are now free to contact injured accident victims immediately, even at the scene of the accident. These unscrupulous people now have the same incentive that the insurance company previously had to pressure the injured victim to make decisions without proper information or understanding.
Perhaps even more interesting is Judge Simpson’s ruling that his decision does not apply to professionals such as lawyers or doctors, who are still prevented from contacting injured accident victims for thirty days. Given his reasoning for finding the law unconstitutional, there is no basis for treating lawyers or doctors any different from anyone else. What Judge Simpson has done is create another equal protection clause nightmare where the law is applied unequally to everyone, benefiting some while harming others. This position is untenable. The law either applies to everyone or it does not.
There is no doubt that the Judge’s recent ruling has the potential for abuse by both sides. However, it is important that injured accident victims understand that they are not required to make any decisions without proper understanding and information. You are not required to seek medical treatment from a certain provider or retain a lawyer from a certain firm. If you feel like you’ve been pressured to do either, understand that you retain the power to change providers or lawyers if you choose. The best way to avoid being a victim of unscrupulous people or companies is to educate yourself about your rights and options. If you need advice you should contact an injury accident lawyer of your own choosing who can advise you on your options under Kentucky accident law.
Posted on June 25th, 2014 No comments
It’s that time of year. The lazy days of summer. Schools are closed and kids are on summer break. Everyone is outside enjoying the warm weather. Activities such as barbecues, camping, swimming, beach vacations, outdoor concerts, and baseball occupy our time. Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day holidays all follow in rapid succession. Everyone is excited for summer. Work indoors is now a distraction.
Unfortunately, if you have a pending car, semi-truck, or motorcycle accident injury case, this is the time of year that your case might experience some delays. An accident case involves many people, including you, your injury lawyer, an insurance adjuster, and all manner of doctors, chiropractors, employers, and the like. If your accident injury case is in a lawsuit than your case involves at least one other attorney, maybe more, a judge, and other individuals, such as court reporters, and expert and lay witnesses.
These individuals are enjoying summer too. This is one of the times when your injury lawyer may be waiting on a response from these individuals. But, they have summer plans of their own.
This can be extremely frustrating for an injured person who is waiting on their case to conclude. However, while your case may be personal to you and your injury lawyer, these other individuals may only see it as part of their job. While you may have only one accident injury case, these other individuals may have many more. Summer activities, holidays, and vacations impact the amount of time these individuals have to work on your case, creating back logs and delays.
Fortunately, the lazy days of summer quickly turn into the dog days of summer, that time between late July and August when the temperatures are at their highest and most people seek the comfort of air conditioning indoors. Your accident injury case is much more likely to receive attention during this time.
It is not unusual to experience delays with your accident injury case during the lazy days of summer. Fortunately, these delays are short and activity should return to normal shortly. If your case is experiencing delays during this time, be patient and understand that most delays during this time are outside the control of your injury lawyer. Before long, you’ll likely get a call from your injury lawyer with news about your case. Until then, enjoy the lazy days of summer with your family and friends.
Posted on June 7th, 2013 No comments
Mr. Brutscher will once again speak at the Kentucky Accident Insurance Law 2013 Seminar in Lexington, Kentucky on June 25, 2013 and in Louisville, Kentucky on June 26, 2013. Mr. Brutscher will be speaking on issues that are frequently encountered in litigation of cases involving accident insurance law.
Car wreck cases, slips and falls, trucking wreck cases, and motorcycle wreck cases usually involve insurance policies that indemnify the injured party and protect the negligent party’s assets. No fault benefits that provide injured parties with minimum $10,000.00 for payment of medical and economic benefits like lost wages are also encountered in these types of cases. Once a lawsuit is filed these issues usually are magnified. Mr. Brutscher instructs other lawyers, insurance adjusters, and professionals on these issues that can arise in these type of cases.
Mr. Brutscher is once again excited and proud for this opportunity to instruct other professionals on this important area of law.
Posted on February 4th, 2013 No comments
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Posted on July 2nd, 2012 No comments
Here are some photos of wreck on 7th Street this morning. I came across a rather large car accident scene this morning. You can see by the photos that several police officers, tow trucks, and ambulances were present. I drive through this intersection ever morning on my way to the office. It appears that the car wreck happened right in the middle of the intersection controlled by a traffic light. I figure someone must have disobeyed the traffic signal, causing the car wreck.
I’m not too surprised there was a car wreck at this location. The road shifts over at a point where you cross the intersection, making the intersection wider than you anticipate. It also brings the cars closer together to the west side of the intersection. Looks as if someone was injured given the presence of an ambulance and first responders. I hope everyone is otherwise okay.
Posted on June 26th, 2012 No comments
Video car wreck scene in Louisville. This is a video of the scene of the accident I came across on the way to work today. You can see the sheriff and the driver of the wrecked car over on the sidewalk. It doesn’t appear like there were any injuries. I particularly like the Foo Fighters song in the background on the radio, singing; “It’s alright.”
Let us know what you think by commenting below. You can also share this video using the buttons above or below this post.
Posted on June 26th, 2012 No comments
Some car wreck pictures Louisville 7th Street. Here are some photos I took of an accident I came across on my way to work today. There doesn’t appear to be any injuries, but it still looks like quite a bit of property damage. I couldn’t see the other car involved, but didn’t notice any other damage to nearby cars.
Hope you enjoy!
Posted on June 21st, 2012 No comments
Recently, another tragedy involving an infant left in a hot car struck Louisville. Eight month old Lincoln Lindsay succumbed to the heat and died after being left in a car for hours when his father went to work. Police are ruling it an accident. Apparently, Lincoln’s dad forgot the child was strapped in his car seat when he went to work. Read about how leaving your child in a hot car can result in tragedy like Lincoln’s.
It’s easy to question how a parent can leave a child in a hot car all day long. Unfortunately, it’s an all too common occurrence. Experts say its common for parents to leave a child behind in cars. Numbers from Forget Me Not USA, an Oklahoma-based organization that raises awareness about the problem, said 532 children have died after being left in hot cars since 1998.
Kentucky had 18 hot car deaths from 1998 to 2011, according to the group’s website. It’s easy for a parent, who doesn’t normally have the child, to forget the child is in the car, or simply go about their daily routine without an awareness that the child has been left. Unfortunately, for children, especially infants who don’t talk or who may fall asleep in the car, the result is too often the tragic death of the child.
Fortunately, there is now an app for that. The First Years brand from TOMY International will send an alert if the child is not properly strapped in the car seat, the car seat is not properly installed, or if the child has been left in the car. Read about how the app is designed to prevent leaving your child in a hot car that can result in tragedy.
Remember during hot days to check the back seat of your car, especially, if you have young children or infant. If you don’t typically drive the child to daycare or some other caregiver, remember to be diligent especially on hot days. You don’t want to live with the tragedy that just befell Lincoln’s parents. Leaving your child in a hot car can result in tragedy, so be extra cautious when transporting your child during hot months.
Posted on June 19th, 2012 No comments
Car Accident Injury Photos of Car Accident Injury Scene in Downtown Louisville.