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 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
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.
Posted on June 19th, 2012 No comments
Video of Car Accident Scene in Downtown Louisville.
Posted on June 4th, 2012 No comments
A new study shows that by placing more restrictions on the licensing of teenage drivers, states could reduce the car crash rates among teens significantly. Watch Video:
New Rules Could Cut Teenage Car Crash Rate
Posted on May 29th, 2012 No comments
MSNBC Business has a great article on the most dangerous states for car wreck fatalities. According to MSNBC:
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, more Americans aged 5–34 die from motor vehicle crashes than from any other single cause. Despite this disturbing fact, a study released this week shows that states where fatalities caused by car accidents are very high are also states that are doing the least to prevent those accidents.
A CDC report identified the estimated lifetime costs incurred by the states as the result of auto fatalities in a single year, including medical expenses and lost economic productivity. These two costs exceeded $170 billion in the U.S. in 2005, the most recent year data are available.
With such high costs and, more importantly, loss of life, the question is whether there is anything states can do to prevent car accidents. The Trust for America’s Health found that nothing works better to prevent traffic deaths than seat belt use. According to a report released by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, six of the 10 states with the lowest seat belt usage rates also had the highest average auto fatality rates between 2007 and 2009.
The Trust for America’s Health report also identified four key policies labeled by the CDC as useful in improving traffic safety. The four include having a primary seat belt law (which allows police to stop and ticket unbuckled drivers without any other cause), a mandatory ignition interlock for all convicted drunken drivers, a mandatory motorcycle helmet law and requiring booster seats for children 8 years old and younger.
The top three offenders? Mississippi, Montana, and Alabama. You can read the rest of the article here.
Posted on May 24th, 2012 No comments
Did you know that owners of cars in Kentucky, which are uninsured and later involved in a wreck, can be required to pay for damages from their own pocket? Did you know that this can be the case, even if someone else was driving their uninsured car at the time?
Many owners understand that if they drive an uninsured car, that is later involved in a wreck that’s their fault, they will be liable for the damages out of their own pocket. However, many owners are stunned to learn that an uninsured car they loan to a friend or family member, which is later involved in an accident, could subject them to personal liability for damages as well. This may be the case even if your friend or family member wasn’t at fault for the accident.
That’s because Kentucky’s mandatory insurance law requires owners of every car operated on its roadways to maintain insurance. This insurance includes PIP (coverage for medical bills incurred by those involved in the wreck), which pays regardless of who is at fault (No-Fault Insurance). So, if you loan your uninsured car to a friend, who is later injured in a wreck, your friend should be able to recover some or all of his medical bills from your insurance. However, because you don’t have any insurance, those bills become the responsibility of some other insurance company, who can then recover those payments directly from you. Since $10,000 is the minimum amount of insurance you can buy, this obligation can add up to a lot of money.
It gets even worse, if your friend or family member was at fault. If he or she is at fault for the wreck, the other person should be able to recover his damages from your insurance. However, because you did not maintain insurance on your car, those damages are the responsibility of some other insurance company, who can then recover those payments directly from you. Add these damages on top of the damages suffered by your friend or family member and you can imagine the damages can get pretty high.
As if that wasn’t bad enough. You can later be sued by the person or company that paid those damages in court. This is called subrogation. If the person or insurance company gets a judgment against you, they can have your driver’s license suspended. Not only do you now owe a bunch of money, you can’t legally drive your uninsured car.
Wait, it gets even worse. Kentucky law provides that all cars registered must maintain insurance at all times. If your insurance is cancelled, or you fail to get insurance for any reason, you are supposed to turn in your license plate to the Clerk’s office. Leaving your uninsured car registered but parked in the driveway, is not sufficient to excuse you from personal liability if your friend or family member decides to borrow your car and is later involved in a wreck.
Wait, there’s even more. If you sold your uninsured car to someone else, but they didn’t transfer the title over to their name, you are still considered the owner, unless you filed an Affidavit with the clerk stating that you sold the car. Imagine your surprise, when you get sued because someone you sold your car to, never transferred the title, and your still listed as the owner. If that person did not have insurance on the car, you can be liable for the resulting damages.
It’s obvious that the cost of insurance is nothing compared to the cost you can incur, if an uninsured car you own is later involved in a wreck. Owners of cars in Kentucky are required to maintain insurance on those cars at all times. If you don’t, be prepared to pay the consequences of your failure to obey the law.
Posted on May 18th, 2012 No comments