Posted on July 6th, 2016 No comments
Recently, our office has come across instances where our clients have been in an accident but failed to get license or insurance information. In one case, the negligent driver fled the accident scene after our client informed her that she was calling the police. In another case, the negligent driver said the car belonged to someone else and claimed to have left her license at home.
In the first case, my client pursued the negligent driver who quickly left the scene of the accident (the motorist did not have insurance). My client had to abandon the chase when the negligent driver began driving recklessly. The police refused to make a report because neither car was at the accident scene any longer. Fortunately, my client did get the name of the negligent driver, her phone number, and a description of the car. However, that was all.
In the second case, my client only got the first name of the negligent driver, a phone number, and a description of the car. However, she let the negligent driver leave without getting any other information. In both cases inaccurate information was given.
Tracking down the negligent drivers in these cases is extremely difficult. More importantly, the lack of a police report may impair your ability to make a claim or prove the accident happened at all. That’s why you should never leave the accident without getting proof of the negligent driver’s identity and evidence that an accident did occur.
Here are some steps you can take after an accident to insure you get the information you need. This will protect you from negligent drivers that leave the scene of the accident or who claim to lack necessary information needed to document their identity.
Put on your flashers and stop or pull your car to the side of the road.
Be prepared to get information such as the make, color, model, license plate number of the car, and a description of the driver if they attempt to leave the scene.
If the driver does stop. Insist that you must call the police to investigate.
If the driver claims to lack insurance or driver’s license information, don’t let that prevent you from calling police.
Call the police even if the negligent driver begs for you to let them go or offers to leave their name and telephone number. This information can later be false.
Insist that the negligent driver provide official documentation and not just provide verbal information.
If the motorist leaves the accident scene do not attempt to pursue. But note as much information as possible.
Finally, if you can, take pictures with a camera or a cell phone to document information. Take pictures of the negligent driver’s license, insurance card, and registration. If they lack this information or refuse to provide it, take a picture of the person, the damage to the car, the license plate or if possible the VIN number. If the driver tries to leave take photos, or if possible, video the negligent driver and the car as it leaves the scene of the accident.
Remember that after an accident your safety and the safety of others is the most important consideration. If you are seriously injured or if you are unable to exit your vehicle because of injuries, you’re best to leave identification of the negligent motorist to other witnesses. Witnesses are more inclined to stay after witnessing a serious accident. If documenting the scene may risk causing you injury, don’t risk further injury just to document the scene.
However, if neither of these are a concern do your best to document the accident as much as possible. Do not let a negligent driver leave the scene without providing some information or documentation. This will make sure that you have the proper documentation to identify the negligent driver and pursue your claim for personal injuries.
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 February 4th, 2013 No comments
We’re sorry. We know it’s been awhile since we posted any new articles containing Kentucky accident information vital to your accident case. We’re glad that you continue to visit our site for free helpful information and news related to your Kentucky accident. If you would like more information and news you should make sure to “Like” our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Brutscherlaw or you can “Follow us” on Twitter www.twitter.com@Brutscherlaw. We constantly link to informative news articles and information, so if you find that we aren’t posting here, you might find what your looking for from the Brutscher Law Office on Facebook or Twitter. If you have a specific question, please be sure to fill out the form on the right and submit it for your review. We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.
Posted on January 14th, 2012 No comments
Another Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for the Louisville area Saturday. Chance for another inch of snow this afternoon. Travel advisory issued. Periods of low visibility and hazardous road conditions possible. Use caution.
Posted on January 13th, 2012 No commentsLoading ...
Posted on January 12th, 2012 No comments
A Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for the Louisville and Jefferson County area until 9:00 a.m. Friday. While accumulations are expected to be small, periods of heavy snow are expected. Temperatures are expected to drop and icy roads are likely. Wind is also expected to create blowing snow and white out conditions. Travel may be hazardous.
Posted on January 11th, 2012 No comments
A new report from the National Transportation and Safety Board recommends that all states ban the use of cell phones while driving. This includes hands-free use of cell phones, through blue tooth devices.
“According to NHTSA [National Highway Traffic Safety Administration], more than 3,000 people lost their lives last year in distraction-related accidents,” NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman said in a statement. “It is time for all of us to stand up for safety by turning off electronic devices when driving. No call, no text, no update, is worth a human life.”
While the agency does not have the power to enforce such a ban, it’s recommendations carry a huge amount of weight. Whether states are willing to enforce such a ban in today’s “anti-regulation climate” remains to be seen.
Other experts question whether the governments own studies support the claims the agency makes. Only recently, we reported on a study that called into question those statistics, believing they had been “overstated.” You can read about that report, here.
Furthermore, while an overwhelming amount of people tend to support such bans as “texting and driving”, the recommendation includes all cell phone use, including the use of hands free devices. Questions remain whether such a broad prohibition is as popular or even effective.
Would the ban of cell phone use while driving have the desired effect of preventing such distractions? It’s doubtful. Even though an overwhelming percent of Americans are in favor of “texting and driving” bans, almost half of adults and more than half of teenagers admit to reading or sending a text while driving. Making the behavior a violation of the law is no more likely to have an effect.
There is no doubt that “texting and driving” is a dangerous distraction that can lead to accidents. However, that doesn’t mean that the use of a cell phone, especially with a hands-free device, in all situations is an equally dangerous distraction. There simply is not a lot of information on just how distracting cell phone use is when compared to other distractions that are considered acceptable risks in operating a motor vehicle.
In fact, at least one study has concluded that its not the use of cell phones that cause accidents, but distracted drivers in general. CNet reported on a study back in 2010 that found distractions, not cell phones per se, were the cause of most car crashes. Experts noted that while cell phone use had exploded over the past several years, there has been no increase in the number of accidents. You can read the entire article, here.
Posted on November 14th, 2011 No comments
The Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Louisville this afternoon. Heavy rain and lightening with winds as high as 32 mph likely. If you do not have to be on the roads, stay home.
Posted on November 9th, 2011 No comments
Problems continue for Toyota. Toyota recently announced the recall of 550,000 cars for steering defects. While no injuries have been associated with the defect, Toyota has received reports as far back as 2007. The defect makes it harder to steer.
Read the full article regarding the defect recall here
Posted on November 7th, 2011 1 comment
The recent release of Apple’s long awaited iPhone 4s brought with it an exciting new feature called Siri, a natural voice interface that uses artificial intelligence to interpret user commands and answer questions. Ask Siri to text a contact and the commands are completed without any physical input by the user. Elly over at Appchat has a short Youtube video demonstrating this Siri function, here.
While Siri is only available on the new iPhone 4s, there are other 3rd party voice to text apps available for other phones in both iTunes and the Android App Store. These apps allow a user to record a message and turn it into text. The user can then choose whether to email or text the message or send it as an update to Twitter or Facebook. Other 3rd party apps read text and emails aloud, allowing you to respond with voice commands. While these apps do turn voice into text and can initiate simple commands, they typically require a much larger amount of user input to function.
So, with this understanding can we say that functions like Siri and 3rd party iPhone and Android voice to text apps promote safer driving?
It’s clear that the a decrease in user input reduces the amount of time a user is distracted by his mobile phone. Voice to text apps that eliminate the need to type or read text are clearly a better alternative than actually typing or reading the text itself. However, that does not mean that these apps eliminate distractions themselves.
The US Dept. of Transportation maintains a website at distraction.gov that discusses the facts of distracted driving and the statistics on distraction’s role in car wrecks. According to distraction.gov there are actually three main types of distractions:
- Visual-taking your eyes off the road
- Manual-taking your hands off the wheel,
- Cognitive-taking your mind off what you’re doing
According to distraction.gov among other statistics:
- Texting is the most alarming distraction, because it involves all three types of distraction
- 20% of injury crashes in 2009 involved reports of distracted driving
- The under 20 age group had the greatest proportion of distracted drivers
- Drivers who use a handheld device were four times likely to be involved in crashes serious enough to injure themselves.
Anything that takes your eyes, hands or mind off the task of driving is considered a distraction. The higher the level of distraction, like text messaging, the better the likelihood that the distraction will play a role in a serious injury causing crash.
Any app or function that reduces or eliminates distractions clearly promotes safer driving. Among all the voice to text apps and functions, Siri would appear to hold the most promise. However, while Siri and other 3rd party voice to text apps may reduce the amount of visual and manual distraction involved in sending a text message, they do not entirely eliminate all the distractions that can contribute to a car wreck. The more a user is required to look at his device or physically input information into his device, the more visual, manual, and cognitive distraction that occurs. The more distractions, the bigger the risk of an injury causing wreck.
Remember the safest way to drive is to avoid all distractions, including using your cell phone, whether or not you use Siri or other third party apps. Do not under any circumstances manually text message someone while driving since this act is the most distracting, most dangerous and likely illegal.