Posts Tagged ‘injuries’

Veil of Secrecy Surrounds Toyota Black Boxes

Thursday, March 4th, 2010
More Trouble for Toyota

More Trouble for Toyota

The AP reported on Toyota’s efforts to block access to black box information that could explain crashes blamed on sudden unintended acceleration.  The AP investigation found that Toyota was inconsistent and even contradictory in revealing what the black boxes record.  According to the report; “Toyota’s “black box” information is emerging as a critical legal issue amid the recall of 8 million vehicles by the world’s largest automaker. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration said this week that 52 people have died in crashes linked to accelerator problems, triggering an avalanche of lawsuits.”

You can read the entire article recapping the AP’s investigation here.

I previously posted on Toyota’s problems back in mid-February.  At that time, I posted that more information was likely to come to light before Toyota’s problems faded from public view.  Looks like I was correct.  Toyota’s public image has certainly taken a hit.  Not only should we question Toyota’s reputation as an automaker who makes better more dependable cars, but perhaps more importantly, its reputation as an automaker that makes safer ones as well.

I’ll make another prediction.  Before this issue is over, embarrassing evidence will come to light showing that Toyota has known about the problem of sudden acceleration for years, but that it has tried to hide the problem from regulator’s and customers for some time.  Stop back by for results on my prediction in the weeks to come.

Two Pedestrians, Including One Teen, Killed While Crossing Streets

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009
Pedestrians At Risk

Pedestrians At Risk

Two pedestrians, including one teen, were struck and killed by separate cars in Lexington, Kentucky.  It appears that both accidents may have happened at night or at times of low visibility.  No information existed on whether the accidents occurred at intersections or crosswalks or in low lighted areas.  One of the drivers faces pending criminal charges for hit and run.  No criminal charges were reported in the other accident.

I recently reported on the Louisville area’s poor ranking for pedestrian accidents.  These recent accidents show that pedestrian fatalities continue to be a concern.  However, the most striking result of the Courier Journal’s article is not the discussion on ways to improve the situation, but instead the discussion on who was to blame for the accidents.  I heard many comment that since they had observed pedestrians crossing traffic illegally at one time or the other, the pedestrians were to blame.  This argument is similar to comments I hear when the subject of bicycle fatalities arises.

Blaming the victims of these terrible accidents does nothing to reduce the likelihood of their occurrence.  Each accident is different and when it comes to blame, experience tells me there is plenty to go around.  While the lack of a citation may evidence a lack of criminal responsibility, it does not mean the accident was the pedestrian’s fault.  In fact, the driver may still face civil liability for the accident.

We have all experienced a situation where a pedestrian did not exercise the best judgment concerning where to cross, the type of clothing to wear, or the proper respect to show an oncoming car.  However, that fact alone does not excuse drivers from exercising caution or doing their best to keep a proper lookout for pedestrians.  This is true whether or not the pedestrian is exercising judgment for their own safety.  Ultimately, nothing will reduce these accidents, if pedestrians and drivers fail to respect each other’s right to use the roadway.

Fatigue Blamed in I-71 Accident Involving Tractor-Trailer

Monday, November 16th, 2009
Fatigue Common Cause of Accident

Fatigue Common Cause of Tractor Trailer Accidents

Police have determined that the driver of a semi-tractor trailer involved in a one truck accident on I-71 in Carrolton fell asleep immediately prior to the accident.  The accident shutdown the northbound lanes for eight hours.  The driver suffered only minor injuries.  The Courier Journal has the specifics, here.

Of course, the driver and other cars using the roadway were fortunate only the tractor trailer was involed.  The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) estimates that truck driver fatigue may be a factor in over 1/3 of large truck accidents.  If you are driving on the Interstates or large highways where tractor trailers are common there is a good chance you may be involved in an accident resulting from driver fatigue.  If you are involved in such an accident and need an attorney, make sure you retain one experienced in handling these types of cases and the companies who defend them.

Louisville Ranks Seventh Most Dangerous City for Pedestrians.

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009
Pedestrians At Risk

Pedestrians At Risk

The Louisville Courier Journal reports on the disturbing results reached in a report by the Transportation for America and Surface Transportation Policy Project.  The report ranked the 13 county Louisville and Southern Indiana area seventh most dangerous for walking.  The report concluded that the most dangerous areas are dominated by sprawling suburban developments that favor automobiles.

While many of the articles contributors considered the report concerning, there apparently wasn’t any agreement on what to do about it.  You can read the entire article discussing Louisville pedestrian injuries and deaths here.

Remember if you’ve been injured as a pedestrian as the result of a car, motorcycle, or truck accident you are entitled to the same rights of recovery as someone injured while driving a car.  Often, these injuries are more severe, since they lack the protection afforded by a car.  These injuries are often permanent and debilitating, requiring lengthy and expensive medical treatment.  You should seek the services of a qualified Kentucky accident attorney if you are a pedestrian struck by a car, motorcycle or truck to make sure your rights to recover for serious personal injury are protected.

Pain After A Car Accident Is Not Unusual And Should Be Treated.

Monday, August 3rd, 2009
Pain After A Car Accident Is Not Uncommon

Pain After A Car Accident Is Not Uncommon

It is very common to experience pain several hours after a car accident.  Don’t think just because you don’t feel pain immediately, that you aren’t injured.  Injuries to muscles, ligaments, and tendons may not manifest themselves immediately.  Often inflammation is the first sign of an injury to these tissues, and inflammation may take time to develop.  Once it does, you will experience pain and discomfort that may interfere with your ability to function.

These types of injuries are well known to medical professionals who treat car accident injuries.  You might hear terms like “soft tissue” or “whiplash” injury.  Make no mistake, however, these are objective injuries that cause pain and require treatment to overcome.

If you’ve been in a car accident and experience pain some time later, seek treatment as soon as possible.  Most likely your injuries will only worsen with time.  Just because your medical treatment takes place some time after the accident, does not affect your entitlement to PIP benefits.  Insurance companies are well aware that these types of injuries may manifest themselves after an accident and won’t usually hassle you about seeking treatment later.  If you are not being treated fairly by an insurance company responsible for paying PIP or for reimbursing your property damage or bodily injury claim, you may need to seek the services of an experienced Kentucky accident attorney or lawyer to get you the benefits you deserve.

How To Recover Your Lost Wages From A Kentucky Accident.

Monday, May 11th, 2009
Recovering Your Lost Wages

Recovering Your Lost Wages

If you were injured in an accident and miss work, you are entitled to recover your lost wages.  Your first source of recovery is lost wages paid through PIP.  Unfortunately, the legislature has capped PIP payments for lost wages at $200 a week.  Hardly, sufficient to compensate someone for the likely wages they have lost.  You should know you are entitled to the difference.

You will recover this amount from the party at fault when you make your claim.  For instance, if you miss three weeks of work and earn $400 a week in lost wages, PIP will pay you a total $600 in lost wages.  Your actual wage loss is $1,200.  The difference of $600 is recoverable when you make a claim for “bodily injury.”  This figure should be included in any negotiations with the insurance company. The insurance company that settles your bodily injury claim will also be responsible for paying back the sums paid under PIP.

Do You Have To Insure Your Moped Or Scooter?

Monday, April 27th, 2009

When gas prices hit an all time high last summer, many people purchased a moped or scooter for transportation. Scooters have since become ubiquitous. With the recent explosion in popularity has also come a larger variety of styles and models.  Scooters are now bigger and faster than ever before.  If you own a moped or scooter or are thinking of buying one, you should know whether or not your moped or scooter needs to be insured.  If you fail to insure your moped and you are injured you might not be entitled to certain compensation and you might be subjected to criminal penalties as well.

Motorcycles are specifically exempted from Kentucky’s no fault reparations scheme.  Is you moped also exempted?  Well, it depends.  Kentucky law provides for the payment of certain PIP benefits if you are injured while operating a motor vehicle.  However, Kentucky law excludes mopeds from this definition. Kentucky courts have interpreted this to mean that since mopeds are not motor vehicles, the occupants injured while riding the moped are pedestrians.  Pedestrians are entitled to PIP benefits from the car that hit them. This is true whether they are at fault or not.

However, the definition of moped does not include every type of scooter or moped.  The statute specifically defines moped as a certain type of motorized bicycle that has no larger than a 50cc engine and capable of traveling no faster than 30mph.  This definition includes only the smallest of the mopeds seen on the road today.  75cc or higher motorized scooters that travel above 30mph do not fit this definition.  They are therefore considered motorcycles not mopeds.  If you are in an accident while using one of these “motorcycles” you would not be entitled to $10,000 in  PIP, unless you purchased it as optional benefits.  You would also be uninsured and responsible personally and legally for any damages you caused.

If you own or operate a scooter or moped that has an engine larger than 50cc, shifts gears, or travels faster than 30 mph you are operating a motorcyle, not a moped.  You are required to have that vehicle insured.  Other laws pertaining to motorcycles may also apply.  You should consider purchasing optional PIP benefits. Otherwise you or your family member might not be protected in the event of an accident.

Injured in a Car Accident? Do You need an Accident Attorney?

Monday, April 20th, 2009

Many people have asked whether they should hire an attorney if they have been injured in a car, motorcycle, or truck accident.  This concern is usually followed by, “how much will it cost?”  Today’s article will discuss some issues to consider in deciding if you need an accident attorney to handle your injury claim.

There are many facts to consider before you hire an attorney.  The first issue you must decide is whether you need an attorney at all.  Don’t think just because you’ve been a victim in a car accident or that many attorneys advertise for these cases, that you must have an attorney before filing an injury claim.  If you suffered only minor injuries, little or no lost wages, and only minor medical bills, you most likely do not need an attorney at all.  You can file a claim for the pain, suffering, and inconvenience you experienced as a result of the accident.  In this case your medical expenses and lost wages will most likely be paid from the PIP coverage you have available.  You can negotiate your settlement with an insurance adjuster without hiring an attorney.  Often these settlements are low enough that they do not warrant the hiring of an attorney.

However, if you sustained a serious or disabling injury, have lost significant work or can’t work at all, or have outstanding medical bills and require future treatment, then you should consider hiring an attorney to represent you.  At this point, several new concerns come into play.  You may need a skilled attorney to explain your options and see that your interests are protected, during any claim negotiations. The insurance adjuster will not look out for your interests or make sure your settlement is fair.

Many injured victims worry about the cost of hiring an accident attorney.  Most car accident attorneys will work on a “contingency fee” agreement.  This means that their fee will be “contingent” on the injured victim recovering for their injuries.  No recovery means no fee is paid.  Usually, a car accident attorney will take a percentage of any recovery you get in exchange for no payment up front and for bearing the risk if you don’t get a recovery.  The percentage will vary from attorney to attorney and may also be based on the length and complexity of the case.

Perhaps more important than determining if you need an attorney is determining which one to hire once a decision has been made.  We will discuss the qualities you might want to consider in an attorney in our next article.  Please check back for; “What to Look for in a Car, Motorcycle, or Truck Accident Attorney.”

Economy Leaves Millions Of Drivers Uninsured

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

MSN reports on an insurance industry study that warns that 1 in 6 won’t be covered by the end of the year.  According to one analyst; “When you see a multi-car collision on the freeway … if there’s more than three or four cars there, at least one of them is likely to be uninsured.”  Apparently, motorists are choosing to drop their coverage to offset tough times due to the economic recession.

According to law enforcement officials and insurance industry representatives, “dropping your auto insurance is one of the worst steps you can take.”  “Uninsured motorists face legal fees, fines (and)penalties, including a suspended license,” said Elaine Zeinner, a spokeswoman for AAA.”

Liability insurance is mandatory in Kentucky, but that doesn’t mean that everyone has it. As the article suggests many chose to break the law and forgo buying insurance to cover them in the event they cause an accident. Not only does this subject the person to criminal charges, but it is financially ill advised.  Injuries received in car accidents can result in thousands of dollars of damages. Many people simply could not afford to pay those damages out of their own pocket.

What can you do to protect yourself in the event you are injured by an uninsured driver? Purchase uninsured motorists (UM) coverage through your own insurance company. This coverage protects you in the event you are injured by someone who is driving without insurance.

In Kentucky UM coverage must be offered by your insurance company.  However, you can reject this coverage in writing. Often Kentucky citizens will reject the coverage to save a few dollars a month in premiums off their insurance bill. This is not wise. As the article suggests, by next year 1 in 6 drivers will likely be uninsured. Don’t rely on someone else. Protect yourself. Check your policy and make sure you have UM coverage. If not contact your agent and request it.