Officials are investigating a fatal wreck which involved two passenger cars and a dump truck.
According to a preliminary review, a northbound SUV and southbound dump truck sideswiped each other. It’s unclear which driver crossed the centerline. The SUV careened into the southbound lanes and struck a third vehicle.
The SUV driver, along with a woman and child in the third vehicle, died at the scene. Two other people were rushed to nearby hospitals with serious injuries.
Evidence in Car Wreck Cases
Many people believe that strong legal speeches win court cases. But evidence is absolutely critical in car wreck claims. A Lexington personal injury lawyer must establish negligence, or a lack of care, by a preponderance of the evidence, or more likely than not. Furthermore, there’s usually a connection between the amount of proof a victim/plaintiff presents and the amount of damages a Fayette County jury awards.
The Big Three of medical bills, witness statements, and the police accident report usually provide the proof necessary in vehicle collision claims.
Medical bills contain diagnostic, treatment, and financial information. An attorney must breathe life into these bills, because the information itself is usually rather clinical. For example, it’s one thing to establish that the victim has a head injury. It’s much better to explain the everyday effects of that head injury.
This part of the process often involves witness statements. A friend or loved one could testify about the practical effects of mood swings, trouble sleeping, memory loss, and other symptoms. More on witness statements below.
State and federal privacy laws protect medical records. A lawyer can usually cut through the red tape and quickly obtain records which someone else might spend days or weeks trying to secure.
These same privacy laws impact police accident reports. Additionally, most law enforcement agencies have their own restrictive policies. It’s important to quickly jump over these hurdles. The police accident report is often the most compelling piece of evidence in a car crash claim, particularly as settlement negotiations unfold. But there are sometimes some issues.
Even the most experienced first responder is not an accident reconstruction engineer. Therefore, the cause assessment might be off. Mostly due to staff and other resource reductions, police officers simply lack the tools they need to put all the pieces together, at least in many cases.
Furthermore, police reports are frequently incomplete. If the victim died, the all-important narrative portion of the police report only contains one side of the story.
As for witness statements, something almost mystical occurs when regular people take the stand and tell jurors what they saw and experienced. However, not all witnesses are legally competent to testify. Bias is a good example. Many witnesses are biased to some degree. Jurors are smart enough to take such bias into account. Sometimes, however, that bias is so strong that a judge doesn’t allow them to testify.
First Party Liability
In the above case, additional witness statements could probably establish which vehicle crossed the centerline. Emergency responders only interview witnesses who voluntarily come forward at the scene. Attorneys, usually working with private investigators, can locate additional witnesses and convince them to share their stories.
This story is significant, because there’s a difference between a wrong-way wreck and a head-on wreck.
Wrong-way wrecks are usually avoidable. If Joseph is operating normally but on the wrong side of the road, Bobby can usually avoid a wreck. Head-on collisions are different. If Peggy was operating recklessly or randomly drifted across the centerline, LuAnne has almost no chance to avoid a collision.
In the first example, Bobby could be legally responsible for a collision with Joseph, even though Bobby did nothing wrong. In the second example, Peggy is probably responsible. However, contributory negligence laws could come into play here.
The takeaway is obvious. Even if an insurance adjuster or emergency responder says you caused a crash, always have a Lexington personal injury attorney evaluate your claim.
Compensation in a car wreck claim usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Additionally, in Kentucky, even if you were partially or mostly responsible for the wreck, compensation is still available.
Car wreck claims involve complex factual and legal matters. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Lexington, contact the Goode Law Office, PLLC. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.#goodelawyers