Due to the serious nature of their injuries, two of the three car crash victims were airlifted to area hospitals.
The wreck happened at the intersection of U.S. Highway 27 and State Highway 70. According to police and witnesses, when a Honda Accord carrying two 19-year-old people pulled into traffic, a Chevrolet Uplander sideswiped it. One victim was airlifted from the accident scene to a nearby hospital. The other victim was airlifted from a local hospital to a regional hospital.
Emergency responders treated the Uplander driver at the scene.
What a Car Crash Lawyer Does
Every year, vehicle collisions seriously injure tens of thousands of Kentuckians. All these victims need to see a doctor and all of them need a Lexington personal injury attorney to evaluate their cases.
Many of these serious injuries are difficult to diagnose and treat. Whiplash is a good example. The violent motion of a car wreck causes the head to violently snap forwards and backwards, or from side to side. This motion usually damages nerves in the neck.
Initial whiplash symptoms usually only include neck stiffness and soreness. It’s very easy for doctors to ascribe such symptoms to general soreness from the accident, especially since most of these victims are usually sore all over.
The medical nature of whiplash adds to this difficulty. Since it is a soft tissue injury, whiplash doesn’t show up on X-rays and other common diagnostic tests. So, the doctor does not see anything unusual in these tests. That result reinforces the initial “soreness” diagnosis.
Whiplash symptoms quickly get worse. Within a few days, pain begins radiating from the neck down to the wrists. By that time, the injury has reached an advanced stage and is much more difficult to treat.
Speaking of treatment, physical therapy is usually the only effective whiplash treatment. The sooner victims begin seeing qualified physical therapists, the quicker these victims can get back to their lives.
All this medical treatment sounds expensive, and it is expensive. In fact, the average injury-related hospital bill usually exceeds $50,000. Sometimes, transportation expenses can be almost as high. A short medevac helicopter ride from an accident scene to a nearby hospital could be more than $40,000.
The financial stress makes it much more difficult to recover from injuries like whiplash. Furthermore, most of these victims aren’t working, which means regular bills are also piling up. Insurance company adjusters are well aware of this situation. So, they often call almost constantly, trying to convince victims to settle.
In this environment, it’s very tempting to take the insurance company’s offer and try to move on. But there is simply no way to know if the offer is fair.
A skilled attorney addresses all these needs. First, attorneys immediately connect victims with doctors. It’s very important to see a skilled physician ASAP, and not just because of the aforementioned injury diagnosis and treatment issues. If victims delay medical treatment, even for a few days, insurance company lawyers might later claim their injuries must not have been very bad.
As a bonus, this medical treatment usually costs nothing upfront. Most lawyers send letters of protection to medical providers. These letters guarantee payment when the case is resolved. So, most providers defer collection, or even billing, until the end of a case.
As an additional bonus, attorneys usually negotiate with medical providers and obtain lower fees. Kentucky’s collateral source rule states that tortfeasors (negligent drivers) who are liable for injuries are accountable for the full costs of their tortious conduct. The defendant cannot receive a windfall because the victim, or the victim’s lawyer, made other payment arrangements.
Assume Joe runs a red light and hits Buck in an intersection. Buck’s medical bills were $50,000, and his attorney reduced these bills to $40,000. Joe is still responsible for $50,000, which means Joe could get to keep the extra $10,000.
Injury-related medical bills eventually come due. These victims need financial compensation to pay these bills. To establish liability for damages, most attorneys use the negligence per se rule or the ordinary negligence principle. Device distraction, one of the most common car crash causes, is a good example of the difference between these two concepts.
It’s illegal to text and drive in Kentucky. “Texting” includes sending or viewing any text-based message. The negligence per se rule could apply in texting and driving situations. Tortfeasors might be liable for damages as a matter of law if:
- They violate safety laws, and
- These violations substantially cause injury.
Most people use their phones for a lot more than texting. Streaming video while driving, using a GPS navigation device while driving, and doing pretty much anything else on a smartphone while driving is legal in Kentucky. Moreover, it’s legal to use a hands-free device for any purpose while driving in Kentucky.
These activities might not violate the law, but they do violate the duty of care. Drivers have a legal responsibility to watch the road and have both hands on the wheel at all times. Failure to do these things could be negligence, or a lack of care.
In both kinds of claims, the damages usually include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
Injury victims are usually entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Lexington, contact the Goode Law Office, PLLC. You have a limited amount of time to act. #goodelawyers