Inattentive Driver Causes Fatal Crash in Madisonville

by | Nov 2, 2021 | Car Accidents

Although a 21-year-old driver slowed down in a traffic lane, a trailing motorist failed to adjust his speed. He then rear-ended the car in front of him.

Multiple agencies responded to the wreck, which happened near Mile Marker 111 on northbound Interstate 69. According to investigators, a Chevrolet Malibu slowed down in the right lane. The Dodge Caravan following the Malibu did not adjust speed and slammed into the Malibu. The force of the collision propelled both vehicles off the road. One person died at the scene. Two others were airlifted to an Indiana hospital, and two others were seriously injured as well.

No charges are pending against either driver at this time.

Injuries and Compensation in Car Wreck Claims

Medical bill payment is usually one of the largest components of a personal injury settlement. That’s especially true if emergency responders airlift a catastrophically-injured victim to a hospital. This flight could cost as much as $40,000. In some cases, this transportation bill might be higher than the hospital bill. However, the average hospital bill in Kentucky is almost $3,000 per day. At that rate, the expenses add up quickly. 

At this point, the medical bills are only starting to pour in. Physical therapy often costs hundreds of dollars per day, prescription drugs often cost hundreds of dollars per dose, and, well, you get the idea. 

Other economic losses in a Fayette County vehicle collision claim include lost wages and property damage. 

Frequently, the lost wages are more like lost productivity. Even after they go back to work, most people must miss time for physical therapy and other commitments. Furthermore, it often takes a long time for them to feel 100 percent healthy. Property damage for something like a wrecked family car is often more than the Blue Book value. Frequently, such an item also has a significant emotional value.

A Lexington personal injury attorney does more than obtain financial compensation for these losses. Lawyers also connect victims with doctors, car salesmen, and other providers. Frequently, these professionals charge nothing upfront for their services.

These victims also deserve compensation for their pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other noneconomic losses. No one can turn back the hands of time and stop the accident from occurring. So, financial compensation for noneconomic losses is the only available remedy.

To determine a fair amount of compensation for these losses, most lawyers multiply the economic losses by two, three, or four, depending on the evidence in the case, the legal theories involved (more on that below), and a few other factors.

The resulting figure serves as a starting point for settlement negotiations. Almost all car wreck claims settle out of court. Like most other such talks, these negotiations usually require some give and take.

Establishing Liability in a Rear-End Collision

Rear-end wrecks constitute about a third of the vehicle collisions in Kentucky. They are the most common type of car wreck in the Bluegrass State. As a result, sooner or later, pretty much every family in the state will deal with the effects of a rear-end wreck, either directly or indirectly. Like most other vehicle collisions, these claims could involve the negligence per se rule or the ordinary negligence doctrine.

Negligence per se is usually a violation of a safety law. In Kentucky, tortfeasors (negligent drivers) could be liable for damages as a matter of law if:

  • They violate a safety law, such as failure to yield the right-of-way, and
  • That violation substantially causes an injury.

Although rear-end wrecks clearly involve such a violation, many emergency responders do not issue citations in these situations. As far as they are concerned, a car wreck is a civil dispute. They do not want to write tickets and thereby get sucked into this dispute.

Furthermore, issuing citations is not a priority for emergency responders in these situations. They are there to secure the scene, tend to injured victims, and try to figure out what happened.

As a result, many of these wrecks involve ordinary negligence, which is basically a lack of care. Most noncommercial drivers have a duty of reasonable care. They must obey the rules of the road and avoid accidents whenever possible. Failing to slow down when the vehicle in front of you slows down clearly violates this duty.

Many times, driver impairment, such as distraction or fatigue, causes such inattention. If that’s the case, the aforementioned compensation could be even higher. Arguably, these motorists know they are putting other people at risk, yet they selfishly ignore that danger.

A liability determination is only preliminary. Common insurance company defenses in these claims include comparative fault and sudden emergency.

Comparative fault shifts blame for an accident from a tortfeasor to a victim. For example, an insurance company lawyer might argue that the victim slowed down unnecessarily, and that action lead to a rear-end collision.

Sudden emergency is basically an extreme form of comparative fault. For example, if Tony slams on the brakes and Sam rear-ends him, Tony could be legally responsible for damages, largely depending on the additional facts.

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. We routinely handle matters in Fayette County and nearby jurisdictions. #goodelawyers