Few details were available about a serious crash in Oak Grove. Emergency responders had to use the jaws of life to free a trapped victim, and they had to airlift him to a nearby hospital.
When first responders arrived at the intersection of Fort Campbell Boulevard and Interstate 24, they found a passenger vehicle that was lodged underneath a tractor-trailer. After he was pulled from the wreckage and loaded onto a helicopter, the victim arrived at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in critical condition.
Multiple agencies are investigating the wreck, but they have few clues to work with.
Car Crash Claim Evidence
Evidence is critical in car wreck claims. Unfortunately for Lexington personal injury attorneys, evidence is also often in short supply in these cases. That’s especially true in truck accidents that happen in rather isolated areas. Frequently, the physical damage is so catastrophic that little physical evidence remains. Furthermore, there are often no witnesses other than the drivers, and in many cases, the victim does not survive.
Nevertheless, there is still plenty of proof available. An attorney must simply work a little harder to obtain it. A vehicle’s Event Data Recorder is a good example. These gadgets are quite robust and can usually survive almost anything. Much like the black box flight data recorder in a commercial jet, an EDR typically measures and records information like:
- Vehicle speed,
- Steering angle,
- Brake application, and
- Engine RPM.
An attorney often works with an accident reconstruction professional to put together these bits of evidence like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.
Such electronic evidence is often very compelling in court. However, before that happens, there are some legal and practical hurdles to overcome.
Legally, Kentucky has very strong vehicle information privacy laws. Usually, only the owner can access this information. So, attorneys usually must obtain court orders before they can access EDRs. Practically, these devices are quite sophisticated. An attorney must have the proper tools and knowledge to take full advantage of all the evidence inside an EDR’s memory banks.
Vehicle Collision Claim Injuries
In a catastrophic injury claim, the medical bills add up quickly. Medevac could cost as much as $40,000. Furthermore, the average hospital bill is over $2,500 per day. ICU is much higher than that. Furthermore, even after doctors and physical therapists do their very best, car crash injuries are normally permanent.
Head injuries are a good example. Once brain cells die, they do not regenerate. Containing and managing the damage is the best possible outcome. Serious broken bones are usually permanent as well. Normally, doctors must use very invasive and risky tactics, like steel rods, to reconstruct shattered bones. Due to the nature of these treatments, some permanent loss of function is usually inevitable.
These wrecks also cause invisible injuries, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. About 50 percent of crash victims, even if their physical injuries were not terribly serious, deal with lingering symptoms like:
- Hypervigilance (unreasonable fear of a certain part of town),
- Flashbacks, and
PTSD might be invisible, but it’s also a physical brain injury. Extreme stress alters brain chemistry. Some cutting-edge treatments, including MDMA (molly or Ecstacy) treatments, have shown some promise in this area.
Resolving Injury Claims
Almost all vehicle collision claims settle out of court. If liability is crystal-clear, these claims often settle very quickly. Frequently, however, there is a lack of evidence in the case, as discussed above. Other times, insurance companies dispute the extent of injury. That’s especially true if the victim didn’t see a doctor immediately after the wreck.
As a result, settlement negotiations usually take some time. In fact, to motivate the insurance company to settle the claim, it’s usually necessary to file legal paperwork in court. This move also preserves the victim’s legal rights.
If the case remains unresolved as the trial date approaches, most Fayette County judges will send the case to mediation. These supervised meetings usually last a full day. A third-party mediator, who is usually an unaffiliated Lexington personal injury attorney, prepares for the meeting by reviewing the file. The parties’ attorneys prepare by drafting brief opening statements and laying out a negotiation strategy with their clients.
At the meeting, the parties mostly wait in separate rooms while the mediator conveys settlement offers and counter-offers back and forth. Both sides have a duty to negotiate in good faith. They must earnestly want to settle the case and they must be willing to concede some ground to reach an agreement. Largely because of this duty, as well as a professional mediator’s skill, mediation is about 90 percent successful in most jurisdictions.
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 do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters. #goodelawyers