Few details were available after a passenger car rear-ended a semi-truck, killing both people in the passenger vehicle.
Kentucky State Police responded to reports of an accident on U.S. Highway 119 near the State Highway 194 exchange. The two people in the car, a 31-year-old woman and her 60-year-old mother, were dead.
Authorities are continuing their investigation.
Duty of Care
An injury claim is much like a jigsaw puzzle, at least in some ways. If puzzle-solvers begin with the edges, the rest of the puzzle is easier to assemble. In a car crash claim, the edges are the applicable duty of care. Once a Lexington personal injury attorney establishes the proper duty of care, the rest of the evidence usually falls together.
Most noncommercial motorists have a duty of reasonable care. They must avoid accidents if possible and always drive defensively.
This idea comes from a 1932 English case, Donoghue v. Stevenson. A woman who found a dead snail in her ginger beer sued the bottler for negligence, a concept that was almost unheard of back then. In its ruling, the court articulated what became known as the neighbor principle: “You must take reasonable care to avoid acts or omissions which you can reasonably foresee would be likely to injure your neighbour. Who then in law is my neighbour? The answer seems to be persons who are so closely and directly affected by my act that I ought reasonably to have them in contemplation as being so affected when I am directing my mind to the acts or omissions which are called in question.”
Truck drivers and other commercial motorists usually have a higher duty of care. Kentucky law requires these drivers to take affirmative steps to avoid accidents. Specifically, they must watch their speed closely and ensure that no one is following them too closely.
Commercial motorists have a higher duty of care than noncommercial motorists because commercial drivers are professional drivers. They have training that noncommercial motorists don’t have. Therefore, the law expects them to drive more responsibly. Moreover, commercial drivers usually carry passengers and/or cargo for a fee. So, these drivers have additional responsibilities to these people.
Evidence in Vehicle Collision Claims
Now, we get to the pieces of evidence in a car crash claim, which are the remaining pieces of the puzzle. An attorney must locate the right pieces and fit them together properly. The discovery process, which is part of a lawsuit, helps attorneys find the necessary evidence. During discovery, both sides must put all their cards on the table. As for ditting these pieces together the right way, that’s usually up to the attorney’s individual legal skills.
Most car crashes hinge on a combination of the police accident report, medical bills, and witness statements.
Frequently, these three sources are sufficient to obtain maximum compensation. But that’s not always true.
Eyewitness testimony is a good example. In the above story, it appears that the only witnesses to the crash were the people involved. The two victims died and the semi-truck driver will understandably have a one-sided recollection of the events. These lack of evidence wrecks are quite common in semi-rural areas. Fortunately, the standard of proof is very low in these cases. So, a little proof goes a long way.
Electronic evidence, such as surveillance video footage, often supplements the other available evidence. Most cameras digitally record high-definition footage which is easy to see and present. Video evidence can be the most compelling bit of proof in many cases.
Victim/plaintiffs must prove negligence, or a lack of care, by a preponderance of the evidence, or more likely than not. The damages in a car wreck claim 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. We routinely handle matters in Fayette County and nearby jurisdictions. #goodelawyers