Emergency responders summoned the Fayette County Coroner to an accident scene in Lexington.
A pickup driver, who rolled through a red light, claimed the sun’s glare prevented him from seeing a passenger car in the intersection of Victoria Way and Man’o War. His pickup truck then t-boned the passenger car. The pickup driver was not seriously injured, but the other motorist was fatally injured.
No charges are pending at this time as the investigation continues.
Kinds of Negligence in Car Crash Claims
Generally, negligence is a lack of care. Specifically, as outlined below, it could be a lack of effort, a lack of self-control, or a lack of mechanical control.
The sun was in my eyes. The road was wet. The sky was dark. These excuses, and others like them, never hold up in court. In fact, the opposite is true. When conditions are poor, the duty of care requires drivers to slow down and operate their vehicles more carefully.
Following distance is a good example. Under ideal conditions, the recommended following distance is two seconds. When the weather is bad or conditions or otherwise less than ideal, such as when the early morning or late afternoon sun limits visibility, the recommended following distance increases to between five and ten seconds.
In other words, the duty of care is flexible, at least in this area. Drivers’ legal responsibilities adjust as weather and other conditions change. Unfortunately, many drivers ignore these changes and therefore put other motorists at risk.
Bad weather contributes to crashes, but it almost never causes them. In contrast, driver impairment causes about half of the car crashes in Kentucky. There are five major kinds of driving impairment:
- Alcohol: This substance is one of the most powerful and readily-available drugs in Kentucky. Alcohol affects judgement ability and motor skills. So, people who drink and drive take unnecessary risks and are less able to react to changing situations. That’s a very dangerous combination.
- Drugs: Marijuana is the leading cause of “drugged driving” in Kentucky, followed by prescription pain pills and over-the-counter sleep aids. These drugs are at least quasi-legal in the Bluegrass State. However, it’s always illegal and dangerous to drive under their influence. The effects of these drugs usually begin after one pill or puff.
- Fatigue: Many people are aware of the dangers of drinking or using drugs while driving. Yet they ignore the dangers of drowsy driving. Fatigue and alcohol both affect the body and brain. In fact, driving after eighteen consecutive awake hours is like driving with a .05 BAC level.
- Medical Condition: Heart disease, diabetes, epilepsy, and other medical conditions could cause a sudden loss of consciousness. If drivers lose consciousness behind the wheel, the resulting accident could be extremely tragic.
- Distraction: This final entry could belong in the next category as well. Yet using a device while driving, even if it is a hands-free speakerphone, is a lot like drinking and driving. Motorists who drive with one eye on the road or one hand on the wheel are not fulfilling their legal responsibilities. Other kinds of distraction include eating or talking to passengers while driving.
All these people know it’s dangerous for them to drive, yet they do so anyway. Therefore, a Lexington personal injury attorney can usually obtain substantial compensation in these cases. Jurors do not take kindly to drivers who ignore known risks. Insurance companies know this, so driving impairment crashes often have very high settlement values.
An injury claim’s settlement value is a lot like a car’s sticker price. Both figures establish the starting point for financial negotiations.
Some wrecks have nothing to do with the weather or with driver behavior. Examples of operational negligence include excessive speed, which is a factor in about a third of the fatal car wrecks in Kentucky, illegal turns, and unsafe lane changes.
These claims are usually easier to prove in court, thanks to the negligence per se rule. Tortfeasors (negligent drivers) who violate safety laws and cause wrecks could be liable for damages as a matter of law.
These damages usually include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Victims need and deserve this money. They need it to pay unanticipated accident-related expenses, such as the aforementioned medical bills. They deserve it because the accident was not their fault. No one should have to endure excessive pain and suffering which someone else causes.
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