Two people are dead after a passenger car crossed the center line and collided with a semi-truck which was towing another semi-truck.
This accident happened near County Road 575 on U.S. Highway 50. According to state police investigators, a westbound passenger car veered onto the wrong side of the road and smacked into the eastbound dual semi-trucks. The two people in the passenger car, a 19-year-old Louisville woman and a 20-year-old Hanover woman, were killed instantly. No one else was seriously hurt.
Investigators speculate that alcohol might have been involved, but they have no evidence to support that suspicion.
Duty of Care in Vehicle Collisions
Large truck wrecks involve some very complex legal issues. Therefore, even if it appears that a noncommercial driver is responsible for the wreck, perhaps because s/he crossed the center line, a Lexington personal injury attorney may still be able to obtain fair compensation for the victim’s serious injuries.
The duty of care, which is the foundation of a negligence case, often comes into play here. Most noncommercial motorists have a duty of reasonable care. Basically, this duty is reactive. Noncommerical motorists must be at their mental and physical best when they are behind the wheel, so they can properly react to emergency situations.
Commercial drivers, like truck drivers, usually have a higher duty of care. Since professional drivers have additional training, they have additional responsibilities. Basically, these motorists have a proactive duty of care. They must take affirmative steps to avoid wrecks. So, they must not drive when traffic is heavy and they must not drive in the left lane. These behaviors increase the risk of a crash. Truckers must do everything possible to reduce the risk of a wreck.
This duty brings up an important legal doctrine in these cases, which is the last clear chance rule. Legally, the driver with the last clear chance to avoid a wreck, as opposed to the “at fault” driver, is the person who’s legally responsible for it.
Assume Desi and Lucy are traveling on the same road but in different directions. Without any warning, Lucy swerves into Desi’s lane and hits him. More than likely, Desi could not have avoided this wreck. That’s especially true if he was in a semi-truck. So, under the last clear chance rule, Lucy is legally responsible for damages.
These damages usually include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
However, assume Lucy gradually drifts over the center line. If that’s the case, Desi probably had a chance to avoid the wreck. That’s especially true if he was already in the left lane or otherwise not driving carefully.
Another legal doctrine, the comparative fault rule, could be involved as well. Frequently, a tragedy like a car wreck has multiple causes. If both Desi and Lucy were partially at fault for this hypothetical wreck, which they probably were, jurors must divide fault 50-50, 80-20, or another proportion, based on their interpretation of the evidence.
Kentucky is a pure comparative fault state. Victims are entitled to a proportionate share of damages, even if they were 99 percent responsible for a wreck. Therefore, even if an emergency responder or insurance adjuster said you were at fault in a crash, you might still be entitled to compensation.
We aren’t finished yet. If Bill was riding with Desi and Vivian was riding with Lucy, Bill and Vivian are entitled to compensation, regardless of which driver was at fault.
Injured passengers have the same legal rights as injured drivers. For legal purposes, a passenger is basically a bystander. Furthermore, passengers sustain the same injuries as drivers. These serious injuries include broken bones, head injuries, and severe internal bleeding. The ancillary medical expenses, such as transportation costs, are often higher than the hospital bills.
Victims, whether they are passengers or drivers, need compensation so they can pay these bills and otherwise carry on with their lives.
Additionally, an injured passenger is not a bystander for emotional purposes. But damage claims don’t “blame” a driver for a wreck. Instead, they are simply platforms to obtain the compensation victims need and deserve. Usually, drivers aren’t financially responsible for damages. Their insurance companies normally pay.
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. Virtual, home, and hospital visits are available. #goodelawyers