Authorities believe that icy road conditions contributed to a major wreck on the Green River Bridge that seriously injured two people.
Initially, a UPS delivery truck skidded into the side of the bridge and remained motionless on the westbound side. A box truck then hit the delivery truck. Seven other cars were unable to stop and collided with the wreckage.
EMS transported a Leithfield man to a nearby hospital with life-threatening injuries. Another victim, from Morgantown, is expected to survive.
Weather Conditions and Personal Injuries
Ice, rain, fog, and other poor weather conditions may contribute to vehicle collisions in Kentucky. However, they do not cause wrecks, at least in most cases. Driver error, or more specifically a driver’s failure to adjust to adverse conditions, usually causes such accidents. So, a Lexington personal injury attorney can usually file a claim for damages.
The duty of reasonable care, which applies to most drivers, requires them to account for adverse conditions and adjust accordingly. They cannot ignore the conditions and avoid responsibility for the accidents they cause. That’s not what driving defensively means.
Moreover, commercial operators, especially Uber drivers, bus drivers, and other motorists who transport cargo and/or passengers for a fee, usually have a higher duty of care. These operators have an affirmative responsibility to avoid wrecks.
Intersections illustrate the difference between these two duties. When nonecommercial motorists have a green light, they can proceed directly through the intersections. But when commercial operators have a green light, they must slow down and look for other vehicles before they move forward.
Icy conditions and other conditions often contribute to falls as well. But bad weather does not suspend a property owner’s duty of care. This duty requires them to ensure their properties are reasonably safe. They must immediately clear hazards that they know about, or should know about.
For example, if the temperature drops below freezing, property owners are usually on notice that there may be icy patches outside. So, they must immediately take steps to keep people safe.
Evidence in Truck Wreck Claims
Additionally, fall, truck wreck, and other injury victims must establish the facts of the case by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not).
Frequently, fall victims need little evidence, thanks to the res ipsa loquitur doctrine. In certain situations, jurors may presume that negligence caused a fall injury. A presumption of negligence doesn’t guarantee maximum compensation. Insurance company defenses, such as assumption of the risk and comparative fault, are still available.
Res ipsa loquitur usually doesn’t apply in truck crash matters. So, these victims need substantial evidence to build their claims. That’s especially true in weather-related wrecks. Many jurors believe that adverse conditions, as opposed to driver negligence, causes these wrecks.
Eyewitness statements and the police accident report often form the bulk of the evidence in vehicle collision claims. In terms of truck wrecks, both kinds of proof are often in short supply.
Serious truck wrecks often occur on freeways. Out on the open road, especially in some parts of Kentucky, there’s not much traffic. Even if someone did see the wreck, people often don’t pull over so they can talk to police officers.
Furthermore, truck wrecks often cause catastrophic or fatal injuries. In these situations, the victim is obviously unable to give a statement to a reporting police officer. Therefore, the accident report only contains one side of the story.
Electronic evidence, often from a large truck’s Event Data Recorder, often plugs the gaps in lack of evidence claims. An EDR is a lot like the black box flight data recorder in a commercial airliner. Depending on the make and model, most EDRs measure and record things like:
- Engine RPM,
- Vehicle speed,
- Brake application, and
- Steering angle.
A skilled lawyer, often working with an accident reconstruction professional, can fit these bits of proof together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. So, this proof is often very compelling. However, there are some practical and legal obstacles to overcome.
From a practical standpoint, a large truck’s EDR is a very hearty and sophisticated device. It has to be, to record complex information and survive a major wreck. Therefore, an attorney needs a lot more than a laptop and a screwdriver to tap into EDR data.
From a legal standpoint, Kentucky has very strong vehicle information privacy laws. Unless a Lexington personal injury attorney obtains a court order, the EDR will probably remain off limits. So, the valuable evidence it contains might go to waste.
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. Attorneys can connect victims with doctors, even if they have no insurance or money.