Few details were available about a multi vehicle collision which, according to officials, seriously injured several people.
The Middle Creek Volunteer Fire Department responded to the wreck in Floyd County, which occurred on State Highway 114.
Reconstructing a Car Crash
Multi-vehicle collisions on the semi-rural highways that criss-cross much of the Bluegrass State are very difficult cases to handle, from a legal standpoint.
The volunteer fire departments that respond to these collisions do a good job securing the scene and taking care of injured victims. But these groups are ill-equipped to reconstruct the events leading up to a wreck. They simply don’t have the right training or the right tools.
Furthermore, in many instances, the only witnesses were the people involved in the wreck. They have selective memories. Our brains aren’t tape recorders. A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.
So, in many cases, to determine liability for damages, a Lexington personal injury lawyer must start from square one. Frequently, that starting point is a vehicle’s Event Data Recorder. The handy electronic gadgets that insurance companies use to calculate “good driver” rates are connected to EDRs.
For legal purposes, think of an EDR as a painter’s palette. Back in the day, EDRs had limited functions, so the painter’s palette only had one or two colors. Today, an EDR measures and stores a wide range of operational information, like:
- Brake application,
- Vehicle speed,
- Steering angle, and
- Engine RPM.
So, a skilled Lexington personal injury lawyer can paint a much more colorful and complete picture for a jury.
Car Wreck Injuries
Frequently, no one knows much about the cause of a wreck, at least initially. However, the injuries in these crashes are very clear, and very expensive. They include:
- Broken Bones: Minor broken bones usually completely heal within a few months. But serious broken bones, like car crash broken bones, usually never heal, at least not entirely. After medical treatment and physical therapy end, many car crash victims continue to struggle with lingering injuries like lost range of motion.
- Head Injuries: Somewhat similarly, crash-related head injuries are normally permanent as well. Dead brain cells never regenerate. The symptoms usually linger as well, mostly because crash-related head injuries are difficult to diagnose, so most victims don’t immediately get the treatment they need.
- Blood Loss: Surface bleeding from surface wounds is relatively easy to see and stop. Internal bleeding from internal wounds is much more difficult to detect and stop. In fact, many car crash victims lose about a fifth of their blood before they reach a hospital. That’s especially true in semi-rural crashes. The closest hospital normally isn’t very close.
Prompt treatment is the common thread in these injuries. The sooner doctors intervene, the better the results. So, we connect victims with doctors who focus on injury-related conditions.
Once an attorney reconstructs a wreck and the victim gets necessary medical treatment, the focus shifts to liability for damages. Mostly based on the facts of the case, options usually include ordinary negligence and negligence per se.
Essentially, negligence is injuring someone else by mistake. We all make mistakes, and we must all accept responsibility for those mistakes. In this context, that responsibility includes paying compensation for damages. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
Ordinary negligence is a very old idea. Eventually, societies began passing safety laws. Negligence per se developed as these laws developed. Since a safety law, like a DUI law, sets the standard, a victim/plaintiff need only prove that the tortfeasor (negligent actor) violated that safety law.
Occasionally, a defective product, like a defective tire, causes a car crash. These cases are a bit different. Typically, manufacturers are strictly liable for the injuries their defective products cause.
Strict liability cases are very difficult to defend, from a legal standpoint. However, a number of effective defenses are available in negligence cases. Comparative fault is a good example. This legal loophole basically shifts blame for an accident from a tortfeasor to a victim. In most cases, the judge reduces the victim’s compensation according to the proportion of fault. So, if a tortfeasor was 80 percent responsible for a wreck, the judge reduces the victim’s damages by 20 percent.
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.