Fatal SUV/Fertilizer Truck Wreck in Graves County

by | Jun 27, 2022 | Car Accidents

A second person was also seriously injured when a farm truck apparently turned in front of an SUV.

According to the investigation, the driver of a farm truck had just made a right turn onto State Highway 1241 and was speeding up when an SUV, who was traveling the same direction on KY 1241, struck the rear driver’s side of the vehicle. The SUV driver, a 26-year-old Hickory woman, was transported to Lourdes Hospital in Paducah, Ky. before being flown to a Nashville, Tenn. hospital. Her passenger, who was also from Hickory, was transported to a Paducah hospital, but she did not survive and passed away from her severe injuries.

The fertilizer truck driver wasn’t seriously hurt.

Car Crash Medical Bills

Frequently, a medevac helicopter flight is the largest single component of the medical bills in a car crash claim. That’s quite a statement, because the average hospital stay costs about $10,000 a day. Since most victims must spend several days in the hospital, these costs add up quickly. Physical therapy, which lasts much longer than the hospital stay, is usually almost as expensive.

Head injuries, one of the most common car crash injuries, illustrate this process. Seat belts, airbags, and other restraint systems usually reduce the risk of head impact trauma injuries. Unfortunately for victims, most crash-related head injuries are non-impact injuries. When the victim’s neck violently snaps backward and forward, or side to side, the brain slams against the inside of the skull.

Initial head injury symptoms include disorientation and soreness. These symptoms mimic accident shock. Therefore, many victims are in a hospital for several hours, or even several days, before doctors figure out what’s wrong with them. Usually, this diagnosis relies on MRIs and other diagnostic tests. These results usually aren’t available immediately.

Additionally, a disturbingly high number of head injury victims are sent home with no treatment. They don’t get the treatment they need until their symptoms get worse. At that point, their injuries are more difficult, and more expensive, to treat.

This treatment usually includes brain surgery. Doctors must reduce brain swelling, so the brain doesn’t push against the skull and cause more damage. This process is very delicate. Usually, victims must go to another hospital for this procedure.

Finally, brain injury physical therapy isn’t like broken bone or other kidneys of physical therapy. Brain injury therapists must train uninjured parts of the brain to take over lost functions. That’s why many brain injury victims must learn to walk, eat, and do pretty much everything else all over again. Brain injury physical therapy progress comes in fits and starts.

A Lexington personal injury attorney is an important partner at every stage of car crash injury medical treatment.

Initially, attorneys connect victims with top-notch doctors who don’t charge anything upfront. Both these things are important. As mentioned, brain injuries and other car crash injuries are hard to diagnose. A general practice physician might miss them. Additionally, victims have so much stress in their lives that the last thing they need is more bills they cannot pay.

Then, attorneys advocate for victims during physical therapy. If the victim doesn’t make progress in giant leaps forward, most insurance companies try to pull the financial plug. A lawyer helps ensure that the money keeps flowing, so victims continue to improve.

First Party Liability

Aggressive driving, a category that includes unsafe turning, is a factor in over half of the fatal car crashes in Kentucky. These wrecks could involve the negligence per se rule or the ordinary negligence doctrine.

Negligence per se is a violation of a safety law. Tortfeasors (negligent drivers) are liable for damages as a matter of law if:

  • They violate safety laws, and
  • Those violations substantially cause injury.

Turning unsafely is a clear violation of the right-of-way law. However, negligence per se only applies if an emergency responder issues a citation. Frequently, responders don’t issue tickets in these cases. They have other priorities at the scene, like securing the area and tending to injured victims.

Ordinary negligence is a lack of care. In Kentucky, an ordinary negligence case has four basic components:

  • Duty, which is usually a duty of reasonable care,
  • Breach, or a violation of that duty,
  • Cause, which is a direct or semi-direct connection between the breach and the damages, and
  • Damage, which is usually a personal injury.

Compensation in both kinds of negligence cases usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.

Third Party Liability

Frequently, a third party is financially responsible for car crash damages. Respondeat superior employer liability is one of the most common theories.

Generally, employers are responsible for their employees’ negligence, if the employee was negligent during the course and scope of employment. Kentucky law defines all these words and phrases in broad, victim-friendly terms.

Vicarious liability is especially important in wrongful death and catastrophic injury wrecks. Frequently, individual drivers don’t have enough insurance coverage to pay fair compensation in these situations.

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 do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.