Grayson County Wreck Kills Teenager

by | Jun 9, 2022 | Car Accidents

For unknown reasons, a swaying trailer caused a driver to lose control of his vehicle. The crash killed one person and injured several others.

The wreck happened on the westbound Western Kentucky Parkway in Leitchfield. According to investigators, a 2006 Ford Expedition was towing a travel trailer. When the heavy trailer partially separated from the Expedition, the driver suddenly lost control of the truck and slammed into a guardrail. One person, a 14-year-old, died at the scene. Five others, including the driver, were rushed to an area hospital with serious injuries.

The investigation is ongoing.

Kinds of Negligence in Vehicle Collision Claims

Vehicle collisions, especially freeway wrecks, usually cause serious injuries. A Lexington personal injury attorney can obtain compensation for these injuries in court if the other driver was negligent. There are basically three kinds of driver negligence in Kentucky.

Behavioral

Driver negligence often has little to do with driving. Sometimes, the chain of events which ends in a vehicle collision behind before the tortfeasor (negligent driver) gets behind the wheel.

Driver impairment frequently causes car crashes in the Bluegrass State. Some examples of operator impairment include:

  • Alcohol: In the 1980s, the high number of fatal alcohol-related wrecks prompted authorities to crack down on “drunk drivers.” All these years later, the proportion of deadly alcohol-fueled wrecks is about the same today as it was back then. Drinking and driving is a bad habit that most people simply won’t give up.
  • Fatigue: Alcohol impairs judgment and slows reactions. Fatigue has these same effects. People who are awake for twenty consecutive hours are functionally intoxicated. Drowsiness impairment, much like alcohol impairment, kicks in much earlier than that.
  • Drugs: In many jurisdictions, stoned driving is an even bigger problem than drunk driving. Marijuana, which is semi-legal in Kentucky, is the leading problem, followed by over-the-counter medicines, like Sominex and NyQuil. It may be legal to take these drugs. But it’s illegal and dangerous to drive under their influence.

The duty of care not only requires drivers to be in top condition, mentally, physically, and otherwise, when they get behind the wheel. This duty also requires motorists to take care of their vehicles.

Motorists aren’t legally required to renew their inspection stickers weekly. However, the duty of care does require weekly, or thereabouts, visual inspections. Drivers should make sure their tires are properly inflated, the tread isn’t worn, their lights are working, and so on.

Add-ons, like trailers, involve special responsibilities. Drivers must make sure trailers are connected properly, cargo is properly secured, and so on.

The duty of care is also reactive in this area. When warning lights come on, drivers cannot ignore them. Instead, they must immediately address the problem, no matter how much it costs to fix it.

Operational

Usually, when we get behind the wheel, we’re in a hurry to get somewhere. Sometimes, we’re in such a hurry that we take operational shortcuts. We speed, make illegal turns, and change lanes unsafely.

The aforementioned duty of care requires all motorists to drive defensively and avoid accidents whenever possible. Poor driving performance clearly violates this duty.

Frequently, operational negligence claims involve the negligence per se shortcut. Tortfeasors are responsible for damages as a matter of law if:

  • They violate a safety law, and
  • Their infraction substantially causes injury.

This rule only applies if an emergency responder issues a citation. Frequently, officers don’t write tickets in collision cases, even if the accident kills someone. Many police officers view car wrecks as civil matters. They feel that if they issue a citation and blame a driver for the crash, they might get dragged into the affair.

If no one gets a ticket, that’s okay. A Lexington personal injury lawyer can still obtain compensation in court, based on a violation of the duty of reasonable care.

Environmental

This third area is closely related to the second area. Vehicle speed is a good example. The posted speed limit is a presumptively reasonable speed under ideal conditions. When conditions are less than ideal, and they usually are, drivers have a duty to slow down.

Additionally, sometimes these forms of negligence overlap. For example, if a driver didn’t do a good job of securing a trailer, a bump in the road or a strong wind gust could cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle, as happened in the above story.

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. You have a limited amount of time to act.