Violent Three-Car Collision in Kenton County

by | Jun 14, 2022 | Car Accidents

Few details were available after a three-car collision on Taylor Mill Road sent several people to area hospitals.

The wreck happened on Taylor Mill Road in Independence. One victim was airlifted to a hospital in Ohio and one was transported via ambulance to a nearby hospital. Details about their injuries and conditions weren’t immediately available.

Car Crash Medical Bills

Usually, hospitalization is the most expensive component of the medical bills in a personal injury case, followed closely by physical therapy expenses. Helicopter medevac, which is usually necessary after a serious injury wreck in a semi-rural area, like Kenton County, changes things considerably.

Medevac helicopters are essentially flying hospitals. The EMTs who staff these helicopters usually have advanced medical training. It’s also fairly common for doctors, or at least nurses, to be on board. All this specialization costs money. The average helicopter medevac flight costs about $40,000

Economic factors are at play here as well. Seriously injured victims, who are normally unconscious, can’t choose the method of transportation. Emergency responders, who aren’t paying the bill, often err on the side of caution. They call in the chopper if there’s any question that such transportation might be required.

Regardless of the reason, if an accident involves helicopter medevac, the victim could be stuck with a very large bill that, in many cases, a group health insurance company won’t pay.

To relieve the financial stress that these families endure, a Lexington personal injury attorney usually negotiates with medical providers, including helicopter medevac operators, and convinces them to defer billing, or at least collection, until the case is resolved.

We mentioned group health plans above. Sometimes, these companies pay for part of the medical expenses in a case. If that happens, Kentucky’s complicated collateral source rule becomes a factor. In a nutshell, if this rule applies, the victim could get to keep a greater portion of the settlement money. Health insurance companies usually don’t ask for expense reimbursement.

Car Crash Evidence

Medical bills and other accident-related expenses must be paid eventually. Financial compensation is available if a victim/plaintiff proves negligence, or a lack of care, by a preponderance of the evidence, or more likely than not.

Wrecks in semi-rural areas often involve high medical bills, as outlined above. Additionally, these wrecks often present evidence problems.

The police accident report, which is normally a solid source of evidence in such a claim, is a good example. That’s especially true if additional agencies, like the Kentucky State Police, don’t get involved. Small police departments usually don’t have the resources to hire accident reconstruction professionals in these matters. Emergency responders do the best they can with the tools and training they have. Frequently, there’s simply not much evidence available at the scene, and as mentioned, these individuals don’t receive special training in accident reconstruction.

Electronic evidence, like a vehicle’s Event Data Recorder, often fills in the gaps. EDRs measure and record seemingly random information, like engine RPM and steering angle. A skilled Lexington personal injury attorney can use these bits of evidence to reconstruct the accident. Once jurors know the whole story, they’re more willing to award maximum compensation.

This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.

The Seat Belt Defense

Victims who are fully ejected from vehicles during car wrecks are almost always unrestrained. We mentioned Kentucky’s complex collateral source rule above. Kentucky’s seat belt defense law is equally complex.

In some states, victims who don’t wear seat belts are legally responsible for their own injuries. In other states, insurance companies cannot so much as mention seat belts. Kentucky’s version of the seat belt defense is in the middle.

Under current law, failure to use a seat belt is not a defense, as such. However, jurors can consider the general duty to exercise ordinary care for one’s own safety. It then falls on the jury to decide if the breach of such a duty occurred and if it was a substantial factor that enhanced the injuries suffered. 

In plain English, insurance companies can blame unrestrained victims for their own injuries. But insurance company lawyers must prove that the failure to wear a seat belt, as opposed to the driver’s negligence, substantially caused injury. That’s not easy to do.

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 routinely handle matters in Fayette County and nearby jurisdictions.