Six Hurt in Three Car Henderson County Wreck

by | Jul 22, 2022 | Car Accidents

A teenager faces DUI charges after he rear-ended a vehicle on U.S. Highway 60. Several children were among the injured victims.

The chain-reaction collision began with the rear-end collision. The force of that collision propelled a vehicle into oncoming traffic, where it collided with another vehicle head-on. Deputies said a man, a woman, and three children were in one of the cars involved in the collision, while a woman was in the other vehicle. “[The children] were sitting there crying for their mom, blood on the ground, they were walking trying to get through it, he had to pick them up and get them through,” one witness said. “Then I saw a little boy, he was upside down in his booster seat. I crawled in the back of the car, unbuckled him and caught him and handed him out of the back of the car to make sure he was okay.”

The mother was transported to St. Vincent Hospital in a helicopter. All other victims were taken in ambulances, including the woman in the other vehicle hit head-on. The 18-year-old driver who rear-ended the first car was booked on charges of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of a controlled substance.

Injury-Related Medical Bills

Usually, injury-related medical bills are the largest component of economic damages in these cases. Typically, this part of the case is also the most complex part.

Transportation

Generally, insurance companies pay for reasonable transportation expenses to a local hospital. Frequently, insurance company lawyers have an odd definition of “reasonable.”

If a victim needs transportation to a hospital, three choices are usually available: ridesharing, surface ambulance, and helicopter medevac. In terms of cost, at the low end, an Uber ride might be only a few dollars. At the high end, helicopter medevac could cost about $40,000.

Many times, insurance company lawyers argue that the next-lowest level was a reasonable transportation expense. So, if an ambulance transported the victim to a hospital, the insurance company argues an Uber would have been sufficient, and so on.

These arguments usually don’t hold water. Many victims are unconscious during transport. They have no choice in the matter at all. If the victim was alert enough to choose a transportation mode, most people follow a first responder’s recommendation in these situations. If responders call helicopters, victims allow themselves to be loaded into them.

Insurance company lawyers often try to have their cake and eat it too. If Vicky refuses immediate transport and sees a doctor the next day, the insurance company usually argues that Vicky’s injuries weren’t very serious.

Treatment

Vehicle collisions seriously injure millions of Americans every year. Some of these serious injuries include:

  • Broken Bones: These injuries are especially common in double-impact wrecks, like the one in the above story. Such incidents usually shatter arm and leg bones. So, doctors must use metal parts to reconstruct them.
  • Internal Injuries: Broken bone pieces often enter the bloodstream and pierce internal organs. Frequently, the bleeding is so far away from the break, and so gradual, that doctors don’t notice it until the blood loss is significant.
  • Head Injuries: These wounds are very common in dual impact wrecks as well. The forces in these collisions cause the brain to repeatedly slam against the skull, almost like a guard dribbles a basketball. The resulting injuries are often catastrophic.

Many doctors aren’t fully qualified to perform brain surgery and otherwise effectively treat these injuries. So, a Lexington personal injury lawyer connects these victims with top-notch doctors.

Therapy

By the time they reach this stage, victims have already been through a lot. Unfortunately, for many of them, the recovery process is just getting started.

Frequently, insurance companies authorize a set number of appointments based on the injury, such as three physical therapy sessions for a broken wrist. These boilerplate authorizations don’t take the nature of car crash injuries into account.

Broken bones are a good example. If Jim falls off his bicycle and breaks his wrist, he might only need a few PT sessions to get back to normal. As mentioned, high-speed car crash broken bones are usually much more serious. Three sessions probably wouldn’t help Jim.

Similar issues arise in head injury cases. These therapists must train uninjured areas of the brain to assume lost functions. That’s why many of these victims must learn to walk again, talk again, and so on. So, progress is very uneven in these situations.

Insurance company lawyers are quick to pull the financial plug if victims need more PT or if their progress plateaus. It’s important to have a Lexington personal injury lawyer in these situations.

Liability Issues in Alcohol-Related Wrecks

Compensation is available for economic damages and noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering, if a driver was negligent. 

In Kentucky, tortfeasors (negligent drivers) who violate the DUI law, or another safety law, and cause a crash could be responsible for damages as a matter of law. Additional evidence is relevant only for purposes of damages. Typically, there’s a direct connection between the amount of proof presented during a case and the amount of damages jurors award.

Alcohol-related wrecks could also involve the ordinary negligence doctrine. Some drivers are dangerously impaired but not legally intoxicated. Such impairment includes clouded judgment and slow reflexes, the kinds of things that cause people to rear-end other vehicles. If this impairment caused the wreck, liability attaches.

Typically, the bar, restaurant, or other establishment that provided the alcohol is vicariously liable for damages. It’s illegal in Kentucky to sell alcohol to visibly intoxicated people. It’s also illegal to sell alcohol to underage consumers, even if they lie about their age or present a fake ID

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.