Investigators aren’t sure why a 41-year-old California man lost control of his vehicle and veered into the path of two oncoming vehicles.
According to Kentucky State Police troopers, the man was westbound on the Cumberland Parkway when he drifted into oncoming traffic. Two vehicles, a pickup and a semi-truck, then hit the man almost head-on.
The California man was declared dead at the scene. Occupants in the other two vehicles weren’t seriously hurt.
What Causes Car Crashes?
Overall, driver error causes over 98 percent of the vehicle collisions in Kentucky. Aggressive driving, usually speeding, is a serious problem in the Bluegrass State. Other kinds of aggressive driving include tailgating, running a red light, and turning unsafely. All kinds of aggressive driving increase the risk of a collision and/or the force in a wreck.
Frequently, the chain of events leading to a car crash begins as soon as the motorist slides behind the wheel. Some major types of driving impairment include:
- Alcohol: In the 1980s, alcohol caused about a third of the fatal wrecks in Kentucky. Despite a drunk driver crackdown that has now lasted about forty years, alcohol still causes about the same proportion of fatal wrecks.
- Drugs: Drugged driving is a more significant problem than drunk driving in most jurisdictions. Roughly half of the people who cause fatal accidents test positive for marijuana, prescription painkillers, or another drug. These substances are often impairing.
- Medical Condition: Moderate illnesses, like the flu, diminish driving ability by up to 50 percent. Serious chronic medical conditions, like epilepsy, could lead to a sudden loss of consciousness.
A Lexington personal injury attorney can obtain substantial compensation in these cases. Arguably, impaired drivers know they shouldn’t operate motor vehicles, yet they get behind the wheel anyway. This 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. More on that below.
Defective products, mostly defective tires, cause most non-error collisions. These cases are a bit different. Usually, manufacturers are strictly liable for the injuries their defective products cause. So, there’s no need to prove negligence. Victim/plaintiffs must still prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the defective product caused the wreck.
Preliminary evidence in a car crash case usually includes the victim/plaintiff’s own testimony, the police accident report, and medical bills. Sometimes, this evidence is sufficient to obtain maximum compensation. Sometimes, it isn’t enough.
The police accident report is a good example. Frequently, multiple investigative agencies collaborate during accident investigations. These reports are usually comprehensive and reliable. Other times, especially in certain parts of Kentucky, a single officer from a single law enforcement agency prepares the report. These responders do the best they can with the tools they have. They just don’t have many tools to work with.
Additionally, in both cases, police reports in fatal accident claims are often biased. These reports only contain one side of the story.
Generally, compensation in a vehicle collision claim includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Additional punitive damages are sometimes available as well, in some extreme cases.
To supplement the preliminary evidence and obtain maximum compensation, a Lexington personal injury lawyer usually looks to electronic evidence, additional witness statements, and a follow-up medical review.
Frequently, additional witness statements are a good place to start. Something almost mystical happens when people take the stand and tell jurors what they saw. Electronic evidence and medical reports can’t duplicate this effect.
The police report is usually a good place to start. Typically, emergency responders record the contact information of people who voluntarily come forward at the scene.
However, for various reasons, many people don’t hang around accident scenes so they can give official statements to police officers. So, a lawyer and/or an investigator usually canvases the area for additional witnesses. Almost everyone is willing to speak with a victim’s lawyer, especially if the victim was killed or seriously injured.
Even if a witness only saw part of the wreck, that bit of testimony could be the critical last piece of the jigsaw puzzle.
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.