Few details were available after a 17-year-old high school student died in a single-car accident in Independence.
According to Independence police and the Hamilton County coroner, a young man fell out of a vehicle as it traveled along Independence Station Road.
Police said there were two other people in the car who were not injured. They refused to release any further details at this time.
All personal injury claims involve some emotional issues. That’s especially true of passenger injury claims and social guest fall claims. Typically, the victim has a close personal relationship with the tortfeasor (negligent party). Understandably, these victims don’t want to “blame” these tortfeasors for these “accidents.”
Let’s look at the A-word first. Usually, falls, car crashes, and other incidents aren’t accidents. Driver error causes about 98 percent of the vehicle collisions in Kentucky. Similarly, unsafe property conditions, like loose floor rugs or handrails, cause most falls. Car crashes and other such incidents obviously aren’t malicious. However, they are intentional mistakes. All of us should accept responsibility for our mistakes.
Part of that responsibility includes paying compensation. If Thelma unintentionally hits Louise’s mail box as Thelma backs out of her driveway, Thelma should pay for a replacement mailbox. If Thelma hits Louise on the freeway, Thelma should likewise pay for Louise’s damages. The damages in a car crash claim include compensation for noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering, because a person is a lot more valuable than a mailbox.
Additionally, civil cases don’t blame anyone for anything. Blame is a criminal court concept. As outlined above, compensation is the main idea in a civil claim.
On a related note, individual tortfeasors usually aren’t financially responsible for damages, attorneys’ fees, or any other litigation costs. An insurance company typically covers these costs. That fact makes it less likely the insurance company will drop the tortfeasor. The insurance company gets its money back by raising the tortfeasor’s insurance rates.
Victims shouldn’t feel bad about this limited financial responsibility. That increase was probably coming anyway, legal action or not.
Car Crash Injuries
If car crash victims survive, like millions of other Americans, they must usually deal with long-term or permanent injuries, such as:
- Broken Bones: Crash-related broken bones usually aren’t life threatening. However, they are usually permanent. SInce doctors must use metal parts to reconstruct these shattered bones, victims usually experience partial and permanent loss of use or motion.
- Internal Injuries: Broken bones often contribute to life-threatening injuries. The shards often pierce internal organs. These organs have no protective skin layer. So, a tiny abrasion usually causes profuse bleeding. In fact, many car crash victims lose about a quarter of their blood.
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: About half of crash victims must deal with PTSD symptoms like anger, depression, hypervigilance, and flashbacks. The extreme stress of a wreck causes a chemical imbalance in the brain. This imbalance, not a random “processing disorder,” causes these symptoms.
The lifelong medical bills in a catastrophic injury claim could exceed $5 million. A Lexington personal injury attorney can obtain the compensation these victims need and deserve in court.
Wrongful Death Claims
The needs of survivors are no different from the needs of victims. However, wrongful death claims are a bit different from injury claims.
AVailable compensation is the biggest difference. Kentucky law limits wrongful death survivors to pecuniary losses, such as:
- Lost future financial support,
- Final expenses, like funeral and burial costs,
- Decedent’s final medical expenses,
- Lost future emotional support, and
- Decedent’s pain and suffering.
Many of these damage categories are difficult to measure. So, a Lexington personal injury attorney often partners with a psychologist, financial planner, or other outside professional.
Many of these damage categories also seem meaningless. How can any amount of money possibly compensate survivors for something like lost future emotional support? Quite frankly, the answer to this question is money can’t fill the void, but money helps survivors carry on. At this point, that’s the best possible result.
Survivors may also be entitled to compensation for their own grief and suffering, usually via a separate claim, like intentional infliction of emotional distress.
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.