Bowling Green Kentucky Legal Blog

Recovering from a crash as a competitive athlete

Motor vehicle accidents are often devastating, regardless of one’s life circumstances. For some car accident victims, however, the impact of a traffic wreck and the consequences it brings into their lives can be especially upsetting. For example, competitive athletes may have their dreams (or even their primary source of income) derailed as a result of a motor vehicle collision. Worse, many of these accidents took place because of a driver’s reckless behavior and never should have transpired in the first place. It is paramount for traffic crash victims to have a clear understanding of their legal rights as they do their best to move on from the wreck.

Competitive athletes may train for months or even years in anticipation of a key event. For some, these competitions have a financial effect on their lives, and others find fulfillment and a strong sense of pride in their physical abilities. Regardless of the sport or event that one competes in and trains for, it can be incredibly upsetting when these dreams are derailed because of a negligent driver.

No-fault or tort auto insurance systems in Kentucky

Kentucky motorists have more auto insurance choices available to them than drivers in many other states do. As residents of a "choice no-fault" state, Kentucky drivers can insure their automobiles under either the no-fault or tort systems.

It's important to understand how each system works so that you can select the option that makes the best sense for your situation.

Switching careers after a car crash

The physical and mental toll of a motor vehicle wreck can be devastating, and the lives of victims may be permanently altered in many ways. Some people may lose the ability to walk, or they may experience challenges in their marriage due to emotional issues associated with the accident. These are just some of the hardships that car crash victims may endure, but there are many other ways in which lives may be turned upside down. For example, some people cannot work in a certain field any longer due to physical or mental injuries sustained in an auto accident, necessitating a career switch.

Sometimes, people have to find work in another field which pays less, which can lead to additional financial pressures. Others may develop depression because their professional dreams were derailed as a result of a motor vehicle wreck. Whether a worker loses mobility or cannot continue in a certain field due to mental trauma (such as those whose job duties involve driving, for example), this can be an incredibly tough consequence for a car crash victim.

Large truck crashes involving multiple vehicles

When a large truck collides with another vehicle, the crash can be extremely devastating for those who are involved in the accident and their loved ones. Sometimes, a large truck accident may involve multiple vehicles, and these wrecks can be particularly tragic. For example, a large truck driver may be driving too fast and lose control of their vehicle, resulting in a collision which involves two, three or even more vehicles. The aftermath of these collisions can be terrible and there may be multiple people struggling with serious injuries or even fatalities. If you were involved in such a collision, you should look into any legal options that may be available.

Large truck accidents which involve multiple vehicles may be caused by speeding, drunk driving, a particularly dangerous part of the road, inadequate truck maintenance or a host of other risk factors. These accidents may be especially likely to occur in the summer, when many people plan road trips, a lot of truck drivers work long hours and traffic can be very congested. In some instances, someone driving a small passenger vehicle may cause a multi-vehicle accident which involves a semi, and these can be just as devastating.

Millennials and distracted driving

Many millennials in Kentucky have all but grown up with electronics in the palm of their hands. Over the past couple of decades, everything from cell phones to tablets and more have become ubiquitous in modern society. While these gadgets have and can provide many benefits to people, they also have opened up new dangers, especially when they are used by people actively driving vehicles. Distracted driving may well be poised to become the new drunk driving.

Among teenage drivers, USA Today reported that distracted driving accounts for a whopping 58% of accidents. For drivers between the ages of 18 and 34, a deep compulsion to answer messages or calls while driving was reported in a survey by 37% of drivers. Much of this compulsion comes from their desire to stay engaged with their jobs, answering messages from their bosses or colleagues. The desire to do well at work might just be contributing to accidents, injuries and deaths.

Bicycle accidents during the summer

When it comes to traffic accidents, the summer months can be dangerous for countless reasons. For example, an increase in the number of drunk drivers may occur during the Fourth of July, road construction and travel can make crashes more likely and many pedestrians find themselves involved in traffic accidents. However, this is an especially dangerous time of year when it comes to bicycle accidents. Many children are out of school and enjoy riding their bikes often during summer break, and many adults take advantage of the warm weather and ride their bike to work or to get exercise. Sadly, this can result in a deadly accident.

Regardless of the reason why someone is riding a bicycle, they may be very vulnerable when they come into contact with a vehicle. Bicyclists may be thrown from their bike, resulting in a head injury. Or, a vehicle may slam into a bicyclist, causing them to sustain a broken bone. Deep lacerations and other types of injuries also occur far too often, and many of these accidents have resulted in the loss of bicyclist lives. Unfortunately, so many bicycle accidents happen because of reckless driving and unlawful behavior, such as speeding, intoxicated driving and ignoring other traffic safety laws.

Defining respondeat superior

The destructive potential of the large semi-trucks that people see driving around Bowling Green may mean that those involved in truck accidents can reasonably expect to have to deal with massive recovery costs. These can include both medical expenses, lost wages and automotive repair costs. Yet before one can seek compensation for such expenses, it should first be determined who is liable: the truck driver or the company that employs them? 

The legal principle of respondeat superior allows vicarious liability to be assigned to employers for the actions of their employees. This liability can even extend to an employee's negligent actions in certain situations. However, it does not mean that an employer is responsible for every accident involving an employee. Rulings issued by The Supreme Court of Kentucky have established the standard by which the state applies this doctrine. It has stated that a company "is not liable under the doctrine of respondeat superior unless the intentional wrongs of the agent were calculated to advance the cause of the principal or were appropriate to the normal scope of the operator's employment." Thus, only if a truck driver was engaged in work falling within the normal scope of their employment can respondeat superior be cited in a case. 

Are crashes involving animals more likely in the spring?

There are many auto accident risk factors to watch out for during the spring, from drivers who are drowsy as a result of allergy medication to poor weather conditions. However, wildlife activity is another potential hazard for many drivers, especially in certain areas. It is important to be vigilant when behind the wheel, and this means watching out for other vehicles as well as various hazards which may result in a collision, such as wild and domestic animals.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, motor vehicle collisions which involve wildlife and domestic animals are more likely to take place during the spring and fall. There are a number of reasons why these seasons can be especially dangerous with respect to this risk factor, such as mating patterns, hunting seasons and migratory behavior. Unfortunately, some drivers are caught off-guard when an animal darts across the road or when a driver encounters an animal while maneuvering around a sharp turn, which could cause them to veer off the road and hit a tree or collide with another vehicle.

Buy car insurance with the idea that you’ll need it

When buying car insurance, it's easy to believe you'll never need to file a claim in the future. This is particularly true if you have avoided trouble on the road in the past.

You buy car insurance to protect yourself in the event of an accident. For this reason, you should purchase a policy with the idea that you'll need to file a claim at some point.

The link between car crashes and drug addiction

It is imperative for car accident victims to be aware of the many ways in which their lives have been upended as a result of the collision, and the different hardships they may face in the future because of the wreck. This is especially true for those who have decided to move ahead with a lawsuit after being struck by a reckless driver. Aside from the physical consequences of a crash, which may include a broken bone or brain trauma, people also face various financial and emotional problems as well. Moreover, there are other issues which may arise because of the wreck, such as drug addiction.

Auto accident victims may have a higher likelihood of becoming addicted to drugs for numerous reasons. For example, some may turn to drugs as a result of the unbearable challenges they are facing. On the other hand, many people have become addicted to opiates because their doctor told them to take prescription pain medication following a motor vehicle crash. Opiate addiction can be incredibly difficult for those who have developed an addiction and their loved ones, and this draws attention to some of the other hardships that auto accident victims may experience.

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