Frenchburg is the capital of Menifee County and it is the only incorporated city in the county. With just 545 residents in 2019, Frenchburg is a small town in a rural county where logging is the leading industry. The town touts the area’s natural beauty and abundant outdoor activities, including hunting, fishing, boating, camping, golf, and horseback riding, and welcomes tourists and others looking to enjoy the Eastern Kentucky Foothills Eco-Agritourism destination. Unfortunately, hometown pride and welcoming countryside does not make a small town or city safe from personal injury accidents. Accidents happen everywhere, and Frenchburg is no exception. If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence in Menifee County, you should make it a priority to talk to Frenchburg personal injury lawyers at Maze Law Offices and schedule your free consultation.
Car crashes take place every day, and no city is small enough to avoid them completely. Even in the smallest cities in the bluegrass state, car accidents can result in fatalities and serious injuries. Where there are people taking to the roads, there will be human error, and the federal government asserts that human error is the driving force behind the majority of traffic accidents. These errors can take the form of distracted driving, driver inattention, and driving too fast for weather conditions.
Legislatures and the folks who make public service announcements like to focus on texting while driving, and it probably is the form of distracted driving that gets the most attention. However, the focus on texting and cell phone use ignores the fact that people have been driving with distractions since cars were invented. Anything that takes your attention off the task of driving counts as a cause of distracted driving. This includes such seemingly mundane activities as changing stations on your radio, eating or drinking behind the wheel, changing settings on your stereo, entertainment, climate control, or navigation system, or even just talking to your passengers. As it is, Kentucky law prohibits all drivers from texting while driving. In addition, drivers who are not yet 18 years old are barred from using cell phones in any way while driving.
Many Kentucky residents might be under the impression you cannot sue the at-fault driver for your damages in a traffic accident, since Kentucky has put into place a no-fault system for automobile insurance. Because of the no-fault terminology often brought up by big insurance companies, it may sometimes be confused that you cannot file a lawsuit against any other driver involved in your traffic accident, even if another driver clearly was at fault. No-fault insurance, in Kentucky as in other no-fault states, requires that your own insurance pay for all of your recoverable damages, including lost wages, medical expenses, and any other expenses you incur because of your traffic accidents, including property damage. Kentucky’s no-fault laws do not allow you to recover for so-called “intangible” damages, such as pain and suffering or emotional damages stemming from your accident.
While that might sound like the final word on whether you can sue following a traffic accident in Kentucky, that is not the case. There often are exceptions to laws, and Kentucky no-fault law for auto insurance is no different. If your medical expenses from your traffic accident top $1,000, you can sue the at-fault driver. You also can sue the at-fault driver if you suffer a broken bone or are left with a permanent injury or disfigurement. You also can sue if a family member is killed in the accident, otherwise known as a Wrongful Death Claim. Given the high cost of medical treatment these days and the relatively low threshold your expenses must meet, it seems likely that you can sue the at-fault driver in a substantial majority of all accidents involving injuries. If you can sue the at-fault driver under any of the exceptions to Kentucky’s no-fault law, you can seek recovery of any intangible damages.
The overwhelming majority of collisions involving motorcycles and another vehicle – four out of five – result in the motorcyclist either dying or being hurt. As for the occupants of the other vehicles involved, they often are not injured at all, or else incur minor injuries. Almost 5,000 motorcyclists were killed in traffic accidents in 2018. Roughly 89,000 riders were injured, as well. For many years now, each year, motorcyclists are 28 times as likely to die in a traffic accident compared to occupants of passenger vehicles, based on miles driven.
It might seem strange, but a report published in the 1980s still stands as the most thorough examination of motorcycle accidents and what causes them. The Hurt Report, based on a multi-year study of the top causes of motorcycle accidents, found that about three out of four motorcycle accidents involved a collision with another vehicle as opposed to single-vehicle accidents. Federal statistics back up that conclusion. Further, the leading cause of two-vehicle motorcycle accidents resulting in fatalities identified by the report remains supported by federal statistics — collisions at intersections when a passenger vehicle driver turns left in front of an oncoming motorcycle rider.
The results of a 40-year-old study and recent federal statistics continue to be borne out by other sources. A recent report published at an industry media site gave a list of the top 10 causes of motorcycle accidents without significant differences from those in The Hurt Report and recent federal numbers. That industry site’s list of top 10 causes included:
Americans love their pets, but they really love their dogs. Fish are the most numerous of all pets with nearly 140 million of them in homes across the country, but those fish are concentrated in only about 11.5 million homes. By contrast, more than two out of three households in the United States keep at least one dog as a pet, with more 78 million dogs living in homes as pets in this country. Nearly half of all households in Kentucky have at least one pet dog.
While most of those dogs never bite anyone, some do. About 4.7 million people are bitten by a dog every year in the U.S. About 800,000 of those people receive professional medical treatment for their dog bites. Fatal dog bites are exceedingly rare, but they happen, with 59 fatal dog bites nationwide in 2019, with two of those occurring in Kentucky. The cost of those dog bite injuries is significant, with insurance claims for injuries from dog bites topping $797 million nationwide in 2019, hitting an average per claim of more than $44,000.
There were more than 531,000 traffic accidents involving large commercial trucks in 2018, including tractor-trailers. Those accidents resulted in nearly 5,000 deaths as well as about 151,000 injuries. Unfortunately, collisions between large commercial trucks – those trucks weighing more than 26,000 pounds, most of which are 18-wheeler tractor-trailers – and passenger vehicles are a pretty one-sided affair. Of those killed in such crashes, more than 70% were people in the passenger vehicles involved in the crash. Similarly, 72% of those injured in truck-passenger vehicle crashes also were occupants of the passenger vehicles involved.
This should come as no surprise. A tractor-trailer combination can weigh up to 80,000 pounds combined. Passenger vehicles clock in at an average weight of about 4,000 pounds. The lightest passenger vehicle weighs only about 2,500 pounds. In collisions, the object with more mass usually hits with more force, and 18-wheelers have a lot more mass. Consequently, large trucks hit harder, and passenger cars and their occupants are more likely to be killed or severely injured in such collisions.
While 18-wheelers are the heaviest vehicles on the road, they are not the only vehicles with a considerable size advantage over passenger vehicles. Commercial trucks weighing between 10,000 and 26,000 pounds pack a wallop in collisions with passenger vehicles. This category of commercial vehicles includes delivery trucks and vans. In the same weight category as tractor-trailers, although generally not as heavy as most tractor-trailer rigs, are garbage and recycling trucks. Both types of vehicles have a significant size and weight advantage over passenger vehicles. Further, delivery vehicles and refuse trucks do a large portion of their driving on residential streets.
And these vehicles, delivery vehicles and refuse pickup vehicles alike, pack a wallop. Recycling trucks and garbage trucks can weigh between 40,000 and 64,000 pounds. They are trash dumpsters on wheels made of heavy steel construction. When passenger vehicles and refuse trucks collide, the usual result is greater damage to the passenger vehicle. Not surprisingly, the people in passenger vehicles generally also suffer greater harm. In 2018, collisions involving garbage and recycling trucks led to 107 fatalities nationwide and an additional 1,400 injuries. Those deaths and injuries were suffered mostly by occupants of the passenger vehicles involved in those accidents.
The results are largely the same for collisions involving delivery vans and trucks and passenger vehicles. Delivery vans are more common on the roadways and neighborhood streets than ever before, as people order more and more items online. That presence poses a major risk for passenger vehicles for the same reasons that make garbage trucks and tractor-trailers a danger for passenger vehicles.
While delivery vehicles are not as large as other vehicles categorized as “large commercial vehicles” and are considerably smaller and lighter than18-wheelers or garbage trucks, their size and weight still exceed that of passenger vehicles by quite a bit. The most popular delivery van in use today is the Mercedes Sprinter, which tips the scales at 11,000 pounds or more. The Sprinter, used by Amazon, FedEx, Purolator, UPS, as well as a number of other delivery services, packs nearly three times the weight of the average passenger vehicle. It comes as no surprise, then, that in 2017, delivery vans were involved in almost 1,900 fatal crashes and 22,000 accidents that caused injuries, most of those suffered by occupants of passenger vehicles.
There are many ways to suffer a personal injury, and they certainly are not limited to traffic accidents. If you can think of a way that someone’s negligence can lead to someone else’s injury, all of those are ways to suffer a personal injury. Sometimes, injuries are accidental, without negligence on anyone’s part, and sometimes they are your own fault. Still, there are many causes of personal injuries resulting from the negligence of others, including:
Boating accidents: Kentucky has its fair share of bodies of water suitable for boating. So does Frenchburg, including nearby Cave Run Lake. Many states, including Kentucky, require no operator’s license for boaters, but that can lull people into a false sense of security. Operating a boat, particularly a power boat, is different from operating a car, and carries at least as much potential for accidents. Just for starters, boats do not have brakes and cannot stop quickly, making paying attention that much more important. Unfortunately, many boaters fail to do so, resulting in many injuries and deaths. There are thousands of boating accidents every year. The Coast Guard recorded 4,168 recreational boating accidents in 2019, resulting in 613 deaths and nearly 2,600 injuries, while also causing roughly $55 million in property damage. Only one of those boating accidents took place in Kentucky in 2019, causing one death. However, many boating accidents are never reported to the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard only requires that certain kinds of accidents be reported, and not even all of those get reported. As a result, federal statistics regarding boating accidents do not record all accidents and injuries, although fatality reporting is considered reliable.
Of the reported accidents, though, Coast Guard statistics identify the top causes of boating accidents as operator inattention, operator inexperience, excessive speed, not keeping a proper lookout, and boating under the influence of alcohol. While there is a high potential for serious injuries and fatalities as a result of boating accidents, few states require adults to obtain a boating license, including Kentucky. For unaccompanied boat operators who are from 12 to 17 years old, the state requires a safety course certification if the minor is operating a motorized vessel. The safety certification is available through an online course. If there is an adult in the boat, no safety certification is necessary, even if the minor is driving the boat.
If you have suffered a personal injury in Menifee County and believe another person might have been at fault, you should seek advice from a local attorney to help find out what options you may have. It is possible there are provisions within a liability insurance policy which may be able to pay for your injuries and other damages, depending upon the circumstances of how you were hurt. The best Frenchburg personal injury lawyers can help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries and other damages. The attorneys of Maze Law Offices can help you. Unlike many larger attorney offices you may see on TV, we live here and know this area, its people, and its laws. Contact us today to schedule a free, no obligation consultation.