Stanton is the county seat of Powell County. It is proud to claim the title of Nature’s Bridge to the Mountains, sitting as it does at the beginning of the Red River Gorge Scenic Byway, 46 miles of winding road that passes through the Daniel Boone National Forest, passing through the historic single-lane Nada Tunnel on the way before winding through Slade and Zachariah as it follows two different branches of the Red River. Stanton is the proud home of roughly 2,700 people. Compared to other cities in our nation, Stanton is relatively small. Unfortunately, no city is small enough to avoid tragic personal injuries, as wrecks occur almost every day in Powell County. Just like in largely populated towns and cities, all types of personal injuries occur in Stanton, whether in a crash, in a friend’s home, in businesses, or on a neighbor’s property. If you get hurt as a result of someone else’s negligence, you should talk to one of our Stanton personal injury lawyers at Maze Law Offices to explore your options for compensation. We offer free, no-obligation consultations as well as free case evaluations. Our injury team will provide free advice for you to make the best decision on what to do. We operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning- if we don’t win your case, you don’t owe us a dime. Call or text an injury attorney in Powell County today.
Just a glance at federal statistics should give you an idea of how one-sided collisions between large commercial trucks and passenger vehicles can be. In 531,000 traffic accidents involving large commercial trucks, including 18-wheel tractor-trailers, in the U.S. in 2018, there were 4,951 deaths, with an additional 151,000 people injured. The vast majority of the fatalities and injuries in those accidents were occupants of passenger vehicles, not the occupants of the tractor-trailers. Out of those fatalities in tractor-trailer crashes in 2018, about 70% were occupants of passenger vehicles involved, and of those injured, 72% were occupants of passenger vehicles involved in the collisions.
In traffic accidents, the size of the vehicle matters. Those people travelling in the smaller vehicle involved in a traffic collision usually come out much worse than those in the larger vehicle, particularly if the difference in size is as great as that between a large commercial truck, such as a tractor-trailer rig, and a passenger vehicle.
Tractor-trailers are not the only large trucks and commercial vehicles making life difficult for people in smaller passenger vehicles. While most accidents involving 18-wheelers happen on major routes, there are threats closer to home, as well. Delivery vehicles, garbage trucks, and recycling trucks likewise are a threat for the occupants of passenger vehicles. Both delivery vehicles and refuse trucks are much larger than even the biggest passenger vehicle, and they do much of their driving on residential streets right alongside passenger vehicles carrying residents of those neighborhoods. Just as with 18-wheelers, these vehicles have a significant size advantage over passenger vehicles. Garbage and recycling trucks range in size from 40,000 to 64,000 pounds. They are little more than large boxes of heavy steel on wheels designed to hold copious amounts of the things people throw away. Passenger vehicles, by contrast, weigh an average of about 4,000 pounds, but they can be as light as 2,400 pounds. In collisions between the two kinds of vehicles, passenger vehicles incur far more damage. So do the people in the passenger vehicles. Garbage and recycling trucks were involved in accidents resulting in 107 deaths in 2018, in addition to roughly 1,400 injuries. Most of those deaths and injuries were suffered by people in the passenger vehicles.
Accidents between delivery vehicles and passenger vehicles turn out more or less the same way. For instance, delivery vans – and you see them everywhere in recent years as online ordering grows in popularity for almost any item you can imagine – pose a risk to passenger vehicles for the same reasons as tractor-trailers, garbage trucks, and other larger vehicles. They are bigger than passenger cars, and size wins in traffic collisions. Delivery vehicles, including vans and box trucks, weighing more than 10,000 pounds were involved in 1,885 accidents in 2017 that resulted in deaths, as well as 22,000 crashes causing injuries. Delivery vehicles are the smallest of “large commercial vehicle” category, per the federal government, and they are significantly smaller than any other vehicles in the category. They are still more than big enough to deliver a major blow in a collision with a passenger vehicle. Many delivery vehicles are similar to one of the most popular delivery vehicles in use, the Mercedes Sprinter. The van, which clocks in at 11,000 pounds, is used by Amazon, UPS, Purolator, FedEx, and a number of other delivery services. The van is nearly triple the weight of the average passenger vehicle, and weights more than four times as much as the smallest passenger vehicles. The size disparity is more than enough to deliver a lethal blow to any passenger vehicle involved in a collision with such a vehicle.
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Car crashes are a daily occurrence pretty much everywhere. Even in a small city like Stanton, car crashes happen every day and often result in serious injuries or wrongful death. Statistics compiled by the federal government put the blame on human error for a considerable majority of traffic accidents. These human errors take the form of distracted driving, driver inattention, and giving insufficient attention to surrounding conditions, including weather and traffic.
Other sources are more specific regarding the leading causes of car crashes. While many are rooted in human error, they include:
Texting while driving typically receives more attention than most other types of distracted driving. Under Kentucky law, all drivers are banned from texting while driving, and drivers under 18 years old may not engage in any cell phone use while driving. There are no restrictions placed on adults regarding talking on cell phones while driving. Cell phone use is not the only distraction for drivers, however. Distracted driving includes any activity that draws attention away from the task of driving. This includes eating and drinking, changing stations on the car radio, talking to passengers, changing settings on your climate control or navigation system, or even just daydreaming or thinking intently about something other than driving.
Kentucky has a no-fault system for auto insurance. This is often misunderstood by many people who have never had to file personal injury claim. Under Kentucky no-fault laws, no matter who is at fault for the accident, your insurance pays for your medical expenses, lost wages, and any other expenses resulting from your accident, including damage to your vehicle. You cannot collect for pain-and-suffering or emotional damages from your no-fault insurance, though. As with so many laws, though, there are exceptions. Under Kentucky no-fault law, if your medical expenses exceed $1,000, if you suffer a broken bone or permanent injury or disfigurement, or if a family member is killed in the accident, otherwise known as a wrongful death claim, you are then free to sue the at-fault driver. At that low of a level for a medical expenses threshold, it is virtually guaranteed you will still be able to sue the at-fault driver in any accident involving injuries. It is hard to suffer an injury in a traffic accident these days that does not cost $1,000 to treat, especially if you have to be transported to the emergency room via ambulance. This figure is also met by future medical treatment that may be needed.
There is no question that Americans love their pets – and they really love their dogs. More than two out of three households in the United States – 67% – have at least one dog, including 47% of households in Kentucky. There are more 78 million dogs kept as pets nationwide. While the vast majority of those dogs will never bite a person, at least some do. There are about 4.7 million people annually who get bitten by a dog. About 800,000 of those dog bite victims each year require at least some professional medical treatment. On top of the injuries, dog bites caused 59 deaths nationwide in 2019, with two of those dog-bite deaths happening in Kentucky. While the relatively low total of dog-bite fatalities is a good thing, that does nothing to minimize the impact of dog-bite injuries, which are both very serious and costly. Insurance claims nationwide arising from dog bites hit a total of $797 million in 2019, averaging $44,760 per claim.
More than 80% of the time, collisions between motorcycles and other vehicles end in either injury to or the death of the motorcyclist. The occupants of the other vehicle or vehicles involved in the wreck generally fare much better and often are unhurt or suffer minor injuries. While deaths of motorcycle riders in traffic accidents are declining, there were nearly 5,000 deaths from traffic accidents among motorcyclists in 2018. Motorcycle riders including motorcycle drivers and passengers — suffered 89,000 injuries that year, as well. Motorcyclists are about 28 times more likely to die than the occupants of passenger cars in a traffic collision every year, based on miles driven.
While the report is more than three decades old, The Hurt Report still is regarded as the most complete study of the causes of motorcycle accidents. A multi-year deep-dive into the leading causes of motorcycle accidents, The Hurt Report determined that roughly three-quarters of all motorcycle accidents involved a second vehicle, most often a passenger vehicle. The leading cause of fatal two-car crash involving motorcycles is a passenger vehicle turning left in front of a biker at an intersection. An industry media site recently published what it found to be the 10 leading causes of motorcycle accidents. The list also largely confirmed the findings of The Hurt Report and with recent federal statistics, with causes that included:
Accidents involving 4-wheelers, or all-terrain vehicles, are common and result in hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries every year. From 1982 through 2018, ATV accidents resulted in nearly 16,000 deaths. There were 264 deaths in 2018 and 463 in 2017, with both of those tallies almost certainly being low as they are still based on incomplete numbers. Thousands of those deaths from 1982 through 2018 – more than 3,350 – were children under 16 years old. In addition to fatalities, there were almost 82,000 injuries from four wheeler accidents in 2018. More than 17% of those injuries resulted in hospitalizations.
Kentucky law defines an ATV as including any motor-powered vehicle used or primarily intended for “recreational off-road use.” Four-wheelers must be titled, but they don’t have to be registered. If you use a 4 wheeler on public land, you must wear an approved helmet. Helmet use is not required for commercial operations, nor is it mandatory for using an ATV on private land.
Any property owners – whether residential, business, or government – have an obligation to maintain that property in a safe condition. That obligation includes ensuring that sidewalks and other areas that are open to the public are safe. This could mean cleaning up spills, repairing cracked or broken pavement, paving tiles, and other walking surfaces, making sure walkways are free of ice and snow during the winter, and generally maintaining their property so that it is clear of hazards that could result in harm to visitors to the property. Not meeting that obligation could result in the property owner being liable for injuries caused by any unmitigated hazards. This is known as a duty of care, and you owe that duty to your neighbor if you invite that neighbor onto your property just as much as a business owner owes that duty of care to members of the public who come to their business. Falls generally are a subset of premises liability, which arises from neglect in maintaining property in a safe condition, and are both common and dangerous.
Statistics indicate that:
If you have suffered a personal injury of any kind, regardless of how, you should consult an insurance claim attorney to discuss how you can seek compensation immediately. It is possible there is a negligent individual or business that carries a liability insurance policy specifically designed to cover your medical expenses, pain and suffering, and even lost wages and other damages. The experienced attorneys at Maze Law Offices can help you. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation and see how we can help.