People from France might take offense that the residents of Versailles, Kentucky, and likely the rest of the state, pronounce the name as “Ver-sails.” No matter how you pronounce it, Versailles is the county seat of Woodford County, just west of Lexington. Home to more than 9,000 people according to 2017 census estimates, Versailles is located in the heart of the Bluegrass Region, and proud of it. Versailles was founded in 1792, incorporated in 1837, and remains at the center of thoroughbred horse breeding. Proud to call itself part of Unique Woodford County, bourbon and racing horses are part of what makes Versailles special. Unfortunately, none of these factors make the people of Versailles and Woodford County immune to personal injuries. Injury accidents and car wrecks are a part of life everywhere- whether in a small town or big city. Versailles is no different in that respect. When those injuries occur, accident victims should consult with one of our Versailles personal injury lawyers at Maze Law Offices to learn what the options are and receive a free case evaluation.
Even in a city such as Versailles with relatively low traffic congestion, car wrecks frequently cause serious injuries or wrongful death. Human error is the force behind most traffic accidents. These errors include distracted driving, failing to pay adequate attention to surrounding traffic and conditions such as weather, and simply not paying attention at all, such as daydreaming or thinking about pretty much anything besides what you are supposed to be doing, which is driving.
Some sources are more specific about top accident causes, although even those sources tend to name causes that are rooted in human error, such as:
Texting behind the wheel gets a tremendous amount of focus among people seeking to pass new laws, even though negligent driving already is illegal, and texting while driving certainly qualifies as negligent driving. Nevertheless, Kentucky law bans texting while driving. That ban applies to all drivers, regardless of age, while drivers who are not yet 18 years old are banned from any kind of cell phone use while they are driving. Despite that focus on texting, cell phone use is not alone as a cause of distracted driving. Distracted driving includes all activities that take your attention away from driving or the road. This includes such common activities as eating and drinking, changing stations on your radio, talking with passengers in your car, or even changing settings on your stereo, climate control, entertainment, or navigation system. Yes, that includes starting a movie for the viewing pleasure of your children in the back seat.
At least in theory, all this talk of negligence while driving or who is at fault in an accident is a little academic in Kentucky. Kentucky auto insurance is a no-fault system, meaning you can sue the other driver for your own damages, no matter who is at fault. In practice, however, that is not really the case. Kentucky’s no-fault law states that your lost wages from time missed at work because of injuries in a traffic accident, your medical expenses, and whatever other out-of-pocket expenses you might have resulting from your traffic accident are covered by your own auto insurance policy. That is regardless of who is at fault for the accident. Even under your own insurance, you cannot recover damages for pain and suffering or other emotional damages. That is not really how things work out, though. Under Kentucky’s no-fault law, you can sue the driver who is at fault in your traffic accident if your medical expenses total more than $1,000, as well as if you suffer a broken bone or permanent injury or disfigurement, or if a family member is killed in the accident. Given the cost of modern medical care, that threshold for medical expenses is frequently exceeded in any accident involving injuries, allowing you to sue the at-fault driver in many accidents, if not most.
It is not hard to see that collisions between large commercial trucks and passenger vehicles are incredibly one-sided. About 531,000 large commercial trucks were involved in traffic accidents in the U.S. in 2018. Those crashes killed 4,951 people and injured more than 151,000. Most of those killed or injured in those crashes were occupants of the passenger vehicles involved in the accident. More than 70% of those 2018 fatalities were occupants of passenger vehicles, as were 72% of those injured. The smaller vehicle generally loses in a traffic accident; when the difference in size between the vehicles involved is as great as that between an 18-wheeler and a passenger vehicle, it is virtually a given that the passenger vehicle and its occupants will suffer more than the truck or those in it.
Sadly, this problem is not limited to collisions involving 18-wheelers and passenger vehicles traveling on major highways and interstates. On the streets and roads of every single neighborhood in the country, delivery trucks or vans as well as recycling and garbage trucks pose a similar hazard to passenger vehicles and their occupants. Speeds are lower than on the highways, but both kinds of vehicles are much larger than any passenger vehicle. Refuse pick-up vehicles and delivery vans and trucks do much of their driving on the roads of residential neighborhoods. As with 18-wheelers and other large commercial trucks, they have a major size advantage compared to passenger vehicles. For example, garbage and recycling trucks run from 40,000 to 64,000 pounds. They are enormous heavy steel trash cans on wheels. Passenger vehicles on average weigh about 4,000 pounds, but the smallest models weigh only about 2,400 pounds. When a refuse truck collides with a passenger vehicle – even a big passenger vehicle – it is the passenger vehicle that suffers most. The same goes for those in the passenger vehicles. Out of all accidents involving refuse trucks in 2018, there were 107 fatalities and another 1,400 injuries. A sizable majority of the deaths and injuries in those accidents were suffered by the occupants of the passenger vehicles involved.
It does not get much better when delivery vehicles are involved in accidents with passenger vehicles. You see delivery vans and trucks everywhere these days, as COVID-19 and lockdowns have driven on-line ordering – and hence deliveries – to record levels. Those delivery vehicles represent a risk to passenger vehicles for the same reasons that refuse trucks and 18-wheelers do, albeit on a smaller scale. In traffic collisions, the vehicle that weighs less probably will suffer more damage. In 2017 there were nearly 1,900 fatal accidents involving delivery vans and trucks that weighed more than 10,000 pounds, in addition to collisions resulting in 22,000 in injuries. Delivery vehicles are the smallest vehicles covered by the “large commercial vehicle” statistical category, being much smaller and lighter than refuse trucks or tractor-trailers. They are still larger and heavier than passenger vehicles. A representative example is the most popular delivery vehicle, used by companies including Federal Express, Amazon, UPS, and many other delivery services. That vehicle, the 11,000-pound Mercedes Sprinter, weighs almost three times as much as the average passenger vehicle. It weighs more than four times as much as lightest passenger vehicles.
Americans love pets. That is why they keep so many of them. And they really love dogs, which explains why more than two-thirds of all American homes have at least one dog living there as a pet. That includes nearly half of all households in Kentucky. The more than 78 million dogs in the U.S. being kept as pets far outnumber cats, which are kept as pets in the second-largest number of homes. Out of those millions of dogs, few ever bite anyone. Still, a bunch of them do, with roughly 4.7 million people nationwide suffering dog bites every year. In the neighborhood of 800,000 of those dog-bite victims need professional medical care each year. While dog bites are rarely fatal, dog bites did cause 59 deaths in the U.S. in 2019. Two of those fatalities occurred in Kentucky. As for the hundreds of thousands of dog bite victims each year, those bites can result in injuries that are significant and frequently expensive to treat. In 2019, dog bites led to insurance claims totaling more than $797 million, averaging about $44,000 per claim.
More than 80% of the time, collisions between motorcycles and other vehicles result in the motorcyclist being killed or injured. Occupants of the vehicles with which they collided often are not hurt at all or suffer only minor injuries. Although motorcycle accident fatalities have been on the decline for several years, there still were nearly 5,000 deaths of motorcyclists in 2018, with motorcycle riders suffering an additional 89,000 injuries. Each year, motorcyclists are 28 times more likely to die than the occupants of passenger cars in a traffic collision.
A recent report published at an industry media site gave a list of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents that included vehicles turning left in front of motorcycles at intersections, changing lanes into a motorcycle already in that lane, striking motorcycles from behind, and motorcyclists colliding with a door of a parked vehicle that is being opened into a lane of traffic
These kinds of accidents result in many personal injuries, but they are not the only causes. Personal injuries happen in all manner of ways under countless different circumstances. No matter the cause, though, if someone else’s negligence led to your injury, you might be able to recover compensation for your damages. Among the many other leading causes of personal injuries are:
Swimming pool injuries: Drownings and near-drownings cause thousands of deaths and injuries every year, with children accounting for many of those. From 2005 through 2014, an average of 3,536 people drowned each year in the U.S. More than 3,700 people died in drowning accidents nationwide in 2016. Those drowning totals account for drownings in all bodies of water, from backyard pools to oceans, but many drownings, fatal or otherwise, happen in swimming pools., An average of about 350 children younger than 15 years old drown each year in swimming pools nationwide, with an additional 5,900 children treated emergency rooms for injuries suffered in near-drownings. For Americans of all ages, drowning is the No. 5 cause of unintentional deaths in America.
Bicycle accidents: In 2018, 857 bicycle riders died in traffic accidents, while an average of about 450,000 bicyclists suffer injuries annually, as well. Bicyclists might be commuting to work, out for some exercise, or riding for pure recreation. Bicyclists using the roads have the same rights and responsibilities as all other drivers on the road, regardless of the type of vehicle. Equal rights to the road or not, bicycle riders lack the physical protection provided by motor vehicles, meaning bicyclists who are in traffic accidents are much more likely to die or be injured, often seriously.
If you have suffered a personal injury in Woodford 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 Versailles injury lawyer 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.