West Liberty, the county seat of Morgan County, is a city rich in history. While it would not necessarily be considered a large city, West Liberty still makes the list of Kentucky’s 100 largest cities, coming in at No. 99, with a population of 3,520 in the 2019 Census estimate. Located along the Licking River, the city was first settled in 1816 and incorporated in 1823 after the founding of Morgan County. The original settlement, called Wells Mills, decided to change its name because the state officials were considering establishing a town as the capital of nearby Pike County and naming it Liberty. That never came to pass, but county officials already had named the Morgan County seat West Liberty. The town was near the site of three historical skirmishes during the Civil War, and most of the town was burned.
Just like every other city in Kentucky, big or small, West Liberty inevitably has its share of personal injuries, from all of the usual causes. When those injuries occur, accident victims should seek a free consult with our West Liberty personal injury lawyers at Maze Law Offices to learn what options they may have and receive a no-obligation case evaluation.
The following are some of the more common personal injury accidents that occur in West Liberty, Kentucky:
Car crashes are a daily occurrence, even in a small city like West Liberty. Car accidents are inevitably accompanied by injuries and, all too often, wrongful death. Human error lies behind the majority of traffic accidents. These errors often take the form of driver inattention, distracted driving, and paying insufficient attention to conditions, such as weather, traffic, and physical road conditions and state of repair. The federal government, as well as other sources, list a number of different top accident causes, including:
Distracted driving caused more than 3,100 traffic deaths in 2019, nearly 10% of all traffic fatalities that year. Many states have focused on cell phone use as the riskiest form of distracted driving and have passed laws limiting or banning the activity. Kentucky is no different, as Kentucky law bans all drivers from texting while behind the wheel. In addition, drivers who are not yet 18 years old may not engage in any kind of cell phone use while driving. Cell phone use is far from the only source of distraction for drivers, however. Distracted driving is caused by any activity that takes the driver’s attention away from the task at hand. This includes such mundane activities as talking to other people in your vehicle, switching radio stations, eating and drinking, or adjusting the settings on your vehicle’s stereo, entertainment, climate control, or navigation systems.
Americans love their pets. They keep dogs, cats, fish, reptiles – all kinds of pets. While freshwater fish are the most numerous of pets in the U.S. – nearly 140 million of them – they are in fewer than 12 million American households. Dogs, on the other hand, are found in more than 63 million households. People keep more than 78 million dogs as pets nationwide. In Kentucky, nearly half of all households have a pet dog, ranking the state 10th in the country for percentage of households with a dog. While most pet dogs never bite a person, many do. About 4.7 million people are bitten by a dog each year in the U.S., and 800,000 of those people require professional medical care. Not many people die from dog bites, but there were 59 dog-bite fatalities in the U.S. in 2019, with two of those happening in Kentucky. Dog bite injuries often are both serious and expensive for the victim. Insurance claims for dog bites nationwide topped $797 million in 2019, for an average of $44,000 per claim.
In about 80% of collisions involving motorcycles and a second vehicle, which account for about three-fourths of all motorcycle accidents, the motorcyclist is either killed or injured. Occupants of the second vehicle often suffer either minor injuries, or none at all. Nearly 5,000 motorcyclists were killed in traffic accidents in 2018, while an additional 89,000 riders were injured. Motorcyclists’ odds of being killed in a traffic accident each year are 28 times higher than they are for the occupants of passenger vehicles.
The number one cause of fatal two-vehicle crashes involving a motorcycle is crashes at intersections where a vehicle turns left into the path of a motorcycle traveling straight through. A report by an industry media site listing the top 10 causes of motorcycle accidents, supported by federal statistics, named causes that included vehicles turning left in front of an oncoming motorcyclist as well as vehicles changing lanes and colliding with a motorcycle, vehicles running into a motorcycle from behind, and occupants of vehicles parked along a road opening a door into the path of traffic with a motorcyclist hitting the door.
Accidents that involve passenger vehicles and commercial trucks are overwhelmingly one-sided. There were about 531,000 large commercial trucks, including tractor-trailers, involved in traffic accidents across the U.S. in 2018. Almost 5,000 people were killed and 151,000 were injured in those accidents. Of those who died or were injured in truck-passenger vehicle accidents, nearly three-quarters were occupants of the passenger vehicles – over 70% of those killed were people in the passenger vehicles, and 72% of those injured were people in the passenger vehicles, as well. The disparity is mostly a function of physics. An 18-wheeler tractor-trailer rig can legally weigh as much as 80,000 pounds loaded. On the other side of the equation, passenger vehicles weigh about 4,000 pounds on average, with the smallest passenger vehicles weighing less than 2,500 pounds. Passenger cars – as well as their occupants – are likely to bear the brunt of the damages resulting from any collisions between the two types of vehicles.
The problem extends to collisions between passenger vehicles and other large commercial trucks, as well. Delivery vehicles, whether vans or trucks, are classified as large commercial vehicles, as are recycling trucks and garbage trucks. Both kinds of vehicles are far larger than passenger vehicles, and delivery vehicles and refuse trucks spend much of their time on residential neighborhood streets. Recycling collection trucks and garbage trucks generally weigh between 40,000 and 64,000 pounds. They are sturdily constructed vehicles designed to hold large amounts of the items that people throw away. When passenger vehicles collide with refuse trucks, it is no surprise that such collisions usually cause more damage to the passenger vehicles than to the refuse vehicles – not to mention the occupants of the passenger vehicles. There were 107 people killed during 2018 in the U.S. in accidents that involved garbage and recycling trucks, as well as 1,400 people injured. The majority of those deaths and injuries occurred among the people in the passenger vehicles involved.
The results are similar when passenger vehicles get in accidents with delivery vehicles. Delivery vehicles are more and more common as online ordering experiences a boom. In 2017, delivery vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds were in almost 1,900 fatal crashes in addition to 22,000 accidents resulting in injuries. Delivery vehicles might be the smallest vehicles designated “large commercial vehicles,” and are nowhere near the size and weight of 18-wheelers or garbage trucks, but they still are larger and heavier than passenger vehicles by a significant amount. For instance, the most popular delivery van, the 11,000-pound Mercedes Sprinter, weighs close to three times as much as the average passenger vehicle, and tips the scales at more than four times as much as the smallest passenger vehicles.
These types of accidents are a major cause of personal injuries, but they are not the only ones. There are many other accidents that can result in personal injuries that involve the negligence of other people, including:
If you have suffered a personal injury in Morgan 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 West Liberty 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.