Louisville Automobile Accident Blog

What should you do if you see a drunk driver?

The last thing you want to see when driving is a person who may be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Maybe they're swerving all over the road. Or maybe they've struck an object, such as a parked vehicle or traffic sign.

There are many steps to take if you spot a drunk driver, including the following:

  • Keep your distance: Driving too closely to a drunk driver increases your risk of being involved in an accident.
  • Call 911: This isn't a time for you to take over and attempt to stop the person on your own. Call 911, explain what you're seeing and ask them what you should do next.
  • Provide information: To make it easier on police, provide the 911 dispatcher with information regarding location, make, model and license plate number. The more details you can provide the better.

Toyota recalls 89,700 Lexus vehicles

You spent an arm and a leg for your luxury import vehicle, so you certainly don't expect that the car will cause you to break your arms and your legs. Nevertheless, there are plenty of problematic cars on the road that have dangerous – potentially injury-causing – defects associated with them. One of the most recent defects like this related to 89,700 2008-19 Lexus LX57, Toyota Land Cruiser models. The defects triggered a massive recall announcement in December 2018 from the automaker for safety reasons.

The owners of the recalled Lexus SUVs should be warned of the problems related to the occupant classification system for the front passenger. The device has an error related to the seat belt sensor. According to Mercedes, the sensor can malfunction as the vehicle gets older, and this could cause the air bag warning to improperly relay information about the air bags.

Why recalls don't always work to prevent car accidents

If you've paid any attention to the news during the last five years, you know that millions of motor vehicles have been recalled by various car manufacturers because of dangerous defects. In some cases, such as the Takata airbag recalls, the defects resulted in catastrophic accidents and multiple fatalities before either car manufacturers or federal authorities took action to institute mandatory recalls.

The fact that people sometimes have to die before a recall gets announced is tragic enough on its own -- but another terrible issue is that many of the dangerously defective cars will never get fixed.

When does jackknifing happen?

Jackknifing crashes happen when the back tires of a truck start to slide out to the side of the vehicle and actually begin sliding faster than the front. This can cause a truck to start sliding down the road sideways, cause it to flip out of control or simply go off the road and collide with other objects and vehicles. In these situations, costly damages, catastrophic injuries and fatalities could happen.

Usually, drivers expect a truck to jackknife in slick and icy conditions during the rain or winter time. These are high-risk times for a truck to slide out of control like this, but it's equally possible for a semitruck or other vehicles to jackknife in dry conditions if the driver is speeding, reckless or has overloaded or improperly loaded the trailer.

Is your car equipped with electronic stability control?

Imagine you're driving through a patch of ice on a Kentucky highway. Suddenly, your car starts sliding to the right, so you turn the steering wheel to correct your spin, but you turn a little too far. The next thing you know, you're twirling out of control and about to end up in a ditch. This is exactly the problem that electronic stability control (ESC) was invented to prevent.

ESC helps your car maintain its path in a straight line even when road conditions are trying to force your vehicle into spin, slide or skid. ESC systems employ computer-controlled sensors that take control of brakes, wheels and engine power to achieve this objective.

Settling a personal injury case versus taking it to trial

When a Kentucky plaintiff has a viable personal injury claim -- perhaps after they suffered serious injuries in a car accident -- it's always the hope that the defendant will be reasonable, recognize the error of their ways and agree to settle the matter fairly. That means providing sufficient financial compensation for the victim to pay for medical bills, lost wages and other expenses that resulted from the injury.

Settlement is an excellent option for both defendants and plaintiffs in a personal injury matter -- if they can arrive at a suitable settlement deal. That's because it reduces the risks of having to go to trial. Ultimately, no one can predict with perfect accuracy how a judge or jury will decide a particular lawsuit in a trial. For this reason, personal injury plaintiffs may want to consider the advantages of controlling the end result of their cases by agreeing to a settlement deal.

Kentucky malpractice review panels ended by Court's ruling

The Kentucky Supreme Court has overturned a 2017 law that had virtually brought medical malpractice cases to a standstill within the state. The court's action once again freed people to file lawsuits when they suffered grave injuries at the hands of their doctors, nurses and other medical providers.

As noted in Chief Justice John Minton's opinion, the state's constitution reads, in part, "All courts shall be open, and every person for an injury done to him in his lands, goods, person or reputation shall have remedy by due course of law and right and justice administered without sale, denial or delay." This statement, according to Chief Justice Minton, is key to why the review panels are unconstitutional.

Will a drunk driving conviction support my car accident case?

When someone causes you to suffer serious injuries in a car accident -- because he or she was negligent, unlawful or reckless -- that person is financially liable for your injuries. If the individual happened to be operating his or her vehicle while intoxicated at the time of the crash, this evidence can strengthen your case and help you pursue financial damages relating to the cost of your medical care, lost income, legal fees and more.

As to the question of whether a criminal drunk driving conviction will help to support your claim for damages, the answer is decidedly "Yes." The criminal court process will be separate and apart from your personal injury case, as criminal cases are handled via the criminal justice system and personal injury cases proceed through the civil court system. Often, drunk driving cases will proceed to a close before any related civil claims are finished. A conviction in criminal court pretty much cinches the question of who was liable for the accident that caused your injuries.

Why you should fear crush injuries in a car accident

The very term--crush injuries--sounds like a nightmare scenario in a car accident because it implies that some part of the body has been crushed. In truth, it is a nightmare scenario and without prompt treatment both at the site of the crash and continuing in the hospital, the car accident victim could very well die.

As injury lawyers, we have seen too many injurious car accidents turn fatal because of crush injuries. Here is a brief overview of crush injuries.

How can truck drivers improve road safety for all motorists?

You may already know this, but it does not hurt to repeat it: All drivers who travel on Kentucky roads have a responsibility to promote safety. This includes private motorists as well as those who operate large rigs and other commercial vehicles. In a perfect world, we would all do our part to reduce car and truck accidents simply by following the rules of the road. This means:

  • No driving while intoxicated
  • No speeding
  • No driving an unfit motor vehicle
  • Obeying all traffic laws and speed limits
  • Setting distractions aside
  • Paying careful attention to what is happening around you

It is not a perfect world, which means truck accidents can and do happen, injuring thousands of American citizens each year. You have probably learned a lot about how to safely operate your vehicle around large trucks, but what obligations do truckers have when they take to the roads. The list below offers several safe driving tips truck drivers would be wise to adopt.

  • Properly maintaining their vehicles
  • Staying alert and watchful of potential dangers
  • Keeping a sharp eye on the vehicles' blind spots
  • Making certain the trucks' cargo is evenly and properly distributed
  • Being watchful of changing weather conditions
  • Putting cellphones and other distractions away
  • Taking care of the mind and the body to make sure they are fit to drive

T.J. Smith, Attorney at Law
600 W Main Street Suite 100
Louisville, KY 40202

Phone: 502-589-2560
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