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Lexington Personal Injury Law Blog

KY Jury delivers $18.5 million verdict in failure to warn product liability case

In product liability litigation, there are different theories of liability plaintiffs can put forward, depending on the facts of the case. These theories include defective design, defective manufacture, and defective labeling, instructions or warnings. In any product liability case, it is necessary for a plaintiff to prove that the product in question was unreasonably dangerous. When the failure to provide warnings to consumers makes a product unreasonably dangerous, and that this caused the plaintiff’s injuries, the manufacturer may be held liable.

The failure to warn theory of liability was on display in a recent Kentucky case, which resulted in an $18.5 million verdict against a treestand manufacturer. The verdict was awarded to a man who was injured while turkey hunting on another man’s land when a treestand fell to the ground, injuring him in the process. The stand had apparently been strapped to the tree five years before. 

Are drunk drivers always at fault in an accident?

Every year, thousands of car accidents involve drunk drivers, and many people believe that a drunk driver is always at fault in an accident. Unfortunately, this is not always true. If you recently experienced a car accident with a drunk driver, it's important to fully understand the facts of your accident, especially if you suffered an injury.

An injury claim after a drunk driving accident is very common, and, in many cases, the drunk driver's insurer is fully on the hook to compensate victims. However, in some cases, the drunk driver may not carry all the liability, which can affect the compensation for a personal injury claim.

Work with experienced attorney to build strong case for tire defect in product liability litigation

We’ve been looking in recent posts at the issue of tire defect in motor vehicle accidents, and the importance of working with experienced legal counsel to gather the evidence necessary to develop a strong legal theory. As we’ve noted, accidents involving tire failure can involve both tort claims against other negligence drivers, as well as product liability claims against manufacturers responsible for the tire failure.

Tire failure cases can involve both manufacturing and design defects, and both tire manufacturers and vehicle manufacturers can be held liable for tire failure, depending on whether the tires were original equipment on the vehicle or a replacement set. One not uncommon problem with tires is tread separation. 

Spotting tire defects in motor vehicle accidents can be tricky: work with experienced attorney

Previously, we mentioned the importance of working with experienced legal counsel to sort out the potential causes of motor vehicle accidents when tire failure is involved as a factor. As we noted, tire failure can have multiple potential causes and can involve multiple potentially liable parties. Building a strong case requires developing a sound legal theory supported by strong evidence.

Whenever a motor vehicle accident occurs, careful inspection of the vehicle or vehicles involved is critical to determining the potential causes of the crash. An experienced attorney will do everything possible to ensure the vehicles involved in the crash are secured for inspection and that the scene is inspected to determine the potential causes of the accident. This, as well as eyewitness reports and official records of the accident, can aid in reconstruction of the crash. 

Lack of side guards contributes to fatal underride accidents

Most people understand that commercial vehicles, like eighteen wheelers and semi-trucks, pose a serious risk to other drivers on the road. As we pointed out in another blog post, the average driver takes great care to avoid blind spots on trucks, which means not driving close to the sides or close behind big vehicles. People try to pass and give wide berth to commercial vehicles, when possible, to reduce the potential for an accident.

Unfortunately, in cases of extreme traffic or highway driving, avoiding those areas may not be possible. The heavier traffic is, the more likely you will get forced to drive in uncomfortable and perhaps unsafe proximity to a large commercial vehicle. When that happens, you are in a situation where a serious or even fatal accident is possible.

Sorting out the causes of tire blowouts, flats: work with experienced legal counsel

In our last post, we commented on the importance of vehicle maintenance in highway safety and the potential role failure to maintain a vehicle can play in personal injury litigation. Tire maintenance, as we noted, is an importance aspect of maintaining a properly working vehicle. One of the potential results of improper tire maintenance is a tire blowout or flat tire.

Tire blowouts and flats are actually a more common occurrence than many people might initially assume, and they can cause serious accidents to occur. The reasons why a blowout or a flat occur can be complex, though, and sorting out the real causes requires careful investigation of the evidence.

Stay alert when driving near semitrucks

You have passed hundreds if not thousands of them during the time you have been driving on Kentucky highways. Semitrucks can be found on almost every highway, interstate and even some city roads from coast to coast. You may be so accustomed to seeing them, that they simply blend into the other traffic you pass on a daily basis.

Even though you have become desensitized to the presence of semitrucks, you should still be cautious when you are driving near one. Due to their size and inability to react to sudden hazards, semitrucks will always pose a threat to other drivers. Even if another passenger car causes a semitruck to have an accident, other drivers in the vicinity can suffer the consequences. Read further for some common causes of truck accidents so that you and your family can stay safe on the road.

All 50 states to include tire maintenance information in official driver training materials

Motor vehicle accidents can occur for a variety of reasons, some reasons beyond the control of the driver. In most cases, however, there is some human error at play. One potential cause of accidents is failure to properly maintain a motor vehicle. This is a common issue among commercial carriers, but it can come up with any accident.

Tire safety is a particularly important issue to keep in mind with respect to motor vehicle maintenance. Many people don’t give much thought to questions like tire tread and tire inflation until they encounter problems, such a icy road conditions which make proper treading critical. Unfortunately, many new drivers do not receive clear information about tire maintenance as part of their driers’ safety training. 

Can government accident reports be used as evidence in personal injury litigation? P.2

We began looking last time at the admissibility of government accident reports in personal injury litigation. Two important points we noted last time are that it is only factual findings which are potentially admissible in court, and that the admissibility of these findings depends upon their reliability, as determined by several important factors.

Government reports can potentially be used not only in personal injury claims, but also in product liability claims when there is evidence of a defect in the report. Regardless of the details of the case, a party who seeks to introduce a government accident investigation report into evidence must establish the reliability of the report’s factual findings. Depending on the nature and details of the investigation, this may be more or less difficult. By the same token, a party who objects to the admission of this evidence has to demonstrate why it is improper to admit the report as evidence. 

Can government accident reports be used as evidence in personal injury litigation?

Government investigation of traffic accidents is an important public service, and the reports government agencies produce as a result of these investigations usually contain valuable information. For accident victims, these accident reports can prove useful, though there are certain limitations on their use in motor vehicle accident litigation.

First of all, government accident reports are only admissible into evidence insofar as they reflect factual findings resulting from the investigation. Legal conclusions, especially conclusions about fault, are not admissible in court as this is a determination that needs to be reached as a result of a trial on the evidence. Carefully distinguishing between factual findings and legal conclusions is, therefore, an important task for those seeking to use these reports in litigation.