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Lexington Personal Injury Law Blog

A brief look at insurers’ obligation of good faith, and bad faith insurance claims, P.2

In our last post, we began looking at the topic of bad faith insurance and the obligation of insurance companies to deal fairly with those covered under the motor vehicle accident policies they issue. As we noted, Kentucky law provides a list of business practices that can serve as the basis for bad faith insurance claims.

Whether a bad faith insurance claim is filed under Kentucky statute or common law, there are three elements that must be satisfactorily proven in any case. First, the plaintiff must be able to prove that the insurer was obligated to pay a claim under an insurance policy; that the insurer had no reasonable basis for denying the insurance claim; and that the insurer knew there was no reasonable basis for denying the claim or was reckless in determining the reasonableness of the claim. 

When companies make labeling mistakes about allergens in foods

If you are one of the millions of people who deals with serious food allergies, you know that proper labeling is key to safety. Whether you're allergic to wheat products or your child is allergic to tree nuts, you likely take special steps to avoid allergen exposure.

You may limit eating out at restaurants. In cases of severe allergies, you may avoid restaurants altogether. Grocery shopping can also be a difficult process. Every food and body care product needs to be carefully vetted by reviewing the ingredient list and the allergen warnings. It can be time-consuming, but with care, you can avoid an allergic reaction.

A brief look at insurers’ obligation of good faith, and bad faith insurance claims, P.1

In our last post, we briefly looked at an ongoing legal battle between Walmart and its insurers over a settlement the retail giant reached with actor-comedian Tracy Morgan, who was seriously injured in a 2014 accident involving a Walmart truck driver. As we noted, Walmart claims that its insurers acted in bad faith in refusing to cooperate with the settlement, while the insurers claim that Morgan exaggerated his injuries.

Insurance is certainly an important financial resource for anybody who incurs financial loss or liability in connection with a motor vehicle accident. This includes not only accident victims, but also employers who have to answer for the negligence of employees, those responsible for accidents caused by minors, bars who over-serve their patrons and thus contribute to drunken driving, and other third parties who have responsibility for those who cause motor vehicle accidents. 

Tracy Morgan subpoenaed in bad faith insurance case against Walmart insurers

When a motor vehicle accident occurs, the main concern initially is to ensure that victims receive necessary medical treatment as quickly as possible. In serious accidents where catastrophic though nonfatal injuries occur, medical treatment can be extensive and costly. Whether there is brain damage, spinal cord injury, loss of limb or disfigurement, it is critical for accident victims to seek appropriate compensation from all responsible parties.

Insurance coverage usually plays an important role in ensuring accident victims are compensated for injuries and losses. This coverage may come from the victim’s own insurer, from the insurer of the motorist responsible for the injuries, or from the insurers of other parties found to be at fault. Whatever the case may be, insurance companies don’t always cooperate in covering legitimate claims or reimbursing parties who settle claims. 

Looking at the relationship between product recalls and product liability, P.2

In our last post, we began looking at the issue of product recalls in the context of automobile recalls. As we noted, manufacturers have a duty under both federal and state law to address product defects after a product has gone to market. Kentucky law allow for the possibility that manufacturers can be liable not only for product defects themselves, but also for acting negligently with respect to product recalls involving defective products.

Manufacturers, under Kentucky law, are required to inform consumers of product defects they become aware of after the sale of the product. There are several ways manufacturers could act negligently in carrying out this duty. For one thing, a manufacturer might delay informing consumers of the defect until injuries or fatalities occur. When there is evidence that the manufacturer knew or should have known of the defect before, this can be a basis for liability. 

Distracted driving: A major problem throughout the United States

You were traveling down the road when you looked up to see another driver crossing your path. The driver crossed the center line and was heading straight for you. You honked and tried to swerve, but there was no way to avoid the accident.

You're not the only person who has ever faced this dilemma. With distractions becoming more and more prevalent behind the wheel, it's not surprising that more drivers are getting into crashes due to cellphone or technology use.

Looking at the relationship between product recalls and product liability, P.1

Product recalls are not at all an uncommon occurrence in the automobile industry. Though some recalls involve more serious issues than others, recalls occur fairly regularly. Whenever there is a problem that could cause harm to consumers, the ideal is that recalls are issued to address the problem before serious injuries to a consumer occurs.

At the federal level, there are various rules which govern product recalls, and these rules are laid out in the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Recall Handbook. Manufacturers, and other parties in the stream of commerce, are bound by specific reporting requirements and must follow certain rules in coming up with corrective action plans and in executing recalls. 

Wrongful death vs. survivor actions: what’s the difference? P.2

Last time, we began looking at the differences between personal injury, wrongful death and survival claims. As we noted, each of these causes of action may be available after a motor vehicle accident, depending on the facts and circumstances of the crash. In cases where a fatality occurs, both wrongful death and survival actions should be considered.

With wrongful death actions, the claim is for losses to a surviving family member as a result the loved one’s death. These damages, again, include things like loss of companionship, loss of services, and medical or funeral expenses. With survival actions, the claim is for damages that the crash victim would have been entitled to receive had he or she survived. Survival actions are not possible in cases where the accident victim dies immediately. 

What happens if you're hurt due to a faulty vehicle component?

In the last few years, there have been a flurry of vehicle recalls. From serious issues with brakes to ignition systems, there is a wide range of production and design flaws that can make your vehicle unsafe.

Most recently, Hyundai and Kia are facing a massive recall of more than 240,000 vehicles with an assortment of potential flaws. An engineer who worked for the company for more than 24 years recently brought these issues to light. This engineer reportedly worried about safety issues caused by these flaws, including one that could cause the engines in the affected vehicles to suddenly stall.

Wrongful death vs. survivor actions: what’s the difference?

Whenever a motor vehicle accident occurs, it is important for accident victims to work with an experienced attorney to see to it that they have their case evaluated to determine the type and extent of the injuries and losses, what legal claims may be appropriate to seek recovery, and what evidence there may be to support these legal claims and damages requested.

In motor vehicle accident cases, there are several important tort actions that may be brought, depending on the circumstances. Personal injury actions are limited to those who are still living and who have suffered injury as a result of the negligence of another party. This type of action may be brought by those who have suffered injuries ranging from the mild to the catastrophic. Two other types of action, however, may be brought by the survivors of accident victims.