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Lexington Personal Injury Law Blog

Bicycle accidents and ignoring the rules of the road

Bicycle accidents are, unfortunately, an all too common occurrence, especially in urban areas where cycling is popular. Often, the harm resulting from these accidents is serious, if not fatal. This is particularly true in cases where cyclists are not wearing protective helmets.

It goes without saying, of course, that drivers can and should be held responsible for causing harm to cyclists. It is also true, though, that cyclists are sometimes responsible for causing accidents as well, at least in part. Too often, cyclists act as if they are not bound by rules of the road like motorists. That is a problem from a safety standpoint, and a potential issue in personal injury cases involving cyclists. 

Weight, width, length violations can provide basis for liability in truck accident cases

In our last post, we mentioned several measures Governor Matt Bevin recently signed into law several measures that will ease trucking weight requirements in an effort to increase business in the state of Kentucky. Truck and other commercial vehicle drivers, of course, are bound by a variety of regulations, and size regulations are among them.

Federal law does not establish any height requirements for commercial motor vehicles, but states are allowed to set their own limits. Federal law does regulate width and length requirements for commercial motor vehicles, though. Length requirements vary depend on the specific features of the truck. 

Safety is critical when you get your motorcycle out this spring

The trees are budding, the flowers and migratory songbirds are popping out all over Kentucky. Another sure sign of spring is the number of motorcycles on the road. While some enthusiasts will brave colder winter temperatures, a lot of motorcycle drivers typically store their bike during chilly winter weather.

There are a lot of steps to take when getting your motorcycle ready for your warm-weather enjoyment. You should be performing maintenance and having it inspected. You should be checking that your insurance is up-to-date on the bike. You should also be extra careful when driving on the open road.

When medical treatment goes wrong

Imagine going into the doctor for a relatively routine physical. Things take a turn when you doctor finds something suspicious. After months of undergoing very painful and expensive treatments, you seek a second opinion. The specialist informs you that your doctor handed down a wrong diagnosis. Unfortunately, medical malpractice happens more frequently than it should.

From inadequate care to misdiagnoses, medical mistakes can leave innocent patients suffering severe injuries and paying astronomical medical expenses. In most cases, the level of malpractice depends on whether the medical professional's acts were negligent or improper when compared to the actions another provider would take in a similar situation.

New trucking weight laws raise concern about roadway safety

This week, Governor Matt Bevin signed into law several bills modifying the size and weight rules for truck drivers. Taken together, the measures are an effort to increase business in the state of Kentucky, though the new measures are likely to come at a cost.

One of the measures increases the weight limit for truck hauling aluminum and other metal commodities by 50 percent, and allows trucks hauling steel products to weigh up to 120,000 for trips up to 150 miles. That measure also sets a 14-foot height limit for vehicle haulers. 

Work with experienced attorney to recover damages in accidents involving state employees

We’ve been looking in recent posts at seeking compensation for motor vehicle accidents involving state agencies, departments or employees. As we noted last time, Kentucky has established a claims process by which compensation may be sought.

While an attorney is not necessary to navigate the claims process, it can certainly be helpful to work with one to ensure one’s interests are well-represented in court. This is especially important if the Board of Claims returns an unfavorable decision and it becomes necessary to appeal the decision, because this may involve heading to court. 

Looking at the process for filing negligence claims against state, local government

Last time, we began discussing the issue of roadway design and use, and holding state and local government responsible for failing to exercise reasonable care in carrying out its duties related to designing, building, and maintaining safe roadways. Although state and local governments are traditionally considered to be immune from tort liabilities, many states allow accident victims to sue in court for damages or to file a claim for compensation.

In Kentucky, the Public Protection Cabinet’s Board of Claims accepts claims against state agencies, departments and employees who act negligently within the scope of their employment. Claims can range from a minimum of $100 to a maximum of $200,000 for a single award. Single acts of negligence involving multiple claimants, however, can be awarded with a maximum of $350,000, which is equitably divided among the claimants. 

When a mining accident claims a life

Mining is a very dangerous job. It seems like every time an accident happens, it is never minor. Support collapses, cave-ins and exposure to toxic gas are just a few of the hazards that lurk in mining tunnels. Unfortunately, all too often workers lose their lives due to accidents that could have been avoided if mining companies followed and enforced safety regulations.

If you have lost a loved one due to a mining accident, you may be able to file a wrongful death suit. A Kentucky attorney experienced with wrongful death claims can review your case and advise you on the best course of action. Read further for an overview of Kentucky wrongful death laws.

Kentucky accident raises questions about safety of roadway design and use

A school bus accident in Scott County is reportedly raising questions about the safety of a stretch of highway long known to be dangerous. The accident, which occurred last week, involved a school bus that was travelling along a narrow stretch of road when one of its mirrors was clipped off and a window broken by a commercial garbage truck utilizing a local landfill.

Fortunately, the side-swipe accident did not result in any harm to the children, but the incident has local residents worried about the safety of the road in its current condition. The problems with the roadway have been known for some time. Last fall, a woman died in a crash involving two garbage trucks that collided. Earlier this year, local residents urged county authorities to take action when an expansion of the landfill was proposed. After that, city trucks were no longer allowed to use the road to get to the landfill, and changed to a different route. The recent accident involved an out of state truck contracted by the landfill. 

Product liability litigation could increase as driverless technology spreads, P.2

In our last post, we mentioned that the increasing use of automatic driving technology is raising important questions about liability in the event that cars equipped with the technology are involved in accidents. Already such litigation is occurring, as in the case of Tesla “autopilot” accidents. Autopilot is, contrary to what might be assumed, not fully automated technology, but driver assist technology. In other words, it requires driver supervision and potential correction, and the driver, ironically, can’t just go on autopilot.

Driverless technology, as the Tesla litigation shows, raises the risk of not only of defective design and manufacture liability, but also liability for failure to warn. In order for partial automation technologies to function without incident—assuming they are well-designed and manufactured defect-free—consumers need to understand how the technology works and their role in making it function properly. It is, therefore, as much a matter of educating the public about automatic driving technologies as it is a matter of making those technologies functional and free of defects.