Car Accidents in Franklin, KY

Serving as the county seat of Simpson County, Franklin is known for its number of notable people, Kentucky Downs, and dozens of churches found throughout the city. Not to be confused with Franklin County, the city of Franklin has fewer than 10,000 people, and as such, levels of traffic congestion are relatively low, and car accidents–especially serious car accidents–aren’t common.

But car accidents do occur from time to time, and in a single year, there were 599 motor vehicle accidents reported in Simpson County, three of which were fatal, and 117 of which were injury collisions. While Franklin may be a small city, those who are involved in car accidents within Franklin have as much of a right to seek compensation for their harm as do those in other parts of the state and working with an experienced car accident attorney is imperative.

Kentucky No-Fault Car Accident Laws

Kentucky is one of a handful of states in the nation that maintains a no-fault system for car accidents, which means that drivers must turn to their own car insurance company first, regardless of fault. To be sure, all drivers are required to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage to pay for medical expenses resulting from an accident.

Because the no-fault system allows for a driver to recover compensation from their own insurance company after a crash, even if they themselves were to blame for the incident, drivers are simultaneously barred from filing a lawsuit against the other driver or filing a claim for compensation with the other driver’s insurance.

The no-fault law has some exceptions, though; drivers may step outside of the no-fault system and seek compensation from a negligent party who caused the crash and related injuries when:

  • Medical expenses total at least $1,000; or
  • An injury is severe enough to result in permanent injury, disfigurement, bone fracture, or death.

Because drivers may seek damages against the other party when their injuries or injury-related expenses meet the threshold described above, drivers are also required to carry liability insurance in the amounts of $25,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person, $50,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per accident, and $10,000 in property damage liability coverage per accident.

Maximizing Your Compensation Award in a Crash

If you have been involved in a car accident and suffered property damage, bodily injury, or both, you surely want to receive the maximum amount of compensation available to you. If you are filing a claim with your own insurance company (PIP coverage), you will need to prove the full extent of damages you have suffered, which is best done by providing proof of medical bills, doctor’s notes and prescribed treatments, and in some cases, expert medical testimony.

If you are filing a claim with the insurance company of the other driver, things may become more complicated as not only will you need to prove the extent of injury, but also prove that your accident would not have occurred but for the actions of the other driver.

How a Car Accident Attorney in Franklin, Kentucky Can Help You

Many people involved in a car accident hesitate to hire a car accident lawyer following a crash, afraid that hiring a lawyer will only complicate things, and worried about their ability to afford a lawyer. While a lawyer may not be necessary for all car accident claims, here’s how a skilled attorney can help you:

Open an investigation into your car accident case. 

If you have to prove fault of the other driver in order to recover the compensation that you deserve, having an attorney on your side who knows how to conduct an investigation into your case, and is willing to dig deep to get the facts, is critical. A skilled attorney will not only dedicate the time necessary to thoroughly investigating your case, but also the resources; investigations often require hiring medical experts, accident reconstruction experts, design specialists, and other professionals.

  • Organize all data and documents related to your claim. From making sense of witness statements and police reports to compiling and adding together the various expenses that you have incurred directly related to your accident, having a team of professionals who can organize all data and documents related to your claim is important. This information will be used to determine the value of your claim, so it is critical that this process is comprehensive and exact.
  • File your claim and help you to understand the law. Filing a car accident claim or pursuing a lawsuit is a process that requires understanding of applicable laws and rules. Our Franklin car accident lawyer will not only help you to file your claim but will also help you to understand things like negligence, liability, a statute of limitations, subrogation, and more.
  • Negotiate your claim and litigate if appropriate. If an insurance adjuster offers you a settlement, your lawyer will review the settlement to ensure that it is fair and just. If it’s not, negotiations will ensue, led by your attorney. If a fair settlement cannot be reached that fully compensates you for your losses, your attorney can file a lawsuit and litigate on your behalf if necessary.

If you don’t think that you can afford a lawyer, consider that our attorney works on a contingency fee basis, which means that you will never have to pay any upfront or hourly fees. In fact, we don’t collect any payment unless you recover a settlement.

Contact a Franklin, Kentucky Car Accident Lawyer Today

Being involved in a car accident, especially a serious one that leads to expensive amounts property damage and injuries, can be a shocking experience. While you may be worried about your recovery and how you will afford things like medical expenses and costs of living while you’re unable to work, you can take comfort in the fact that our attorney is here to fight for you.

Take the first step toward recovering the compensation you deserve by reaching out to a reputable auto accident lawyer in your area.

passenger in car accident

What Are My Rights as a Passenger in a Car or Motorcycle Accident?

If you were injured in a motorcycle or car accident while riding as a passenger, you might be wondering whether you have the right to pursue a tort claim and seek compensation for your injuries. The short answer is – yes, you have the right to do so.

The Right of an Injured Passenger to Pursue Legal Action

Personal injury laws are designed to impose a financial cost on people who negligently injure others and to make sure that the victims are compensated for their injuries. So, a passenger who is injured in a motorcycle or car accident has the same rights that the driver has – or any other party that was injured in the accident has – to seek monetary damages for their injuries.

Who Can You Seek Compensation From?

Depending on the circumstances, more than one party can be held liable for your injuries.

The Driver of Your Vehicle

If the driver of the vehicle (in which you were riding as a passenger) lost control and crashed into a stationary object or another vehicle, they can be held liable for your injuries.

For example, if the driver in question was talking on the phone, driving over the speed limit, or failed to follow the rules of the road, it is a clear case of negligence and they can be held responsible for the accident.

The Driver of the Other Vehicle

If there was another vehicle involved in the accident, and if the accident was caused primarily or directly as a result of the other driver’s actions, you can hold them liable for your injuries.

For example, if your vehicle was rear-ended by a negligent driver or if the other driver crashed into your vehicle recklessly, they can be held responsible for the accident.

Both Drivers

If both drivers were partially at fault for the accident, you can file a tort claim against both of them and seek damages.

The Manufacturer

If the primary cause of the accident is determined to be a mechanical defect, the company which manufactured the defective part in question can be held liable for your injuries.

Shared Liability vs. Individual Liability

Generally speaking, if there are two or more liable parties, you have a better chance of recovering the compensation you deserve than you do if there is only one party that can be held liable.

For example, if you suffer tangible and intangible losses worth $100,000 in the accident, and if the at-fault party only has $50,000 in third-party liability coverage, you might have no option but to receive $50,000 as compensation – even thought it might not be sufficient to cover all your expenses.

In the aforementioned scenario, if you have uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage, you can seek $50,000 (which is the difference between the total value of your claim and the amount paid out by the at-fault party’s insurance company) from your own insurance company. If, on the other hand, you do not have UM/UIM coverage, you can only recover $50,000 in damages.

Let us now assume that you suffered tangible and intangible losses worth $100,000 and there are two at-fault parties (the driver of your vehicle as well as the other driver) who can be held liable for your injuries. In this case, if each of them has $50,000 in third-party liability coverage, you can file a tort claim against both of them and receive $100,000 in total.

Damages Recoverable by Injured Passengers

As an injured passenger, you have the right to seek an appropriate amount of restitution for the tangible and intangible losses listed below.

  • Medical expenses
  • Cost of rehabilitation and therapy
  • Cost of long-term treatment and care
  • Cost of mobility aids (in the event of a physical disability)
  • Cost of repairing or replacing personal belongings that were damaged in the accident
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Diminished quality of life

The Importance of Legal Representation

If you have only suffered minor injuries, you might not need a lawyer, as the at-fault party’s insurance company might be willing to settle the case quickly by paying you what you demand.

If, on the other hand, you have suffered serious injuries, getting legal help is absolutely critical. An experienced personal injury attorney can dig deep into your case, assess the extent of the economic and non-economic losses you suffered, and determine the value of your claim. They can also handle the settlement negotiation process, take your case to court if necessary, and recover the restitution you are owed.

Legal representation is particularly important if you live in a state which follows the doctrine of pure contributory negligence, under which you cannot recover any restitution if it is found that your own negligence contributed to the accident in the least bit. So, having a skilled personal injury attorney by your side is the best way to increase your chances of securing the monetary damages you deserve.

Take the first step toward securing the compensation you deserve by reaching out to an experienced personal injury lawyer in your area today.

 

rideshare accident

Liability for Ridesharing Accidents: What You Need to Know

Ridesharing has completely changed how many people get around, offering affordable options to non-drivers, those in busy cities, and those who are not in a position to drive safely. Although ridesharing has brought lots of improvements to daily life, it has also brought its fair share of risks. State legislators have worked quickly to keep up with the legal challenges of ridesharing services in an effort to keep riders safe from unsafe drivers.

If you have been hurt in a ridesharing accident, it can be difficult to figure out who’s at fault and what your next step should be. Contact a personal injury attorney in your area to explore your legal options now.

Determining Fault

In any vehicle accident, the main task is determining liability. When you know who is at fault for the accident, you know who can be expected to pay for your damages. The same is true for ridesharing accidents. In these collisions, a number of parties can be at fault:

  • The rideshare driver
  • The driver of the other vehicle
  • The manufacturer of the vehicle or one of its components
  • A passenger—this only happens in extraordinarily rare circumstances, such as when a passenger reaches over and grabs the steering wheel from the driver

To figure out which party erred and caused the crash, you have to look at the evidence. Your attorney might look at what happened before the crash, photographs of the scene of the crash, and get testimony from you and other passengers. While some crashes are caused by mechanical errors or equipment failures, human error is the main cause in the majority of crashes.

Another helpful way to figure out liability is to look at the police report for the crash. The police will often give out citations for running a red light, failing to yield, speeding, or otherwise driving dangerously. In many cases, figuring out who broke the law can help you figure out who the liable party is.

Who Pays?

From there, it gets a little more complicated. If the other driver is at fault, you have a straightforward claim process. You can work with an attorney to figure out fair compensation. They will then communicate with the other party’s insurance company to negotiate for a full and fair settlement.

If the rideshare driver is at fault, you may have to dig a little more to figure out who will pay for your damages. Their own personal insurance policy may pay some of your damages, but it’s more likely that most of your payout will come from their rideshare company’s insurance.

Uber and Lyft provide coverage in the amount of $1 million. However, depending on the state where your accident occurs, the company’s policy may not kick in until the driver’s personal insurance policy is maxed out. Even this is not clear-cut, because some personal insurance policies do not cover any damage caused when the driver is engaging in commercial activity.

Because there are so many factors at play in a ridesharing accident, it’s important to act quickly to assess your losses and fight for compensation.

Why You Need an Attorney After a Ridesharing Accident

This is why it’s crucial to hire an attorney as soon as possible after a ridesharing accident. With so many parties possibly at fault and so many insurance companies possibly owing you money, you need an attorney who can sort through all of the information and figure out what you’re really owed, who owes it to you, and who will pay it to you.

Even after you’ve figured out liability and you know which insurance policy or policies are expected to pay out, you still have more work to do. Your attorney will need to negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf. Insurance companies are notorious for downplaying victims’ injuries, trying to shift blame to other parties, and offering settlements that are far too low. When you bring an attorney to the table, you can get straight to negotiations and avoid being manipulated by the insurance company.

Ready to seek compensation after a ridesharing accident? It’s time to talk to a personal injury attorney in your area. Reach out to a personal injury lawyer in your area today.

Should I talk to the insurance company after an accident?

I Have Already Talked to the Insurance Company About My Auto Accident. Am I In Trouble?

You have been injured in an accident. Before you could even Google “what to do after a car accident,” the other party’s car insurance provider called you. That is a good sign that the accident was not your fault, and that they want to settle quickly.

Unfortunately, you chatted with them a little too long before you read that you should not ever speak to the other party’s insurance company unless you have already talked to an attorney. Now what?

While it is best to avoid speaking to the other party’s insurance provider, it is never too late to contact an attorney and find out how to move forward with your claim. Use these tips to help.

Relax and Do not Answer Any More Calls

Do not worry too much about hurting your claim. What has done is done, and all you can do is move forward. However, limit the damage done by avoiding any more calls from the insurance company. Instead, use that time to contact an experienced personal injury attorney to find out how they can help you.

Why Talking to Insurance Companies After An Accident Can Be Harmful

Knowing why you should not talk to insurance adjusters makes it much easier to ignore their calls and do what is best for you. First, remember that they are not on your side. They might seem friendly or sympathetic about your injuries, but their goal is to get their company off the hook with as small a settlement as possible.

Anything you tell the adjuster during your calls can be used to discredit you or weaken your claim. For example, imagine you tell the adjuster how the accident happened. They ask you if they can do a recorded statement to make the claim go faster, and you comply. During your recorded statement, you say that your passenger was sitting behind you—but during the first retelling, you said they were sitting behind the passenger seat.

This small and irrelevant detail is enough for insurance companies to throw suspicion on your claim and assume that you are untrustworthy. Any small error, no matter how pointless, can derail your claim.

Another reason you should not talk to insurance company representatives after an accident is that you simply don’t have the full picture of your injuries yet. If you talk to the adjuster a day or two after your accident, you are likely in pain but still coming down from the adrenaline rush of the accident. You might feel okay, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have serious injuries. However, once you give the company the impression that you are on the mend, it is unlikely you will be able to convince them otherwise.

Remember What You Told Them

For your attorney to assist you, you should try to remember what you told the insurance company before you stopped contacting them. Jot down anything you can remember about the conversations you had, what they told you, and what you told them. This can be very helpful to your attorney, since it might show them different angles the insurance company will use to limit your settlement amount.

Don’t be embarrassed and downplay what you told the insurance company. Sometimes, accident victims worry that they will look stupid if they tell the attorney that they submitted a recorded statement or told the insurance adjuster that they were feeling better. Do not fall into this trap. This can lead to your attorney being blindsided when they find out what you actually said. Honesty is the best policy.

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

Before you go any further with your accident claim, hire a personal injury attorney. That is the most important step once you stop talking to the insurance company. A skilled car accident attorney will be able to look at the facts of your accident, figure out the value of your injuries, look at what you told the insurance company already, and come up with a game plan.

Most personal injury cases settle out of court, so your attorney’s first goal will be to negotiate a fair settlement for you. This involves presenting evidence, clearly establishing liability, and demonstrating the effects of your injury on your life.

Note, though, that some personal injury cases do go to court. This can happen when liability is hard to prove or when an insurance company just isn’t interested in negotiating fairly. If this happens, your attorney will prepare for court while keeping the door open to negotiations prior to the beginning of your court case.

Take the first step now toward a successful injury claim by contacting a seasoned personal injury attorney in your area.

Is a Car Crash Ever an Accident?

Is a Car Crash Ever an Accident?

If you open the newspaper and flip through, you’ll read a lot about car accidents. A drunk driving accident that killed one and injured three, a bad weather accident that left a car totaled, or a traffic accident that happened after a driver ran a red light. However, the definition of the word “accident” is a negative event that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally.

Knowing the true definition of accident, is any car crash really an accident? Views on this matter are split.

Everyone Uses the Word “Accident”

First, it’s important to note that almost everyone uses the term “accident.” Even police reports for car collisions are often officially called “accident reports.” This implies that there is something unavoidable about a car collision. Or, to govern further, it implies that the vehicle itself is responsible for the crash.

This dates back to when cars were novelties on the road. People barely understood how they worked, and safety precautions were limited. As a result, collisions were always attributed to the vehicle. Over time, the term “car accident” came to be preferred to “car crash.”

Most Car Crashes Have a Clear Cause

This reasoning, though, doesn’t really stand up today. The vast majority of car crashes are avoidable and have a clear cause. In most collisions, the cause is not the car itself. While some crashes can be linked back to defective auto parts or poor repairs, almost all crashes are caused by human error. Whether the human error is driving while impaired, turning in front of an oncoming vehicle, improperly estimating another vehicle’s speed, or failing to see a traffic light, all of these errors are avoidable. In these situations, to call a crash an “accident” is a misnomer.

The Term “Accident” Denies Cause

The term “accident” causes a substantial amount of pain for those who have lost loved ones to careless drivers. The term implies that nothing could have been done to change the outcome and that the collision was simply bad luck. But in most cases, this simply isn’t true. It’s not a matter of bad luck; it’s a matter of choice. People choose to drive while impaired. People choose to drive over the speed limit. People choose to chat while in the car, which causes them to miss a sign and not see that the speed limit has dropped. To honor those who have been hurt or killed in car crashes, we need to stop tossing the term “accident” around so lightly. We need to hold irresponsible or reckless drivers accountable.

Are There Any Accidents?

So, if accidents are unintentional or unavoidable, are there any car accidents? This all comes down to semantics, so there isn’t really one true answer. Some people still believe that accident is the right word to use for any car crash, even if avoidable human error is involved. The accident itself was unintentional, they claim, so the term is correct.

Others have started to eliminate the term “accident” from their vocabulary slowly. Some insurance companies, rather than referring to “accidents,” categorize collisions as unavoidable crashes or avoidable crashes. This emphasizes the fact that most crashes are avoidable and aren’t simply random events of chance.

However, no matter where you fall on the spectrum, you’ll likely find that there will always be some accidents. Obviously, crashes that occur because of mechanical error or malfunctioning components are unavoidable unless the driver knew about the issues ahead of time.

The same can even be said about crashes caused by human error. At what level of attentive driving do you stop considering a crash avoidable and start considering it unavoidable? Say someone swerves in front of you on the highway, leaving almost no room between the front of your car and the back of theirs. You panic and brake, but they brake harder and you hit the back of their car.

The insurance company blames you because you were the driver in back. In retrospect, you might think you should have switched lanes and avoided the crash entirely. But on your end, was the accident really unavoidable? Not unless you had perfect foresight and completely clear decision-making skills in times of crisis. And who really does?

What if you’re driving and checking the road for other cars, and you miss a sign that shows the speed limit has dropped? You continue driving 10 MPH over the speed limit, which causes an accident when you hit a patch of ice ahead. This was avoidable, but is it really fair to expect people to see every sign and adhere perfectly? No matter who you are talking about, no one is a perfect driver and to expect that is unfair and impractical.

In summary, to put it in simple terms, some car crashes are truly accidents. However, most of the time, these crashes are due to our own bad decisions. As language adapts and becomes more sensitive to the people who use it, perhaps we will see the word less and less often.

If you or someone close to you has been injured in a car accident, you could be entitled to significant compensation. Remember, however, that the insurance company’s goal is to pay out as little as possible, so they are not on your side when it comes to filing an accident injury claim. In order to ensure that you recover maximum compensation, it is best to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer about your case.

Rear End Collision

Should I Seek Medical Attention After a Rear-End Collision?

If another car hits you from behind and you’ve done nothing wrong, you could have a strong personal injury case. But, what if you don’t feel injured right after the crash? Not so fast. It would be a mistake to assume that everything is fine when experience shows that an accident like this can result in serious consequences.

Rear End Collisions are Incredibly Common

According to statistics from the Insurance Institute of America, rear-end collisions are the most common type of collision on this country’s roads. In 2015 alone, there were 2.1 million rear-end collisions in the U.S., which accounted for 33.4 percent of all accidents. This type of collision also accounted for nearly one-third (32.4%) of all injury crashes.

 

Rear-End Collisions are Exciting

Car crashes aren’t “exciting” in the sense that they’re fun, but instead they are traumatic and emotional events for most people. In many cases, a person who is injured unexpectedly or involved in a traumatic crash won’t have any idea that they’ve been hurt thanks to the chemicals coursing through their bodies.

This isn’t to say that you were on drugs, but rather that your body’s natural endorphins and adrenaline were supercharged by the accident. This can prevent you from feeling any pain or soreness until those chemicals subside.

Soft Tissue Injuries After a Car Crash

One of the most common dangers after a rear-end collision is injuries to the body’s soft tissue, which includes muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Even a low-speed rear-end collision can generate enough force to result in whiplash, which is the most common type of soft tissue injury from a car crash.

Whiplash refers to injury to the muscles in the neck after the head is forcefully and suddenly thrown forward and then back again. Any soft tissue injury can result in reduced mobility, swelling, and pain. Unfortunately, these don’t always show up immediately, with some taking days or even weeks to become noticeable.

Concussions Following a Rear-End Collision

Even though your brain is protected by a layer of fluid and your skull, it can still be injured after a jarring accident. Similar to what happens with whiplash, when the head is jolted, the brain can strike the inside of the skull and become injured.

This is referred to as a concussion, and it might not be immediately evident. Some of the common symptoms of a concussion include:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Blurry vision
  • Clouded thinking
  • Difficulty with memory
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Lack of energy

If you exhibit any of these signs after a rear-end collision, it’s possible that you’ve sustained a concussion and you should seek medical attention as quickly as possible.

Why You Should See a Doctor Immediately

Following a rear-end collision, you should see a doctor right away even if you don’t have significant discomfort and pain. A medical professional is in the best position to order the proper tests and determine whether you’ve sustained any serious injuries. They can also monitor your progress and let you know about other warning signs for a worsening condition.

When a rear-end collision happens, the person in front benefits from the presumption that the driver in the back was to blame. But even if you were the driver in front, you still have to prove that you suffered injuries resulting from the accident. If you do file a personal injury claim, having this medical documentation will be a vital part of your case. You’ll be able to show that you sought medical care within a reasonable period after the accident.

Avoid Compromising Your Auto Accident Case

If you’ve been involved in a rear-end collision, there is a long list of things you can do to protect your rights and ability to collect compensation from the responsible parties. This begins with seeking prompt medical care for your injuries.

While you are required to report any accidents to your own insurance company, it’s never a good idea to give anyone a recorded statement or sign a release until you discuss your case with an experienced personal injury attorney. Many insurance companies and their attorneys might try to get you to settle for much less than your case is worth.