Home > Index February 4, 2013
Within the last few days, there have been two bus accidents involving charter buses that injured numerous people. The first happened in Boston, Massachusetts, and involved a bus filled with high school students returning from an outing at Harvard. The bus driver allegedly got lost and was attempting to use his GPS when the bus crashed into a low-hanging overpass, injuring 35 people. The second accident happened a day a later and across the country in California. In that accident, a speeding charter bus hit a car, flipped over, and landed on a pickup truck. Eight people have been confirmed dead, and the total may rise to ten as the wreckage is cleared and additional victims are found. About 36 others were injured.
When you hire a charter bus for an excursion, you assume that the drivers are well-trained, the buses have been properly maintained, and that you will arrive at your destination and back home safely, without the hassle of driving yourself. Unfortunately this is not always the case. In the first accident the driver admitted he was lost and was paying attention to his GPS instead of watching the roads. As a result, he missed the signs warning of the low overpass and many people were injured. Investigators say the driver will most likely face charges in the accident and they will try to determine if he was driving longer than federal laws allow. If that is the case, he may be liable for the injuries his passengers sustained, and the company may be partially at fault if they scheduled him to drive longer than allowed.
It appears that speed was a major factor in the fatal California accident. Investigators are still trying to determine why the bus was going so fast. The driver, who survived the accident, said there was something wrong with the brakes, so that will definitely be considered. A brake issue could mean that the bus company may be partially responsible for the crash if the bus had not been maintained properly; or a product liability issue might make the manufacturer of the bus at least partially liable if there was a defect that caused the brakes to malfunction.
September 6, 2012
Keeping a farm requires hard work and long hours, and when the farm is family-owned, most of the family is involved. This means kids who are not even old enough to drive a car may be operating farm equipment such as tractors. While officials at the Department of Transportation think this is dangerous enough to be outlawed, those who farm for a living argue that it is an unavoidable fact of life. So in lieu of banning kids from operating farm machinery, researchers are working on ways to ensure kids are prepared before they get behind the wheel of a tractor.
The University of Iowa is working with the Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin on a study to determine how kids use information at different ages while operating tractors. Similar to the driving simulators used to safely teach teens how to drive cars without actually putting them behind the wheel, the study is using a tractor simulator to determine how kids react to certain situations that may occur when they are driving a tractor. Researchers plan to have 88 kids of different ages and 10 adults drive in the tractor simulator so they can compare how different age groups respond. Based on their findings, current guidelines regarding age limits on operating farm equipment may be revised.
Currently children as young as 12 are considered able to drive a tractor on their family farm, and 16-year-olds can drive them on public roads, according to the North American Guidelines for Children’s Agricultural Tasks. The university study may help confirm that these ages are high enough to keep children safe, or it may show that the age limits need to be increased. Statistics currently show that tractor accidents are the most common cause of death of children on farms, with about 24 children being killed by tractors each year.
July 7, 2012
In the latest installment of the Kentucky day-care van accident saga, a family has filed a lawsuit against the driver and the day-care owner on behalf of their four children who were injured in the crash. The children range in age from one to eight years old. One of the one-year-old twins suffered some of the most serious injuries, but the family’s attorney said, “She had some pretty significant injuries at first, but I think the prognosis is pretty good.”
The lawsuit claims the children were injured by the negligence of the driver of the van and the owner of the day-care center. Even though investigators think a blown tire may have contributed to the accident, the driver of the van may still be at least partially at fault. If it is determined that a mechanical malfunction was part of the reason for the accident and that the vehicle had not been properly maintained, the day-care owner may be partially responsible for the accident. It appears that there were more people in the vehicle than is legally allowed, so the owner may be held accountable for that as well. If investigators find the driver of the vehicle had prior safety violations that the owner was aware of and she was still allowed to drive a van full of children, that may also make the owner partly responsible.
What does the family stand to gain by filing this negligence lawsuit? They are asking for compensatory and punitive damages; the first most likely to compensate them for lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering, and the second as punishment for the individuals who allegedly caused injuries to the children. What they can recover if they win the case remains to be seen. The owner has shut down all of the day-care centers she owned and it appears that she owes money in loans, unpaid payroll, and vendor bills. There may be insurance money available, but the family’s attorney has had a hard time getting the information necessary to make any claims with insurance companies. He is hoping that this lawsuit will make documentation more accessible to him and his clients so that they can determine where claims need to be filed. During investigations like the one happening in this accident, officials are hesitant to share information. However, when a lawsuit is filed, requested documents must be produced unless they are deemed privileged.
June 13, 2012
In a scene out of every parent’s worst nightmare, a van carrying children from a day care center crashed on Tuesday, June 12, 2012 during the evening rush hour. Fourteen children ranging in age from five months to nine years old were in the van with two adults. The van accident occurred when the driver of the van swerved off the road and hit a tree on Algonquin Parkway near Wingfield Avenue. What caused the driver to swerve is still unknown. Unfortunately, what is known is that the van crash killed one adult, left the driver in critical condition, and injured all 14 kids aboard in varying degrees. All of the children were admitted to Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky and the adults were taken to University Hospital in Louisville. As of Wednesday morning, June 13, 2012, it appeared that four of the children had been released from the hospital, three were in the intensive care unit (ICU), and nine were still in the hospital on a regular floor. A spokeswoman for Kosair said the children in ICU were stable and the injuries of all the children ranged from bumps and bruises to head trauma and broken bones.
June 5, 2012
In response to higher gas prices, increased airline fees and the downturn of the economy, many have turned to public buses for transportation. This increase in bus riding has led to the creation of multiple curbside bus companies. These companies are called “curbside” because they pick up and drop off passengers right on the street instead of at a terminal. They offer very inexpensive fares, and tend to follow limited routes. Most of them traveled up and down the east coast along I-95.
Three Indiana bus companies were included in those that were shut down: Red Eagle Tours of Mishawaka and Eagle Bus Inc. and Sammy’s Tour Inc., both of Indianapolis. All three companies were part of a larger company called New Century Travel, Inc. in Philadelphia. None of the companies appear to have working websites to confirm where the Indiana companies’ bus routes were. The other companies involved were located in Georgia, Maryland, New York, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
The federal government had been investigating the companies for a year before forcing them to close. They are considered unsafe for both the passengers and the drivers around them. A 2011 government report stated these companies were seven times more likely to have a fatal bus accident than a traditional bus company. According to Ray LaHood, the U.S. Transportation Secretary, “By ignoring safety rules, these operators put both passengers and other motorists at serious safety risk, and shutting them down could save lives.” What were these companies doing that was so dangerous?
Many of the companies employed drivers that did not have valid commercial driver’s licenses, or they hired drivers that had been cited numerous times and even fired from other companies for poor driving records. Drivers were driving more than the number of hours allowed by the federal government. This restriction applies to all commercial drivers and requires them to take breaks and have time to sleep to avoid falling asleep at the wheel. The buses themselves were subpar, lacking in maintenance and inspections.
June 1, 2012
Unfortunately, it appears that motorcyclists are being involved in more accidents this year than in 2011, according to Kentucky State Police. About 40 more people have been involved in a motorcycle accident and six more have been killed in 2012 than in the same months of 2011. The latest tragic fatality to be added to this total occurred on May 30, 2012 on Fern Valley Road in Louisville, KY. A 23-year-old rider collided with a pickup truck while turning in the intersection. Fog and speed may have contributed to the accident. Even though he was wearing a helmet, he did not survive the crash. Charges were not filed and it does not appear that his family wants to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit at this time.
Not all of this year’s crashes have involved another vehicle. On May 27, 2012, a motorcycle ran off the road in Monticello, Kentucky and hit a house, killing both the driver and the passenger. The cause of the accident is still being investigated. Neither victim was wearing a helmet. While helmets do not always save lives, such as in the first accident mentioned above, they often do. On the same day as the Monticello accident, two people were riding a motorcycle near Frankfort, Kentucky on I-64. When the driver tried to get off the highway, he ran the motorcycle into the grass and hit some trees. While the driver and passenger were both thrown off the bike, the driver who was not wearing a helmet was unresponsive and had to be transported by helicopter to the UK Medical Center. On the other hand, the passenger, who was wearing a helmet, was conscious and suffered less serious injuries.
What has caused this dramatic increase in accidents? It may be due in part to the unusually warm weather that Kentucky residents have been enjoying since the first of the year. The warmer weather has allowed more riders to be out on their motorcycles earlier in the year. Some also believe higher gas prices have contributed to the larger volume of motorcycle riding since they use very little gas. Instead of being used just for pleasure riding, they are being used as commuter vehicles, increasing their time on the roadways.
May 29, 2012
In 2009, a New Jersey teen was texting with his girlfriend while driving home from work. His car crossed the center line and he crashed into two motorcyclists. The husband and wife he hit both lost part of a leg in the motorcycle accident. The teen has admitted he was distracted by his phone while he was driving and has pleaded guilty in his criminal case to using a cell phone improperly, failing to stay in his lane and careless driving. He is on probation and was required to talk to teens about the dangers of texting and driving. A civil case against him is still pending.
As cell phone use has increased, many states have created laws to prohibit using cell phones in certain ways while driving to prevent car accidents. Currently 38 states prohibit texting while driving, with an additional five states prohibiting new drivers from texting behind the wheel. In Kentucky, no drivers are allowed to text while driving, and if they do, it is a primary offense, which means a driver can be stopped by a police officer just for texting while driving. A Kentucky driver that is pulled over for texting while driving, which includes reading or sending messages, can be fined $25.00 plus court costs. A second offense will cost $50.00 plus court fees.
New Jersey currently has a law against texting and driving too, but the attorney representing the victims in the above accident tried to take it a step further. On behalf of his clients, the attorney filed a lawsuit against the teen’s girlfriend who had been texting him while he was driving. The attorney’s argument was that the girlfriend knew the teen was driving, so she knowingly distracted him with texting while he was behind the wheel, thereby helping to cause the car accident. The lawsuit attempted to charge her with aiding and abetting, which occurs when a person does not actually commit the crime, but is marginally involved. Because she started the text messaging exchange and she testified during a deposition that she may have known the teen driver was in the car at that time, she was partially at fault.
May 18, 2012
I-75 near Williamsburg, Kentucky was tied up for hours on Wednesday, May 16, 2012 when two accidents occurred within three miles of each other. The first truck accident was caused by one commercial truck rear-ending another semi at mile marker 1 in the southbound lanes. The truck driver that allegedly caused the accident was seriously injured and taken to a hospital in Tennessee by helicopter.
The second accident involved five vehicles including two semis, an RV with a trailer, a pickup truck and a van. Four of the five vehicles had slowed down due to the accident mentioned above. However the fifth vehicle, one of the tractor-trailers, did not stop and crashed into the pickup truck. This set off a chain reaction, resulting in the RV and one semi catching fire. One person was killed in this accident and three more were injured, including two who were taken to the University of Tennessee Hospital by helicopter.
Several factors will be involved in figuring out who was responsible for what in these accidents, particularly the second one. Because multiple vehicles were involved, investigators will need to determine who caused which part of the accident. Currently it appears that the second semi caused all of the damage in the second crash because news reports state that it hit all of the other vehicles involved. However, police and investigator reports will have to be reviewed before a final conclusion can be made. If more than one driver was at fault, separate claims or lawsuits may need to be filed against multiple drivers and their insurance carriers.
In both crashes, commercial trucks were involved, which means the companies that employed the drivers could be liable for part of the damages as well. If a truck was not properly maintained by the company and there was a mechanical malfunction, it may have contributed to the crash. Inexperienced drivers or drivers who have been driving longer than allowed by the law may cause truck accidents in which the company could be partially responsible. An inexperienced driver may not have learned how to respond in a situation involving slowed or stopped traffic. A driver who has not had enough sleep or had a break from driving may be drowsy and not able to react as quickly as necessary. The weight of the load being hauled by the truck could be a factor as well. Loads that are over the weight limit can make a truck harder to stop in an emergency situation.
April 4, 2012
A tragic car accident took the life of a 13-year-old Kentucky girl in March 2010. She was walking along a road near Philpot, Kentucky around dinner time. An SUV hit her from behind and she sustained critical injuries. The story would be bad enough if it ended there, but it gets worse.
The man who hit her fled the scene, making the crash a hit-and-run accident. He proceeded to wash his car and even created a one-car accident with it two days later to cover up the evidence. So not only did he not stay to help the child that he hit, he also tried to pretend that he was not at fault by tampering with the evidence.
The victim unfortunately died four days later at Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky. Would she have survived if the man who hit her stopped to help instead of running away to hide his guilt? No one will ever know. What is known is that the driver was charged with three class D felonies, reckless homicide, leaving the scene of an injury accident, and tampering with evidence. After being found guilty on all charges by a jury, on March 27, 2012, he was sentenced to five years in prison for each count, making a total of 15 years that he should remain behind bars. Throughout the entire process, the driver never took responsibility for his actions or showed any remorse.
For the family of the victim, it is at least fortunate that the guilty driver was found and justice was done. It is often difficult to locate the driver who caused a hit-and-run accident. How they proceed next is up to them, but if they have filed, or decide to file, a wrongful death lawsuit, they would most likely be awarded financial damages. This money would never replace the child they lost, nor is it meant to, but it may provide assistance in paying the medical bills and funeral costs they incurred. It may also help them to support any surviving children they may have and give them peace of mind financially so they can grieve and hopefully heal.
January 24, 2012
Most people are aware of the event data recorder devices, or “black boxes,” that are found in airplanes. They frequently provide clues to what may have gone wrong in a plane crash. However, many people do not know that this type of device is also found on many automobiles, particularly those manufactured more recently. These black boxes are constantly processing information regarding the operation of the vehicles the entire time they are running. If an airbag deploys, the information 15 seconds prior to deployment is saved.
This 15-second snippet of information can be very helpful in determining what happened just before and at the time of a car accident. The data recorded includes the rate of speed, whether the accelerator or brake was being applied, the steering direction, and if the seatbelts were in use. Because these data recording devices were originally installed in vehicles as a way for manufacturers to track their performance and diagnose any issues, some manufacturers claim they own the recorded data. However, the data can often be obtained through legal channels to be interpreted by a qualified forensic accident reconstructionist.
This type of information was used in a Louisville, Kentucky wrongful death case that stemmed from a car accident in 2011. Bryan Lee was test-driving a new Dodge Challenger when he ran into a Mercury Sable, killing both passengers on impact. After the accident, Mr. Lee stated that he was only going 60 mph in the 45 mph zone. However, data from the black box showed that the car had reached 102 mph just before the accident and hit the victims’ car at 86 mph.
Another recent case involved Lt. Governor Timothy Murray from Massachusetts. After totaling a government-owned vehicle at 5 a.m. in November, he passed a sobriety test and the police concluded the accident was caused by ice on the roads. When people continued to question him about the accident, Mr. Murray had the data pulled from the black box. Not only did it show that he was driving 10 miles over the speed limit initially, but it also showed that he pushed the accelerator and was traveling 106 mph when the accident occurred. Mr. Murray then changed his story and said he must have fallen asleep at the wheel. He was charged with speeding and not wearing a seat belt, another fact that the black box brought to light.
December 14, 2011
In December 2010, a new regulation was proposed that would limit the amount of time truck drivers can operate their vehicles to 10 hours. Currently the limit is 11 hours. While some safety groups, such as Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, favor the new regulation, other groups are questioning its usefulness or challenging it.
Advocates of the 10-hour limit believe it will reduce the number of truck accidents and fatalities. They say the roads will be safer because fewer truck drivers will fall asleep behind the wheel, and large amounts of money will be saved in medical costs and other accident-related expenses. Currently the trucking industry has the highest number of job-related deaths than any other profession. In 2009, truck accidents caused 3,380 deaths, down from 4,425 in 2008. Anne Ferro of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says about 50 truck accident deaths could be avoided each year if the 10-hour limit is imposed.
A man who lost his wife and had his two sons seriously injured in a truck accident last year supports the new regulation. The driver of a truck pulling three trailers fell asleep at the wheel and hit the car the family was traveling in on I-90 in Ohio. The father feels the accident could have been prevented if the driver had not been so fatigued. Unfortunately, according the trucking company’s records, the driver had been driving for less than 10 hours when the accident occurred, so the proposed regulation would not have stopped this accident and wrongful death from happening.
The ones most adverse to this change obviously are the trucking companies. They estimate a $1 billion loss in productivity if the new regulation is passed. Many companies are requesting exemptions from the rule before it is even accepted based on their individual situations. The National Ready Mixed Concrete Association is requesting exemption for two reasons. They state the regulation shouldn’t apply to their drivers because they are not actually driving the whole time they are working. Typically cement truck drivers do not go further than 20 miles from the plant and they spend a large amount of time at the plant or the job site, which gets them out from behind the wheel for a significant portion of the work day. Also, once the concrete is mixed in the truck, it has to be used or it will start to set, making it impractical for a driver to call it a day after 10 hours if there is still cement left in the truck.
October 28, 2011
On Thursday evening, October 27, 2011, seven people were killed and four more were injured when a semi rear-ended a minivan. The accident occurred on the Indiana Toll Road near Bristol, Indiana. Based on witness reports, the minivan hit a deer and slowed down or stopped on the road. The semi came from behind and rear-ended the minivan. Investigators think the truck was going about 65 mph when it hit. The seven fatalities were all passengers in the minivan. The truck driver was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The other three survivors remain hospitalized in critical or stable condition. Two of the victims were children, one of whom was an infant. It appears that all of the passengers in the minivan were related.
Many factors could have contributed to the high fatality rate of this accident. The most obvious is that none of the minivan passengers were wearing seatbelts. This may have been a result of having more passengers in the vehicle than it was designed to carry. There should never be more people in a car than there are seatbelts. Unfortunately, even the infant was not properly restrained in his or her car seat. Another cause was the minivan slowing or stopping on the road instead of moving to the berm. While relocating the vehicle may not have been possible in this situation if it was severely damaged from hitting a deer, it is important to remove the vehicle from the roadway if it is drivable to avoid additional collisions.
According to the Associated Press, the truck driver did not appear to be intoxicated. Throughout the investigation, several other issues will most likely be addressed. An impairment that is common in long-distance truck drivers is lack of sleep. Operating a vehicle without enough sleep can be just as dangerous as driving after drinking. Whether the truck driver was distracted or not also could have played a part in the accident. In Kentucky in 2010, 11 people were killed when a semi driver crossed the median and ran into a van. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) concluded the semi driver was using his cell phone at the time of the accident. Currently, it is illegal in Kentucky to be texting while driving, and banning the use of cell phones by commercial drivers is being considered as a result of this accident.
May 20, 2009
Kentucky State Police will be holding Motorcycle Awareness Day on Thursday, May 21. The day is intended to promote motorcycle safety throughout the state and will be marked by a full day of activities, including a “Cruise for Awareness” ride involving over 200 motorcycles escorted by Lexington Police and KSP through Frankfort. This event is just one of many activities taking place throughout the US this month, dubbed Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.
Federal, state, and local transportation safety officials want to remind both motor vehicle drivers and motorcyclists that they share the roads with each other. This means motorcycle riders, car drivers, bus drivers, and truckers must all do their part to prevent US motorcycle accidents from happening.
According to Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rod Brewer, the KSP wants to decrease the number of Kentucky motorcycle fatalities that occur each year.
2008 Kentucky Motorcycle Accident Statistics:
• There were 2,109 Kentucky motorcycle crashes last year.
• 102 of these accidents resulted in fatalities.
• 64 of the Kentucky motorcyclists involved in these accidents were not using motorcycle helmets.
• 40 of last year’s Kentucky motorcycle collisions involved passenger vehicles.
• 108,602 Kentucky motorcycles were registered in the state.
Motorcycle accidents can be catastrophic for a rider, who only has his or her protective clothing and gear to serve as a buffer from the impact of colliding with a car, a bus, a large truck, a wall, or another nonmoving object. Spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and internal injuries result all too often from motorcycle crashes.
Earlier this month, a rider died in a Kentucky motorcycle crash when his bike was in a traffic crash with a white box truck in Prospect. Police say that the motorcyclist was making a right turn onto Timber Ridge when the deadly collision happened. The rider ended up under the truck and was pronounced dead at the accident site.
If you or your loved one was seriously hurt in a Kentucky motorcycle accident that was caused by a careless driver or another negligent party, you may have grounds for filing a Kentucky personal injury lawsuit.
KSP Announces Motorcycle Awareness Day, WOWK, May 14, 2009
Man killed in motorcycle crash, WAVE, May 8, 2009
Related Web Resources:
Kentucky State Police
Motorcycle Safety Awareness, NHTSA
May 13, 2009
French is accused of crossing the center line of a road on December 3, 2008 and hitting head-on the vehicle that Jason Isaacs was riding in. The 71-year-old motorist was indicted for driving under the influence (with a BAC of over .18%) and murder for his alleged role in causing the deadly Kentucky car accident. His arraignment is scheduled for Friday. If convicted of these charges, he could end up serving a life prison sentence.
Now, Sandra Marie Isaacs wants the court to let her amend her Kentucky wrongful death complaint to include claims made for her two children with Jason Isaacs. She wants to claim loss of parental consortium for her 9-year-old son and 14-year-old daughter.
Sandra Isaacs is seeking compensatory damages plus interest for funeral costs, medical bills, loss of spousal consortium, and loss of future income and earning capacity. She is also seeking punitive damages.
Loss of Parental Consortium
In Kentucky, a claim seeking compensation for loss of parental consortium can be filed for the time that a child loses with his or her mother or father because of the parent’s death. This claim is limited to the period between the parent’s death and when the child turns 18.
The death of a parent is never easy. Losing one’s mother or father in a tragic car accident when one is very young can scar a person for life. While no amount of money can bring a parent back or make up for time that is lost, there are ways to hold the liable party responsible for your child’s loss.
Hearing set to amend DUI death lawsuit, Richmond Register, May 4, 2009
Related Web Resources:
Kentucky Revised Statutes, Kentucky Legislature
Car Accidents Overview, Justia
May 8, 2009
Louisville Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed by Parents of Two Girls Killed in Kentucky Hit and Run Accident
In Jefferson Circuit Court, the respective parents of Claudia Wadlington, 5, and the Riley Lawrence, 4, have filed a Kentucky wrongful death lawsuit for the girls’ hit-and-run deaths. The two girls were killed in Louisville on July 25, 2008 as they were walking to swim class. They were holding hands with Claudia’s mom, Angela, as they crossed Floyd Street when a Pontiac Grand Am hit them. The driver of the car, Kenielle Finch, also hit Louisville Metro Police who attempted to apprehend him following the deadly hit and run accident.
Named as defendants in the Kentucky pedestrian accident complaint are Kenielle Finch, who was charged with their murders (in addition to 12 other related charges) and Keynisha Butler, who lent Finch the car that hit the girls. Finch entered a not guilty plea to the criminal charges and will stand trial.
The families’ Louisville wrongful death lawsuit seeks to recover hospital expenses, burial costs, and other accident-related expenses, including Angela’s hospital expenses for her injuries, as well as punitive damages from both men.
Reasons Why Motorists Hit and Run
Not only is it considered negligent conduct to cause an auto accident, but so is leaving an auto accident site after causing a motor vehicle crash—especially if someone was seriously injured. Staying at a crash site to provide assistance and contact emergency medics to let them know that someone has been hurt can determine whether an auto accident victim lives or dies.
Some reasons why people hit and run:
• Driving drunk or under the influence of drugs.
• Driving without a license or proper insurance or documentation.
• Driving a stolen vehicle.
• The driver may have just committed a crime.
• The driver is scared of the legal consequences.
If you were seriously hurt in Kentucky hit and run accident and the driver has not been apprehended, an experienced Louisville car accident law firm can help you pursue your uninsured motorist claim and make sure that you receive a settlement from your insurer that takes as much of your accident-related expenses and recovery costs into consideration. If the driver has been apprehended, then your Kentucky personal injury lawyer can push to recover from the negligent party.
Slain girls’ parents sue accused hit-and-run driver, Courier-Journal, May 5, 2009
Kenielle Finch indicted, charged with murder after alleged hit and run, Newsnet14, September 1, 2008
Related Web Resources:
Hit And Run Drivers Kill Nearly 1500 People Annually With Pedestrians At Greatest Risk, According To AAA Foundation Analysis, AAA, May 17, 2004
April 28, 2009
Lexington Teen Driving Accident: One Kentucky High School Student Dies and Three Others Are Seriously Injured
At Bryan Station High School, students are anxiously waiting to find out the condition of three of their classmates who were seriously injured in a Lexington motor vehicle crash on Monday night. One of their other classmates, 15-year-old Nathaniel Lee Stuckey, died in the collision on Russell Cave Road on Monday night.
The driver of the car, Nicoli Petitfrere, 17, and passenger Jasmine Marks, 16, are still in critical condition, while Kierra Fulz, 17, is in fair condition. According to Lexington police, speed may have been a factor, with the teenagers’ car going faster than the 55 mph speed limit.
The Kentucky teen driving accident took place around 7pm when Petitfrere lost control of the white Toyota Camry and drove off the narrow two-lane road, striking a rock wall and hitting a tree head-on. Three of the Kentucky car crash victims had to be extricated from the Toyota. Stuckey, who was sitting in the front-passenger seat of the car was pronounced dead at the crash site.
Dangers of Speeding
• Speeding is a contributing factor in over 30% of deadly US traffic accidents.
• It occurs on freeways and on local streets.
• You can be speeding even if you are abiding by the posted legal limit if the weather conditions warrant that you drive slower.
Speeding Facts by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
• Speeding played a role in than 13,000 motor vehicle fatalities in 2007.
• 88% of traffic fatalities where speeding was involved took place on Interstate highways.
• 24% of speeding-related deaths occurred on roads with speed limits posted at 35 mph or lower.
If you were seriously injured in a Kentucky car crash, retaining the services of an experienced Lexington car accident lawyer can make obtaining your financial recovery a lot easier. Your Kentucky personal injury team can work with accident reconstructions and other accident experts who can help determine whether speed or another factor was the cause of your deadly Lexington auto accident.
Students grieve after crash kills, injures Bryan Station classmates, Kentucky.com, April 28, 2009
Related Web Resources:
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
April 20, 2009
Kentucky Brain Injury Law Firm: 16-Month-Old Girl Dies from TBI Caused by Jefferson County Multi-Vehicle Collision
A Kentucky multi-vehicle collision in Jefferson County has claimed the life of a 16-month-old girl. Daphnie Mangrum was pronounced dead from a traumatic brain injury at a local hospital on Saturday. Mangrum’s mother and two siblings were also injured in the catastrophic Kentucky car crash, which occurred on the Dixie Highway on Thursday afternoon. The three of them are expected to recover.
According to Louisville Metro Police, at about 4:48pm, a Mazda drifted into the center lane, hitting a Dodge Caliber, which then struck a Chevy Lumina before hitting a Dodge Ram truck. Daphnie and her family members were riding in the Lumina. The children in the car were reportedly not properly restrained. The driver of the Mazda and the Lumina were transported to hospitals. West Point resident Janet Crowell, who was driving the Dodge Caliber, was pronounced dead at the crash site.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
• Motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of TBI’s, followed by fall accidents and athletic injuries.
• Every 15 seconds, someone sustains a TBI.
• TBI’s occur when there has been a jolt or blow or a penetrating injury to the head.
• 1.4 million people sustain TBI’s each year.
• 50,000 people die from TBI’s annually.
• About 2,685 kids, ages 14 and under, die from TBI’s each year.
While traumatic brain injuries can range from mild (approximately 75% of TBIs are mild TBI’s) to severe to fatal, there are those who do survive and continue to live with catastrophic TBI’s that require them to receive long-term, specialized care. A TBI can affect one’s senses, memory, and the abilities to communicate, comprehend, and reason, as well as result in personality changes, depression, and changes in behavior.
Living with a serious TBI can be costly and life changing. Losing someone you love because they sustained a fatal TBI can be incredibly traumatic.
16-month-old dies from injury in Dixie Highway crash, Courier-Journal, April 18, 2009
Related Web Resources:
Brain Injury Association of America
Brain Injuries Overview, Justia
April 15, 2009
Louisville Personal Injury Law Firm: Grand Jury Indicts Kentucky Teenager for Motor Vehicle Deaths of Four Other Teens
In Kentucky, a Jefferson County grand jury has charged Herbert Lee III with four counts of murder for a deadly Louisville auto accident that killed four teenagers. Lee was 16 at the time of the crash.
Injured in the catastrophic Kentucky auto collision on December 18 were 15-year-old Arron Shields, 16-year-old twins Demar and Jemar Claybrooks, and their 14-year-old brother Marc Claybrooks. All of them were riding in the stolen motor vehicle that Lee was driving.
Police spotted the stolen auto and tried to make Lee pull over. The teenager reportedly refused, resulting in a short police chase and then the fatal accident.
NHTSA Teen Driver Facts
• Motor vehicle accidents is the number one cause of teen driver deaths.
• 6,982 young drivers, ages 15 to 20, were involved in deadly auto accidents in 2007.
• 3,174 teen drivers died.
• 252,000 others were injured.
CDC Teen Driving Facts
• Having other teenagers in the car with a teen driver increases the chances of deadly auto accident occurring.
• Teens with new driver’s licenses are a crash risk for the first year that they are allowed to drive.
• Teens lack the experience that older drivers have of assessing potentially dangerous situations on the road.
• Teens are more likely to speed or engage in distracted driving than their adult counterparts.
If someone you love was seriously injured or killed in a Louisville auto crash, you should speak with an experienced Kentucky injury attorney to determine if you have grounds for filing a personal injury claim or a wrongful death lawsuit. Suing for personal injury won’t bring back the person you love, but it can provide you with some comfort to know that the negligent party has been held liable.
Grand jury indicts Ky. teen in quadruple fatal, Kentucky.com, April 15, 2009
Related Web Resources:
Teen Drivers, Insurance Information Institute
April 8, 2009
The Kentucky’s Office of Highway Safety says the number of highway motor vehicle deaths occurring in the state appears to be decreasing. According to early figures, there were 158 Kentucky traffic deaths in 2009 through March 31—21 less fatalities than for the same time period in 2008. Kentucky Transportation Secretary Joe Prather says that 81 of the 158 traffic victims that died this year were not using seat belts.
The state also experienced its lowest number of Kentucky motor vehicle deaths last year with 823 fatalities. This decline reflects the overall decrease in motor vehicle deaths on a national level.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 37,313 people died in US traffic accidents in 2008. This is the lowest number of US motor vehicle deaths to occur in a year since 1961. The report notes that states that have weaker seat belt laws tend to have higher death tolls.
Prather says that Kentucky will take aggressive action during next month’s “Click It or Ticket” Campaign. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that seat belts can decrease the number of front-seat occupant traffic deaths by 45% and by 50% for traffic deaths involving occupants of SUV’s, pickup trucks, and minivans.
Common Causes of Car Crashes:
• Driver negligence
• Distracted driving
• Drunk driving
• Driver exhaustion
• Defective auto or auto parts
• Cell phone use while driving
• Text messaging
If you have been injured in a Kentucky car collision, an experienced Louisville car crash lawyer can help you investigate your case and pursue your claim in a manner that allows you to obtain the maximum recovery possible.
Kentucky highway fatalities declining in 2009, Examiner.com, April 7, 2009
Related Web Resources:
Seat Belt Use in 2008, NHTSA (PDF)
March 27, 2009
In Johnson County, the father of one of three men who was killed in a Kentucky truck accident involving a Pepsi delivery truck is suing the cola maker and the truck driver for his wrongful death. Eddie Lee Patrick Sr. is seeking unspecified damages from Pepsi Bottling Group Inc. and trucker Rick Brown. The deadly Kentucky truck accident occurred last month when the pick up truck that 21-year-old William Anthony Patrick and two other men were riding were involved in a motor vehicle crash with the truck on US 460.
Also killed in the truck crash were 19-year-old Daniel Pennington and 21-year-old Dustin Lee Rodriguez, 21, who was thrown from the vehicle. Both Patrick and Pennington were burned so badly that they had to be identified using dental records.
Patrick’s Kentucky wrongful death lawsuit accuses Brown of driving the Pepsi truck in a reckless and negligent manner, which caused it to cross over the center line and hit the pickup truck. The truck driver, who also sustained serious injuries in the traffic crash, claims it was the pickup truck that drove into his lane. Also according to the complaint, William Anthony Patrick and Pennington very likely experienced severe suffering prior to their deaths and the younger Patrick might have survived the Kentucky auto accident if the pickup truck didn’t catch fire.
2007 NHTSA Large Truck Accident Facts
• 413,000 large trucks weighing over 10,000 pounds were involved in US traffic crashes.
• These large vehicles made up 8% of the motor vehicles involved in deadly accidents.
• They made up 4% of vehicles involved in motor vehicle crashes resulting in property damage or personal injury.
• 4,808 died in large truck accidents.
• 101,000 others were injured.
• Of the 1,188 deadly Kentucky motor vehicle accidents that occurred that year, 103 of them involved large trucks.
Father Files Lawsuit After Son’s Deadly Crash, WKYT.com, March 12, 2009
Related Web Resources:
Truck Accident Laws, Justia
February 25, 2009
Kentucky Car Accident Lawyer: State Police Reports at Least 87 Auto Accidents Deaths So Far for 2009
The Kentucky State Police is reporting that through February 22, there had been 87 fatalities on state roads for 2009. 82 of these deaths occurred as a result of motor vehicle accidents. 46 of the victims that died were not using seat belts, while alcohol is suspected to have been a contributing factor in 23 of the fatalities.
The state police also said that on Kentucky roads last week, there were seven motor vehicle fatalities. Four of the people who died were not using seat belts and alcohol is a suspected contributing factor in three of these Kentucky auto accidents.
If you or someone you love was seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident accident, you may be entitled to file a Kentucky personal injury claim or lawsuit against all negligent parties. Whatever you do, do NOT settle with the negligent party’s insurer without contacting an experienced Louisville car accident lawyer first.
Reckless or negligent driving can be grounds for a civil lawsuit against a liable party. Drunk driving is one form of reckless driving that can result in serious injuries and deaths.
Here are a couple 2007 facts provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about drunk driving:
• 12,998 people died in US drunk driving accidents.
• 1 drunk driving death occurs in the US every 40 minutes.
Drunk driving can impair the driver’s senses, perception, reflexes, and ability to process information, which can make it hard for the motorist to pay attention, stop the vehicle when necessary, notice that he or she is driving at excessively high or slow speeds, obey street and traffic signs, and assess how much distance there is between his or her car and other motor vehicles.
Too many lives are destroyed in Kentucky drunk driving accidents.
KSP Releases Accident Statistics From Last Week, WBKO, February 23, 2009
Alcohol-Impaired Driving, NHTSA
Related Web Resources:
Mothers Against Drunk Driving
February 3, 2009
This year, the National Safety Council wants all US states and Washington DC to impose a total ban that would make it illegal for all drivers to use cell phones when operating their motor vehicles. The NSC says drivers who talk or text message on cell phones increase their chances of getting involved in a motor vehicle crash by four times. The NSC says cell phone use is a form of distracted driving, which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports is the cause of 80% of US traffic accidents.
According to the Harvard Center of Risk Analysis:
• 636,000 US motor vehicle crashes a year involve a driver who was using a cell phone.
• These accidents make up 6% of all US auto crashes, resulting in 330,000 injuries and 2,600 fatalities.
• Over 100 million people drive and use cell phones at the same time.
A number of US states have a partial ban on certain kinds of cell phone use. For example, Kentucky completely bars school bus drivers from using cell phones while driving. The state also has legislation under consideration that would ban drivers from using handheld devices.
The NSC, however, wants all states to bar drivers from using even hands-free phones.
A study by University of Utah researchers shows that just because a driver isn’t using his or her hands to hold or operate a cell phone while driving doesn’t make it safer to operate a motor vehicle. Talking on any kind of cell phone while driving reportedly places a motorist’s concentration elsewhere rather than on the road.
Distracted driving is one of the reasons why so many US motor vehicle accidents happen. It can also be grounds for a Kentucky personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit if someone gets hurt or dies as a result. If you or someone you love was seriously hurt in a Kentucky motor vehicle crash, an experienced Louisville auto accident attorney can help you prove negligence so that you can recover the maximum compensation that you are owed.
Related Web Resources:
Cell Phone Driving Laws, Governors Highway Safety Association
January 23, 2009
Kentucky Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney: 16% of State’s Drivers Don’t Have Auto Insurance Because of Poor Economy
According to a new report, when it comes to feeding the family or paying for auto insurance in this bad economic client, many people will opt to forego insurance in order to pay for food—even though driving without insurance is considered illegal. The Insurance Research Council says that in Kentucky, 16% of drivers now do not have auto insurance. This ranks the state #9, along with Ohio and Washington, among the US states with the highest number of uninsured drivers.
Not paying for insurance in an attempt to save money in the short run, however, can prove counterproductive if the uninsured driver is involved in a Kentucky auto accident and is found liable. The Kentucky State Police say there were 97,000 accidents involving property damages and 26,000 injury crashes that occurred on state highways in 2007.
The Insurance Research Council says that one out of every six US drivers might be operating their vehicles without auto insurance by 2010. If a driver were responsible for causing another motorist or a pedestrian to sustain critical injuries, a lack of auto insurance coverage could cause the responsible party and his or her family to lose their home, their life savings, and/or their financial security.
Kentucky Auto Accidents Involving Uninsured Motorists
If you or someone love was seriously injured in a traffic crash involving an underinsured or uninsured Kentucky driver, there are steps you can take to get the compensation you need. For example, an experienced Kentucky car crash attorney can try to pursue compensation from your insurance company or explore whether compensation can be obtained from the liable motorist’s personal or business assets.
Related Web Resource:
Insurance Research Council
January 7, 2009
Kentucky Auto Accident Lawyer: New Bill Proposes Vehicular Assault Charge Against Drivers Responsible for Injuring or Killing Bicyclists or Pedestrians in Traffic Accidents
A proposed bill up for consideration in front of the Kentucky Legislature this year provides additional protections for local pedestrians and bicyclists. Sponsored by Representative Jim Wayne, the bill imposes additional charges on drivers responsible for causing Kentucky bicycle and pedestrian accidents.
According to Representative Wayne, current Kentucky statute favors motorists, which makes it very hard police to press criminal charges when a bicyclist or pedestrian is injured or killed in a traffic crash. Police officers cannot issue a traffic violation when someone hits a bicyclist unless hit and run or drunk driving was a factor.
The bill was spurred by a number of high profile Louisville bicycle deaths, including the July 2007 death of George Cronen Jr. The bicyclist was hit by a van on the Clark Memorial Bridge. Bicycling for Louisville Executive Director Barry Zalph says that in Louisville alone, about 2-3 bicyclists and 20 pedestrians are killed in motor vehicle crashes every year. 30% of Kentucky bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities occur in Louisville.
Common Causes of Kentucky Bicycle and Pedestrian Accidents:
• Driver negligence
• Drunk driving
• Product defects
• Pedestrian or bicyclist negligence
The new bill proposes adding the charge of vehicular assault, which would allow Kentucky police officers to file charges against a driver for reckless or negligent driving regardless of whether/not the cop actually witnessed the auto accident. Vehicular assault charges could also be filed against negligent bicyclists.
Kentucky Bicycle and Pedestrian Accident Claims and Lawsuits
In addition to criminal charges filed against a motorist for injuring or killing a Kentucky pedestrian or pedalcyclist, the injury victim or his or her family can also pursue personal injury or wrongful death compensation from the liable party.
Bill proposed to protect cyclists and pedestrians, WAVE 3, January 4, 2008
Bicyclists want tougher law, Courier-Journal.com, December 11, 2008
Related Web Resources:
How Not to Get Hit By Cars, BicycleSafe.com
December 16, 2008
In Frankfort, Kentucky, an 8-year-old boy suffered injuries yesterday morning after he was hit by a car on Frankfort Road. Fire department workers had to rescue the boy, who became trapped under the 1997 Honda, driven by Danny L Givens.
The boy was walking to the bus stop when the Kentucky pedestrian accident happened. He is receiving treatment at a Lexington hospital.
2007 Pedestrian Facts (NHTSA):
• 4,654 pedestrians died in US traffic accidents.
• That’s 1 pedestrian that died every 113 minutes.
• 70,000 pedestrians were injured.
• 14,000 of the injury victims were younger than 15.
• 8,000 of these victims were boys.
• 93 of the pedestrians that died last year were between the ages of 5 and 9.
• 36% of young pedestrian fatalities (under age 16) took place in the afternoon, between 3pm – 7pm.
• 44 people were killed in Kentucky pedestrian accidents in 2007.
• Auto crashes are the number one cause of death for kids between the ages of 3 and 14.
Some of the reasons why younger pedestrians are at risk of getting injured or killed in a Kentucky motor vehicle crash:
• Their ability to determine how fast a car is going and whether it is safe to cross the street is not always accurate.
• Drivers may not see child pedestrians because of their smaller size.
• A child pedestrian may wrongly assume that the driver is going to yield the right of way.
• A child pedestrians may not fully understand traffic signs or know how to safely cross the street.
Children injured in Kentucky pedestrian accidents are prone to serious injuries, including spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, severed limbs, internal injuries, and death.
Boy, 8, struck by car, Kentucky.com, December 15, 2008
Related Web Resources:
Injury Center, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Walk This Way, Safe Kids
December 9, 2008
A Louisville dentist is pleading not guilty to charges of leaving an accident and reckless homicide following a deadly hit and run auto accident on Friday. Dr. Michael B. Mathis claims that he did not know he hit his ex-girlfriend until he got home.
According to his criminal defense attorney, Mathis’s ex-girlfriend Pamela Fay “attacked” his client at the Clark County Casting and Conservation Club on Friday. Mathis then tried to leave a parking lot in his pickup truck but she attempted to block his vehicle.
One witness says that Fay continued pounding on the truck hood as Mathis tried to drive around her. Fay, who was conscious after the auto accident, told police that Mathis struck her with his vehicle. She later died from internal injuries.
While Mathis says he never intended to “hit and run,” the local prosecutor says investigators are looking into whether the Louisville dentist purposely left the accident site. If evidence surfaces to show that the Kentucky dentist intentionally struck Fay with his car, more serious criminal charges could be filed against him.
Hit and Run Accidents
• According to AAA Foundation for Safety in 2006, 11% of all auto crashes reported to police in the US involved a hit and run accident.
• 60% of hit and run fatalities are pedestrians.
• Between 1994 and 2003, 14,914 people died in hit and run crashes in the US.
Leaving a crash scene is against the law and considered negligent behavior—especially when someone is injured or killed in an auto collision—and could be grounds for a Kentucky personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. Motorists involved in traffic crashes are supposed to stop at the crash site and exchange contact information, as well as take reasonable action to help anyone who is injured.
Police seek information on fatal hit-and-run, Courier-Journal.com, November 25, 2008
Louisville dentist charged in death of southern Indiana woman, December 6, 2008
Related Web Resources:
Car Accidents Overview, Justia
August 20, 2008
Danville Motorcyclist Dies in Kentucky Motor Vehicle Crash Collision on US 27 Near the Jessamine-Garrard County Line
On US 27 close to the Jessamine-Garrard County Line, motorcyclist David Ballard died on Monday morning after being struck by a car. Kentucky State Police say that Danville resident Rita Pradhan, 24, lost control of her vehicle before striking the oncoming motorcyclist. Her car then spun around before striking the vehicle following her.
Ballard, a 52-year-old Danville resident, was declared dead at the accident scene. Prior to his death, there were 57 reported motorcycle fatalities in Kentucky so far this year.
Motorcyclists are prone to serious injuries whenever they are involved in traffic collisions. Even when a motorcyclist does wear a helmet and protective clothing, he or she does not have a great deal of protection to act as a buffer from the impact of colliding with a car, bus, or 18-wheeler truck.
Many motorcycle accidents can result in catastrophic if not fatal injuries that may include road burn injuries, broken bones, severed limbs, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain injuries. The medical and recovery costs can be very expensive.
Unfortunately, many people attribute motorcycle accidents to the “recklessness” of the motorcyclist. It is important, if you are a motorcyclist who was injured in a traffic accident caused by another driver’s negligence in Kentucky, that you speak with an experienced Louisville motorcycle crash law firm that can inform you of your legal rights and advocate for your right to financial recovery.
According to the “Hurt” Report:
• About 75% of motorcycle collisions involve another motor vehicle.
• 2/3rds of all motorcycle accidents involving multiple vehicles resulted in a driver violating the motorcyclist’s right of way.
• Defective roadways is the cause of about 2% of all motorcycle crashes.
Garrard Co. Accident Victim Identified, Action News 36, August 19, 2008
The “Hurt” Report (PDF)
Related Web Resources:
Kentucky Motorcycle Laws, DMV.Org
August 10, 2008
According to preliminary statistics, 16 people died in 12 motor vehicle accidents in the Kentucky Counties of Breckinridge, Henry, Calloway, Hopkins, Leslie, Jefferson, Marshall, and Logan from July 21 to 27, 2008. 11 of the deaths involved motor vehicles, 2 of the fatalities were child pedestrians, and 3 of the deaths involved motorcycles. The death toll for that week increased the number of total motor vehicle deaths on Kentucky roads this year to 422 fatalities (327 car crash victims, 47 motorcyclists, 35 pedestrians, and 11 ATV victims), with more traffic-related deaths and injuries happening since then.
If you or someone you love was seriously injured in a car crash, a motorcycle accident, a truck accident, a bus collision, a pedestrian accident, or a bicycle crash, it is important that you speak with an experienced Kentucky motor vehicle crash lawyer before trying to negotiate a settlement agreement with the liable party’s insurance company. An experienced Louisville car crash law firm will know how to investigate your case to determine causation and liability. Your motor vehicle crash lawyer can work with experienced accident reconstructionists who can examine the crash scene and investigate all evidence.
Another reason it is important that you do not try to settle an injury case on your own is that you or your loved one may not be able to determine the extent (and costs) of the medical and recovery care you may require. A good Kentucky motor vehicle crash lawyer can work with medical experts who can help you get a better sense of all medical and recovery expenses, and assess other damages, such as pain and suffering, reduced income potential, lost wages, and disability, that you may be entitled to receive.
Depending on the specifics surrounding your Kentucky auto crash, the statute of limitations for filing your personal injury lawsuit may be one or two years, which is another reason that it is important to speak with an experienced Louisville car crash lawyer.
Our Kentucky personal injury law firm helps clients with injury claims involving truck crashes, car collisions, motorcycle accidents, hit and run accidents, drunk driving collisions, automobile rollovers, motor vehicle crashes caused by defective autos or auto parts, and crashes involving insured and uninsured drivers.
16 People Died In 12 Crashed Last Week, Kypost.com, July 29, 2008
Related Web Resources:
July 28, 2008
Louisville, Kentucky Driver Involved in Hit and Run Pedestrian Deaths of Two Girls is Charged with Murder
In Kentucky, Keneille Finch, the Louisville driver apprehended in connection with last week’s hit-and-run deaths of 4-year-old Riley Jane Lawrence and 5-year-old Claudia Faye Wadlington has been charged with their murders, in addition to fleeing and evading police and aggravated assault.
The pedestrian accident occurred in Louisville when the two girls were crossing a street and Finch allegedly ran a red light. Angie Wadlington, the mother of Claudia, was with the girls when the accident happened. She was also struck by the vehicle during the hit and run accident and sustained injuries to her left leg and broke one of her arms. This is not Finch’s first brush with the law. He has been arrested several times and served time in prison before.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 4,874 pedestrian deaths in 2006. That same year, there were 67,537 motor vehicle accidents involving pedestrians.
Pedestrians are prone to serious injuries, including broken bones, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and severed limbs, or death when they are involved in a traffic crash with a car, truck, motorcycle, or bus. If you were seriously injured or someone you loved died while crossing the street, riding a bicycle, or waiting at a bus stop in Kentucky because of the negligence or reckless actions of a driver or another party, an experienced Louisville pedestrian injury lawyer can help you.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
• Driver inattention
• Drunk driving
• Failure to stop at a red light or stop sign
• Motor vehicle defects
• Hit and run accidents
Hit-and-run suspect identified, charged with murder, Courier-Journal, July 26, 2008
Hit and Run Driver Has Long Criminal Record, Courier-Journal, July 28, 2008
Related Web Resources:
Hit and Run Laws in Kentucky, Deadly Roads.com
Our Kentucky motor vehicle crash law firm has helped many pedestrians and their families obtain the financial recovery they are owed for the harm they have suffered.
July 24, 2008
Congressional Members Tell Federal Regulators They Should Do More To Keep Medically Unfit Commercial Truck And Bus Drivers Off Roads
Congressional leaders in Washington DC berated federal regulators today for not implementing recommendations that the National Transportation Safety Board made in 2001 to keep medically unfit truckers off the roads. According to a recent safety study, reported on by the Associated Press, there are hundreds of thousands of commercial truck and bus drivers working even though they qualify for full federal disability payments.
Commercial drivers that have seizures, blackouts, heart attacks, and other health emergencies while driving are a leading cause of catastrophic truck accidents in the United States. Thousands of motorists and pedestrians have been injured or killed because a bus driver or the driver of an 18-wheeler truck, a tractor-trailer, a semi-truck, or a big rig truck became ill or unconscious while driving.
Among its recommendations, the NTSB suggested that a system be set up to trace medical certificate applications and stop drivers from doctor shopping. The NTSB also suggested that examiners who certify commercial drivers be properly trained to determine whether a trucker or bus driver was medically fit.
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has found that it is not difficult to fabricate medical certificates stating that a driver is medically fit to drive professionally. Of the 614 medical certificates it examined, the committee found that they could verify only 407 of them.
Truck accidents can lead to catastrophic injury accidents for victims. The force of impact of a large truck or bus striking a pedestrian or the passengers of a compact car can lead to serious injuries, such as severed limbs, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and massive internal injuries, or death for the victims.
Trucking companies are experienced in dealing with injury claims against them, which is why it is important that you speak with an experienced Louisville, Kentucky truck crash law firm to explore your legal options.
Regulators scolded on medically unfit truckers, Associated Press, July 24, 2008
Medically unfit truckers still on the road, safety study shows, CNN.com, July 21, 2008