While most motorists in Kentucky drive in a safe manner, some view the highways as an invitation to speed and drive recklessly. Others simply become bored and inattentive when driving on long stretches of open road. When a driver speeds or fails to remain alert to changes in traffic conditions, it can lead to a collision causing serious injuries. Accidents that occur on highways tend to involve more serious injuries because of the higher traffic speeds.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a highway accident that was caused by another motorist, you need an aggressive, experienced lawyer on your side to protect your rights and fight for full compensation. At Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer, our highway accident attorneys strive to provide each of our clients with the trusted legal guidance and client service they deserve. We provide the Kentucky Courage needed to stand up to insurance companies and fight for justice.
Our firm has eight locations across Kentucky – Lexington, Somerset, Hazard, London, Manchester, Princeton, Paintsville, and Paducah – to serve clients. When you hire our firm, you will work with the same attorneys you see in our television advertisements. You’ll work directly with our attorneys as we develop your case. Our team is available to you 24/7 to address any concerns and emergencies you may have.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a highway accident lawyer and learn more about how we put our Kentucky Courage to work for you. Call (877) 809-5352.
The highways and interstates in Kentucky can see fast, free-flowing traffic, or have bumper-to-bumper gridlock, depending on the location and time of day. As a result, highway accidents can involve many kinds of collisions, such as:
- Sideswipe collisions, when an at-fault driver makes an unsafe lane change
- Rear-end collisions, when a driver is tailgating or fails to notice that vehicles in front have slowed or stopped
- Head-on collisions, when a vehicle veers into oncoming traffic
- T-bone collisions, which can occur where highways have signalized intersections
- Rollover accidents, which can occur when an at-fault vehicle makes a sudden, unexpected movement, causing another driver to swerve and lose control of their vehicle and roll over
Anyone of these types of collisions can result in severe injuries or fatalities.
Causes of Highway Accidents
Many Kentucky highway accidents are caused by the negligence or recklessness of one or more motorists. Some common driver-related causes of highway accidents in Kentucky include:
- Driving too fast for traffic conditions
- Reckless driving, such as weaving through heavy traffic
- Unsafe lane changes, including failing to signal or check side mirrors and blind spots
- Tailgating or following too closely at high speeds
- Distracted driving, such as texting while driving or reading email while driving
- Driving while fatigued
- Driving while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs
- Passing on the right
- Inexperience with driving on highways
In addition, other common non-driver related causes of highway accidents include:
- Poor road surfaces, including potholes, broken pavement,
- Debris or animals on the highway
- Poor lighting
- Heavy traffic
- Bad weather, including heavy precipitation, snow or fog
It’s important to contact a knowledgeable injury attorney after an accident caused by another motorist to investigate the cause of the collision and preserve evidence.
Injuries Suffered on Kentucky Highways
Since highway accidents often happen at higher speeds, the injuries suffered in Kentucky highway accidents can be severe. The injuries frequently suffered on Kentucky highways include:
- Cuts and abrasions
- Broken bones
- Head injuries, including injuries to the eyes, ears, nose, and mouth
- Crushed sternum
- Soft tissue injuries, including tears of tendons, ligaments, and muscles
- Neck and back injuries, such as whiplash injuries and ruptured discs
- Organ damage and/or internal bleeding
- Burns, if the accident causes a fire
- Loss of limbs
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Traumatic brain injuries
Unfortunately, serious injuries in a highway accident may result in disability. You will need a lawyer to stand up for you and fight for full compensation for your present and future medical costs related to a disabling injury.
Impact of Speeding
Speeding can have an outsized impact on a highway accident. Highway accidents can occur due to a combination of factors, including driver negligence or recklessness, traffic conditions, and weather conditions.
When those factors combine with excessive speed, the occupants of the vehicles involved in the highway crash are at increased risk of serious or catastrophic injuries.
Understanding Kentucky Highway Law
In Kentucky, you are required to report your accident to the police, either by calling 911 or the police department or filling out a report online, if the accident resulted in injuries or fatalities or you believe that the property damage caused by the accident exceeds $500 in value.
Car accidents in Kentucky also follow a “no-fault” system. This means that motorists and passengers who are injured in an accident must look initially to their own insurance policies for coverage.
Personal injury protection coverage is available to each driver insured under an auto insurance policy regardless of who caused the accident. By being part of the no-fault system, you give up your right to sue an at-fault driver for a highway accident unless your accident caused you to suffer:
- At least $1,000 in medical expenses
- A fractured bone
- Permanent disfigurement
- Permanent injury to a body party or bodily system, or
You can opt-out of the no-fault system by filing a form with the state and avoid the limitation on your ability to sue an at-fault driver. However, doing so means that you also are exposed to being sued for an accident that you caused.
If your injuries were serious and were caused by another driver’s carelessness or disregard for safety, you may be entitled to file a claim against the at-fault driver for your medical expenses, lost income, and other accident-related expenses. A Kentucky car accident lawyer at Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer can review the details of your accident and help you understand your legal options.
Dangerous Highways in Kentucky
According to the Kentucky State Police, some of the most dangerous highways in Kentucky include:
- KY-4, or New Circle Road, in Lexington
- Bert T. Combs Mountain Parkway
- Bluegrass Parkway
- The “Spaghetti Junction” along the Ohio River in Louisville
While some highways have more traffic and higher numbers of crashes, accidents can happen on any road or Kentucky highway.
Steps to Take Following an Accident
After you’ve been in a highway accident, you should remember to take the following steps to protect your rights to seek compensation from those responsible for the accident:
- Call 911 or the police and report the accident. If someone has been injured, you should assess whether emergency medical care is needed and, if so, request that an ambulance be dispatched. The law enforcement officer who investigates the accident will prepare an accident report.
- Get vehicle registration and insurance information of the other drivers involved. If another driver refuses to share the information, wait for the police to arrive and gather the information from those involved.
- Get contact information from eyewitnesses to the accident. If there were eyewitnesses to the accident, try to use a phone camera to record a short statement if possible, or get their contact information in case you need to contact them. Remember that the longer you wait, the more likely that a witness’s memory of the accident will fade.
- Avoid apologizing for the accident, accepting blame or assigning blame. It can be natural to offer an apology after an accident or angrily accuse the other driver of causing the accident. Any statements you make at the scene might later be used to argue that you were at fault for the accident. You should remain calm and avoid discussing the accident with the other motorists involved. Provide the facts of the accident to the police.
- Seek medical attention. Even if you decline treatment at the scene, you should still follow up with a doctor or other medical provider. Pain and other symptoms of injuries may take time to appear. A trained medical professional may be able to identify the injuries you suffered through an examination. Having a doctor’s report documenting your injuries is important to a successful injury claim.
- Follow your treatment instructions. Be sure to follow your health care providers’ treatment instructions and recommendations. If you don’t, the other driver or the insurance company may argue that you aren’t as injured as you claim.
- Don’t talk about your accident or injuries on social media. If your comments on social media contradict any official statements you gave about the accident, it can undercut your claim for compensation. Don’t post vacation photos of yourself traveling or being active if you’ve claimed serious injuries.
IF you or a loved one has been injured in a KY highway accident through no fault of your own, you need to contact a Kentucky car accident attorney at Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer.
We can help you to understand your legal rights and guide you through the process of seeking compensation for your injuries and related losses. We can negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf and fight for justice in the courtroom if necessary. You can be assured that your interests are protected.
Call us at (877) 809-5352 or fill out the contact form on our website today to set up a case evaluation with one of our knowledgeable highway accident lawyers.