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Louisville Car Accident Attorneys

car accident lawyer in Louisville, KentuckyFew experiences are as traumatic as being involved in a car accident in Louisville, Kentucky. Indeed, whether it is a catastrophic collision involving multiple parties, or a minor fender bender, a car wreck can be terrifying, and will likely have long-term repercussions. Victims in a car accident may sustain severe injuries or death, and their vehicles may be damaged beyond repair.

Of course, both injuries and property damage can put a serious financial strain on an individual, who will likely need to pay for mounting medical bills and repairs, and may be unable to return to work for some period of time. If you find yourself in this position, wherein you are in need of compensation in the aftermath of a wreck, do not fret.  Instead, reach out to one of the skilled Louisville personal injury attorneys at the office of John H. Ruby & Associates. We will zealously advocate on your behalf and help lead you through a claim to recover damages.

Common Causes of Car Accidents

No two car accidents are identical, and different car crashes in Kentucky can have a wide variety of causes. That being said, there are a number of common factors that may contribute to car accidents, which include the following:

  • Defective parts;
  • Driver intoxication;
  • Driver fatigue;
  • Driver negligence;
  • Road defects or other hazards present; and
  • Inclement weather.

In the modern world, one of the most significant causes of car accidents is distracted driving, which would certainly be considered a form of negligence. Specifically, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Office of Highway Safety reports that in 2014 alone there were “over 53,500 crashes resulting in over 14,000 injuries and 169 fatalities due to distracted driving.”

Regardless of the cause of your accident, however, our dedicated attorneys will take all necessary actions in order to ensure you are eligible to receive compensation for your injuries. We may utilize accident reconstructionists or other experts to comprehensively determine all factors involved in the accident and use this information to bolster a claim for damages.

How Common is Falling Asleep while Driving? Falling asleep at the wheel is far more common than most people believe. According to a National Sleep Foundation Poll, 60% of Americans have driven while feeling drowsy, and 37% have admitted to falling asleep while driving during the past year. In addition, according to the CDC report cited earlier, one out of every 25 drivers report that they have fallen asleep at the wheel during the past 30 days. Driving while tired or fatigued can cause a person to fall asleep at the wheel under the wrong set of circumstances. While this can happen to anyone, there are certain groups who are more susceptible to this hazard:
  • Sleep-Deprived Drivers: It comes as no surprise that motorists who do not get enough sleep are far more likely to drive while drowsy and fall asleep at the wheel. In general, those who get less than 7 hours of sleep a night are most susceptible to drowsy or fatigued driving due to sleep deprivation.
  • Young or New Drivers: The National Sleep Foundation says that sleep-related crashes are highly common among younger drivers or drivers who just got their license. New drivers are less experienced and tend to take more chances, which makes them more likely to drive without getting enough rest.
  • Commercial Drivers: Those who drive for a living have a strong tendency to drive without getting enough rest and stay on the road longer than they should. This is especially common with over-the-road truckers, who are often under pressure by shipping companies to deliver their loads on time. Other commercial drivers that fall into this category include bus drivers, delivery drivers, cab drivers, and those who drive for ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft.
  • Shift Workers: Individuals who work long shifts or extended hours that go late into the evening or into the early morning hours often have a hard time staying awake while driving home after their shift is over.
  • Drivers with Untreated Sleep Disorders: Those who drive with untreated sleep disorders such as sleep apnea have an increased risk of “micro sleep” episodes. This is harmless if you are lying on the couch watching TV, but an episode like this behind the wheel can be disastrous.
  • Drivers who use Sleep-Inducing Medications: Some individuals depend on medications which have drowsiness as a potential side effect. Taking medications like this shortly before driving can be a deadly combination.
  • Travelers: Individuals who drive long distances for travel and those who fly a lot and change time zones frequently have a tendency to drive more often when they are tired and sleepy.
The Dangers of Distracted Driving Driving is an extremely dynamic activity which requires you to be attentive and responsive. If you get distracted and take your eyes off the road – even if it is for a couple of seconds – you risk crashing your vehicle into another person or a vehicle. Experts say that using a cellphone – to talk to someone, to text someone, or to watch a video – is without a doubt one of the most dangerous things you can do while driving a vehicle. cellphone use is cited as the reason for hundreds fatal motor vehicle accidents each year, resulting in the deaths of 434 people. In the past five years, approximately 14% of all fatal crashes were caused as a result of using a cellphone while driving. Apart from using a cellphone to text or talk to someone, the most common causes of distracted driving include:
  • Eating and drinking
  • Chatting with passengers
  • Watching a video
  • Adjusting the MP3 player, radio, CD player, GPS, or any other control in the vehicle
  • Grooming (brushing teeth, shaving, trimming, applying makeup, and so on)
  • Searching or reaching for an object under the driver’s seat or in another seat
  • Taking your hands off the wheel and eyes off the road to attend to a pet or a child
Data shows that young people are particularly prone to text, talk to someone, or get distracted in various other ways while driving a vehicle. They have a tendency to overestimate their reflexes, reaction time, and driving abilities, as a result of which they mistakenly believe that taking the eyes off the road for a couple of seconds is not a big deal. Needless to say, this is a big mistake as a few seconds of lapse can put your own life – as well as the lives of others – at risk, especially when you are driving at a high speed. For example, if you are driving at a speed of 55 mph, you can cover the distance of a football field in just five seconds. In fact, a study conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) several years ago showed that getting distracted for more than two seconds on the road can increase the risk of a crash or a collision by 100%. The Dangers of Cognitive Distraction It is important to note that the term ‘distracted driving’ is not just applicable to visual (eyes off the road) and manual (hands off the wheel) distractions, but also to cognitive (not mentally focused on driving) distractions as well. For example, many people think that they can drive safely and communicate with someone at the same time using hands-free devices. Experts, however, warn that this is not a good idea. If you are mentally focused on your conversation with someone, you can be distracted – even if you keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel. The same principle applies to listening to a podcast or an audio book while driving. If you are too focused on what you are listening to, you might get distracted without even realizing it.

Injuries Sustained in Car Accidents

In some cases, a car accident may only lead to minor injuries, such as small scrapes or bruises, with no serious injuries at all. In other wrecks, those involved may not be so fortunate, with many sustaining the following types of injuries, among a number of others:

  • Broken bones;
  • Soft tissue sprains and strains;
  • Concussions or other forms of traumatic brain injury (TBI);
  • Lacerations;
  • Amputations; and
  • Burn injuries.

Sadly, many serious car accidents lead to fatalities, as well, either at the scene of the accident, or as a result of the injuries sustained therein. In this situation, the surviving family members of the deceased may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim in order to recover compensation for their losses.

If you have sustained any type of injury in a Louisville car accident, do not hesitate to reach out to an attorney. Many injuries will likely lead to costly medical bills and rehabilitation costs, and may leave the victim unable to return to work for a period of time, or may even render him or her disabled altogether. You should not have to bear this financial burden alone.  A Louisville car accident attorney can help you determine the scope of your injuries and devise a strategy to help ensure you receive full compensation.

Recovering Compensation with the Help of a Lawyer

In the aftermath of a serious wreck, you may be confused and terrified, wondering how you will be able to pay for the mounting bills that you are facing, both now and in the future. It is imperative that you first understand the scope of damages for which you may be eligible to recover, as well as certain specifics within Kentucky law that may affect your ability to file a claim.

First, before you can recover compensation, you must comprehensively review the scope of the damages that you have suffered, which may require the assistance of a trained legal professional. Some damages may be fairly obvious, such as medical bills and the costs to repair your vehicle, both of which have associated price tags. Others, however, may not be so apparent; for example, you may have sustained a partial disability that will limit your earning ability in the future. Or, you may have experienced significant pain and suffering as a result of your injuries, which can be difficult to quantify. Fortunately, a skilled attorney will have the knowledge necessary to calculate the amount of compensation you are owed.

Furthermore, it’s important to understand when you may be eligible to file an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit, which depends on your purchased insurance. Indeed, Kentucky follows a “choice no-fault system.” This means that all drivers are given two options; they may purchase personal injury protection (PIP) benefits, which forces them to file a claim with their insurance policy after a wreck in order to recover compensation, unless their injuries exceed a certain threshold. Or, when purchasing an insurance policy, drivers may opt out of purchasing PIP benefits.  In the aftermath of a wreck, a driver would have the option to file a lawsuit against the liable driver immediately, without first turning to his or her insurer.

Ultimately, if you have questions about the insurance system or your eligibility for compensation, you should first reach out to an attorney, who can help ensure you understand your rights and assist you in moving forward with your claim.

Reach Out to an Attorney for Help with Your Case

If you have sustained injuries in a wreck in Louisville, there is no reason that you should face the legal system without a guide. Instead, you should contact the adept legal professionals at the office of John H. Ruby & Associates for assistance. Since Kentucky law only allows one year in which to file a lawsuit for personal injuries, it is imperative that you act quickly. We are happy to provide you with a consultation on your case and begin working to help you recover the compensation that you deserve.

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