Louisville, KY has become a destination for travelers throughout the Midwest and the South, with museums, horse races, premier restaurants and lush parks. Even summer road trippers passing through often make it a point to stop in Louisville for one attraction or another. Faith-based tourism is growing too, with features like the Ark Encounter in Williamstown expected to drum up 2.2 million visitors each year.
While tourism has become an economic driver, this has meant the actual drivers on our roads face greater congestion and taxed infrastructure. The problems are often exacerbated in the summertime, when families and college students have more freedom and most vacations are planned. AAA estimates more than 1 in 3 American families took at least one vacation last year.
When you're in a Louisville car accident while vacationing or on your way to your vacation, you need to consult with a local injury attorney who is not only familiar with state statutes and case law, but also the important players in local courts. Having successfully negotiated favorable settlements and won sizable verdicts for clients in these arenas, we generally know who to expect, and what to expect. We understand that returning back-and-forth for depositions, independent medical examinations and other requirements may be a challenge, so we work to make the process as simple and streamlined as we can. Our clients trust us to help deliver results.
Kentucky is a no-fault state when it comes to insurance coverage in auto accidents (see KRS 304.39), which means drivers must carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance to cover their own losses - regardless of fault - up to $10,000. However, if they suffer more than $1,000 in medical expenses, a broken bone, permanent disfigurement, permanent injury or death, they can pursue claims against third parties (such as negligent drivers).
Summer Road Trip Dangers in Kentucky
Many of us have great memories of amazing summer road trips, but others may have the kind of memories they would rather forget after a serious collision. Some of the biggest hazards for travelers on Kentucky roads are:
- Commercial trucks. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports there were 433,000 large trucks involved in police-reported crashes nationally in 2016. As a result of those incidents, 116,000 were injured and nearly 4,100 were killed. Of course, commercial trucks can cause damage wherever they happen to be, but they are most often on the highway, which is coincidentally also where road-trippers are. Claims for damages caused by commercial trucks are often much more complicated and involved, partly because they cause so much damage and partly because we're often dealing with several defendants and higher-than-average liability insurance coverage.
- Defective Vehicles. Even if you make sure you've had your tune-up, oil change, brakes checked and tires rotated before a road trip, that doesn't necessarily mean the next driver has. It also doesn't protect you in the event of a manufacturing defect. Record numbers of vehicle recalls in recent years have underscored the fact that while cars on the whole are getting safer, it doesn't mean manufacturers don't drop the ball. Just look at the Takata airbag recall, affecting 70 million airbags in 42 million vehicles. New pending lawsuits allege car manufacturers knew the airbags were dangerous long before they started yanking the affected vehicles off their lots because they were trying to cushion their own bottom line.
- Drowsy Drivers. For those on a long trip, fatigue is practically inevitable. Drivers need to anticipate it and plan accordingly, meaning stopping regularly, swapping drivers and arranging for overnight accommodations. As KDOT reports, someone who is awake 17 hours straight is as impaired as someone who has a blood-alcohol level of 0.05. Someone awake 24 hours is as impaired as someone with a 0.10 BAC.
If you have been injured in a car accident in Louisville, our injury lawyers can help answer your questions and guide you through the process of obtaining fair compensation.