A recent Kentucky truck accident involved multiple vehicles and cars, most of whom were not even from the area. On May 22, 2012, traffic on I-24 over the Ohio River near Paducah was moving slowly due to some construction. One driver did not slow or stop in time and rear-ended the car in front of him. Both of these drivers survived the accident with only minor injuries.
Unfortunately, this initial car accident led to another more deadly accident in the same area. Traffic was backed up from the initial accident in both westbound lanes when semi driver reached the scene. He allegedly did not slow down or stop. He hit the mirror on a pickup truck first, then crashed into a motorcycle. Both people were knocked off the motorcycle. The truck driver then hit another semi before coming to a stop. Both truck drivers were taken to the hospital with minor injuries. The motorcycle riders were not so lucky; they were pronounced dead at the scene.
This accident was very tragic in that it claimed the lives of two innocent victims. It was also very unusual because almost every person involved was from a different state and no one was a Kentucky resident. The truck driver who allegedly caused the accident was from Wisconsin. The two motorcycle riders were from North Carolina and Texas. The pickup truck and second semi-truck drivers were both from Illinois. This raises the question of where a lawsuit, if necessary, should be filed.
Generally, lawsuits are filed in the state in which the accident occurred. We'll use the above case as an example. The accident happened in Kentucky, so a lawsuit should be filed in Kentucky. Most attorneys are licensed to practice law in one or two states that are in close proximity to each other. So it is unlikely that an attorney from Texas or North Carolina - the home states of the victims in this accident - would be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Kentucky. It is also unlikely that the victims' families would know any Kentucky attorneys.
Because attorneys cannot practice across the U.S., they often refer clients to other law firms when they need legal assistance in another state. This referral is usually given to a law firm or attorney that is known to the referring attorney, whether personally or professionally. The referring attorney will give any information about the accident to the attorney in the state where the injury occurred and that attorney will file any legal documents and represent the client at depositions, hearings and trial if necessary. The referring attorney will most likely receive a small percentage of any attorneys' fees collected, called a referral fee.
So if you are injured or you lose a loved one in an out-of-state accident, contact your local attorney first. They will most likely be able to direct you to an out-of-state attorney that can handle your case. The Indiana and Kentucky personal injury attorneys at Miller & Falkner are both qualified to handle cases referred to them by out-of-state attorneys and to refer cases to out-of-state attorneys if the need arises.
Multiple wrecks on I-24 lead to two deaths, back up traffic for hours; WPSD; Chad Darnall; May 22, 2012
Police release the names of two killed in Tuesday motorcycle crash; WPSD; Chad Darnall; May 23, 2012