Earlier this week, three individuals were involved in a two-car crash on Cumberland Parkway in Pulaski County, Kentucky. According to a local news report, two of the people involved in the crash included a city worker and a police chief.
Apparently, the police chief was driving an SUV with a city worker as his passenger when his car hydroplaned and skidded from the westbound lane into the median and then into the eastbound lane. The car ended up hitting a 29-year-old who was driving in the eastbound lane. Unfortunately, the driver's car was thrown into the safety rail, and he was stuck inside the car. He needed emergency personnel intervention to get out of his car. The police chief and city worker were both thrown from their cars as well. Officials stated that no one was wearing a seat belt and all were taken to the hospital.
Establishing Negligence in Kentucky
In order to establish negligence in an accident, the plaintiff needs to establish that the other driver owed him or her a duty of care, that the driver breached that duty, and that the breach was the actual or proximate cause of the plaintiff's injuries and damages.
Kentucky follows a "comparative negligence" model. Comparative negligence basically explains that even if the plaintiff was negligent, that does not bar his or her recovery. Instead, the plaintiff's damages will be reduced by how much at fault he or she was. For example, if the judge or jury finds that the defendant was 30% at fault and the plaintiff was 70% at fault, the plaintiff's recovery would be reduced by 70%. As you can see, this applies even if the plaintiff was more responsible than the defendant.
In certain cases, an individual may be able to sue the employer or agency for whom the defendant works. This generally happens if the defendant was working in his or her official capacity or on a minor detour during the time of the incident. In the above case, it is unclear whether the police official and city worker were on official duty, or if they were even negligent at all. However, if it is determined that they were, it is possible that the victim may be able to bring a claim against their employing agencies. This is most often seen in trucking accidents, but the scope of vicarious liability is broader than that.
Have You Been Involved in an Automobile Accident?
If you or a loved one has been involved in an automobile accident in Kentucky, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. It is important to contact a dedicated and experienced attorney because these cases can involve many parties and deadlines that need to be strictly followed. You may be eligible for compensation for your past medical expenses, future medical bills, and pain and suffering that arose from the accident. Please contact one of our attorneys today at 502-583-2300 to set up a free initial consultation.
Indiana Supreme Court Allows Injury Claims Against Fraternity to Move Forward, Kentucky Injury Attorney Blog, August 13, 2014.
Court Finds Doctor's Previous Employer Doesn't Owe Duty to Future Patients, Kentucky Injury Attorney Blog, October 10, 2014.