Recently, two classmates from a Christian County High School were killed in a car accident while on their way home from the Boys Sweet 16 state basketball tournament in Lexington, where they had gone to watch a local high school team.
The accident occurred in the early evening, after the boys' Nissan pickup truck left the parkway and struck the rear end of a Freightliner tractor trailer that was parked on the westbound shoulder. One boy, age 16, died at the scene, while the other boy, age 17, was taken by helicopter to the University of Kentucky Medical Center, where he died hours later. The other male passengers in the truck were taken to the University of Kentucky as well by ambulance. While one remained in the hospital, the driver of the pickup truck was released.
Initial reports do not show any signs that alcohol or drug use played a role in the accident. Nor could witnesses recall that the truck was swerving or otherwise being driven in a reckless manner. When the truck came toward the tractor trailer, it may have either drifted or turned in its direction quickly. Authorities will soon conduct an accident reconstruction that they hope will shed light on how the accident occurred. The reconstruction team has already downloaded the data recorded that had been stored in the truck's internal computer to learn more information.
In the meantime, the principal of their school expressed his condolences, and Second Baptist Church held a candlelight vigil for anyone who knew the boys, both the injured and the deceased. The vigil attracted 100 people.
Regardless of whether the accident was unavoidable or preventable, it just demonstrates how important it is for drivers to be safe and responsible, because things can go wrong in an instant. All drivers have a general duty of care to their passengers and other drivers and passengers on the road. That duty includes obeying all applicable traffic rules to the extent possible. If a driver fails to do this, has no good excuse, and injures another individual, that individual has the option of filing a lawsuit.
Those injured in a car accident could claim that the other driver breached his or her duty by driving unreasonably. That could include driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or driving too fast or recklessly — such as changing lanes quickly and without signaling. The injured party could then claim that as a result of this unreasonable driving, the injured party suffered an injury. That injury, in turn, caused damage. Those injured in a car accident typically seek relief in the form of "damages," a monetary award. Damages are typically awarded for both specific costs, such as medical bills, and more general, difficult to quantify things such as pain and suffering.
Miller & Falkner is an Indiana and Kentucky plaintiffs law firm serving residents of Kentucky and Indiana. Located in Louisville, Kentucky, the firm provides representation in the areas of personal injury and employment law. If you need a Kentucky personal injury attorney, contact us today for a free consultation.