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Grayson, Kentucky, Legal Blog

Timely action may be necessary after a car crash

Kentucky residents that have been in a car accident may debate whether to report it. If they do choose to report an accident that they have been in, it is best they do so as soon as possible. In some cases, it may be a good idea to report the accident when it happens. This may be done by calling a 24-hour hotline or using a mobile app provided by the car insurance company.

In the event that someone causes an accident, he or she must report it. This is because he or she may be liable for damages incurred by accident victims. It may be necessary to report the accident even if there was only one vehicle involved. The only reason a person may not want to report a crash to an insurance company is if the amount of the damage is roughly the same as the deductible.

Steps to take when in an accident with an uninsured driver

All drivers in Kentucky need to have auto insurance. This holds true for most states, and yet, information gathered by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners found that nearly 13 percent of drivers do not have any insurance. 

It is dangerous to drive without insurance. However, perhaps you have a policy in place. You may end up in an accident thinking you will be all right only to discover the other driver lacks coverage. The other driver may want to work out a deal that does not involve the authorities, but you need to think about your own best interest. Here are the steps to take to try to receive damages. 

When ridesharing companies are involved in accidents

Kentucky residents who use ridesharing transportation might wonder about liability issues if an accident occurs. With companies like Lyft and Uber, drivers are classified as independent contractors rather than employees. This means any suits following an accident would likely be filed against drivers instead of a company.

Following car accidents, injured passengers should typically seek emergency assistance if necessary, take pictures of the wreck and get the names and relevant information from the drivers involved, witnesses and responding officers. When a wreck occurs while using a ridesharing service, passengers should also ensure that they have the name of their driver and take screenshots of the receipt. Lyft and Uber have a $1 million liability policy for when a driver is at fault.

Divorces could start early in 2018

For many people living in Kentucky, January is a time of new beginnings. In some cases, this means making the decision to leave a marriage that is no longer working. While divorce is never easy, there are some things that spouses can do to make the process less painful and financially devastating.

Individuals who are considering divorce would do well to scale back or even cease participation on social media platforms. This is because social media posts can be used as evidence in divorce cases. Even seemingly innocent posts may be misconstrued by the other spouse or his or her legal counsel. Ceasing or scaling back on social media posts can be announced as a "New Year's resolution" to friends and family.

Human error remains a thorny road safety issue

The number of road users killed in motor vehicle accidents in Kentucky and around the country increased alarmingly in 2015 and 2016. Both government agencies and road safety groups say that human error is largely to blame. While automobile safety features and systems have improved significantly in recent years and traffic planners have worked to get rid of accident black spots, there are still approximately 6 million road crashes each year in the United States.

Analyzing the causes of car accidents reveals that more than one in five fatal crashes is caused by fatigued motorists who fell asleep behind the wheel. The alarming rise in drowsy driving accidents is often blamed on the busy schedules that many Americans now keep. Furthermore, many modern vehicles are so well engineered that they isolate drivers from the road. Individuals also tend to overestimate their driving skills and ability to reach destinations safely.

Study finds that roundabouts greatly reduce road deaths

The number of Kentucky residents killed in automobile accidents each year could be significantly reduced if conventional intersections were replaced with roundabouts, according to a recently published study. Researchers from the Minnesota Department of Transportation compared the number of fatal and property accidents that took place at 144 junctions in the state both before and after roundabouts were built, and they found that replacing stop signs and traffic lights with traffic circles reduced fatalities by an overwhelming 86 percent.

The results of the MnDOT study, which was published on Oct. 30, will likely come as no surprise to road safety advocates. Intersection accidents often involve high-speed T-bone collisions where the front of one vehicle strikes the side of another, but roundabouts eliminate this type of crash because vehicles all travel in the same direction. Drivers must also slow down before entering a roundabout.

How the family home could impact a divorcing couple

When Kentucky couples start divorce proceedings, deciding child custody and support issues are often given top priority. However, dividing property, including any house they might own, should rank right up there as well.

The couple will need to decide if one of them will get the house or if it should be sold and the proceeds split. This situation can get more complicated if one spouse decides to keep the house and buy the other out. Taking the other spouse's name off the title may not be difficult, but the process doesn't end there. That person's name needs to be taken off a mortgage if the loan was taken out jointly. Otherwise, if the custodial spouse misses a payment, it will reflect on the credit of the spouse who left the house.

Dangers of head-on collisions prompt new technology

Head-on collisions may be one of the most dangerous types of motor vehicle accidents in Kentucky to be involved in. A recent accident killing multiple people involved a head-on crash.

Drivers may be aware that winter driving has its own risks. However, winter had not even arrived yet with its icy and snowy effects on the roads, when Fox News reported about the devastating collision involving a family of five.

Preparing for winter driving

Since auto accidents are more frequent in the winter, drivers in Kentucky should understand what they can do to stay safe on the roads. The first thing to consider is the effect of ice and snow on vehicle steering and braking. Drivers should account for increased braking distance and a greater chance of losing control of one's vehicle.

This is why motorists should slow down and keep a greater distance from the cars in front of them. They should also refrain from using cruise control as this can slow their reaction. Lights should stay on when driving in the snow. Drivers must be on the lookout for patches of ice, which tend to develop first in shaded spots and under bridges and overpasses. Black ice is especially dangerous because it makes the road look wet and can be hard to spot.

How traffic accidents increased at Pokéstops

With the launch of Pokémon Go in July 2016, numerous reports came out of players being hurt or killed while playing the game. A look at the traffic reports immediately following the launch show that Pokémon Go led to an increase in distracted driving. This could have been a problem for drivers not only in Kentucky but across the U.S.

Two professors at Purdue University conducted a study analyzing the nearly 12,000 crashes that were reported in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, from the first few months preceding Pokémon Go's launch to the first few months of the game's existence. They found that, in those intersections within 100 meters of a Pokéstop, the number of accidents increased by 26.5 percent. Across the county, this came up to 134 additional accidents, 31 injuries, and two deaths after the game's launch.

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