Lexington Kentucky Personal Injury Law Blog

What to do after a vehicle accident

Kentucky drivers should know what to do if they are involved in a motor vehicle accident. Taking the proper steps is not only important for their safety, but it can also help make the insurance claim process a lot easier.

Remaining calm is very important in the aftermath of a vehicle accident. People who are calm will be better able to help others and retain vital details about the accident that can be valuable to an insurance agent or attorney. Calm individuals will also have an easier time recording details.

Rising rate of fatal big rig crashes concerns safety group

The co-founder of Road Safe America has called on the trucking industry to use existing safety technology within many commercial trucks to reduce the rising truck accident rate. A report from the safety group detailed federal traffic data that showed an increase in fatal truck accidents from 2009 to 2016. During this period, the total miles driven by large commercial trucks actually decreased slightly. If all big rigs operated with speed limiters and automatic emergency brakes, then traffic safety in Kentucky and nationwide could improve, according to the report.

The failures of federal regulators to establish requirements for speed limiters and automatic emergency brakes have created an environment where trucking companies only adopt the safety technology on a voluntary basis. Road Safe America's report urged the entire industry to take advantage of the safety and fuel savings enabled by the technology.

Avoiding drowsy driving in Kentucky

Kentucky motorists should know that being sleep-deprived can be as bad as driving under the influence of alcohol. The National Sleep Foundation says that staying awake for 24 hours makes a person act like someone with a blood alcohol content of .10 percent. For comparison, the legal limit for drivers is .08.

Yet many drivers underrate the importance of sleep. In a recent AAA survey, nearly one-third of respondents admitted to driving drowsy in the previous month. They said they were so tired they could hardly keep their eyes open. With the following in mind, however, drivers can avoid the dangers.

Possible liability types for a product liability claim

When people purchase or utilize certain items, they expect them to function in a certain manner. When those items do not function as intended, they can lead to injuries, and sometimes death.

People who suffer from an injury due to a malfunctioning product may be able to pursue a successful product liability claim. In determining the best route to take, it is important to understand the different types of liability that manufacturers and distributors are responsible for.

Work-related stress leads to more surgical errors

It's no secret that stress can make workers inattentive and careless. For doctors in particular, however, even something as small as a negative thought or a loud noise can be dangerous. Residents of Kentucky should know that researchers at the Data Science Institute at Columbia University recently discovered this and much more.

For the study, a professor of surgery was asked to wear a high-tech "smart shirt" under his scrubs during 25 surgical procedures, most of them gastric bypasses. This shirt measured electrical pulses from the heart and recorded any variations in times between heartbeats, which are good indicators of increased stress. During the procedures, a researcher documented any mistakes.

Partner earns peer recognition for achievement

O'Brien Batten & Kirtley, PLLC, is pleased to be able to announce that Harold L. Kirtley II, partner, has been selected to the 2019 list of Super Lawyers in the state of Kentucky. With this recognition, Hal joins the firm's other two partners, Stephen M. O'Brien III and B. Clark Batten II, in the ranks of this special group warranting recognition for their work in the medical malpractice and personal injury areas of legal practice.

This honor is bestowed annually by Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters rating service. Selection is limited to no more than 5 percent of lawyers in each state and is based on a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of the candidates and reviews by peers across more than 70 practice areas. The patented multi-phase vetting process ensures that this list of exceptional attorneys is credible, comprehensive and diverse.

Product liability law: an overview

Every year, defective and dangerous products cause thousands of injuries across Kentucky and the rest of the U.S., but victims could be compensated for their losses under product liability law. This encompasses the rules that determine who is responsible for the defects. The foundation for these rules is the requirement that products meet the ordinary expectations of customers. Where these are not met, the manufacturer or seller may be at fault.

In the past, only the buyers of defective and dangerous products could be eligible for compensation. Now, though, anyone who foreseeably could have been injured is eligible. The product must have been sold in the marketplace, and for strict liability to apply, it must be a part of the ordinary course of business.

Kentucky Supreme Court ends medical review panels for malpractice

In a unanimous decision, the Kentucky Supreme Court has ruled against medical review panels for malpractice claims. The state government had imposed the requirement that malpractice claims undergo review by medical panels before advancing to court in 2017. The medical review panel legislation had been put forward by a state senator who was also a physician.

The Supreme Court's chief justice struck down the new law because it denied people access to courts when they had been injured by another party. Prior to the Supreme Court ruling, a circuit court judge had ruled against the law in October 2017. He based that decision on the lack of any public benefit from a law that appeared to protect the health care industry.

Preventable causes of tractor-trailer accidents in Kentucky

While autos, SUVs and light-duty trucks account for most road accidents, catastrophic accident injuries result when commercial trucks are involved. A fully loaded truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds.

According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, two auto drivers died when a flatbed trailer detached from a commercial 18-wheeler and struck two Lexington passenger vehicles traveling on Georgetown Road. The truck driver was not injured.

Prescriptions written by residents may be suspect

Residents are medical school graduates who typically participate in graduate medical programs and train in specialized fields of medicine. It may be said they are both student and healthcare provider. Although they are not yet board eligible or board-certified physicians, they are permitted to write prescriptions, which can be filled at any pharmacy. Kentucky patients naturally have reason to rely on these prescriptions the same as they would from any other doctor.

This makes a presentation given at the American Academy of Pediatrics all the more disturbing. The AAP report revealed that residents of all levels made errors when writing pediatric prescriptions despite the fact they were expected to be able to write them correctly from the first day of their residency. Apparently, the primary issue involved the residents' collective unfamiliarity with electronic prescription systems.

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O'Brien Batten & Kirtley, PLLC

O'Brien Batten & Kirtley, PLLC
921 Beasley Street
Suite 150
Lexington, KY 40509

Phone: 859-554-4727
Fax: 888-974-8678
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