November 30, 2012

Toys Less Dangerous This Year than in Previous Years, but Still Proceed with Caution

As parents and grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins head out to shop for little ones this holiday, they face the challenge of not only finding toys that the kids will like, but also of finding toys that are safe. Each year, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) researches and tests hundreds of toys to determine how safe they are for children.

In previous years, the level of lead in children’s toys was a big problem and led to numerous product recalls. In 2008, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act was passed, and one of the subjects it covers is the amount of lead allowed in items for kids. The act required that the amount of lead in children’s toys be no more than 600 parts per million on the date the act was enacted and subsequently reduced over the course of a year down to 100 parts per million. If the manufacturer claimed a certain product could not be made within the lead limits set by the act, the Consumer Product Safety Commission would review the product and determine the amount of lead below 300 parts per million allowed for that specific product. If the Commission determined that a part of a toy was “not accessible to a child through normal and reasonably foreseeable use and abuse,” that particular part could contain higher levels of lead. These levels are set to be reviewed every five years to determine whether or not the lead amount could be lowered.

This year, in testing about 36 toys for lead and other toxic substances, PIRG only found one action figure toy that tested too high for lead, a big improvement over previous years before the new act was passed. Toys that pose a choking hazard or are very loud were also a high priority for PIRG this year. Small magnetic toys designed for adults were a major concern. Not only is it dangerous if one magnet is swallowed, but if more than one are swallowed, the danger is multiplied because the magnets can attach to each other, potentially damaging internal organs and causing serious injury to children. Other choking hazards included small plastic foods meant to be used with play kitchens and small plastic bands found on the tires of little racing cars that could come off and be swallowed.

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September 24, 2012

FDA Believes Product Designed to Help Infants may be

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has amended its warning regarding a product that has now been linked to the deaths of seven infants. The product, manufactured in St. Louis, MO, is called Simply Thick. Simply Thick, as the name implies, is an additive used to make liquids thicker. It was created for use in breast milk or baby formula to help infants who have trouble swallowing.

In May 2011, the FDA warned that the product should not be used for premature infants born before 37 weeks who were still hospitalized or had been recently released because it could cause inflamed intestines, or necrotizing enterolocolitis (NEC). NEC can result in an infant requiring surgery to remove part of the intestine, a narrowing of the intestine that may cause blockage, or even death. At the time of the 2011 warning, two premature infants had died from NEC after being sent home from the hospital with the recommendation to use Simply Thick. Since then, 22 more infants have become ill, including one full-term infant, and five more have died, prompting the FDA to review their previous warning. As of September 18, 2012, the FDA is now advising that the product not be given to any infant, premature or full-term.

One wrongful death lawsuit has been filed claiming Simply Thick caused the death of a 17-week-old infant. The lawsuit alleges that the infant was being given Simply Thick as prescribed by the neonatologist when he fell into a coma. He died two days later. This tragedy occurred one day after the FDA had issued their warning in 2011. The FDA has said that further testing needs to be done to determine if there is a link between Simply Thick and NEC, and if so, what that link is.

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September 6, 2012

Driving Tractors Dangerous for Kentucky Kids

Keeping a farm requires hard work and long hours, and when the farm is family-owned, most of the family is involved. This means kids who are not even old enough to drive a car may be operating farm equipment such as tractors. While officials at the Department of Transportation think this is dangerous enough to be outlawed, those who farm for a living argue that it is an unavoidable fact of life. So in lieu of banning kids from operating farm machinery, researchers are working on ways to ensure kids are prepared before they get behind the wheel of a tractor.

The University of Iowa is working with the Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin on a study to determine how kids use information at different ages while operating tractors. Similar to the driving simulators used to safely teach teens how to drive cars without actually putting them behind the wheel, the study is using a tractor simulator to determine how kids react to certain situations that may occur when they are driving a tractor. Researchers plan to have 88 kids of different ages and 10 adults drive in the tractor simulator so they can compare how different age groups respond. Based on their findings, current guidelines regarding age limits on operating farm equipment may be revised.

Currently children as young as 12 are considered able to drive a tractor on their family farm, and 16-year-olds can drive them on public roads, according to the North American Guidelines for Children’s Agricultural Tasks. The university study may help confirm that these ages are high enough to keep children safe, or it may show that the age limits need to be increased. Statistics currently show that tractor accidents are the most common cause of death of children on farms, with about 24 children being killed by tractors each year.

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July 7, 2012

Negligence Lawsuit filed in Kentucky Van Crash

In the latest installment of the Kentucky day-care van accident saga, a family has filed a lawsuit against the driver and the day-care owner on behalf of their four children who were injured in the crash. The children range in age from one to eight years old. One of the one-year-old twins suffered some of the most serious injuries, but the family’s attorney said, “She had some pretty significant injuries at first, but I think the prognosis is pretty good.”

The lawsuit claims the children were injured by the negligence of the driver of the van and the owner of the day-care center. Even though investigators think a blown tire may have contributed to the accident, the driver of the van may still be at least partially at fault. If it is determined that a mechanical malfunction was part of the reason for the accident and that the vehicle had not been properly maintained, the day-care owner may be partially responsible for the accident. It appears that there were more people in the vehicle than is legally allowed, so the owner may be held accountable for that as well. If investigators find the driver of the vehicle had prior safety violations that the owner was aware of and she was still allowed to drive a van full of children, that may also make the owner partly responsible.

What does the family stand to gain by filing this negligence lawsuit? They are asking for compensatory and punitive damages; the first most likely to compensate them for lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering, and the second as punishment for the individuals who allegedly caused injuries to the children. What they can recover if they win the case remains to be seen. The owner has shut down all of the day-care centers she owned and it appears that she owes money in loans, unpaid payroll, and vendor bills. There may be insurance money available, but the family’s attorney has had a hard time getting the information necessary to make any claims with insurance companies. He is hoping that this lawsuit will make documentation more accessible to him and his clients so that they can determine where claims need to be filed. During investigations like the one happening in this accident, officials are hesitant to share information. However, when a lawsuit is filed, requested documents must be produced unless they are deemed privileged.

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June 30, 2012

Parents of Louisville, Kentucky Drowning Victim File Wrongful Death Suit

Backyard pools are known for being dangerous because children can fall into them unnoticed if they do not have a locked fence around them. Just in the last two weeks of June, a 1-year-old died after falling into a backyard pool in southern Kentucky, and a toddler is in Kosair Children’s Hospital after he was found unresponsive in the above-ground pool at his grandparents’ house.

Pools that are run by a city, the YMCA, a country club, or a community theoretically should be safer for kids because they are managed by someone who should be knowledgeable about pools and they typically have at least one certified lifeguard on duty when the pool is open. After hours, the pool is locked up so children cannot access it without an adult present. Unfortunately, these types of pools are not completely safe either. Whenever people are in or around water, there is the chance of injury.

In June 2011, a six-year-old boy was drowning in the Woodhaven Country Club in Fern Creek, Kentucky. A lifeguard pulled him from the water and a nurse began administering CPR. He was transported by an ambulance to Kosair Children’s Hospital, where he died the next day.

On June 12, 2012, the victim’s parents filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Circuit Court in Jefferson County, Kentucky. The suit names Woodhaven Country Club and two EMS workers as defendants. Wrongful death lawsuits are generally filed when someone loses his or her life allegedly due to the negligence of someone else. Negligence is the failure to exercise reasonable care that can result in property damage, personal injury, or death. This case is no different. The suit claims the pool employees were negligent because they allowed the boy to be under water for an unknown period of time. It also says the EMS workers were negligent because they supposedly got lost on the way to Kosair and passed closer hospitals that would have allowed the victim to be treated sooner if they had stopped.

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June 13, 2012

Kentucky Day Care Van Accident Kills One Adult, Injures another and Several Children

In a scene out of every parent’s worst nightmare, a van carrying children from a day care center crashed on Tuesday, June 12, 2012 during the evening rush hour. Fourteen children ranging in age from five months to nine years old were in the van with two adults. The van accident occurred when the driver of the van swerved off the road and hit a tree on Algonquin Parkway near Wingfield Avenue. What caused the driver to swerve is still unknown. Unfortunately, what is known is that the van crash killed one adult, left the driver in critical condition, and injured all 14 kids aboard in varying degrees. All of the children were admitted to Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky and the adults were taken to University Hospital in Louisville. As of Wednesday morning, June 13, 2012, it appeared that four of the children had been released from the hospital, three were in the intensive care unit (ICU), and nine were still in the hospital on a regular floor. A spokeswoman for Kosair said the children in ICU were stable and the injuries of all the children ranged from bumps and bruises to head trauma and broken bones.

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May 25, 2012

Intoxicated Teen Driver Causes Kentucky Single-Car Accident

A very tragic Kentucky car accident claimed the life of a nine-month-old infant on Saturday in Carroll County. Two teens and one adult were in a car with the infant. The driver was only 17 years old. According to the Kentucky State Police, the teen driver ran off the road at a curve and hit a tree. The infant was killed and the other two passengers were taken by helicopter to University Hospital in Louisville with very serious injuries. The driver was not injured.

There are so many factors that could have prevented this horrible accident. First, the driver of the car had no driver’s license or insurance, so he should have never been behind the wheel of a car in the first place. Second, he was drunk when the accident occurred, which is doubly concerning since the crash happened at 9:15 in the morning. Third, the only person allegedly wearing a seatbelt was the driver. No one else, including the infant, was properly restrained in the car.

Needless to say, all of these young lives have been changed forever. If the passengers survive, the one who was the mother of the infant will have to live with the fact that she got in a car with a drunk driver and did not put her infant in a car seat. The other passenger may likely have lifelong issues from his injuries because he decided to ride with an unlicensed drunk driver. The driver of the car faces a laundry list of charges including driving without a license, driving under the influence, wanton endangerment and manslaughter. Even though he is only 17, he may be tried as an adult, which makes all of the charges more serious with stiffer penalties.

Even though all of the people involved made bad choices, one can’t help but feel bad for what they and their families have gone through already and what they will continue to go through in the upcoming days and months. If you have teenage children, please remind them of the dangers of riding with an inexperienced or intoxicated driver. As seen in the above accident, a combination of the two can be deadly. And reiterate the importance of wearing a seatbelt, even it isn’t cool and no one else is wearing theirs. It could save their lives.

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May 17, 2012

Indianapolis Woman Charged in Car Accident that Caused Construction Worker’s Death

On May 8, 2012, a construction worker was hit by a car while he was walking at a repaving project site on East 10th Street in Indianapolis, Indiana. His injuries were critical, and he unfortunately passed away the next morning.

The victim was doing everything right. He was on the job and was wearing a bright yellow safety vest. But the same cannot be said of the driver that caused the car accident. The 24-year old female was driving drunk and failed at least two sobriety tests administered at the crash scene. This would have been bad enough on its own, but it gets worse. Witnesses say she stopped briefly to check on the man, then got back in her car and drove away. She also had her young daughter in the car with her while she was driving drunk. When police found her, she gave them a false identity for herself and her child. All of this occurred while she should not have been driving at all because her license had been suspended.

All of these actions add up to a long list of charges including not stopping after a fatal accident, driving while intoxicated, driving with a minor in the car while intoxicated, giving a false identity and driving with a suspended license. Most people are familiar with the majority of these charges. But one may be a little more unknown – driving drunk with someone under the age of 18 in the car.

According to Indiana drunk driving laws, having a minor in the car with you while you are driving drunk raises the severity of the charge. A first-time offender may be charged with a misdemeanor and the minimum amount of jail time is five days or 180 hours of community service. If a minor was in the car, the charge is automatically upgraded to a class-D felony, and the minimum jail time jumps to 10 days or 360 hours of community service.

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May 11, 2012

Indiana Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed for 12-Year-Old Car Accident Victim

Teen and pre-teens hanging out at a friend’s house is commonplace on the weekends. Often lacking money to go out, they congregate at a home to visit, play video games, or listen to music. That is probably how the evening of December 9, 2011 started for a group of Indiana kids. Unfortunately, a few people made some bad decisions, and the night ended in tragedy.

Somehow, a 14-year-old boy obtained the keys to a car and took a 13-year-old and 12-year-old for a joyride around 1:00 a.m. A combination of inexperienced driving, a slippery road, and perhaps speed caused the driver to lose control of the car. It slid off the road, rolled over, and landed in a deep ditch. The 12-year-old passenger was killed. The driver and other passenger had some broken bones, but no life-threatening injuries. No one in the car was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.

The parents of the deceased victim have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver, both to request damages and to find out what really happened that night. Because the investigation is still open, the victim’s parents do not have access to any police information about the car accident. Their attorney states, “No one really knows the truth. There’s so many different stories about what happened that evening.” Once a lawsuit is filed, witnesses can be called to testify as to how the 14-year-old ended up with the keys to a car and what happened in the moments leading up to the crash.

While no charges have been filed against the driver or the owner of the car, it is possible that both may be charged when the investigation is complete. The driver was operating a car without a valid license, and if speeding was a factor, that could lead to another charge. If it is discovered that the owner of the car knowingly gave the keys to an unlicensed driver, he could be charged with “permitting a violation” under an Indiana state statute.

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May 10, 2012

Medical Malpractice during Birth can Cause Life-long Cerebral Palsy in Kentucky Infants

Injuries caused by medical professionals are always tragic because they most likely could have been avoided. When a medical error injures a child, the tragedy increases. Unfortunately, a number of these injuries occur at birth, leaving the infant and the family to deal with medical issues throughout the child’s life.

In a recent case, a jury realized the seriousness of this type of situation and awarded a child’s family $78 million in a medical malpractice case stemming from problems that started at birth. Three years ago, a woman went to the hospital because of complications with her pregnancy. The obstetrician on duty did an ultrasound and concluded that the baby had died. Almost an hour and a half later, an emergency cesarean section delivery was performed and the baby was alive. Unfortunately, the delay in the birth left the newborn with brain damage. The three-year-old has spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy.

After hearing the facts of the case from both sides, the jury decided that the hospital, rather than the attending physicians, was at fault. Testimony brought to light the fact that the ultrasound equipment provided to the doctor by the hospital was old and had not been maintained in the last ten years. Also, there was no ultrasound technician available to say the results had been misread because it was a Sunday. Rather, the technician had to be contacted at home and told to come in. It was most likely these two issues that caused the jury to place the blame on the hospital.

The $78 million medical malpractice award seems very large, but it covers a wide range of issues. The child will require a lifetime of special medical care and will most likely never be able to work to support himself. The award also takes into account the pain and suffering the child has endured and will continue to endure. Of the entire amount, $1.5 million was awarded to the child’s mother for her emotional distress. The rest of the award will be used only to pay for the child’s ongoing medical expenses and care.

Continue reading "Medical Malpractice during Birth can Cause Life-long Cerebral Palsy in Kentucky Infants " »

May 1, 2012

Parents Awarded over $2 Million in Kentucky Wrongful Death Case

After four days of opening and closing arguments and testimony, a Kentucky jury took only four hours to determine that a church and its former youth minister were mostly responsible for the death of a 13-year-old boy. His estate was awarded over $2 million. How much of that they receive remains to be seen.

The 13-year-old was killed in 2009 in a single-car accident. The wreck occurred after 10 youths had gone on a camping trip with Derek Coulter, their youth minister from Big Springs Assembly of God. At first Mr. Coulter stated that he was driving with the victim and another passenger in his SUV when he swerved to hit a deer and ran off the road. Later, another teen passenger told authorities that Mr. Coulter had allowed the victim to the driver the SUV, and he caused the accident when he lost control of the vehicle and crossed the road. Mr. Coulter then recanted his initial story, leaving the victim’s loved ones to wonder if anything he told them about that day was true.

The boy’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Kentucky requesting compensation for the death of their son from Mr. Coulter and the church. Church officials denied any responsibility, saying it was not a church function and that Mr. Coulter was not acting as an employee when the car accident occurred because it was his day off. The plaintiff’s attorney argued that the church was liable because every person who attended the camping trip was a church member, Mr. Coulter referred to it as church event during the victim’s funeral, and the kids were told they were not allowed to swear on the trip because it was a church outing. Also, statements showed that Mr. Coulter had allowed several other teens to drive his car in the church parking lot on various occasions, so the church should have known it was occurring and intervened.

The jury agreed with the plaintiff and awarded the estate $2.15 million. Part of this amount will be reduced because the jury found that 20 percent of the fault went to the victim because he knew he shouldn’t have driven the car but did it anyway. Mr. Coulter’s portion, which is about half of it, may never be awarded because he has no way to pay. The church carries insurance of at least $1 million, so the estate should receive at least part of the award, unless the church appeals the decision.

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April 17, 2012

Family Files Indiana Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Son’s Drowning Death at Church Day Care

Stating they want to find out the truth about how their 22-month-old son died, the family of the little boy has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against an Indiana church. The child was in day care at Praise Fellowship Assembly of God Church in February 2012 when he drowned in a baptismal pool. The wrongful death lawsuit gives the family the ability to subpoena employees of the day care and the chance to ask those who were at the church that day exactly what happened. According to the family’s attorney, “They can’t get any closure. They can’t finish the grieving process until they have some idea what happened to their son.”

Both parents, and probably many others, were surprised when criminal charges were not brought against any of the workers. But the prosecutor stated that while their actions were perhaps reckless or negligent, the workers did not act criminally, and the case would have to be fought in civil court.

In addition to finding out what happened, the parents would also like to have the responsible parties held accountable for their actions and would like to ensure that no others parents suffer through this type of tragedy in the future. Unfortunately, it does not appear they are going to get much help from the State of Indiana.

Shortly after this tragedy, Senator Greg Taylor of Indianapolis presented draft legislation that would require church-run day care centers to meet the same standards as licensed day care centers. Under current Indiana law, licensed day care centers have to meet 192 standards while church day cares only have to meet about 21 standards. Even in-home licensed day care providers have to meet 94 of the standards. Some of the standards that church day cares are not required to meet include staffing ratios and ages and training requirements. But the Senate voted 30-19 against the proposed amendment.

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October 24, 2011

Recent Kentucky Car Accident Involving Teens Highlights Need for Safer Driving

On Monday, October 17, 2011, three teens were involved in a fatal car accident in Bloomfield, Kentucky. The accident report states the 17-year-old driver was going east on Old Bloomfield Road after school when she lost control of the car, causing it to go off the right side of the road. The driver over-corrected, sending the car across the center line and into the ditch where it rolled over multiple times before stopping. The driver’s sister, who was located in the back seat, was pronounced dead at the scene. A friend riding in the front seat was ejected from the car and remains hospitalized with head trauma and other injuries. The driver’s injuries were moderate.

Police are investigating the crash to determine the cause. Alcohol is unlikely, especially in light of the fact that the students had just been released from school for the day. Speed is being considered but has not been established as the cause. The hilly, curvy road may have contributed to the accident, as police and those who live in the area both say it is dangerous and has claimed lives in other accidents. Whatever the cause, it is important to note that the one who was least injured, the driver, was wearing her seatbelt. The others were not. This tragic accident again highlights the importance of seatbelt use.

Ironically, the week this accident occurred was also National Teen Driver Safety Week. The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety (KOHS) took part in Safety Week and continues to raise Kentucky teens’ awareness of the dangers of driving throughout the year. One of the largest contributors to teenage driving accidents is distraction. KOHS uses a Distracted Driving Simulator to show teens how dangerous distracted driving is by allowing them to talk or text on a cell phone while they attempt to drive safely in the simulator. Director Bill Bell says “All too often, the devices are winning and our kids our losing, with tragic results.” National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics show that 691 fatalities in 2009 were caused by a distracted teen driver.

Distractions are not the only cause of teen accidents. There are many other causes and ways for teens to stay safe on the road.

Continue reading "Recent Kentucky Car Accident Involving Teens Highlights Need for Safer Driving" »

May 8, 2009

Louisville Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed by Parents of Two Girls Killed in Kentucky Hit and Run Accident

In Jefferson Circuit Court, the respective parents of Claudia Wadlington, 5, and the Riley Lawrence, 4, have filed a Kentucky wrongful death lawsuit for the girls' hit-and-run deaths. The two girls were killed in Louisville on July 25, 2008 as they were walking to swim class. They were holding hands with Claudia’s mom, Angela, as they crossed Floyd Street when a Pontiac Grand Am hit them. The driver of the car, Kenielle Finch, also hit Louisville Metro Police who attempted to apprehend him following the deadly hit and run accident.

Named as defendants in the Kentucky pedestrian accident complaint are Kenielle Finch, who was charged with their murders (in addition to 12 other related charges) and Keynisha Butler, who lent Finch the car that hit the girls. Finch entered a not guilty plea to the criminal charges and will stand trial.

The families’ Louisville wrongful death lawsuit seeks to recover hospital expenses, burial costs, and other accident-related expenses, including Angela’s hospital expenses for her injuries, as well as punitive damages from both men.

Reasons Why Motorists Hit and Run
Not only is it considered negligent conduct to cause an auto accident, but so is leaving an auto accident site after causing a motor vehicle crash—especially if someone was seriously injured. Staying at a crash site to provide assistance and contact emergency medics to let them know that someone has been hurt can determine whether an auto accident victim lives or dies.

Some reasons why people hit and run:
• Driving drunk or under the influence of drugs.
• Driving without a license or proper insurance or documentation.
• Driving a stolen vehicle.
• The driver may have just committed a crime.
• The driver is scared of the legal consequences.

If you were seriously hurt in Kentucky hit and run accident and the driver has not been apprehended, an experienced Louisville car accident law firm can help you pursue your uninsured motorist claim and make sure that you receive a settlement from your insurer that takes as much of your accident-related expenses and recovery costs into consideration. If the driver has been apprehended, then your Kentucky personal injury lawyer can push to recover from the negligent party.

Slain girls' parents sue accused hit-and-run driver, Courier-Journal, May 5, 2009

Kenielle Finch indicted, charged with murder after alleged hit and run, Newsnet14, September 1, 2008


Related Web Resources:
Hit And Run Drivers Kill Nearly 1500 People Annually With Pedestrians At Greatest Risk, According To AAA Foundation Analysis, AAA, May 17, 2004

Pedestrians, Safekids.org

April 28, 2009

Lexington Teen Driving Accident: One Kentucky High School Student Dies and Three Others Are Seriously Injured

At Bryan Station High School, students are anxiously waiting to find out the condition of three of their classmates who were seriously injured in a Lexington motor vehicle crash on Monday night. One of their other classmates, 15-year-old Nathaniel Lee Stuckey, died in the collision on Russell Cave Road on Monday night.

The driver of the car, Nicoli Petitfrere, 17, and passenger Jasmine Marks, 16, are still in critical condition, while Kierra Fulz, 17, is in fair condition. According to Lexington police, speed may have been a factor, with the teenagers' car going faster than the 55 mph speed limit.

The Kentucky teen driving accident took place around 7pm when Petitfrere lost control of the white Toyota Camry and drove off the narrow two-lane road, striking a rock wall and hitting a tree head-on. Three of the Kentucky car crash victims had to be extricated from the Toyota. Stuckey, who was sitting in the front-passenger seat of the car was pronounced dead at the crash site.

Dangers of Speeding
• Speeding is a contributing factor in over 30% of deadly US traffic accidents.
• It occurs on freeways and on local streets.
• You can be speeding even if you are abiding by the posted legal limit if the weather conditions warrant that you drive slower.

Speeding Facts by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
• Speeding played a role in than 13,000 motor vehicle fatalities in 2007.
• 88% of traffic fatalities where speeding was involved took place on Interstate highways.
• 24% of speeding-related deaths occurred on roads with speed limits posted at 35 mph or lower.

If you were seriously injured in a Kentucky car crash, retaining the services of an experienced Lexington car accident lawyer can make obtaining your financial recovery a lot easier. Your Kentucky personal injury team can work with accident reconstructions and other accident experts who can help determine whether speed or another factor was the cause of your deadly Lexington auto accident.

Students grieve after crash kills, injures Bryan Station classmates, Kentucky.com, April 28, 2009


Related Web Resources:
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Teen Drivers

Continue reading " Lexington Teen Driving Accident: One Kentucky High School Student Dies and Three Others Are Seriously Injured" »

April 20, 2009

Kentucky Brain Injury Law Firm: 16-Month-Old Girl Dies from TBI Caused by Jefferson County Multi-Vehicle Collision

A Kentucky multi-vehicle collision in Jefferson County has claimed the life of a 16-month-old girl. Daphnie Mangrum was pronounced dead from a traumatic brain injury at a local hospital on Saturday. Mangrum’s mother and two siblings were also injured in the catastrophic Kentucky car crash, which occurred on the Dixie Highway on Thursday afternoon. The three of them are expected to recover.

According to Louisville Metro Police, at about 4:48pm, a Mazda drifted into the center lane, hitting a Dodge Caliber, which then struck a Chevy Lumina before hitting a Dodge Ram truck. Daphnie and her family members were riding in the Lumina. The children in the car were reportedly not properly restrained. The driver of the Mazda and the Lumina were transported to hospitals. West Point resident Janet Crowell, who was driving the Dodge Caliber, was pronounced dead at the crash site.

Traumatic Brain Injuries
• Motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of TBI’s, followed by fall accidents and athletic injuries.
• Every 15 seconds, someone sustains a TBI.
• TBI’s occur when there has been a jolt or blow or a penetrating injury to the head.
• 1.4 million people sustain TBI’s each year.
• 50,000 people die from TBI’s annually.
• About 2,685 kids, ages 14 and under, die from TBI's each year.

While traumatic brain injuries can range from mild (approximately 75% of TBIs are mild TBI’s) to severe to fatal, there are those who do survive and continue to live with catastrophic TBI’s that require them to receive long-term, specialized care. A TBI can affect one’s senses, memory, and the abilities to communicate, comprehend, and reason, as well as result in personality changes, depression, and changes in behavior.

Living with a serious TBI can be costly and life changing. Losing someone you love because they sustained a fatal TBI can be incredibly traumatic.

16-month-old dies from injury in Dixie Highway crash, Courier-Journal, April 18, 2009

Traumatic Brain Injury, CDC


Related Web Resources:
Brain Injury Association of America

Brain Injuries Overview, Justia

Continue reading "Kentucky Brain Injury Law Firm: 16-Month-Old Girl Dies from TBI Caused by Jefferson County Multi-Vehicle Collision " »

April 15, 2009

Louisville Personal Injury Law Firm: Grand Jury Indicts Kentucky Teenager for Motor Vehicle Deaths of Four Other Teens

In Kentucky, a Jefferson County grand jury has charged Herbert Lee III with four counts of murder for a deadly Louisville auto accident that killed four teenagers. Lee was 16 at the time of the crash.

Injured in the catastrophic Kentucky auto collision on December 18 were 15-year-old Arron Shields, 16-year-old twins Demar and Jemar Claybrooks, and their 14-year-old brother Marc Claybrooks. All of them were riding in the stolen motor vehicle that Lee was driving.

Police spotted the stolen auto and tried to make Lee pull over. The teenager reportedly refused, resulting in a short police chase and then the fatal accident.

NHTSA Teen Driver Facts
• Motor vehicle accidents is the number one cause of teen driver deaths.
• 6,982 young drivers, ages 15 to 20, were involved in deadly auto accidents in 2007.
• 3,174 teen drivers died.
• 252,000 others were injured.

CDC Teen Driving Facts
• Having other teenagers in the car with a teen driver increases the chances of deadly auto accident occurring.
• Teens with new driver's licenses are a crash risk for the first year that they are allowed to drive.
• Teens lack the experience that older drivers have of assessing potentially dangerous situations on the road.
• Teens are more likely to speed or engage in distracted driving than their adult counterparts.

If someone you love was seriously injured or killed in a Louisville auto crash, you should speak with an experienced Kentucky injury attorney to determine if you have grounds for filing a personal injury claim or a wrongful death lawsuit. Suing for personal injury won’t bring back the person you love, but it can provide you with some comfort to know that the negligent party has been held liable.

Grand jury indicts Ky. teen in quadruple fatal, Kentucky.com, April 15, 2009

Young Driver Traffic Safety Fact Sheet, NHTSA

Teen Driving Fact Sheet, CDC


Related Web Resources:
Teen Drivers, Insurance Information Institute

Teen Driving

Continue reading "Louisville Personal Injury Law Firm: Grand Jury Indicts Kentucky Teenager for Motor Vehicle Deaths of Four Other Teens " »

April 1, 2009

Kentucky Wrongful Death Attorney: Parents Sue Basketball Coaches for Middle School Son’s Fatal Collapse During Practice

In Kentucky, Michael and Amy Walker are suing two veteran basketball coaches for their son’s wrongful death. Keith Michael Walker, 13, died during the first day of practice in October 2008 while running a drill at Grayson County Middle School.

The couple’s Kentucky wrongful death lawsuit accuses coaches George Meredith and Bill Lee of “acting with reckless disregard” toward their son’s safety and contends that they did not exercise reasonable or normal care. The complaint contends that the two men’s negligent actions contributed to the younger Walker’s wrongful death.

Walker collapsed about 30 minutes into basketball practice. He reportedly had passed physicals to participate n the tryouts. Autopsy results show that sudden cardiac arrest was the 7th grader’s cause of death.The Walkers’ Kentucky wrongful death lawsuit seeks unspecified punitive damages, in addition to damages for lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, medical expenses, and funeral costs.

Grayson County Schools says they believe the two defendants will be exonerated. The coaches’ attorney says heat did not contribute to the teenager’s death and that the two men did not place the teenager at risk of injury.

Personal Injury to Minors
Schools, youth camps, daycare centers, athletic teams, and others charged with the care and supervision of minors can be held liable for personal injury to minors or wrongful death if inadequate supervision or other negligent acts results in a person getting hurt or dying.

In an unrelated incident, the parents Jeffrey Dean Gilpin and Glenna Michele Crockett filed a Kentucky wrongful death lawsuit against the head coach and a number of assistant coaches at their 15-year-old son’s high school after he collapsed during football practice last year. They are accusing the defendants of negligence and reckless disregard contributing to his death.

Recently, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear signed legislation making it a requirement for high school athletic coaches to undergo sports safety training related to cold emergencies, heat stroke, face, neck, and head injuries, and emergency planning. Beginning the new school year, a trained supervisor must attend all athletic practices and games.

Middle school athlete's death sparks lawsuit, Kentucky.com, March 30, 2009

Parents of Max Gilpin suing football coaches after son's death, WHAS, September 26, 2008

High School Sports Safety Bill Becomes Law in Kentucky, MomsTeam.com

Related Web Resource:
High School Sports Safety Law Passes Kentucky Legislature But Could Have Done Much More, MomsTeam.com

Grayson County Middle School

December 16, 2008

Kentucky Pedestrian Accident Attorney: 8-Year-Old is Struck by Car

In Frankfort, Kentucky, an 8-year-old boy suffered injuries yesterday morning after he was hit by a car on Frankfort Road. Fire department workers had to rescue the boy, who became trapped under the 1997 Honda, driven by Danny L Givens.

The boy was walking to the bus stop when the Kentucky pedestrian accident happened. He is receiving treatment at a Lexington hospital.

2007 Pedestrian Facts (NHTSA):

• 4,654 pedestrians died in US traffic accidents.
• That’s 1 pedestrian that died every 113 minutes.
• 70,000 pedestrians were injured.
• 14,000 of the injury victims were younger than 15.
• 8,000 of these victims were boys.
• 93 of the pedestrians that died last year were between the ages of 5 and 9.
• 36% of young pedestrian fatalities (under age 16) took place in the afternoon, between 3pm – 7pm.
• 44 people were killed in Kentucky pedestrian accidents in 2007.
• Auto crashes are the number one cause of death for kids between the ages of 3 and 14.

Some of the reasons why younger pedestrians are at risk of getting injured or killed in a Kentucky motor vehicle crash:
• Their ability to determine how fast a car is going and whether it is safe to cross the street is not always accurate.
• Drivers may not see child pedestrians because of their smaller size.
• A child pedestrian may wrongly assume that the driver is going to yield the right of way.
• A child pedestrians may not fully understand traffic signs or know how to safely cross the street.

Children injured in Kentucky pedestrian accidents are prone to serious injuries, including spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, severed limbs, internal injuries, and death.

Boy, 8, struck by car, Kentucky.com, December 15, 2008

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration


Related Web Resources:

Injury Center, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Walk This Way, Safe Kids

Continue reading "Kentucky Pedestrian Accident Attorney: 8-Year-Old is Struck by Car" »

December 3, 2008

Kentucky Personal Injury Settlement Agreement Reached Between Six Flags and Family of Girl Whose Feet Were Severed in Amusement Park Ride Accident

Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom and the family of Kaitlyn Lassiter have reached a Kentucky personal injury settlement agreemeent. Kaitlyn is the teenager whose feet were severed while riding the Superman Tower of Power ride in June 2007. She was 13 when the accident happened.

While the terms of the settlement are confidential, the amusement park says the settlement will take care of Kaitlyn for life. The Lassiter’s personal injury attorney, however, disputes this claim and says that because the girl’s medical condition is not stable, it is unclear what additional care she might need. It hasn’t even been quite 18-months since the catastrophic amusement park ride accident, but the teen’s medical bills reportedly are already close to $500,000.

Kaitlyn not only has had to undergo multiple amputation surgeries, but she continues to experience severe pain and depression. In statements she made made earlier this year about the accident, she described initially smelling burning flesh but not knowing that she was injured.

Kaitlyn lost her feet when a cable on the Superman ride broke and severed them. While doctors were able to reattach one foot, she had to be fitted with a prosthesis for her left foot. Her parents later sued the Kentucky amusement park for negligence and failure to properly test, inspect, maintain, and operate the ride.

Although Kentucky inspectors could not figure out why the ride’s cable snapped, they did confirm that the girl would have only suffered scrapes and cuts if the Superman Tower of Power operator had hit the emergency stop button right away. They also found that the amusement park ride accident might have never occurred if workers at the park had followed instructions on how to determine if a cable was deteriorating.

The Kentucky amusement park had denied responsibility, placing the blame with Intamin Ltd. Earlier this year, Kentucky Kingdom sued the amusement park ride manufacturer for the cable defect that caused Kaitlyn's accident. Two other Kentucky personal injury claims against the park, filed by Kaitlyn’s friends Arin Valsted and Blair Johnson, are pending. They are suing for the emotional trauma and minor injuries they sustained during the same accident.

Six Flags settles with Lasitter family, Courier-Journal, November 22, 2008

Kaitlyn Lasitter Gives First Public Account Of Ky. Kingdom Accident, WLKY, January 30, 2008

Girl's feet severed on ride at Six Flags in Kentucky, CNN, June 22, 2007


Related Web Resources:

Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom

Ride Accidents

August 5, 2008

Kentucky Accident Lawyers: Two Friends of Girl Whose Feet Was Severed on Thrill Ride Can Join Her Family's Kentucky Personal Injury Lawsuit

In Jefferson Circuit Court, Judge Barry Willet has ruled that the two girls that were sitting with Kaitlyn Lassiter, the then 13-year-old girl whose feet were severed while riding the Superman Tower of Power ride at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom last year, can join in the Lassiter family’s personal injury lawsuit against the amusement park.

Arin Valsted and Blair Johnson are friends of Kaitlyn, and they were sitting next to her when the accident happened on June 21, 2007. They sustained bruises and cuts during the incident and continue to seek counseling. The two girls are seeking damages for medical costs, pain, and emotional trauma.

While the judge is allowing Arin and Blair to join the lawsuit, their parents, who had wanted to sue the Six Flags park for emotional trauma and travel costs incurred while helping their children recover from their injuries, cannot join the suit.

The Lassiter family filed an amusement park accident lawsuit against the Louisville park after a cable that snapped on the ride severed Kaitlyn’s feet. Their lawsuit contends that Six Flags could have prevented the serious injury accident if they had properly maintained the ride. The ride is no longer in operation and state officials are citing a faulty cable and the amusement park operators slow response during the incident as causes of Kaitlyn's serious injuries. A personal injury trial is scheduled to begin in January.

While thrill rides at amusement parks can be a great source of enjoyment for children, they can also lead to serious, even fatal injuries, if a ride malfunctions or a ride operator makes a mistake.

Injuries to Minors
In Kentucky, an injured minor cannot file a personal injury lawsuit without the assistance of a parent, a guardian, or another adult.

Kentucky Kingdom Suit Expands, Courier-Journal.com, August 5, 2008

Judge: Teens can join Kentucky amusement park suit, WHAS.com, August 4, 2008

Related Web Resources:

Factors in ride accident cited, Courier-Journal.com, May 31, 2008

Read the Six Flags Accident Report (PDF), WHAS.com

A good personal injury lawyer can determine whether your child was injured because a driver, a doctor, a product manufacturer, an amusement park, the owner or a business or residence, or another party was negligent.