A car involved in a collision on I-264 in Louisville burst into flames killing the driver Sunday, July 14, 2019, around 5 p.m. According to police, the accident happened when a car broke down the curve of the left lane near mile marker 1, and another driver rounded the curve and struck the vehicle. The first car caught fired instantly killing its only occupant.
The driver of the second car was taken to University of Louisville Hospital with non life-threatening injuries. Police say the accident is still under investigation.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that rear-end crashes account for 28 percent of all vehicle accidents in the U.S. and 2,000 fatalities which is about 6 percent of all fatalities. At first blush it may seem like a good thing that percentage-wise fewer people die than in other crash types. However, this also means that more people end up with serious injuries in a rear-end crash than any other type.
Types of Accidents in a Rear-End Crash
- Whiplash: It happens when the vehicle comes to a sudden stop and the person slams forward and then slams back into their seat. These can be painful and often require surgery to repair the persons neck.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries: Head impacts on the dash or the steering wheel can cause mild to severe concussions, and unfortunately, injuries to the brain.
- Broken Facial Bones: Anytime there is a sudden impact on a person, there is a chance for a fracture, and when someone is pushed forward and their face isn’t protected by an airbag, then fractures can happen.
- Airbag injuries: Airbags undoubtedly save lives, but they can also cause severe burns and even death if the person is not the right heights or weight to be in a seat with an active airbag. Some airbags malfunctions can send shrapnel through the car causing injury or death.
- Permanent disfigurement: Sometimes the victim of a rear-end collision will hit a steering wheel, dashboard, side window or side door frame and receive deep and severe lacerations requiring surgery. They might also get cut by personal property flying inside of the vehicle or broken glass.
Who’s to Blame?
As drivers, most of us have been taught that if you rear-end another car, it’s your fault. While that is true most of the time, it’s not automatic. In a personal injury suit, to collect compensation, the injured person must prove that the other person was negligent. There are many scenarios where a person gets rear-ended and it’s fully or partially their fault.
Because of this, many times the insurance company will try to put the blame on the victim in an attempt to either pay nothing or pay considerably less.
Do I Need an Attorney?
While money alone does not put make the person whole again, dealing with the physical and emotional aspects of a traumatic accident is made more difficult as the financial losses add up creating more anxiety and stress. Many victims of these accidents wonder if they need to get an attorney.
In most cases, the answer is yes. You need to understand your rights and what you are entitled to under the law so you can make the best decision. Call the attorneys at Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, and they will stand behind you to make sure that you are treated fairly and that you get the highest compensation allowed by the law.