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Richmond Legal Issues Blog

What should you know about spinal cord injuries?

Suffering a serious injury of any type can cause considerable setbacks in your life. In best cases, those injuries are not permanent, and you can recover with little to no lasting negative effects. Unfortunately, some parts of the body are particularly susceptible to experiencing permanent impacts due to injury, and you could find yourself having to make major adjustments to your life in order to deal with these effects.

If you have been in a car accident, the chances of suffering injuries to any part of your body are high. If this type of event results in your suffering injuries to your spinal cord, your life could be altered forever. What should you know about spinal cord injuries?

Child custody battles and the safety of children

Poverty affects America in its own ways. Due to various factors, such as unemployment or even minimum wage, many parents in Kentucky face pressing circumstances with their children. It is not uncommon for children of low-income, single parents to be left alone while the parent goes to work. Other situations reveal the dark truth behind closed doors: some children are left without proper nutrition, as well. When the other parent of this child discovers their unhealthy living situations, however, they may decide to fight for full custody.

An article in The New Yorker looks at the struggles countless parents in the country face when they discover their own child has been neglected. But where does one draw the line? According to The New Yorker, child-protective services can knock on the door of a reported individual at any time, and have the power to thoroughly search all angles of a home. The article also shares that caseworkers may remove children from a home that they suspect is unsafe, or if it is evident they have been abused by the parent. Caseworkers can interview anyone in contact with a child, including neighbors and teachers.

Construction worker dangers and possible prevention

The construction industry has long been known as a crucial part of growing cities and small towns alike, but not one that comes without its fair share of risks. Construction companies across Kentucky supply vital components to the state's roadways, city centers, schools and other institutions; it is unfortunate that those who provide protection and safety for civilians are often the very ones who suffer injuries themselves. 

Early this year, the Lexington Herald Leader reported on the tragic accident of a construction worker who fell from a roof on the University of Kentucky's campus. The man, employee of Kalkreuth Roofing and Sheet Metal in Lexington, had been a subcontractor for Messer Construction of Cincinnati. The worker died of various blunt force injuries from falling 30 feet from the roof. The UK police chief disclosed that the man had not been wearing a safety harness, but that the incident was under investigation.    

Reviewing Kentucky's dram shop law

Richmond residents are likely well aware of how dangerous a drunk driver can be. They may not know, however, exactly how costly a collision caused by such a driver can come out to. Information shared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that drunk driving accidents result in a average of $44 billion in annual costs. Often, an individual accident victim may find that insurance coverage is not enough to deal with the expenses he or she is left to face. The question then becomes who else (if anyone) beyond the driver that struck him or her can be held liable. 

In many cases, one simply does not become intoxicated on his or her own. Another party (often a social host or an establishment) will often provide him or her with the alcoholic beverages that contribute to his or her intoxication. Say that one is at a party hosted by a friend. That friend serves alcohol, which the person consumes to the point of becoming drunk. He or she then drives away and subsequently causes an accident. Is the friend liable for not ensuring that he or she was fit to drive, or for serving alcohol at all? Kentucky state law says no. It recognizes proximate liability as lying solely with the driver in such cases. 

Can I get alimony in Kentucky?

When it comes to alimony awards, Kentucky is like many other states in its requirements and conditions. According to the Kentucky statutes, the judge hearing your case has a considerable amount of discretion when deciding whether to grant your request for spousal maintenance. However, there are some standard considerations that must be reviewed before payment is awarded or denied.

The goal of maintenance is to ensure that your reasonable needs are met. If your portion of the marital property is not sufficient for this purpose, or if there is a valid reason that you cannot support yourself, the court will then examine other factors to evaluate your case further.

Understanding hours of work limitations for truck drivers

You see large semi-trucks and tractor-trailers driving in and around Richmond almost every day. While you appreciate the work that truckers do, you likely shudder to think how dangerous one might become if he or she becomes fatigued while behind the wheel. The risks posed by fatigued truckers and the responsibility they have to stay alert has been detailed on this blog before, yet we here at Shumate, Flaherty, Eubanks & Baechtold can attest to the fact that the desire to satisfy both clients and employers can cause truckers to overwork themselves. This raises the question of whether such professionals are left to determine at what level they believe themselves to be fatigued. 

Fortunately, the answer to that question is no. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has set forth guidelines regulating the number of hours a truck driver can work. In regards to a work week for drivers transporting property, one can only work up to 60 hours across a period of seven consecutive days or 70 hours across eight consecutive days (if his or her employer operates commercial vehicles). Prior to beginning a new work week, a driver must take an off-duty period of at least 34 consecutive hours which includes two periods from 1:00 am-5:00 am. 

Use your head to determine if you have a brain injury

If you were recently involved in a motor vehicle accident in Kentucky, you're probably still celebrating the fact that you survived. Hopefully, your recovery is coming along well, and you are feeling a bit better with each passing day. That's not to say it's been easy going since, more often than not, recovering from a serious car accident can be a long and arduous process. If you suffered a traumatic head injury, your recovery challenges may be just beginning.

In fact, sometimes symptoms from head trauma do not immediately show themselves; it might be days later or even weeks when you first notice a problem. If you learned in the aftermath of your accident that another driver was reckless or negligent, you may have experienced feelings of anger, knowing your injuries might have been prevented. If you know your rights and take advantage of the resources available to you, you may be able to obtain full recovery for your losses.

Wrongful battery charges and the consequences

Any kind of violence-related charge can create a multitude of legal issues. And while battery charges are, indeed, serious, some are not always truthful accusations. A wrongful accusation can not only be costly and time-consuming, but can damage a defendant's reputation. What are the options in such cases? In Kentucky, even an assault charge of the fourth degree can present a number of complications for the accused.

The repercussions of an assault charge can be serious, yet the law also protects defendants from malicious or dishonest accusations. An article in the Lexington Herald Leader reports on such a case, wherein a 19-year-old woman accused a former University of Kansas baseketball player of physically harming her at a party. As a result, the young man faced a misdemeanor battery charge -- but the charge did not last long. After video footage from the scene revealed that the woman, in fact, first inflicted harm upon the defendant, she pleaded guilty to battering him. In cases such as these, determining who initiated the violence can often prove difficult. The woman involved was later arrested for driving while under the influence, only worsening her credibility. Meanwhile, the basketball player is free from all past charges. 

Are you OK to use force to defend yourself?

Imagine the following scenario: You find yourself at home in Richmond when an unknown person attempts to break in. You call law enforcement authorities, but fear that they will not arrive before the intruder gains entry. You feel compelled to answer the threat posed by the intruder with force, and end up severely injuring him or her. Does the law justify your actions

As is the case in many legal matters, the answer is both yes and no. Kentucky state laws imposes no duty to retreat on you if you feel that the use of force (even deadly force) is necessary to protect any of the following: 

  • Your life and/or well-being
  • The lives and/or well-being of others
  • Your home or vehicle
  • Your personal property 

Asbestos exposure: a call for compensation

Asbestos exposure is no new occurrence in America: since the 1940s, millions of workers have been exposed to high levels of the minerals through their place of occupation. Among those affected are miners and manufacturers, who are put at high risks when surrounded by these dangerous minerals every day. Many develop mesothelioma as a result of this exposure, and as this tumor of the tissue progresses, everyday living can suddenly become a major challenge. Workers in Kentucky who have been affected by this illness as a result of their careers may choose to take legal action. In addition, there are a number of other steps to take when addressing the complications of this exposure.

Markets Insider recently released a news piece on the topic of mesothelioma and assistance for victims, stating that the Mesothelioma Victims Center is an ideal path for those affected by exposure. According to the article, the center has encouraged victims to seek compensation for their illnesses. Health experts claim that second-hand exposure to asbestos products and the financial compensation can be almost as much as an individual who was directly exposed to asbestos at work. A great number of those affected were exposed after their family member did not change clothes before coming home from their asbestos-affected work site. Consequently, there are millions in the country living with an illness of which they do not know the source.

Shumate, Flaherty, Eubanks & Baechtold

Shumate, Flaherty, Eubanks & Baechtold
225 West Irvine Street
Richmond, KY 40475

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