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Richmond Legal Issues Blog

When is the right time to file a personal injury claim?

While out doing your thing, another driver slammed into your car. You suffered pretty significant injuries in the wreck and spent time laid up in the hospital. Now you are out, but you still are going through physical therapy, trying to readjust to life, and are just not up to doing much else. You want to pursue compensation for your losses but do not feel you are in a position to do it just yet. When is the right time to file a personal injury claim in a Kentucky civil court?

Following a car accident, it is okay to take time and take care of you. Just know there is a statute of limitations set on personal injury claims, so do not wait too long if you wish to pursue relief through legal means.

When a job is not a safe space

Regardless of the industry, there are employees across the nation who find themselves in unsafe working areas. The hazards may be apparent, but some Kentucky workers are not aware of their own rights to refuse work in such environments. What are some examples of these safety violations, and where does one draw the line? 

To the surprise of many, there are guidelines that dictate whether a working environment is, in fact, safe. The United States Department of Labor stresses the importance of making an unsafe work area known to employers, stating that employees in these situations should file a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. If the workplace invites the risk of death or physical harm, and OSHA has not had adequate time to investigate the scene, employees have the right to refuse work where they have chances of being exposed to danger. However, employees must first have notified the employer of the danger, and then filed a complaint as a result of the employers' failure to eliminate that danger. There must also be a valid safety hazard at the site of employment; employees may only refuse work when there has not been sufficient time to address the hazard. 

Kentucky sees increase in traffic fatalities

If you have driven for any amount of time in Kentucky, you know that accidents can and do happen. You also know, however, that there are things that people can do to reduce the chance of being in or causing an accident. Refraining from driving after drinking or when tired, obeying speed limits and allowing sufficient space between vehicles are just a few of these things. Sadly there are many drivers who refuse to take these steps. This leaves many people injured or even dead due to senseless accidents.

This can be seen in the tragic tide of increasing vehicular fatalities in Kentucky. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that 2016 marked the third consecutive year in which the number of people killed in car crashes spiked statewide. Whereas in 2013 there were 638 traffic deaths, in 2016 there were 834. Those deaths involved accidents in which alcohol and speed were factors, large trucks were involved and more. Pedestrians and motorcylists experienced serious jumps in the number fatalties as well.

Job background checks and criminal records

If you are one of the many people in Kentucky who has a criminal conviction in your past or maybe a current criminal arrest that you are faced with, you will no doubt want to know how your future will be affected by this experience. A large element of making sure you have a good future is knowing that you can get a job and earn a living to support yourself and maybe even a family as well.

Conducting a background check is commonplace for most employers today and this is something that you might be nervous about. Before you assume that a background check means you will never find a job, you should know that is not necessarily the case. As Monster.com explains, every state has unique laws about what an employer is allowed to look for and even when in the recruiting or hiring process they may conduct a criminal background check.

Drug and alcohol testing for truckers

The risks posed to innocent people in Kentucky by drunk drivers is nothing new. Given that the holidays have just recently passed, you have likely and unfortunately heard at least one report about an accident caused by a drunk or even a drugged driver. It is sadly not only everyday citizens operating their personal vehicles who may make the dangerous choice to drive while impaired. Truck drivers and operators of other commercial vehicles may do this as well.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is the arm of the federal government tasked with overseeing commercial transportation in the United States. In the last few years, it has established its Commercial Driver's License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse to help prevent impaired driving among truckers. This program requires all employers of commercial drivers to test applicants for substance use prior to completing a new hire and once every year thereafter. 

Field sobriety test inaccuracy rates

Like most people in Kentucky, you may be aware that during an investigation in which a law enforcement officer suspects you might be driving while intoxicated, you might be asked to perform certain tasks or tests. These are often referred to as field sobriety tests due to their performance in the field where you were originally stopped. Understanding the purpose of these tests how accurate they may or may not be is important for anyone who has been charged with a driving under the influence offense.

First, FieldSobrietyTests.org explains that these roadside tests are not at all meant to conclusively prove that a driver is actually drunk. In fact, these tests are not even able to make such a determination. Instead they are meant to provide evidence to suggest that a drive might be drunk. Armed with this information, a police officer may legally place the driver under arrest.

Kentucky's growing graffiti problem

It is one of the most common forms of property damage, found across cityscapes and alongside factories and businesses. Some argue that it brings aesthetic value to public spaces, while others are outraged at the clean-up process and the laws that surround the issue. Graffiti vandalism is a crime Kentucky is no stranger to. While public art has certainly captivated urban areas for decades, there is much debate over what, exactly, constitutes as street art altogether.  

With colors splashed across cities nationwide, it comes as no surprise that, as shared by U.S. News, graffiti vandalism is a growing problem in Kentucky. And while some forms of graffiti are, indeed, benign and even visually pleasing, others deface monuments and other valuable property. U.S. News points out that Kentucky's Red River Gorge has seen a spike in spray painted images on the rock surfaces. Part of the Daniel Boone National Forest, the gorge area is a hot spot for nature enthusiasts, but it has also become a favorite among vandals. It may seem a simple fix, but park rangers note the difficulty of removing various types of paint from these beloved parks. The consequences for getting caught vandalizing in the park? Forestry officials warn the public that penalties include fines and prosecution in federal court. 

Open fractures pose a high risk of infection

Suffering a serious injury can be a frightening experience. In some cases, you may not know right away the extent of the harm you have suffered, and in other instances, you may immediately recognize that you have suffered a severe injury. Many signs could indicate serious damage and can range from experiencing pain to visual signs such as blood or bone exposure.

When it comes to bone exposure, you may have suffered an open fracture, also known as a compound fracture. This type of injury could occur in a car accident or other event, and the injury itself is always considered serious. You could experience numerous negative effects from such a fracture, and infection is one of the most serious.

Wrong-way drugged driver hits pickup truck

Drivers in Kentucky often associated impaired driving with drinking. However, the consumption of alcohol is not the only thing that can result in a driver being unable to safely and legally operate a motor vehicle. Driving while under the influence of drugs is also a problem that can plague the roads and put innocent people at risk unnecessarily. An example of this can be seen in a wreck that happened recently in Williamsburg.

The incident happened on a Friday morning along a stretch of US 25. Reports indicate that a man who was driving a sport utility vehicle crossed over to the other side of the road and into oncoming traffic. He then struck an oncoming pickup truck that was driving the correct direction on the road. The drugged driver in the SUV was taken by air to the University of Tennessee Medical Center. The driver of the pickup truck was taken by air to the University of Kentucky Medical Center after being rescued from being entrapped in his truck. His injuries include a broken leg and possibly more.

How many drivers are distracted by cell phones?

The digital age has transformed the way people live, from social interactions to conducting business. In many ways, smartphones and other technological advancements have improved lives significantly. Unfortunately, technology also has downsides, such as leading to more drivers becoming distracted by their gadgets. Whether you use a cell phone regularly or are worried about the likelihood of being struck by someone on their phone, it is important to look over statistics on how prevalent distracted driving due to cell phones really is.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has published upsetting information on cell phones and distracted driving. According to the NHTSA, roughly 660,000 people use their cell phones while operating a vehicle during daylight hours. Often, this behavior does not result in an accident and those who fail to drive responsibly are able to continue on without upending lives, including their own. However, with so many people on their phones while driving, it is inevitable that some of them will cause an accident.

Shumate, Flaherty, Eubanks & Baechtold

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Richmond, KY 40475

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