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Articles Posted in Head & Spine Injuries

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With the severe winter weather that recently swept through Kentucky, Kentuckians and those visiting the bluegrass were confronted with dangerous conditions from ice and snow. It is often impossible to predict Kentucky’s weather from one day to the next—especially in the winter months. Ice and snow can create very dangerous conditions with parking lots, sidewalks, stairs and other walkways exposed to the elements.

So what should you do if you slip and fall on someone else’s property and have sustained an injury? If you believe you have been injured or if you sustain an obvious injury, it is important to go to the doctor as soon possible not only to document how and when the fall occurred, but also to begin your treatment and assess your injuries. If your injuries are not documented in a medical record, it can make pursuing any potential claim much more difficult.

Land owners and operators open to the public in Kentucky have a general duty to ensure their premises are reasonably safe and to provide such safeguards against injury from ice and/or snow as any ordinarily prudent owner and operator would under the same or similar circumstances. In other words, owners and operators have the responsibility to take steps necessary to remove any known dangerous conditions on the premises.

Often times, a third-party snow removal company has been hired to take on the responsibility of eliminating dangerous conditions which may arise on the property. Like with any industry, the skill and attention to detail for third-party snow removal companies can vary widely. These third-party contractors can range anywhere from a one man crew with insufficient equipment and assistance who attempts this type of work on the side all the way to professional snow removal companies using the industry’s best equipment who only do snow and ice removal. Despite this, the responsibility of land owners and operators along with any third-party contractor remains the same. Continue reading

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Varellas & Varellas has reached the largest settlement with the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government since at least 2005 in a premises liability case on behalf of a man who fell in a construction pit that the Plaintiff alleged was improperly marked since it failed to warn of the depth of the pit or the danger to those near it. The Plaintiff suffered head and spine injuries and alleged general negligence as well as failure to adhere to various state and federal OSHA standards regarding construction around the pit itself and the failure to use fall protection measures near the pit. These included 29 CFR 1926.501(b)(1) (guardrail systems, safety net systems, and personal fall arrest systems) and 1926.502(i) (floor hole covers and railings), 29 CFR 1910(a)(8)(ii) (duty to have fall protection), 803 KAR 2:303(2)2 (floor openings railings and attendance of safety personnel), among others.

A fall safety engineer and multiple medical experts were prepared to testify at the upcoming trial before the settlement was reached. Since the Plaintiff worked for another company at the time of the injury, in addition to the injury case settled with LFUCG, the Plaintiff reached an additional workers’ compensation settlement for a lump sum and for the payment of future medical expenses in the hybrid personal injury/workers’ compensation case.

D. Todd Varellas was lead counsel working with other attorneys and another law firm in successfully litigating the case. Todd focuses his practice on civil personal injury and wrongful death cases. Todd has been successful in settling numerous cases for his clients and has recently tried multiple personal injury and wrongful death cases to a verdict. One of his recent trials resulted in a jury verdict of $2.402 million (reduced to $2.269 million after apportionment).

One of our experienced trial attorneys is available to discuss your potential claim involving personal injury, nursing home abuse or neglect, motor vehicle collision, wrongful death, medical malpractice or trucking wreck claims. Contact us at 877-634-1519 or via our online form.

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Motor vehicle owners in Kentucky who are also parents need to pay attention to whether or not it’s appropriate to let their children drive. Even though a parent who signs the application for a minor to obtain a driver’s license accepts liability for any damage caused by the teen, a parent who doesn’t sign the application can also be held liable for damages caused if there is negligent supervision of the teen. In addition, if an underage driver without a license gets into a car crash while driving his parent’s car, those that he hurts may have a cause of action against the parents for negligent supervision.

Negligent supervision cases are based on the idea that a parent has a duty to exercise reasonable care to make sure his or her minor child does not intentionally harm another or create an unreasonable risk of bodily harm. To provenegligent supervision in the context of a car accident, a plaintiff must show (1) the defendant has a duty, (2) breaches the duty; and (3) as a result of the breach, an actual injury occurred. More specifically, to be held responsible, a parent must know or have reason to know of his or her ability to control the minor and must know or should know that it is necessary  and possible to control the child.

Foreseeability is the issue on which a parent’s responsibility to control his or her child turns. Foreseeability usually requires that the child has committed the same or a very similar act previously. Parents are not required to be fortune-tellers about their child’s behavior. But in the case of car accidents, parents who know that their child has been drunk and driven on multiple prior occasions may be liable to anyone the child injures. Continue reading

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Fatalities involving motorcycle wrecks increased by more than 200 percent from 1997 to 2009 even though fatalities involving passenger cars and light trucks decreased by 27% during the same period. Concerned about this trend, Congress funded a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) research project to provide insight into the factors contributing to motorcycle crashes throughout the country. The Motorcycle Crash Causation Study (MCCS) will collect data through 2014 and will be supported by federal agencies, departments of transportation from the various states, local police and the motorcycle industry. The study is the most comprehensive look at the causes of motorcycle crash in more than 30 years, and the final report is expected to be completed in 2015. It is anticipated that the study report may lead to educational programs, new roadway safety measures, and policy decisions based by the data collected in the comprehensive study.

Our motorcycle accident attorneys have seen the devastating effects of motorcycle wrecks that have seriously injured our clients or caused the death of our clients’ loved ones. We encourage all motorcycle owners to take their safety and the safety of their passengers seriously so that wrecks and injuries can be avoided. Safety demonstrations, exhibits and free educational materials will be provided by the Kentucky State Police along with a cook-out and prizes during the Kentucky State Police 6th Annual Motorcycle Safety Awareness Day on Friday, July 26, 2013 at KSP Headquarters in Frankfort.

Even though motorcycle fatalities in Kentucky dropped from 80 in 2010 to 61 in 2011, the number of fatalities increased back up to 78 in 2012. So far in 2013, numerous motorcycle crashes in Kentucky have caused serious injuries or death. After the Scott County sheriff’s department worked three motorcycle crashes in a three-week period that resulted in fatalities, Sheriff Tony Hampton asked the people in Scott County to consider wearing a helmet. Although Kentucky law does not require a motorcyclist to wear a helmet, Sheriff Hampton stated he believed all three of the victims could have survived the wrecks if they had worn helmets. Continue reading

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A Circuit Court jury in Lexington, Kentucky entered a verdict requiring Cambridge Place Nursing Home to pay more than $1 million to a resident who was neglected and severely injured in an equipment storage room. Irene Hendrix was in her late 80’s and had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease when she had to be hospitalized due to the injuries she suffered. The doctors found that she suffered broken facial bones and bleeding in her brain.

The suit for abuse and neglect by the nursing home was brought by Hendrix’s daughter and her guardian against the owner of the nursing home and the management company. The nursing home denied negligence in the case but, after deliberating for about two hours, the jury awarded Hendrix $1 million for pain and suffering and awarded more than $27,000 for her medical costs.

Before the trial, investigations were conducted by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services and the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office. A state adult-protection worker found that Hendrix had been subjected to caretaker neglect, but the attorney general’s office determined that the injuries were caused by an accidental fall.

Our nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys have repeatedly seen the devastating injuries nursing home and long-term care residents can suffer as a result of abuse or neglect by the staff, attendants or medical providers to whom they have entrusted their care.  Due to the vulnerability of nursing home residents, Kentucky has enacted statutes aimed at protecting them from nursing home abuse and neglect. Kentucky law requires that, except in emergencies or except in limited circumstances justified in writing by a physician, residents must be free from any type of abuse including mental and physical abuse, and free from chemical and physical restraints. Continue reading

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