7 Injured in Chaotic Lexington Kentucky Auto Accident-Do the Police Determine Fault in a Auto Accident?
Dec. 17, 2022
At approximately 10 pm on December 15, 2022, 7 people were injured in a multi-car accident at the intersection of Alumni Drive and Yellowstone Parkway in Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky. One of the vehicles ran a red light and the Lexington Police described the scene as “chaotic” when they arrived. The accident Reconstruction team blocked the scene over night to conduct what was described as a “complicated investigation.” No criminal charges are pending at this time.
Does the Police Officer Determine Fault in a Car Accident?
The use of the accident reconstruction team in this car accident brings up an interesting issue regarding police investigation of traffic accidents. Do the police determine who is at fault in the car accident? The answer to this question is both yes and no. In a court of law, the answer is generally no. A police officer cannot testify as to his or her opinion concerning the cause of the accident unless he or she is qualified as an accident reconstructionist. Most police officers cannot be qualified as a reconstruction experts.
The police officer does not have the function of determining fault in a courtroom, but, most auto accident claims are settled outside of a lawsuit and, in these circumstances, insurance companies and lawyers tend to follow the opinion of the officer on the report about who is at fault in the accident. Of course, sometimes the officers are wrong about the facts and/or conclusions they record on their reports. I had a case recently where I was able to review the body cams of the investigating police officer and I heard his interview of a witness who was asked if one of the drivers was playing loud music and she clearly said the music was not loud yet the police report says she told the investigating officer that the music was loud. Many times the police officer makes mistakes about facts and conclusions because they are not really interested in determining fault. They are motivated to simply get the report done, clear the intersection and move on to something else.
If the police officer places someone at fault on an accident report, how can you overcome the fault determination by the police officer. There are many ways this can be done, but it is impossible in most circumstances to have the police officer change his report. The most effective way to overcome the police officer's determination is with independent witness testimony. If that is not available, then physical evidence like the location of accident debris or location of vehicle damage can be helpful. If there are no independent witnesses, and it is your word against the other driver's word, then it will be difficult to prevail in your claim.
Contact Lexington Auto Accident Lawyer
These circumstances will require the services of an experienced Lexington auto accident attorney to investigate the cause of the accident and maximize all benefits available to the victims in this auto accident. Matthew Troutman, a Lexington auto accident lawyer, of the Troutman Law Office has been handling auto accident claims, almost exclusively, since 1986 and has the experience and talent to obtain the best result for the victims in the above car accident. It is very likely that the at-fault driver will not have enough insurance to fully compensate the victims in this car accident, and, therefore, it will be important for there to be underinsured motorist benefits available.
If you need legal assistance due to a motor vehicle accident, contact Lexington auto accident attorney Matthew Troutman directly at 859-696-0001 or 502-648-9507 and he will meet with you in the hospital, your home or wherever is convenient for you. He will give you direct access through his cell phone and guide you through the difficult process necessary to obtain the best result possible for you in your car accident claim. To learn more about Lexington car accident attorney Matthew Troutman and the Troutman Law Office, click here.