Carter County Kentucky Grand Jury Indicts Woman in West Virginia DUI Auto Accident
On November 30, 2022, it was reported that the Carter County Kentucky Grand Jury returned an indictment against Crystal Hodge for 1st degree assault, 1st degree wanton endangerment and murder. Ms. Hodge was travelling at a high rate of speed on I-64 in West Virginia, in inclement weather, and while under the influence of a controlled substance, when she lost control of her vehicle and rolled it several times. An unrestrained 8-year-old was ejected from the vehicle and died; an 11-year-old was seriously injured. The lack of seatbelt usage often results in death as the occupants are frequently ejected or thrown into the windshields. Although using a seatbelt cannot guarantee survival of an accident, statistically, use of the seatbelt increases the survivability in an auto accident.
When does an auto accident become a criminal matter?
There are circumstances when a car accident becomes a criminal matter. Normally, it is when someone decides to drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and serious injury or death results from the accident. Also, more recently, criminal charges are filed when someone is texting and causes serious injuries or death. A stolen vehicle causing an accident is enough circumstance where an auto accident becomes a criminal matter.
There was a recent accident involving a professional football player with the Las Vegas Raiders where the player was involved an accident while driving his vehicle well over one hundred miles mph and his front seat passenger was killed and that accident resulted in criminal charges.
The fact that the accident is considered criminal in nature can cause the insurance company for the at fault driver to deny their insurance coverage based upon an exclusion in the insurance policy. The Kentucky No-Fault laws specifically exclude coverage for an intentional injury cause by an automobile and for an accident while the vehicle has been stolen. If there is no liability coverage, then the injured victim will need to have access to uninsured motorist coverage if he or she expects to make a claim for their person injuries.
Although the Kentucky No-Fault laws exclude coverage for an intentional injury, I have had success with these claims because the person causing the accident will deny that the accident was intentional and that carries great weight with their own insurance company. The reason that they deny an intentional act is because they want to avoid criminal prosecution. I have had claims where the girlfriend runs into the back of her boyfriend after a fight and the boyfriend knows that it was intentional but the girlfriend denies it. I have never had the insurance company for the girlfriend deny coverage.
Contact Kentucky Car Accident Lawyer!
These circumstances will require the services of an experienced Kentucky car accident attorney to to maximize all benefits available to the victims in this auto accident. Matthew Troutman, 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 Kentucky Car 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 Kentucky car accident attorney Matthew Troutman and the Troutman Law Office, click here.