Adult holding flowers and placing hand on child's casket

Truck Loses Tow Causing Death of Another in Livermore, Kentucky

In Livermore, Kentucky on March 16, 2023, Kentucky State Police are reporting that Blake Hamilton of Utica, Ky was travelling southbound on US 431 Green River bridge when one of two anhydrous tanks in-tow became loose and struck a pick-up truck traveling in the opposite direction. The driver of the pick-up truck was James Heifner of Owensboro, Ky, He was airlifted to Deaconess Hospital in Evansville, IN where he later died.

What claims can someone make for a wrongful death caused by an auto accident in Kentucky?

In the above-described accident, Mr. Hamilton seems to be obviously at fault for causing the death of Mr. Heifner due to his failure to secure his load that resulted in Mr. Heifner’s death. In an accident involving a death, the law calls such a claim a wrongful death claim and it specifies certain claims that can be made as a result. The claims that can be made in a wrongful death case in Kentucky include the following:

(1)    Lost Future Income: This claim is normally the largest claim made in a wrongful death case. Even in the case above, where the victim is 64 years old, he would be entitled to his possible earnings from the age of 64 until his statistical death. Kentucky has a life table that predicts, based upon statistics, how long a person would live. Assuming that time period is 20 years, Mr. Heifner’s estate would be entitled to his annual earning capacity X 20 years. Even if he was retired, he would be entitled to his ability to earn income.

(2)   Medical Expenses: This claim normally is not a large claim unless someone survives for a significant time in the hospital after the accident. Most claims for medical expenses will be used to reimburse the health insurance or auto insurance companies who paid the medical expenses and the estate will not receive much of this item of damage.

(3)  Pain & Suffering: If the victim survives for a period of time and is conscious, a claim for pain and suffering can be made. In a personal injury claim, the pain and suffering claim is normally the largest claim, but not here because of the short time period of conscious suffering of pain.

(4)  Funeral and Burial Expenses: A claim can be made for funeral expenses incurred.

(5)   Loss of Consortium: Loss of consortium is a claim for loss of companionship and services provided by the decedent. Kentucky law allows the surviving spouse to make this claim. A parent can make a loss of consortium claim for a minor child. A claim by a grandparent is not allowed. A consortium claim by a minor child in the loss of a parent is allowed.

(6)  Property damage: A claim can be made for damage to the vehicle and/or personal property in the accident.

(7)   Punitive damages: Punitive damages are aimed at punishing the person causing the accident to discourage the same behavior by others and it is only allowed under limited aggravating circumstances such as a wrongful death being caused by a drunk driver.


If you are involved in a car, truck or motorcycle accident, you will require the services of an experienced Kentucky auto accident attorney to investigate the cause of the accident and maximize all benefits available to the victims and their families. Matthew Troutman, a Kentucky 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.

If you need legal assistance due to a motor vehicle accident, contact Kentucky auto accident attorney Matthew Troutman directly at 502-648-9507 or 859-696-0001 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