Motor Vehicle Accidents

Richardson Law Group has experience defending automotive companies who have been accused of inflicting injury on their customers due to an auto accident. The attorneys at Richardson Law Group understand how to protect automotive companies from allegations they may face about defective vehicles and pedestrian injuries, among many other grievances associated with the automotive industry. Richardson Law Group treats every case with the same priority, resulting in attorneys that contact clients quickly and guide them through all the components of litigation.

Richardson Law Group has a long-standing reputation for defending individuals and companies against lawsuits involving complex injuries resulting from motor vehicle accidents. Our legal team is proactive in its efforts to gain as much information as quickly as possible concerning the claims so that we can effectively advise the client whether the case should be tried or resolved, if possible, without trial. To that end, we consult with state and local police agencies, private investigators, engineers, and medical professionals when necessary to protect our clients’ interests. Richardson Law Group employs highly qualified experts to consult and testify in its cases, including accident reconstruction experts who have previously taught accident reconstruction at the Kentucky State Police Academy.

Our willingness to try cases in Kentucky’s most liberal venues consistently results in settlements at an early juncture. When matters are tried, Richardson Law Group has a solid record of successful defense verdicts across the state.

Representative Matters

January 2024,Graves County, KYShipp & Heath v. Arrowhead Camper Sales Inc
Melissa Richardson obtained a unanimous defense verdict on liability for their client, Arrowhead Camper Sales, Inc. This case involved a motor vehicle accident that occurred on October 13, 2017, in Graves County, Kentucky related to an alleged sight-line obstruction due to campers/RVs parked in Arrowhead’s parking lot. The Plaintiffs were a 16  year old woman and her grandmother, who were traveling back the grandmother’s home when they attempted to navigate the subject intersection. Video surveillance showed the 16 year old driver “rolled” through the intersection despite the presence of a stop sign and red flashing lights. Their vehicle was struck by a drunk driver, who had a BAC level three times the legal limit. The responding officer claimed the campers/RVs in Arrowhead’s parking lot created a sight obstruction at the stop bar and took photographs of the alleged obstruction. Further, after the officer obtained the video of the “rolling stop” he continued to claim the obstruction caused the accident.

The Plaintiffs were both airlifted to Vanderbilt Medical Center, with the younger Plaintiff having sustained life-threatening injuries. The 16 year old driver suffered a pelvic fracture, seven broken ribs, orbital fractures, spleen, kidney, and live lacerations, traumatic brain injury, and had an embolization procedure due to internal bleeding to save her life. She was hospitalized at Vanderbilt for a month and then transferred to Frazier Rehab in Louisville for inpatient rehab for another month before returning home. The grandmother was hospitalized at Vanderbilt for five days for injuries including: spleen laceration, five fracture ribs, and a shoulder injury that eventually led to shoulder surgery. The 16 year old had medical expenses of approximately

$700,000 and the grandmother had medical expenses of over $215,000.

The Plaintiffs alleged Arrowhead violated KRS 177.106 (encroachment onto the state right-of- way) and general negligence.  As discovery proceeded in the case, the Plaintiffs put forth fact witnesses claiming the intersection had been dangerous for 20+ years because of the campers. However, no one from the community or any state officials told Arrowhead’s owners or employees the campers were creating an obstruction at the intersection at any time. The witnesses claimed they would come to the stop sign, look, and then proceed a little further past the stop sign to gain a clear view down the highway if needed. The owner of Arrowhead testified he had probably driven through the intersection 45,000 times since 1977 and the campers never caused any visibility issue. He testified if they did create an obstruction for his, his family, or the community, he would have moved them.

The drunk driver testified at trial; he confirmed he saw the Plaintiffs’ vehicle approaching the stop sign and presumed she would stop as she did slow down. He contended the accident would not have happened if she had simply stopped.

Arrowhead hired Heath Spivey of Delta V Engineering to recreate the accident scene. Mr. Spivey’s reconstruction showed the driver had a sightline of 351 feet down the highway at the stop bar and a completely, unobstructed view of the highway of over 1,000 feet three feet ahead of the stop bar. At the time of trial, the Plaintiffs were seeking over $17 million.

After a two-week trial, the jury deliberated for an hour before returning a unanimous defense verdict in favor of Arrowhead on all counts.  See KTCR Report  See The Voice Report

March 2019, Jefferson District CourtCurtis v. Vernon. Mr. Ryan Glass successfully defended his client who was sued for diminution in value of Plaintiff’s vehicle after her insurer had already paid for the cost of repair of Plaintiff’s vehicle.  Plaintiff, who was represented by counsel, argued she was entitled to both items of damage under Kentucky law.  After Plaintiff finished putting on proof, including calling witnesses who were cross examined, Mr. Glass argued that an award in diminution in value would in effect be permitting a double recovery by Plaintiff. The Court ruled in favor of Defendant.

October 2018, Kentucky Court of Appeals: Peterson v. Grange. Richardson Law Group obtained Summary Judgment in Jefferson Circuit Court for Grange in this UIM auto-accident case. The case was appealed to the Court of Appeals. Richardson Law Group argued that Plaintiff was not covered under Grange’s policy because she did not qualify as an insured. Plaintiff argued Grange’s policy was unenforceable. The Court of Appeals affirmed the Circuit Court’s Order granting Summary Judgment.

July 2018, Fayette Circuit Court, KY Micatrotto v. Grange, Mr. Leckrone represented an insurer in a claim against it for basic reparations benefits arising out of a claim for someone who alleged injury while jumping out of the way of an oncoming vehicle. Mr. Leckrone successfully argued at the trial court level, and at the appellate court level, that a claims for basic reparations benefits requires some contact between an allegedly injured party and a motor vehicle. This was an expansion of the “contact rule” previously applied to uninsured motorist claims.

January 2018, Boyle Circuit Court, KY:  Biggs v. Robinson, Mr. Leckrone defended an insured party against claims of negligence arising from a motor vehicle accident. Within the first two hours of jury trial in Boyle Circuit Court, Mr. Leckrone successfully raised and argued a motion to exclude all Plaintiff’s claimed damages pursuant to Fratzke v. Murphy, resulting in a complete dismissal of the Plaintiff’s case.  See KCTR Report.

2017, Jefferson CountyHaneck v. Grange. Richardson Law Group obtained Summary Judgment for Grange in this UIM auto-accident case. Richardson Law Group argued that Plaintiff was not covered under Grange’s policy under an exception because the vehicle was not listed on the policy. Plaintiff argued Grange’s policy was unenforceable. The Court granted Grange’s Motion for Summary Judgment finding that Grange’s policy was enforceable.

October 2014, Jessamine Circuit Court: Brenner v. Price, No. 12-CI-00140, 2012.  Plaintiff initially claimed orthopedic injury; then, one year later, began claiming a traumatic brain injury. Plaintiff made a six-figure settlement demand shortly before trial. Ms. Bass prepared extensive motions in limine and Daubert challenges, which preserved the record and effectively narrowed the Plaintiff’s options at trial. Ultimately, the Plaintiff agreed to a four-figure settlement the day before trial.

2009, Kentucky Court of Appeals.  Bailey v. MCM Bus. Services.  Richardson Law Group obtained a defense verdict at trial for an employer and employee in an action arising out of an automobile accident. The Kentucky Court of Appeals affirmed the verdict of the Fayette Circuit Court, finding that the employee was not liable to the plaintiff based on the doctrine of sudden emergency when brakes on the employer's truck did not work properly, forcing the employee to swerve and cross the center lane of traffic, and thereby hitting the plaintiff's vehicle. The Trial Court gave the jury a sudden emergency instruction. The Court of Appeals held that there was sufficient evidence to sustain an instruction on sudden emergency.   See KTCR Report.

2009, Kentucky Court of Appeals.   Kelley v. Poore.  After obtaining a defense verdict at trial in Fayette Circuit Court, the Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment. The Court of Appeals held that the Trial Court did not err in failing to direct a verdict in favor of Plaintiff because the evidence supported a verdict in favor of the defendant where it permitted the jury to conclude that the defendant consistently maintained a proper lookout but the plaintiff failed to do so. As such, the Trial Court did not err in refusing to conclude as a matter of law that the defendant acted negligently or breached his duty to keep a proper lookout.  See KTCR Report.

2009, Jefferson Circuit Court 09-CI-11522 Andrews v. Westfield Insurance et al,.An optometrist was rear-ended while driving in Louisville. There was no injury at the scene with the optometrist leaving the scene, renting a car, and continuing to run errands. He first sought treatment a week later with a chiropractor for apparent soft-tissue symptoms. Nearly one year later, the optometrist began to report headaches and cognitive and emotional problems and was diagnosed with post-concussive syndrome. He filed a lawsuit claiming $1.1 million in pain and suffering damages caused by the rear-end collision. Testifying on the optometrist’s behalf was IME neuropsychiatry expert Dr. Robert Granacher. Richardson Law Group of the brain injury called into question the optometrist’s claim of brain injury and seriously undermined Dr. Granacher’s expert testimony. As a result, the jury assessed the optometrist’s pain and suffering at a mere $6,000. See KYTCR report.

2007, Fayette Circuit Court 07-CI-4585Kelley v. Poore.  Following a collision between a jet ski and a fishing boat, the injured driver of the jet ski brought suit. Richardson Law Group, representing the defendant boat operator, successfully employed the testimony of a boating expert in support of the argument that the jet ski drivernot the boat operator, had been driving negligently. The jury agreed and found for the defense. See KYTCR report​

2005, Fayette Circuit Court 05-CI-2758Bailey v. MCM Signs.  A driver hit the brakes when he saw a stopped FedEx truck in the lane ahead of him. The brakes failed, so the driver swerved to avoid the truck. As a result, he collided with a car in which Laura Bailey was riding. Bailey asserted the following injuries: an open pilon fracture, PTSD, depression, and obsessive compulsive disorder. All the psychological afflictions were identified by her expert psychiatrist, Dr. Robert Granacher. Richardson Law Group, representing the defendant, argued that the brake failure constituted a sudden emergency and strongly contested Bailey’s claims of emotional injury. As a result, the jury returned a $0 verdict.  See KYTCR report​

2004, Jessamine Circuit Court 04-CI-0695Richmond v. Pike.  Carl Richmond was driving through an intersection when Peryda Pike allegedly ran a red light and collided with Richmond’s vehicle. Richmond proceeded to work and reported to the Emergency Room only later in the day. He filed suit against Pike, asserting a wide-ranging back injury had left him totally disabled. Richardson Law Group defended Pike, arguing that the degenerative changes to Richmond’s back could not be attributed to the collision. Richardson Law Group secured a favorable jury instruction, and the jury returned a defense judgment. Richmond, who had claimed damages exceeding $1.5 million, took nothing. See KYTCR report

2004, Pike Circuit Court 04-CI-1107.  Robinson v. Walls et al. Cecil Howell was traveling on the highway when a teenager, Chad Walls, proceeding in the opposite direction, made a left turn in front of Howell’s oncoming vehicle. The initial collision with Howell sent Walls careening into a driver stopped at a nearby stop sign, Thomas Robinson. Robinson sued Howell and Walls. Richardson Law Group represented Howell and persuaded a jury that Howell was blameless. The Pike County jury determined that Walls was solely at fault and assessed Robinson’s damages at $94,462, of which Howell was responsible for $0. See KYTCR report​

2002, Breathitt Circuit Court 02-CI-0026.  Turner v. Noble.  In a motor vehicle accident case in the Breathitt Circuit Court, Richardson Law Group successfully utilized the testimony of an expert in orthopedics to achieve a jury verdict of $0 on the question of the plaintiff’s impairment. See KYTCR Report.

2001, Fayette Court 01-CV-0114Wright v. Thorne. While traveling on a narrow bridge, Brenda Wright sideswiped a truck pulling a horse trailer. Wright sued the driver of the vehicles she had sideswiped. Richardson Law Group removed the state court action to the United StatesDistrict Court and secured a verdict which ultimately amounted to $0. See KYTCR report​

2000, Fayette Circuit Court 00-CI-4091Johnson v. Steckel.  Lisa Johnson was stopped at a red light when her vehicle was rear-ended by a vehicle driven by Pamela Steckel. Johnson complained of C6-7 disc injury and filed suit against Steckel. Richardson Law Group defended. Prior to trial, Richardson Law Group secured dismissal of Johnson’s claims of impairment and future medical expenses. At trial, Richardson Law Group presented photographic evidence that the collision was minor. The jury, not convinced that Johnson’s alleged injuries were caused by such a minor accident, rejected her claim and returned a verdict for the defense. See KYTCR report​

1992, Jessamine Circuit Court 92-CI-0444. Keating v. Nationwide.  William Sears allegedly ran a red light while driving a truck outfitted with a cattle trailer. Michael Keating had a green light to permit him to turn onto the four-lane road. As Keating made his turn, Sears plowed into his vehicle, causing Keating’s vehicle to roll over. Keating suffered cuts to his head, face, hands,legsand was comatose for several days. He was later treated for a closed head injury, memory loss, depression, dementia, a mood disorderand cognitive dysfunction in addition to a hormone disorder. Keating filed suit against Sears and Keating’s UIM carrier, Nationwide. Keating settled with Sears for $265,000 of his $300,000 policy limits and sought additional damages from Nationwide. Richardson Law Group, representing Nationwide, blocked the admission of testimony by Sears’ neuropsychology expert, Dr. Robert Granacher. The jury returned an adjusted verdict of $17,000, well short of the $300,000 UIM threshold.  See KYTCR report​