Other Speaker: Truman Talks Law on Great Day Live is sponsored by the Karl Truman Law Office.
Other Speaker: If you're involved in a car accident you've probably heard the term negligence used quite a bit.
Speaker 2: What exactly does that mean and how do you prove negligence on someone's part. As always, attorney Karl Truman, count on the colonel, he's got some good information. Good to see you again, Colonel.
Karl Truman: Good Morning
Other Speaker: I just have to ask; the last time you were here we gave a shout out to your wife; it was her birthday and it was your anniversary.
Karl Truman: Yes; both at the same time, yes.
Speaker 2: So, he's wasn’t negligent.
Karl Truman: Yes, I used reasonable care.
Speaker 2: She was delighted! All right, ah, obviously negligence is when people are not paying attention and they, they overstep boundaries.
Karl Truman: Yeah, negligence is a, a legal word that we use and we hear and banter about a lot, but you know, there's legal definitions, but really it comes down to, to using common sense and really, you know, being aware of others around you and you know, doing the right thing to, to not endanger other people whether it son the road, in, ah, on a premises, on property, yeah, so, just really lookin' out for people.
Speaker 2: All right, this morning I saw some video, really distressing looking, but a, a, a truck had a lot of tent poles, really long pieces of lumber off the back and a woman drove into it and it went through her windshield. She's fine – this is somewhere in California, I think, but I mean, again, that sort of the, the odd situation. If a, a person who's hauling something –
Karl Truman: Mm hmm.
Speaker 2: – has a red flag that marks, so, so where, where do you get under that sort of territory.
Karl Truman: Whose fault that could be, or a lot that can, it depends on the type of truck and commercial vehicle and the, and so there could be some, ah, trucking regulations that even dictate that, but I guess that's why you see, ah, a flag out there because sometimes that could be hard to judge that distance, but if, certainly if you're behind someone, and, and I see this all the time, probably the most common type of auto accident claim that we see is a rear-end collision where someone hits someone in the rear end, and so you are, you, if you're following someone, you have an obligation to keep a safe, safe stopping distance based on, you know, weather and even it's wet or road conditions, so you don't run into some. Like in your situation is is that if you have piping or something sticking out, it's, sometimes it's kind of hard to gauge that, ah, that distance, you know, for the depth perception there to, to make sure that, ah, you see the stop lights but there's something sticking out then, ah, so you don't hit that.
Other Speaker: I would be very interested in your take on, I mean, Justin Bieber driving what, 100, 110 miles an hour? I mean, but, but really he, he was saying he was, he was fearing for maybe his safety but he, he was, was he neg, negligent driving and weaving in and out of traffic 110 miles per hour?
Karl Truman: Well, I, I don't know the specifics of that story, but, ah, any situation I think if you're driving that kind of speed –
Other Speaker: Mm hmm.
Karl Truman: – ah, yeah, that, that's, ah, you know, would be considered criminal recklessness –
Other Speaker: And that –
Karl Truman: – would be reckless driving.
Other Speaker: – other examples of driving too fast, what are other examples of negligence, but specifically on the road?
Karl Truman: Well, is driving too fast obviously, you know, stop signs, stop lights; you know, the, ah, yellow light really does not mean to speed up –
Other Speaker: I know. Okay, say that again.
Karl Truman: – you know. What, you have people do that all the time –
Other Speaker: Yes, they do.
Karl Truman: – jump, jumping in and out of things. Ah, ah, but, but you, you have responsibilities and you always tell people whenever they're in any sort of a, ah, an accident clearly be careful how much information they release before talking with, with the legal professional.
Speaker 2: Well, and yes, you do obv, obviously have an obligation to report to the police and, you know, not leave the scene, ah, but even in situations on the bridge, you know, there's stop-and-go traffic –
Karl Truman: Sure.
Speaker 2: – you know, eh, and I'll hear, ah, other people say that, you know, maybe it hit my client. They say, well they just stopped in front of me, but, you know, but my response is well, you knew it was stop-and-go traffic. You know, you knew they were gonna stop in front of you, so you have to, you know, watch that.
Other Speaker: You know what the problem is a lot of times, they're texting and Mm hmm!
Karl Truman: Yeah; even though Ken, Kentucky has a law that says you're not allowed to text while you drive, a lot of people still do. I've even been on the river and seen people boating while texting and boating.
Other Speaker: Some people really………
Other Speaker: Well you can reach Karl Truman at 502 222 2222 or go online to trumanlaw.com.
Speaker 1: With the 4th of July coming we are celebrating red, white and blue patriotism and veterans. But attorney karl Truman says many veterans claiming VA disability benefits can be a long, frustrating process. Karl, you're a veteran yourself but I think first you have a special little shout out to someone.
Karl Truman: Today is my Jeanine's birthday and our anniversary so I just wanted to say happy birthday and happy anniversary to her.
Speaker 1: Awh…I think you just scored points. Was that on purpose? Did you plan to have those coincide?
Karl Truman: Yeah, yeah, we planned it that way.
Speaker 1: So you could never forget.
Karl Truman: That's right.
Speaker 1: Well, let's talk about that. You were a veteran yourself.
Karl Truman: Yes, I spent, uh, 28 years in the United States Army Reserve, retired as a Lieutenant Colonel, and uh, so veterans' issues are something I'm very interested in, very passionate about and one of the areas that I think was, has been under-served is attorney representation with veterans for the VA disability claims. And one of the misunderstandings I think a lot of people have or even veterans have is that they may think that, well, maybe I have to have been injured either in training or in combat or something. But really it's any type of injury or illness that they sustained while serving on active duty. So it's not just limited to combat veterans.
Speaker 1: Okay. So it's important to clarify that. But talk about, I mean, it's a frustrating process. Why does that have to be?
Karl Truman: It is. Dealing with the VA, Department of Veterans' Affairs, uh, it's, it's such a bureaucracy to have to go through and so much paperwork and red tape, and it can take years to get through one of these claims. And so without having someone knowledgeable of the system that can help guide someone through and understand the medical issues and the documentation needed to prove a claim, it, it can be very frustrating.
Speaker 1: So it's important for someone to, to know, first of all, that they can hire a, an attorney. But what about that expense, if that's a concern.
Karl Truman: Yeah. It is, and see for many years, uh, a veteran could not even hire an attorney, you know. Fortunately the law was changed several years ago. And one of the questions that I do get from veterans or prospective clients, they say, well, my, you know, the VFW or the, the DAV, the Disabled American Veterans or American Legion, they'll handle my claim, why do I need to hire an attorney. Well, I'm, I'm a member of the American Legion –
Speaker 1: Right.
Karl Truman: – myself and they are very dedicated, very hardworking, great people but they're overwhelmed. You know, one veterans advocate could have over 1,000 files and so, and they don't have the resources. As hardworking and dedicated they are, if I need to hire a medical doctor to review a case or obtain records or a vocational expert, I can do that and that's one of the things that I do that I bring to the table is that, you know, as a trial lawyer and personal injury lawyer, I understand the medical issues and the medical proof necessary to, to present a claim, you know, where maybe those veterans service organizations may not have the resources to be able to go out and hire those types of medical doctors or rehab consultants to be able to really document a claim.
Speaker 1: And just quickly, do you work on a percentage basis, so if somebody doesn't have the, the money –
Karl Truman: Right.
Karl Truman: As with all types of cases whether it's an auto accident or any type of injury case, cases, people don't need money to hire me up front, and that sometimes people don't realize that. If they think, well, a lawyer I'm gonna have to pay a retainer fee or some money up front, but no, uh, the way, uh, the way I get paid on these types of cases, it's based on the retro, it's kinda like Social Security Disability where it's based on a percentage of the retroactive benefits. So, so there is no money up front and then if there are any case expenses, you know, I advance those expenses. I'll only recover those if we get a favorable award.
Speaker 1: Okay. Well, happy birthday to your wife, happy anniversary to you. Thank you for your service to our country. If you need legal help, you can reach Karl Truman at 502 222 2222 or go online at trumanlaw.com.
Speaker 1: Karl, as everybody with a car or truck has heard the term, no fault insurance, but how many of them actually know what it means. Attorney Karl Truman explains it and why it matters you say because a lot of your client they don't fully understand what no fault insurance means.
Karl Truman: Yes, we heard the term no fault, you know, and I've had people say well isn't Kentucky a no fault state and so I, I thought we would talk today about what that really means because it's a term that, uh, lots of people, confuses a lot of people about what no fault is and the purpose of no fault and, and no fault means basically it's, it's to limit your ability to make a claim. It puts what's called thresholds where you have to meet certain requirements; whether it's injuries or medical bills in order for you to make that claim.
Speaker 1: Okay, so it, it basically means how hurt you are. I mean how, how expensive do those medical bills have to be before you can, can –
Karl Truman: Well in some, states have very, very high thresholds like other states like in New Jersey, Michigan; you have to have a very severe, permanent injury even to make a claim. Kentucky law the threshold is fairly minimal because the, you have to have at least $1,000.00 in medical bills and of course the ER visit is $1,000.00 so it doesn't really have a, a large threshold to meet those requirements but it does create a minimum threshold and then the other thing that it does is that, uh, it creates the issue of who's paying your medical bills because the, also very first question that clients will come to me and say, well, I need my medical bills paid. Who's gonna pay my medical bills and then the client will say, well, uh, it wasn't my fault. Why don't we just send the bills to the other driver's insurance company and let them pay my bills. Well, it doesn't work that way. Under Kentucky no fault, your insurance company is primarily responsible to pay your medical bills. So everyone, unless you reject it, now you can file a form with the Department of Insurance that says I don't want to be under no fault, but that very rarely happens, but otherwise then the law says that your insurance company will pay your medical bills. You automatically have, it's called PIP, P-I-P –
Speaker 1: Right
Karl Truman: - and it's for personal injury protection. What that means is that your insurance company is responsible to pay the first $10,000.00 of your medical bills and then what would happen is that they, your insurance company, would go to the other driver's insurance company to get that money back.
Speaker 1: Okay, now what about if somebody is hurt bad enough they can't go back to work. Is there a cap on loss wages because often that's the scariest part of getting hurt for somebody. They need to provide for their family. So yes -
Karl Truman: I understand; and that starts a very good point because under loss wages, now of course, you if made a lost wage claim against the other driver but in the interim if you need some money for lost wages you can make a lost wage claim under your PIP benefit but it is capped at $200.00. Now that’s not a cap on your claim against the other person but that's a cap for what your insurance company would pay you.
Speaker 1: Okay, and something else. What if you're not driving; you're actually walking down the road, you're a pedestrian, and you're hit by a car and does no fault insurance help you then?
Karl Truman: And, and that's a very important and that's a good question that if you're hit by a car then you as a pedestrian are entitled to receive their no fault or PIP benefits for the car that hit you. So even if you don't have any insurance yourself the car that hit you; they'll pay your medical bills up to that $10,000.00 limit.
Speaker 1: Okay, and one other thing here. Can you purchase more of no fault insurance coverage if you want to?
Karl Truman: A good question that a lot of people overlook is that, you know, $10,000.00 doesn't go very far with medical bills.
Speaker 1: Mm hmm
Karl Truman: So you can purchase additional PIP and I recommend people do that because it's fairly inexpensive and you can purchase it in $10,000.00 increments, you know, very, you kknow, to really help you with your bills. So I think that it's really a good, uh, good thing to look into.
Speaker 1: Yeah, and like you said it before perhaps it’s better to have and not need than to post need and not have. So you never know.
Karl Truman: Yes
Speaker 1: Alright, Karl. Thank you so much. We'll get in touch with attorney Karl Truman's Law Office at 222-2222 or go to trumanlawoffices.com.
Accidents With Commercial Trucks & Tractor Trailer Vehicles
Video Transcript for the Hearing Impaired:
Speaker 1: Summer driving season means more cars on the road traveling some long distances and oftentimes you freak out a little bit when you see those gigantic trucks in your rear-view mirror.
Other Speaker: That's right. Attorney Karl Truman is here to talk about accidents involving these commercial trucks and tractor-trailer vehicles, because we know they can be very dangerous –
Karl Truman: That's right.
Other Speaker: – potentially. Good morning to you.
Carl Truman: Yes, we've seen tractor-trailers are all over the road and, and we constantly see them every day and, and if you feel like most people, you know, truck drivers are, for the most part, are good, hard-working, dedicated people, but occasionally you do get some, just as with any business, you know, where a company tries to cut corners with maintenance or costs and record keeping and then that can cause some trouble.
Speaker 1: There are all sorts of records that are to be kept. Isn't there's a black box board and also a driver log?
Karl Truman: Right, the, uh, thing about a tractor trailer, and I've handled many tractor-trailer, uh, crashes, but some, a lot of people think, and even many lawyers think, well, they can just treat it just like any other car accident, although there is NO just any other car accident, but it's not a car accident. It's a very unique, different type of case that really requires a different approach to really handle it properly.
Other Speaker: And oftentimes these accidents involving tractor-trailers are fatal, because you're talking about such a huge vehicle that regardless, the person involved, their family, what's the first step they need to do if they're ever in a, in a, in an accident like this? What should they do first?
Karl Truman: Well, the first thing is, you know, to have a, an attorney be able to protect and preserve evidence, because there are so many things that you mentioned, the black box and there is a driver log books. Uh, oftentimes now the trucks have GPS systems and you can record their, their speed, their, where they've been, how long they've been on the road, when they took their last, uh, break, which are all governed by federal regulations and federal laws, so if we don't preserve that very quickly, then it can, will probably be destroyed. Because, I mean, and their insurance companies know that, you know, it has, only has to be protected for a certain length of time, and once that time is up, they want to get rid of it. So, we have to take steps to make sure that that evidence is preserved.
Speaker 1: And clearly with the emotional trauma involving a, a family member or yourself being involved in an accident, that time can escape you quickly, so you need, sort 'a need to jump ahead and then think, think about what your rights are.
Karl Truman: Well, especially in a serious collision where there's serious injuries or even a death involved, I, I know that, you know, it's not what people want to think about. You know, you have to deal with the grieving. But by having an attorney or having us deal with these issues now, you don't have to worry about them, so we can take care of these types of issues where you can focus on your family, focus on what you need to take care of and let us handle the details of preserving the evidence, you know, making sure that any evidence is preserved. Oftentimes I've had to get accident reconstructionists out to a, an accident scene within days because the, uh, you know, whether it's debris or vehicles being destroyed or skid marks being washed away, if I don't get out there right away to protect that and have, you know, accident reconstruction people look at that right away, then all that evidence is gone.
Speaker 1: And another difficult situation a lot of times is, the driver has bounced between a lot of different carriers and has a record that may have been hidden.
Karl Truman: And that's important to look at too, because we have to look at the driving record, what type of safety programs they've been involved in. Uh, there's, there's all kinds of regulations that the trucking company has to follow to make sure the public is protected.
Other Speaker: And also driver fatigue is an issue, because we know these truck drivers, they work really long hours and traveling long miles. It's a hard job –
Speaker 1: It is.
Other Speaker: – and so you want to check and make sure whether this driver properly rested before he or she went on the road.
Karl Truman: They may have been out on the road for a long time and anxious to get home and cutting corners. You know, there is a certain amount of time that they have to take breaks, uh, uh, you know, on the road, and that's for our safety and their safety too. You know, so something they do cut corners.
Speaker 1: All right. For legal help, you can check with the Carl Truman Law Office at 502 222 2222. All twos!
Speaker 1: Truman Talks Law on Great Day Live is sponsored by the Karl Truman Law Office.
Other Speaker: Do you ever feel powerless against the insurance companies, like they’re the wolf and you’re the sheep or worse, you’re Little Red Riding Hood?
Speaker 1: Attorney Karl Truman knows all about that and he’s written a book on it, Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing. Karl you’re covering a lot of territory in this book basically telling people what you say their insurance company really doesn’t them to know.
Karl Truman: That’s right. You know, part of the, what I’ve talked about before is that I believe that the best client, the best consumer is an informed consumer. You know, nobody expects to get up this morning and think, oh, I’m gonna be in an auto accident today, so we’ve gotta be prepared and understand what our rights are and what we’re dealing with in advance, before it happens.
Other Speaker: What’s some of the wolf like behavior that people need to, to worry about?
Karl Truman: Well, some of the things that we talked about in the book are, uh, what I call weasel clauses. You know, things in fine print in insurance company contracts that, uh, give them wiggle room to get out of trying to pay claims. Understanding what is uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. Uh, understanding that under certain types of policies if you think you have, uh, you know, uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, you may not actually have the amount of coverage you think you do so it’s good that you know that in advance before you need it.
Speaker 1: Exactly. Planning for it in case it does happen, in case you are in an accident, to ensure enough insurance coverage.
Karl Truman: Absolutely. And it’s just like, uh, you know, so often clients will, you know, come to me or call me and they’ll say well, I, well, I have full coverage. And, you know, I tell them well, that doesn’t really tell me anything. We have to look at your insurance policy to know what coverage you really have.
Other Speaker: Yes, if you are underinsured. I mean, I think a lot of people realize that they’re, they’re underinsured in certain areas and maybe they decided to cut a corner when they go to buy a policy and again, as you said, some of the language gets complicated and people just sort of sign here and forget about that. But there are a lot of difficulties with people being underinsured.
Karl Truman: And that’s true. And that’s why I felt it was important, you know, I collaborated with some other attorneys to, uh, together to jointly prepare this book to inform consumers so they’re better able to know what they’re getting into ahead of time.
Speaker 1: Okay. And this question here, what is the most important auto insurance coverage that you must have? Are you gonna tell us now or do we need to read the book.
It’s a tease!
Karl Truman: That’s right, you can, it’s all, it talks about things like that in the book. And, and I’m giving this away to consumers even if it does sell on Amazon.com and, but for prospective clients or consumers who are interested in this, I’m willing to give away free copies because again, I really think it’s important to be fully informed and know what you’re dealing with.
Other Speaker: Also, the issue of the insurance company doctor, which is naturally, I’m gonna guess here but I’m thinkin’ the insurance company doctor’s gonna say you’re fine.
Karl Truman: Well, that’s true. It was actually exposed in some litigation that certain insurance company doctors, they were just running paper mills. They would have clerks who would cut and paste standard language on every denial letter in their, uh, medical report. And it, it is, it’s really atrocious some of the things that they get away with. And they, we see the same insurance company doctors time and time again, uh, and so yes it really talks about how to deal with that.
Other Speaker: And you said to fight for your, your rights again when somebody’s first their, first word and main word is no, over and over again, no, no, and you’re trying to tell them “I’m hurt” through this.
Karl Truman: And, well, one of our jobs is to try to expose some of these insurance company tactics that the public does not know and is not aware of, so, so they need to know what is really going on here.
Speaker 1: And again, you can get a lot of information, Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing, and you are offering free copies of this book to people that want to give your office a call?
Karl Truman: Just call my office directly and we will send you a free copy.
Other Speaker: All right, that number is 502-222-2222
Speaker 1: And trumanlaw.com. You can learn more online as well. Karl, we appreciate it.
Disclaimer Info: The legal information provided is general and should not be relied on as legal advice, and legal advice cannot be given without full consideration of all relevant information relating to your individual situation.