According to one news report, Robert Core, 69, died in a single vehicle accident in Guthrie County on June 10th at around 3:17 pm. Core was driving his 2003 Buick LeSabre north on Frontier Road, which was closed for road work. Core hit gravel and spun his vehicle into a ditch. He was transported by helicopter to Methodist Medical Center where he died due to injuries he sustained in the crash.
When I read similar news items I assume that I see things differently than most people. I see facts as an important part of some bigger picture, one painted with strokes from a paint brush that evaluates the law in terms of the rules-of-the-road, fault, negligence and causation. In my mind the facts, as reported, do not lead me to hastily draw conclusions, but instead point in directions of where to look further. Ultimately what I would like to know is what caused the accident or contributed to causing the accident that lead to a death. Legal causation is not something easily appreciated, and can be understood only after carefully digging into what happened both before and during the actual accident. (collision sequence)
Some of us may jump to conclusions about why this driver was killed. We may point to the road closure, a work site or even his age. Then others will want to know more about the autopsy and perhaps the blood chemistry. But lawyers are schooled in the law and especially the examination of details. We must focus first on the law and then on facts that point us in one direction or another. A keener understanding of the law makes us want to know more. We want to know more about the warning signs and the gravel on the road, the driver and his car or truck; only then can we arrive at any conclusion. Accident investigation is an essential part of knowing what caused a loss of control and the collisions, which are all broadly described as an accident. Because an “accident” as most people know it is really not an accident but a series of events that lead to a collision. The lawyer wants to understand the series of events before he or she can appreciate an understanding of how the person died. To the untrained eye simple is the answer; and for the lawyer that is probably not likely to lead to an understanding of the events that lead to the accident and eventual death. The most obvious conclusion one can see from the news item is a loss of control. But the ultimate question is why. Why did the driver lose control?
We may never know all the events leading to the car’s loss of control. His car may have been going to fast and once on the gravel he lost control. Or perhaps he ended up on the gravel because the road construction signs were not in place or not clear enough. Did vandals remove signs? Or were the wrong signs in place? Was the driver's eyesight to blame? Or perhaps medications he was taking, did medication have something to do with his ability to judge? Was the weather a factor? Or the tire tread on the tires? There are many factors to be known before anyone can concluse why the driver lost control.
No lawyer should jump to conclusions and no lawyer will conclusions without knowing more. As personal injury lawyers we evaluate as many facts that are knowable and as can be determined through a proper investigation.
Good luck with your insurance claims and if we can help you fill out the intake form or call Barbara to set up an appointment.