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“Failure to Yield” on the Police Report Doesn’t Mean It’s All Your Fault

Rocky Law Firm takes a closer look at the fatal crash involving a speeding rented Lamborghini in South Nashville

On April 4, 2016 at around 4:30pm along the 4800 Block of Nolensville Road in South Nashville, 28-year old, Suk Rai, was killed when he was ejected from his Nissan Altima after being struck by a rented Lamborghini as he attempted to make a left turn out of the parking lot of an AutoZone.

Initially, it was perceived by authorities that Rai was fully at-fault for the crash and that it was his “failure to yield” that primarily caused the wreck but as witness reports and video began to roll in from those on the scene authorities began to see a different picture of what may have happened.

Local surveillance video, shows the red Lamborghini, driven 27-year old Kyle Kirchner, traveling at a high rate of speed just before strip of roadway where the fatal crash occurred.  In the video, the sports car zoomed past their location at what seemed to be more than 100 miles per hour during the beginning of rush hour on a Monday.  Drugs and alcohol was not a factor in the crash.

WSMV stated that according to a March 27 state trooper report Kirchner was involved in another car accident in a GMC Yukon on week prior when he lost control on I-24 in Rutherford County. In that crash, Kirchner told the trooper another car cut him off.

While it is the duty of every person to follow the rules of the road and yield to traffic when pulling out onto a roadway, fault can often times fall on multiple parties in wreck.  If you’ve received a “failure to yield” ticket or it states “failure to yield” on your police report but if the other driver is also breaking the law, establishing liability may come down to attributing fault where it is due most/most applicable in the given situation.

The case is currently under investigation and authorities are still examining evidence from the scene to determine whether or not the speed of the Lamborghini was the proximate cause of the crash.  Our hearts and prayers go out to the Rai family in the wake of this terrible tragedy and we hope they find the support and legal advice they need to fully investigate their potential claim for damages.

Do we really make decisions about speed based on size?

Scientifically speaking, drivers typically associate the speed of a vehicle with the size of a vehicle; this is what generally causes many motorcycle accidents wherein the driver is found at-fault. Chanyoung Lee, a senior researcher at the University of South Florida’s Center for Urban Transportation Research says that, “People perceive the speed of something relative to the size of the object.”   The thinner, lower profile of a motorcycle tricks a vehicle driver’s brain into thinking they have more time to react; make a turn, go through an intersection, get over, etc., when in all actuality the motorcycle is traveling faster than the driver has anticipated and the driver doesn’t realize it until it’s too late.   The same may have proven true in this fatal wreck as the Lamborghini has a very low and narrow profile.  It may have been hard for Suk Rai to accurately judge the speed.  While this argument of scientific theory doesn’t lend favor to Rai’s case, it does set it up for further argument.

Playing devil’s advocate, this misjudgment of how fast the Lamborghini was going, could have surely been a factor, however, as drivers we can only react to what we can reasonably predict.  As the law dictates if the speed limit on the stretch of roadway where the wreck occurred is between 30-50 mph there is no way that Rai could have accurately and more importantly, reasonably judged the speed the Lamborghini was traveling as it was coming toward his vehicle.  No one expects someone to be traveling at a recklessly high speed down a busy street during rush hour.

Disputed liability?  Have a complicated case? Call us to see if we can help. 

Depending on the circumstances of the case, car accident victims may be able to receive compensation for various damages including medical bills, future medical expenses, lost wages and inability to work, spouse’s lost wages while caring for the victim, property damage, excessive mileage to and from treatment, and additional pain and suffering damages.  Wrongdoers and their powerful insurance companies often attempt to skirt their responsibility and deny liability, in both cases where their insured is clearly at-fault and other cases, like this one where, at this time, the lines are a bit blurred. In these situations, victims or their families need experience and skill of a Nashville auto accident attorney on their side to fully investigate the personal injury or wrongful death claim and the scene of crash to be able to discern if you have a viable claim for damages despite what the other driver’s insurance company is saying.

After a serious car wreck, time is of the essence.  If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed due to someone’s negligence on the roadway, call the talented and aggressive gladiators in suits at Rocky McElhaney Law Firm today.  We fight for the maximum.  We fight for justice.  We fight for you (615) 425-2500