An Indiana man who lost an eye and suffered a number of other serious facial injuries when a power tool he was using malfunctioned and struck him in the face may proceed with his Indiana product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer of that tool, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled. In so doing, the appellate court reversed the trial judge’s earlier grant of summary judgment to the defense. drill

The plaintiff’s original claim to the trial court was that the product’s faulty instructions, inadequate warnings, and lack of a safety guard (or any explicit information regarding a proper safety guard) made the air-compressor tool unreasonably dangerous as manufactured. The defense countered that no reasonable jury could find the plaintiff less than 51 percent at fault for his injuries (the standard under Indiana’s comparative fault law), given each of the three defenses presented:  misuse, alteration, and incurred risk. Specifically, the defense argued the plaintiff misused the product and altered the product, and there was an incurred risk for the use of the product.

The trial court ruled the plaintiff misused the grinder as a matter of law because he did not wear safety glasses. In the plaintiff’s appeal, he noted that the power tool was defective because it was sold without a safety guard, and the company gave no instruction on how to obtain or use such a guard, which was not and is not available for purchase by the company. Furthermore, the plaintiff argued the instructions didn’t warn users of the possible danger of using the tool with a cut-off wheel absent a safety guard.

Many people look forward to the holidays, but fewer look forward to the drive time. There are the long-distance trips, for certain, but there is also the overall congestion, the aggressive driving by those pressed for time and snow and ice leading to slick roads and reduced visibility.drowsy driving

But there is one risk on the roads around the holidays that often gets overlooked: Fatigue.

Just recently in Putnam County, authorities reported a 20-year-old truck driver crashed his rig shortly before 2 a.m., veering off the highway, into the median and striking several trees. Although the dangers of fatigued truck drivers are well documented, given their long hours of tedious work, we often take for granted the devastation that can be caused by other motorists who aren’t getting enough sleep – and there are a lot of them.  Continue reading

When Pokemon GO was first released in early July 2016, it quickly became a smash hit, with millions scrambling to “catch” characters in the interactive game that required users to travel around their neighborhoods and communities. Apparently, some didn’t let the fact that they were behind the wheel stop them. Researchers at Indiana’s Purdue University have released a 49-page study that estimates this game alone caused 145,000 car accidents, 29,000 injuries and 250 deaths just in the first five months after it was released. car accident attorney

But while the augmented reality Pokemon Go craze has since died down significantly, what hasn’t is the fact that smartphones and apps continue to divide drivers’ attention in a way that endangers all of us on the roads. Our Indiana car accident attorneys know that this raises some interesting legal questions about what duty of care – if any – technology companies have to motorists.

Case law on the matter has not been hopeful for plaintiffs. In August, a superior court judge in California dismissed a lawsuit filed by the parents of a young man killed when he was struck by a driver who was texting. The distracted driver was charged with a misdemeanor, but the parents took legal action against the technology giant, alleging Apple failed to implement a lockout system on the iPhone. In the order for dismissal, the judge cited another lawsuit in that state with a similar fact pattern, wherein the appellate court ruled it would be “unreasonable” to assume the tech firm was responsible for the ultimate harm.  Continue reading

Drunk driving in Indiana kills more than 200 people a year on average, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. As part of an effort to address this, Nwitimes.com reports the Hammond Police Department is among the approximately 150 agencies that received new portable breathalyzer test devices to use in roadside stops. beer

The NHTSA issued a $750,000 grant for the purchase of more than 1,700 breathalyzers to be used by state and local law enforcement agencies throughout Indiana. Another $300,000 has been allocated to buy 725 new breathalyzer tests for Indiana State Police over the next 12 months. The new Alco-Sensor FST includes gas canisters and mouthpieces to calculate the individual readings. These devices come equipped with “passive sniffers” that are able to detect alcohol in the air around an individual or concealed in an open container. Results of that particular feature can’t be used in court to prosecute criminals, but they can be used as probable cause to take the next step in evidence-gathering, WDRB.com reports.

Word of these purchases comes just in time for popular drinking days, which include the night before Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day.

When a worker acting in the course and scope of employment is negligent and causes injuries or death to another person, there are two ways the employer could be held liable:

  • Vicarious liability, through the legal doctrine of respondeat superior; or
  • Direct liability (i.e., negligent training, negligent hiring, negligent supervision, etc.). cars

Recently, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled that plaintiffs in these cases may move forward with one of the two legal theories – but not both.

This Indiana car accident case, according to court records, involves the alleged negligence of a pizza delivery driver that resulted in a fatal crash that killed a man on a scooter.

It occurred in August 2012 while the defendant driver, while working for a franchise of a national pizza chain, was operating her own vehicle when she struck the back of a scooter operated by the decedent. The rider was tossed off the scooter and onto the road, where he was run over by another motorist. His injuries proved fatal. Continue reading

In an issue of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled recently in an Indiana car accident lawsuit that a vehicle that is insured but denied coverage following a crash should be considered uninsured under state law. car

The case has implications for future uninsured motorist (UM) claims in Indiana.

Indiana requires every newly-written auto liability insurance policy to include uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage – unless it’s rejected in writing by the insured. Minimum UM/UIM liability limits are $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident of UM benefits, $25,000 per accident for property damage, and $50,000 per accident for UIM benefits. This coverage protects insureds in the event they are involved in a crash with an at-fault driver who either doesn’t have auto insurance (as required by law) or doesn’t have enough auto insurance liability coverage to cover the full cost of the plaintiff’s injuries and damages.

If you are a victim of violence in Indiana leading to injuries, you are probably aware that a pending criminal case against your attacker(s) could involve an order of restitution upon a conviction. What you may not know is that you have further legal options in a civil lawsuit.bar

Individuals who are deemed liable for the injuries of another person – whether through negligence or intentional conduct – can be ordered in civil court to cover damages for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. This is separate and apart from any order of restitution in a criminal court, since the two operate independently of each other. While no insurance company will pay for the cost of intentional injuries inflicted by an insured, they could be responsible to cover third-party liability in such a case. For example, if you are injured at a bar in an attack by a fellow patron, you may have grounds to sue the bar itself in an Indiana premises liability claim if there is evidence such an incident was foreseeable, and the bar’s security was inadequate.

It’s often in a victim’s best interest to explore civil injury case options, since restitution orders often only take into account actual damages and often do not calculate payouts based on intangible losses, such as pain and suffering and mental anguish.

If you are injured on property owned or occupied by someone else, you may have the right to sue that person or company for coverage of your injuries under a portion of law known as premises liability.warning

Premises liability refers to the duty owed by the property owner to the visitor. If that duty was breached and injuries resulted, the person hurt can pursue an Indiana premises liability claim against the property owner. The question of “duty” relies heavily on the determination of the visitor’s status. For example, a business invitee, someone invited to a business property for the benefit of the business, is owed the highest duty of care. Property owners must not only warn business invitees of potential dangers and address them quickly, but also they must regularly check for them. By contrast, if you are a trespasser, a property owner need only not intentionally harm you or set traps (although there may be exceptions for child trespassers).

Recently, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in favor of a premises liability plaintiff who alleged she was seriously injured when she tripped and fell on a missed step at an aviation company during an open house with her young grandson.

An Indiana dentist, under fire for allegedly over-billing Medicaid and over-treating patients, will not have to face a civil trial for at least three of those patients, after their Indiana medical malpractice claim was shot down for failing to comply with the statute of limitations.dentist

In a recent decision, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled the plaintiffs’ claim could not proceed because it was not filed within the two-year window allowed for claims involving medical negligence and personal injury.

According to the joint complaint filed by three patients treated by the defendant dentist in January 2012, one claimant underwent conscious sedation for the removal of a single tooth, only to awaken and learn the dentist had removed 11 teeth. In the other two cases, both patients agreed to the removal of all of their teeth, but only because the dentist told them if they did not, they would be at immediate risk of heart attack, stroke, or death.

Nothing is more devastating than the loss of a child, especially when it occurs because of another person’s negligence, or the failure to use reasonable care. pool

Recently, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that Indiana’s Child Wrongful Death Statute, Indiana Code 34-23-2-1, allows for attorney fees and litigation expenses. This was an issue of first impression for the court and important to plaintiffs for two reasons:

  • When attorney’s fees are awarded in addition to the damages award, it means more money goes directly to the plaintiffs, as opposed to attorneys receiving a cut of that damages award. Generally, attorneys in wrongful death or personal injury lawsuits are paid on a contingency fee basis, taking no money upfront but instead accepting a pre-determined portion of the damages if and when the plaintiff wins. If a defendant is ordered to pay those fees separate and apart from the plaintiff’s damages award, the plaintiff is able to keep the full damages they were awarded.