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.

The parents of a teen killed in a drunk driving accident in Muncie have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the motorist accused of killing him. The negligence lawsuit comes little more than a year after the defendant was convicted of driving while intoxicated causing death and driving while intoxicated causing serious bodily injury. The 25-year-old defendant is now serving eight years in prison.keys

This case underscores the options drunk driving victims have to seek compensation for a serious injury or death caused by these actions. That’s because drunk driving, in addition to being a form of negligence, is also a crime. Still, the criminal trial is completely separate and apart from the civil case. There is a separate standard for the burden of proof, and the outcome of one case won’t necessarily affect the outcome of the other.

Furthermore, our Highland injury lawyers can explain Indiana’s liquor liability laws are such that you may be able to hold accountable the bar or restaurant that served that drunken driver, as well as the driver and potentially the owner of the vehicle.

Liability will be a hotly disputed issue in a recently filed Indiana truck accident lawsuit.truck

According to NWI.com, the lawsuit was filed on behalf of a 35-year-old man with autism who suffered significant brain damage and multiple fractures when the medical transportation van in which he was riding was broadsided by a semitrailer. His 72-year-old father is seeking damages for help with medical bills and other expenses that will be associated with his now-constant care. Although his son was not fully independent before the accident, he had much higher function than he now does. He had been on his way to a trade workshop at the time of the crash.

The father said his son would soon be transported home from the hospital, and the elderly man is the only one available who can render his care.

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