The state Supreme Court recently addressed a critical question regarding the scope of the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act (IMMA). The underlying lawsuit arose when a woman ran a red light and crashed into another vehicle. The woman was traveling with her granddaughter, who testified that she saw her grandmother swallow two pills before saying, “I can’t stop,” while approaching the intersection. The husband and father of the decedents filed a lawsuit against the Physician who prescribed the woman opiates and against the Indiana Department of Insurance under the IMMA.

The plaintiff argued that the physician breached the standard of care by failing to :

  • To warn the driver of operating a vehicle under the influence of the medications he prescribed her,

As the country is still reeling from the pandemic, many employers continue to shift their expectations for employees. These changes have drastically impacted traffic patterns and commuting methods. Many Indiana commuters are finding alternative ways to commute to work and their daily activities. While biking continues to be a popular mode of transportation, it has also led to the steady increase of Indiana bicycling accidents.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that bike accidents comprise approximately two percent of all traffic fatalities in the country. Historically the majority of the fatalities involve young children; however, the rise in bike commuters has impacted the affected demographic. The NHTSA reports that around 700 individuals die every year in bike accidents, and nearly 48,000 suffer serious injuries. The average age of fatal bike accident victims is between 55 and 59 years old. Statistics also indicate that a disproportionate number of accident victims are males riding their bikes in urban settings. The majority of fatal bike accidents occur along major roadways. Further, historically, the evening rush hour is the most dangerous time of day for bikers. This may be because of the large numbers of commuters traveling home tired after a long workday. Finally, the most recent accident reports show that nearly 25 percent of fatal bike accident victims had a blood alcohol content of 0.01 or higher.

Not surprisingly, collisions between cyclists and large trucks typically result in the most catastrophic outcomes. For example, local news reports described a harrowing accident between an Indiana cyclist and a dump truck. Law enforcement received reports of the bicycle accident around 12:45 p.m. When they arrived, they discovered that a dump truck rear-ended the 67-year-old bicyclist. The woman suffered several broken bones and a head injury. She was life-flighted to a hospital; however, she later died from her injuries. Police do not believe that alcohol or drugs were involved in the accident; however, the case is still under investigation.

A recent Indiana news report described the increasing rate of motorcycle accidents in the state. Reporters followed up with a woman whose father suffered serious injuries in a motorcycle accident last month. The man was riding his motorcycle with a passenger when an SUV driver slammed into his motorcycle. Authorities discovered that the woman was driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.205%. As such, they charged her with a Level 5 felony causing serious bodily injury when operating a vehicle. The hospital released the man into a rehabilitation facility; however, he is still experiencing brain bleeds.

That accident only adds to the harrowing number of serious motorcycle accident injuries and fatalities in the state. The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute and Bureau of Motor Crash and accident reports reveal that 138 motorcyclists suffered fatal injuries in an accident in 2020, up from 113 the prior reporting year. While motorcyclists account for less than 2% of crash data, they result in over 15% of all Indiana traffic deaths. The disparity in numbers highlights how dangerous motorcycle accidents tend to be for riders and passengers.

The majority of these accidents occur during the summer, where the temperate conditions bring more motorcyclists onto the road. In addition, statistics indicate that an increase in reckless behavior such as driver inattention and speeding all add to the likelihood of an accident. However, drugs and alcohol are the leading cause of fatal accidents in Indiana. In addition, motorcycle riders who do not wear a helmet drastically increase their risk of serious injuries.

Hit-and-run accidents refer to situations where a driver causes damage to another person or property and flees the scene without rendering aid or providing identifying information. Indiana hit-and-run accident perpetrators may face serious criminal charges and civil penalties. According to the most recent statistics by the Indiana University Public Policy Institute, nearly 29,000 of the 217,077 collisions in the state involved hit-and-run drivers. The majority of the accidents occurred in Allen County, Monroe County, St. Joseph County, Vigo County, and Lake County. However, these accidents occur throughout the state at an alarming rate.

For instance, local news sources reported that law enforcement has arrested a driver believed to be involved in a fatal hit-and-run. The arrest came after officers were called to the accident scene, where they discovered two 18-year-old males suffering from serious injuries. One of the victims was on a skateboard while the other was on a bicycle. The skateboarder was taken to a local hospital for treatment; however, the bicyclist died at the accident scene. Officers arrested the suspected driver two days after the accident. The driver was charged with leaving the scene of a serious bodily injury accident and leaving the scene of a fatal accident.

While some people flee the scene of the accident because they are unaware an accident took place, the overwhelming majority leave because they are engaged in some other illegal behavior. Many drivers flee because they have a warrant out for their arrest, are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or were engaged in some other illicit behavior. While these reasons may explain why one fled the scene, it does not excuse it.

The League of American Bicyclists (LAB) ranks Indiana as the 24th most bicycle-friendly state in the U.S. When bikers and motorists are on the road together, both parties should take extra steps to ensure each other’s safety. However, cars have inherently more control over their vehicles and must take extra precautions to avoid a collision.

In addition to traffic regulations, Indiana maintains laws that apply directly to bicyclists. Specifically, Title 9, Article 21, Chapter 11 of the state’s code explains the rights and duties of bicyclists in Indiana. Most importantly, all road users should understand that bicyclists have a right to share the road with motorists. In the same vein, bicyclists must abide by the statute as well. For instance, bicyclists may not ride on anything besides the permanent and regular seat attached to their bike.

Further, bikers may not use whistles or sirens while on their cycles. Additionally, cyclists must ensure that their bikes have a working brake that will allow the cycle to stop on dry and level pavement. While most lawmakers understand the importance of bike safety, the law does not require bikers to wear helmets. Although the law does not require cyclists or passengers to wear helmets, bikers should err on the side of caution and wear a helmet.

The law defines Indiana hit-and-run accidents as a collision caused by a motorist who leaves the scene of an accident. The injury victim may be another motorist, a passenger, a motorcyclist, a biker, or a pedestrian. Indiana law classifies hit-and-run accidents as a criminal offense. In addition, hit-and-run motorists may face civil charges. These accidents tend to result in serious injuries and death, and pursuing a legal claim against the at-fault driver can help accident victims recover from the financial losses they incur as a result of their injuries.

For example, a recent news report described a harrowing Indiana fatal hit-and-run accident. Witnesses called law enforcement to the scene of the accident to report the incident. According to witnesses, the victim was traveling on his scooter when a vehicle slammed into him. The impact caused the victim to be thrown from his bike. The driver fled the scene, and the victim succumbed to his injuries at the scene.

Under the law, drivers involved in an accident must stop, provide identifying information, contact emergency officials and police. If someone suffers injuries in the accident, the driver must remain at the scene and provide reasonable assistance until emergency responders arrive. Albeit difficult, the law still allows hit-and-run injury victims to recover compensation for their damages. Indiana State Police are asking the public to come forward with any information.

When the driver’s negligence or recklessness results in a fatal Indiana car accident, the accident victim’s surviving loved ones may file an Indiana wrongful death lawsuit. Wrongful death claims, which are essentially personal injury lawsuits where the injured person has died and is no longer able to bring a claim on their own behalf, can often be a means of recovering compensation following a tragic accident.

According to a recent news report, a tragic car accident left a couple’s six-month-old son dead. Based on reports from local authorities, the child’s mother was rear-ended by a semi-truck at a stoplight, and the boy died from his injuries following the accident. The child’s mother experienced minimal bruising and soreness, and the couple’s two-year-old daughter underwent surgery to repair a broken femur. The daughter also suffered multiple fractures in her skull but is reportedly in stable condition.

Indiana’s wrongful death statute defines the term “wrongful death” as one that was “caused by the wrongful act or omission of another” person or entity. The most common types of injuries that give rise to a wrongful death claim include negligence-based accidents, such as car crashes or personal injuries, medical malpractice, or intentional acts.

In the blink of an eye, children go from shrieking toddlers who want to spend every second with you to chatty teenagers wrapped up in their own worlds. No one ever expects, however, that their children will be involved in an accident—especially one caused by another’s negligence. One of the most painful things that a parent and a family can experience is outliving their children because an accident or unexpected event takes them too soon. When such loss takes place because of another’s negligence or recklessness, those responsible should be held accountable.

According to a local news report, a tragic car accident left two Indiana teenagers dead. On the day of the accident, four teenagers were in a sedan that lost control and flipped off the road and landed near a cornfield. The damage from the accident left the vehicle nearly unrecognizable. Two teen girls who were in the sedan were killed, and the families are still seeking justice. According to post-accident reports, the driver, a surviving 18-year-old male, was estimated to have been driving nearly 103-108 miles per hour moments before he lost control of his vehicle and crashed. Because the main cause of the accident was speeding, which was an error on the part of the driver, and the tires on the car were unsafe for use, the families are looking into potentially advancing claims. The accident is still under investigation.

In Indiana, wrongful death claims may be available following accidents like this one, where someone died as the result of a wrongful act like negligence. When someone’s lack of care or recklessness results in the preventable death of another, there may be grounds to recover compensation through a civil wrongful death lawsuit.

With warmer weather rolling in, it seems as good of a time as ever to pull that motorcycle out from storage to soak in the sunshine and longer daylight hours. With more people out on the roads these days as the world reopens; however, motorcyclists and drivers alike must exercise extra caution while driving. As more people return to traveling and commuting, motorcycles continue to be a popular and less expensive mode of transportation. Motorcyclists, however, are often exposed to additional risks and a heightened chance of a deadly or serious accident—and those who are at fault in these collisions must be held accountable.

In a recent local news report, a motorcycle accident in central Indiana left a man dead. According to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, the motorcyclist was traveling eastbound when he lost control of his bike. The motorcyclist was thrown from his bike across the median into oncoming traffic and was struck by a vehicle. The motorcycle also separately crashed into a second vehicle before coming to a stop. When officers arrived on the scene, the motorcyclist was suffering from significant physical injuries and was later pronounced dead on the scene. The accident remains under investigation by local authorities.

In Indiana, like other states, motorcyclists must adhere to the basic rules of the road. In addition, all motorcycle riders and passengers under the age of 18 must wear a motorcycle helmet. Motorcyclists are also barred by Indiana laws from lane splitting, which is when a rider operates their bike between two lanes of cars driving in the same direction. Passengers of motorcyclists can only ride with the motorcyclist when there is a seat attached and designed for passenger use—and can only do so on Class A motorcycles, but not on Class B motorcycles. Lastly, all motorcyclists are required to use a headlamp when operating their bikes, which must be illuminated at all times that the bike is in operation. Any violation of these laws could result in fines up to $500, and you could risk getting your license suspended for up to one year.

Accrual, which usually refers to the date that would give rise to a potential plaintiff’s right to bring a cause of action, can often change the circumstances surrounding whether a claim is viable or not in Indiana. For example, this inquiry is particularly relevant when time is of the essence in a medical malpractice lawsuit and the determination of the plaintiff’s accrual date could render their lawsuit invalid under the statute of limitations.

In a recent Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals opinion, the court considered a federal medical malpractice case involving accrual dates. The plaintiff brought suit on behalf of herself and her son against the United States under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) after her son sustained a permanent injury to his left arm during birth. Once her son was born, the plaintiff immediately noticed that her son’s arm was injured. Because the hospital where the plaintiff delivered her child was a federally qualified health center that receives federal funding and grant money from the federal government, it means that its employees are covered against malpractice claims under the FTCA. The plaintiff, however, did not realize that the hospital qualified as a federally qualified health center despite the fact that such information was available on the internet, which meant that she would be unable to sue for medical malpractice.

After exhausting other remedies, the plaintiff eventually refiled the case more than three years after her son was born. The defendant, the United States, moved for summary judgment on the basis that the plaintiff’s claims had surpassed the FTCA’s two-year statute of limitations.

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