In Indiana, 175,821 motor vehicle collisions were reported in 2020. Of those, 8%, or 14,221 involved commercial vehicles. Of those commercial vehicle accidents, 134 were fatal. Accidents with semi trucks or commercial vehicles may lead to more questions than answers for victims. Commercial trucking companies have extensive legal teams ready to prevent you from getting your much-deserved compensation. Accidents often have no easily discernible cause, making it even harder for victims to recover damages.

According to a recent article, two semi-trucks collided head-on after one crossed the center median for unknown reasons. The driver of the semi-truck that crossed the median died on the scene, and the other was taken to the hospital with injuries. The incident combined with several other crashes that day led to massive closures on I-70, bottlenecking roads and diverting drivers.

Common Causes of Truck Accidents

Truck crash victims and their loved ones may be left with more questions than answers after an accident. To file a claim, injured drivers and passengers must prove a truck driver acted negligently or breached a duty of care in a way that caused their injuries. This can be difficult when an investigation into the cause of an accident is ongoing and the reason for the accident is not immediately clear. A skilled personal injury attorney with experience in truck accident claims can help understand potential factors that may have caused your accident to evaluate your claim. Attorneys have access to experts that can recreate the accident and determine the cause.

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Drivers and cyclists often occupy the same road. Consequently, distracted or reckless driving may end in a fatal accident. Both drivers and cyclists must act responsibly and stay vigilant on the road. However, the speed, size, and weight of a typical car will far exceed that of most bicycles, placing the cyclist at risk of severe injury or death when the two collide.

For example, when driving at night, it may be difficult for a driver to fully perceive their surroundings. As a result, someone who is speeding or driving recklessly may not see a cyclist or pedestrian on the road until it is too late. According to a recent news article, a cyclist was killed by a hit-and-run driver on the north side of Indianapolis on August 9. The victim, a 67-year-old woman, was riding north on Keystone Avenue at 32nd Street at night when she was struck by a car heading south. Rather than stopping to render assistance, the driver continued on, fleeing the accident. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

As the article reports, this hit-and-run is part of a string of deadly incidents on the streets of Indianapolis. In the first seven months of 2022, fatal accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists have approximated the total from all of 2021. Local police believe the uptick in accidents stems from speeding and reckless driving, which have increased since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Motorcycle drivers share the road with other vehicle drivers, and are entitled to certain rights as they use their motor vehicles. In the state of Indiana, it is written into law that “[a] motorcycle is entitled to the full use of a traffic lane and a vehicle may not be driven or operated in a manner that deprives another vehicle of the full use of a traffic lane.” However, in addition to having these rights, motorcycle drivers also have laws designed to keep them and other road users safe. Amongst other rules for keeping everyone safe, motorcycles should always properly signal before changing lanes, refrain from weaving in and out of traffic, and remain vigilant and aware of their surroundings.

A news report revealed that there was a recent fatal crash involving a motorcycle and a car in Clay County, Indiana. The crash occurred at the intersection of N Forest Avenue and Normandy Drive. According to witnesses, a car that had been heading north was stopped and attempting to make a left turn when a motorcycle approached from behind the vehicle and attempted to pass the car on the left side just as the car began to turn. The motorcycle thus crashed into the driver’s side of the car, ejecting the driver and passenger of the motorcycle. The motorcycle ended up in the yard of a nearby house. The motorcycle was driven by an Indiana man who had an expired learner’s permit and no valid motorcycle license. As a result of the crash, the driver was incapacitated and the passenger of the motorcycle passed away. Neither the driver nor the passenger of the motorcycle was wearing any safety equipment at the time of the crash.

Indiana code specifies that only motorcycle passengers under the age of 18 are required to wear a helmet when on the road. If someone holds a motorcycle learner’s permit in Indiana, it is valid for one year, and drivers are only allowed to renew their permit once. If the permit holder does not obtain a motorcycle endorsement before the expiration date of the renewed permit, they are required to wait one year before reapplying for a new permit. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration reported that in 2019, 30% of motorcyclists did not have a valid motorcycle license when involved in fatal motorcycle crashes. It is likely that a person who does not have a valid motorcycle license may also not have valid insurance. You may have questions about what your next steps should be if you are a victim of an accident involving an unlicensed motorcycle driver. Connecting with an experienced attorney will be helpful.

Children depend on their parents, caregivers, and other drivers and road users to ensure that they make it to their destinations safely. Whether that involves a quick trip to soccer practice or to school, it is essential that children are safely secured in vehicles. Seatbelts save lives. According to the CDC, 608 child passengers age 12 and under died in motor vehicle crashes in 2019. Of the children 12 and under who died in crashes for whom restraint use was known, 38 percent were not properly restrained.

In 2019, the CDC further reports that 67% of fatally injured children riding with unbelted drivers were also unrestrained. An estimated 46% of car seats and booster seats are misused, according to the CDC, and this misuse of car seats and booster seats can reduce their effectiveness. Taking the time to ensure that as the driver, you are properly restrained, and that other passengers and children are properly restrained before pulling off can be lifesaving, and parents and caregivers should be sure to do so with each drive.

A recent report made it apparent the importance of properly restraining children and other riders while in motor vehicles. Ten children survived a violent crash in Indiana after a 65-year-old driver of a pickup truck was traveling east on a road, failed to yield the right-of-way to a passenger van that was traveling north. As a result, the van crashed into the side of the truck, splitting the truck in half. There were 10 children in the van who were properly restrained and suffered minor injuries despite the severity of the crash. The children ranged from 6 months in age to 15 years old. Police believe that the driver that failed to yield may have been under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash. Further investigations will be made.

When drivers are on the road late at night or early in the morning, additional factors may be present that make serious accidents or collisions more likely than during the daytime. Drivers are more likely to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol late at night, contributing to slow response times and poor decision-making. In addition, drivers may have been up late or driving through the night, and lack of sleep or increased levels of exhaustion can contribute to unsafe conditions on the road.

A recent article has reported that Indiana State Police responded to a car crash on I-80 in Indiana at the early morning hour of 2:22 am. Two people were severely injured when an SUV attempted to improperly pass a semi-truck and struck the crash attenuator and then the semi-truck. Three people in the crash, including the semi-truck driver, were unharmed, but two were transported to the hospital for life-threatening injuries. An investigation is still underway and no charges have been brought, but police say they suspect drugs or alcohol may have been involved in the accident.

If someone has been injured in a car accident and a non-injured party was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the injured person or their families and loved ones may be able to more easily bring a personal injury claim and receive compensation.

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Each year in the United States, accidents involving fireworks kill around ten people. In June and July, the risk is the highest, as fireworks are being sold and used in anticipation of the July 4th holiday. An Indiana boy was killed over the holiday weekend in a fireworks explosion that occurred while the family was lighting fireworks to celebrate the holiday.

According to a local news report discussing the accident, the 11-year-old boy and adults from his family were setting off “mortar-style” fireworks when an explosion occurred and the boy was seriously injured. His family attempted to rush him to the hospital after the explosion, but he died before they arrived. Although the accident is still under investigation, authorities have ruled it an accident for the time being.

All fireworks involve some risk of injury, especially if they are not used as intended. Some types of fireworks are more dangerous than others. IN 2013, the Indiana legislature expanded the permitted types of fireworks allowed in the state. This rule change allowed Indianans to use aerial consumer fireworks, such as mortars and bottle rockets, in addition to the ground-based fireworks that were previously allowed. These ariel fireworks are generally more dangerous than grounded ones, as the aerial varieties usually utilize at least two separate explosions to cause the desired effect, and can cause serious damage if they are misused or fail to function as intended.

In a recent Indiana Supreme Court case, the Court held that non-hospital medical entities that serve as a health care providers may be vicariously liable for physicians whom they independently contract with unless they give meaningful notice to the patient, the patient has independent special knowledge of the arrangement between the non-hospital medical entity and its physicians, or the patient otherwise knows about these relationships. This decision helps prevent non-hospital medical facilities from evading liability in negligence cases involving the facility and independent contractor physicians.

The Facts of the Case

The plaintiff went to Marion Open MRI (the defendant) to get MRIs of his spine. Marion Open MRI is not a hospital, but an outpatient diagnostic imaging center that is not a qualified healthcare provider under the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act. Marion Open MRI independently contracted with a radiologist to read MRIs and sent the plaintiff’s MRI images to the radiologist for interpretation. The radiologist was never physically present at the Marion Open MRI facility and instead interpreted the images from his home office. The radiologist’s reports appeared on Marion Open MRI letterhead and had zero indication of his independent contractor status.

The plaintiff filed his complaint alleging medical malpractice, claiming that Marion Open MRI and the radiologist failed to diagnose and treat his spinal condition which has now resulted in permanent injuries. Marion Open MRI argued that it was not liable for the radiologist’s actions because the relevant law does not apply to non-hospital entities. In response, the plaintiff argued there was a dispute of material fact whether the radiologist was acting as an apparent agent for Marion Open MRI, even considering the fact that Marion Open MRI is not a hospital. When there is a genuine dispute of material fact, the case must go to trial. The trial court ultimately decided not to go to trial and ruled in favor of Marion Open MRI. The Court of Appeals reversed the trial court decision, holding that “it is reasonable for a patient in a diagnostic imaging center to believe that the radiologists interpreting images for the center are employees or agents of the center, unless the center informs them of the contrary.” The case was appealed to the Indiana Supreme Court.

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The National Center for Statistics and Analysis and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that head-on accidents are disproportionately represented in deadly crashes on two-lane highways. These two-lane roadways make up a substantial percentage of the highway network in the country; Indiana alone has nearly 30,000 miles of road. Thus, motorists must take steps to avoid highway crashes, especially since many of these crashes are head-on.

Many organizations and safety advocates have researched to help curtail head-on crashes. However, these accidents continue to occur. While the rate of head-on accidents is not as high as other types of accidents, these crashes tend to result in the most severe outcomes.

For instance, local news sources reported a fatal Knightstown, Indiana crash. According to the Sheriff’s Office, a driver was killed when he veered into the center line while heading south toward 1-70. He slammed into a northbound driver in an SUV and eventually came to a stop in a ditch. The driver was trapped in his vehicle and died from his injuries before an emergency helicopter arrived. The SUV’s driver’s vehicle ignited and came to a rest in another ditch. Emergency responders transported her to a regional hospital for treatment.

After a fatal Indiana car accident, you may feel overwhelmed with the aftermath of the collision and feel unsure of what steps to take next. If medical expenses, bills, and other financial pressures are stacking up in the wake of losing a loved one, it may be time to consider filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. Although the lawsuit will not bring your loved one back, it could provide some financial reprieve for you and your loved ones on your journey to healing.

According to a recent local news report, a man was charged with driving while intoxicated after a fatal Indiana crash that took place last March. Indiana State Police reported that the March accident was a single-vehicle accident, where a Jeep Cherokee crashed into a median wall and overturned. The driver of the Jeep had two passengers in the vehicle, one of which died from injuries stemming from the accident. The Jeep driver was charged with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated and causing death and causing death when operating a motor vehicle with an alcohol concentration equivalent of 0.08 or more.

If you recently lost a loved one in a fatal Indiana car accident and the at-fault party may have been intoxicated or driving under the influence, you may be entitled to compensation. Because your loved one’s death was likely because of the at-fault party’s recklessness and negligence, this could establish the basis for your personal injury claim.

Following the sudden and unexpected loss of a loved one, filing a lawsuit may be the furthest thing from your mind. Losing someone you love, however, is difficult in multiple respects. In addition to losing someone you deeply cared for, you may also have been relying on them for financial or emotional support. Although nothing can reverse your loss, a wrongful death personal injury lawsuit could be the answer to addressing some of the gaps that take place after the sudden and unexpected loss of a loved one.

According to a recent local news report, a wrong way accident resulted in one driver dead and another seriously injured. Based on a preliminary investigation by Indiana State Police, a Nissan was traveling eastbound in westbound lanes when it crashed into a Honda head-on. The driver of the Nissan was declared dead at the scene and the driver of the Honda was transported to a local hospital with potentially life-threatening injuries. Local authorities closed the westbound lanes of the toll road where the accident took place for several hours to investigate, which caused significant traffic jams and delays as emergency crews cleared the accident. Although the accident remains under investigation, local authorities believe that alcohol or drugs may have been a factor in the accident.

Indiana, like other jurisdictions, has state-specific rules about the details of bringing a wrongful death case. For example, not anyone is eligible to file a wrongful death suit. Although some states allow specific family members or even individuals who were substantially financially dependent on the deceased to bring a wrongful death claim, Indiana only allows the deceased’s personal representative to file a wrongful death claim if the deceased was an adult. If the deceased was a child, however, the claim can be filed by one or both of the child’s parents or by the child’s legal guardian.

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