Articles Posted in Auto Accident

As noted by the Indiana Department of Insurance, each newly written Indiana auto liability policy must include uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage – unless it is rejected by the insured in writing. These limits mirror those of bodily injury liability (what you pay if you’re at fault for someone else’s injuries), with stipulated minimums being $25,000 per person and $50,000 per crash.Legal News Gavel

Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage protects you in the event you are struck by an at-fault driver who does not have insurance or who fled in a hit-and-run accident. But just because you have this coverage does not mean you will be automatically entitled to collect it after a collision. Your Indiana car accident attorney will need to show:

  • The driver who struck you was negligent/at fault for the crash;

Head injuries and spinal cord injuries are common Indiana car accident injuries. Less recognized is a condition known as “internal decapitation.”Legal News Gavel

A 22-year-old man from Indiana suffered this condition and incredibly survived. Even more stunning was the fact that this is the third time he’s reportedly cheated death. When he was born, he wasn’t breathing and suffered seizures. He was saved by CPR. Then as a teenager, he endured radiation and chemotherapy to survive a serious brain tumor. Now, he is reported to have beaten the odds with an internal decapitation after a serious car accident as he rode in the bed of a pickup truck.

As reported by Beacon Health System, internal decapitation occurs when the ligaments that attach the skull to the spine become severed. The head remains physically attached to the body, so “decapitation” is a bit of a misnomer, but it is still very serious because it can result in head movements that can lead to damage of the lower brain stem, which is essential to breathing function.

Most motorcyclists have a checklist they go through every time they head out. Pre-ride inspections usually involve making sure the bike is generally in good working order, the portable GPS is queued up, and they have all of the proper gear, such as helmets and extra gloves. There is often a double-check of road conditions and weather reports. It typically doesn’t involve a check of the lunar calendar. Maybe it should, since it might affect the chance of an Indiana motorcycle accident.Legal News Gavel

A new study published in the journal The BMJ (a weekly, peer-reviewed medical journal) concluded fatal crashes are more likely under a full moon. Why might this be?

Police, emergency room workers, and others routinely working night shifts often lament the “full moon madness,” insisting it is a real issue, and every time the moon was full, emergency departments and booking stations would be packed. But there hasn’t been a lot of independent data to back that. A 2011 study published in the World Journal of Surgery found that while 40 percent of staff believed lunar phases affect human behavior, most research found no solid correlation. Continue reading

Motorcycle crashes in Indiana and beyond are associated with high levels of injuries and fatalities for both passengers and drivers. There are more than 8 million motorcycles on U.S. roads, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports the proportion of fatalities attributed to motorcycles, as opposed to other passenger vehicles, has increased (with motorcycle deaths occurring 28 times more frequently than passenger car occupant deaths).Legal News Gavel

Examining ways to prevent Indiana motorcycle accidents – especially the worst of them – is important not just to the public health, but also to the economy. Recently, physician researchers with Indiana University School of Medicine conducted a study revealing some troubling news with regard to a specific danger for which motorcycle passengers are at great risk:  traumatic brain injuries.

The analysis examined three years of data from the National Trauma Bank, with researchers identifying more than 85,000 motorcycle accident trauma patients and separating them into groups of operators and passengers. For both, traumatic brain injuries were the most frequent injury among those who were not wearing helmets at the time of the crash. However, motorcycle passengers had “significantly” higher rates of injury and also lower helmet use compliance. The study is reportedly the first of its kind to examine the benefits of helmet use for motorcycle drivers compared to passengers.

The Indiana Court of Appeals recently affirmed a $9 million verdict – including compensatory and punitive damages – in favor of a motorcycle accident victim who was severely injured after a collision with a pickup truck in Schererville, about 20 to 30 minutes south of Gary, Hammond, and Highland. Legal News Gavel

In a unanimous decision, the court decided to affirm the damages award, which was $9.1 million in compensatory damages and $30,000 in punitive damages, for which the defendant pickup truck driver was 100 percent responsible.

The defendant argued on appeal that the trial court abused its discretion in giving an erroneous jury instruction, but the appellate court found no evidence the jury instruction incorrectly stated the law, wasn’t supported by the evidence, or was covered in substance by other instructions. The court also could find no evidence the trial court abused its discretion in allowing the jury instruction, meaning the verdict and the damages award were affirmed.

There were 223,733 car accidents in Indiana in all of 2016, according to the Indiana University Public Policy Institute, of which 769 were fatal and nearly 53,000 involved serious personal injuries. Northern Indiana auto accident lawyers know the immediate aftermath of a crash can be, if nothing else, a bit chaotic and confusing. Obviously, if you are seriously hurt, your No. 1 priority is seeking prompt medical attention. Even if you don’t feel you have suffered major trauma, bear in mind injuries can be exacerbated when they aren’t treated right away.Legal News Gavel

Beyond that, there are a number of steps crash victims need to take in order to not only preserve their health but also preserve their rights and possible future civil claim. Indiana is a “fault” state when it comes to crashes, meaning you don’t have to recover personal injury protection benefits or meet a serious injury threshold before you can pursue damages against the at-fault driver. (This differs from the regulations in many no-fault auto accident states.)

Following these steps will help ensure you have evidence to substantiate your grounds for damages.

A man who was rendered quadriplegic in an Indiana drunk driving accident several years ago was awarded $35 million by a jury in Marion County recently, according to The Indiana Lawyer. However, the most he would be able to collect, following a finding of 40 percent comparative fault on his part, is $21 million. This sounds like a lot, but it’s only going to be enough to cover his around-the-clock care provided by his parents, doctors, nurses, and home health providers. Furthermore, he still faces a battle over whether the auto insurer will even be compelled to pay, since the defendant insurer in a separate case argues the coverage did not extend to the plaintiff as a passenger of his own vehicle. Legal News Gavel

There is a lot to unpack in this case, so let our injury attorneys start with what reportedly happened on the night in question. The two men were reportedly at a bar in Marion County, with the plaintiff’s truck parked outside. That truck was insured by Progressive. The two men consumed alcohol, and it is undisputed that both were impaired when they chose to leave the bar. A bartender at the establishment called a taxi company to give the pair a ride. However, as that taxi driver pulled into the parking lot, the two men opted to drive themselves home, with the plaintiff handing over the keys to his truck to his friend. (Although Indiana Code section 7.1-5-10-15.5, the state’s dram shop law, allows for bars and other establishments to be held liable for drunk driving injuries to third parties, the bartender’s effort to have a taxi driver take them home significantly limited the site’s liability, although it was later deemed five percent at fault.)

The driver crashed before the men reached their destination, rendering the passenger/vehicle owner paralyzed from the neck down. Although the defendant driver had initially argued he was not behind the wheel, security footage at a facility near the crash site proved otherwise, since he was seen exiting the driver seat.

Indiana hit-and-run accidents can prove challenging from a civil litigation standpoint for a myriad of reasons, sometimes even if the driver is found. Contacting an experienced Highland injury lawyer is imperative to maximizing the chances of accountability and compensation. Legal News Gavel

A recent Indiana hit-and-run crash resulted in one woman losing her life and a man facing a felony charge. Investigators in Indianapolis told the Indy Star on early Sunday morning that a car accident occurred on 34th Street, where officers responded to the scene to discover a passenger car literally split in two. There was no one in it. But nearby, occupants of a Dodge Neon, a man and woman both age 22, were critically injured. The driver was treated at a local hospital, while the woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

Officers discovered a man believed to be the driver a short time later. He is believed to have fled the scene on foot, and authorities suspect alcohol was a factor in the crash. He has been arrested on a charge of failure to stop at the scene of an accident involving death, a felony.

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A 2008 National Highway Safety Traffic Safety Survey provided a number of conclusions concerning pre crash factors, including, but not limited to destructed driving, crash ability, road construction and environmental considerations.United States Department of Transportation Causation Survey.pdfAn assessment of the roadway design, environmental conditions, and participant interviews. Among such cases, roads slick with ice and other debris were the most frequent roadway-related critical causes of accidents.

The incredibly bad weather in Northwest and Central Indiana clearly reflects how the current icy and snowy weather and resulting slippery road surfaces have resulted in accident after accident. Perhaps the worst of which took place, January 23 2014, on Interstate 94, and US 421.The collision involved over 40 vehicles, including 15 tractor trailers and at least three fatalities. Whiteout conditions probably played a role making it difficult for truck and automobile drivers to see the road in from of them. displaymedia photo in michigan city.jpeg

Just days ago, another multiple vehicle crash involving semi-trucks and other vehicles took place on Interstate 65, just outside Lafayette, Indiana. As a result, northbound and southbound. Lanes were closed for hours. Slick roads,winds, snow and fog limited visibility.
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With all of the anti-drunk driving campaigns, residents and visitors may be more likely to be involved in a pedestrian accident blamed on alcohol. While drunk driving campaigns are great in preventing drunk driving accidents, they only increase the risk of drunk walking accidents.
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According to Associated Press, there were more than 1,500 pedestrians who were legally drunk and the time of their fatal accident in 2011. This means that close to 40 percent of all of the pedestrians killed in 2011 were legally intoxicated. This is a new epidemic and we’re seeing an alarming increase in the risks. It’s a particularly important message as college classes resume.

Our Highland accident lawyers understand that there were nearly 100 pedestrians killed in the state of Indiana in 2011. These accidents accounted for close to 10 percent of all the traffic fatalities recorded during the year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is making prevention a priority. The agency recently announced a new set of tools to help communities fight to problem, allocated roughly $2 million in pedestrian safety grants and launched a new one-stop shop website with resources for community leaders as well as safety tips for residents.

“We all have a reason to support pedestrian safety, and now, everyone has new tools to help make a difference,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

The problem here is that alcohol can negatively affect a pedestrian’ judgment too, just as it would a driver’s. It can lead them to make poor decisions while traveling, like trying to beat a vehicle heading down the road, crossing against a traffic light or even crossing in the wrong place. Any one of these wrong decisions (among a multitude of other wrong decisions) can land you in the hospital or leave you for dead.

On average, a pedestrian was killed every two hours and injured every eight minutes in traffic accidents in the United States last year.

But it’s not just the pedestrians that have officials worried. They’re also seeing an increase in the number of intoxicated bicyclists who are injured or killed.

While you may think that walking home after a night of drinking is your safest bet, you might want to think again. Consider getting a cab or calling a friend or family member to come get you. Whatever you do, you want to stay away from moving traffic. It’s a move that could save your life.

Thanks to the AAA DUI Justice Link, that connection can be made. On this site, officials with the NHTSA created a listing of sober/safe ride programs across the country. Save a number in your phone, and you’re sure to have a save and sober ride home every time.
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