Articles Posted in Auto Accident

Every parent’s worst nightmare is learning their child has suffered injuries or died in an accident. Accidents involving child victims can take an intense psychological toll on the child and the entire family. Fortunately, parents can take several steps to protect their children from injuries in the event of an accident on the road. However, when a child suffers harm in a car accident, the child’s parents may seek to hold the responsible party accountable for their harm through a negligence lawsuit.

As a recent news article tragically reported, an 8-year-old child passed away from a serious car accident. According to state police, the child was traveling in a car that stopped at an intersection. As the driver crossed the eastbound lane to enter the highway, her vehicle collided with another vehicle at a t-bone angle. Sadly, the child died at the scene. Both drivers suffered serious injuries and received treatment at a nearby hospital.

How Can You Protect Your Child from a Fatal Accident?

If you have young children, one of the best ways to protect them is to place them in a car seat. Car seats can keep children safe in the event of an accident. However, not all car seats are equal. First, make sure the car seat is appropriate for your child. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has an online tool that allows you to find a proper car seat based on your child’s age, height, and weight. In addition to selecting the right car seat, make sure to correctly install the seat in your vehicle. An incorrectly installed seat may not provide adequate protection from injuries. Finally, make sure your child is strapped into the car seat. If your child is in a booster seat, make sure your child is also wearing a seatbelt. These steps can help keep your child safe in the event of a car accident.

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Auto accidents can happen even when you have safely parked your vehicle on the side of the road. If other drivers are acting carelessly, they may collide with your parked vehicle and cause a roadside accident. While roadside accidents have a number of causes, they too often result from another driver’s negligence. If another driver has harmed you in a roadside accident, you may be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages.

For example, a recent news story reported on an Indianapolis, Indiana roadside accident. According to state police, two troopers were investigating a crash inside a police car when a semi-truck crashed into their vehicle. Both troopers were transported to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

What Are the Causes of an Indiana Roadside Accident?

A roadside accident can result from several causes, many of which involve a driver’s negligence. First, a common cause of roadside accidents is distracted driving. When drivers are distracted, they may not see a vehicle parked on the side of the road until it is too late. To minimize the risk of a roadside accident, it is important to avoid talking on the phone, eating, or “multi-tasking” until you have parked safely at your destination. Roadside accidents can also result from driving under the influence (DUI). Intoxicated drivers experience significant difficulty maintaining control of their vehicles. As a result, they may veer off the side of the road and strike a parked car. Furthermore, even if drivers are not intoxicated, they may be too drowsy to operate their vehicles safely. For example, if a semi-truck driver is working a late shift, he or she may grow distracted or drive carelessly due to a lack of alertness. In addition to a driver’s negligence, roadside accidents may occur after a vehicle part malfunction, a faulty guardrail or other road equipment, or a government’s failure to maintain safe road conditions.

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Sometimes, car accidents result from a chain of events that no one could possibly predict. More than one vehicle may be involved in a single accident, or one accident may lead to a second accident between different drivers. When accidents involve multiple vehicles, determining fault can be a difficult task. However, if you bring a negligence lawsuit against the drivers responsible for your harm, establishing causation will be a critical element of your case.

Recently, a local news article reported on a bizarre Indiana multi-vehicle accident. According to a preliminary investigation, the accident occurred on the highway as a Nissan SUV hydroplaned and struck a concrete barrier. Seeing the Nissan in the middle of the highway, the driver of a Lexus pulled over to assist the Nissan driver. As the Nissan driver walked across the roadway toward the Lexus, she was struck by a Ford driver swerving to avoid the crash scene. The Ford then struck the Lexus on the shoulder of the highway. The Nissan driver died from her injuries. The Lexus driver and two passengers suffered non-life-threatening injuries. Police later charged the Ford driver with Operating While Intoxicated (OWI).

How Can You Prove Causation in an Indiana Multi-Vehicle Accident?

Complex or unusual accidents can complicate issues of causation when bringing a negligence lawsuit. To hold a defendant liable for negligence, the plaintiff must prove that a defendant’s negligent behavior was the actual and “legal” cause of the accident. If the defendant can point to any superseding causes that provide an alternative explanation for the accident, they may be able to escape liability. Examples of superseding causes are another driver striking the victim or a repair shop’s failure to properly secure the defendant’s tires. To succeed on a negligence claim, a plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s actions caused the accident and disprove any other explanations the defendant may provide. Proving cause in fact and legal causation is key to recovering compensation for your harm.

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If a car strikes you when you walk down the street, you may suffer serious injuries. A pedestrian accident may lead to expensive medical bills, hospital treatment, and lost wages. In these situations, accident victims’ financial harm only worsens the physical and emotional harm they have suffered. Thankfully, Indiana law allows pedestrian accident victims to bring a personal injury lawsuit for negligence against the responsible driver. A personal injury lawsuit can help provide closure and ease the financial burden of a serious pedestrian accident.

For example, as a recent news article tragically reported, a man lost his life in a Gary, Indiana pedestrian accident. The pedestrian was walking on I-80 when two vehicles struck him. Both drivers stopped at the scene. Police arrested one driver for operating a vehicle under the influence (OWI).

What Are the Causes of Pedestrian Accidents?

There are multiple possible explanations for a serious pedestrian accident. For example, a driver may be operating their vehicle under the influence. People who consume alcohol before driving lack the concentration and reflexes necessary to avoid crashing into another person or vehicle. Even if drivers are not under the influence of alcohol, they may hit a pedestrian if they are distracted. Drivers who attempt to “multitask” may lose control of their vehicles or fail to brake before striking a pedestrian. Additionally, a driver may fail to obey traffic signals indicating that a pedestrian has the right-of-way. On the other hand, an accident could result if the pedestrian does not obey traffic signals giving a vehicle the right-of-way. Drivers and pedestrians alike should stay focused and follow all traffic signs to avoid a pedestrian accident.

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Drivers who operate their vehicles while intoxicated are a danger to everyone else on the road. Accidents that result from driving under the influence (DUI) often leave accident victims with serious injuries and medical expenses. Fortunately, DUI accident victims can sue the responsible driver in a negligence lawsuit to recover compensation for their harm. In addition to criminal penalties, an intoxicated driver may therefore be liable to an accident victim for civil damages.

For example, a recent news article reported on a possible DUI accident in Indianapolis, Indiana. Police arrived at the crash scene and learned a driver had left an exit and attempted to enter a southbound lane. When leaving the exit, the driver crashed into two other vehicles. Multiple people suffered serious injuries. Police officers suspected drugs and alcohol to be factors in the crash.

What Are the Burdens of Proof for Civil and Criminal DUI Cases?

The burden of proof for a criminal prosecution is much higher than a civil negligence lawsuit. To convict the defendant of a crime, all twelve jury members must find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Any shred of doubt about the defendant’s guilt requires the jury to find the defendant not guilty. If even one juror is not absolutely sure that the defendant is guilty, the jury cannot convict the defendant of a crime. If the jury cannot agree, the prosecution may re-try the case against the defendant. The burden of proof is high because the defendant may serve time in prison if they are convicted. By contrast, the burden of proof to impose civil damages is a “preponderance of the evidence” standard. To hold the defendant liable for negligence in a civil lawsuit, the judge or jury must find it is more likely than not that the defendant’s negligence caused the plaintiff’s harm. Under this lower burden of proof, the defendant is liable even if it is only 51% likely that their negligent behavior resulted in harm.

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When passengers suffer injuries in an auto accident, they often have to deal with medical bills, emotional distress, and even lost wages. For many passengers, these injuries feel especially unfair because they had no control over the vehicles that collided. To recover compensation for their injuries, passengers can bring a negligence lawsuit against the responsible driver.

For example, a recent Greenfield, Indiana accident led to a passenger fatality. As a local news article reported, two drivers were traveling northbound in adjacent lanes. Both drivers were speeding and refused to let the other pass them. As vehicle in the right lane began to cross into the other driver’s lane, he lost control of his vehicle. As a result, the two cars collided in the middle of the lanes. One vehicle rolled, which caused a passenger to be ejected from the rolling vehicle. Sadly, the passenger died from her injuries. According to investigators, the drivers were traveling over 90 miles per hour, and the driver who crossed into the left lane had marijuana in his system.

Can At-Fault Plaintiffs Recover for an Indiana Passenger Accident?

When a passenger or their loved ones bring a negligence lawsuit, the defendant may claim that the passenger was partially at fault for the accident. Under Indiana’s modified comparative negligence rule, plaintiffs cannot recover any damages if they were more than 50% at fault for the accident that led to their injuries. Plaintiffs who are 50% or less at fault, they can still recover damages. However, their damages award will be reduced by their degree of fault. For example, a plaintiff who receives a $100,000 damages award but is 10% at fault would ultimately recover $90,000 in damages. To escape liability, defendants will attempt to present evidence that a passenger was at fault for the accident.

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During the summer months, many drivers bring their bicycles with them on vacation. However, if drivers fail to properly secure their bikes, they place other motorists at risk of serious injury. If a bicycle detaches from a vehicle, other drivers or motorcyclists could crash into the bicycle at high speeds. A recent Indiana accident illustrates the complex web of injuries that can result from failing to properly secure a bicycle.

According to a recent news report, a fallen bike led to multiple vehicle crashes in Bartholomew County, Indiana. The accident occurred on I-65 when two vehicles struck a bicycle that fell from another vehicle driving south. A pack of motorcyclists then approached the bike, one person crashing into it. The driver of one of the two vehicles left his car to assist the motorcyclist. Sadly, another motorcyclist in the group struck the driver as he attempted to provide aid. The driver suffered serious injuries and was transported to the hospital by helicopter.

How Does Indiana Allocate Fault Among Multiple Parties?

Multi-vehicle accidents may involve more than one defendant, or the plaintiff may share some degree of fault. States follow three main approaches to allocate fault among multiple defendants. Indiana follows a system of pure several liability. Under this theory, a defendant can only be liable for damages proportionate to their degree of fault for the accident. For example, if the jury determines one defendant is 20% at fault, the defendant will not owe the plaintiff more than 20% of the total damages award. Pure several liability differs from joint-and-several liability, which places full responsibility on each defendant no matter their degree of fault.

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According to the Insurance Information Institute, 10.2% of all fatal crashes in 2020 were head-on collisions. These types of accidents are particularly dangerous due to the amount of force at which two vehicles crash into each other. Indeed, head-on collisions can often lead to severe injuries to the brain or spinal cord, along with multiple broken bones. When a reckless driver collides with another vehicle head-on, they may owe monetary damages to an injured victim if the victim chooses to bring a negligence lawsuit. A recent news article illustrates the severe injuries that can result from head-on collisions.

As the article reported, one person was killed and three people suffered injuries from a head-on collision in Winfield, Indiana. According to local police, three teenage girls were headed to a party when a vehicle struck them head-on. The teenage driver died at the scene. The two passengers and the driver who struck them also suffered injuries. One of the passengers, a thirteen-year old girl, has remained in the hospital to treat her broken bones, jaw fractures, and an injury to her spine. Police are still investigating the cause of the crash.

What Damages Are Available After a Head-On Collision?

When you bring a negligence lawsuit after a head-on collision, you can pursue several types of damages awards under Indiana law. In a negligence claim, an Indiana jury may award economic and non-economic damages to the plaintiff. Economic damages intend to compensate the plaintiff for expenses and financial constrains resulting from the accident. Typically, they are easy to quantify with a set amount. Examples of economic damages include medical expenses, hospital bills, or lost future earnings. Conversely, non-economic damages compensate the plaintiff for emotional harm that cannot be quantified. The most common example of a non-compensatory damages award is for pain and suffering. Additionally, a victim’s spouse may be able to sue the responsible driver for the loss of the victim’s comfort, companionship, and services.

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Typically, improper turn accidents occur at an intersection when one person drives into the side of another vehicle. The force of these “T-bone” collisions often leads to serious injury and property damage. If you have suffered injuries in an Indiana improper turn accident, it is important to understand how judges and juries in Indiana determine who is at fault.

For example, as a recent news article reported, an improper turn accident left one person dead and four injured in Pine Township, Indiana. The accident occurred as an antique firetruck was traveling west along the highway. A Toyota Highlander traveling southbound turned left, despite not having the right of way. As the Highlander turned into the firetruck’s lane, it was struck on the driver’s side, causing the Highlander to catch on fire. Four of the five people in the Highlander were transported to the hospital for their injuries. The firetruck driver did not require hospitalization. Sadly, one person in the Highlander died at the scene.

How Do Indiana Courts Determine Fault in Improper Turn Accident Cases?

Plaintiffs bringing a negligence lawsuit after an Indiana improper turn accident must prove the defendant is at fault for their injuries by a preponderance of the evidence. This legal term simply means it is more likely than not that the defendant’s negligence caused the plaintiff’s injuries. In the event of an improper turn accident, determining who is at fault may be more difficult than it seems. Typically, the driver who turns without the right of way is the cause of the accident. At an intersection, drivers may turn when they should have instead yielded to oncoming traffic, stopped at a stop sign, or waited for a green light. At the same time, drivers may not see an oncoming car if the vehicle fails to use headlights at night or approaches at an excessive speed. Consequently, the driver who turns at an intersection may not be 100% at fault for an improper turn accident.

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Roadside accidents often occur when a driver traveling down a highway crashes into a vehicle stopped along the shoulder. When roadside accidents happen, determining who is at fault may prove complicated. Both the driver of a traveling car and a stopped car may also share responsibility for the collision. On other occasions, one party is clearly at fault for the accident. If you have suffered harm from an Indiana roadside accident, an experienced Indiana personal injury attorney can help you develop a theory of causation to prove that a negligent driver was responsible for your harm.

For example, as a recent news article tragically reported, three people were killed in a roadside car accident in LaPorte County, Indiana. The accident occurred when a car was traveling eastbound on the highway and left the travel lanes, heading toward the inside shoulder. As it traveled into the shoulder, the vehicle struck a parked car with its hazards activated. The force of the collision pushed the parked car into the center of the interstate. It then burst into flames. Sadly, three passengers died at the scene. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

What Are the Causes of a Roadside Accident?

A roadside accident can have multiple causes, including the negligence of drivers operating a traveling car or parked car involved in the crash. First, a traveling car that crashes into a parked car may not be paying attention to their surroundings. Drivers who take their attention from the road may veer into the shoulder of a highway and crash into a stopped car. Additionally, drivers may cause a roadside accident if they bob in and out of lanes too quickly. If drivers attempt to pass other vehicles by traveling along the shoulder, they could crash straight into a stopped car. On the other hand, the driver of the stopped car may also be responsible for a roadside accident. For example, drivers may fail to use their hazards or flash their lights in low-lighting conditions to alert other drivers of their presence. Alternatively, a driver may have negligently parked in between the road and the shoulder, causing other drivers on the roadway to clip their vehicle. To prevent a deadly roadside accident, all drivers should stay vigilant and pay attention to their surroundings.

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