Articles Posted in Car Accidents

Hit-and-run accidents can have devastating consequences for both accident victims and their loved ones. Fleeing the scene of an accident can leave a victim helpless without any options for medical assistance. Hit-and-runs are not only harmful to victims and their families—they also can carry significant criminal and civil penalties.

As a recent news article sadly reported, one person died in a hit-and-run in Indianapolis, Indiana. When police responded to the scene, they found a person lying in the road. Sadly, they died at the scene. Local authorities are continuing to investigate the accident.

What Are the Penalties for an Indiana Hit-And-Run Accident?

People who commit a hit-and-run in Indiana may face a Class A misdemeanor if the accident results in bodily injury to another person. However, a hit-and-driver may face a felony charge if the accident results in moderate or serious bodily injury or if the driver had a previous hit-and-run conviction in the last five years. A driver may also face a more serious felony charge if the accident causes death or catastrophic injury. Finally, a felony charge can result if the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol and caused serious injury, catastrophic injury, or death. The driver may face separate felony charges for each person who suffered injuries in the hit-and-run accident. A conviction can result in jail time or steep fines. Additionally, a hit-and-run conviction will likely result in a suspension of a driver’s license or even a full revocation.

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Fatal car accidents can take a devastating toll on a victim’s family. When a person dies in a car accident, their surviving loved ones may bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible driver. However, the defendant will likely argue that the victim contributed to their harm, which may preclude a damages award. An experienced Indiana personal injury attorney can help you make the strongest argument that the victim was not at fault.

For example, a news article reported that one woman died and two people suffered injuries in an Indiana car accident. The Bloomington, Indiana accident occurred in the early morning as a car traveled in the eastbound lane. The vehicle then veered off the side of the road and struck a utility pole. According to local police, the impact of the crash caused the vehicle to spin into the westbound lane, leading to substantial damage. Sadly, the driver died at the scene. Two passengers were transported to the hospital for their injuries.

What Damages Are Available After a Fatal Indiana Car Accident?

After a fatal Indiana car accident, the deceased victim’s loved ones may seek damages against the responsible driver in a wrongful death action. These damages may be economic or non-economic. Economic damages are quantifiable awards that compensate for monetary losses resulting from an accident. These can include medical and hospital bills, funeral and burial expenses, and property damage. If the deceased was a primary earner, their family can seek lost future earnings to compensate for the loss of the deceased’s income. By contrast, non-economic damages aim to compensate for losses that are harder to quantify. In a wrongful death action, non-economic damages may include pain and suffering, emotional distress, or mental anguish. Additionally, the deceased’s surviving spouse may be able to recover damages for loss of consortium. Traditionally, loss of consortium compensated for losses such as a spouse’s domestic services. Today, the term often refers to the intangible loss of the spouse’s companionship and affection.

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Fatal accidents can have a number of causes, but the effects are always devastating. When a negligent driver causes a fatal accident, the driver injures not only the deceased victims but also their loved ones. If your loved one has died in an Indiana car accident, you may be overwhelmed with medical and burial expenses along with extreme emotional distress. Speaking with an Indiana personal injury attorney can help you understand your options to help you recover damages resulting from the accident.

Recently, the Associated Press reported that three people sadly died in a fatal Indianapolis, Indiana car accident. The accident occurred as state troopers attempted to pull over a vehicle on suspicion of reckless driving. However, instead of pulling over, the driver fled from the officers and traveled through several city streets as the officers pursued the driver. Roughly five minutes after the officers ended their pursuit, the car sped through a red light and collided with another vehicle. The driver of the second vehicle died at a hospital. Two passengers in the speeding car also died from their injuries. Police arrested the driver, who suffered only minor injuries, on a preliminary charge of resisting law enforcement causing death.

Can You Bring a Lawsuit After an Indiana Fatal Accident?

If your loved one has died in a fatal Indiana accident, you may be able to bring a wrongful death action against the responsible driver. Indiana law provides that a victim’s family can sue the driver for negligence so long as the deceased could have sued them if they had survived the accident. Accordingly, the plaintiffs in an Indiana wrongful death lawsuit must show that the defendant owed the deceased a duty of care, violated that duty due to their reckless behavior, that their recklessness caused the fatal accident, and that the victim died as a consequence.

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Many people take advantage of the long Labor Day weekend to go on vacation or visit family. When travelers drive home on Labor Day, they will often encounter heavy traffic. When drivers are stuck in traffic, they may drive erratically out of frustration, such as rapidly changing lanes. Those who are leaving a Labor Day party may even operate their vehicle while intoxicated. Not surprisingly, the risk of a Labor Day crash is high. In fact, National Safety Council estimated that 455 people may have died in a car accident this past Labor Day.

For example, a Labor Day crash in Indianapolis, Indiana left one person dead and two others injured. According to a news article covering the accident, police responded to the two-vehicle crash on northbound I-69. At the scene, police and firefighters found a vehicle with front-end damage and another with rear-end damage in the middle of the roadway. Sadly, one passenger died at the scene. The two drivers were transported to the hospital for their injuries. One of the drivers tested positive for illegal substances and a high blood alcohol content. Police are still investigating the cause of the crash, but they arrested the intoxicated driver.

How Can You Stay Safe in Holiday Traffic?

Driving under the influence (DUI) places everyone on the road at risk of a serious accident. When a DUI accident does occur, a victim will needlessly suffer if the driver flees the scene. Leaving the scene of an accident without seeking medical attention for an injured victim only worsens the victim’s physical and emotional harm. These injuries are especially tragic because they are preventable. If drivers chose not to drive while intoxicated or flee the scene of an accident, the victim never would have suffered injuries. A recent news article illustrates the deadly consequences of Indiana DUI hit-and-run accidents.

As the article reported, police in Indianapolis, Indiana law enforcement arrested a woman for causing a fatal hit-and-run accident by driving under the influence. According to police, the victim was riding northbound on his motorcycle when the woman struck him with her pickup truck. The woman then allegedly sped away instead of calling for help or reporting the accident. Tragically, the motorcyclist died as a result of the crash. Police located the hit-and-run driver shortly after the crash and claimed she was driving while under the influence. They subsequently arrested her for leaving the scene of a crash resulting in death and operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

What Are the Legal Penalties for Indiana DUI Hit-And-Run Accidents?

Under Indiana law, drivers who leave the scene of an accident have committed a crime. If a collision causes serious bodily harm, a driver who flees the scene could face high-level felony charges. Even minimal property damage can result in a misdemeanor offense, which carries a penalty of up to one year in jail and $5,000 in fines. The state will also suspend hit-and-runs drivers’ licenses. Indiana also imposes stiff penalties against intoxicated drivers. Indiana’s operating while intoxicated (OWI) laws who commit a first-time offense are guilty of a misdemeanor, which carries up to 60 days in prison or $50. The penalties area higher if the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) was 1.5% or more. However, drivers who commit a second OWI offense within seven years are guilty of a felony, which carries even higher penalties.

Victims of a hit-and-run accident involving an intoxicated driver can also sue the driver for negligence. A criminal conviction against the driver does not prevent a victim from seeking monetary damages in civil court. If the criminal justice system does not provide adequate redress for your harm, you can work with an experienced Indiana personal injury attorney to file a negligence claim.

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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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Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) often leads to an accident on the road. DUI accidents are often as serious as they are completely preventable. When drivers choose to operate their vehicles under the influence, they often face legal consequences for the harm they caused. These can include both criminal punishment and a civil damages payout to the people who suffered harm from the driver’s actions.

Recently, an article released the details from a crash report in a high-profile Indiana DUI accident. State police received a call just after midnight about an apparent truck accident on the highway. According to witnesses, the truck veered off the road and hit a guardrail, pushing it into the opposite lane. The truck then continued to drive the wrong way before striking a median guardrail and crashing into an embankment. Police then found the truck’s owner, State Representative Jim Lucas, who allegedly smelled of alcohol. He was transported to the hospital for a blood draw. Representative Lucas faces preliminary charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, causing endangerment, and leaving the scene of a crash.

How Are Civil and Criminal DUI Cases Different?

When drivers commit a DUI offense, they may face criminal and civil penalties. In a criminal DUI case, the jury must find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt to convict the defendant of a DUI offense. This standard means that the jury must be nearly certain that the defendant committed the crime. If convicted, the defendant can face jail time or significant fines. However, these penalties often fail to adequately compensate DUI accident victims for their harm, both physical and emotional. In that case, victims can bring a negligence lawsuit against the responsible driver to seek monetary damages for their injuries. Compared to criminal cases, civil cases carry a much lower burden of proof. To hold the defendant liable for damages, the judge or jury only needs to find it more likely than not that the defendant was responsible for the plaintiff’s harm. This standard is called the preponderance of the evidence.

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If you have lost a loved one in a fatal Indiana car accident, you may feel unsure of your next steps. Even though bringing a wrongful death lawsuit is likely the last thing on your mind, it could help address the expenses resulting from the accident, such as medical and funeral costs. Speaking with an Indiana personal injury attorney can allow you to understand your options after a fatal car accident.

As a recent news article tragically reported, one woman died, and two other people were injured following an accident in Laporte County, Indiana. A driver was speeding on I-94 and approached a curve at the same time as another vehicle. The driver veered into the other car’s lane, sideswiping the vehicle and throwing it off the road. As a result, the vehicle he struck crashed through a guardrail down an embankment. Three people were transported to the hospital, where one woman sadly died from her injuries. Following an investigation, local police arrested the driver for driving under the influence and for possession of marijuana.

Can You Bring a Wrongful Death Claim After an Indiana Fatal Accident?

Indiana only permits a wrongful death action from the personal representative of a deceased person’s estate. In practice, the deceased’s spouse and children would receive any damages resulting from the lawsuit as beneficiaries of the deceased’s estate. Additionally, Indiana law allows a party to bring a wrongful death suit up to two years after the fatal accident. After two years have passed, the party often cannot file a wrongful death lawsuit.

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Car accidents can involve a wide range of causes, from distracted driving to inclement weather. If a person chooses to bring a lawsuit after an Indiana car accident, they should be aware of the role fault can play in an ultimate damages award. Additionally, it is important to understand the types of damages available when bringing a negligence lawsuit in Indiana. Speaking with an Indiana personal injury attorney can help accident victims learn more about the types of damages Indiana law recognizes.

As a recent news article reported, a car accident in Columbus, Indiana, left one person dead and another injured. A driver was traveling southbound on the highway when he veered toward the left and struck a vehicle traveling northbound in the opposite lane. The driver, who was not wearing his seatbelt, died at the scene. The other driver was transported to the hospital for life-threatening injuries.

Can You Recover Damages if You Were at Fault in a Car Accident in Indiana?

Indiana allows plaintiffs to recover damages even if they were at fault for the accident. The state follows a system of fault known as modified comparative negligence. Under this scheme, plaintiffs can recover damages as long as they were less than 51% at fault for the accident. If a plaintiff’s proportion of fault is higher than the defendant, the plaintiff cannot recover any damages. Finally, Indiana reduces a plaintiff’s damages award by their proportion of fault for the accident. For example, if a plaintiff is 10% at fault for the accident, a court will reduce their award by 10%.

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Unfortunately, the road can be a dangerous place. Too often, car accidents result in serious injury or death. If you have lost a loved one in a fatal car accident, you may be unsure of your next steps. In addition to the grave emotional harm you have suffered, you may be overwhelmed by the financial consequences of a fatal accident. By filing a wrongful death lawsuit, you may be able to seek monetary compensation for your harm.

A recent Indiana car accident shows just how dangerous the road can be. As a local news article reported, a two-vehicle crash in Johnson County, Indiana, killed both drivers. The accident occurred on U.S. 31 when two vehicles collided in the northbound lane. According to local police, one driver was traveling in the wrong direction and collided head-on with the other vehicle, a Krispy Kreme truck. As a result of the collision, the vehicles caught fire. Both drivers were pronounced dead at the scene.

Can You Sue for Wrongful Death After a Fatal Indiana Accident?

Under Indiana law, a deceased victim’s loved ones can sue after a fatal accident for wrongful death. They can bring a claim as long as the deceased would have been able to sue if they had not died from the accident. The reason for this rule is to ensure that people who act negligently do not escape responsibility just because the deceased cannot personally sue them. When bringing a wrongful death lawsuit in Indiana, a deceased victim’s loved ones can recover damages to compensate for the financial and emotional harm they have suffered. Specifically, by filing a wrongful death claim, they can pursue medical and burial expenses, the deceased’s lost wages, and, for the deceased’s spouse, compensation for the emotional loss of the deceased’s companionship.

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