Recently, the Indiana Court of Appeals, issued an opinion reversing the denial of a plaintiff’s motion to compel arbitration. The appellate court remanded a case involving a malpractice claim brought by the estate of a nursing home resident. The record indicates that the family discovered that the woman developed several medical conditions and ailments while residing at the nursing facility. These conditions led her to experience debilitating pain and suffering and become liable for significant medical expenses up until her death.

Shortly after filing a medical malpractice claim against the facility, the estate became aware of an arbitration agreement the woman signed upon admission. Upon discovery of the agreement, the estate filed a motion to compel arbitration. The trial court ultimately denied the estate’s motion to compel arbitration, finding that the claim must first proceed through the process outlined in the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act (Act).

Indiana generally has a strong policy that favors enforcing arbitration agreements. In cases where a party motions the court to compel arbitration, the court will evaluate whether the parties agreed to arbitrate the specific dispute at issue. Like Indiana contract law, disputes often rely on the parties’ intent and the construction of the terms of an agreement.

State law provides passengers with certain rights and remedies if they are injured in an Indiana car accident. Passengers have the right to assume that drivers are exhibiting reasonable caution to avoid accidents. If an accident does occur, passengers maintain the right to collect contact and insurance information from all parties involved in the collision. Further, victims maintain the right to safely investigate the accident scene, including taking photos and gathering witness information. Passengers have the right to seek medical care for their injuries and speak with an attorney to recover for their damages and losses.

Under the state’s Guest Statute, Indiana Code 34-30-11, passengers cannot file claims against a driver in certain limited situations. These situations include if the at-fault driver is a spouse, parent, child, or step-child. In most other cases, the at-fault driver may be liable for injuries the passenger suffered. However, insurance companies will often dispute fault. In most cases, passengers are not at fault for the accident. However, passengers might be partially responsible if they engaged in conduct that led the driver to an accident. Moreover, passengers who voluntarily got into a vehicle with an impaired driver may have limitations on recovery. Passengers in these situations may have their damages recovery reduced by their percentage of fault. Because Indiana follows the comparative fault theory, passengers should seek representation from an attorney to avoid the other party from assigning undue fault.

After an accident, the at-fault driver may be liable for a passenger’s injuries. In most cases, the at-fault party’s insurance company or passenger’s uninsured motorist policy is responsible for paying damages. However, the initial settlement offers provided by insurance companies rarely cover the extent of damages, especially when the passenger suffered serious injuries.

Earlier this month, an Indiana police officer suffered serious injuries after he was struck by a semi-truck while controlling traffic on the highway. According to a local news report covering the collision, the officer was controlling traffic in a road construction zone on Interstate 65. The officer was sitting in the driver’s seat of his vehicle, which was blocking the highway’s northbound lanes. Shortly after 6 a.m., a semi-truck crashed into the officers’ parked vehicle.

The force from the collision forced the police cruiser off the highway, flipping it on its side. The semi-truck ended up in the middle of the road, pushed up against the median. Emergency crews arrived by helicopter to take the injured officer to the hospital, where he was admitted in serious condition. The truck driver was uninjured in the crash.

Police immediately began an investigation into the truck accident. According to the report, authorities do not believe drugs or alcohol were involved in the accident; however, the results of a toxicology screen are still pending.

When car accidents occur, they are often the result of a driver’s carelessness or mistake. However, some accidents are the result of a driver’s conscious decision to get behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol or some other illegal substance.  In either case, negligent or drunk drivers can be held accountable for their actions through an Indiana car accident lawsuit.

According to a recent news report, four children were killed when a semi-truck crashed into a car that was slowing down while passing through a construction zone on an Indiana interstate. Evidently, authorities found the car and semi-truck pulling a box trailer both on fire near the construction zone. Investigators believe the truck did not slow down when it approached slowed traffic near the construction zone and consequently crashed into the back of the car. This pushed the car into another semi-truck, resulting in an even larger crash.

Witnesses on the scene reported that the driver of the semi-truck that struck the car from behind was operating in an “erratic manner” before the accident occurred. Evidence showed that the stopped traffic was not a contributing factor to the crash, and that the driver had multiple drugs in his system when the accident occurred. Local authorities arrested the truck driver and charged him with four counts of reckless homicide, four counts of operating while intoxicated and causing death, and operating a car while intoxicated and causing serious bodily injury. Following a preliminary drug screening, authorities indicated that drugs were a contributing factor in the crash, and criminal charges would be forthcoming pending the results of the investigation.

Recently, a national outlet published a report that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued recalls for bagged salads. The bagged salad mixes contained a microscopic parasite linked to an outbreak of intestinal illnesses in many Midwestern states. As a precaution to consumers, some retailers voluntarily recalled the mixes in Indiana. The agencies are also advising Indiana consumers to throw out their salad mixes if they are unsure of its origins. Individuals who suffer adverse effects after eating potentially harmful food items should contact an Indiana product liability attorney to discuss their rights and remedies.

Many consumers began getting sick from May to mid-June. The affected consumers ranged from 16 years old to 92 years old. The CDC explained that the microscopic parasite often contaminates water and food resulting in Cyclosporiasis. This intestinal infection typically causes diarrhea, cramping, and fatigue. Although these conditions may be treated with antibiotics, medically fragile individuals may suffer severe and long-term consequences, including hospitalization and death.

Microbiologists explain that they are not positive what causes these outbreaks, but it is likely related to the quality of the water used to farm the produce. In many cases, the water is contaminated with fecal matter. However, regardless of what caused the parasite, there is a clear indication that there was a breakdown in quality-control. In these situations, Indiana injury victims should hold all liable parties responsible for their injuries and resulting damages.

To many, playing sports is more than just a recreational pastime. However, when someone gets hurt playing on an unsafe field, the injury can often be severe. Property owners, including those who own a sports field, have a responsibility to maintain a safe environment for people to practice and play on. When an individual is injured on another’s property, the injured party can bring a premise liability claim against the owner. In Indiana, an owner is liable for physical harm caused to a person invited onto his land if: (a) he knows his land is unreasonably dangerous; (b) the person would not likely realize the danger or fail to protect themselves from it; (c) he fails to attempt to protect them from the danger.

In a recent opinion, a state appellate court discussed whether the owner of a horse racing track could be held liable under premises liability theory after the plaintiff was injured while riding a horse on the track. Ultimately, the court concluded that the plaintiff could not raise a successful premises liability claim because he should have anticipated the risk that comes with horse racing.

According to the court’s opinion, the plaintiff was injured as he was exercising his horse on the track. Evidently, a jockey lost control of his horse and it collided with the plaintiff, who was thrown to the ground and injured. The plaintiff brought a premises liability claim against the owners of the race track, arguing that the racetrack owner owed him a duty to keep him safe and that the condition at the racetrack caused his injuries.

When someone imagines a car accident, they typically picture an incident involving two people or parties. However, there are often Indiana car crashes involving more than just two parties, vehicles, or people responsible. In light of often complicated circumstances surrounding the events leading up to the accident, it may be difficult to assign fault or figure out who is responsible. Regardless, parties who cause these incidents should be held accountable, and the complexity of having multiple defendants should not deter an accident victim from pursuing a claim following a car crash.

According to a recent news report, a major car accident involving multiple vehicles left four people dead and seven injured after a series of chain-reaction crashes. Evidently, the first crash occurred when two semi-trucks collided at around 4:00 am. An hour later, another truck crashed into the first crash scene, which left a local highway worker seriously injured and two state troopers with serious but non-life-threatening injuries. All three were transported to a local hospital to be treated. At 6:45 am, another accident occurred when a semi-tractor traveling at highway speeds caused crashed into at least seven vehicles. This collision involved two semi-tractor trailers, a dump truck and four passenger vehicles, and resulted in multiple fatalities and injuries. This final accident resulted in the death of the initial semi-tractor driver and three others.

After the second crash, electronic highway signs were set up to alert drivers that crashes had occurred ahead and that they needed to exercise additional caution. However, the subsequent accidents still occurred because of distracted driving by motorists and a lack of awareness of their surroundings. According to local authorities, had nearby bystanders failed to immediately provide assistance to those who were injured, there could have been even more fatalities.

Although, commercial trucks are essential to interstate travel and critical to the economy, they present a significant risk to motorists. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there were 2743 fatal truck and bus crashes in the United States in 2019. These accidents resulted in the deaths of over 3,000 people. Trucks and buses include vehicles such as 18-wheelers, coal trucks, semi-trucks, and cement trucks. The size of these vehicles, particularly when carrying a heavy load, makes them challenging to control, especially in inclement weather or navigating poorly maintained roadways. Additionally, these vehicles can often cause or contribute to chain-reaction accidents because they take almost twice as long to stop as other passenger vehicles.

Many truck accidents occur in Indiana because the state has long stretches of highways that serve as a significant pass-throughs for long-haul truckers. A majority of fatal Indiana truck accidents occur in Putnam County, Tipton County, and Wayne County, Indiana. Most Indiana truck and bus accidents involve more than one underlying cause; however, they typically involve similar factors. Some common causes of Indiana trucking accidents are the result of defective truck parts, speeding, driver inexperience, driver impairment, fatigue, and distracted driving. Further, many accidents are the result of drivers failing to abide by state traffic laws designed to prevent accidents, such as Indiana’s Move Over Laws.

For example, recently, a Porter County truck accident claimed the life of a 38-year-old man. According to a local news report, the man parked his Dodge Ram on the shoulder of a highway where construction workers were performing maintenance. As he stepped out of his car, a tractor-trailer, hauling 37,000 pounds of pork, drove onto the shoulder and slammed into the man’s car. The collision caused the truck to go down a ditch and slam into trees. The tractor-trailer continued to travel east, crossing through lanes, ultimately slamming into a median wall and bursting into flames. State police, in conjunction with several other agencies, are continuing to investigate the cause of the accident.

The Court of Appeals of Indiana issued an opinion addressing common issues that many residents face after falling at an apartment complex. The case stems from injuries a woman suffered after falling and hitting her head outside of her Indiana apartment. She filed a negligence lawsuit against the apartment complex and rental company, alleging that they were liable under Indiana’s premises liability laws. She argued that her injuries were a result of the company’s failure to keep public areas of the apartment complex free from dangerous hazards. At trial, the court granted the defendants’ motion for summary judgment, and the plaintiff appealed.

Under Indiana law, a lessee who wishes to recover from a negligent landlord must be able to establish that the landlord breached a duty that they owed to the tenant. Merely alleging that a fall took place is insufficient to prove that the landlord or property manager was negligent. Although inferential speculation is not enough to prove negligence, plaintiffs can overcome a summary judgment motion if they provide enough details to show a genuine issue of material fact that needs resolution. For the purposes of summary judgment, a material fact is one that is relevant to the ultimate resolution of a pertinent issue.

In this case, the plaintiff argued that she fell because the apartment complex failed to clear the public area of ice and snow. In support of her allegation, she provided testimony that indicated that the day she fell, “it was pretty cold,” and she noticed that the entry of her building looked “slippery and icy.” She further testified that a close-by service ramp did not look slippery; however, she fell as soon as she stepped onto the ramp. The defendants argued that the plaintiff’s inference that the ramp was slippery was based on inferential speculation. However, the appellate court found that the plaintiff’s observation of icy conditions creates a genuine issue of material fact. The appellate court ultimately reversed the trial court’s summary judgment order and remanded the case.

Often, when we think of an Indiana drunk driving accident, we think of it from the perspective of the drivers or passengers in another vehicle. However, many DUI accidents are single-vehicle accidents in which the driver of the car is unable to maintain control of the car. In such cases, the passengers in the car may be injured due to no fault of their own.

Indiana personal injury law allows for anyone who was injured due to the negligence of another to bring a claim against the at-fault party. Thus, even in a single-vehicle accident, passengers who were injured in a drunk driving accident could pursue a claim against the drunk driver. Notably, the claim would not be against the drunk driver themselves so much as it would be against their insurance company.

Accidents victims should be aware, however, that there can be hurdles to recovery in these situations. For example, the defendant in a drunk driving lawsuit may claim that the passenger knew the driver was drunk, and assumed the risk of an accident by agreeing to ride with them. While Indiana courts have held that such a situation will not bar a plaintiff from recovering for their injuries, assumption of the risk in this context may reduce the amount of compensation that the accident victim receives.

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