Many people who have never filed a lawsuit before assume that it is a simple process—file the case, present your medical bills, and then resolve the claim. Lawsuits, however, are almost never that simple. In Indiana, like other states, there are specific procedural rules and requirements that parties to a lawsuit must adhere to when proceeding through the stages of a claim. When these procedural requirements are not followed, it can often derail your entire case and subject parties to unnecessary headaches, additional costs, and unexpected outcomes. This is why before filing or responding to a lawsuit, it is crucial that parties consult an experienced Indiana personal injury lawyer.

In a recent opinion involving an Indiana slip and fall accident, the plaintiff was injured when she fell in the defendant’s restaurant. She subsequently filed a negligence complaint against the restaurant, and the restaurant filed a motion for summary judgment. After the defendant’s motion was denied by the lower court, it moved to appeal the decision. The Court of Appeals accepted the appeal on February 12th and required that any Notice of Appeal be due by February 27th. The defendant did not file their Notice of Appeal until March 3rd. On March 20th, the plaintiff moved to dismiss the defendant’s appeal on timeliness grounds, but the defendant argued that their appeal presented a substantial question of law and should be allowed to proceed. The Court of Appeals denied the plaintiff’s motion to dismiss without explanation and reversed the denial of summary judgment issued by the lower court. There was no discussion by the Court of Appeals of the untimeliness of the Notice of Appeal.

On appeal, the Indiana Supreme Court disagreed with the Court of Appeals decision and dismissed the defendant’s appeal. Because the defendant failed to meet the procedural requirements necessary to show that the Court of Appeals should still hear the case despite their delay in filing the Notice of Appeal, the Supreme Court remanded the case back to the trial court for further proceedings.

When you are involved in an accident where the at-fault party was a drunk driver or operating their vehicle under the influence, it may make sense to assume that if the at-fault party is charged with criminal liabilities from the accident, that you should be compensated as well. This, however, is not the case, and it is crucial that potential plaintiffs know the difference between civil and criminal liability.

According to a local news report, three Indiana residents were recently killed in a wrong-way crash. A man was stopped in a Hyundai SUV on the shoulder of the road facing the wrong direction when an Indiana state trooper stopped at his vehicle to assist. When the trooper parked in front of the SUV and got out of his squad car to approach the Hyundai, the Hyundai began to drive forward. The trooper pounded on the driver of the Hyundai’s windshield, yelling for him to stop, but the driver swung around the police vehicle and drove about a half-mile in the wrong direction before crashing into another vehicle head-on. That vehicle was carrying two occupants. All three victims in both vehicles were pronounced dead at the scene. The crash is still under investigation, but local authorities suspect alcohol or drugs could have been a factor in the accident.

In Indiana, “operating while intoxicated” (OWI) is used instead of “driving under the influence.” When operating a vehicle under the influence, the state considers an OWI offense to be criminal. In Indiana, like other states, criminal investigations into whether alcohol or drugs were involved in a case have no bearing on a personal injury or civil lawsuit pertaining to damages. Thus, even if the at-fault party in an accident is facing criminal charges, potential plaintiffs must advance their own case separately if they wish to recover damages from the accident.

Food poisoning and food-related illnesses make their way through the news cycle every year. In some cases, the spread is limited to a few select products and corporations, grocery stores, and restaurants can take swift steps to remove the tainted products. However, some food poisoning and tainted food products result in serious and potentially long-term illnesses, giving rise to an Indiana products liability lawsuit.

Food poisoning and tainted food discoveries often come after several people become sick from consuming the product. However, in some situations, products come under scrutiny when the public becomes concerned about ingredients and safety standards. One such cause for concern revolves around heavy metals found in various baby food items and juices. Although, heavy metals are naturally found in soil, the amount found in many baby food products is concerning to many.

Heavy metals in baby food products is not a novel issue, as it has been the topic of various research studies over the past decade. However, following a 2019 study and a congressional report released in early February, many parents are reevaluating how they feed their children. Several popular baby food companies participated in the study; however, many declined to cooperate.

School bus accidents are among parents’ worst fears. However, school bus accidents put more than the children on board the bus at risk; other motorists are also frequently injured in these accidents. In many cases, Indiana school bus accidents are due to the bus driver’s inattention or negligence. This can open the door for injury victims to pursue a personal injury claim. However,  sometimes, schools will contract with a private bus company to transport children to and from school. Other times, the school bus driver is an employee of the school district. While these differences may seem insignificant, they can be critical to how a claim must be filed.

According to a recent Indiana news report, a local school bus carrying five elementary school students was involved in a crash. Due to icy roadway conditions, the bus driver lost control rounding a left-handed curve, which caused her to crash into an embankment and a tree on the side of the road. The bus ultimately came to a stop across both lanes of traffic. The bus driver and one elementary school student suffered minor injuries and were treated on the scene by local health officials. The other passengers on the bus ranged from ages six to nine, but no one else was injured.

In Indiana, should you choose to pursue a personal injury claim against the bus company or the school in a school bus accident, there are various legal principles that need consideration before pursuing the case further. One of these laws is the Indiana modified comparative negligence rule.

Indiana hit and run accidents have been on the rise in the last decade. These accidents take place for many reasons, but drivers who flee the scene after an accident most commonly do so because they panic, do not have car insurance, or are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Regardless of why a motorist leaves the scene of an accident, hit and run accidents are tragic, and often have deadly consequences.

For example, in a recent local news report, Indiana police are searching for a driver who fled the scene after they hit a woman and killed her. According to surrounding surveillance cameras, the woman was walking to her mother’s home at the time of the crash when the car hit her and drove away afterward, leaving her unresponsive and lying in the street with significant injuries. Local authorities reported that the woman was found dead at the scene. Local law enforcement is still investigating the details surrounding the accident.

Under Indiana laws, hit and runs are crashes that result in injury or death where the at-fault party flees the scene. When an accident occurs, drivers are expected to remain at the scene or return immediately to provide auto insurance and driver’s license information. In Indiana, when a driver flees the scene after causing a collision, they could be charged with a Class B misdemeanor for abandoning the scene of an accident. With a Class B misdemeanor, at-fault parties could be punished with up to 180 days in jail and a penalty of up to $1000.

In Indiana, the law provides that a person who fails to exhibit reasonable care for others’ safety should be held liable for the victim’s losses. Therefore, when someone suffers injuries in an Indiana car accident, the victim may recover damages from the negligent party. However, challenges recovering damages may occur if one of the parties dies before the claim is resolved. Although these situations may involve additional hurdles, plaintiffs may still pursue claims under Indiana’s survival action laws even if the defendant dies. Moreover, if a defendant dies, plaintiffs or their representatives may recoup damages from the defendant’s estate.

Although there may be some overlap, survival actions differ from wrongful death claims. Survival actions are relevant in situations when the plaintiff dies for a reason other than the other party’s negligence. For instance, if a victim suffers a traumatic brain injury after an Indiana trucking accident, they may claim damages against the truck driver and their employer. If the victim then passes away from an unrelated cause, like a heart attack, their claim survives after their passing.

On the other hand, a wrongful death claim is relevant when the negligent party’s actions or omissions caused the victim’s death. For example, a wrongful death claim may be applicable if a victim dies in a car accident that occurred because of the defendant’s negligence. In these situations, a personal representative of the deceased person’s estate may file the claim. However, the deceased’s spouse, child, or other dependents would be the beneficiary of any damage awards. Moreover, recently the Indiana Supreme Court held that a wrongful death claim does not end if the heir-less sole beneficiary dies.

When driving, you often share the road with vehicles much larger than the one you’re in. As a result, it’s important to proactively keep an eye out for trucks, buses, and other large commercial vehicles. Often, Indiana truck accidents have significant consequences because truck drivers fail to live up to the expectations the law places upon them. When this occurs, truck drivers and their employers may be liable for an accident victim’s injuries.

In Indiana, truck accidents are common. According to a recent news article, the driver of a pick-up truck was pronounced dead following a head-on collision in Indiana County. The deceased was struck by a tri-axle truck that crossed the center line of the road, causing the two trucks to crash. The pick-up truck driver was pronounced dead at the scene, and the condition of the four other passengers in his vehicle is unknown.

In Indiana, there are various laws governing truck accidents. For example, the Indiana Department of Transportation has established its own set of trucking regulations that cover requirements such as obtaining permits and oversized loads. There are also federal laws governing commercial trucking in the United States, with standards covering details such as inspections, transportation of hazardous materials, licensing, use of mobile devices while operating a vehicle, and emergency signal equipment. These elements could be important for establishing liability if you are the victim of a truck accident.

Driving is the most popular form of transportation in almost every major region of the United States. However, some regions and specific roadways experience heightened rates of serious car accidents. Despite Indiana’s many positive attributes, the state maintains some of the deadliest roadways in the United States. It is vital that Indiana drivers recognize the inherent dangers of traveling on the state’s roadways, and understand their rights and remedies if they suffer injuries in an Indiana car accident.

Interstates 80, 94, and 90 in Indiana rank as the deadliest roadways in the state. The most recent statistics indicate that the interstate has been the scene of 50 fatal crashes, involving 56 fatalities. The deadliest county on this roadway is Lake County, which experienced 29 fatal crashes claiming 29 lives. Hammond ranks as the deadliest city on this stretch of highway, experiencing 13 fatal crashes and claiming 12 lives. As many would expect, semi-trucks were involved in most crashes, followed by regular four-door sedans. Although the winter months present the most inclement weather, statistics indicate that the deadliest months are September and October. Moreover, most fatal accidents occur on Thursday.

In addition, U.S. 20, U.S. 30, U.S. 41, and Indiana Route 2, rank among the top five most dangerous roadways in Indiana. Although accidents can happen on any roadway, highways are inherently more dangerous. Highways are often the scene of accidents because of the sheer number of vehicles, the number of large commercial trucks, and the speed that the vehicles travel.

We’ve all felt it—the anxiety of trying to pull out of a parking lot into a busy road. On days where the parking lot and the roadway are busy, the anxiety is even greater because others are waiting on you to find an opening so that they can also get on their way. In these instances, however, the utmost caution is required to avoid an Indiana car accident. Taking unnecessary risks in a busy roadway could lead to fatal consequences, both to the driver and those with whom they share the road.

According to a local news report, two fatalities were reported following an accident outside a gas station. Evidently, a Jeep was exiting a gas station parking lot when it collided with a motorcycle. The motorcycle was driven by a man, and there was a female passenger on the back. Local authorities later reported that both individuals died from their injuries after the crash. Law enforcement and police accident reconstruction are still investigating the cause of the accident and establishing a timeline of events.

Even before pulling out onto a busy road to exit a parking lot, the parking lot itself can be challenging for drivers. When navigating parking lots, drivers are truly tested on both their driving skills and their patience. Sometimes, however, even the most experienced and skillful drivers find themselves in a tough spot because others are distracted and driving carelessly. If an accident occurs in a parking lot, determining who is at fault may be a complicated question. The most common accidents involve (1) a driver backing out of a parking space and colliding with a car proceeding down the road or (2) a driver pulling forward out of a parking space into a car moving down the road.

The Indiana Supreme Court recently issued a decision in a lawsuit filed by the estate of a deceased individual against an insurance company. The case arose after the individual suffered fatal injuries in an accident caused by two negligent drivers. On behalf of her estate, her personal representative settled the claims for $75,000 with the at-fault parties. Additionally, the personal representative received settlements of $25,000 under the underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage from the woman’s carrier.

The issue arose after the estate requested additional coverage under the woman’s parents’ insurance policy. Her parent’s policy provided coverage of up to $100,000 per person for bodily injury or death. The insurance company opposed the claim arguing that the woman was not a “resident relative” under the policy and in the alternative, even if she was a resident relative, the policy’s offset and anti-stacking provisions bar recovery.

Under the insurance company’s policy, a “resident relative” is a relative who actually resides in the insurer’s home with the intent to continue living there. In this case, the woman packed up her and her children’s belongings, moved them into her parents’ home, officially updated her address, and described the residence as her “new home.”

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