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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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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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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A single-vehicle crash is an accident that involves only one vehicle. However, single-vehicle crashes can injure multiple accident victims, including the driver as well as the passengers. Often, a single-vehicle crash occurs when a car veers off the road and strikes an object or rolls into a ditch or other area downhill. A single-vehicle accident can have many different causes, including the driver’s own negligence.

For example, a recent news article reported a single-vehicle crash in Farmland, Indiana, that killed one person and injured three others. According to local police, the accident occurred when a driver failed to stop at a stop sign and hit a hump in the road at a high speed. As a result, the car went airborne before veering into a ditch. Crash investigators believe the car then struck another embankment, causing it to go airborne again before rolling over multiple times. While the car was tumbling, two passengers were ejected from the backseat. Both backseat passengers and the front seat passenger were transported to the hospital for their injuries. Sadly, the driver died at the scene. None of the vehicle’s occupants were wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.

What Are the Causes of a Single-Vehicle Accident?

A single-vehicle accident could result from a number of factors. For example, a driver may be speeding excessively. Traveling at high speeds can make it harder for drivers to maintain control of their vehicles, increasing the risk of an accident. To avoid a single-vehicle crash, drivers should refrain from speeding. Additionally, drivers who crash their vehicles may be driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, causing them to lose control. Driving while intoxicated places a driver and everyone else on the road at risk of a serious accident. It is also illegal. Under no circumstance should drivers operate their vehicles under the influence. Another cause of single-vehicle accidents is distracted driving or “multi-tasking” while on the road. Attempting to text, talk, or eat while driving may cause drivers to veer off the road and crash their cars. Instead, drivers should stay focused on the road ahead and wait to perform these activities until they have reached their destination. These simple steps can help drivers prevent a single-vehicle accident.

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Head-on collisions commonly occur when a driver veers into oncoming traffic, striking a driver traveling in the opposite direction. The sheer force of a head-on collision can lead to serious injuries or fatalities. When people suffer injuries in an Indiana head-on collision, they may choose to sue the responsible driver for damages.

As a recent news article reported, two people tragically died in a head-on collision in Monroe County, Indiana. The collision occurred when one car traveling south on the highway collided with another car heading north. Sadly, both drivers died at the scene. Police are still investigating the crash.

How Does Indiana Apportion Fault Among Multiple Parties?

Sometimes, multiple people share responsibility for the same victim’s injuries. For example, in a head-on collision, both drivers may have contributed to a passenger’s harm. Under Indiana law, a plaintiff can recover damages from more than one defendant. If the jury or judge finds each defendant liable for damages, they will assign a damages amount proportionate to each defendant’s degree of fault. For example, if a defendant is 10% responsible for the plaintiff’s harm, that defendant will pay 10% of the plaintiff’s total damages award.

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Fatal car accidents have a number of causes. The responsible driver may be distracted, speeding, or driving under the influence. Regardless of the cause, a person injured in a fatal car accident may seek to hold the responsible party accountable through a negligence lawsuit. However, filing a lawsuit can be complicated if the person who caused the accident died in the crash. An experienced Indiana personal injury attorney can guide you through the process of bringing a claim for relief.

For example, a recent news article reported a fatal accident in Indianapolis, Indiana. The accident occurred on I-465 when a driver traveling northbound attempted to change lanes. As the driver passed through a construction zone, he struck a crash attenuator. He then collided with four other vehicles. The driver died at the scene.

How Can You Prevent a Fatal Accident?

While not all accidents are completely preventable, there are several steps you can take to stay safe while operating your vehicle. Most importantly, stay focused. Distracted driving, such as attempting to “multi-task,” can take your eyes off the road. As a result, you could easily drift away from your lane and collide with other drivers. To minimize distractions, wait to take calls or send texts until you are safely parked at your destination. Second, take your time. Excessive speeding can make it harder to maintain control of your vehicle, potentially leading to an accident. Additionally, resist the urge to weave in and out of lanes if you are in a rush. Doing so may lead you to strike another vehicle, crash attenuator, or divider. To avoid driving in a rush, leave early and allow yourself ample time to arrive at your destination. Finally, never drive under the influence. Otherwise, you place yourself and other drivers in danger of a fatal accident.

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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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