When the driver’s negligence or recklessness results in a fatal Indiana car accident, the accident victim’s surviving loved ones may file an Indiana wrongful death lawsuit. Wrongful death claims, which are essentially personal injury lawsuits where the injured person has died and is no longer able to bring a claim on their own behalf, can often be a means of recovering compensation following a tragic accident.

According to a recent news report, a tragic car accident left a couple’s six-month-old son dead. Based on reports from local authorities, the child’s mother was rear-ended by a semi-truck at a stoplight, and the boy died from his injuries following the accident. The child’s mother experienced minimal bruising and soreness, and the couple’s two-year-old daughter underwent surgery to repair a broken femur. The daughter also suffered multiple fractures in her skull but is reportedly in stable condition.

Indiana’s wrongful death statute defines the term “wrongful death” as one that was “caused by the wrongful act or omission of another” person or entity. The most common types of injuries that give rise to a wrongful death claim include negligence-based accidents, such as car crashes or personal injuries, medical malpractice, or intentional acts.

In the blink of an eye, children go from shrieking toddlers who want to spend every second with you to chatty teenagers wrapped up in their own worlds. No one ever expects, however, that their children will be involved in an accident—especially one caused by another’s negligence. One of the most painful things that a parent and a family can experience is outliving their children because an accident or unexpected event takes them too soon. When such loss takes place because of another’s negligence or recklessness, those responsible should be held accountable.

According to a local news report, a tragic car accident left two Indiana teenagers dead. On the day of the accident, four teenagers were in a sedan that lost control and flipped off the road and landed near a cornfield. The damage from the accident left the vehicle nearly unrecognizable. Two teen girls who were in the sedan were killed, and the families are still seeking justice. According to post-accident reports, the driver, a surviving 18-year-old male, was estimated to have been driving nearly 103-108 miles per hour moments before he lost control of his vehicle and crashed. Because the main cause of the accident was speeding, which was an error on the part of the driver, and the tires on the car were unsafe for use, the families are looking into potentially advancing claims. The accident is still under investigation.

In Indiana, wrongful death claims may be available following accidents like this one, where someone died as the result of a wrongful act like negligence. When someone’s lack of care or recklessness results in the preventable death of another, there may be grounds to recover compensation through a civil wrongful death lawsuit.

With warmer weather rolling in, it seems as good of a time as ever to pull that motorcycle out from storage to soak in the sunshine and longer daylight hours. With more people out on the roads these days as the world reopens; however, motorcyclists and drivers alike must exercise extra caution while driving. As more people return to traveling and commuting, motorcycles continue to be a popular and less expensive mode of transportation. Motorcyclists, however, are often exposed to additional risks and a heightened chance of a deadly or serious accident—and those who are at fault in these collisions must be held accountable.

In a recent local news report, a motorcycle accident in central Indiana left a man dead. According to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, the motorcyclist was traveling eastbound when he lost control of his bike. The motorcyclist was thrown from his bike across the median into oncoming traffic and was struck by a vehicle. The motorcycle also separately crashed into a second vehicle before coming to a stop. When officers arrived on the scene, the motorcyclist was suffering from significant physical injuries and was later pronounced dead on the scene. The accident remains under investigation by local authorities.

In Indiana, like other states, motorcyclists must adhere to the basic rules of the road. In addition, all motorcycle riders and passengers under the age of 18 must wear a motorcycle helmet. Motorcyclists are also barred by Indiana laws from lane splitting, which is when a rider operates their bike between two lanes of cars driving in the same direction. Passengers of motorcyclists can only ride with the motorcyclist when there is a seat attached and designed for passenger use—and can only do so on Class A motorcycles, but not on Class B motorcycles. Lastly, all motorcyclists are required to use a headlamp when operating their bikes, which must be illuminated at all times that the bike is in operation. Any violation of these laws could result in fines up to $500, and you could risk getting your license suspended for up to one year.

Accrual, which usually refers to the date that would give rise to a potential plaintiff’s right to bring a cause of action, can often change the circumstances surrounding whether a claim is viable or not in Indiana. For example, this inquiry is particularly relevant when time is of the essence in a medical malpractice lawsuit and the determination of the plaintiff’s accrual date could render their lawsuit invalid under the statute of limitations.

In a recent Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals opinion, the court considered a federal medical malpractice case involving accrual dates. The plaintiff brought suit on behalf of herself and her son against the United States under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) after her son sustained a permanent injury to his left arm during birth. Once her son was born, the plaintiff immediately noticed that her son’s arm was injured. Because the hospital where the plaintiff delivered her child was a federally qualified health center that receives federal funding and grant money from the federal government, it means that its employees are covered against malpractice claims under the FTCA. The plaintiff, however, did not realize that the hospital qualified as a federally qualified health center despite the fact that such information was available on the internet, which meant that she would be unable to sue for medical malpractice.

After exhausting other remedies, the plaintiff eventually refiled the case more than three years after her son was born. The defendant, the United States, moved for summary judgment on the basis that the plaintiff’s claims had surpassed the FTCA’s two-year statute of limitations.

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.

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