Articles Tagged with car accident

Indiana hit-and-run accidents can prove challenging from a civil litigation standpoint for a myriad of reasons, sometimes even if the driver is found. Contacting an experienced Highland injury lawyer is imperative to maximizing the chances of accountability and compensation. mirror

A recent Indiana hit-and-run crash resulted in one woman losing her life and a man facing a felony charge. Investigators in Indianapolis told the Indy Star on early Sunday morning that a car accident occurred on 34th Street, where officers responded to the scene to discover a passenger car literally split in two. There was no one in it. But nearby, occupants of a Dodge Neon, a man and woman both age 22, were critically injured. The driver was treated at a local hospital, while the woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

Officers discovered a man believed to be the driver a short time later. He is believed to have fled the scene on foot, and authorities suspect alcohol was a factor in the crash. He has been arrested on a charge of failure to stop at the scene of an accident involving death, a felony.

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Indiana car accident lawsuits in many cases involve more than just the drivers involved. If a driver was acting in the course and scope of employment or was operating an employer’s vehicle, the company could find itself facing claims of vicarious liability.truck

Corporate responsibility in such cases is based on the legal theory of respondeat superior, which is Latin for “Let the master answer.” What this means is that one can establish a claim of liability against an employer for the negligent acts of an employee carried out in the scope of employment – even if the employer did not engage in any negligent act. This is an important issue because it can directly affect how much compensation you may be able to collect for your injuries. The key determination that has to be made in order for respondeat superior to apply is whether the employee was acting in the scope of employment. Courts have generally broken this down into a four-part test:  whether the conduct is similar to that which the employee was hired to perform, whether the action occurred mostly within the authorized spacial and temporal limits of employment, whether the action furthered the employer’s business, and whether the conduct, although unauthorized, was foreseeable in view of the employee’s duties.

In the recent case of Hudgins v. Bemish, the Indiana Court of Appeals held that a trial court erred in granting summary judgment to a business defendant that argued it was not liable for the negligent acts of its employee. The appellate justices decided there were conflicting facts and inferences that could be drawn as to whether the driver was acting in the course and scope of his employment. Also, the defendant company hadn’t met its initial proof burden for summary judgment on the issues of negligent hiring and retention (which are direct liability claims).

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