Five things you should do after an auto, motorcycle, bicycle or truck accident to increase your settlement

How to increase your settlement or jury award after an accident

The steps you take immediately following an accident will help you and your attorney achieve the best possible results from your personal injury settlement or trial. When you hire a lawyer, he or she will thoroughly investigate the facts of the accident based upon the information you are able to provide as follows:

  1. Obtain an accident report from the police or sheriff within the jurisdiction where the accident occurred;
  2. Obtain eye witness information: name,  phone number and address, if possible;
  3. Take photos of all vehicles at the scene of the accident;
  4. Get medical treatment and follow-up on your doctor’s treatment plan;
  5. Do not give a statement to the other driver’s insurance company without your lawyer’s knowledge and/or presence.

In many cases, a private investigator may be employed by your attorney to further delve into the details of the accident, particularly when there is a question of liability. But the information listed above will give everyone involved in your case a good start on the facts and provide some very necessary information.

Experienced personal injury lawyers

Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501If you, or someone you know, has been injured or killed in an accident caused by another person’s negligence, give Charlie Ward a call today at 317-639-9501 to discuss the facts and obtain a free evaluation of your claim.

By Charlie Ward

Ward & Ward Law Firm
728 S Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46225
317-639-9501

Car Accident Attorney in Indianapolis | Black Box As Evidence

Preservation of black box evidence may be critical in supporting your accident claim
Event data recorders log vehicular speeds

 

Can black box technology be used as evidence in criminal and civil courts?

If you have ever been in an automobile accident, it is likely that the events leading up to the collision were captured by a device known as a “black box”. The lay term is “black box” but the technical term which you will see in official documents and court records is “Event Data Recorder” or EDR.

Does my car have a black box installed?

History shows that in the early 1990’s, automobile manufacturers  from Cadillac, Chevrolet, Buick and Pontiac used the EDR as a way to understand how vehicles performed in accidents.  Since 2000,  the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has collected data involving car accidents as well.  Today every vehicle sold in the United States must have an EDR.

Since 2012, automobiles equipped with EDR are required by the NHTSA to track 15 different data points including speed, steering, braking, acceleration, seat belt use, and if in an accident, force of impact and air bag deployment.  To find out if an older car has an EDR check Harris Technical Services or Accident Reconstruction Network.

Will the download of my car’s black box data help my accident lawsuit?

With all this information stored in an EDR, the question becomes whether the data download is admissible in a court of law.  Fifteen states have passed laws that give criminal law enforcement and others involved in civil litigation, the ability to retrieve the data with a court order even though the data belongs to the owner of the vehicle.   Some argue that the privacy issue should be taken up with Congress when dealing with the issue of crash data.

Lawyers with experience in retrieval and interpretation of black box information

Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501Regardless, the EDR in every car crash has relevant evidence and will likely be retrieved and used as evidence in all civil litigation cases. Lawyers, Charlie and Don Ward have experience in protecting and preserving black block technology data and working with reconstruction experts in the interpretation of the evidence. If you’ve been injured in an accident, call Charlie Ward today at 317-639-9501 for a free evaluation of your claim.

By Charlie Ward

Ward & Ward Law Firm
728 S Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46225
317-639-9501

Data Tracking Device Used as Evidence | Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Indianapolis

Indiana Lawyer For Personal Injury Settlements and Claims - Indianapolis Attorney Wearable ‘Black Box’ Technology Used as Evidence in Accident Claims

A self-tracking wearable device known as ‘Fitbit’  is technologically similar to the “black box” technology found on a vehicle.  Fitbits and other wearable data tracking devices can monitor and track just about everything including exercise, sleep patterns and daily activities such as the amount of time one spends standing or the number of steps taken by an individual per day.  Since black box generated reports can be downloaded and used as evidence in lawsuits and accident claims by either side to support allegations or defenses, it will come as no surprise that  the data received by wearable tracking devices may soon also be used as evidence for settlement negotiations or in courtroom cases.

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Who will interpret the individual’s data?

An outside analytics company will be used to crunch numbers and define statistical norms from raw data uploaded by the general population. The individual injured person’s data will then be analyzed and compared with the mean of the general population and possibly used as evidence in personal injury cases.  If you are seriously injured in an automobile, motorcycle or trucking accident, the evidence from these wearable devices will confirm a daily lifestyle of restricted activities. Thus, your wearable data tracking device may serve as your own expert witness in your accident case.

Over the past few years more and more wearable devices are coming to the market.  Apple has a product known as HealthKit and Google has one similar for Android users called Google Fit.  It is estimated that 19 million wearable devices will be purchased in 2014. The general rule will dictate if you wear a device which collects personal data, then the production of that data will be requested by the opposing side and required by a court of law if you claim a personal injury.

Technology’s Influence

Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501This general rule is similar to evidence that is produced from a cell phone (text) or on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Linked In. The technology is here and easier to trace than ever before.

If you’ve been injured in an accident, call Charlie Ward today at 317-639-9501 for a free evaluation of your claim.

By Charlie Ward

Ward & Ward Law Firm
728 S Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46225
317-639-9501

How Do I Pay My Medical Bills After an Accident?

Overwhelmed by medical bills from my accident – How do I pay my bills?

If you have health insurance, your insurance provider may cover the care you receive from in-network hospitals, doctors and other medical providers. In rare situations where you were taken by ambulance to a hospital that is not in your network, your health insurance may cover the ER bill if you were unable to select an in-network hospital from the scene of the accident. After your health insurance, your medical payment insurance or “med-pay” will help you to pay your medical bills. Check your automobile policy to determine how much med-pay insurance you have.Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

Lawyer Charlie Ward of Ward & Ward Law Firm recommends you purchase as much med-pay insurance as your can afford. Talk with your insurance agent to obtain a quote. Med-pay insurance becomes cheaper the more your purchase. You may be surprised how inexpensive good coverage is when you seek a quote for a higher amount. Remember that medical payment insurance is to your benefit by covering medical bills and medical expenses, i.e. hospital, doctors, radiology, lab work, prescriptions, physical therapy and much more. It can ease the strain of potential economic hardship and/or the loss of your wages after you’ve experienced a wreck or collision.

If you know someone that has been injured in an accident and having trouble paying their medical bills, call attorney, Charlie Ward, today at 317-639-9501.

By Charlie Ward

Ward & Ward Law Firm
728 S Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46225
(317) 639-9501

Indianapolis Auto Accident Lawyer | Lane Departure Warning

Lawyer for personal injury claims and settlements in Indiana Newer automobiles have advancements in technology making cars and SUVs safer to drive

One such advancement is Lane Departure Warning (LDW). LDW has been available to American drivers in a number of vehicles since 1994. Volvo and Nissan were the first manufacturers using LDW technology. As of this year, Lexus, BMW, Nissan Infiniti, Honda, Mercedes, KIA and GM all offer this technology.

What is LDW and how does it work to help make vehicles safer reducing personal injury?

LDW uses cameras generally mounted on rearview mirror to watch for lane markings in the roadway.  When the driver drifts out of his/her lane of traffic, a warning of some type will occur. The warning may be a type of light, vibration in the steering wheel or an audible alarm. Regardless, the warning is a notice to the driver that the car is drifting out of the lane of traffic.

In addition, the warning will not go off when the driver uses a turn signal as it assumes the driver is intentionally crossing over the lane markings. This type of advancement in safety technology in vehicles will assist a driver who may be falling asleep behind the wheel or distracted by something in the vehicle. However, where the lane markings are worn off or covered by dirt (or just plain missing), the LDW systems may not work. Regardless, the LDW systems are valuable to all drivers today and the cost is minimal compared to loss of life or serious injuries.

You may also watch this video which explains Lane Departure Warning Systems

Learn more about blind spot monitors here

Lawyers experienced in personal injury settlements and law suits with trial by jury

Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501Lawyer, Charlie Ward, has successfully settled and litigated a number of cases involving negligent drivers that have either fallen asleep at the wheel or were driving under the influence. Call Charlie today at 317-639-9501 if you or someone you know has been injured or killed in a vehicular collision involving the negligence of another driver for an honest evaluation of your claim.

Charlie Ward

Ward & Ward Law Firm
728 S Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46225
317-639-9501
12/22/2014

Blind Spot Monitors | Auto Accident Lawyers In Indianapolis

Indianapolis Auto Accident Lawyer for Personal Injury Claiams and Wrongful Death Consider purchasing your next new car with a Blind spot auto sensor

If your about to purchase a new car, SUV or motor vehicle, it is estimated that 3/4 of all new vehicles offer blind spot monitors as an option to reduce accidents.

In driver’s education we were taught to look over your shoulder before changing lanes.  Why?  Because side mirrors do not show automobiles in blind spots.   However, new technology advances such as blind spot monitors help to minimize blind spot issues.

Just what is a blind spot monitor (BSM) and how does it work?  Blind spot monitors use radar sensors to warn drivers of automobiles in a lane adjacent to them.  The radar sensors are generally on the side and rear of a vehicle.  The warnings from the radar sensors come in the way of a flashing light or an audible sound.  The warnings generally stay on until the automobile in the adjacent lane moves in front of the vehicle or directly alongside.

Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501Many automobile manufacturers are now offering this technology–Volvo, Ford, Audi, Infiniti are just a few. This technology was developed by Volvo a decade ago.

Is it worth the extra cost?  Although blind spot monitors do not replace a glance around or rear-view mirror, the simple answer is yes. If there is a way to reduce or minimize the potential of an automobile accident, it is worth the cost.  This technology is just another option at reducing auto accidents.

To see the blind spot monitoring system in action watch this short video demonstration

By Charlie Ward

[email protected]

Ward & Ward Law Firm
728 S Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46225
317-639-9501

Seat Belts Saves Lives | Auto Accident Attorney Indianapolis

Indianapolis IN Personal Injury Lawyer - Seat Belts and Car Accidents Seat Belts Reduce Injuries and Deaths

Approximately 33,000 (AAA article) individuals  are killed in auto accidents each year in the United States.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that the leading cause of death for individuals ages 4, and 11 through 27 is from an auto accident.  Why??  Failure to wear a seat belt.Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

Statistics show that seat belts reduce the probability of death from an auto accident by over 50%.  In 2012, more than 2.2 million (CDC article) adults and passengers were treated at an emergency room for injuries as a result of an auto accident.  Again statistics show that many of the serious injuries sustained in these accidents could have been minimized with the use of a seat belt.  The cost to society is staggering–it is estimated in 2012 that non fatal injuries cost society over 50 BILLION dollars for lifetime medical costs and loss of work productivity.   Teenage drivers who survive accidents give the main reason for failing to wear a seat belt as follows:

  1. Simply forgot to wear the seat belt.
  2. Driving just a short distance.

Research further shows that seat belts reduce the risk of death to a front seat passenger by 45% and the risk of a critical injury by 50%.   Ejection is the main injurious event from failing to wear a seat belt to a front seat passenger.  In addition, 77% of passengers ejected from the vehicle were killed.

The mechanics of seal belt use

In order to understand what happens in an accident where a person fails to wear a seat belt, one must understand the work energy principle, kinetic energy and stopping distances. Read about the mechanics of seat belt use. This is all very technical but least to say that all literature shows that value of wearing a seat belts reduce the probability of death and the severity of a serious injury by approximately 50%.

Recently Cam Newton, quarterback for the Carolina Panthers was in a serious accident where his vehicle flipped several times. Because he wore his seat belt at the time of the accident, he walked away with less serious injuries.

Indianapolis lawyers with experience in auto accidents involving injuries and wrongful death cases

Conclusion–It is a fact–seat belts saves lives and minimize serious injuries. If you have been injured or know someone that has died as a result of another person’s negligence, call Charlie today at 317-639-9501 for a free consultation.

By Charlie Ward

[email protected]

Ward & Ward Law Firm
728 S Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46225
317-639-9501

Distracted Driving | Personal Injury Attorneys in Indianapolis

Indianapolis Personal Injury Attorney - Texting DriverWhat are the 3 largest causes of vehicular fatalities ?

According to the National Safety Council, a new report shows that leading causes of death from a vehicle are:

  • Alcohol 30.8%
  • Speeding 30% and
  • Distracted driving 26%

Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501The new and surprising category that is catching the most attention is the distracted driving statistics–especially in teenage drivers. This category is on-the-rise at an alarming rate.  Advancement in technology, i.e., mobile phone use (texting), is the primary cause for this generational phenomenon.  According to the recent survey, 80% of the public incorrectly believes that hands-free devices are safer than a handheld phone.

Surprising accident-related fatality statistic

The #1 cause of death in teenagers is from an auto-car accident. Much of the blame can be placed on driving inexperience.  Statistics show that graduated driver’s license systems across the country reduce crashes involving teenagers by 40%.  But the question remains how to minimize the potential risks of an accident?  Clearly one way is to limit passenger distraction and the use of a cell phone and texting-messaging.Teenagers need to understand that accidents happen very quickly and the time-distance factor is not in their favor.

It is critically important for all teenage drivers to understand the dangers of the road and potential hazards that exist.  One way to educate our teens to the hazards and risks is to take a defensive driving course.   Education is the answer.   Finally, getting teenagers in a buckling-up routine upon entering a vehicle is critical. This should begin at a very early age. Seat belts save lives–it is just that plain and simple.

By Charlie Ward

[email protected]

Ward & Ward Law Firm
728 S Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46225
317-639-9501