Injured in an Indiana Bus Accident? | Call Indianapolis Bus Accident Lawyers

How does a law firm begin an investigation into a bus accident involving injuries and wrongful death?

How do you investigate a bus that caught fire after an accident?Determining cause in an accident involving a bus is vital to a claim but it may not always be as easy as it sounds. In a situation where multiple vehicles are involved in a single collision, it is not uncommon for the defendant driver to place fault, in whole or in part, on other drivers involved in the crash. And because every eyewitness to an accident sees the crash from a different perspective, position and point on a timeline, it’s reasonable to assume that eyewitness testimonies will collide. Like airline and semi tractor-trailer accidents, a thorough investigation of the accident scene, named responsible parties, environmental conditions at the time of the accident, vehicles involved, eyewitness testimony and the employment of an expert in accident reconstruction may ultimately reveal the cause or combination of causes responsible for the accident and the injuries received.

Talk with the law enforcement investigative team

In depth interviews with State Police or investigating law enforcement officers by lawyers representing the injured or deceased persons, may reveal the preliminary facts of the accident as determined by the investigating authorities who were at the scene only minutes after the accident occurred.

Download data from the black box and thoroughly inspect the bus and it’s components

Attorneys representing plaintiffs injured in a bus crash will immediately put on notice the owner-operator of the bus to refrain from making any repairs to the vehicle before it has received a thorough inspection by impartial experts, thus preventing spoliation of evidence including the on-board data recorder. The data recorder chronicles the final moments of the bus before impact, i.e. velocity and rpms or revolutions per minute over a specific period of time, usually a matter of seconds. Think of the “black box” as an accurate and impartial observer of what went down moments before the accident.

Engage a private investigator

Meanwhile, a private investigator will search the driving records and public court records including any criminal prosecutions against the defendant driver. The investigator, hired by the plaintiffs’ attorney, will make contact and record conversations with eyewitnesses and others involved in the crash. Each person will be examined about road and weather conditions at the time of the crash, their position relative to other vehicles involved in the accident and asked to give their best accounting of what occurred relative to their perspective at the time of the accident. They will also be asked to recall conversations with others at the scene and events that may have taken place after the accident.

Call Bus Accident Lawyer Charlie Ward at 1-888-639-9501

Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501If you or someone you know has been injured or killed in an accident involving a bus, you should speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. The lawyers at Ward & Ward Law Firm have more than 85 years of combined experience in personal injury law involving bus accidents, motorcycle, car and trucking accidents. Give Charlie a call today at 317-639-9501 for a free evaluation of your claim.

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

Read about Indiana’s Comparative Fault Law here.

Indianapolis Motorcycle Accident Attorney | Motorcycle Safety And Helmets

Motorcycle enthusiasts are five times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident

Motorcycle helmetRiding a motorcycle gives the rider a sense of open-air freedom.  However, because motorcycles are small and do not have any type of padding between the cyclist and the road, an accident with another motor vehicle can result in very serious personal injuries or even death.  Serious head trauma is very common among fatally injured motorcyclists.

Motorcycles are more difficult to see than other motor vehicles on the roadway.  Generally half of motorcycle accidents occur simply because the motor vehicle did not see the motorcyclists.

In 2006, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 72.34 motorcycles out of 100,000 ended up in fatal accidents compared to 13.10 in automobiles.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT),  there were over 8.5 million motorcycles on the roadway in 2012.  Many motorcyclists and passengers do wear helmets.  In fact, according to NHTSA, in 2013, 60% of all riders wore helmets.  An interesting fact is that helmets do not interfere with a rider’s vision or hearing.  Wearing a helmet will likely prevent serious injuries and/or death.  In 19 states and District of Columbia, state laws require helmets to be worn by motorcyclists.  Twenty-eight states have some type of law requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets.  Only 3 states have no motorcycle helmet use laws in effect (Illinois, Iowa and New Hampshire).

It is a simple fact that helmets minimize the risk of serious injuries and save lives. The motorcycle season is almost here.  For your health and wellbeing, our attorneys recommend you wear a helmet whenever you take to the road on your motorcycle.

Lawyers with experience litigating motorcycle accident claims

Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501The personal injury lawyers at Ward & Ward Law Firm have many years of experience representing motorcyclists and bicyclists in claims for injuries and damages. Our attorneys are prepared to effectively engage defense insurance attorneys to get our clients the compensation they deserve. If you or someone you know has been injured or killed in a motorcycle or bicycle accident in Indiana, give Charlie Ward a call today at 317-639-9501 to discuss your potential claim.

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

Driving through Indiana school zones | Indiana Work Zone and School Zone Injury Lawyers

Driving Legally in an Indiana School Zone

School zone and construction zone accidents in Indiana can be reduced when the laws for driving within the school zones are understood and obeyedThere are more than thirteen-thousand clauses in Indiana code—a plethora of laws to govern our daily lives. People generally want to obey the laws but in certain rare instances, how people go about the business of complying with motoring laws differs from one day to the next and from driver to driver.
On my way to work in the mornings, I usually drive through several school zones, each clearly marked with signs reducing the speed limits to 25 mph or less. And nearly every day drivers demonstrate their own unique interpretation of school zone laws, although the lead car in the school zone often sets the standard for group compliance.

Reduced speeds protect children from accidents caused by motorists and cyclists

It’s reported that Indiana bipartisan legislators have recognized the need to enforce our school and work zone speeds by renewing their push for installation of speed-detecting cameras that would sense and record license plates of drivers exceeding posted speeds in work or school zones. *Read House Bill 1404. Penalties for exceeding the posted reduced speed would include a $300 fine for the first violation. A repeat violation within five years could lead to a $750 fine and further offenses could be fined up to $1,000.

Senate Bill 398, filed by Senator E. Bassler would allow police to issue tickets if they have probable cause to believe a driver illegally overtook a school bus during engagement of the school bus stop arm. This bill passed committee in February, 2015. Read more here.

*Note: HB 1404 was not passed by the 2015 Indiana General Assembly.

How should you drive through a school zone?

Chapter 5 of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles driving manual has only this to say on the topic of driving through school zones:

School Zone Speed Limits

If you are driving near a school, you must slow down to the lower posted speed limit for the school zone. Common hours for school zone speed limits are 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. However, local authorities may establish lower speed limits for school zones when children are present.

Here are the facts you should know, in question & answer form, when driving through an Indiana school zone:

Where does the restricted speed of the school zone end?

The sign located at the end of the school zone indicates where you may begin acceleration of the new posted lawful speed. Acceleration should not begin prior to the sign signaling the end of the school zone or the new speed limit sign.

Is a reduction in speed required during school holidays?

Indiana Code Section 9-21-5-6 (f)(3) states:

(f) …a speed limit established under this subsection is valid only if the following conditions exist…

(3) Children are present.

City, township, private, parochial, and year-round school schedules operate on unique calendars. Unless a motorist has children attending the school within the immediate school zone or some knowledge of the school’s calendar, how should the driver proceed through the zone?

Unless you have specific knowledge the school within the zone is not in session, maintain the reduced mandated speed. Ignorance is not a defense recognized by the court. However, IC 9-21-5-6(f)(4) states:

(B) June 30, 2012, if the school operates on a twelve (12) month schedule, there must be a sign indicating that the school is an all year school.

What are the fines and/or penalties for failure to obey the laws?

At the time of this writing, exceeding the speed limit through an Indiana school zone is a Class B Infraction, a civil offense punishable with a fine up to $1,000.00.

Plaintiff personal injury lawyers helping people injured or killed in an accident

Ward & Ward Law Firm has spent more than 85 years representing people and family members who have been killed or injured in an accident caused by another driver’s negligence. Our experienced personal injury lawyers have settled and litigated a diversity of plaintiff claims involving:

  • Speed Zone Accidents
  • Motorcycle Accidents
  • Pedestrian Accidents
  • Bicycle Accidents
  • Automobile Accidents
  • Bus Accidents
  • Taxi Accidents
  • Ambulance Accidents
  • Truck and Semi Truck Accidents

Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501If you or someone you know has been injured or has died in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, give Charlie Ward a call at 317-639-9501 for a free evaluation of your potential legal claim.

By Charlie Ward
Ward & Ward Law Firm
728 S Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46225
317-639-9501
Published 03/06/2015