Tag Archives: Accident Claims Lawyer in Indianapolis

Roundabouts Reduce Accidents in Indiana Counties

Indianapolis Lawyer car accident InjuriesA recent study details the ten most dangerous intersections for accidents in Indianapolis

The study, conducted by Indiana University Public Policy Institute in cooperation with other organizations, concluded the following information:

  • The least dangerous  intersection was South Post Road and East Washington Street (eastside Indianapolis) with 22 accidents.
  • The most dangerous intersection was at East Stop 11 Road and Madison Avenue (southside Indianapolis) with a total of 38 accidents.
  • Each intersection averaged approximately 30 per yearCall Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

Accidents involving intersections have higher death rates and serious injuries

In 2013, Marion County Accident Statistics showed:

  • Approximately 29,000 accidents occurred
  • 9,700 of these accidents occurred at intersections
  • 69 individuals died as a result of the accidents

Roundabouts in Indianapolis and Surrounding Counties Save Lives

As a result, many towns and cities (including Carmel, Westfield, Fishers, Plainfield and Greenwood) have aggressively been installing roundabouts as a way to minimize serious accidents.   In the past 10 years Carmel has installed over 80 roundabouts and continues to aggressively install more.   Plainfield, Fishers, Westfield and Greenwood have stepped up their installation of roundabouts and Speedway is installing a roundabout at 16th and Crawfordsville Road next to The Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

What are the benefits of roundabouts?

Roundabouts save time for the driving public and are much safer than intersections.   Statistics show that traffic moves much easier and accidents in roundabouts are generally minor with fewer serious personal injuries.

Experienced Lawyers for pedestrians and bicyclists who have been injured

The lawyers at Ward & Ward Law Firm are experienced litigators of car, motorcycle, bicycle and trucking accidents. While the installation of roundabouts have improved the flow of motorized traffic, the designs may pose some problems for pedestrians and non-motorized vehicles. If you have been hurt by a negligent or careless driver of a vehicle, give Charlie Ward a call at 317-639-9501. We are here to speak with you 24 hours a day. Charlie Ward [email protected]

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

 

Basics Of A Negligence Action in Indianapolis and Greater Indiana

Indianapolis Auto Accident Injury Lawyer‘Negligence’ Pertaining to a Personal Injury Claim

You were involved in an accident. Now you are entangled in insurance paperwork and solicitations by lawyers to handle your case. You are bound to hear a bevy of unfamiliar legal terms related to your case. One of those common terms is “negligence.” What is negligence, and what exactly does it mean?Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

According to Cornell.edu, negligence is the failure to take reasonable care that a prudent person would take under the same circumstances. Basically, it refers to a person’s careless or reckless actions that led to another person’s injuries or damages.

Negligence occurs in many forms, from car crashes to professional malpractice. Regardless of the specific type of case, ever since colonial times, a negligence action in the United States has had the same basic components:

  • Duty: Reasonable care, which is an objective standard, is the duty that most people owe to other people. Sometimes, there is a higher duty, such as in an attorney-client matter, and sometimes there is a lower duty, such as when a trespasser is injured on another person’s land.
  • Breach: If defendants fail to meet the applicable standard of care, then they have breached the legal duty. Often, as in Blyth v. Birmingham Water Works, there is an element of foreseeability: The defendant must understand that the breach of duty may result in damages.
  • Cause: Causation, the link between the breach of duty and the plaintiff’s damages, is actually a two-step inquiry:
    • Cause in fact: In legal terms, the plaintiff must show “but for” causation, i.e., that the injury would not have occurred “but for” the defendant’s negligence.
    • Proximate cause: Proximate cause goes back to foreseeability. In one famous case, Palsgraf v. Long Island Railroad, the defendant railroad company was not liable for the plaintiff’s injury that occurred when two porters pushed a man onto a moving train car, causing the man to drop a package of fireworks. The shockwave from the fireworks pushed over a pair of scales, which fell on the plaintiff. The court found that the injury was not foreseeable and the connection was too remote.
  • Damages: There is no action for negligence unless the plaintiff is damaged. Damages can include both economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages would be easily quantifiable numbers, such as medical expenses and property damage. Non-economic damages are harder to assign value to, such as pain and suffering. Punitive damages are also available in some cases.

If you have questions about your personal injury case or need hard-hitting representation, contact an Indianapolis accident attorney today.

Auto Recall Legislation|Indiana Personal Injury Lawyer’s View Point

Indianapolis Product Recall  Personal InjuryVehicle manufacturers have a duty to report safety issues by law.   The legislation is known as Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability, and Documentation–TREAD.

Over a decade ago, there were  several hundred deaths and many individuals seriously injured as a result of defective tires made by Firestone on Ford Explorers.  In 2001, Congress took action and passed TREAD to require vehicle manufacturers to report safety issues in a timely manner.  The goal of the legislation to require auto manufacturers to report defects, not to hide them.  Once reported the National Highway Safety Administration can issue recalls, impose fines and potentially order criminal charges.Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

However, many argue the legislation is failing due to time delays (sometimes several years).   In the past few years delayed actions resulted in many deaths and serious injuries as a result of sudden acceleration in Toyota vehicles (several years ago), ignition switch issues in General Motors vehicles (past 2 years) and now with airbags involving the Japanese company Takata.   Facts uncovered in Toyota’s sudden acceleration and GM’s ignition switch showed the manufacturer’s knowledge of the defects many years before any action was taken.  The Federal Government is currently investigating Honda on whether Honda failed to timely report deaths and injuries caused by defective airbags.

The end result–delays in recalling vehicles leads to unnecessary deaths and serious injuries.

Personal Injury Attorney,

Charlie Ward

[email protected]

Ward & Ward Law Firm
728 S Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46225
 

Addiction to Texting in Indianapolis & Indiana

Texting and driving accidents- Personal Injury Lawyer

Texting has become the preferred method of telecommunication by teens

The i-generation is the first generation of young people to grow up with mobile communication and media technologies. Members of the ‘i-gens’ are very connected through text messaging and telephone communiqué. Seventy-five percent of teens own cell phones and a third of those text more than 100 times a day. Eleven percent say they send over 200 messages every day. A study conducted in 2012 comparing boys texting behaviors to girls, Pew Research found, on average, girls typically send and receive 100 texts a day while boys send and receive 50. Is text messaging becoming an addiction?Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

Many teens feel pressured by their peers to be available 24/7

Psychologists believe that cell phones are an addiction for many young people. Four out of five teens sleep with their smart phones. Some use their smart phones as an alarm. But because text messaging is central to the way teens communicate with their peers, there is a good deal of peer pressure to be ‘available’ at all times. Studies show that a number of teens keep their smart phones bedside so as not to offend a ‘friend’ who may text them during the night.

The US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has posted the following youtube video of a young woman, a high-school honor roll student, who states how important her phone was to her; that she felt alone and lonely without it. She was severely injured and suffered facial disfigurement and loss of senses including eyesight, taste and smell when she momentarily took her eyes from the road to read an incoming text.

Courts hold “texters” partially responsible for accidents caused by texting

The National Safety Council (NSC)  researchers observing more than 1,700 drivers found that three out of every four drivers using a cell phone committed a traffic violation.  Drivers are four times more likely to crash when talking on the cell phone; while phone texting, drivers are 23 times more likely to collide with an object, person or vehicle. And drivers are less likely to remember what they’ve seen when talking on a hands free device.

States now recognize that due to constitutional privacy issues, initial efforts at putting texting and driving legislation on the books have lacked the teeth necessary to enforce the laws. Consequently, states are looking for more effective legislation and courts are handing down rulings that hold people accountable for their knowledge and errors in judgment where text messaging is concerned.

In New Jersey, the Court of Appeals has ruled that a texter “has a duty not to text someone who is driving” if the sender knows the person “will view the text while driving.” What does this mean? If a texter has knowledge or a reason to believe that the person being texted may be behind-the-wheel and may view the text while driving, the texter could bear some financial liability if an accident occurs.

Parents should be proactive with their children

As parents, we know that when our children receive their driver’s permit and license, drive-time instruction is not enough to compensate for real-world experience. We hope and we pray that our children learn defensive driving skills without traffic incident or injury. If your ‘i-gen’ teen seems to need his or her smart phone with them at all times, be very proactive in instructing your child about the dangers that come with the use of cellphones while driving.

Give a cellphone challenge to your child. Ask them to refrain from using their cell phone for an evening, then a day and maybe even two. Set your son or daughter up for success by not asking too much, too soon. Their ability to exercise self-control over their cell phone use will be a confidence booster.

When they use the vehicle, ask them to leave their cell phone at home and suggest they act as the ‘designated driver’ when with friends.  Chances are their friends will have a phone with them should an emergency arise. Parents, if you need to text or phone your teen, get in the habit of calling one of their friends who you know is present in the car your teen is driving. Discuss this strategy with other parents and work towards a consensus to employ these techniques. Teach your teens how to prioritize while you still have them under your control. The lessons you teach them now, will stay with them for a lifetime.

Read more about distracted driving and discover apps that parents and newly licensed teens can use to educate and build trust.

Attorney Charlie Ward is a plaintiff’s attorney and represents those who have been injured by another person’s negligence. If you believe that you were injured by a distracted driver, call Charlie at 317-639-9501 or 888-639-9501 for a consultation and evaluation of your claim. Ward & Ward Law Firm is open 24 hours a day.

Personal Injury Attorney,

Charlie Ward

[email protected]

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

 

Published 11/05/2014

Exhausted Semi Drivers and Inclement Indiana Weather – a Dangerous Combination

Indianapolis Personal Injury Attorney - Semi- Truck Accidents

Exhausted Commercial Truck Drivers and Inclement Weather – A Deadly Combination

Bone-chilling temperatures have shaken up even the most seasoned cold-weather veterans in the Midwest. The “polar vortex” pushing through Indiana has brought record freezing temperatures across the region— and life-threatening conditions to our state’s roads. Combine such conditions with an 18-wheeler / semi tractor-trailer, an overworked trucker and snowy, icy highways to create a terrifying nightmare for motorists in Indiana. Many drivers avoid hitting the pedal too hard when the weather gets bad, but too often truck drivers, already operating on a narrow time margin, may not — and the resulting consequences of their negligence can be catastrophic. The risks for truckers driving in winter storms increases, due to a few specific reasons:Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

  • Truckers spend more time on the road than normal drivers. They suffer from exhaustion, which slows reaction times and can prove fatal when roadways are icy and snowy.
  • Due to their sheer size and mass, trucks naturally take longer to stop — in messy winter weather, their stop time can slow even more.
  • Heavy winds may cause a tractor-trailer to jack-knife or blow over.
  • Truck drivers already have limited sight in typical conditions and rely on mirrors to see other vehicles. Snow, hail, rain, sleet and icy rain decreases visibility even more.
  • Because drivers of smaller vehicles may unexpectedly skid out, truckers may have a difficult time gauging how others react in dangerous conditions.

Avoid driving when the roads freeze or when visibility is limited, and maintain a safe following distance from semi trucks or 18-wheeler tractor-trailers. Keep a safety kit in your car. If a truck collides into you on the road, immediately file a police report and seek medical assistance. Afterward, contact an accident lawyer to learn about appropriate legal recourse. Indianapolis trucking accident attorneys are here to help during emergencies. Even when poor weather is partially to blame for a crash, you still may be entitled to collect compensation from the driver at fault.

By Charlie Ward

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

Air Bag Recalls | Personal Injury Lawyers in Indianapolis

To check and see if your vehicle is covered in the airbag recall, check out the following link.

Indianapolis Personal Injury Attorney - Auto Air Bag Accidents The federal government increased the number of vehicles in a safety recall involving airbags from five million to eight million.  Vehicles in the recall include Toyotas, Hondas, Nissans and others. Call personal injury and accident lawyer Charlie Ward today for a free consultationThe government is urging owners to have the vehicles repaired as soon as possible because the airbags pose the risk of death and/or serious injury in a vehicle accident.  Investigators are also concerned that hot, humid air could potentially cause the air bag to explode unexpectedly.  Should this occur, it could cause metal shrapnel flying, causing death or serious injury.  General Motors and other manufacturers have also recently recalled vehicles for safety issues regarding airbags.  In total worldwide over 16 million vehicles have been recalled for safety issues involving airbags since 2002.  David Friedman with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration urges all consumers with these vehicles to immediately have them repaired to prevent any deaths or injuries.

Safety groups allege that four people have been killed and numerous others seriously injured from the sudden airbag deployment.  Airbags have been required on new vehicles since 1999.   The airbag devices are made by Tokyo based, Takata Corporation.

 

GM and Ignition Switches | Wrongful Death Attorney in Indianapolis

29 people have died and 27 people have been seriously injured in accidents as a result of the defective ignition switches involving General Motors vehicles.

184 death claims have been filed with Ken Feinberg, an attorney hired by General Motors to compensate victims.  However, only 29 have been deemed eligible to date to receive compensation.  In addition, 1333 personal injury claims have been filed to date with 27 receiving offers of compensation.

A Robust Auto Liability Policy Means Better Protection for Your Family in Indiana

The best auto insurance coverage costs less than the state required minimum amount of insurance protection

Here’s why you should choose the best automobile insurance policy for you and your family’s protection.

Did you know that:Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

  1. One in five Indiana drivers are on the road without insurance (WRTV.com)
  2. There are nearly 350,000 suspended drivers in Indiana
  3. Suspended drivers are almost four times as likely to be involved in a fatal crash
  4. Over 50 % of court cases in Johnson County are for driving while suspended
  5. Over ⅓ of unlicensed drivers leave the scene of a fatal crash (AAAFoundation.org)

Consider this — 1 in 5 Indiana drivers are uninsured.

Indianapols Personal Injury Attorney - Auto Accidents

Indiana law requires licensed drivers to purchase a minimum amount ($25,000/$50,000) of auto liability insurance coverage. The penalty for not obtaining the policy is license suspension. A report from the Insurance Research Council estimates that in 2009, 16 percent of Indiana drivers were uninsured, that’s approximately 1 in every 6.25 drivers. Today, 20% of Indiana drivers, or 1 out of every 5 cars on the road, is being operated without any kind of automobile liability insurance coverage. The growth of uninsured drivers may be due in large part to the economic downturn and sadly, we may see a further increase in the future. With that in mind, it’s a pretty safe bet that insuring yourself and your family for a potential automobile injury caused solely by an uninsured driver is as important as putting your savings in an FDIC insured bank or buying a homeowners insurance policy that will pay full-replacement-value in case of a total loss.  

Is a minimum policy enough to protect my family after an accident with a negligent driver?

Under minimum coverage, the first figure ($25,000) represents the limits a single party who was not-at-fault may potentially recover from defendant’s insurance company; the latter denotes the total amount defendant’s insurance company might pay to all injured parties combined when more than one party has been injured, excluding the policy holder/negligent driver. All automobile liability policies sold in Indiana must also include uninsured/underinsured coverage equal to the amount of liability coverage — unless the insured rejects this coverage in writing.

The following examples demonstrates how a claim for damages and losses might be made against your underinsurance policy if the negligent driver has only the minimum amount of liability insurance.

Example1: If you alone sustain severe or catastrophic injuries in a vehicular accident, through no fault of your own, and the other solely responsible driver has minimal coverage, your attorney will initially demand to settle your claim for the limits of defendant’s policy — in this case, $25,000. If your losses and damages are greater than defendant’s minimal policy and you have underinsurance coverage greater than defendant’s liability policy, your attorney may seek as much as the difference between your policy limits and the limits paid by defendant’s insurance. The difference is the maximum amount you might potentially obtain. You may never receive, in total, more than the limits of your own policy in a claim involving underinsurance.

Example2: If you are injured in an accident caused by an uninsured driver, and you yourself have the minimal legal insurance, the highest amount of compensation you may receive for your personal injuries under your policy’s uninsured motorist coverage, is $25,000. According to New Choice Health.com, a single spinal MRI can cost as much as $8,500.00. How far will the limits of your uninsured liability policy stretch when a single standard procedure costs more than one-third of your uninsured settlement?

Protect your family by purchasing the largest amount of liability insurance you can afford.

After the $25,000 limits of defendant’s policy have been met and payment has been made solely for your injuries, damages and losses, your attorney may seek additional compensation if your situation warrants, from the underinsured portion of your automobile liability policy. Remember, your attorney is only able to seek further compensation if your liability policy is greater than defendant’s policy limits.

For example, from your $100,000/$300,000 underinsured policy limits, you may be eligible to recover as much as $75,000 ($100,000 less $25,000 paid by defendant insurance.)

How much does insurance cost?

Not so surprisingly, the cost per unit of insurance goes down as you purchase more units. Many agents will quote a policy price by inquiring as to how much insurance you carry at this time. I recommend you do a cost comparison of several policies, i.e. 25/50, 100/300 or 250/500. See Ward & Ward Law Firm’s cost analysis for units of insurance.

Your personal injury attorney is here to help you.

Ward & Ward Law Firm has more than 85 years of combined experience helping injured people put back together the pieces of their lives after a traumatic accident involving a motorized vehicle or the loss of a loved one due to the negligence of another. If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident, please call today for a free consultation at 800-639-9501.

By Charlie Ward

317-639-9501

www.wardlawfirm.com

 

Whiplash and Other Serious Neck Injuries Resulting from an Automobile, Motorcycle, Bicycle, Pedestrian or Trucking Accident — Ward & Ward Law Firm, Indiana’s Injury Accident Lawyers

Injuries kill more people ages 1–44 in the U.S. than any other cause. Neck injuries are common injuries to accidents involving cars, motorcycles, bicycles and semi tractor-trailers. If you have incurred an injury to your neck because of another party’s negligence, it is important to seek medical treatment from a licensed medical physician (hospital, primary care physician or medical specialist) right away and then to call an experienced personal injury or accident attorney to recover your losses for medical bills, bodily injuries, loss of wages and other damages suffered.

Types of neck injuries

There are a wide variety of neck injuries. Examples of some common neck injuries are:

  • Strains: When muscle fibers are torn due to lifting heavy weights or whiplash, the result is a strained neck. The pain involved with a strain can vary in severity.
  • Spasms: A spasm occurs when your neck muscles seize up into a tight muscle contraction. Bracing before impact may cause a neck spasm.
  • Stingers: When the neck is rotated in an unnatural way or forced into an extreme tilt, a “stinger” injury can result. The symptoms of a stinger include a burning or tingling sensation in the arms, shoulders and neck. Stingers are commonly caused by high impact collisions.
  • Whiplash: A soft-tissue injury to the neck muscles, ligaments and tendons is described as whiplash. This type of injury occurs when the neck is forced to extend beyond its normal range of motion. Common symptoms of whiplash include headache, pain, stiffness and dizziness.
  • Fractures: The neck contains fragile bones that can be broken by high-impact pressure. The severity of a broken neck can range from minor pain and numbness to a serious neck fracture, leading to paralysis.
  • Herniated disc: When a disc of the cervical vertebra ruptures causing pressure on nerve roots, it is referred to as a herniated or ruptured disc injury. Symptoms of this type of injury include stabbing pain, tingling, numbness and weakness in the neck, back, shoulders, arms and hands.

 

Treatment for a neck injury depends on the type and severity of the injury. Common treatments may include medications, rest, physical therapy, exercises, steroid injections and surgery.

If you have suffered a neck injury because of the negligence of another party, speak with an experienced injury lawyer to learn how you can recover compensation for your medical bills, bodily injuries, lost wages, pain and suffering and property damage.

Charlie Ward

Ward & Ward Law Firm

(888) 316-3449

 

Ward & Ward Indianapolis Personal Injury Law Firm Uses Discretion to Protect the Privacy of our Client’s Auto, Motorcycle, Bicycle and Trucking or 18-Wheeler Accident Settlement and Jury Awards

I was recently approached by a colleague who asked:

Why our personal injury law firm did not publish our clients’ large settlement and jury awards for compensation?Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

Ward & Ward Law Firm is a plaintiff’s personal injury law firm that operates at the behest of private citizens who have been injured in car, motorcycle, bicycle, pedestrian and semi tractor-trailer or 18 – wheeler trucking accidents. We feel that our clients’ interests are best served by exercising discretion—honoring their trust with confidentiality.

A million dollar settlement or jury award can alter behavior of friends and family

A quiet settlement or jury award permits our clients to pick up the pieces of their lives after a traumatic accident and move on privately. We strongly advise our clients refrain from divulging to friends or family when a settlement or award for economic, non-economic losses or punitive damages has been made. Well-meaning people can inadvertently exert enormous pressure on individuals to ‘share the wealth.’ They may not comprehend that our clients will use their settlement or award to protect a future which may include permanent disabilities.

The Confidentiality Clause

Additionally, large settlements by prominent corporations may contain a clause within the settlement agreement that prevents the claimants from discussing any negotiations and dollars received with anyone, exempting plaintiff’s attorney and their tax preparing accountant. But why?

Settlements often are not an admission of guilt by the defendant(s), but rather the determination has been made that it would be in neither party’s mutual best interest to continue with further litigation.

We respect the privacy of our personal injury clients.

The law firm of Ward & Ward will never broadcast our clients’ identities or injuries in conjunction with settlement or jury awards to enhance the prestige of the firm. We respect the confidentiality of each and every client. If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident with traumatic injury, call Charlie Ward today at 317-639-9501 for a free analysis of your case.

Charlie Ward