Tag Archives: bicycle accident

Dead Red Law Offers Alternative for Motorcycle and Bicycle Enthusiasts|Personal Injury Attorneys

Dead Red Indiana Law Give Motorcyclists and Bicyclists Alternative to Breaking the Law

In March of 2014, Indiana became the 15th state to add the “Dead Red” law to their books. Indiana Representative, Mike Karickhoff of Kokomo, wrote House Bill No. 1080 that provides:

“…the operator [of a motorcycle, motorized bicycle, motor scooter, or bicycle] may proceed through the intersection on a steady red signal only if the operator:

    (i) comes to a complete stop at the intersection for at least one hundred twenty (120) seconds; and
    (ii) exercises due caution as provided by law, otherwise treats the traffic control signal as a stop sign, and determines that it is safe to proceed.”

The Indiana General Assembly passed the law 84-10.

Few Options for Cyclists Prior to Dead Red Law

Prior to the “dead red” law, when lightweight motorized and non-motorized vehicles failed to trigger a left-turn signal, the operator had one of three choices: 1) wait until a larger vehicle pulled behind them, tripping the scale; 2) make a right-hand turn and return to proceed through the intersection; or 3) ignore the traffic signal altogether and turn left on a red.

An Educated Public May Reduce Motorcycle Accidents in Indiana

ABATE of Indiana (The American Bikers Aimed Toward Education) strives to educate responsible cyclists on motorcycle safety. And because accidents involving motorcycles are often caused by other drivers who admittedly fail to see the cyclist, ABATE seeks to educate all drivers about motorcycle awareness. May is Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month. On May 5, ABATE of Indiana, along with many other civic organizations, will kick off Motorcycle Awareness Month by hosting an event on the Circle to bring attention to motorcycle awareness.

Personal Injury, Motorcycle and Bicycle Accident Attorneys with Experience

The defenses used by defendant insurance companies to minimize their financial loss and the potential jury bias that occurs when litigating a motorcycle or bicycle injury claim is good reason to seek the assistance of an attorney experienced in motorcycle and bicycle injury cases. If you, or someone you know has been injured or killed in an accident involving a motorcycle, moped or bicycle, call Charlie Ward, an attorney with experience in pursuing claims on behalf of cyclists, at 317-639-9501 today for a free analysis of your claim.

[email protected]

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

Motorcycles – Helmets saves lives | motorcycle accident attorney in Indianapolis

Motorcycle Helmets Reduce Injuries and Save Lives | Motorcycle Accident Lawyers in Indiana

May is ‘Motorcycle Awareness’ month. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration encourages everyone to share the road and urges cyclists to make themselves visible to others.

A brief history of helmet laws and why they vary from state to state

People injured in motorcycle accidents require aggressive legal representation to overcome jury biasIn 1966, the national Highway Safety Act mandated each state enact universal helmet laws in order to receive federal highway construction funding. In 1975, under the authority of HSA, the Secretary of Transportation was about to impose penalties upon the states of California, Illinois and Utah for non-compliance, when lobbyists successfully pressured congress to stop the assessment of penalties on states lacking universal helmet laws. By 1980, a majority of states had repealed the universal mandated laws, favoring a unilateral approach to legislation.

As of 2016, three states, Illinois, Iowa and New  Hampshire, are without legislation regulating helmets. Nineteen states, along with the District of Columbia,  have statutes mandating helmets for all cyclists. The states and districts include:

Alabama, Mississippi, Oregon, California, Missouri, Tennessee, District of Columbia, Nebraska, Vermont, Georgia, Nevada, Virginia, Louisiana, New Jersey, Washington, Maryland, New York, West Virginia, Massachusetts, and North Carolina

The remaining states have passed legislation  that takes one or more of the following factors into account:

  • operator experience
  • operator age
  • passenger age
  • proof of medical insurance
  • cycling horsepower

States laws for helmet use as they stand currently in 2016, can be found at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Statistics favor ‘gearing up’ with helmets and bright clothing

Statistics from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimate:

  • Helmets saved the lives of more than 1,600 motorcyclists in 2013
  • 4,668 motorcyclists lost their lives in accidents while over 88,000 suffered personal injuries in 2013.
  • Since 1997, motorcycle deaths have more than doubled
  • Motorcycles are only 2 percent of the registered vehicles nationally, but motorcyclist fatalities are 5 percent of traffic fatalities each year.
  • The percentage of intoxicated motorcycle riders involving fatal accidents is higher than intoxicated drivers.

Helmets minimize injuries and reduce the likelihood of long term brain trauma.

The extent of Indiana’s helmet law requires passengers and motorcycle operators seventeen and younger wear a helmet. However, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) advocates protective clothing as the only defense a cyclist has against injury. Reccomendations include a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218 compliant helmet, heavy-duty jacket and pants, boots, gloves, and eye protection.

Experienced Motorcycle and Bicycle Accident Attorneys and Wrongful Death Lawyers

Motorcycle enthusiasts and bicyclists enjoy the same legal rights as every driver on the road, i.e. the right to compensation for injuries, loss of wages, impairment, pain and suffering and all other remedies available by law. (Learn more about jury bias) For more than 85 combined years, motorcycle accident attorneys and wrongful death lawyers, Don and Charlie Ward, have represented plaintiffs injured in motorcycle accidents and the families of cyclists killed because of another driver’s negligence.

The personal injury attorneys at Ward & Ward Law Firm receive no legal fees or expenses unless we collect damages on your behalf. Call Charlie Ward today at 317-639-9501 to discuss your accident and receive a free analysis of your claim.

By Charlie Ward

[email protected]

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

 

Preventing Pedestrian and Bicycle Accidents and Fatalities in Parking Lots |Indianapolis Pedestrian and Car Accident Lawyers

Preventing Pedestrian and Bicycle Accidents and Fatalities in Parking Lots | Indianapolis Pedestrian and Car Accident Lawyers

Best Lawyers® Ward & Ward Law Firm - experienced in getting the compensation you deserve Statistics show that 1 out of every 5 auto accidents occurs in parking lots.  The most common accident is a result of a vehicle reversing out of a parking space backing into another vehicle.  Most of the damage to vehicles are minor.   The real danger is when a vehicle reversing strikes a pedestrian or a bicyclists which can result in serious injuries or death.

Most injuries in parking lots involve children

Each year it is estimated by the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHTSA) that approximately 200 fatalities and 15,000 injuries occur in back up accidents.  Every week at least 50 children are struck in back up accidents and unfortunately 2 of those children are fatally injured.  A majority of those children killed are  under the age of 4.

Most, if not all accidents occur as a result of the child being in the driver’s blind spot.  Today more people are driving larger vehicles such as sports utility vehicles, mini-vans and mid-sized trucks.  As a result, the blind spots are larger in these types of vehicles.

In order to prevent or minimize these types of back up accidents, knowing the vehicles blind spots are paramount for safety.  In addition, knowing your surrounding and parking defensively (i.e. pulling through a parking spot to exit going forward) is likely to reduce the risk of an accident.

Best Lawyers® and Car Accident Lawyers – Ward &  Ward Law Firm -Experienced in Pedestrian and Bicycle Accidents Fatalities

The personal injury and car accident lawyers of Ward & Ward Law Firm have 85 years of experience handling pedestrian accident and wrongful death cases. If you or someone you know needs legal representation for their accident claim, call 317-639-9501 today and ask for “Charlie” for a free consultation.

By Charlie Ward

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

 

Unjust Law Strengthened Aspirations of 2015 Legendary Personal Injury Lawyer | Car Accident Lawyers and Personal Injury Attorneys

Unjust Law Strengthened Aspirations of 2015 Legendary Personal Injury Lawyer | Car Accident Lawyers and Personal Injury Attorneys

20155 Legendary Personal Injury Lawyer, Don WardWhen Indiana personal injury attorney, Donald W. Ward, was a first year law student, he learned through personal experience that “a lot of injustices have been legislatively induced.” To counter the power structure favoring insurance companies and special interests, the former President of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association has worked alongside like-minded, dedicated trial lawyers with members of the Indiana General Assembly to amend and pass legislation that would protect the trial court “wins” for injured clients.

Ward recalls one peculiar aspect of the Indiana Guest Statute that directly influenced his professional aspirations. During the fifties and prior to its amendment in 1998, the Indiana Guest Statute favored insurance companies by preventing an injured or deceased passenger from filing suit against a negligent owner or operator of the vehicle in which they were riding, except under narrowly defined circumstances. “Because you were a guest in my car,” Ward said, “my negligent driving did not entitle you to sue me for injuries caused by my negligent driving unless you could prove that I willfully or wantonly ran that red light.” Willful intent was key to overcoming the restrictions of the unjust law.

The early Guest Statute personally affected the Notre Dame Law Student

Jurisprudence was Ward’s calling. But it became personal after his sixteen-year old sister sustained life-threatening injuries when the vehicle in which she was riding crashed due to driver’s negligence. Upon learning of her accident and the injuries she suffered, he immediately left the law school he was attending to take his place with the family alongside her bed.

While in a prolonged state of unconsciousness, witnesses to the crash misled authorities by withholding facts. There was little hope her body could survive the excessive traumas and because of the restrictions placed in Indiana’s Guest Statute, little expectation that the driver’s insurance company would be financially accountable for the mounting medical bills.

Sometime later―her jaw wired shut―she awoke from a comatose state. When she finally regained the ability to form words, she stunned family members when she communicated to them that the driver of the vehicle in which she was riding had been drag racing on the road leading into the small town of Osgood when the accident occurred. She further articulated that prior to the crash, she and other passengers in the car firmly told the driver to “slow down.” Although latent, the adolescent eyewitnesses eventually corroborated the illuminating statement made from the hospital bed.

When the authorities determined the cause of the accident; that the driver of the car had “willfully” engaged in risky driving behavior; and the victim’s request to “slow down” had gone unheeded, this was the break family attorney and Ward’s mentor needed to proceed with a claim that would fall within the strict interpretation of the law. This incident and the bond formed between Ward and the late Howard S. Young Jr., served to strengthen Ward’s resolve to become a practicing plaintiff’s lawyer and to use his skills to affect changes in laws that were unjust and denied citizens equal access to trial by jury.

Former President of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association

Since those days back in the fifties, members of the Indiana Trial Lawyer Association have worked diligently to protect the rights of Hoosier citizens in the legislative process. Ward says, “It is my belief that the voices of individual citizens are heard in the legislative process through the members of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association.” When asked about his career as a trial lawyer, he said “The law profession is a very noble profession and I am very proud to have been a small part of it.”

Indiana’s Guest Statute, also known as the “Hitchhiker’s Law,” was eventually amended and implemented in 1998 reducing its scope to include parents, spouses, children, stepchildren, siblings, and hitchhikers. To learn more about the current Guest Statute in Indiana, visit the Ward & Ward Law Firm blog.

On August 19, 2015, Donald W. Ward of Ward & Ward Law Firm in Indianapolis, received the 2015 Legendary Lawyer Award presented by the Indiana Bar Foundation, a charity comprised of lawyers and judges who are dedicated to strengthening access to justice and an appreciation for the rule of law in Indiana. The committee that selected Ward was composed of Bar Foundation Fellows practicing law across the state of Indiana. Today, Ward is a diligent advocate for his firm’s injured clients and the families of wrongful death victims. Ward says he has no intention of retiring and will continue his work as a practicing personal injury lawyer.

Experienced Indianapolis Personal Injury Attorneys and Car Accident Lawyers

Call personal injury and accident lawyer Charlie Ward today for a free consultationIf you, or someone you know, has been injured in an accident, call personal injury attorneys and car accident lawyers,  Don and Charlie Ward, today at 317-639-9501 or 888-639-9501 for an evaluation of your claim.

Ward & Ward Law Firm
Car Accident Lawyers and Personal Injury Attorneys
728 S Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46225
317-639-9501
888-639-9501

Indianapolis Bicycle Accident Attorney | Bicycle Helmets

Statistics have shown that the number of brain injuries associated with bicycle accidents are significantly reduced when helmets are wornSix hundred seventy seven individuals were killed in bicycle accidents in 2011.  It is estimated that adults 45 years and older as well as minors, ages 15-24, have the highest bicycle death rates.

In 2010, an estimated 515,000 individuals went to emergency rooms for bicycle related injuries.  Statistically 60% of these non-fatal bicycle accidents involve minor children.  It is a simple fact that effective interventions eliminate or minimize deaths or serious injuries from bicycle accidents.

How to effectively reduce bicycle accidents and deaths caused by negligent drivers

The most effective intervention is to wear a bicycle helmet.  Another is to wear fluorescent clothing, active lighting on the bike and retro reflective clothing for night riding.    All of these will reduce chances of an accident with a motor vehicle.  In addition, many bicycle organizations offer safe tips for traveling on the roadway and how to deal with motor vehicles.  But the simple truth is bicycle helmets protect brain injuries.  In 2012, 65% of bicyclists killed were NOT wearing helmets.

With more and more individuals riding their bikes to and from work every day, the question remains just how safe is cycling.  Cities and towns are creating more friendly roads for cyclist to share the roadway with motor vehicles.  Bike lanes and changed traffic patterns are helping bicyclists against accidents with motor vehicles.  But it is up to both the cyclist and driver to be more and more cognizant of the changing times.

A law firm with experience in personal injury law

Call personal injury and accident lawyer Charlie Ward today for a free consultationDon and Charlie Ward are personal injury attorneys in Indianapolis, Indiana and represent persons injured in auto, motorcycle and truck accidents as well as pedestrian and bicycling accidents, medical malpractice and nursing home negligence claims. If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident or killed as a the result of another person’s reckless or negligent behavior, give Don or Charlie Ward a call today at 317-639-9501 for a free evaluation of your accident claim.

By Charlie Ward

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

 

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

 

Broken Bones | Medical Malpractice Lawyers in Indianapolis

Many children who sustain a fracture to an arm or leg as a result of an accident have a good chance of having the fracture improperly splinted.

Personal Injury Lawyer - Medical Malpractice Statistics show that almost half of all boys and a quarter of all girls will fracture an arm or leg before 16.  Properly set, the fracture heals rather quickly with little residual problems.  However, in a recent study from the University of Maryland (pediatric bone specialists) more than 90% of children with fractures had their bone improperly splinted.  As a result, further complications such as loss of motion or skin grafts can occur.Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

Dr. Josh Abzug, who directs pediatric orthopedics at University of Maryland believes that improper splinting occurs from a lack of education in some situations and a lack of attention to detail in others.  In addition, in many situations a doctor or health care worker splints a fracture with instructions for the parent to follow-up with an orthopedic the next day.  However, the follow-up does not occur right away and complications set in.

Dr. Abzug believes that posters or flashcards in an emergency room or urgent care center outlining proper splinting can minimize the problem.  He further advises parents to listen to their children. Should a child complain of lots of pain (crying) or major swelling/discoloration occur in the split area, Dr. Abzug advises to immediately proceed to the emergency room.  Time is of the utmost importance.

 

Bicycle Accident Lawyers Agree Cycling Laws in Indiana are Unclear and Untested in the Courts

Indianapolis IN Personal Injury Attorney- Bicycle Accidents It’s time to update the bicycling laws in Indiana

Indianapolis and surrounding counties are experiencing a surge of cyclists taking to the roads. Since 2011 bicycle accidents have increased by nearly 50% in Marion County according to the Indianapolis Star. Indianapolis and other urban cities throughout Indiana are installing bike lanes to make cyclists’ travels safer on major thoroughfares. But motor vehicle drivers and cyclists haven’t yet determined how they should share the road by navigating in a predictable way.Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

 

Superior Court Judge David Dreyer, whose court awarded settlements to two crash victims, believes the laws are confusing and untested. One Indiana law states that cyclists have all the rights and responsibilities of motor vehicles which imply bicyclists have the right to full use of the lane. Another law states that slow-moving vehicles should be as close as possible to the right hand curb. Nancy Tibbett, executive director of Bicycle Indiana, advises cyclists to use the right one-third of the lane but to not hug the curb because if they’re close to the right, a motor vehicle will take the liberty to pass the bicyclist in the same lane, and often that could be entirely too close.”

WRTV has reported that in the early morning of July 15, 2014, a cyclist was killed in Hamilton County:

“Investigators said [the cyclist] had been riding south on Main Street when the left handlebar of his bike was struck by a passing car, causing him to lose control of the bike and crash.” 

Bicycling in Urban Areas is on the Rise

Expect to see more and more cyclists taking to the road in busy downtown Indianapolis. This spring the city initiated its bike sharing program called Indiana Pacers Bikeshare as an alternative form of energy-saving transportation.  Bike docking stations are situated in 25 different locations throughout downtown Indy. The bicycles can be rented for $8.00 per day or $80 per year.

Share the Road Campaign and Educational Information

The Indiana BMV, through the Indiana Bicycle Coalition, is making “Share the Road” license plates available in 2014 with the expectation that driver awareness will be increased. Read more about “Share the Road” license plates and tags here.

Bicycleindiana.org is the “go to” site for cyclists and drivers looking for information on state laws related to cycling, and Bike Smart literature that will educate and promote safe cycling in Indiana.

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How Does a Pedestrian or Cyclist Receive Financial Compensation for Injuries Received in an Accident?

Personal Injury Attorneys

Drivers have a duty to exercise reasonable care anytime they are on the road. Attorneys, Charlie and Don Ward of Ward & Ward Law Firm have over 85 years of combined experience representing people who have been injured or killed in accidents involving motorcycles and bicycles. If you or someone you know has been injured or killed due to someone else’s negligence, give Charlie a call at 317-639-9501 for a free consultation.

Written by Charlie Ward

Ward & Ward Law Firm

 

Where does Indiana stand on red-light texting, emailing and reading from telecommunications devices? – Your car, motorcycle, bicycle, trucking accident and injury lawyer advocating for you!

Distracted driving while waiting at stop lights

So much has been written about the risks of distracted driving and the numbers of accidents caused by typing, sending and reading on electronic devices. Indiana Legislators have addressed texting, emailing and reading while driving in Indiana Code 9-21-8-59. The language used in the statute makes clear that texting, emailing and reading of the same applies to a “moving vehicle” only. It reads in part as follows:

     Sec. 59. (a) A person may not use a telecommunications device to:
(1) type a text message or an electronic mail message;
(2) transmit a text message or an electronic mail message; or
(3) read a text message or an electronic mail message;
while operating a moving motor vehicle unless the device is used in conjunction with hands free or voice operated technology, or unless the device is used to call 911 to report a bona fide emergency.

Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501By omission in statute, it is clearly legal at this time to text, send or read an email or text from a telecommunications device if you are not operating a “moving motor vehicle”, the keyword here being “moving.”

*Not from Indiana? Find out where your State stands on distracted driving.

In an article written by David MacAnally and published at wthr.com, Dr. Fred Mannering, a traffic expert at Purdue University, believes that “red light texters may be sparking problems, including road rage.” When a red light texter delays or entirely misses a green light, drivers in cars backed up in the queue can become explosive…enraged. Mr. Mannering goes on to say that a gap in traffic that is greater than 2 ½ to 3 seconds will cause detectors (in the pavement) to shut off the green to that signal.

Can an officer of the law confiscate the driver’s device to determine compliance with the law?

Section 59. (b) of Indiana Code 9-21-8-59 adds:

  (b) A police officer may not confiscate a telecommunications device for the purpose of determining compliance with this section or confiscate a telecommunications device and retain it as evidence pending trial for a violation of this section.
As added by P.L.185-2011, SEC.4.

Since the law took effect on July 1, 2011, very few tickets have been written for violation of Indiana Code 9-21-8-59. Unless a driver admits to having broken the law, it would be difficult to prove as access to the phone by law enforcement is denied without a Court Order. Whiteland Town Marshal Rick Shipp told 24-hour News 8 partner, The Daily Journal, that police departments can get cellphone records only by court order and wouldn’t have the time to do so during a typical traffic stop.

So while the law as written has made it difficult to enforce, it has brought the issue of texting and driving to the forefront. Most drivers are aware of the dangers inherent in distracted driving. Many will wait until they have arrived at their destination or at the very least until they are stopped in traffic. But the best solution would be to wear a Bluetooth device compatible with your cell phone, become comfortable using the device and routinely sync it with your cell phone before leaving home.

Attorneys experienced in litigation of texting and driving crashes

The law firm of Ward & Ward is experienced in personal injury laws that may govern your financial recovery as a party injured by a negligent driver. If you or someone you know has been injured due to someone else’s negligent behavior, contact the law firm of Ward & Ward for a free analysis.

Charlie Ward

317-639-9501