Tag Archives: Indianapolis auto accident Lawyer

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

Supreme Court Upholds Caps on Punitive Damage Awards in Indiana

Lawyer for personal Injury in Indianapolis IN

Recently, the Indiana State Supreme Court upheld, by unanimous decision, Indiana statutes placing caps on punitive damage awards and how distribution is made.

 Under Indiana statute IC § 34-51-3-4, awards granted to plaintiffs for punitive damages are capped at three times compensatory damages or $50,000, whichever is greater. Under IC § 34-51-3-6 the plaintiff would receive 25% of the punitive damage award with the greater amount of the award (75%) going to the state’s Violent Crime Victim Compensation Fund.Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

 In State v. Doe the plaintiff was awarded $5,000 for compensatory damages and $150,000 for punitive damages by a jury. But under Indiana statute capping punitive damage awards, the plaintiff would receive the full amount of $5,000 for compensatory damages and 25% of $50,000 ($12,500) for a total award of $17,500. Indiana’s Violent Crime Victim Compensation Fund would receive $37,500.

 The law firm of Ward & Ward has over 80 years of combined experience in breaking down the facts of a personal injury claim and working with insurance companies on behalf of their clients. If you have been injured in an automobile, trucking, motorcycle, or bicycle accident, please feel free to call me at 317-639-9501 for a free consultation.

Charlie Ward

(317) 639-9501

Can I Receive Compensation If I Was At Fault For An Auto Accident?

Even if you bear some responsibility for an accident, you may still recover compensation for your injuries and damages

Most people are involved in a car crash or traffic incident  at some point in their lives, and, if you find yourself facing the aftermath of a crash, it is important to understand the specific laws in your state. Indiana’s accident liability laws allow you to recover partial damages if you are partially at fault, and Indianapolis car accident attorneys are trained to help you obtain these damages.

The 50% Comparative Fault Rule

In 2011, 188,132 traffic collisions resulted in injuries or property damage in Indiana. Indiana follows a 50 percent comparative fault rule when determining who is liable in an accident. All parties must be identified, including non-parties that are not being sued. Next, a judge or jury examines the accident and assesses a percentage of fault to each party, with all percentages adding up to 100 percent. If the court finds that you are 50 percent or more at fault, you cannot recover any damages. If you are less than 50 percent at fault, you will receive the full compensation, minus your percentage of fault. For example, if your damages are worth $100,000 and a judge or jury found you to be 20 percent at fault, you can receive $80,000 in damages. In Indiana, the at-fault driver’s insurance company — not your own — pays the damages you receive.

An experienced Indianapolis auto accident attorney can help you through the process of filing a personal injury lawsuit, which can be stressful and emotionally burdensome if you are already dealing with an injury. It’s not unusual to learn in defendant driver’s affirmative defenses, that you are being blamed for the accident.  Your experienced accident lawyer will investigate the accusations. The investigating officer may be interviewed, photos requested and in some cases, expert witnesses may be called to testify. 

Call Charlie Ward at Ward & Ward Law Firm for a free consultation about your legal options.

By Charlie Ward

[email protected]

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

 

Underinsured Defendant in Auto Accident Cannot Diminish Financial Responsibility Owed “Careful” Plaintiff – Your Auto, Motorcycle and Trucking Accident Indiana Attorney

At fault driver may not benefit from injured driver’s policyCall Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

On September 20, 2012, The Indiana Court of Appeals held that the party at-fault to an auto accident cannot benefit from Plaintiff’s purchase of uninsured/underinsured coverage and acceptance of underinsured motorist benefit compensation.

When the trial court jury found the Defendant, Alan Steady, 100% at-fault for injuries sustained by Ronald Kern in an auto accident, a judgment in the amount of $98,000 was entered against the Defendant. Plaintiff Kern received policy limits of defendant’s minimal legal coverage of $25,000 by Steady’s insurance company. Kern also received $68,000 in underinsured motorist benefits from his own insurance company, State Farm, as well as $5,000 in medical payment coverage. Steady then asked the Court that the $98,000 judgment against him be deemed fully satisfied and the trial court granted his request.

State Farm then appealed to the higher court for the right to recover from Defendant the amount of $68,000 in funds they paid their client in underinsured motorist benefits and $5,000 in medical payment benefits. Defendant claimed State Farm was not a party to the lawsuit when judgment was entered against him. But the Court of Appeals citing Indiana Code section 27-7-5-6(a) confirmed that State Farm had standing to appeal as follows:

“The insurer shall be subrogated, to the extent of such payment, to the proceeds of any settlement or judgment that may later result from the exercise of any rights of recovery of such person against any person or organization legally responsible for said bodily injury or death, or property damage, for which payment is made by the insurer. Such insurer may enforce such rights in its own name or in the name of the person to whom payment has been made, as in their interest may appear, by proper action in any court of competent jurisdiction.”

On the merits of the case, the appellate court cited once again Indiana Code section 27-7-5-6(a) which provides a right of recovery by the insurer against a third-party tortfeasor and that the insurer “…shall then be subrogated to the proceeds of any settlement or judgment that results.”

The Court concluded that the trial court erred:

“Steady is not entitled to benefit from Kern’s carefulness and assiduousness in obtaining underinsured motorist coverage.”

 The case was reversed and remanded back to the trial court for further proceedings.

Lawyers with Experience Helping their Injured Clients

The law firm of Ward & Ward has over 85 years of combined experience in complex personal injury claims. If you’ve been injured in an auto, motorcycle or trucking accident, call an experienced personal injury attorney. Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501 for 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

 

Drowning | Indianapolis Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney

Some summers ago I witnessed a toddler who was unaware of the perils of an Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501azure pool — quietly and generally unnoticed, go ambling into the water while her mother was momentarily distracted. Below the surface, the child’s face was without fear as she floundered in silence, her small arms and baby legs calmly and quietly treading, searching for a pocket of fresh air. Meanwhile, above the surface there was no indication that this child was suffocating. There were no pleas for help, no flailing of arms and no commotion of any kind from the toddler. Before I could come to her aid, her mother caught sight of the situation and rescued the child. As in any stressful situation, a moment in time can seem like an eternity and after the danger has past, the most detailed of events can be recalled in slow motion. Such was my experience. But the most troubling aspect of the incident and the thing that I have taken away, was the quiet calm of a child jeopardized by silence.

The Center for Disease Control has found:

  • Fatal drownings remain the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages 1 – 14 – second only to motor vehicle crashes
  • 1 in 5 children who are treated for drowning in ERs, die
  • More than half of drowning victims treated in ERs require hospitalization for further care and treatment, i.e. brain damage from oxygen deprivation resulting in memory problems, learning disabilities and a loss of basic functioning.

The damage associated with oxygen deprivation and brain injuries can be irreversible depending upon many factors including the age and health of the individual. Immediate and on-site resuscitation is the key to increasing survival chances without brain damage.

With high temperatures looming over Indiana this summer and record heat waves, many Hoosier parents and their children are seeking relief from the heat in water parks, rivers, lakes and pools. Adult supervision and a certified swim program can prepare you and your family for the water and the hazards associated with water play.

The Brain Injury Attorneys

If you or someone you know has been in an accident and brain injury is involved, an attorney experienced in personal injury matters involving traumatic brain injuries may suggest a neuropsychological evaluation. Ward & Ward Law Firm has over 80 years of combined experience in personal injury and wrongful death cases. The law firm of Ward & Ward receives no fee unless you recover for your injuries. Call Charlie Ward today for a FREE consultation.