Tag Archives: Local Bicycle accident Personal Injury Attorney In Indianapolis

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

 

Protect your Personal Injury, Wrongful Death Claim – Refrain from Social Networking Activity

Personal injury lawyer in Indianapolis IN Protect Your Accident Claim by Refraining from Posting on Social Media

If you have hired a personal injury lawyer to protect your interests in a claim for injuries and damages involving a car, motorcycle, truck or semi tractor-trailer accident, your attorney will likely ask you to refrain from posting photos or messages of any kind to social networking sites, no matter how harmless or irrelevant your posts may seem to your case. Insurance company defendants can infer a great deal of information — and misinformation —from ‘harmless’ photographs that are taken out of the context of your daily life.

The legal term “discovery” means a formal pre-trial investigation. Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501Attorneys for claimants and defendants use the discovery approach to build their claim or make their defense. Vehicles used by attorneys for the discovery process may include, but are not limited to, Interrogatories, Request for Admissions and Request for Production of Documents. Despite privacy concerns, several state and federal courts have ruled that pictures, postings and messages transmitted via social media, i.e. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, and many other online networking sites, may be compelled in the discovery process. You may be asked to turn over personal or professional profiles (both private and public), posts and images that you or your “friends” have posted online, even those postings made prior to your accident if defense can make the case that previous posts could be relevant to the case at hand.

Penalties for Spoliation of Evidence

I should caution you about ‘cleaning up’ or deactivating your social networking sites. In a wrongful death case in Virginia, a plaintiff received monetary sanctions from the Court in the amount of $180,000 for “spoliation” or tampering with the evidence by removing 16 photos from his Facebook account. Although the jury ultimately found on behalf of the Plaintiff, his monetary award was greatly reduced by that amount and his attorney was sanctioned $522,000 for instructing his client to destroy his page.

Lawyers practicing in the state of Indiana must abide by the Indiana Rule of Professional Conduct. Section 3.4 of the rules states:

 “a lawyer shall not unlawfully obstruct another party’s access to evidence or unlawfully alter, destroy or conceal a document or other material having potential evidentiary value. A lawyer shall not counsel or assist another person to do any such act.”

Sound Rules for Social Media Posts

An experienced personal injury or wrongful death lawyer may ask you to refrain from further online posting but should never ask you to hide, clean-up or remove posts, messages or photos which you or someone you know has already posted. The following are a few good common sense rules to abide by if you are involved in a personal injury claim:

  1. Do not talk about your case to anyone except your attorney;
  2. Do not accept any “friend” requests from people you don’t personally know;
  3. Do not post any photos of yourself online; and
  4. Do not hide, remove or in any way destroy any online postings that were made by or about you until your case has been disposed.

Lawyers experienced in accident with injury cases

The law firm of Ward & Ward has over eighty-five years of legal experience with personal injury and wrongful death claims. Our firm receives no legal fees or expenses unless we collect damages on your behalf. Call Charlie Ward today for a free evaluation of your claim.

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