Tag Archives: Local Personal Injury Attorney In Indianapolis

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

According to statistics, incidents of motorcycle accidents have been on the rise since 2006. Cycling accidents may cause serious injury or death and are often the result of one of the following circumstances:

Car operator turns in front of the bike

If the operator of a motorized vehicle fails to accurately judge a cyclist’s speed or fails to see the motorcyclist all together, the motorist may turn in front of the motorcyclist, either at an intersection, or while pulling out into traffic.

Obstacles in the Roadway of a Blind Corner

While winding on twisties, motorcyclists turning into a blind corner suddenly encounter obstacles in their path and they may be unable to bring their bike to a safe stop. Common obstacles include sand, gravel, leaves, or even a dead animal. Motorcyclists are advised to only ride as fast as they can properly judge and easily come to a stop.

Blind Spots

A collision may occur when the operator of an oncoming car moves into the lane of a motorcyclist at a blind spot.

Read-end Collisions

A motor vehicle trailing a cyclist may misread the intentions of the cyclist and attempt to eke through the intersection before a signal change.

Rogue Cyclist

A single cyclist slowing down or stopping without signaling the group, may be hit from behind when the attention of the driver trailing the rogue cyclist is focused only on the group– not the individual that has come to a stop.

Sudden Brake Lock

A motorcyclist’s front brakes may lock in a sudden attempt to avoid the unpredictable interruption of an animal in the road. The extreme loss of control combined with the weight of the bike may cause catastrophic injuries or even death to the cyclist.

A car opens its door unexpectedly

A motorcyclist may crash when the driver’s door of a car parked on the shoulder of the road unexpectedly swings open.

Road Hazards

Slippery roads, oil-slick roads, loose gravel and other road hazards are common causes of motorcycle injuries.

Distracted Driving

A motorist driving at the speed limit on the interstate may easily travel the length of a football field while their attention is focused on their smart phone.

Drunk or impaired driving

Driving a car or truck while drunk and/or under the influence of drugs may impair the driver’s cognition, reducing the reaction time necessary to avoid a motorcycle accident.

Experienced Indiana Motorcycle Attorney

Motorcyclists are advised to be aware of their surroundings and to anticipate the unanticipated. But if you or someone you know has been in a motorcycle accident within the state of Indiana, contact an Indiana motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible before evidence is destroyed.

Charlie Ward

Ward & Ward Law Firm
728 S Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46225
317-639-9501 or  toll free at 1 (888) 639-9501
Published 04/19/17

 

What You Should Know About Structured Settlements | Car Accident Lawyers

How does a structured settlement for personal injury differ from a settlement or award? | Indianapolis Car Accident Lawyers

Call personal injury attorney Charlie Ward today at 317-639-9501 if you were involved in an Indiana accidentA settlement or judgment for a personal injury claim may be paid to the claimant by the defendant or the defendant’s insurance company in a single lump sum payment. The majority of settlements are paid in this way.

But in cases where the claimant (plaintiff) settles or is awarded a large sum of money, they may elect to receive all settlement funds in steady payments or a one-time partial disbursement of the settlement funds with recurring payments disbursed over a period of years or decades. This is called a structured settlement.

An initial partial disbursement of a structured settlement can and should be used for immediate expenses including, but not limited to medical bills, medical devices, convalescence, therapy, career training, special housing and transportation requirements or any other necessities unique to the injured person. The remainder of the partial disbursement may be invested or posted to a banking account to be used for living expenses or unforeseen future necessary expenditures. After the bills are met, the claimant is free to decide what to do with the remaining partial disbursement of funds.

Advantages of a structured settlement

Some studies indicate that recipients of very large lump sum settlements or “windfall” awards frequently run out of the funds necessary to sustain their disabilities throughout the remainder of their lives. Sadly, this scenario may occur when the parent or guardian of an injured child lacks the experience of managing a large sum of money. One of the advantages to a structured settlement distributed over a period of years is the economic security and well-being of the disabled or partially disabled person.

There are also tax advantages to structuring a settlement. Although settlements and awards for physical injuries are generally tax exempt, interest and dividends earned on the investment of a single lump sum asset is taxable. Even if all of the funds received in a structured settlement are invested, the annual tax obligation would likely be lessened due to a reduced investment stream.

Will I make decisions regarding the distribution of my structured settlement?Call car accident lawyer Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

A structured settlement is funded by way of an annuity purchased on behalf of the claimant. When you agree to settle your lawsuit using a structured settlement, your personal injury lawyer will facilitate a consultation with a qualified economic and financial analyst who will calculate your monthly or annual financial needs against mortality and inflationary tables. A qualified and trusted financial advisor will discuss your goals and the options available to you, i.e. the sums you wish to receive and the length of time over which you may extend your payments. You may choose to end disbursement of your settlement at a designated age, terminate payments upon your death or continue with payments made to your heirs through the remaining life of the financial instrument. You may even elect to withhold regular payments until you reach a certain age to fund your retirement.

Why do insurance companies offer structured settlements?

Because structured funds are invested in an annuity—a financial instrument that is expected to grow over time—the initial investment made by defendant or defendant’s insurance company is significantly less than the totality of the expected future income stream received by the claimant. Unless the claimant wishes to make a large purchase, such as a home, from a lesser settlement—say, for example, a settlement of $100,000., a structured settlement can be a win-win situation for both parties.

The Structured Settlement Purchasing Industry

The Washington Post recently published a story exposing a predatory structured settlement purchasing company that took advantage of a young adult woman with brain damage and limited mental capacity due to lead paint poisoning as a child. The Baltimore woman had prevailed in a suit filed on her behalf and was tricked into transferring her monthly checks, 420 payments through the year 2052. The estimated value of her annuity was more than a half a million dollars but she transferred her future security for a mere $63,000.

Although most settlement purchasing companies operate legally and within the boundaries of the law, you should understand that the players within the industry will only offer pennies on the dollar for the transfer of a structured annuity. People who have fallen on hard times or who need a chunk of money to purchase a car or make a down payment on a home may be more easily persuaded to sell the remaining life of their structured settlement. However, Indiana Code 34-50-2 entitled Annuity Structured Settlements regulates structured settlements in Indiana with a level of oversight requiring approval by the court for a legal transfer of the annuity. Section 7 of Chapter 2 states:

Sec. 7. An Indiana court of competent jurisdiction may approve a transfer of structured settlement payment rights only in a final order that is based on the express findings of the court. The express findings must include all of the following:

(1) The consideration that the payee will receive for the transfer reasonably reflects the present fair market value of the future Indiana Code 2015 periodic payments under the structured settlement agreement.

(2) The transfer is in the best interest of the payee.

(3) The transfer will not materially impair the payee’s ability to discharge the payee’s obligations to the payee’s dependents.

(4) If the transferee is the applicant, the transferee has provided to the payee a disclosure statement in accordance with Section 6 of this chapter.

Section 8 of the above-referenced statute goes on to describe the process of filing an application for the legal transfer of a structured settlement annuity with the court of jurisdiction. After application has been made, the court will notify the applicant of the date, time and place of the hearing but it will not be heard earlier than 20 days after the application has been filed with the court.

Personal injury attorneys and car accident lawyers experienced with structured settlements

Our attorneys have more than 85 years of combined experience in personal injury law including wrongful death, nursing home neglect and medical malpractice claims. Many of our clients have elected to receive structured settlements and awards. Although structured settlements are not always the right solution, they can be a valuable source of future income, particularly for clients concerned with future income or loss of wages.

If you have a claim for injuries you received in an Indiana accident caused by another party’s negligence, call the Indianapolis car accident lawyers at Ward & Ward Law Firm today for a free consultation! Call 317-639-9501 or toll free at 888-639-9501.

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How Much is an Umbrella Insurance Policy?

Lawyer for Motorcycle Accident Injury Claims in Indianapolis Indiana 46225An underlying insurance policy may cover damages for personal injuries or a wrongful death as a result of an accident but an umbrella insurance policy will add additional coverage for the same accident at a fraction of the cost.

Umbrella insurance is liability coverage that goes above your underlying  homeowners or auto insurance policy.   It may also be known as excess coverage.  However, it is merely just another “layer” of protection. This type of insurance generally has much higher limits and has a much broader range to cover potential claims for things such as libel, slander, defamation of character, property damages and bodily injury claims.

Is an umbrella insurance policy expensive?

Many do not know about this coverage or if they do, many think it would be too expensive.  WRONG.  In general for about $150 – $300 per year you can buy a $1 million personal liability umbrella policy. For every million above that, the cost is approximately $75 dollars per year. While an umbrella policy protects if you are at fault for an accident it may also cover you for an accident that is NOT your fault.  An example may be where the at fault driver has no insurance (uninsured motorist) or has some insurance but not enough to coverage all your damages (under insured).  Each state has different requirements for insurance liability coverage.  Check with your insurance agent and ask about an umbrella policy.  You may be surprised how much additional insurance protection you can get for such a small cost.

Charlie explains what an umbrella insurance policy does to help protect you.

Lawyers advocating for you!

Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501Charlie Ward is a personal injury attorney in Indianapolis, Indiana and represents people who have been 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 Charlie 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

Car Accident Attorney in Indianapolis | Black Box As Evidence

Preservation of black box evidence may be critical in supporting your accident claim
Event data recorders log vehicular speeds

 

Can black box technology be used as evidence in criminal and civil courts?

If you have ever been in an automobile accident, it is likely that the events leading up to the collision were captured by a device known as a “black box”. The lay term is “black box” but the technical term which you will see in official documents and court records is “Event Data Recorder” or EDR.

Does my car have a black box installed?

History shows that in the early 1990’s, automobile manufacturers  from Cadillac, Chevrolet, Buick and Pontiac used the EDR as a way to understand how vehicles performed in accidents.  Since 2000,  the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has collected data involving car accidents as well.  Today every vehicle sold in the United States must have an EDR.

Since 2012, automobiles equipped with EDR are required by the NHTSA to track 15 different data points including speed, steering, braking, acceleration, seat belt use, and if in an accident, force of impact and air bag deployment.  To find out if an older car has an EDR check Harris Technical Services or Accident Reconstruction Network.

Will the download of my car’s black box data help my accident lawsuit?

With all this information stored in an EDR, the question becomes whether the data download is admissible in a court of law.  Fifteen states have passed laws that give criminal law enforcement and others involved in civil litigation, the ability to retrieve the data with a court order even though the data belongs to the owner of the vehicle.   Some argue that the privacy issue should be taken up with Congress when dealing with the issue of crash data.

Lawyers with experience in retrieval and interpretation of black box information

Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501Regardless, the EDR in every car crash has relevant evidence and will likely be retrieved and used as evidence in all civil litigation cases. Lawyers, Charlie and Don Ward have experience in protecting and preserving black block technology data and working with reconstruction experts in the interpretation of the evidence. If you’ve been injured in an accident, call Charlie Ward today at 317-639-9501 for a free evaluation of your claim.

By Charlie Ward

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

Distracted Driving | Personal Injury Attorneys in Indianapolis

Indianapolis Personal Injury Attorney - Texting DriverWhat are the 3 largest causes of vehicular fatalities ?

According to the National Safety Council, a new report shows that leading causes of death from a vehicle are:

  • Alcohol 30.8%
  • Speeding 30% and
  • Distracted driving 26%

Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501The new and surprising category that is catching the most attention is the distracted driving statistics–especially in teenage drivers. This category is on-the-rise at an alarming rate.  Advancement in technology, i.e., mobile phone use (texting), is the primary cause for this generational phenomenon.  According to the recent survey, 80% of the public incorrectly believes that hands-free devices are safer than a handheld phone.

Surprising accident-related fatality statistic

The #1 cause of death in teenagers is from an auto-car accident. Much of the blame can be placed on driving inexperience.  Statistics show that graduated driver’s license systems across the country reduce crashes involving teenagers by 40%.  But the question remains how to minimize the potential risks of an accident?  Clearly one way is to limit passenger distraction and the use of a cell phone and texting-messaging.Teenagers need to understand that accidents happen very quickly and the time-distance factor is not in their favor.

It is critically important for all teenage drivers to understand the dangers of the road and potential hazards that exist.  One way to educate our teens to the hazards and risks is to take a defensive driving course.   Education is the answer.   Finally, getting teenagers in a buckling-up routine upon entering a vehicle is critical. This should begin at a very early age. Seat belts save lives–it is just that plain and simple.

By Charlie Ward

[email protected]

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

‘Tis the Season – The Primary Cause for Hunting Accidents in Indiana

Hunter’s Tree Stands Post Risk of Serious InjuryDeer Stand Hunting Accidents and Wrongful Deaths Indianapolis Indiana 46225

At the time of this writing on November 16, 2014, eight hunting enthusiasts have already been injured in Indiana since deer season opened on October 1st. Statistics show that tree stand, also known as deer stand injuries are responsible for the most common type of hunting accidents injuries.   Accidental shootings are the second most common hunting injury. National studies show that 10-30% of hunters posturing in a tree stand will have an incident during their hunting career.  Due to the high placement of the stand, most falls result in serious injuries and sometimes death.Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

 

As interest in sport hunting increases, so does the use of tree stands

Over 1 million tree stands are manufactured annually and this number increases every year with the renewed interest in hunting for sport. States with longer hunting seasons, including Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, and Ohio, experience a greater number of serious injuries and deaths.

Although safety is paramount to preventing injuries, many individuals have never taken any form of tree education classes. Tree education classes are available for hunters of all ages.

Factors contributing to injuries

In general, tree stands are small in design and hunters have little room for mistakes.  Statistics show that most individuals who fall from the temporary stands seldom wear any form of safety belts.  The Indiana Department of Natural Resources recommends all hunters wear a full body harness which is attached to the tree as soon as the hunter begins their climb.

Cold air, darkness and lack of sleep are also contributing factors to individuals falling from tree stands.  The number of injuries can be reduced with proper education and proper warnings about the dangers associated with tree stands.

Attorney Charlie Ward has the knowledge and experience to get you the compensation you deserve, bringing your personal injury claim to a successful conclusion. If you or someone you know needs help with an injury claim, call Charlie at 317-639-9501 today.

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

Win 2 Colts Tickets at Love for Lauren Silent Auction | Nov. 14, 2014

Charlie Ward of Ward & Ward Law Firm is donating 2 Colts tickets to the Silent Auction to be held on November 14, 2014, to Benefit Lauren Badua of Fishers, Indiana. The Silent Auction will be held at the “Love for Lauren’s Purple in Paris Daddy/Daughter Dance. “

The tickets to be auctioned are for the Colts vs. the Patriots event at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 16, 2014. We invite you to visit our booth at the Bud Light Tailgate on Georgia sponsored by B105.7 Soft Rock. To learn more about the Silent Auction and Lauren Badua, visit her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Love4LaurenB

Let’s make this auction a success!

*UPDATE ON SILENT AUCTION

Crash accident attorney donates to community - You can still donate to Love for Lauren at 5th 3rd Bank
Tickets donated by Ward & Ward Law Firm brought a high-bid of $550 to benefit Lauren Badua and her family

A representative from the event reports that the pair of Colts  tickets donated by Ward & Ward Law Firm to benefit Lauren and her family, were sold at silent auction for a high-bid of $550.00. Congratulations on your success!

Our legal team is happy to have been a part of this Fishers community event benefiting Lauren and her family. Thanks to everyone who came out to show your support for Lauren.

The legal team at Ward & Ward Law Firm

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
 

Teenage driving safety and accident prevention | Indiana auto accidents

Educating teenage drivers on the dangers of the roadway and getting hands on lessons in driver safety.Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

The Street Survival Foundation and Hoosier BMW came together to educate teenage drivers on the dangers associated with driving vehicles on the roadway and learn how to drive in the rain as well as what to do what a vehicle suddenly breaks.

Education is the key to accident prevention. Please take a moment to watch this powerful video and share with your friends and family.

Everything you can do now to educate your teenager will help them as they grow older.