Tag Archives: settlement

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

 

Maximizing Settlement Value of Trucking Accident Claims

AutoTruck  Accident Compensation Lawyer Compelling Factors in a Truck Accident Settlement

Trucking accidents impact lives on a large scale and have lasting consequences. When negligence is involved, injured victims deserve full compensation for medical treatment, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Insurance companies may be quick to initiate a truck accident settlement. However, it is essential to consult with an experienced attorney before accepting any settlement offers or else you risk settling for much less than you deserve.Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501
 

Estimating a proper settlement in an Indianapolis trucking accident

No two Indianapolis truck accidents are the same. How much your accident settlement is worth depends on a number of factors, including:

  • The extent of injuries
  • How your injuries impact your life and livelihood
  • Where the accident claim is filed
  • The ability of your attorney to present a compelling case

Prior cases and court decisions also weigh heavily on the outcome of an Indianapolis truck accident settlement.

At Ward & Ward, we take the time to understand your complete story and assess the difference in your quality of life before and after a truck accident. We leverage experience and knowledge to obtain fair settlements for accident victims and their families.

Our experienced Indianapolis attorneys maximize recovery

Having the skilled attorneys of Ward & Ward behind you maximizes the value of your settlement in several ways:

  • Access to key resources – We preserve evidence, fully investigate truck accidents, and establish negligence of the other party. We also document the full impact of injuries, including necessary future treatment to ensure bills are paid and families are not left in financial ruin.
  • Specialized knowledge – The trucking industry is governed by complex state and federal laws. At Ward & Ward, we focus almost exclusively on personal injury cases, including truck accidents. So we understand the specifics of Federal Motor Carrier Safety regulations and Indiana laws, including the statute of limitations. Our attorneys pinpoint negligent acts, identify trucking law violations, and determine all potential defendants to help you receive the best possible Indianapolis trucking accident settlement.
  • Leverage with the insurance companies – Even before you file suit, the insurance companies may offer to settle your case. However, an early accident settlement is likely to reimburse only a fraction of total damages. Involving an attorney protects your interests and demands that the insurance companies take you seriously and offer full reimbursement for your losses.

Handling your Indiana truck accident and injury cases

If you or a loved one is a victim of an Indianapolis trucking accident, contact Ward & Ward to arrange a free consultation. We are available to speak with you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The Truth Surrounding Stella Liebeck’s Personal Injury “Hot Coffee” Litigation and the Jury’s Punitive Damages Award | Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyers

McDonald’s hot coffee case spun by tort reform propagandists

Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

Propaganda is a tool used for the purpose of swaying opinion. Sound bites about the ‘hot coffee’ case against a fast food chain have been crafted to malign and ridicule personal injury attorneys and the American legal justice system for the purpose of achieving local and ultimately national tort reform legislation in America.

Here are the facts surrounding Stella Liebeck’s case against the fast food restaurant for knowingly serving scalding hot coffee, capable of producing third degree burns in less than 7 seconds.

The facts behind the personal injury lawsuit

In 1992, Stella Liebeck, a 79 year old woman from Albuquerque, New Mexico, was driven by her grandson through the drive-thru of a fast food restaurant for a breakfast order. Stella ordered a 49 cent cup of coffee. Since the car was without cup holders, her grandson parked the car so Stella could add cream, and sugar to her coffee. She placed the Styrofoam cup of coffee between her knees and lifted the far side of the lid toward her when the cup collapsed in her lap. She suffered third degree burns on 16% of her body including her abdomen, buttocks, thighs and groin when the coffee was absorbed by the sweat pants she was wearing. She spent eight days in the hospital for skin grafting procedures and an additional two years of medical treatments. She was scalded so badly, there were some doctors that thought she might not make it at all. She never fully recovered from the gruesome injuries.

Injured plaintiff offered to settle for only $20,000

Several attempts at a direct settlement were made by Stella’s family prior to retaining an attorney. One attempt to settle directly with the fast food chain was made early on by Stella’s daughter for the amount of $20,000 to cover Stella’s medical bills of $13,000 and her mother’s lost wages. The fast food chain countered with an offer of $800.00. Future correspondence with the restaurant chain went unanswered.

Plaintiff’s personal injury attorney made a last ditch attempt to settle the claim

Prior to trial, Liebeck’s attorney unsuccessfully offered to settle the case with the fast food chain and to graciously waive his own attorney fees in favor of his client. The day before trial, defense chose not to show up at the scheduled mediation (a last ditch attempt to settle before exercising the court system.) Why? At the time, New Mexico juries had never before found favorably for a plaintiff in any product liability case. The restaurant wanted to go to trial and put the issue to rest for potential future litigants—more than 700 of them, many of which had suffered third degree burns since 1982.

The evidence produced at trial

A typical home brewer serves coffee at a range of 142 to 162. When the coffee is poured into a ceramic cup, the heat dissipates even further. At that range you have up to 25 seconds to remove yourself from the situation before receiving burn injuries. However, at 187 (the temperature at which the fast food restaurant coffee was held),you have only 2-7 seconds to remove yourself from the situation before receiving 3rddegree burns. At trial, the jury learned that defendant’s policy manual required all restaurants hold their coffee between 180-190 degrees—a business decision to optimize taste, reduce waste and marginalize loss. Defendant’s own quality assurance manager testified that their coffee served at 185 in a Styrofoam cup was not fit for human consumption because it would burn the mouth and throat; and further, that the chain had no intention of reducing the holding temperature of its coffee. Defendant further admitted that their customers were unaware that they could suffer third degree burns from their scalding coffee.

Punitive Damage Award

The jury found defendant to be 80% responsible and Liebeck 20% responsible for her injuries. She received a reasonable compensatory award but it was the punitive damage award that stirred the media into a frenzy. Stunned by the chains reckless business decisions, it was a jury of her peers that awarded 2 days of coffee sales to Liebeck, approximately 2.7 million for punitive damages. But, keep in mind that the purpose for punitive damages is to change existing behavior.

A temperature check performed at the same local fast food restaurant where the incident occurred, revealed—post-verdict—that the restaurant had reduced their hold temperature to 158 degrees. Many coffee shops and restaurants have heeded the jury’s admonition and since have reduced their coffee temperatures in kind. But that’s not the end of Stella’s story…

Settlement amount remains a mystery

The trial court subsequently reduced the jury’s punitive damages award to $480,000, 3 times the final compensatory award. And a later settlement agreement between plaintiff and defendant, sealed by the court, adjusted the settlement once again. Few people know or will ever know what amount the plaintiff eventually received. To learn more about this story, you can find the full interview of Stella’s family here.

Personal injury lawyers experienced in product liability and personal injury claims

The jury’s verdict for punitive damages awarded the plaintiff remains a topic of conversation, even today. Just this week  Tru TV’s hit show, Adam Ruins Everything,  exposed the facts behind Stella Liebeck’s “hot coffee” claim and the attacks perpetrated on our legal profession by special interest tort reformists.

Our attorneys have more than eighty-six combined years of legal experience with personal injury, product liability and wrongful death claims. We receive no legal fees or expenses unless we collect damages on your behalf.  If you have been injured by the negligence of another person or entity, Call Charlie Ward today at 317-639-9501 for a free evaluation of your claim. There is no obligation.

Charlie Ward

(317) 639-9501

[email protected]

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