Tag Archives: wrongful death

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

 

Ward & Ward Law Firm has been chosen by Three Best Rated as one of Top Three Personal Injury Lawyer firms in Indianapolis

Tractor Trailer and Wrongful Death Attorneys, Don and Charlie Ward of Ward & Ward Law Firm, have been chosen by Three Best Rated as one of Top Three Personal Injury Lawyer firms in Indianapolis, Indiana

“Ward & Ward Law Firm personal injury and wrongful death attorneys have been selected as Top 3 Personal Injury Lawyers in Indianapolis, Indiana by Three Best Rated. The top 3 local businesses are chosen by category and community. The criteria used for the selection process utilizes the business’ reviews, history, complaints, ratings, satisfaction, trust, cost and general excellence. Categories include doctors, lawyers, restaurants and other professional services in Indianapolis.”

Read the full  press release.

 

2016 Update on Indiana’s Medical Malpractice Reform Legislation | Indiana Medical Malpractice Attorneys and Wrongful Death Lawyers

2016 Update on Indiana’s Medical Malpractice Reform Legislation | Indiana Medical Malpractice Attorneys and Wrongful Death Lawyers

Indiana 2016 updated Medical Malpractice ActAs lay people, we put our faith in physicians, nurses,  hospital facilities and other medical providers whom we trust to exercise sound professional decisions, provide quality care and abide by “best practice” standards in their field(s) of medicine. Most healthcare professionals meet or exceed the benchmark of quality health care we have come to expect. But when medical experts fail to meet a reasonable standard of care that results in your bodily injury or the death of a family member, you need an experienced Indiana medical malpractice attorney to represent you and your family’s interests in a legal action against a negligent medical practitioner(s ).

History of Indiana’s Medical Malpractice Act

In 1975, to avert an exodus of medical professionals from the state of Indiana, lawmakers enacted the Medical Malpractice Act which would bring stringent reform to civil actions for medical negligence and place caps on liability payouts. Caps for acts of medical negligence had been raised only twice since the initial legislation was enacted 41 years ago. Periodically, lawmakers should revisit the caps imposed by the Malpractice Act and make fair, economic adjustments that reflect inflation and soaring healthcare costs.

The Medical Malpractice Act as Amended in 2016


Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501Currently, Indiana has one of the lowest caps in the nation. In 2016, Senator Brent Steele from Bedford, Indiana authored and introduced Senate Bill 28 (SB 28) which would not only increase the caps imposed upon injured persons and the families of persons deceased by an act of medical negligence, but would hasten payments made by the Patient’s Compensation Fund for a court approved settlement or final non-appealable judgment. The Indiana Trial Lawyers Association (ITLA),  one of the most respected lobbies serving the interests of Hoosiers, backed Steele’s bill and worked diligently with lawmakers and healthcare providers alike, to amend and improve on certain aspects of Indiana’s Medical Malpractice Act. Although ITLA does not favor caps on tort claims, the political climate was ripe for all interested parties, including the Indiana Medical Association which represents physicians, to strike a compromise with lawmakers that would benefit individual citizens and continue to attract accomplished physicians and talented healthcare professionals to the state of Indiana.

After SB 28 was heavily amended by both the house and the senate, lawmakers voted unanimously on March 8, 2016, to send the bill to Governor Mike Pence for his signature. Several of the bill’s key changes to Indiana’s Medical Malpractice Act are shown on the right hand column in the chart below. Read SB 28.

Medical Malpractice Act

Prior to

July 1, 2017

 Medical Malpractice Act

Effective July 1, 2017

Liability Caps

Patients can only receive up to $1.25 million in damages from an act of malpractice.

Liability Caps

Effective, July 1, 2017, patients injured or killed by a negligent act of malpractice on or after July 1, 2017, may receive an amount no greater than $1.65 million in damages.

Effective July 1, 2019,  lawmakers have approved an additional raise of $150,000 for patients injured or killed by a negligent act of malpractice on or after July 1, 2019. Patients may receive an amount no greater than $1.8 million in damages.

(PCF) Patient’s Compensation Fund

Physicians and Providers are responsible for the first $250,000 in damages owed to one patient for one act of malpractice, and no more than $750,000 combined annually. The PCF covers the rest of a patient’s damages, which allows patients a guarantee of full compensation by excluding physicians’ insurance plans as a factor in the ability to cover damages awards.

 (PCF) Patient’s Compensation Fund

Effective, July 1, 2017,
Physicians and Providers are responsible for the first $400,000 in damages owed to one patient for one act of malpractice. The PCF is responsible for $1.25 million.

Effective, July 1, 2019,
Physicians and Providers are responsible for the first $500,000 in damages owed to one patient for one act of malpractice. The PCF is responsible for $1.3 million.

Time Limits

The statute of limitations for filing a complaint is two years from the act of malpractice. Children less than six years-old have until their eighth birthday to file a complaint.

Time Limits

No change.

Filing Complaints

Before taking a case to court, patients must file a complaint with the Indiana Department of Insurance, where a three-physician medical review panel reviews the claim. If there is one defendant, two of the three panel members must be from the accused physician’s specialty. The panel gives a non-conclusive, non-binding report, but they can be called as experts if the defendant chooses to take the case to court.

Filing Complaints

No change.

Payment from PCF

Claims for payment from the Patient’s Compensation Fund are paid quarterly

Payment from PCF

Effective July 1, 2017
Claims from the patient’s compensation fund must be paid not later than 60 days after the issuance of a court approved settlement or final non-appealable judgment.

 

Experienced Indiana Medical Malpractice Lawyers and Nursing Home Negligence Attorneys

Our experienced Indiana medical malpractice lawyers are here to navigate the complexities of the medical malpractice claims process for you and your loved ones. Call Ward & Ward Law Firm today at 317-639-9501 and ask for “Charlie” for a free, no obligation, consultation.

By Charlie Ward
[email protected]

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

 

Read more about medical malpractice lawyers in Indiana:

Medical Malpractice and Related Injuries

Understanding Indiana’s Medical Malpractice Law

 

 

Why personal injury lawyers may refuse your case – Uncollectability | Indianapolis Car Accident Lawyers

Why Personal Injury Lawyers May Refuse Your Case – Uncollectability | Car Accident Lawyers, Auto Accident Attorneys, Ward & Ward Law Firm

Collectability is the ability to put money into the hands of an injured party and creditors who have extended treatment on their behalf resulting from an accident. It is an essential component of any personal injury claim. The following are examples of uncollectable claims frequently turned down by personal injury lawyers:

  • Neither party has automobile insurance and the driver responsible for the injuries has no real or personal assets
  • Liability cannot be ascertained through evidence or credible eyewitness testimony
  • Damages are negligible and/or frivolous
  • Injured party(ies) did not receive treatment immediately following the accident and did not follow up with a physician in a timely manner

It falls on you to protect your injured self from another person’s negligence | Indianapolis Car Accident Lawyers

The recession and suspended licenses have thrust an increase in uninsured drivers in Indiana. Of the approximately 4 million driver’s licenses issued in the state of Indiana, approximately 12% are suspended. According to the most recent estimate obtained by the Insurance Information Institute, approximately 1 in every 7 drivers or 14.2% take to the roads without any automobile insurance.

Uninsured/Underinsured Bodily Injury and Liability* coverage is included as a part of your policy unless you express in writing a desire to omit this coverage. UIM protects you, your family’s assets and financial exposure from reckless uninsured and underinsured drivers that may cause harm to you and others riding in your vehicle. Your uninsured coverage may also protect you from defendants fleeing a judgment through the protection of bankruptcy.

Experienced Indiana Car Accident Lawyers and Wrongful Death Attorneys

The personal injury and car accident lawyers of Ward & Ward Law Firm recommend increasing your insurance policy to reduce and protect your personal exposure in an accident you may or may not cause. A robust bodily injury and liability policy may cost only pennies a day more than the minimum policy required to drive in Indiana. Before you call an agent, learn more about automobile insurance coverage in Indiana at our attorney blog.

The auto accident attorneys at Ward & Ward Law Firm have more than 85 combined years of experience practicing  personal injury, wrongful death and medical malpractice law.  If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident, call personal injury lawyer, Charlie Ward, today at 317-639-9501 or toll free at 888-639-9501 for a free consultation.

Charlie Ward
Personal Injury Attorney

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

Why personal injury attorneys and car accident lawyers may refuse your case – Statute of Limitations

Why car accident lawyers and personal injury attorneys may refuse your case – Indiana Statute of Limitations

Personal injury lawyers and the Indiana statute of limitations

Every so often, I receive a call from someone who has been unsuccessful in securing legal representation for their personal injury claim. There are as many reasons why an injury lawyer will turn down a claim, as there are facts and circumstances surrounding the claim. In part 1 of this series, I’ll explain why attorneys may turn down a case nearing the statute of limitations.

Consultation – The Groundwork – Personal Injury Attorney and Car Accident Lawyers

Before a personal injury lawyer agrees to represent a claimant, both parties will meet face-to-face to discuss the potential claim. The attorney will want to study the police report and accompanying eyewitness testimony, review medical records and provider billings incurred to date and examine any other evidence available at this early stage of the process. If liability or collectability is in question, a deeper investigation may be necessary. When an attorney believes a claim has value and has faith in the honesty and integrity of the claimant, they will enter into a contingency agreement whereby the attorney agrees to advance the firm’s monetary and staff resources to pursue the “win” for their client. It is costly to litigate a case. Expenditures made on behalf of the client and their claim may include but are not limited to investigation, research, document preparation, court costs, exhibits, reports, expert witness fees, court reporters, professional fees and costs of mediation.

The Statute of Limitations – Personal Injury Cases

The statute of limitations is a time limit imposed upon a claimant or representative of a deceased person to notice defendants and file a claim with the court against the person(s), entity or entities responsible for their damages. Indiana has a 2-year statute of limitations to file a personal injury claim against parties responsible for their economic, non-economic   and punitive damages. In claims involving a governmental entity, the claimant must file a Notice of Tort Claim within 180 days of the accident. These deadlines begin to run from the date the claimant received the injuries or the claimant’s date of death. Exceptions may be found at IC 34-11-2-4. It is unfortunate when people wait to pursue their claim against the wrongdoer until days or even weeks before the statute of limitations has run. It takes time to review a claim and to mount an effective case. Many lawyers are reluctant to commit their professional time, services and financial resources to a claim filed in haste.

Experienced Car Accident Lawyers | Personal Injury Attorneys

If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident, our firm recommends you consult with an attorney experienced in personal injury matters as soon as possible. The attorneys at Ward & Ward Law Firm have more than 85 combined years of experience practicing personal injury, wrongful death and medical malpractice law. Call Charlie Ward today at 317-639-9501 for a free consultation.

Charlie Ward
Ward & Ward Law Firm, Car Accident Lawyers
728 S Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46228
[email protected]
Phone: 317-639-9501

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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What is a Subrogation Lien and Why Do I Need to Reimburse My Insurance Company From My Settlement?

What is a Subrogation Lien and Why Do I Need to Reimburse My Insurance Company From My Settlement?

Personal Injury Claim and SubrogationInsurance companies enter into a contract with their insureds. In this contractual relationship, both parties benefit and rightly so. But when your insurance company pays for your loss, they may legally recover a portion, or all of their losses paid on your behalf by way of subrogation.

A subrogation lien is the process an insurance company uses to seek reimbursement from the responsible third party for money it has paid on the behalf of the insured. However, the English common law “Made Whole” doctrine provides that insurers and creditors shall not be made whole prior to their insured being made whole.

Indiana statute IC 34-51-2-19, commonly known as the Lien Reduction Statute, adds teeth and parameters to the common law doctrine. It states in part:

If a subrogation claim or other lien or claim that arose out of the payment of medical expenses or other benefits exists in respect to a claim for personal injuries or death and the claimant’s recovery is diminished:

(1) by comparative fault; or

(2) by reason of the uncollectibility of the full value of the claim for personal injuries or death resulting from limited liability insurance or from any other cause; the lien or claim shall be diminished in the same proportion as the claimant’s recovery is diminished.

Lien Reduction Statute: Recovery Lessened by Comparative FaultCall Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

If the tortfeasor (party responsible for your damages) proves or is able to prove that you were, for example, 20% at fault for your damages, and your automobile insurance company paid the limits of your medical payment portion of your policy, totaling $10,000, your insurance company would be required under Indiana statute to reduce their medical payment subrogation lien by a minimum of 20% or $2,000. Based on the facts and the full set of circumstances surrounding your claim, a further reduction may be requested by your experienced personal injury attorney.

Lien Reduction Statute: Recovery Lessened by Uncollectibility of Injury or Death Claim

When you have finished treatment with your providers and it is felt that your condition cannot be improved further, you and your attorney will discuss and assign a reasonable value to your claim for damages based upon medical billings, loss of wages (past and future), future surgeries and treatments, impairment rating, pain and suffering and all other losses you may have incurred.

The following is an example of Uncollectibility:

Your claim is reasonably valued at $500,000. You settle for the limits of the responsible party’s liability insurance of $100,000. Therefore, 80% of your claim is uncollectible. In this example, both your auto insurance company and your health insurance company would be required by statute to reduce their lien by 80%. Under extreme circumstances, an experienced personal injury lawyer may be able to negotiate a further reduction of the lien amount or request waiving of the lien.

A Person Who Acts As His Own Lawyer…

In most circumstances it would be imprudent to endeavor to settle a claim for injuries without the advice and counsel of an experienced personal injury and wrongful death lawyer. Attorneys who represent injured or deceased persons on a daily basis are knowledgeable of current legislation, amended statutes, federal codes, and case law that will affect their client’s case and financial recovery.

Don and Charlie Ward have more than 85 years of combined experience in personal injury law involving motorcycle, automobile, bus, trucking and pedestrian accidents and wrongful death claims. Call Charlie Ward today at 317-639-9501 for a free consultation and evaluation of your claim.

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

Learn more about Indiana’s Comparative Fault Law.

Injured in an Indiana Bus Accident? | Call Indianapolis Bus Accident Lawyers

How does a law firm begin an investigation into a bus accident involving injuries and wrongful death?

How do you investigate a bus that caught fire after an accident?Determining cause in an accident involving a bus is vital to a claim but it may not always be as easy as it sounds. In a situation where multiple vehicles are involved in a single collision, it is not uncommon for the defendant driver to place fault, in whole or in part, on other drivers involved in the crash. And because every eyewitness to an accident sees the crash from a different perspective, position and point on a timeline, it’s reasonable to assume that eyewitness testimonies will collide. Like airline and semi tractor-trailer accidents, a thorough investigation of the accident scene, named responsible parties, environmental conditions at the time of the accident, vehicles involved, eyewitness testimony and the employment of an expert in accident reconstruction may ultimately reveal the cause or combination of causes responsible for the accident and the injuries received.

Talk with the law enforcement investigative team

In depth interviews with State Police or investigating law enforcement officers by lawyers representing the injured or deceased persons, may reveal the preliminary facts of the accident as determined by the investigating authorities who were at the scene only minutes after the accident occurred.

Download data from the black box and thoroughly inspect the bus and it’s components

Attorneys representing plaintiffs injured in a bus crash will immediately put on notice the owner-operator of the bus to refrain from making any repairs to the vehicle before it has received a thorough inspection by impartial experts, thus preventing spoliation of evidence including the on-board data recorder. The data recorder chronicles the final moments of the bus before impact, i.e. velocity and rpms or revolutions per minute over a specific period of time, usually a matter of seconds. Think of the “black box” as an accurate and impartial observer of what went down moments before the accident.

Engage a private investigator

Meanwhile, a private investigator will search the driving records and public court records including any criminal prosecutions against the defendant driver. The investigator, hired by the plaintiffs’ attorney, will make contact and record conversations with eyewitnesses and others involved in the crash. Each person will be examined about road and weather conditions at the time of the crash, their position relative to other vehicles involved in the accident and asked to give their best accounting of what occurred relative to their perspective at the time of the accident. They will also be asked to recall conversations with others at the scene and events that may have taken place after the accident.

Call Bus Accident Lawyer Charlie Ward at 1-888-639-9501

Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501If you or someone you know has been injured or killed in an accident involving a bus, you should speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. The lawyers at Ward & Ward Law Firm have more than 85 years of combined experience in personal injury law involving bus accidents, motorcycle, car and trucking accidents. Give Charlie a call today at 317-639-9501 for a free evaluation of your claim.

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

Read about Indiana’s Comparative Fault Law here.

Auto Accident Lawyer in Indianapolis | Texting While Driving

Young businessman on the phone
Personal injury attorneys see rise in accidents caused by distracted drivers | The auto accident lawyer

In 2012, approximately 420,000 people were injured and 3,300 killed as a result of distracted drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), that was about 10% higher than the year before.Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

Texting while driving is becoming the most common cause of distracted driving and these numbers will continue to rise. Although to date, 44 states have banned texting while driving, resulting accidents have not diminished.  A Pew Research study shows that younger women are more likely to be involved in an accident because of texting while driving:

“In a study comparing boys texting behaviors to girls, Pew Research found, on average, girls typically send and receive 80 texts a day while boys send and receive 30.”

And these numbers are not on the decline.

A few states (Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas) have banned inexperienced drivers from texting. In January, 2017, a senate committee in Arizona proposed a 6-month ban on the use of communication electronic devices for teen licensees.  As reported by The Arizona Republic: “The bill calls for a $75 fine and a 30-day extension of the six-month limit on a teen’s graduated driver’s license for the first offense.”  There are no such restrictions in Montana.

It is estimated that 660,000 drivers use their cell phones and/or manipulate electronic devices at any given daylight moment while driving according to the NHTSA. Distracted drivers in many instances run red lights, cross center lines in the roadway and rear end vehicles in front of them. Young drivers do NOT understand the concept of time and distance.  It only takes a few seconds – eyes off the road –  and it is too late to avoid an accident.

Early education may reduce auto accidents, injuries and deaths

Teaching young and inexperienced drivers about the dangers of texting while driving will minimize accidents and prevent serious injuries as well as loss of lives.  Placing the cell phone out of reach or turning off the cell phone while driving is recommended.  In addition, passengers should be made aware of the dangers and try to prevent texting while driving by assisting the driver with any necessary cell phone use.  If you are a passenger, remind the driver not to reach for the cell phone – it can wait until later.

Experienced personal injury attorneys and auto accident lawyer litigate distracted driver cases

It is apparent after some accidents that the cause of the crash was a driver distracted by a cell phone and possibly texting while driving. Officers may include this information in their police report as the official cause of the collision. But if it has not been determined at the scene of the accident, a good private investigator employed by your attorney may be able to uncover this information on your behalf. Further, your experienced personal injury lawyer  might reveal this relevant fact during the discovery process when cell phone records may be obtained. In addition, witnesses to the accident may be of help in their eye-witness testimony.

If there is reason to believe the defendant driver was distracted by their cell phone and possibly texting, a lawyer experienced in personal injury cases will use every resource to investigate. Indiana has a law that bans texting while driving and the personal injury attorneys at Ward & Ward Law Firm  will leverage the law on your behalf.

Call Charlie Ward today at 317-639-9501 if you or someone you know was injured or killed in a collision caused by a texting driver.

By Charlie Ward

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

Avoiding a Bus Stop Tragedy | Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyer

Every year hundreds of children in the United States are severally injured or killed as a result of motorists failing to stop for a school bus when the stop arm is extended and red lights flashing | Bus Accident Lawyers

School bus stop signIt is estimated by The American School Bus Council that approximately 500,000 buses provide transportation for children each school year.  In total, 23 million children ride a school bus to and from school every day. Most children are struck in an area around the bus which is known as “the danger zone.” The danger zone is the area around the school bus which is approximately 15 feet from all sides of the school bus.

Motorists need to know what to do when the bus is making preparations to stop and pick up or drop off a child.

When the yellow flashing light comes on it is a warning to all drivers that the bus is preparing to stop. The bus driver will then pull out the stop arms and the flashing lights will turn red.

What is the law?

State laws requires all motorists to stop for school buses when picking up and dropping off children.   Vehicles in all lanes of travel must stop unless the roadway is divided by a physical barrier or unimproved median.  Generally on a divided roadway, only automobiles traveling in the same direction as the school bus must stop.

Many time drivers are unaware of the law when it comes to stopping for a school bus.  In addition, driver inattention is likely to be a factor for failing to stop.  Cell phones, texting, distractions within the vehicle and ‘zoning out’  are all factors that contribute to the driver’s inattention putting precious children in danger. In Indiana alone the Department of Education reports that in 2014 around 500,000 vehicles ignored stop arms.

What can be done to minimize or eliminate injuries to children?

North Carolina initiated a test program with the installation and use of stop arm camera systems  to catch drivers who fail to stop as required. This program could go nationwide.  In addition, additional warning lights, such as strobe lights could be added to the red lights to get the attention of distracted drivers.

Educating children on school bus safety for entering the zone of danger

Statistically, children ages 5-7 are the most vulnerable to be severally injured or killed because they are the most inexperienced and may impulsively run when entering or exiting a school bus. Before your young child begins taking the school bus, take the time to discuss safety protocol at the school bus stop and upon entering and exiting the bus.

Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501Experienced Bus Accident Lawyers

In the end, drivers must always be aware of school buses and anticipate that a child will enter the roadway. If you or someone you know has been injured or had a child injured because of a negligent driver, give me a call at 317-639-9501. Our firm attorneys are here to help you at any time.

By Charlie Ward

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

Accidents at the bus stop may occur when a driver fails to obey the school bus red “stop arm” warning signal”