Tag Archives: accident attorney

Indianapolis Bicycle Accident Attorney | Bicycle Helmets

Statistics have shown that the number of brain injuries associated with bicycle accidents are significantly reduced when helmets are wornSix hundred seventy seven individuals were killed in bicycle accidents in 2011.  It is estimated that adults 45 years and older as well as minors, ages 15-24, have the highest bicycle death rates.

In 2010, an estimated 515,000 individuals went to emergency rooms for bicycle related injuries.  Statistically 60% of these non-fatal bicycle accidents involve minor children.  It is a simple fact that effective interventions eliminate or minimize deaths or serious injuries from bicycle accidents.

How to effectively reduce bicycle accidents and deaths caused by negligent drivers

The most effective intervention is to wear a bicycle helmet.  Another is to wear fluorescent clothing, active lighting on the bike and retro reflective clothing for night riding.    All of these will reduce chances of an accident with a motor vehicle.  In addition, many bicycle organizations offer safe tips for traveling on the roadway and how to deal with motor vehicles.  But the simple truth is bicycle helmets protect brain injuries.  In 2012, 65% of bicyclists killed were NOT wearing helmets.

With more and more individuals riding their bikes to and from work every day, the question remains just how safe is cycling.  Cities and towns are creating more friendly roads for cyclist to share the roadway with motor vehicles.  Bike lanes and changed traffic patterns are helping bicyclists against accidents with motor vehicles.  But it is up to both the cyclist and driver to be more and more cognizant of the changing times.

A law firm with experience in personal injury law

Call personal injury and accident lawyer Charlie Ward today for a free consultationDon and Charlie Ward are personal injury attorneys in Indianapolis, Indiana and represent persons 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 Don or Charlie Ward 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

Why do personal injury attorneys advise that you see a physician immediately after an auto, motorcycle or trucking accident?

“I just walked away from the accident. No broken bones! Not even a headache!”

Call personal injury and accident lawyer Charlie Ward today for a free consultation

These words ring all too familiar after a crash encounter.  Often the persons involved in an accident are running on auto-pilot while simultaneously using nature’s own best defenses to carry on: a shock to the system coupled with a generous burst of adrenaline. Immediately following an automobile, motorcycle, bicycle or trucking accident, an injury may exist that is not evident to the patient. Often times, these injuries can be diagnosed by medical professionals through a brief physical examination, X-ray, or an MRI.

Take the time to consider your health

Most people will put on their brave faces, check on the well-being of others and urgently tend to the details of a crash aftermath, forgetting about their own physical well-being and the potential for latent traumatic injuries.

All too often— days pass, even weeks after the offense, when our office receives a phone call from the same brave soul, who is now dealing with the physical consequences of a manifested soft tissue injury, neck or back spasms, numbness and accompanying radiating limb pain.

One of my first questions to the caller would be, “Did you seek medical attention either at the scene or shortly after the accident?” I would have to make this initial inquiry because the insurance company surely will. And if the victim is unable to answer affirmatively, in most cases the insurance company will reject their responsibility for the damage since a soft tissue injury could easily occur as a result of lifting, pushing or some other over-exerting movement completely unrelated to the accident.

As a personal injury attorney seeking justice for harms done to others, I take no pleasure in having to counsel injured parties that because a doctor was not consulted in a timely manner, likely he or she must rely upon private resources for treatment of personal injuries stemming from an accident; that the insurance company would likely reject their claim and deny obligation to the injured party. If the victim is fortunate to have good health insurance, he or she can use medical coverage to treat the problems. Any permanent physical anomalies resulting from the recklessness of another driver, however, cannot be compensated for if liability for the injury cannot be directly or proximately attributed to the defendant.

The law firm of Ward & Ward has over eighty years of legal experience with personal injury and wrongful death claims and continues to seek justice for clients that have been harmed by the negligence of others. 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.

Charlie Ward

(317) 639-9501

www.wardlawfirm.com

The Short List of Motorcycle Accident Statistics

Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyer- Motorcycle Accidents

Statistics don’t take inclement weather into account

The “Motorcycle Accident Cause Factors and Identification of Countermeasures,” was a study conducted by the University of Southern California and partially funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This study investigated nearly every aspect of 900 accidents involving motorcycles in the Los Angeles area.  Below is a short list of some of the findings selected from the study. Keep in mind that the study was conducted in the sun-belt area of the United States and therefore, weather-related influences were not significantly factored into the results.

Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

  1. Approximately three-fourths of motorcycle accidents involved collision with another vehicle.
  2. In single vehicle accidents, motorcycle rider error was present as the accident precipitating factor in about two-thirds of cases. The typical error being a slide out and fall due to over braking or running wide on a curve due to excess speed or under-cornering.
  3. In 66% of multiple vehicle accidents, the driver of the other vehicle violated the motorcyclist’s right-of-way.
  4. Intersections are the most likely place for the motorcycle accident, with the other vehicles violating the motorcyclist’s right-of-way, and often violating traffic controls.
  5. Most motorcycle accidents involve a short trip associated with shopping, errands, friends, entertainment or recreation, and the accident is likely to happen in a very short time close to the trip origin.
  6. Accident involvement is significantly reduced by the use of motorcycle headlamps or in daylight hours and the wearing of high visibility yellow, orange or bright red jackets.
  7. Motorcycle riders between the ages of 16 and 24 are significantly over-represented in accidents; motorcycle riders between the ages of 30 and 50 are significantly under represented.
  8. Motorcycle rider training reduces injuries and accident involvement.
  9. Motorcycle riders with dirt bike experience are significantly underrepresented in accident data.
  10. Motorcycle riders showed significant collision avoidance problems. Most riders would over brake and skid the rear wheel, and under brake the front wheel, greatly reducing collision avoidance deceleration. The ability to counter steer and swerve was essentially absent.
  11. The typical motorcycle accident allows the motorcyclist less than 2 seconds to complete all collision avoidance action.
  12. Large displacement motorcycles are underrepresented in accidents but they are associated with higher injury severity when involved in accidents.
  13. 98% of multiple vehicle collisions and 96% of single vehicle accidents resulted in some kind of injury to the motorcycle rider; 45% resulted in more than a minor injury.
  14. Injury severity increases with speed, alcohol involvement and motorcycle size.
  15. The most deadly injuries to the accident victims were injuries to the chest and head.
  16. The use of the safety helmet is the single critical factor in the reduction of head injury.
  17. Less than 10% of the motorcycle riders involved in these accidents had insurance of any kind to provide medical care or replace property.

Charlie Ward is a personal injury attorney experienced in accident litigation and wrongful death claims for families whose loved ones were fatally injured in motorcycle, auto and trucking accidents. The law office of Ward & Ward receives no legal fees or expenses unless we collect damages on your behalf. Call Charlie today at 317-639-9501 to discuss your accident and receive a free analysis of your claim.

By: Charlie Ward

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

https://www.wardlawfirm.com

Your Indiana Auto Policy is your Protection from Uninsured Drivers

Sixteen percent of Indiana drivers are uninsured

We’ve all witnessed reckless motorists driving very nearly airborne down the road, anxiously weaving from lane to lane, and gunning their engines in disgust when they finally soar past you. Yes, today everybody’s in a hurry. And I bet you’ve thought, as I have, that most, if not all of these vehemently reckless drivers are driving without an adequate auto insurance policy. In fact, you can usually pick them out of a crowd of many, as if they carry an aura of irresponsibility with them.

Research conducted by the Insurance Research Council in 2011 shows that as many as 16% of Hoosiers are driving without any insurance coverage. And as the downturn in our economy intensifies, I fear that many more people will make the choice not to buy even the minimum amount of auto insurance legislated under Indiana law.

Even today, in some states, uninsured motorist coverage is a required add-on to your automobile policy. But in the state of Indiana, uninsured motorist coverage is an intrinsic part of your personal liability coverage under your automobile policy. Your uninsured motorist coverage automatically protects you from injury, lost wages and other expenses resulting from a serious accident with an uninsured driver.

Increase your policy limits for pennies a day

The value of your uninsured coverage is identical to your existing personal liability coverage under your auto or motorcycle policy. If you have read my other blogs on personal injury liability, then you already know that by increasing your policy limits, you have the advantage of getting considerably more coverage at a small additional rate. And when you consider that you are not only protecting your family from the injuries of others—you are also protecting your family from the negligent acts of uninsured drivers. It’s a win-win. Your
decision to choose the largest amount of personal liability coverage you can afford could be the best financial decision you make for your family.

Experienced lawyers

If you would like to discuss your policy limits with an experienced personal injury lawyer, or have been involved in an accident, call lawyer, Charlie Ward, of Ward & Ward Law Firm today at 317-639-9501.

By Charlie Ward

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

 

Our Lawyers Recommend You Buy the Best Auto Liability Policy Coverage You Can Afford

A great automobile or motorcycle policy goes a long way in compensating another driver for medical injuries which may occur as a result of an accident deemed to be your fault.

How does my auto liability insurance protect me and my family?

The Declarations page of your auto or motorcycle policy outlines all of your policy’s coverages as well as your insurance company’s limits of liability. The category entitled Bodily Injury & Property Damage Liability describes a maximum amount per person and a maximum total amount which would be paid per accident. For example: a $100,000/$300,000 policy means a single injured party could potentially receive up to but no more than $100,000 for their injuries—but no more than $300,000 could be recovered by the total number of persons injured in the accident. For example, if two people were severely injured in an accident which was determined to be caused by you, your insurance company would not pay more, in this instance, than $300,000 total for all injuries and/or deaths combined. Considering the high cost of ambulatory, ER care, surgeons, therapeutic and potential long-term rehabilitative expenses, medical bills for two people catastrophically injured could exhaust or even exceed your policy limits of $300,000. Where would injured victims look for compensation after your insurance policy limits were exhausted? Under certain circumstances, plaintiffs involved in litigation might seek reparation in your financial, real or hard assets after your policy runs out. Many learn this lesson the hard way—after the fact.

In the State of Indiana, the minimum amount of liability insurance coverage that will legally put you in the driver’s seat is $25,000. This low-limit legal minimum is barely enough to purchase postage stamps for the many medical bills that can mount up from injuries received in an accident. But lines have to be drawn in legislation and the $25,000 minimum was deemed to be fair and attainable for the greater majority of citizens. However, insurance companies don’t advertise the fact and the majority of citizenry don’t know that the price of coverage per unit goes down as the increase in coverage goes up. In other words, liability insurance is cheaper to buy in quantity.

It’s impossible to predict and prepare for every calamity that could befall you and your family. The next time you review your auto or motorcycle insurance policy, consider how much insurance you need to protect the assets you’ve acquired over your most productive years. Then ask your agent to quote several levels of liability coverage before you make a decision that could potentially expose you to a loss of your assets.

Lawyers Experienced in Cases Involving Bodily Injury

The law firm of Ward & Ward are personal injury lawyers experienced in auto accidents, motorcycle accidents and trucking accidents. Call our firm today! I welcome the opportunity to discuss your potential accident claim and your automobile liability insurance coverage with you.

By Charlie Ward

[email protected]

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

 

How Much Med-Pay Insurance is Enough?

Medical Payment Auto Insurance Coverage

The next time you receive a policy renewal from your automobile insurance company, take a look at the Declarations Page (coverage break-down) to determine the amount of “Medical Payments” coverage you carry. Unless otherwise requested, most auto insurance companies in Indiana, automatically quote medical-payment limits of liability coverage in the amount of $5,000 each person. If you or a family member, have never had to use this important benefit due to a traumatic injury from an auto accident, chances are you may not have given much consideration to the amount of med-pay coverage you should have.

What is med-pay insurance?

Medical-payment insurance exists for the benefit of the policyholder(s) injured in an auto accident. This coverage insures the automobile insurance company will make timely payments to the medical provider(s) for hospitals, medical treatment, physical therapy, and reimburse out-of-pocket medical costs including prescriptions, co-pays and other medically-necessary incidentals resulting from an accident.

How much medical payment insurance should I buy?

Most major health insurance policies today put forth high annual deductible plans. A good rule of thumb is to look at the deductible of your health insurance. How much of your family’s deductible could you affordably self-insure if you were seriously injured in an auto accident? Medical payment coverage of $5,000 may cover only half of the medical bills for someone with a $10,000 deductible health plan. Would you be comfortable withdrawing $5,000 from your savings or investments to make those medical payment arrangements which could have been easily avoided by doubling your med-pay auto insurance for just a few pennies a day?

It takes time to resolve a legal action. In the mean time, hospital and medical creditors require payment.  You can avoid the financial and medical hardship created by callous collection agents, whom  it seems (tongue in cheek) lock your phone number on their speed dial — by properly assessing your financial needs. The next time you have a moment, review your coverage. If you need clarification, get the answers you need from your agent or call  lawyer Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501 for an in depth explanation of your auto insurance coverage. Then determine how much medical payment coverage is right for you.

Charlie Ward

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

Do You Get Larger Settlements for Truck Accidents?

From a legal standpoint, truck accident lawsuits are investigated and litigated differently than auto accident cases

A semi truck accident is different from a car accident in a number of ways. Truck drivers must meet higher safety standards than car drivers and comply with separate state and federal rules regulating such things as rest periods and the number of driving hours permitted each day. These rules are in place for a good reason, as most accidents involving semi trucks tend to be more serious than car accidents and run a greater risk of causing extensive damage and injury. Because of the increased chance of significant and permanent injury and strict regulations surrounding the trucking industry, truck accident settlements tend to be larger than settlements for motor vehicle accidents.

Compensation for serious injuries

Truck operators are required by the Federal Motor Carrier Administration to carry commercial insurance policies with higher liability limits. Higher limits are necessary to pay for extensive damages caused by semi truck accidents, which are often more severe than injuries sustained in passenger vehicle collisions. If you are injured in a truck accident caused by the negligent actions of another party, your settlement amount depends on three factors:

  • Medical expenses – All current and future medical bills are compensated in a truck accident settlement.  It is best not to settle too soon after an accident because you may not realize the full extent of injuries or necessary long-term treatment.
  • Lost wages – This includes current and future lost earning capacity.
  • Pain and suffering – Settlements consider the difference between your quality of life before and after the accident and compensate victims for past and future pain, suffering, and disability.

Settlement amounts are often higher in trucking accident lawsuits

Settlement amounts also tend to be higher in truck accidents because of the number of possible defendants. Unlike a car accident where only the driver is held liable, a truck accident lawsuit may involve more than just the driver and may include the employer, maintenance facilities, parts manufacturers, or loading companies. Each of these parties may have separate insurance policies with higher limits than an individual driver.

Experienced lawyers working on your behalf

An experienced truck accident lawyer can help with the complexities of trucking laws, multiple defendants, and likelihood of severe and permanent injuries. Hiring the right truck accident attorney is crucial. If you were injured in a semi truck accident, you are likely facing mounting medical bills, lost wages, and tremendous stress. A lawyer can assess the full impact of your damages and ensure you receive the maximum settlement amount possible.

At Ward & Ward Law Firm, we fight for justice for those injured due to the reckless and negligent actions of a driver in any kind of vehicle. Our knowledgeable and experienced Indianapolis trucking accident law firm and personal injury advocates are here to help.

To discuss your personal injury and estate planning matters, contact Ward & Ward Law Firm to arrange a free consultation. We are available to speak with you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Charlie Ward

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