Tag Archives: death

Drowning | Indianapolis Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney

Some summers ago I witnessed a toddler who was unaware of the perils of an Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501azure pool — quietly and generally unnoticed, go ambling into the water while her mother was momentarily distracted. Below the surface, the child’s face was without fear as she floundered in silence, her small arms and baby legs calmly and quietly treading, searching for a pocket of fresh air. Meanwhile, above the surface there was no indication that this child was suffocating. There were no pleas for help, no flailing of arms and no commotion of any kind from the toddler. Before I could come to her aid, her mother caught sight of the situation and rescued the child. As in any stressful situation, a moment in time can seem like an eternity and after the danger has past, the most detailed of events can be recalled in slow motion. Such was my experience. But the most troubling aspect of the incident and the thing that I have taken away, was the quiet calm of a child jeopardized by silence.

The Center for Disease Control has found:

  • Fatal drownings remain the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages 1 – 14 – second only to motor vehicle crashes
  • 1 in 5 children who are treated for drowning in ERs, die
  • More than half of drowning victims treated in ERs require hospitalization for further care and treatment, i.e. brain damage from oxygen deprivation resulting in memory problems, learning disabilities and a loss of basic functioning.

The damage associated with oxygen deprivation and brain injuries can be irreversible depending upon many factors including the age and health of the individual. Immediate and on-site resuscitation is the key to increasing survival chances without brain damage.

With high temperatures looming over Indiana this summer and record heat waves, many Hoosier parents and their children are seeking relief from the heat in water parks, rivers, lakes and pools. Adult supervision and a certified swim program can prepare you and your family for the water and the hazards associated with water play.

The Brain Injury Attorneys

If you or someone you know has been in an accident and brain injury is involved, an attorney experienced in personal injury matters involving traumatic brain injuries may suggest a neuropsychological evaluation. Ward & Ward Law Firm has over 80 years of combined experience in personal injury and wrongful death cases. The law firm of Ward & Ward receives no fee unless you recover for your injuries. Call Charlie Ward today for a FREE consultation.


Auto, Motorcycle, Trucking Accidents Leading Cause of Traumatic Brain Injury Related Deaths

Motor Vehicle Accidents Leading Cause of Traumatic Brain InjuryCall Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a result of a sudden trauma to the skull or a penetrating head injury. Nearly one-third of all injury related deaths involve a traumatic brain injury with motor vehicle accidents being the leading cause of TBI- related death, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services—Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Traumatic brain injuries may also result from shaken baby syndrome.

Coup-Contrecoup Injuries

A contusion is a bruise or injury below the surface caused by blunt force. Coup (pronounced kou) and Contrecoup (pronounced kon-tre-kou) injuries are contusions brought about by the brain slamming into the skull as a result of a strong blow to the head. A coup injury occurs when the brain impacts the inner skull at a single point, often the frontal lobe. A Contrecoup injury occurs when the brain slams into the opposite side of the skull or coup injury due to a recoiling action; often resulting in a contusion of the temporal lobe. Frontal and temporal lobe injuries may affect decision-making abilities and are often associated with language issues—both communicating and understanding language.

In an automobile, motorcycle or trucking accident, a sudden impact with severe strike to the head may cause the brain to ricochet against the inner skull creating opposing contusions. Medical professionals identify this kind of TBI as a Coup-Contrecoup injury.

Coup-Contrecoup injuries may include the following symptoms:

  • Bleeding of the brain;
  • Swelling within the confines of the skull;
  • Disruption of spinal fluid which nourishes the brain; and/or
  • Skull fragments entering brain tissue.

Damage to Brain may be Irreversible

Sadly, the damage caused by coup-contrecoup injuries is usually irreversible. Treatment of these injuries consists of addressing further damage or complications by the use of surgery or medications to control brain swelling and/or bleeding.

Disabilities from a TBI depend upon the severity of the injury, the location of the injury and the age and general health of the patient. The prognosis for moderate to severely injured patients of traumatic brain injuries consists of an individually tailored treatment plan which may include physical, occupational, speech and language therapies and psychiatric support. The most severely injured patients may continue in a persistent vegetative state (PVS) in which an individual remains in a vegetative state for more than a month.

Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers

If you or someone you know has been in an accident and suspect there may have been damage to the brain, an attorney experienced in personal injury matters involving traumatic brain injuries may want to suggest a neuropsychological evaluation. Ward & Ward Law Firm has over 80 years of combined experience in personal injury cases. The law firm of Ward & Ward receives no fee unless you recover for your injuries. Call Charlie Ward today for a FREE consultation or visit https://www.wardlawfirm.com.

Charlie Ward

[email protected]

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


How Does Indiana’s “Guest” Statute Affect You and Your Family?

The Indiana Guest Statute prohibits family members and hitchhikers from receiving compensation for injuries

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

Indiana’s ‘Guest’ statute, Indiana Code 34-30-11 makes it clear that unless the owner, operator or person responsible for the operation of a motor vehicle is willfully or wantonly reckless in their driving conduct, a passenger family member may not hold their host-driver spouse, sibling, parent, step parent or child responsible for bodily injuries or death resulting from the driver’s negligence.

In addition, a hitchhiker may not hold the host-driver responsible for loss or damage arising from injuries or death resulting from the operation of the motor vehicle unless the injuries or death are caused by the wanton or willfull misconduct of the operator, owner or person responsible for the operation of the motor vehicle. Immunity does not apply when passengers make payment for transportation.

How does the Court define willful or wanton behavior?

Willful or wanton behavior is defined by the Indiana Supreme Court as either “1) an intentional act done with reckless disregard of the natural and probable consequence of injury to a known person under the circumstances known to the actor at the time; or 2)an omission or failure to act when the actor has actual knowledge of the natural and probable consequence of injury and his opportunity to avoid the risk”[McKeown v. Calusa, 172 Ind. App. 1, 5, 359 N.E.2nd 550, 553-54 (1977)].

The Guest Statute IC 34-30-11-1

Indiana Title 34 – Civil Code and Procedure reads as follows:

IC 34-30-11-1

Guest statute

Sec. 1. The owner, operator, or person responsible for the operation of a motor vehicle is not liable for loss or damage arising from injuries to or the death of:

  1. the person’s parent;
  2. the person’s spouse;
  3. the person’s child or stepchild;
  4. the person’s brother;
  5. the person’s sister; or
  6. a hitchhiker;

resulting from the operation of the motor vehicle while the parent,spouse, child or stepchild, brother, sister, or hitchhiker was being transported without payment in or upon the motor vehicle unless the injuries or death are caused by the wanton or willful misconduct of the operator, owner, or person responsible for the operation of the motor vehicle.As added by P.L.1-1998, SEC.26.

Purposes of the Guest Statute

The opinion of the Indiana Court of Appeals, KLLM, Inc. v. Legg, states:

“…we recognized that the purposes of Indiana’s Guest Statute are threefold: first, it reduces the threat of “collusive” lawsuits, whose likelihood would be greater between family members than mere acquaintances; second, it reduces the threat of “Robin Hood” proclivities of juries where juries would be more eager to take from the “rich” liability insurance companies and give to the “poor” victims, especially where the victims were members of the same family; and three, it fosters family harmony by not allowing family members to sue and recover for injuries caused by another family member’s negligence. Davidson, 558 N.E.2d at 851. With respect to hitchhikers, we recognized a fourth purpose for Indiana’s Guest Statute: it deters the illegal act of hitchhiking by not allowing hitchhikers to recover for their injuries caused by a driver’s negligence. Id.
Thus, under the Guest Statute, KLLM would not be liable for any loss or damage arising from the death of Hanna if Hanna was a hitchhiker who was being transported without payment in or upon the motor vehicle at the time of his death.”

What’s the risk when you ride with a relative at the wheel?

In a real world scenario, let’s take a look at how the statute might affect you.

Your car breaks down. You have an important meeting and ask your brother to drive you. To get you there on time, he ekes through a red light and you’re catastrophically injured by an oncoming car. Your brother is at fault for the accident and the personal injuries you’ve incurred because, in his haste, he ran the red light. Your brother has an auto insurance policy and has paid his premiums in good faith. But under Indiana’s Guest Statute, you cannot file a claim against his insurance company for the injuries or disabilities you’ve suffered. Your health insurance policy  may pick-up the majority of medical bills incurred but a high deductible could significantly set you back, possibly even bankrupt your future. A permanent disability resulting from your brother’s momentarily poor judgment could leave you unable to adequately provide for yourself or your family in the future.

Common law requires the host-driver to exercise ordinary care for the safety of his non-paying as well as paying passengers. Yet, Indiana insurance companies have asserted that personal injuries received by a relative of an insured driver invite collusion and false claims. The possibility of collusion should not preclude the substantive right of individual litigants to their day in court. To assert that untruths may be told undermines the judicial system our society lives by. It is not unreasonable to assume that accidents requiring snap decisions result in personal injuries or death to loved ones.  How often do you drive a family member to an event?

Trial lawyers with experience

The law firm of Ward & Ward has over eighty five 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 Ward & Ward Law Firm today at 317-639-9501 and ask for “Charlie” for a free evaluation of your claim.

Charlie Ward

(317) 639-9501


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

What Can Indiana Truck Accident Lawyer Do For You?

Indianapolis Personal Injury Attorney - Semi- Truck AccidentsCompensation for deserving families or injured victims of a trucking accident

Trucking accidents or 18 wheeler 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 in Indiana. However, it is essential to consult with an experienced truck accident attorney in Indianapolis before accepting any settlement offers or you may risk settling for much less than you deserve.

Because of their size, commercial trucks accidents cause greater personal injuries and deaths

Hands down, big trucks are the most dangerous vehicles on the Indiana highways and roadways. Roughly 500,000 accidents each year involve trucks. Because of the massive size and weight of the big rig and the dangerous loads they often carry, truck accidents cause significantly more severe injuries and deaths — about 100,000 and 5,000 respectively—in the United States every year.

Possible factors of a tractor-trailer accident claim

Many of the accidents trucks cause are the result of a lethal mixture of these factors:

  • Exhaustion from long hauls
  • Distraction
  • The truck’s inability to quickly respond in an emergency because of the truck’s size, longer braking distance, more difficult maneuverability, and driver visibility
  • Inadequate maintenance conducted by the trucking company or driver
  • Inadequate driver training or records reviews by the trucking company, which result in dangerous or poorly prepared fleet drivers

No two Indiana truck accidents are the same. How much your truck 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

A law firm with experience negotiating and settling truck accident claims in Indiana. If the insurance company won’t give you a fair settlement, we will take your case to trial for the best possible result.

At Ward & Ward Law Firm, our lawyers interview clients, eye witnesses, police and expert witnesses to get to the facts. We leverage our experience in trucking accident lawsuits to obtain the best settlements possible for Indiana truck accident victims and their families.

Call Charlie Ward today at 317-639-9501 for the best settlement possible if you or someone you know has been injured or killed in a truck accident.

By Charlie Ward

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