Tag Archives: injuries

Despite the Risks of Distracted Driving Indiana Lawmakers Lack the Resolve to Ban Handheld Cell Phones

Despite the Risks of Distracted Driving Indiana Lawmakers Lack the Resolve to Ban Handheld Cell Phones

A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), in partnership with Virginia Tech shows texting while driving (TWD) is on the rise for the age group between 16 and 24 year olds. Texting and driving personal injury and auto accident lawyer in IndianapolisStatistically, teens are more likely to die in a car accident than by suicide, homicide or cancer. Locally, Sherry Deane of AAA Hoosier Motor Club has reported to The Journal Gazette that the fatality rate for drivers between 18 and 21 is on the rise while the rate has dropped for those younger than 18 ¾ largely crediting the decrease in Indiana’s graduated driving provisions.

The Courage to Ban Cell Phone Use for Indiana’s Minors and Young Adults

A law took effect two years ago that would prohibit anyone under the age of 21 from using a telecommunications device, including a hands-free or Bluetooth device, while operating a motor vehicle, i.e. a ban on cell phone use for young adults under the age of 21. The law stipulated, however, in the case of a bona fide emergency, a call to 911 would be allowed. This implies, although it does not specifically state (see Indiana Code 9-24-11-3.7), that cell phones may be allowed within the motor vehicle for the purpose of a 911 emergency. Licensed drivers under the age of 21 who were previously permitted to use a cell phone or hands-free Bluetooth device prior to July 1, 2015, were not grandfathered in.

Ironically, several lawmakers who voted for House Bill 1394, but did not read or comprehend the cell phone ban for drivers under 21 years old, were stunned when they heard about the contents of the bill on the news. Even the spokesman for the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Josh Gillespie, found the passage of the telecommunications bill was a “shocker” to him.

Whether you agree or disagree with Indiana Code 9-24-11-3.7, it is the law of the land and it is unlikely to be changed as lawmakers are working their way, albeit ever so slowly, toward a bill that would reduce the number and severity of crashes caused by adults who are distracted by their cell phones while operating a motor vehicle.

The Future of Anti-Texting Laws in Indiana

State by state, HandsFreeInfo.com keeps tabs on proposed bills and the passage of laws concerning distracted driving issues and texting while driving. Since 2008, certain Indiana state senators and representatives have submitted bills that would keep pace with the technology by classifying the degree of offenses and discouraging the use of telecommunicative hand-held devices. The most recent effort in 2017, House Bill 1255: requires a person to use hands free or voice operated technology to place or receive a telephone call while operating a moving motor vehicle unless the device is used to call 911 to report a bona fide emergency. In the Fiscal and Management Analysis, it is expected that citations for distracted driving offenses would mainly come as the result of a motor vehicle accident. In other words, officers would be unlikely to issue citations for distracted driving offences prior to the occurrence of an accident. The proposed bill would not address cell phone use for applications other than making a telephone call.

Even though the U.S. Department of Transportation says cell phones are involved in 1.6 million crashes a year, causing half a million injuries and taking 6,000 lives, few lawmakers have submitted bills with a total ban on hand-held cell phone or telecommunication devices. Blue tooth devices are inexpensive and allow every smartphone owner to utilize the hands-free technology to place phone calls and send text messages without ever picking up the device. In 2014, one senator went on the record stating “I don’t think that realistically a handheld ban will ever happen, because of the independence of the Hoosier.”

What is Wrong with our Current “No Texting While Driving” Law?

The current law on texting while driving, IC 9-21-8-59(a), was signed by Governor Mitch Daniels on May 10, 2011. The wording of the law (as of this writing, July, 2017) restricts the offense to the reading, writing and sending of text messages, aka wireless messaging, or electronic mail also known as email, while a vehicle is in motion:

Sec. 59.

(a) A person may not use a telecommunications device to:

(1) type a text message or an electronic mail message;

(2) transmit a text message or an electronic mail message;  or

(3) read a text message or an electronic mail message;

while operating a moving motor vehicle unless the device is used in conjunction with hands free or voice operated technology, or unless the device is used to call 911 to report a bona fide emergency.

The law further reads:

(b) A police officer may not, without the consent of the person:

(1) confiscate a telecommunications device for the purpose of determining compliance with this section;

(2) confiscate a telecommunications device and retain it as evidence pending trial for a violation of this section; or

(3) extract or otherwise download information from a telecommunications device for a violation of this section unless:

(A) the police officer has probable cause to believe that the telecommunications device has been used in the commission of a crime;

(B) the information is extracted or otherwise downloaded under a valid search warrant;or

(C) otherwise authorized by law.

It should come as no surprise that few tickets have been written by law enforcement for the offense of texting while driving because of the difficulty in determining what the driver is actually doing on his or her phone. As the law stands now, there are thousands of applications besides texting that people may legally pursue while operating a motor vehicle in the state of Indiana. Under the current law, setting GPS, retrieving and playing music, playing video games, watching movies and surfing the Internet are all within the boundaries of the law.

Although Indiana jumped on the nationwide bandwagon in 2011 by passing legislation banning texting and driving, the Indiana assembly has yet to exercise their will barring the use of hand-held devices. In 2016, it became clear to both Indiana lawmakers and law enforcement officers where the Court of Appeals stood on Indiana’s TWD law.

Of What Use is Indiana’s No Texting Law if it has No Teeth?

In the case of United States of America v Gregorio Paniagua-Garcia, a police officer stopped Mr. P-G (for brevity) after passing him on the interstate highway. The officer described Mr. P-G’s head as being close to the phone; the officer thought he was texting while driving. Mr. P-G told the officer he was searching for music. After questioning the driver of the vehicle for a few minutes, the officer asked if he could search the car and permission to do so was granted. Five pounds of heroin were discovered in the spare tire of the car’s trunk.

Mr. P-G was charged and tried in federal court. When the defendant’s motion to suppress the evidence (heroin) was denied, the defendant reserved his right to appeal by claiming the evidence was obtained during an illegal stop. On appeal, the United States government conceded a stop is legal “only if the officer has probable cause to believe that a traffic violation has occurred or reasonable suspicion that a crime was about to be or has been committed,” United States of America v Gregorio Paniagua-Garcia.

The government was unable to establish that the officer had probable cause to stop the defendant or a reasonable suspicion that he had violated the no-texting law. Why? Because the officer had not seen Mr. P-G texting; the officer testified that he thought he was texting while driving. And what he did see (Mr. P-G’s head close to the phone) was consistent with many other lawful uses of cell phones. On a side note, it was revealed at trial and conceded by the government that the defendant had not been texting when the officer saw him on the interstate highway; he was indeed searching for music.

This case is a complex illustration of the ineffectiveness of our current no-texting laws. Because our laws do not address the use of other smart phone apps, and because law enforcement is explicitly prohibited from downloading cell phone information or confiscating cell phones for purposes of evidence, their hands are bound and little more can be done but rely upon the truthfulness of the driver when asked, or hand out warning tickets to those drivers suspected of texting behind the wheel of a moving vehicle.

In the opinion of the 3-judge appeals panel, for the above-referenced case, it states:

“Indiana is right to be worried about the dangers created by persons who fiddle with their cellphones while driving, but probably wrong to outlaw such fiddling only with respect to texting…”

Go with an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney to Handle Your Claim for Injuries or Wrongful Death

A ticket for violating Indiana’s anti-texting law may cost the offender up to $500. On the other hand, in a civil claim for personal injuries or wrongful death due to the negligence of an individual, small business or corporate entity, a discovery request to obtain cell phone records may firmly establish liability on the part of the other driver when he or she failed to yield or otherwise caused the accident responsible for the injuries or death of you or your loved one.

Ward & Ward Law Firm has more in 85 years of experience in the successful litigation of claims for personal injury and wrongful death. We agressively pursue the compensation you or your loved one deserves.

If you or someone you know has been injured or killed in an accident involving a car, truck, bus, bicycle or motorcycle, call attorneys with experience in personal injury accident claims and an up-to-date working knowledge of the laws and legal opinions of the higher courts, all of which may affect your lawsuit, settlement or trial.

Read our reviews on Google then call me, Charlie Ward, today for a free consultation and evaluation of your potential claim at (317) 639-9501 or toll free at (888) 639-9501. I look forward to talking with you.

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 7-21-17

 

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 lawyers may refuse your case – Failure to Mitigate Injuries | Car Accident Lawyers

Why personal injury lawyers may refuse your case – Failure to Mitigate Injuries | Indianapolis Car Accident Lawyers

why-personal-injury-lawyers-refuse-your-caseAn injured party has a duty to minimize the harm caused by a negligent party. This concept, common to contract and tort law, is firmly entrenched in American jurisprudence.

An insurance policy is a contract between two parties, the insurer and the insured. Insurers expect an injured victim to seek medical treatment and obtain a diagnosis immediately following an accident or an injury caused by the negligence of another person or entity. Insurance companies view the failure to seek immediate medical attention as a failure to mitigate the damages. Why?

  1. An injured plaintiff has a duty and responsibility to receive a diagnosis and treat their injuries, thereby mitigating their injuries and other potential damages; and
  2. Absent a timely medical diagnosis, an insurance adjuster and claims panel cannot know what actions or activities the claimant has performed since the accident that may have acerbated the original injury.

In my law practice, I have learned injured victims often fail to follow-up with a physician soon after a collision. Some fear a doctor will order tests they are not prepared to pay, taking off from work may pose a problem and others do not want a disruption in their lives. They may self-diagnose, thinking the pain and discomfort will get better over time.

Men, in particular, may be reluctant to seek treatment or the advice of their physicians. The American Academy of Family Physicians found that 92% of men polled in an online survey conducted by Harris Interactive, waited a few days before seeking care. Nearly one-third wait “as long as possible” before they seek the care of a physician.

Delayed Symptoms and the Onset of Pain

Immediately following an accident, blood pressure and adrenalin levels surge. This triggers the hyperactivity of opioids in the brain, which may be responsible for the lack of tenderness and pain generally expected after an injury.

In an interview with The New York Times, Dr. Dennis Charney, a psychiatrist at Yale and director of clinical neuroscience at the National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder states:

“The opioid system of the brain, which can blunt the feeling of pain, is hyperactive…For the brain changes to occur, scientists now say, people usually have to experience the stress as catastrophic, an overwhelming threat to life or safety and one over which they [have] no control… It does not matter if it was…a one-time experience, like being trapped in a hurricane or almost dying in an auto accident…All uncontrollable stress can have the same biological impact.”

When the brain’s chemistry finally returns to the patient’s baseline, varying degrees of discomfort may be experienced. Pain is an indicator that something unusual is occurring in the body. It may be an indication of inflammation or a precursor to a heart attack―but it should never be ignored. If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident, our attorneys recommend you consult with a physician as soon as possible after the collision or injury. Many attorneys will refuse to file a claim if the injured person has delayed diagnosis and treatment.

Experienced personal injury attorneys and car accident lawyers in Indianapolis

The car accident lawyers and personal injury attorneys at Ward & Ward Law Firm have more than 85 combined years of experience practicing  personal injury, wrongful death and medical malpractice law. Call personal injury lawyer, Charlie Ward, today at 317-639-9501 or toll free at 888-639-9501 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

Read our reviews: https://www.wardlawfirm.com/indianapolis-personal-injury-lawyers-ward-ward-law-firm-reviews/

Learn about Indiana’s RAP Clause

Unjust Law Strengthened Aspirations of 2015 Legendary Personal Injury Lawyer | Car Accident Lawyers and Personal Injury Attorneys

Unjust Law Strengthened Aspirations of 2015 Legendary Personal Injury Lawyer | Car Accident Lawyers and Personal Injury Attorneys

20155 Legendary Personal Injury Lawyer, Don WardWhen Indiana personal injury attorney, Donald W. Ward, was a first year law student, he learned through personal experience that “a lot of injustices have been legislatively induced.” To counter the power structure favoring insurance companies and special interests, the former President of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association has worked alongside like-minded, dedicated trial lawyers with members of the Indiana General Assembly to amend and pass legislation that would protect the trial court “wins” for injured clients.

Ward recalls one peculiar aspect of the Indiana Guest Statute that directly influenced his professional aspirations. During the fifties and prior to its amendment in 1998, the Indiana Guest Statute favored insurance companies by preventing an injured or deceased passenger from filing suit against a negligent owner or operator of the vehicle in which they were riding, except under narrowly defined circumstances. “Because you were a guest in my car,” Ward said, “my negligent driving did not entitle you to sue me for injuries caused by my negligent driving unless you could prove that I willfully or wantonly ran that red light.” Willful intent was key to overcoming the restrictions of the unjust law.

The early Guest Statute personally affected the Notre Dame Law Student

Jurisprudence was Ward’s calling. But it became personal after his sixteen-year old sister sustained life-threatening injuries when the vehicle in which she was riding crashed due to driver’s negligence. Upon learning of her accident and the injuries she suffered, he immediately left the law school he was attending to take his place with the family alongside her bed.

While in a prolonged state of unconsciousness, witnesses to the crash misled authorities by withholding facts. There was little hope her body could survive the excessive traumas and because of the restrictions placed in Indiana’s Guest Statute, little expectation that the driver’s insurance company would be financially accountable for the mounting medical bills.

Sometime later―her jaw wired shut―she awoke from a comatose state. When she finally regained the ability to form words, she stunned family members when she communicated to them that the driver of the vehicle in which she was riding had been drag racing on the road leading into the small town of Osgood when the accident occurred. She further articulated that prior to the crash, she and other passengers in the car firmly told the driver to “slow down.” Although latent, the adolescent eyewitnesses eventually corroborated the illuminating statement made from the hospital bed.

When the authorities determined the cause of the accident; that the driver of the car had “willfully” engaged in risky driving behavior; and the victim’s request to “slow down” had gone unheeded, this was the break family attorney and Ward’s mentor needed to proceed with a claim that would fall within the strict interpretation of the law. This incident and the bond formed between Ward and the late Howard S. Young Jr., served to strengthen Ward’s resolve to become a practicing plaintiff’s lawyer and to use his skills to affect changes in laws that were unjust and denied citizens equal access to trial by jury.

Former President of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association

Since those days back in the fifties, members of the Indiana Trial Lawyer Association have worked diligently to protect the rights of Hoosier citizens in the legislative process. Ward says, “It is my belief that the voices of individual citizens are heard in the legislative process through the members of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association.” When asked about his career as a trial lawyer, he said “The law profession is a very noble profession and I am very proud to have been a small part of it.”

Indiana’s Guest Statute, also known as the “Hitchhiker’s Law,” was eventually amended and implemented in 1998 reducing its scope to include parents, spouses, children, stepchildren, siblings, and hitchhikers. To learn more about the current Guest Statute in Indiana, visit the Ward & Ward Law Firm blog.

On August 19, 2015, Donald W. Ward of Ward & Ward Law Firm in Indianapolis, received the 2015 Legendary Lawyer Award presented by the Indiana Bar Foundation, a charity comprised of lawyers and judges who are dedicated to strengthening access to justice and an appreciation for the rule of law in Indiana. The committee that selected Ward was composed of Bar Foundation Fellows practicing law across the state of Indiana. Today, Ward is a diligent advocate for his firm’s injured clients and the families of wrongful death victims. Ward says he has no intention of retiring and will continue his work as a practicing personal injury lawyer.

Experienced Indianapolis Personal Injury Attorneys and Car Accident Lawyers

Call personal injury and accident lawyer Charlie Ward today for a free consultationIf you, or someone you know, has been injured in an accident, call personal injury attorneys and car accident lawyers,  Don and Charlie Ward, today at 317-639-9501 or 888-639-9501 for an evaluation of your claim.

Ward & Ward Law Firm
Car Accident Lawyers and Personal Injury Attorneys
728 S Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46225
317-639-9501
888-639-9501

Indiana Supreme Court Upholds Trial Court Discretion in No Contact Motorcycle Accident

personal-injury-attorney-web-logoNo Contact Motorcycle Accident with Extensive Personal Injuries

On September 3, 2008, Mr. Earl was thrown from his motorcycle at a speed of 65 mph when he took evasive action to protect himself from the sudden and unexpected lane change by a semi tractor-trailer driver. Although there was no contact that occurred between Mr. Earl’s motorcycle and the semi, an observant witness confirmed the accident and resulting injuries sustained by Mr. Earl were caused by the unidentified semi-truck.
Prior to the accident he enjoyed an active outdoor lifestyle: hunting, fishing and playing league basketball. He was the co-owner of a small construction business; his expertise and job responsibilities were in excavation and sewer work. And he enjoyed spending time with his wife and playing with his grandchildren.

Economic Damages

Mr. Earl was hospitalized immediately following the accident. His injuries included a fractured collarbone, fractured shoulder blade, and multiple fractures in his left ribs. He also suffered a collapsed lung, laceration of the liver, multiple abrasions, a blood clot in his left leg and a permanent structural change of his left shoulder joint.

Eventually Mr. Earl returned to light-duty office work but he was unable to perform the heavy equipment and excavation duties required of him in his business. His income suffered as a result.

Non-Economic Damages

After Mr. Earl’s medical treatment concluded, every action in his life was executed in pain―from playing with his grandchildren to driving a car. Even lying in bed was problematic. In addition, his wife reported her husband’s pain affected their marriage.

A Claim for Damages – Uninsured Motorist Insurance Coverage

At the time of the accident, Mr. and Mrs. Earl had uninsured motorist insurance coverage for $250,000 per person/$500,000 per accident. When their insurance company refused to pay the full amount of $250,000 for his damages, they brought a claim for damages based on the terms of their contract with their insurance company. While the case was pending, Mr. Earl died from an unrelated illness. When their insurance company admitted liability, the case proceeded to a jury on the question of damages only.

Despite their insurance company’s unsuccessful motion to exclude the policy limits from evidence, the trial court admitted plaintiffs’ insurance policy into evidence. The jury returned with a verdict of $175,000 for Mr. Earl’s damages and $75,000 for Mrs. Earl’s damages totaling $250,000―the exact limits of the policy.

After their insurance company successfully appealed on the grounds that the trial court abused its discretion by allowing the $250,000 limits into evidence and that the jury’s verdict was affected by their knowledge of the policy limits, the Earl’s petitioned to the Indiana Supreme Court. The appellate ruling was vacated.

In the Indiana Supreme Court Conclusion, Justice Massa writes:

“…we cannot say the trial court abused its discretion in finding that probative value was not outweighed by substantial prejudice.”

The Indiana Supreme Court took the position that there is not a bright-line rule for admitting insurance coverage but instead it is in the trial court’s discretion to determine what evidence is probative in each case.

Experienced Personal Injury LawyersCall personal injury and accident lawyer Charlie Ward today for a free consultation

If you have any questions about your automobile insurance policy or your motorcycle insurance coverage, call us today at 317-639-9501 and ask for Charlie Ward.

Charlie Ward

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

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.

Seat Belts Saves Lives | Auto Accident Attorney Indianapolis

Indianapolis IN Personal Injury Lawyer - Seat Belts and Car Accidents Seat Belts Reduce Injuries and Deaths

Approximately 33,000 (AAA article) individuals  are killed in auto accidents each year in the United States.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that the leading cause of death for individuals ages 4, and 11 through 27 is from an auto accident.  Why??  Failure to wear a seat belt.Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

Statistics show that seat belts reduce the probability of death from an auto accident by over 50%.  In 2012, more than 2.2 million (CDC article) adults and passengers were treated at an emergency room for injuries as a result of an auto accident.  Again statistics show that many of the serious injuries sustained in these accidents could have been minimized with the use of a seat belt.  The cost to society is staggering–it is estimated in 2012 that non fatal injuries cost society over 50 BILLION dollars for lifetime medical costs and loss of work productivity.   Teenage drivers who survive accidents give the main reason for failing to wear a seat belt as follows:

  1. Simply forgot to wear the seat belt.
  2. Driving just a short distance.

Research further shows that seat belts reduce the risk of death to a front seat passenger by 45% and the risk of a critical injury by 50%.   Ejection is the main injurious event from failing to wear a seat belt to a front seat passenger.  In addition, 77% of passengers ejected from the vehicle were killed.

The mechanics of seal belt use

In order to understand what happens in an accident where a person fails to wear a seat belt, one must understand the work energy principle, kinetic energy and stopping distances. Read about the mechanics of seat belt use. This is all very technical but least to say that all literature shows that value of wearing a seat belts reduce the probability of death and the severity of a serious injury by approximately 50%.

Recently Cam Newton, quarterback for the Carolina Panthers was in a serious accident where his vehicle flipped several times. Because he wore his seat belt at the time of the accident, he walked away with less serious injuries.

Indianapolis lawyers with experience in auto accidents involving injuries and wrongful death cases

Conclusion–It is a fact–seat belts saves lives and minimize serious injuries. If you have been injured or know someone that has died as a result of another person’s negligence, call Charlie today at 317-639-9501 for a free consultation.

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

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.

How Semi-Truck Accidents Differ from Car Accidents in Indiana

Indianapolis Turck Accident Injury Attorney When you need an attorney to represent you, select a lawyer with tractor-trailer accident litigation experience to represent you.

With semi-trucks responsible for delivering as much as 75 percent of all cargo shipped across the United States, motorists and trucks are forced to share the roadways daily. However, sharing the roadway with such big vehicles poses some unique hazards.Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

Most semi-trucks in the United States have six to ten wheels, are more than eight feet wide, 13 feet tall, and weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. When semi-truck accidents in Indianapolis occur, the results are often fatal. Seeking guidance from the experienced team at Ward & Ward can help ensure your rights are protected and proper measures are taken to achieve just compensation for your losses.

How truck accidents differ from motor vehicle accidents

A semi-truck accident differs from a regular car accident in a number of ways, including:

Size and construction

The sheer difference in size between a semi-truck and a car often means the damage and injuries in a semi-truck accident are much worse. Semi-trucks are more difficult to maneuver, turn, and control meaning even the smallest obstacle in the road or unexpected turn of events can become a potential catastrophe. The way semi-trucks are constructed and operated also creates opportunity for accidents. Trucks have numerous blind spots that increase the chances a truck may run a car off the road. Also trucks require greater stopping distance that leads to dangerous rear-end collisions when a truck is forced to stop short.

Driver conditions

Because semi-truck drivers are under pressure to reach destinations quickly, they often work long hours without proper breaks and become more easily distracted, prone to the influence of drugs and alcohol to stay awake, and more likely to drive while fatigued. All of these factors can contribute to a potential accident.

Trucking laws and regulations

Laws that govern the operation of semi trucks are much more complex than those for motor vehicles, as are the rules surrounding litigation of trucking accidents versus auto accidents. For these reasons, it is extremely important to seek guidance from an experienced lawyer if you are involved in a trucking accident.

Determining fault is often more difficult than in a car accident. A semi truck accident attorney knows liability may fall on a number of different parties and each may have a separate insurance policy. With so many people and companies involved, it pays to have a skilled attorney who knows how to handle properly an investigation and uncover the responsible party.

Handling your Indiana truck accident and injury cases

At Ward & Ward, our semi-truck accident attorneys have the skills necessary to obtain the compensation you deserve. If you or a loved one is a victim of an accident in the Indianapolis greater metropolitan area or in the state of Indiana, contact Ward & Ward to arrange a free consultation with a skilled lawyer today. We are available to speak with you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.