Tag Archives: lawsuit

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

Roundabouts Reduce Accidents in Indiana Counties

Indianapolis Lawyer car accident InjuriesA recent study details the ten most dangerous intersections for accidents in Indianapolis

The study, conducted by Indiana University Public Policy Institute in cooperation with other organizations, concluded the following information:

  • The least dangerous  intersection was South Post Road and East Washington Street (eastside Indianapolis) with 22 accidents.
  • The most dangerous intersection was at East Stop 11 Road and Madison Avenue (southside Indianapolis) with a total of 38 accidents.
  • Each intersection averaged approximately 30 per yearCall Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

Accidents involving intersections have higher death rates and serious injuries

In 2013, Marion County Accident Statistics showed:

  • Approximately 29,000 accidents occurred
  • 9,700 of these accidents occurred at intersections
  • 69 individuals died as a result of the accidents

Roundabouts in Indianapolis and Surrounding Counties Save Lives

As a result, many towns and cities (including Carmel, Westfield, Fishers, Plainfield and Greenwood) have aggressively been installing roundabouts as a way to minimize serious accidents.   In the past 10 years Carmel has installed over 80 roundabouts and continues to aggressively install more.   Plainfield, Fishers, Westfield and Greenwood have stepped up their installation of roundabouts and Speedway is installing a roundabout at 16th and Crawfordsville Road next to The Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

What are the benefits of roundabouts?

Roundabouts save time for the driving public and are much safer than intersections.   Statistics show that traffic moves much easier and accidents in roundabouts are generally minor with fewer serious personal injuries.

Experienced Lawyers for pedestrians and bicyclists who have been injured

The lawyers at Ward & Ward Law Firm are experienced litigators of car, motorcycle, bicycle and trucking accidents. While the installation of roundabouts have improved the flow of motorized traffic, the designs may pose some problems for pedestrians and non-motorized vehicles. If you have been hurt by a negligent or careless driver of a vehicle, give Charlie Ward a call at 317-639-9501. We are here to speak with you 24 hours a day. Charlie Ward [email protected]

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

 

Addiction to Texting in Indianapolis & Indiana

Texting and driving accidents- Personal Injury Lawyer

Texting has become the preferred method of telecommunication by teens

The i-generation is the first generation of young people to grow up with mobile communication and media technologies. Members of the ‘i-gens’ are very connected through text messaging and telephone communiqué. Seventy-five percent of teens own cell phones and a third of those text more than 100 times a day. Eleven percent say they send over 200 messages every day. A study conducted in 2012 comparing boys texting behaviors to girls, Pew Research found, on average, girls typically send and receive 100 texts a day while boys send and receive 50. Is text messaging becoming an addiction?Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

Many teens feel pressured by their peers to be available 24/7

Psychologists believe that cell phones are an addiction for many young people. Four out of five teens sleep with their smart phones. Some use their smart phones as an alarm. But because text messaging is central to the way teens communicate with their peers, there is a good deal of peer pressure to be ‘available’ at all times. Studies show that a number of teens keep their smart phones bedside so as not to offend a ‘friend’ who may text them during the night.

The US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has posted the following youtube video of a young woman, a high-school honor roll student, who states how important her phone was to her; that she felt alone and lonely without it. She was severely injured and suffered facial disfigurement and loss of senses including eyesight, taste and smell when she momentarily took her eyes from the road to read an incoming text.

Courts hold “texters” partially responsible for accidents caused by texting

The National Safety Council (NSC)  researchers observing more than 1,700 drivers found that three out of every four drivers using a cell phone committed a traffic violation.  Drivers are four times more likely to crash when talking on the cell phone; while phone texting, drivers are 23 times more likely to collide with an object, person or vehicle. And drivers are less likely to remember what they’ve seen when talking on a hands free device.

States now recognize that due to constitutional privacy issues, initial efforts at putting texting and driving legislation on the books have lacked the teeth necessary to enforce the laws. Consequently, states are looking for more effective legislation and courts are handing down rulings that hold people accountable for their knowledge and errors in judgment where text messaging is concerned.

In New Jersey, the Court of Appeals has ruled that a texter “has a duty not to text someone who is driving” if the sender knows the person “will view the text while driving.” What does this mean? If a texter has knowledge or a reason to believe that the person being texted may be behind-the-wheel and may view the text while driving, the texter could bear some financial liability if an accident occurs.

Parents should be proactive with their children

As parents, we know that when our children receive their driver’s permit and license, drive-time instruction is not enough to compensate for real-world experience. We hope and we pray that our children learn defensive driving skills without traffic incident or injury. If your ‘i-gen’ teen seems to need his or her smart phone with them at all times, be very proactive in instructing your child about the dangers that come with the use of cellphones while driving.

Give a cellphone challenge to your child. Ask them to refrain from using their cell phone for an evening, then a day and maybe even two. Set your son or daughter up for success by not asking too much, too soon. Their ability to exercise self-control over their cell phone use will be a confidence booster.

When they use the vehicle, ask them to leave their cell phone at home and suggest they act as the ‘designated driver’ when with friends.  Chances are their friends will have a phone with them should an emergency arise. Parents, if you need to text or phone your teen, get in the habit of calling one of their friends who you know is present in the car your teen is driving. Discuss this strategy with other parents and work towards a consensus to employ these techniques. Teach your teens how to prioritize while you still have them under your control. The lessons you teach them now, will stay with them for a lifetime.

Read more about distracted driving and discover apps that parents and newly licensed teens can use to educate and build trust.

Attorney Charlie Ward is a plaintiff’s attorney and represents those who have been injured by another person’s negligence. If you believe that you were injured by a distracted driver, call Charlie at 317-639-9501 or 888-639-9501 for a consultation and evaluation of your claim. Ward & Ward Law Firm is open 24 hours a day.

Personal Injury Attorney,

Charlie Ward

[email protected]

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

 

Published 11/05/2014

Whiplash and Other Serious Neck Injuries Resulting from an Automobile, Motorcycle, Bicycle, Pedestrian or Trucking Accident — Ward & Ward Law Firm, Indiana’s Injury Accident Lawyers

Injuries kill more people ages 1–44 in the U.S. than any other cause. Neck injuries are common injuries to accidents involving cars, motorcycles, bicycles and semi tractor-trailers. If you have incurred an injury to your neck because of another party’s negligence, it is important to seek medical treatment from a licensed medical physician (hospital, primary care physician or medical specialist) right away and then to call an experienced personal injury or accident attorney to recover your losses for medical bills, bodily injuries, loss of wages and other damages suffered.

Types of neck injuries

There are a wide variety of neck injuries. Examples of some common neck injuries are:

  • Strains: When muscle fibers are torn due to lifting heavy weights or whiplash, the result is a strained neck. The pain involved with a strain can vary in severity.
  • Spasms: A spasm occurs when your neck muscles seize up into a tight muscle contraction. Bracing before impact may cause a neck spasm.
  • Stingers: When the neck is rotated in an unnatural way or forced into an extreme tilt, a “stinger” injury can result. The symptoms of a stinger include a burning or tingling sensation in the arms, shoulders and neck. Stingers are commonly caused by high impact collisions.
  • Whiplash: A soft-tissue injury to the neck muscles, ligaments and tendons is described as whiplash. This type of injury occurs when the neck is forced to extend beyond its normal range of motion. Common symptoms of whiplash include headache, pain, stiffness and dizziness.
  • Fractures: The neck contains fragile bones that can be broken by high-impact pressure. The severity of a broken neck can range from minor pain and numbness to a serious neck fracture, leading to paralysis.
  • Herniated disc: When a disc of the cervical vertebra ruptures causing pressure on nerve roots, it is referred to as a herniated or ruptured disc injury. Symptoms of this type of injury include stabbing pain, tingling, numbness and weakness in the neck, back, shoulders, arms and hands.

 

Treatment for a neck injury depends on the type and severity of the injury. Common treatments may include medications, rest, physical therapy, exercises, steroid injections and surgery.

If you have suffered a neck injury because of the negligence of another party, speak with an experienced injury lawyer to learn how you can recover compensation for your medical bills, bodily injuries, lost wages, pain and suffering and property damage.

Charlie Ward

Ward & Ward Law Firm

(888) 316-3449

 

Why you Need an Experienced Indiana Motorcycle Injury Accident Lawyer

Attorneys Use Contributory Negligence as Affirmative Defense in Motorcycle Accident ClaimsCall Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

A person injured in a motorcycle accident that is a direct result of another driver’s negligence, requires legal representation by a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury attorney that understands and can counter the defenses employed by defendant’s counsel. Defendant will likely attempt to portray the cyclist as a “risk-taker” who is in whole or part to blame for his or her own injuries. Why? Because Indiana’s comparative fault law proclaims that a Plaintiff who is more than 50% at fault for his or her own injuries cannot recover for damages.

Contributory negligence in motorcycle accidents claims

Indiana Code 34-51-2-6 states:

“…the claimant is barred from recovery if the claimant’s contributory fault is greater than the fault of all persons whose fault proximately contributed to the claimant’s damages.”

From a defense perspective, proving plaintiff’s contributory negligence would reduce or even eliminate the defendant’s financial exposure in the claim.

In an affirmative defense strategy, defendant’s counsel may attempt to plant the seed of negligence and portray cycling as an inherently risky behavior. Asking the jury to consider that the cyclist failed to mitigate their damages by opting not to wear a helmet is a very common defense. However, an experienced lawyer representing motorcycle claimants will petition the Court early on to disallow any speculation about Plaintiff’s failure to wear protective headgear. In State v. Eaton, 659N.E.2d232 (Ind. Ct. App. 1996) establishes that Indiana motorcyclists have no common law duty to wear a helmet or protective eyewear. Therefore absent any protective head gear or eyewear, defendant may not hold cyclist accountable for failing to do so and a jury may not speculate how the injured party’s damages might have been lessened if a helmet had been worn.

Motorcycle claims are very different from auto accident claims and require help from an experienced lawyer

Motorcycle lawsuits require counsel experienced in litigating cyclist’s claims. Call Charlie Ward today at 317-639-9501 for a free evaluation of your claim.

The Personal Injury Toxic Tort Claim – $7M for Popcorn Lung Disease | Indiana

Legal claims involving high-profile companies, products and big jury awards always draw the attention of media. The latest being $7M in damages awarded a man for injuries involving a potentially fatal lung disease called “popcorn lung.”

Toxic chemical found in microwavable butter-flavored popcornCall Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

Inhaling a chemical compound called diacetyl, formerly found in butter flavoring, was known to cause a condition in which the smallest airways of the lung become scarred and constricted, blocking the movement of air. The debilitating and potentially fatal condition called Popcorn Lung Disease, also known as Bronchiolitis Obliterans, was diagnosed in the Claimant, a 59 year old man by the name of Wayne Watson.  His physician, a lung specialist at National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver, Colorado, knew his condition was caused by inhaling something. But when she asked him, based upon the symptoms he was experiencing, if he had been around a lot of popcorn, he was surprised she knew and he confirmed he had eaten microwaved butter-flavored popcorn twice a day for 10 years. Who hasn’t opened a freshly popped bag of butter-flavored microwavable popcorn and enjoyed the permeating buttery smell?

Five years later the flavoring manufacturer removed the chemical from the formula

Physicians have known since the year 2000 that the condition known as popcorn lung was related to the naturally occurring chemical compound called diacetyl which was in the butter flavoring added to microwavable popcorn. The National Institute for Occupational safety and Health (NIOSH) determined that inhaling large quantities of BBA butter flavoring caused lung disease in workers at a plant in Jasper, Missouri. In fact, a number of popcorn factory workers had developed the disease from inhaling the vapors of the butter flavoring and filed for workman compensation claims. NIOSH recommended the plant install industry ventilation hoods in the quality control areas. But the manufacturer of the butter flavoring did not remove diacetyl from the formula until the year 2007.

Factory workers file personal injury claims for damages associated with popcorn lung

Factory workers also filed claims with the courts for damages resulting from exposure to the toxic chemical. They claimed the manufacturers knew the buttery flavoring could be toxic but failed to warn them. Many of the original claims have successfully gone to trial or been settled. One factory worker, Eric Peoples, and his wife, received a jury award of $20M in 2007 against the flavoring manufacturer for personal injury damages from the lung disease. Peoples developed popcorn lung within a year of starting work at the popcorn factory in Jasper. Today, a number of claims by factory workers in various states, most across corn belt areas of the country, are currently in litigation.

But Watson’s claim, filed early in 2008, was the first claim of popcorn lung disease by a consumer. The Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association (FEMA) became aware of Mr. Watson’s illness in 2007 and although FEMA has no legal authority to prohibit the use of diacetyl, they issued a press release asking the flavor manufacturers to reduce “the diacetyl content of these flavors to the extent possible.” In his suit, Watson claimed the companies failed to warn the consumer of the risk associated with inhaling a bag of corn popped in the microwave as intended by the manufacturers and that smelling the buttery aroma could expose the consumer to an inhalation hazard or a risk of lung injury. Mr. Watson’s lung disease, caused by years of exposure to diacetyl, is serious. The only hope for many with the disease is to have a single or double lung transplant. The jury in Watson’s case found shared responsibility between the manufacturer of the popcorn (80% at fault) and the supermarket where he purchased the foods (20% at fault). Associated Press reported Mr. Watson also settled prior claims against the flavor developer.

Diacetyl, although considered safe to eat and  approved for consumption as a flavor ingredient by The Food and Drug Administration, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) studies in the initial plant documented a relationship between cumulative exposure to diacetyl vapor over time and having abnormal lung function . It’s currently used in many consumer products such as margarine, wine, and cheese. When ingested, the body has the ability to metabolize small amounts of diacetyl with no known health hazards.

To learn more about popcorn lung disease and daily exposure to the chemical, diacetyl, you can obtain a free copy of NIOSH’s publication entitled NIOSH ALERT: Preventing Lung Disease in Workers Who Use or Make Flavorings by clicking on this link.

Lawyers Experienced in Tort Claims

If you have been injured or know someone who has been injured as a result of someone’s negligence, call attorney, Charlie Ward, for a free consultation at (317) 639-9501. The law firm of Ward & Ward has over 80 years of combined experience in personal injury and wrongful death claims including injuries resulting from auto, motorcycle and trucking accidents.

 

Recovering Medical Expenses for Personal Injuries or Wrongful Death and the Collateral Source Statute – Your Indianapolis, Indiana Auto, Motorcycle and Trucking Accident Lawyer

Indiana’s Collateral Source Statute bars over-recovery for medical billsCall Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

Under Indiana law, the driver who is at fault for the injuries of another has a duty to pay for the injured party’s “reasonable” and “necessary” medical bills. But what is considered “reasonable and necessary?”

One method of proving reasonability is by introducing into evidence, the statement of charges for injuries received as a result of the accident from the health care provider. Indiana Evidence Rule 413 provides that such statements are admissible as evidence and “shall constitute prima facie evidence that the charges are reasonable.”

Indiana’s Collateral Source Statute prevents the Plaintiff from over-recovery—or recovering more than once—for a monetary loss sustained from personal injury or wrongful death.

IC 34-44-1 provides for allowing into evidence the following:

  • Proof of collateral source payments (i.e. medical payments made by health insurance providers or workers compensation for the benefit of the plaintiff)
  • Proof of the amount of money that the plaintiff is required to repay
  • Proof of the cost to the plaintiff or to members of the plaintiff’s family of collateral benefits received by the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s family

Exceptions to the collateral source rule include: life insurance or other death benefits, insurance benefits or premiums plaintiff or plaintiff’s family have paid for directly, or payments made by any agency, instrumentality, or subdivision of the state or the United States, i.e. defendant may not lessen their financial obligation for damages by introducing into evidence Plaintiff’s medical billing discounts or discounts provided to plaintiff as a benefit to the insured by the contract established between their health insurance carrier and their health provider. Americanbar.org states the following:

Indiana retains the common law principle that collateral source payments should not reduce a damage award if the payment resulted from the plaintiff’s own forethought, such as insurance purchased by the plaintiff or government benefits that the plaintiff has paid for through taxes.

Ward & Ward is a plaintiff’s law firm experienced in protecting the interests of personal injury victims and wrongful death claims. If you have been injured in an automobile, motorcycle, bicycle or trucking accident, I urge you to call me at 317-639-9501 for a free consultation at your earliest convenience.

Charlie Ward

[email protected]

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

Mobile Devices Responsible for One Quarter of all Car, Truck and Semi Tractor-Trailer Accident Mishaps

“Distracted Driving,” The Use of any electronic device while drivingCall Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

Distracted driving is an umbrella term which defines the use of an electronic devise of any kind while driving, including but not limited to hand-held and hands-free cell phone use. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that at any moment in time the prevalence of drivers talking on their cellphones is 11%. According to The National Safety Council (NSC), approximately 25% of all auto and trucking accidents in 2008 involved a driver talking on the cell phone.

Unconscious Driving

It would seem that innovative technologies designed to make our lives easier have instead stepped-up the pressure to increase productivity, making it tempting to use our cell phones while driving from place to place. We call this multi-tasking. But in fact, science shows that the brain is not wired to process more than one task at a time. Instead, thought activities are handled in sequence or succession. Incoming information to the brain is filtered for action and encoding; too much information, i.e. more than can be processed, is filtered out. Since we cannot consciously choose which information is encoded and which is filtered out, this becomes of greatest concern when “multi-tasking” behind the wheel of a car or a commercial truck in motion. In other words, a natural lapse in critical data may be the impetus for a tragic accident or fatality. According to the National Safety Council, estimates indicate drivers using cell phones look, but fail to see, up to 50% of the information in their driving environment. Have you ever had a conversation while driving and after arriving at your destination, you don’t remember the drive at all?

Fatality Statistics for Distracted Drivers

The official U.S. Government website for distracted driving states:  “In 2009 alone, nearly 5,500 people were killed and 450,000 more were injured in distracted driving crashes.”

Texting While Driving

Many states have enacted laws against texting behind the wheel. Effective July 1st, 2011, Indiana passed legislation (IC 9-21-8-59) making it illegal to text, receive a text or read a text while driving a motorized vehicle unless the device is equipped with voice-operated technology; an emergency call to 911 being the exception. However, a sub-section of the same legislation forbids officers to confiscate the texting device to determine compliance or as evidence to be used against the driver in Court; the latter section making it difficult, if not impossible, to enforce the ban on texting.

Commercial Motor Vehicles, Trucks are Regulated

Under the commerce clause of the Constitution, legislators recently passed federal laws banning commercial truck and bus drivers from using hand-held devices while driving. It is likely that in the future commercial carriers will be equipped with devices that can read incoming texts aloud and send out voice-activated texts.

 

The National Safety Council sees the ban on hand-held devices as only a partial cure to the existing problem since hand’s free devices do not remove the issue of cognitive distraction. How does phone conversation differ from conversation with a passenger? NSC believes that a passenger shares the driving experience and can suppress conversation under challenging conditions whereas the suppression of conversation on a cell phone may be considered rude. In an AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety survey, 83 percent of respondents said drivers using cell phones are a “serious” or “extremely serious” problem, yet
more than half of the respondents stated they had engaged in this behavior in the last 30 days. Participants to the survey saw the problem of cell phone use as only slightly less of an issue than driving under the influence of alcohol.

 

At this time, the NSC seeks to inform and change behavior voluntarily through education and self-discipline. But in the future I would anticipate that as support grows for legislation banning the use of hands-free devices, states will begin to fall in line on this issue.

Wrongful Death Attorneys Subpoena Phone Records from Truck Drivers and Trucking Companies

Accidents involving commercial trucks or semi tractor-trailers require an extensive knowledge of commercial codes, federal legislation and state laws. If you’ve recently lost a loved one due to a commercial driver’s negligence, the compassionate wrongful death attorneys at Ward & Ward have extensive experience in commercial carrier claims and can help ensure that you do not suffer needless financial distress in addition to mourning your tragic loss. The law firm of Ward & Ward has over 80 years of combined experience in wrongful death claims, auto accident, motorcycle accident, trucking accident, and injuries associated with semi tractor-trailer accidents. Ward & Ward invite you to contact them as soon as possible to arrange a FREE initial consultation about your case, by phone at 317-639-9501, through their website at wardlawfirm.com, or simply by visiting their conveniently-located downtown Indianapolis office. If we decide your case has merit, you won’t be charged unless we recover damages on your behalf.

 

Charlie Ward

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

[email protected]

Website: https://www.wardlawfirm.com

Trying the Motorcycle Accident Case Before a Jury, Part III — Common Defenses Used by Insurance Companies in Motorcycle Accident Cases

Was defendant driver’s conduct reasonable?

Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

Liability in most motorcycle and auto accidents is established by fault or negligence. By law it is the duty and responsibility of all motorists to use due diligence of care not to harm or injure another while driving or riding. In determining whether a defendant to an accident claim exercised due care, the law compares the driver’s conduct to that of a “reasonable person.”

Has defendant driver violated cyclist’s right-of-way?

Findings from The Hurt Study—Motorcycle Accident Cause Factors and Identification of Countermeasures, conducted by the University of Southern California— have demonstrated that in multiple vehicle accidents, the driver of the other vehicle violated the motorcyclist’s right-of-way, thereby causing the accident in two-thirds of accidents studied. The study further shows that 92% of motorcycle riders involved in an accident have received no formal training. Since motorcycles have only two wheels, forward motion is necessary to achieve stability. It takes skill and experience to bring a motorcycle safely through a situation where the cyclist’s right-of-way has been violated by another motorist.

Due to exposure, motorcyclists’ injuries are more serious

Injuries sustained by cyclists involved in motorcycle accidents are by nature more serious than injuries suffered by other motorists in similar crashes. Motorcycles are smaller, lighter and lack the framework necessary to mitigate injuries of impact. Defendants to a motorcycle accident claim and their insurance companies have a great deal of potential financial exposure at stake and so their insurance carrier’s defense team needs work that much harder to deflect liability and minimize financial awards for injuries to plaintiff. These awards may include past and future medical expenses, loss of wages, pain and suffering and all other remedies available by the law.

Insurance company defense strategies

When a motorist acts in a negligent manner and their negligence is the sole and single cause of a motorcycle accident, the motorist (defendant) may be found solely liable for claimant’s injuries. The jury’s award could potentially meet or even exceed defendant’s insurance policy limits depending upon the amount of coverage defendant has. The insurance carrier’s strategy against a judgment of liability might include the defense crash team’s search for evidence to establish plaintiff’s negligence through eyewitness statements and expert discovery. The defense team will often criticize the excessive speed of the rider. Or in a case involving a rear-end collision, defense will usually allege that the speed plaintiff was traveling was unreasonably slow or that plaintiff suddenly or improperly stopped.

Another strategy used by defense would place some “degree” of fault upon the plaintiff. In Indiana, a claimant who is found to be greater than 50% responsible for their own injuries cannot receive compensation for their claim under the comparative fault law. Defense may declare that their client was unable to see claimant and that claimant acted irresponsibly by not wearing apparel that would increase their visibility on the road. By convincing the jury that plaintiff had a significant amount of contributory negligence in the actions shaping the accident, defense could significantly reduce or even eliminate financial awards to the plaintiff.

Experienced attorneys mount a proper investigation of the accident

To prepare an adequate case on behalf of motorcycle injury victims, a vast amount of attorney’s time and resources must be allocated to the investigation process. Charlie Ward is a personal injury attorney experienced in representing injured motorcyclists and families of those who have lost their lives in accidents involving motorcycle, auto and trucking accidents. The law office of Ward & Ward receives no legal fees or expenses unless we collect damages on our client’s behalf. Call Charlie today at 317-639-9501 to discuss your motorcycle accident and receive a free analysis of your claim.

Email: Charlie Ward

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

https://www.wardlawfirm.com

Insurance Companies Hire Attorney Advocates—Shouldn’t You?

Who represents your interests?

At Ward & Ward, we often meet honest people who’ve been injured in accidents, through no fault of their own, opt to work on their own behalf and in good faith with
their auto insurance carrier to resolve the disputes that naturally arise from an accident. But all too quickly these same sincere folk realize that they have become entangled in a web of self-interested parties including their own healthcare insurer, individual providers who have delivered costly medical services, the negligent party’s insurance company as well as their own automobile insurance company—and each party is looking after
their own competing interests
.

With over eighty-five years of combined experience in personal injury and wrongful death cases, Don and Charlie Ward understand how the well-being of these same people can easily get trampled on the battleground of competing parties attempting to recover costs and minimize losses. Don and Charlie know that insurance companies hire their own attorneys to represent their
‘bottom line’ best interests which may—indirectly—put your welfare secondary to their own.

Indiana has a two-year statute of limitations on personal
injury and wrongful death claims resulting from an auto, motorcycle or trucking
(semi tractor-trailer) accident. Most claims can be amicably settled before the
statute runs. But occasionally extenuating circumstances may require a
long and expensive investigative process before a lawsuit can be filed with the Court. Keeping
in mind that the two-year clock starts running on the date of your accident or
injury, we recommend that you speak with an experienced personal injury attorney
as soon as possible to receive an honest evaluation of your case.

Should we represent you, you will enjoy the full
financial resources of the firm. That means there are no up-front costs to you!
And when you hire the law firm of Ward & Ward, we’ll work on your behalf to make
things right. The insurance companies have lawyers—shouldn’t you enjoy the same
strategic advantage?