Tag Archives: serious injuries

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

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


Do You Get Larger Settlements for Truck Accidents?

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

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

Compensation for serious injuries

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

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

Settlement amounts are often higher in trucking accident lawsuits

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

Experienced lawyers working on your behalf

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

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

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

Charlie Ward

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