Articles Posted in Car Accidents

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Imagine driving down the highway and a car swerves right into your lane.  Perhaps this has happened to you.  Could very well be a distracted driver – on a cell phone texting, falling asleep at the wheel, or driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Certainly, these are all very dangerous situations.

Now imagine built in safety systems to prevent cars from drifting into another lane or warn drivers of vehicles in their blind spots.  As you may know, these safety systems exist and according to reports released this week, are beginning to live up to their potential to significantly reduce crashes.

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Concurrently, research by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety raises the concern that drivers may be less vigilant when relying on automated safety systems or become distracted by dashboard displays that monitor how the systems are performing.

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file0001229529746 morguefile username clickIn Clifton v. McCammack, a 51-year-old man who lived with and cared for his elderly father was unfortunately killed in a motor vehicle collision while riding his moped. Not long after the crash occurred, the man’s father drove to the scene of the wreck after learning of a tragic moped collision on the news. While there, the elderly man observed his son’s body covered by a sheet. He also reportedly recognized both his son’s shoes and his moped. After becoming noticeably upset, the elderly man’s minister apparently came to the accident scene and drove him home.

About nine months later, the elderly man filed a negligent infliction of emotional distress lawsuit against the driver who allegedly caused the fatal collision. In her answer, the driver admitted to committing negligence but denied causing the elderly man’s emotional distress. Following discovery, the negligent driver filed a motion for summary judgment with the trial court. When such a motion is filed, a party to a lawsuit is asking the court to rule that no material facts are in dispute and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. In general, such a motion is normally viewed in the light that is most favorable to the non-moving party.

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Each year, more than 200 people are killed in backover accidents. A new federal rule aims to reduce those statistics.

Backover accidents too often involve the death of a young family member under the wheels of a family car.

For two year old Cameron Gulbransen, death came early when he crawled under the wheels of the family SUV after his parents returned from a date night. Toddling after his father as he went to move the car, Cameron was crushed when his father accidentally backed over him. His father found him, blanket in hand, dying from a head wound.

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Like many other states, Indiana has strict distracted driving laws for drivers under the age of 18. It is illegal for anyone to send a text message while operating a vehicle — but novice drivers are not allowed to make or take calls on a cell phone. These tighter restrictions were enacted because teenagers are more likely to engage in reckless or distracted driving behaviors and cause accidents.

In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a national Youth Risk Behavior Survey, which showed the following:

  • 50 percent of high school drivers sent text messages or e-mails while driving a car.
  • Students who text while driving are five times more likely to drink and drive.
  • Students who text while driving are twice as likely to ride with a drunk driver.

The CDC study showed a strong correlation between different types of high-risk, dangerous activities such as driving while impaired and engaging in distracted driving behaviors. Distracted driving — including texting, making a cell phone call, engaging with a dashboard technology or music device, or eating — accounted for 421,000 auto accident injuries and 3,328 fatalities in 2012. The highest risk group for these behaviors is the under-20 demographic. Although this group makes up only six percent of all drivers, it is responsible for 14 percent of all auto crash injuries and 10 percent of auto fatalities.

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For an American teen, there is no freedom like getting your driver’s license. But that newfound freedom can be wrecked by on oncoming vehicle. You should contact the leading car accident lawyers in Indiana if you need help after a car crash.

As of 2009, there were 254,212,610 registered passenger vehicles in the United States and 93 motor vehicle fatalities on an average day. Statistically, you are much more likely to be in an accident within 25 miles of your home, where you do most of your driving. One of the most important things you can do to prevent serious injury in a car crash is also the easiest ― wear a seatbelt. It is clear by now that seatbelts can save your life and prevent you from being thrown out of the vehicle. In one recent accident in Gary, a woman walked away unhurt after her car struck a concrete barrier, flipped over three times, and struck the barrier again. Her car was totaled but, thanks to the seatbelt, she sustained no injuries.

A car accident can be traumatic both physically and emotionally. If you are the victim of a distracted or drunk driver, or even suffered an injury due to a flaw in the roadway, you need to contact an Indiana car accidents attorney. It’s bad enough to be the victim in an accident, but it’s even worse if the insurance companies are allowed to take advantage of you too.

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While most car accidents are the result of negligence, proving negligence is not always as straightforward as it may seem. Is one person to blame, or more than one person? How do you show the other party (or parties) acted negligently? What makes someone negligent?

To establish negligence, lawyers look at factors such as:

  • Duty
  • Breach
  • Injury
  • Cause — cause in fact and proximate cause

All four of these elements must be present in order for an attorney to argue a party was acting negligently when they caused another person harm. The absence of even one element may make it impossible to file a personal injury lawsuit, even if you were harmed by a negligent party.

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Over the years, motorcycles have become a very popular mode of transportation. Motorcycles use less gas than a car, and many riders enjoy being on the open road. In 2010, there were 233,434 riders licensed to operate a motorcycle and 204,402 registered motorcycles in Indiana.

However, there are also many motorcycle accidents each year. Although the number of motorcycle accidents declined from 2006 to 2009, such accidents increased by 3.6 percent from 2010 to 2011. There also was a 6.4 percent increase in motorcycle fatalities from 2010 to 2011, with 110 fatalities in 2010 and 117 in 2011.

Here are some safety tips for operating your motorcycle on the Indiana roadways:

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When you see flashing lights on the highway, it is often because there was an accident or breakdown on the side of the road. Law enforcement officers, emergency workers, and tow truck drivers come to help those in need. Unfortunately, they also put their lives on the line to do it.

To protect those law enforcement officers, emergency workers, and other highway personnel from injury, Indiana enacted the Move Over Law. Under the law, when an emergency vehicle is stopped on the side of a two-lane or four-lane road with its lights flashing, the driver must change lanes away from the emergency vehicle if it can be done safely. If the driver cannot change lanes safely, then the driver should reduce the speed to 10 mph below the posted speed limit. However, the driver should not stop in the road, which could cause yet another car accident.

The Indiana State Police recommend that drivers be on the lookout for the following vehicles when driving, and to move over or slow down for them:

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In 2011, there were 188,132 traffic accidents in the state of Indiana. Where and when do most accidents occur, and who is most likely to be involved in a crash?

A report from the Indiana University Public Policy Institute broke down the where, when, and who of car accidents in Indiana:

  • Urban vs. rural. Overall, there more auto accidents in urban (124,699) and suburban (22,826) areas than in exurban (10,492) and rural (12,594) areas. However, the rate of serious injury collisions per 1,000 total collisions were higher in exurban (34 per 1,000) and rural (37 per 1,000) than in suburban (30 per 1,000) and urban (15 per 1,000) areas.
  • Work zone accidents. Accidents that occurred in work zones totaled 4,309. That was 2.3 percent of all collisions.
  • When accidents occur. The month with the highest number of accidents was January, with 18,828 accidents or 10 percent of all accidents.
  • Age groups. The age group with the highest rate of drivers involved in accidents was the 16- to 17-year-old drivers. That rate was 882 per 10,000 licensed drivers. However, the age group with the highest rate of drivers involved in fatal crashes was 18- to 20-year-old drivers (2.5 per 10,000 licensed drivers), followed closely by 21- to 24-year-old drivers (2.4 per 10,000 drivers).

If you’ve been injured in an auto accident, it doesn’t matter where it happened or what caused it. Speak with an auto accident in Indiana about your case.

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Cell phones and smartphones are great devices to keep us connected with the rest of the world. But sometimes we’re tempted to keep in touch even while we’re driving. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1,060 people are injured and about nine people die each day in the United States in car accidents involving distracted drivers. The federal government and the State of Indiana have enacted laws seeking to reduce these injuries and fatalities.

The federal government has banned texting while driving for certain drivers:

  • In 2009, President Barack Obama signed an executive order that prohibits all federal employees from texting while driving on government business or while using government equipment.
  • In 2010, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration barred all commercial vehicle drivers from texting while driving.

What has the state of Indiana done to prevent auto accidents caused by distracted driving? These are the Indiana distracted driving laws: