Negotiate with an Insurance Claims Adjuster

Unfortunately, if you have been in an auto accident, your injury will require extended negotiations with insurance adjusters or investigation. Often, people have difficulty in negotiating with an insurance claims adjuster. Many people who have been hurt due to someone else’s negligence will need legal representation to ensure they get the compensation they deserve. As a top rated attorney for an auto accident, we at Karpe Litigation Group passionately serve our clients from our office located at 19 W 19th Street, in Indianapolis. There are few very specific situations when you should call an auto accident attorney to defend your rights. We are here at 888-228-7800 to help defend your rights in an auto accident.

Insurance Adjusters

An insurance adjuster, also known as an insurance claims adjuster, is an individual who determines how much an insurance company should pay for an insurance claim after a car crash.

Claim adjusters can either be in-house or independent people hired by your insurer. They investigate issues such as:

  • Bodily injury
  • Medical bills
  • Property damage

Insurance claims adjusters figure out an insurance settlement in a few ways. Insurance adjusters make their decisions by:

  • Speaking with you
  • Assessing damages to the vehicles
  • Speaking with witnesses
  • Analyzing police reports

Have You Been Seriously Injured and Have a Claim

Severe injuries mean more uncertain total cost of physical treatment. The job of insurance claims adjusters is to offer the lowest possible amount acceptable to you, which often is not nearly enough to cover all of your medical expenses or compensate you for other, non-monetary damages.

Receive an Insufficient Claims Offer

In many cases, insurance companies make offers that don’t fully compensate you for your injuries, and may refuse to negotiate further. Having a lawyer on your side can influence the decision of an insurer to make a higher decision, one that is more in line with the actual valuation of your case.

Have Your Insurance Claim Denied

Occasionally, the auto insurance company refuses to admit fault and subsequently deny your insurance claim. In this case, you’ll need an auto accident attorney that understands how to prove the liability and ensure that your rights as the insured/damaged are taken into consideration and respected to the fullest.

Have Your Car Accident Attorney Deal with an Adjuster

When you’ve been hurt in an auto accident that has occurred due to the negligence of another individual(s). It’s not equitable for you to bear the all of the subsequent financial consequences. The car accident lawyers at Karpe Litigation Group have experience fighting the poor decisions of insurance claims adjusters. We stand up for your interests and have a duty to passionately guide you through every step of the insurance claims process, and help you realize the maximum award for your property damages. Visit our website to learn more and schedule a free consultation by calling 888-228-7800 to speak with an expert attorney today.

Winter Storm Personal Injury Preparedness Planning

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Planning for a winter emergency can be a daunting task. There are certain items and procedures that you should always keep handy if you are in an auto accident during a winter storm and you need to have an auto accident attorney Indianapolis.

Have a Personal Injury Lawyers Information Handy

Make certain to have a slip and fall lawyer on call, on the oft chance that you may hurt yourself on black ice that is a major cause of slip and fall accidents.

You Should Have the Following Information During a Winter Storm

Just as with any accident, you need to have a series of items to make things, easier. Some of the items you need are :

  • Flashlight
  • Cell phone
  • Cell phone charger
  • Warm blanket
  • Pen and paper
  • Karpe Litigation Group contact information

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Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents

Karpe Litigation Group

Surprisingly enough, there are several studies that reports that both floors and flooring materials directly contribute to more than 2 million fall-related injuries every year. When it comes to slip-and-fall accidents in Indianapolis, there are several reasons that we’ve found that are common slip and falls causes. If you’ve been exposed to some common causes of slip-and-falls, you need to speak with an expert slip-and-fall accident attorney. Call our office at 317-251-1840.

Slip and Fall Injuries

A slip and fall injury is also commonly referred to as a trip and fall accident or injury. Such an injury would be classified under what is call as a premises liability claim. A premises liability claim is a type of personal injury claim or case that is based on a person slipping (or tripping) on the premises of another and, as a result, suffering an injury of some sort. At Karpe Litigation Group, we represent our clients that have premises liability claims that stem from the following areas of negligence.

SLIP AND FALL ACCIDENTS

Wet and Slippery Floors

Wet and slippery floors are due to water or other wet or slippery substances. The National Floor Safety Institute states that more than half of all slip-and-fall accidents are from improperly maintained walking surfaces. The types of surfaces that are particularly dangerous could be:

  • A recently mopped or waxed floor
  • Grease on the floor of a restaurant,
  • A sopping wet pool deck
  • A sandy ramp to the hotel
  • A rain-slicked entrance to a casino

Poor Lighting Causes Accidents

It’s very easy to have a slip-and-fall accident in a poorly lit area. We are all vulnerable to falls and all sorts of perils when we cannot see certain kinds of surfaces. A place that might not be dangerous in broad daylight could be extremely dangerous in the dark. The property owner has a duty to make sure that all walking areas are well lit at all times. Places such as pool areas, walkways and sidewalks, garages and stairwells are consistently seen as dangerous spaces where poor lighting issues occur.

Lack of or Defective Hand Rails Lead to Falls

In parking garages, shopping centers, apartment complexes and hotels, guests rely on handrails when climbing stairs. When there is either a lack of or a defective handrail, an individual can easily lose balance, or lose their grip and have a potentially dangerous if not fatal fall or accident.

NEGLIGENCE

Failure to Follow Proper Safety Practices

Employers have a duty to provide a safe workplace, and unfortunately, they sometimes fail to do so. This failure can stem from either inadequate training or blatant improper maintenance of the worksite. When these acts of negligence leads to work injuries, employees may seek workers’ compensation. While they cannot sue their employers, third-party claims for further damages may be a possibility in some instances. We are also an Indiana workers compensation damages law firm as well.

We’ve Represented Numerous Clients in Common Slip and Fall Causes

At Karpe Litigation, we are a personal injury law firm that consistently and successfully represents our clients with slip-and-fall claims that come from common slip and fall causes. We are responsive, experienced and dedicated to represent our clients number one interests. It’s our duty to work to ensure your rights and best interests are protected at all times. Call our office at 317-251-1840 for help today.

Fatal Car Accident in Indiana? Here’s What to Do.

Karpe Litigation Group

Unfortunately, Even the best drivers can make a mistake that causes a car accident or serious injury. Our legal team hopes you always drive with care and never cause a fatal car accident. However, if you happen to cause a fatal car accident in Indiana, at Karpe Litigation Group, we are the attorney for car accident when a car crash happens. We will do the best to help you resolve your legal problems with a high degree of personalized care.

Fatal Car Accident Statistics

Many different types of car accidents happen. There are more than 90 incidents that result in a fatal car accident every day. Additionally, there are more than 3 million people injured every year in car accidents. What’s even worse is that close to 2 million drivers in car accidents have a permanent personal injury from a car crash every year.

FATALITIES

Call for Help. Check for Any Fatalities.

Before anything else, call 911 and check on your passengers. Immediately check on the driver and passengers of the other car involved in the crash. Being polite is more than acceptable, expect to be shaken up quite a bit. Also, if possible, avoid apologizing or admitting any guilt for the action. Any confession of guilt, even a brief “sorry”, an “oh my God”, can and will be used as evidence against you if the result is a likely legal conundrum.

Have You Caused a Fatal Car Accident?

Call 800-228-7800 Today

Remain at the Scene of the Accident.

It is a severe criminal charge if you leave the scene of a car accident. Even more so when the car accident involves serious injury. If you can, move to the shoulder of the road or another safe place away from traffic. Make it a point to stay as close to the scene as possible until the police arrive on the scene of the accident.

Call Your Insurance Company After the Accident

As soon as possible, tell your insurance company about your car accident. If you face reckless driving or DUI charges, make those known, as well.

Talk to a Car Accident Lawyer

Your insurance company will defend you against any claims for personal injury, but if the car accident leads to criminal charges, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to fight rights. Also make certain to contact an attorney for car accident issues.

FATAL CAR ACCIDENT LAWYER FOR FATAL CAR ACCIDENTS

If You’ve Caused a Fatal Car Accident

At Karpe Litigation Group, we are dedicated to providing a vigorous personal injury defense, no matter how obvious your traffic mistake may be. We realize that car accidents happen, which is why we diligently work hard to help every single client resolve their situation and get on with life. Call our office at 800-228-7800 for help today!

Fatal Car Accident Playlist

Here are some car accidents that resulted in a fatality. Be safe. Buckle up.


Different Types of Car Accidents

Karpe Litigation Group

When someone has a collision with a vehicle because of a party’s negligence, it is considered as an auto accident. It’s especially devastating when surviving family members are left economically vulnerable because the accident resulted in a wrongful death. It’s in these situations when a those left behind must obtain the justice and compensation they deserve. That’s when a car accident attorney can step in and give assistance. Here are some of the most common situations that give rise to lawsuits that result from different types of car accidents.

Accidents

An accident is defined as an unplanned event that sometimes has inconvenient or undesirable consequences. Generally, the different types of car accidents result in consequences that are at a minimum inconvenient, with the most undesirable consequence being death. In the instance of car accidents, wrongful deaths do occur. When a wrongful death does occur, give wrongful death attorney, Karpe Litigation Group a call, we’re here and ready.

DIFFERENT TYPES

Car Accidents

According to the NHTSA, more than 37,000 people die in different types of auto accidents in America each year. There are certain negligent behaviors that cause car wrecks that include:
• Drunk driving
• Speeding
• Running red lights
• Distracted driving

There are also many different road issues that can cause car accidents. Some of the road issues known for frequently causing accidents include:
• Defective traffic lights
• Street repairs
• Construction activities

In those instances, the government agency responsible for maintaining the roadway is the entity that is held as accountable for the car accident.

CAR ACCIDENTS COME IN DIFFERENT TYPES

Accidents Involving Pedestrian Accidents

It’s a fact that after a car crash, pedestrians don’t have the same level of physical protection that drivers have. The result is the pedestrian becoming a wrongful death victim. Along with pedestrians in general, motorcyclists and bicyclists also consistently suffer from fatal injuries due to a car accident. Unfortunately, driver negligence is the reason that thousands of people die every year from car accidents.

Been in a Car Accident?
Call 800-228-7800

Truck Accidents

Big rig and other large-scale commercial vehicles significantly exceed cars in both size and weight. It’s been our experience that when there are accidents involving these vehicles frequently result in a wrongful death lawsuit. When smaller vehicles crash against trucks, it’s highly probable that the car’s driver and passengers will be seriously or mortally wounded. In truck accidents, truck accident lawyers will look into factors that lead to accidents like:
• Oversized loads
• Mechanical failure
• Driver fatigue
• Improperly secured loads
• Inadequate maintenance
• Driver error

Commercial truck drivers are known to both skilled and patient. In addition to the dangers due to the sheer size and weight of the trucks used in commercial transportation result in accidents.

DIFFERENT TYPE

If You’ve Been a Different Type of Car Accident

Different type of accidents can lead to life-altering injuries or even death. If you need someone who will make sure you get the compensation you deserve, you need to have the skills and resources that the best personal injury lawyer available for your case can provide. Whether your case involves a car accident, truck accident and/or motorcycle accident. Call to schedule your free consultation at 800-228-7800 for help today.

After a Car Crash

Karpe Litigation Group

A car crash is a terrifying experience. Even the most minor of car wrecks can cause any number of medical issues. Which doesn’t account for the pain, emotional distress, and vehicle damage, and the overall disruption in life that occurs from the crash.  You have a right to protect yourself and exercise your rights in the time following an automotive incident. In situations such as these, you need car accident lawyers, give us a call at 800-228-7800.

Car Crashes in Indiana

In Indiana, car crashes occur in can occur in an instant, but can leave lasting damage. If you’ve been in a car crash in Indianapolis. After a car crash in Indiana, if you’ve been injured and your vehicle sustained severe damage. It’s important for you to consider your options for holding the driver who was at fault in the accident financially responsible for your losses. Here is a bit of helpful information about the all of the legal aspects of a car accident case in Indiana.

INDIANA CAR CRASH

Never Accept Blame in a Car Crash

If unfortunately, you are in a car accident, you should never admit blame.  Even if you believe you are responsible for the car crash or at least partially to blame, keep quiet. Usually after a car accident the majority of people are shaken up, and it’s easy to say something inaccurate or to incriminate yourself. If law enforcement is on the scene, make sure to carefully recite as many of the unbiased facts possible of what occurred during the auto crash.

CAR CRASHES

Auto Crashes May Require Medical Attention

Regardless of whether you see any visible injuries or not, it’s highly important that you get checked out or treated by a doctor right away. Even though not all damage may be immediately visible, you will have documented evidence of your hospital in record form. Your car accident lawyer will need any medical paperwork to serve as documentation of the incident, and if there is a need to include when you file a lawsuit and present your case.

CAR CRASH

Recorded Statements After a Crash

Generally, an insurance company will attempt to contact you directly and ask you to give a recorded statement. Unfortunately, auto insurance companies will often try to trip you up and get you to say something in your statement that relieves them from any type of financial responsibility. A representative or an adjuster may attempt to reach out and contact you, however it is important that you decline to make any comments on the car accident, and refer them to your Marion County car accident lawyer.

Hire a Car Crash Attorney

If you’ve been involved in a car crash, let the auto crash attorneys at Karpe Litigation Group help you explore the options you have available. Give us a call as soon as possible at 800-228-7800, time is of the essence.

3 Indicators of Nursing Home Abuse

Karpe Litigation Group

Medical providers are held to extremely high standards, especially those responsible for the care and safety of nursing home residents. While most nursing home staff proudly provides quality care to all residents, there are those unfortunate, isolated instances of nursing home abuse that does occur. Nursing home abuse can include a range of events and scenarios and has a few indicators. If you have a loved one who has experienced nursing home abuse, a nursing home abuse attorney may be able to make certain that compensation is made for their injuries. Give us a call at 317-251-1840 to speak with an expert nursing home abuse lawyer about a potential nursing home abuse claim.

Senior Abuse

Senior abuse or elder abuse is an intentional act, or failure to act, by a caregiver or another person in a relationship that has an expectation of trust that causes or creates a risk of harm to an older adult. Senior abuse in nursing homes takes on the following forms:

  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Financial/material exploitation
  • Neglect
  • Abandonment

Too often, senior abuse occurs in the nursing homes that have been hired to care for this growing segment of the population.

See Any Indicators of Nursing Home Abuse?

Call 317-251-1840

Consistently Understaffed Nursing Home Staff

Many nursing homes are chronically understaffed, which makes it difficult for the staff to provide for the level of care required by the residents of the retirement home. leaving workers unable to provide their residents with the attention they deserve. Retirement home residents who don’t receive enough supervision, run the risk of:

  • Falling while trying to get themselves to the bathroom
  • Suffering weight loss due to inadequate nutrition
  • Mis dosing medication

When nursing home residents injure themselves because the facility failed to hire enough qualified employees, they are potentially legally liable for negligence. As your personal injury attorney, we make certain that the company itself is legally liable for negligence.

Is Physical Abuse Present?

Physical abuse is often a sign of nursing home abuse. If you are noticing sudden bruises, broken bones, or other soft tissue injuries may often be signs that your family member is suffering from some form of physical abuse. Unfortunately, there are instances where staff members may try to force residents to eat, take medications, stand up, or even hitting the people for who they’ve been hired to provide high quality geriatric care.

Notice Emotional Abuse?

There are times when overworked staff members lose their tempers, shout at, or speak in a demeaning manor towards the residents of the nursing home. This is called emotional abuse and us a behavior that is never acceptable. Emotional abuse is an indicator of nursing home abuse and often results in a diminished quality of life with serious, and dramatic personality changes. No person deserves to experience emotional abuse.

Have You Seen Any Indicators of Nursing Home Abuse?

If you believe your family member is suffering from nursing home abuse, give us a call at Karpe Litigation Group. We will discuss any and all legal options that you have available. Nursing home abuse happens, and when it does, let us be your nursing home abuse law firm that is your advocate. Call our office at 317-251-1840, we are here and ready to help.

Nursing Home Abuse Signs

Karpe Litigation Group

Nursing homes are environments that should be both caring and peaceful spaces where senior citizens can spend time enjoying their golden years. Unfortunately, there are some nursing homes that fail to live up to the expectation of providing such a space.

There are some nursing homes that are rife with the levels of negligence and abusive behavior that end up in causing serious harm to seniors. If you are visiting one of your elderly loved ones, it’s important to learn to identify the common nursing home abuse signs that can mean that their safety and health is at risk. There are times when a nursing home negligence attorney is needed to represent your loved one’s interest. Nursing home negligence is nursing home abuse.

Nursing Homes

Nursing homes, which are essentially fully staffed,  skilled nursing facilities, provide a wide range of health and personal care services to the elderly. Their services focus on medical care more than most assisted living facilities. Nursing homes are also commonly referred to as:

  • Old folks’ homes
  • Care homes
  • Rest homes
  • Convalescent homes
  • Convalescent care
  • Skilled nursing
  • Long-term facilities

As the population of the state of Indiana increases in age, nursing home residencies will continue to grow. Unfortunately, there will be an increase in nursing home abuse signs that will potentially be seen.

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

nursing home negligence signs

Sign of Abuse: Malnutrition

Both intentional and accidental forms of neglect will often cause nursing home residents to become malnourished and dehydrated. A common nursing home abuse sign of Individuals suffering from malnutrition, is a sudden unexplained weight loss and feel fatigued or dizzy. Often a sign of inadequate nutrition is poor concentration the risk of illness. Left Untreated, malnutrition can lead to severe disabilities and even death.

Sign of Abuse: Unexplained Injuries

A commonly overlooked sign of nursing home abuse (negligence) is an increase in unexplained injuries. Fall-related injuries occur often with the elderly. Signs such as:

  • Bruises
  • Head injuries
  • Broken bones

Unexplained injuries of that type can be due to intentional physical abuse, but these same unexplained injuries could also stem from some forms of neglect. A common cause of injuries of these types would be if the nursing home staff members fail to provide adequate help to rest home residents. A nursing home resident who is prone to falls, might attempt to walk by themselves, which increases their risk of falling and sustaining an injury. Neglect is a form of abuse.

Loved One Showing Nursing Home Abuse Signs?

Call 800-228-7800

Sign of Abuse: Behavioral Changes

Serious forms of nursing home neglect can cause a significant amount of emotional stress in an elderly person’s life. This excess stress manifests itself in number of behavioral changes. Some of the behavioral nursing home abuse signs include the abused:

  • Becoming depressed
  • An increased reluctance to talk with friends or family
  • Neglecting their hygiene
  • Refusing to take medication

Elderly people should be cared for closely and actively monitored. Any noticeable changes should be investigated as a potential sign of nursing home abuse right away.

abuse signs

Actively Monitor Nursing Home Abuse Signs

When you actively monitor nursing home abuse signs, it becomes easier to discover any anomalies that may appear and prevent any nursing home neglect from occurring.  If you are in need of a nursing home neglect attorney, call our office at 800-228-7800 today!

Slip and Fall Accidents Raise Common Questions

Karpe Litigation Group

The CDC estimates 3 million older adults are treated in emergency rooms each year for fall injuries. People over the age of 55 account for the largest amount of falls, with those over 65 accounting for the largest number of fatalities.

slip and fall lawyer

While visiting your local grocery store, you slip on a freshly mopped patch of flooring and tumble to the ground. Your injuries can be substantial – broken bones, spinal injuries or a concussion. Is the store responsible for your medical bills, lost wages and other expenses while you recover?

Locations and Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents

Many slip and fall cases involve private property or places of business, although other locations and causes can also result in a premises liability claim. We’ve identified the most common locations and causes of slip and fall accidents:

  • Office buildings
  • Grocery stores and supermarkets
  • Schools
  • Parking lots and ramps
  • Amusement or recreational parks
  • Department stores and shopping malls
  • Motels and hotels
  • Icy, wet and slippery floors or surfaces
  • Inadequate lighting
  • Uneven or broken pavement in walkways
  • Elevators and escalators
  • Falling merchandise
  • Inadequate security

The Older You Get, The More Likely You Are to Slip and Fall

Slip and fall accidents affect everyone, but we know the older you get the more likely you will be involved in a slip and fall. People over the age of 55 account for the largest amount of falls, with those over 65 accounting for the largest number of fatalities.

The CDC reports 3 million older adults are treated in emergency rooms each year for fall injuries. By 2030, an estimated 74 million people will be affected, resulting in 12 million injuries, according to the CDC’s STEADI Initiative (Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths & Injuries).

CDC slip and fall statistics

Common Questions Regarding Slip and Fall Injuries

If you or a loved one are involved in a slip and fall accident and sustain injuries, you have questions. These are some of the most common questions our clients have:

Who is responsible for a slip and fall injury?

There is no set way to determine premises liability for a slip and fall accident. The main determination centers on proving the accident is the result of a “dangerous condition.” The owner of the property must be shown to have known about the existing condition and you, as the injured party, would not have anticipated an unreasonable risk.

In order to establish the owner of the property knew of a dangerous condition, it must be shown that the owner created the condition, or it must be shown the owner knew of the condition and negligently failed to correct it. An owner can also be found liable for a condition that existed for a long enough period of time that it can reasonably be expected that the condition would be identified and remedied.

For example, if a bottle of olive oil falls and spills in a grocery store and by the next day no one has cleaned up the spill, anyone who slips and falls can reasonably claim that the grocery store should have noticed and cleaned the spill and is therefore negligent.

How much is a slip and fall claim worth?

While it’s natural to want to know how much money your claim is worth, there are many different factors that must be investigated before determining what your claim is potentially worth. While it’s understandable that piling medical bills makes an individual anxious to settle the case quickly, it is actually in your best interest not to take a quick settlement from an insurance company. Let the professional team of attorneys at Karpe Litigation Group work to make sure you receive the best settlement.

There are many factors that may not be known at the time of the accident that can affect the worth of the claim. Strains on personal life, psychological trauma and ongoing medical treatment may present after the initial injury, all of which can affect the final claim amount.

Is it difficult to win a case against a store?

While the factors of each case are different, stores have a responsibility to keep floors clean and conditions safe for their customers. Employees are required to make routine inspections in order to provide a safe shopping experience. If it can be shown that a store owner was aware of a potentially dangerous condition, or if it can be shown that the condition existed long enough that it should have been discovered and remedied, then a store can be found liable.

In fact, big box stores typically give out bigger settlements because they can afford the kind of insurance to cover such claims. A 41-year-old truck driver who experienced a slip and fall on some grease in a Denver Walmart received $10 million in a State Supreme Court settlement.

Should I fill out an accident report at the time of the accident?

Yes, ideally you should fill out a report at the time of the accident, including a description of the circumstances, who was present and any statements from witnesses. It is important to collect as much evidence as possible soon after the incident in order to make a stronger case. If possible, take photographs of the scene of the accident, noting the location of any dangerous condition, lighting, and other relevant information.

How is security related to premises liability?

Property owners are legally required to provide a safe environment for employees and customers. Premises liability cases can be brought for injuries due to lack of security, inadequate security, improper security or negligent security. Our knowledgeable staff of attorneys can win you compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages or emotional trauma.

Who is liable for injuries involving city sidewalks?

Many states have statutes protecting government entities from liability for injuries on public sidewalks. In states that do not have such statutes, it is possible to recover damages from the city in cases where it can be established that the municipality did not meet their required duty to keep streets and sidewalks in repair.

Personal Attention from Professional Attorneys

If you or someone you love needs a lawyer experienced in premises liability, talk with the professional attorneys at Karpe Litigation Group today. We are experts in injury law, winning the most challenging cases and helping those in need for 20 years and counting. There is no fee until we win for you. Committed to making things easy for you, we are happy to meet by appointment on evenings and weekends, and travel to you when needed. Give us a call today at 1-888-228-7800 or fill out our contact form to schedule your free initial consultation.

The Dangers of Fatigued Driving for Hoosiers

Do you know that driving while drowsy or fatigued is just as dangerous as drinking and driving? Find out why fatigued driving or falling asleep at the wheel accounts for 29.3% of serious injury collisions in Indiana a year -those with at least one fatal or incapacitating injury.

dangerous driving habits

If you are like most Americans, you don’t get enough sleep. A quick cup of morning coffee and you are out on the road, along with hundreds of other sleepy motorists. This scenario is putting you (and the drivers around you) in a dangerous situation each and every day.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that each year, over 100,000 police-reported crashes involve drowsy driving. In 2015 alone, an estimated 5,000 people died in crashes where drowsy driving is the culprit, according to a Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) report.

We know fatigued driving affects everyone on the road, both drivers and passengers. In Indiana, drowsy driving is classified as impaired driving, which falls under the greater umbrella of distracted driving, accounting for the largest percentage of the majority of accidents and injuries each year.

A recent report examining Hoosier driving behavior notes that drivers’ unsafe actions are the primary cause of crashes, resulting in 111,298 accidents. Indiana State Police finds fatigued driving or falling asleep at the wheel accounts for 29.3% of these serious injury collisions -those with at least one fatal or incapacitating injury.

Why Drowsy Driving Is Impaired Driving

GHSA research shows nearly 83.6 million people are sleep deprived in the workplace, at school and on the road. Why is drowsy driving considered impaired driving? Consider this:

  • fatigue slows reaction time
  • drowsiness impairs situational awareness and judgment
  • fatigue increases risk-taking and lapses of attention
  • driving while drowsy or fatigued is just as dangerous as drinking and driving

We regularly see how all of these factors have extremely detrimental effects on the driver’s ability to control a vehicle, accounting for more than 71,000 injuries each year. According to the National Safety Council, fatigue-related crashes involving fatalities or injuries cost society $109 billion each year.

Drowsy Driving and Indiana Law

In Indiana, laws intended to discourage drowsy driving generally concentrate on the connection between fatigued driving and alcohol consumption. These measures have saved lives and money in Indianapolis and the surrounding areas.

  • Administrative License Revocation – These laws allow police and driver license authorities to automatically revoke a person’s license for refusing or failing a BAC test (blood alcohol test).
  • Zero Tolerance Laws – In Indiana, it is illegal for individuals under the age of 21 to drive with a positive BAC. It is estimated that these laws have reduced impaired-driving fatalities by 4%.
  • .08 BAC Law – By lowering the BAC limit to .08, impaired driving fatalities have reduced by 7%.
  • Graduated Licensing – Young drivers must demonstrate responsible driving habits to advance between the three-stage licensing program from a learner’s permit, to an intermediate or provisional license, to full licensure.

Drivers More Likely To Be Fatigued

A majority of drowsy drivers fall into a short list of categories. These include:

  • Drivers who do not get enough sleep
  • Commercial drivers who operate vehicles such as semi-trucks, tow trucks and buses
  • Shift workers, especially those working a night shift or swing shift
  • Drivers with sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea
  • Drivers who use medications that treat sleeplessness or insomnia

Be Aware of the Warning Signs of Fatigued Driving

If you are experiencing any of these signs, it is crucial that you get off the road and stop driving:

  • Yawning or blinking frequently
  • Difficulty remembering the past few miles driven
  • Missing your exit
  • Drifting from your lane
  • Hitting a rumble strip on the side of the road
  • Falling asleep, even for a moment

Take Step to Dodge Drowsy Driving

The best way to ensure that you are not the cause of a drowsy driving accident is to avoid driving drowsy in the first place. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers this advice:

  • The only true way to avoid drowsy driving is to get enough sleep. Experts urge the public to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night.
  • Make sure to get a good night’s sleep before getting behind the wheel for a long car trip.= or any kind.
  • Teenagers are especially vulnerable to drowsy driving as they typically don’t get enough sleep at a time when they biologically need more sleep than adults. Encourage your teens to get enough sleep before operating a vehicle.
  • Do not drink alcohol before driving. Alcohol increases drowsiness and impairs motor coordination.
  • Read your prescription labels. Most labels include information on whether or not the medication can cause drowsiness.
  • Try to avoid the peak fatigue times of midnight to 6:00 am and late afternoon.

Interventions for Drowsy Driving

While everyone should follow steps to avoid drowsy driving, it is also necessary to put interventions in place. We know this is especially true for male drivers under the age of 25, who make up an estimated 50% of drowsy driving crashes. Initiatives to consider:

  • Crash avoidance technologies – Safety technologies, both existing and planned, include drowsiness alert and lane departure warnings. These technologies can detect patterns of drowsy driving and warn drivers to stay in their lane or take a break.
  • University interventions – As college students represent a major portion of the under 25 driving demographic, education programs created for students may help raise awareness of drowsy driving issues. College students receive less sleep with some estimates at less than six hours a night. Educating these students now helps build better behaviors that will last into adulthood.
  • Workplace education – Employers with strong health and safety programs, both on and off the job, can contribute to employees getting sufficient information on the dangers of fatigued driving.

Personal Attention from Professional Attorneys

If you believe you or a loved one has been the victim of a drowsy driving accident, talk to the professional attorneys at Karpe Litigation Group today. We are experts in auto accident law, winning the most challenging cases and helping those in need for 20 years and counting. There is no fee until we win for you. Committed to making things easy for you, we are happy to meet by appointment on evenings and weekends, and travel to you when needed. Give us a call today at 1-888-228-7800 or fill out our contact form to schedule your free initial consultation.