Questions to Ask An Indianapolis Accident Lawyer?

Questions to Ask An Indianapolis Accident Lawyer?

 

An accident lawyer deals with many issues, from personal accidents to workplace accidents. Therefore, you must get the right lawyer if you want to be successful with your claim. So, what questions should you ask an Indianapolis car accident lawyer to verify that the lawyer is competent enough for your case? There may be a few that come to mind, but there may also be some you haven’t thought about before you decide if you should hire an Indianapolis car accident lawyer.

Choosing an Accident Lawyer

There are plenty of lawyers to choose from and they all have their areas of expertise. In order to choose one that meets your needs and can help reach your case goals, you should ask the following questions:

Sign of Abuse: Unexplained Injuries

 

  1. How long have they been practicing accident law? Ask how long they have been dealing with cases similar to yours in the state of Indiana. Most states have different laws and it will be beneficial if the lawyer has a broad knowledge of the law to defend you effectively. It would also help to have a lawyer who can argue your case correctly in front of the judge. Therefore, they should have all the facts and laws at their fingertips.
  2. What are the chances of you winning the case? By presenting all the facts, your accident lawyer can gauge your chances of winning your case. They will also advise you on what you can do to increase your chances of getting a win when you get to court. Be sure that the lawyer has enough courtroom experience so that you can be confident they will argue your case well. A lawyer who has experience with Indianapolis courts is more optimistic because they know how to deal with any issue that may come up.

Do You Need an Accident Attorney?

How Much Does It Cost To Hire An Indianapolis Attorney?

Another important thing to consider when selecting a car accident attorney is the cost and how they expect payment.

  1. What are their fees? You should know how much they will charge you for defending you in court. Some lawyers may agree to defend you and let you pay in installments, while others require payment upfront. You should know how much the case will cost you and how you will pay the lawyer after your case has gone to court, whether you win or lose.
  2. What will happen if you do not win the case? When you go before a judge with a car accident case, there are occasions when there is not enough evidence to win. It’s important to know what will happen if you do not win your case in terms of payment. Will you still need to pay the lawyer or will you simply forfeit any money you paid upfront, etc.? Having a clear understanding of this before you start your case will avoid any unexpected surprises if your case does not turn out the way you expect.

An Accident Lawyer Should Help You Win

Lastly, the lawyer you hire should have your best interests and goals in mind. So, what are the lawyer’s goals for your case? Every lawyer starts a case with a particular goal. It might be financial or, in some cases, to seek justice. If you lost wages because of an accident, the lawyer can add it to your claim and compensate you for any injuries or other hardships. The lawyer should be able to explain the goals they have for your case so you can help prepare. They should also have enough details and facts about your case so they can defend you effectively according to the laws of Indiana.

Common Truck Accident Causes

Daily someone is hurt or killed in a truck accident. Actually, a study by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration  states that about every 15 minutes, a person is killed or seriously injured in an accident caused by trucks. Indiana highways such as I-465, I-65, I-70 and I-69 can all be perilous for automobile drivers when facing an accident involving a semi-truck. As an Indianapolis truck accident attorney, we represent our clients rights at 888-228-7800.

This sobering statistic demonstrates the importance is for all drivers, truckers and automobile alike, to be cautious, safe and take the necessary steps to protect themselves as well as the other drivers on the road. There are many different factors that are truck accident causes, some of which are described in more detail below.

causes of truck accidents

Trucker Error

Truck accident causes can spring from any number of mistakes on the part of the driver. While, many of these truck accidents are preventable. There are unfortunately, some of the leading truck accident causes are the result of common mistakes such as:

  • Driving carelessly
  • Driving recklessly
  • Driving while fatigued
  • Driving while distracted or impaired can all lead to accidents
  • Poor judgement
  • Distracted driving
  • Speeding

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There are very specific laws both at the Federal and at the State of Indiana level that dictate how long a trucker is allowed to drive before they must take a break, as well as how many hours between shifts a driver should receive to get adequate rest. If a law is broken and it results in an accident, victims may have a legal case against the trucker or the semi-truck company.

Weather as a Factor

We all know that driving a passenger car in inclement weather can be a challenging to say the least. Now imagine driving a big rig in such poor road conditions. A major cause of truck accidents includes:

  • Bad weather
  • Heavy rain
  • Snow
  • Ice

Precipitation is a leading cause of truck accidents and can make visibility difficult, roads slippery, and will generally driving conditions extremely hazardous.

Truck Failure

An 18-wheeler is a sophisticated machine that requires regular upkeep and maintenance. Just like passenger cars, another cause of truck accidents in Central Indiana occurs when trucks sometimes break down or have other mechanical issues. Certain issues such as:

  • Brake failure
  • Tire blowout
  • Broken headlight
  • Broken taillight

All are examples of faulty truck equipment that can be the cause of a serious accident, that often result in death.

Alcohol and Drugs are Also Truck Accident Causes

There are several studies that show that roughly 30% of truck drivers admitted to taking amphetamines, both obtained legally and illegally, while on the road. Additionally, the same studies showed u 20% used marijuana and 3% used cocaine. Drugs like amphetamines and cocaine have the result in keeping truck drivers awake unnaturally, but these drugs also compel them to take more risks like faster driving, unsafe lane changes, and using risky maneuvers in bad weather. Once those stimulants begin to wear off, the drivers are more likely to fall asleep at the wheel. Again, causing major accidents, often fatal.

truck accident cause

Trucking Company Negligence

There are some desperate trucking companies who employ drivers that have previously been charged with reckless or drunk driving. Hiring a driver with that past driving history can result in a trucking company as liable for negligence. Trucking companies can also be held negligent for most of the other factors listed. The companies are also negligent particularly if they have encouraged the semi-truck driver to drive faster than normal or even falsify logbooks in order to make on time deliveries.

You Need a Truck Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident, you need help from an expert Indianapolis truck accident attorney. It is a fact that the trucking industry is highly regulated. This means that knowing who is to blame for an accident is not enough to secure payment of a claim. Large trucking companies generally have a large team of corporate lawyers as their truck accident defense. Additionally, truck drivers, their employers, and their insurance companies will often attempt to deny responsibility for an accident or offer a settlement for much less than a case is worth. Call our office at 888-228-7800 for a free consultation to discuss the merits of your case as soon as possible.

What is the Personal Injury Case Process

Personal injury due to the negligence of another can qualify you for compensation. Even though the process of obtaining the compensation due to you can seem overwhelming at first, but knowing how your case works will help ease your mind and allow you to focus on healing. If you have been in an accident and were injured due to the negligence of another party, call us at 317-251-1840 to speak with an expert personal injury attorney in Indianapolis as soon as possible.

personal injury

Your Personal Injury Lawyer Investigates

As an example: If you were to get into a car accident in Indianapolis, after your car crash, chances are you will retain a car accident attorney in Indianapolis. To completely understand your case, your car accident attorney will need to review your medical records directly relating to the injuries you have sustained. You will also explain what happened leading up to and following the incident. Make sure to be as detailed as possible. Then your injury lawyer will use this information to develop a potential litigation strategy that informs on the demand package that gets sent to the defendant’s attorney or their insurance company.

Your Lawyer Will Wait

Your lawyer won’t send the demand package until you have reached the point of maximum medical improvement (MMI). This is the point where you have completed treatment and you’re as close to fully recovered as possible. Usually, car accident attorneys wait until you’ve reached your MMI so the true value of your case is understood, this ensures that you are not undervalued when a settlement is agreed upon or you have received your damages that are due.

Your Personal Injury Complaint is Filed

The majority of personal injury cases are settled outside of court. However, if a reasonable settlement cannot be reached, your lawyer will file an official complaint with the court clerk which brings your case to civil court for a decision.

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Discovery Begins

“Discovery enables the parties to know before the trial begins what evidence may be presented. It’s designed to prevent “trial by ambush,” where one side doesn’t learn of the other side’s evidence or witnesses until the trial, when there’s no time to obtain answering evidence” – American Bar Association

Leading up to the trial, attorneys from both sides will continue to investigate. Be prepared to answer questions from the defendant’s attorneys and the defendant will have to answer questions from your injury lawyer. Both sides will also interview any witnesses to the event.

personal injury case step

Negotiations Led by Your Injury Lawyers Continue

The attorneys are consistently in communication during the pre-trial process. When discovery ends both sides will have a clearer understanding of the case. The attorneys will once again attempt to reach a settlement to avoid going to trial. More often than not, the lawyers will discuss the matter themselves, but sometimes they employ an impartial third party to mediate the discussion. If they are not able to enter into a settlement, then prepare for a trial as the next step in the personal injury process.

Enter into a Settlement Agreement or Trial

Most likely, a settlement for your injury will be reached. Both the Plaintiff and the Defendant will sign documents confirming the settlement agreement. The signed documents will ensure that you receive the compensation you are due and that the defendant is released from any future liability regarding the matter.

If your case goes to trial, expect for a jury to hear from expert witnesses in the medical field to attest to the severity of your injuries. Expect for the attorneys for the both parties to be in some form of constant communication. Because the attorneys are communicating with an increased degree of frequency, that even during the trial, both of the parties can reach a possible settlement in the matter.

personal injury case process steps

A Personal Injury Case Should Not Be Handled Alone

As tempting as it may be, proceeding with the expectation of acting as your own injury lawyer in your case is not a good idea. Defendants have an incentive to hire an attorney, which is why it’s best that in the case of a car accident, you hire your own accident attorney for car wrecks. At Karpe Litigation Group, we are a top-rated car accident law firm, with extensive experience in all forms of personal injury cases. Give our office a call at 317-251-1840 to speak with an attorney immediately, or contact us here!

 

Why Find a Personal Injury Attorney

Whether you’ve been injured at work or in a car accident caused by another person’s negligence, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed as medical bills pile up. In such circumstances, working with an Indiana personal injury attorney is almost necessary for you to receive the proper amount of compensation for your sustained injuries. If you have been involved in an incident that requires the need of an injury attorney, call our office at 317-251-1840. Let’s discuss why you need to find a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

Why it’s Worth Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney

There are a number of benefits in hiring a personal injury attorney. People may not realize that personal injury attorneys specifically are educated to navigate all of the complexities of the civil litigation process. When they do this successfully, they are able to help you realize the maximum amount of potential success in a personal injury lawsuit and/or subsequent personal injury settlement. Hiring the right personal injury attorney can literally make all of the difference in either winning or losing your injury suit.

SLIP AND FALL

Injury Attorneys Can Assess Your Claim Value

An Indiana personal injury attorney has worked with a wide range of injury cases which would require:

This experience with a wide amount of injuries allows us, as your personal injury law firm to both objectively analyze the extent of your injuries as well as calculating an accurate estimate of your injury claim.

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Understanding the Legal System

Learning how to talk to a personal injury lawyer shouldn’t be a battle for you, and neither should you have an issue in understanding how the personal injury court process works. While both litigating and mediating personal injury claims can be an extremely lengthy and drawn-out process, working with a personal injury lawyer, with personal injury cases won is key to assisting you in avoiding minor technical issues that are known to derail an injury case. An attorney will also use their knowledge to help prove that the other party was behaving in a negligent manner that contributed to your injury. A top-rated personal injury lawyer can also help you determine which option will be best for settling your claim, whether that claim involves arbitration or ultimately going to trial.

LAWYERS HANDLE BUSYWORK

Personal Injury Lawyers Handle the Case “Busywork”

From collecting medical charts, gathering police reports, communicating with insurance adjusters, understanding the different types of car accidents, and potentially deposing witnesses, personal claims can be extremely time-consuming. As your lawyer, the team at Karpe Litigation Group will take every available step to further strengthen the merits of your injury case. It’s very important that you focus on your recovery, and working with a skilled personal injury lawyer allows you the time to recuperate while they handle your case workload.

When You Need to Find the RIGHT Personal Injury Attorney

Finding the best personal injury attorney for your case can be frustrating, fortunately, at Karpe Litigation Group we are skilled personal injury lawyers that know clients need someone to fight for their right to be made whole. Call our office at 317-251-1840 to speak with a personal injury attorney right away.

Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents

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.

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.

The Truth About Slip and Fall Injury Cases

Slips and falls are the leading cause of workers’ compensation claims for people aged 55 years and older.

personal injury cases

Recently in Woodbridge, New Jersey, Alexander Goldinsky, a 57-year-old independent contractor, enters an otherwise empty break room in a building where he is working. He takes ice and spreads it all over the floor, then sprawls himself on the iced surface and waits … until someone discovers him on the floor. Later, he files an insurance claim to cover ambulance services and treatment he receives for injuries he says he sustained during the fall.

Luckily, video surveillance records Mr. Goldinsky faking his slip and fall, prompting local law enforcement officials to arrest him in January 2019 and charged with one count of insurance fraud in the third degree and one count of theft by deception in the third degree for fraudulently filing an insurance claim. Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey says in a statement, “Fraudulent claims cost everyone and we will aggressively prosecute those who illegally manipulate the system.”

Unfortunately, not all slip and fall cases are as cut-and-dry as Mr. Goldinsky’s case. The truth about slips and falls? They are the leading cause of workers’ compensation claims as well as occupational injury for people aged 55 years and older, according to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI). Slips and falls are also the reason for the largest number of lost work days.

Factors That Constitute a Slip and Fall Injury Case

While Mr. Goldinsky clearly tries a scam to collect insurance money, many legitimate cases of slip and fall injury do occur. NFSI statistics show slips and falls account for over 1 million of the more than 8 million emergency room visits each year where falls are the cause.

A “slip and fall case” is a type of personal injury lawsuit where a person slips and falls on another person’s property. A wider definition of this is a “premises liability claim” where the owner of the property is liable for the injury due to the expectation that they maintain a reasonably safe environment.

Premises Liability in Indiana

Any personal injury sustained on someone else’s property constitutes a premises liability. Property owners are expected to protect against unreasonable harm. The extent of this liability depends on person who is injured:

  1. People who are invited guests, such as store patrons
  2. A trespasser who is not invited
  3. A licensee, who has permission to be there, but is there for their own reasons

lost work days

Examples of Premises Liability

According to the law, an individual may be injured on someone else’s property in a number of ways, constituting a premises liability. Some examples include:

  • Injuries on a construction site, particularly when the injured parties are not workers
  • Falling trees and the injuries they cause
  • Lack of security, including lights and cameras, that results in an assault from a third party
  • Drownings in pools
  • Injuries as a result of things falling from shelves
  • Slip and fall injuries caused by standing water, ice or snow
  • Slip and fall injuries caused by uneven ground or flooring and poor building upkeep
  • Injuries due to defective staircases or decks
  • Hidden extension cords or high door thresholds and the injuries they cause

The Legal Results of Slip and Fall Injury Cases

What would motivate Mr. Goldinsky to pull such a scam in that break room? Slip and fall injuries have the potential for huge compensation when such cases go to trial. A case in Honolulu awarded Ernie Verdugo $2 million in general damages and another $144,000 for special damages after Mr. Verdugo slips and falls in the Mai Tai bar. The exit path was blocked by a crowd of people and the tile floor in the bar was covered with beer. Another case in Colorado awarded a trucker $10 million for injuries sustained in a Walmart involving a grease spill (big box retail stores tend to have higher settlements because their insurance coverage gives them the means to pay what the case is worth.)

If you are injured in a slip and fall incident, you may be entitled to sue for damages that include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Permanent disability and loss of earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering

The Importance of Notice in a Slip and Fall Case

If you are injured in a slip and fall case, it will be important for you to understand “notice.” It is up to you, as the injured party, and your attorney to prove that some kind of duty, or notice, was owed to the injured party.

You must also establish that the owner of the property knew, or should have known, about the dangerous situation that resulted in the injury. A judge may make his decision on whether or not to hear the case based solely on this notice. For this reason, it is important to take certain steps if you are involved in a slip and fall injury.

For instance, in the case of Austin v. Walgreen Co, Northwestern Indiana resident Robin Austin failed to prove that her local Walgreens Pharmacy had “actual or constructive knowledge” of the wet floors that led to Ms. Austin breaking her knee. This decision was held up in a court of appeals.

The Steps to Take in a Slip and Fall Case

In the event that you are in a slip and fall incident that leads to injury, there are important steps you should take.

  • First and foremost, seek medical attention if you are injured. Putting off medical attention can make the injury worse.
  • Document the pertinent information surrounding the event. Take photos and write down all information before too much time passes.
  • Collect contact information from any witnesses and make notes about the condition of the environment at the moment of the accident. Pay special attention to what is on the floor, the level of lighting and any other factor that may have contributed to your fall.
  • Get in touch with an experienced personal injury attorney

A slip and fall injury can be devastating for the injured, incurring medical expenses, lost wages, and emotional trauma. If your injury is the result of a property owner’s negligence, you need to be compensated appropriately.

Personal Attention from Professional Attorneys

If you believe your slip and fall injury is the liability of the property owner, talk to the professional attorneys at Karpe Litigation Group today. We are experts in police misconduct and civil liberties 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.

What Indiana is Doing to Lower Percentage of Uninsured Drivers

Ranking eighth among states with the highest percentage of uninsured motorists, Indiana institutes “no pay, no play” laws that discourage driving with no insurance by penalizing repeat offenders.

Karpe uninsured fb 1

As the average number of uninsured motorists (UM) continues to increase across America, many state governments remain concerned about the percentage of uninsured drivers in their own states – including Indiana. Many are implementing measures to help lower the averages, after studies reveal the cost to insured drivers has climbed 75% over the past 10 years.

According to InsuranceJournal.com, insured drivers or their insurance companies must pay for physical damages and health costs from an accident when an uninsured driver is at fault. What’s more, if the driver is under-insured, their policy limits may not be high enough to cover all costs.

With approximately 32 million uninsured drivers on the road (about 13% of all drivers nationwide still do not carry insurance), states like Indiana have implemented random insurance verification checks and no pay, no play laws that limit the ability of uninsured drivers to seek compensation in the event of an accident. The most current data from the Insurance Information Institute finds Indiana ranks eight among states with the highest percentage of uninsured motorists, increasing to 16.7% from 16.0% in 2009. For comparison, Maine -which ranks 51- is one of 24 states that requires drivers to have uninsured motorist insurance. Maine also has one of the highest bodily injury liability insurance requirements of any state, at $50,000 per person.

How Fault Works in Indiana 

There’s no denying that car accidents can be expensive. The damage to your car means you will need to repair it or replace it. These things take time and you will most likely have to rent a car in order to get to work. If your injuries are extensive, you may end up missing work or be unable to return to work altogether. There are costs involved in medical treatment, follow-up therapy, medical equipment and prescription medications.

For these reasons, it is important to have insurance. Indiana law requires drivers to demonstrate “financial responsibility” in order to operate a vehicle. In most cases, this boils down to Hoosiers purchasing car insurance.

When looking at financial responsibility and recovery, it is important to consider how fault works in Indiana. Indiana employs a “comparative fault” standard for personal injury cases.  Payment of an auto accident claimant’s total monetary damages is reduced by the percentage a jury finds the claimant at fault.  Further, Indiana automobile accident claimants will not be compensated from the other driver’s insurance unless the other driver was at least 51% at fault.

uninsured indiana drivers

The Complexities of No Pay, No Play Statues in Indiana 

Chapters 27-7-5.11 and 34-30-29.2 of the Indiana Code are commonly referred to collectively as the “no pay, no play” statutes. Under these laws, insurance companies can avoid paying non-economic damages to a repeat uninsured motorist in the case of an accident. The law is aimed at individuals with a history of driving with no insurance rather than first-time offenders.  If the claimant had no insurance at the time of the accident, and a previous citation for not having auto insurance in the previous 5 years, the limitations of this statute apply.

The various types of non-economic damages that insurance companies can avoid paying include:

  • Physical and emotional pain and suffering
  • Physical impairment
  • Emotional distress
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of enjoyment
  • Loss of companionship, services, and consortium
  • Any other non-pecuniary loss proximately caused by the accident

Uninsured drivers are still able to recover economic damages including medical expenses, costs of treatment and rehabilitation, lost wages, loss of economic or educational potential, loss of productivity and other pecuniary losses resulting from the accident.

Indiana’s “No Pay, No Play” laws have many nuances and can have a wide variety of effects for drivers involved in an accident. Insurance companies work hard to stay on top of regulations so they can minimize the amount of compensation they have to pay.

Other states that currently have no pay, no play insurance laws include Alaska, California, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, North Dakota and Oregon. In most cases the no pay, no play laws allow uninsured drivers to sue for economic damages, such as medical bills and vehicle repairs, but limit the ability of suing for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. While these laws are meant to discourage driving without insurance, the states that have no pay, no play laws actually have a higher percentage of uninsured drivers, with 13.2% compared to 12% average for states without these laws.

Other Measure to Discourage Uninsured Drivers

In a number of states, Insurance Verification Systems have been enacted. Insurers are required to report to the state transportation authority when an auto insurance policy lapses or is cancelled. This allows the government to have a database of currently insured vehicles and gives law enforcement the ability to identify uninsured drivers. The states that currently have verification systems are Georgia, Montana, Nevada, Oklahoma, Ohio, Texas and Wyoming.

The state of Ohio has implemented a random selection program where a certain number of drivers are selected each week at random and are required to provide proof of insurance. Any driver who fails to provide proof of insurance in a given timeframe receives a random selection suspension of driving privileges.

Personal Attention from Professional Attorneys

If you or a loved one is injured or killed in an auto accident involving an uninsured driver, contact 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.

Drive Smart and Avoid Nasty Car Accidents

Indiana drivers are more distracted than ever, and we’re not alone. Learn defensive driving strategies you can use every time you’re behind the wheel and avoid an accident on the road.

safe driving tips

When driving your car on the roads and highways of Indiana, alone or with passengers, driving safety should be your top concern. It’s not only crucial that you know the basics of safe driving, you must practice them every time you’re behind the wheel, if you hope to prevent or avoid an accident like this one that occurred recently on I-70. Distracted driving is at least partly to blame for this multi-vehicle accident involving at least seven cars, semi-trailers and trucks, closing the highway and leaving two people dead.

When it comes to the worst states for distracted driving, Indiana ranks 31, with a distracted driving fatality rate of 1.08. That’s one too many per year for Indiana lawmakers, who are considering a new bill that makes holding a cellphone or any other electronic communications device in your hands while driving illegal. Laws are one way to help drive smart when you’re on the road; safe steps to drive by are another.

10 Safe Driving Behaviors to Stop Preventable Auto Accidents Before They Happen

Defensive Driving – As a defense driver, you assume other drivers might make mistakes. You are on guard in the event that other drivers make errors and watch ahead for advance warning of any hazards on the road. By watching ahead, you have enough time to avoid potential accidents.

You also learn to anticipate hazards by scanning frequently in front of traffic, as well as the side and back around the car, and adjust speed or direction to react safely to any situation. It is recommended that drivers scan ahead to where they will be in 10 to 12 seconds. For highway driving, keep your car positioned far enough from other vehicles to have enough time to successfully avoid them, if they suddenly swerve into your path. 

Right of Way – In general, the vehicle that arrives last must give right-of-way to other vehicles. Drivers should give right-of-way when entering traffic, when turning left in front of approaching traffic and when changing lanes. You should only move in your intended path or direction after assuring that you will not conflict with other traffic. Drivers should assume that other drivers will not see you when you maneuver into their path.

When pulling into traffic, proceed slowly, look and listen. Be aware of any blind spots, such as those in rearview mirrors and behind windshield pillars or highway road signs. Vehicles can seemingly appear out of nowhere so caution is the key to yielding the right-of-way.

Start-up and Back-up – When a car has been parked long enough, pedestrians and other vehicles may be resting within a few feet. Starting up forward, backward or to the right or left creates a potentially hazardous situation. Before starting the car, you should walk around the car and look underneath to make sure there is the right clearance.

After checking around your car, it is important to start up quickly before other vehicles or pedestrians approach. Start moving slowly at first to allow any vehicles or pedestrians who may have unexpectedly approached to safely move away.

Negotiating Curves – When negotiating curves at an excessive speed, cars can lose traction and slide off the road. Commercial trailers or other top-heavy vehicles risk rolling over. It is important to reduce speed before entering a curve in order to have enough time to correct direction and maintain control of the vehicle. Keep side wheels off the shoulder of the road. Side wheels may drop or sink in the shoulder, increasing the chances of an accident.

Passing – Safe passing maneuvers require well-developed skills. Drivers must make many critical decisions in a short amount of time. The steps to pass another vehicle successfully include checking sight distance ahead and mirrors for rear traffic and traffic passing you; estimating speed and position of approaching vehicles and the time needed to safely pass; accelerating, steering and checking for traffic entering on side roads. Safe drivers consider all steps quickly to prevent an accident. Safetyinfo.com recommends:

  1. Before you pass, check to be certain no one is passing you.
  2. Assume the driver in front of you doesn’t know you are passing. That driver may pull to the left to pass a vehicle in front or make a left turn.
  3. While you are passing, watch carefully for vehicles that may be entering the roadway from side roads or driveways.
  4. Assume vehicles approaching from the opposite direction will not see you or slow down for you to complete your passing maneuver.
  5. Watch out for vehicles passing other vehicles from the opposite direction.
  6. If the vehicle you are trying to pass speeds up, let it go. Don’t get in to a dangerous race.
  7. Don’t take risks. If in doubt, don’t pass.
  8. Signal your intentions to pass.

Crossing Intersections – It is probably not a surprise that a majority of car accidents happen in intersections. Vehicles coming from different directions into an overlapping space creates a reason for safe driving habits to kick in and anticipate a hazardous situation.

Count to three before entering an intersection on a green light. Look both ways to make sure other vehicles are not trying to race through a yellow light. Exercise caution when passing semi-trailers because long trucks have a considerable blind spot on their right side. If you cannot see a truck’s side mirrors, it’s unlikely that the driver can see you.

safe driving behaviors

Using and Changing Lanes – Lane use and lane changing accidents usually involve sideswiping and rear-end collisions. These are usually the result of following too closely or being inattentive of the traffic conditions ahead. Defensive driving is the best countermeasure for lane changing accidents.

Observing safe following distance and staying aware of blind spots -especially with large commercial trailers- is the best way to avoid lane changing hazards. If you cannot see ahead of the vehicle you are following, increase your following distance.

Parking – Parking on a travel lane creates a potential hazard. While in metropolitan areas drivers expect cars parked on or partially on a travel lane, drivers on rural or high-speed areas do not anticipate vehicles parked in their lane. Attention levels may be lower and there might not be enough time to react. You should try not to park in travel lanes, even partially, in order to avoid accidents. If you need to park on the shoulder of the road, always put on flashers, day or night.

Driving in Adverse Conditions – The two biggest factors causing accidents in adverse conditions are reduced traction and reduced visibility. Reduced traction conditions include rain, snow, ice, slush and gravel on roads. Reduced visibility conditions include twilight, darkness, rain, snow and fog.

To drive safely in adverse conditions, you should develop skills in compensating with speed and control of your vehicle. In addition, you should be prepared to compensate for other drivers who may not have the skills to deal with adverse conditions.

Pedestrian Interaction – Most pedestrian accidents occur when a person walks into a roadway because they misjudge how fast a vehicle is coming, they don’t see a vehicle coming or because they assume the vehicle sees them and will slow down or stop. You should be constantly aware of the potential errors a pedestrian might make and compensate accordingly.

Personal Attention from Professional Attorneys

The safest, most defensive drivers in Indiana can still find themselves involved or injured in a car accident. The professional attorneys at Karpe Litigation Group 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.

Safe Accident-Free Driving Means Driving Without Distractions

Every day in the United States, nine people are killed and 100 injured in accidents where the reported cause is distracted driving. To help raise awareness of this widespread danger on America’s roadways, government agencies have designated April as National Distracted Awareness Month.

dangerous drivers

What Defines Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving encompasses a variety of behaviors that generally fall into three main types:

  • Visual – the driver takes their eyes off the road.
  • Manual – the driver takes their hands off the wheel.
  • Cognitive – the driver takes their mind off of driving.

Distracted driving can also be a combination of two or all three of these types. For example:

Texting – Incidents involving texting while driving are on the rise in the United States, despite efforts to raise public awareness of the issue. Taking your eyes off the road for just the few seconds it can take to look at a text is enough time to cause an accident. Obviously, the time it takes to type and send a text while driving is an even greater hazard. Taking your eyes off the road for just five seconds is enough time to travel the length of a football field at 55 miles per hour – without you even seeing where you’re going.

Talking on Phones – Along with texting, talking on cell phones is another area where the explosion of mobile technology is contributing to the rise of distracted driving. While hands-free models make it possible for drivers to keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel, talking on phones still present a cognitive distraction, causing drivers take their minds off of driving.

Music – Playing music too loudly inhibits a driver’s ability to hear and respond to emergency vehicles and other audio cues that alert them to danger. This doesn’t mean you must drive a vehicle in silence. Keeping music at a volume where you can still hear sirens and respond accordingly can make the difference between reacting to a hazardous situation or causing one.

Passengers – When other people are in your car for the ride, it can place major demands on your attention. Turning to look at passengers when speaking to them takes your eyes off the road.

Eating – Eating and drinking any beverage while driving requires a person to take their hands off the wheel. This activity creates a dangerous situation because the driver is not fully in control of the vehicle.

Navigation Systems – Modern maps and GPS systems are very useful for drivers. However, the mapping information should be entered into the device or application before the car is in motion, rather than while driving is in progress.

Lost in Thought – The greatest percentage of distracted driving incidents resulting in death are caused by drivers who report they were “lost in thought” when the accident occurred. Drivers should remain aware of their actions, as well as the actions of other vehicles and pedestrians, at all times.

car accident deaths

What National Distracted Driving Awareness Month Does

To raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) designates April as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, sponsored by the National Safety Council. Law enforcement officers nationwide are mobilized to look out for distracted driving behaviors, such as texting and talking on cell phones. The NHTSA partners with States and local police to enforce distracted driving laws, leading the fight to keep us safe.

The NHTSA and the National Safety Council mount awareness campaigns and public service announcements to help make drivers aware that safe driving means driving without distractions. They maintain a presence on social media platforms (Facebook and Twitter), sharing stories and driving tips to help save lives.

The key to the NHTSA’s efforts to educate the public on distracted driving and other risky driving efforts is their partnership with state and local police. The States determine various laws regarding driving safety that vary from State to State and the NHTSA provides Federal investments in locally-driven awareness campaigns and provides information for drivers to learn about the laws in their State.

The biggest NHTSA campaign is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month that occurs every April. During this time the NHTSA pairs nationally broadcast advertising with a locally driven crackdown called U text. U drive. U pay.

Join the Effort

Everyone can get involved in the fight against distracted driving and the effort to save lives. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states, “To prevent tragedies due to distracted driving, motorists are urged to:

  • Turn off electronic devices and put them out of reach before starting to drive.
  • Be good role models for young drivers and set a good example. Talk with your teens about responsible driving.
  • Speak up when you are a passenger and your driver uses an electronic device while driving. Offer to make the call for the driver, so his or her full attention stays on the driving task.
  • Always wear your seat belt. Seat belts are the best defense against unsafe drivers.”

Teens: Teen drivers are the best messengers when it comes to ending distracted driving. Teens are encouraged to speak up to their friends when they see distracted driving, to have their friends sign contracts saying they will not drive distracted and to get involved in their local chapter of Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD). Formerly Students Against Driving Drunk, the organization encourages students to avoid making potentially destructive decisions to prevent driving accidents. Teens can share on social media to remind their friends and family about the dangers of distracted driving.

Parents: The best way for parents to contribute to teens developing safe driving behaviors is to lead by example. Parents should never exhibit distracted driving. Have everyone in the family sign a pledge to commit to distraction-free driving. Remind your teens if state laws dictate, distracted driving could lead to a delayed or suspended license.

Educators and Employers: Spread the word at your school and place of business about the importance of distraction-free driving. Ask your students to commit to distraction-free driving or set a company policy. Encourage employees to exhibit distraction-free driving at all times as a good example to fellow drivers and young people.

The National Safety Council provides materials for promoting National Distracted Driver Awareness Month, including free posters, videos, fact sheets and more to share at your school or business.

Personal Attention from Professional Attorneys

If you or someone you love has been harmed by a distracted driver, speak 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.