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.

Forensic Science Drives Court Cases to Conclusion

The forensic evidence left at a crime scene tells a very compelling story that is typically more reliable in court than witness testimony.

court case evidence

Most people are familiar with what happens during a court trial – we certainly watch enough law shows that give us an idea. When someone is charged with a crime, attorneys for the defense and the prosecution call witnesses to give testimony. The most compelling evidence may not come from a person, however. It comes from science. Forensic science.

Forensics Applies Scientific Principles and Techniques to Legal Problems

Forensic evidence is the information gathered about a crime using applied science. Investigators gather ballistics, hair and fiber samples, blood samples, tissue samples from under fingernails and all the things you typically see on your favorite crime drama that’s protected in plastic bags.

Forensic evidence is used in both civil and criminal cases to prove connections in court. Evidence like DNA is used to link crimes thought to be related or link a suspect of one crime to other crimes. This type of DNA linking helps law enforcement narrow down the pool of suspects, establishes patterns of crimes and helps speed the process of bringing criminals to justice.

Types of Forensic Evidence

Forensic scientists who process crime scenes are called crime scene investigators (CSIs). In Indiana, CSIs work with any law enforcement agency in the state and use the most up-to-date equipment and investigative methods available to them. The CSI will

  • develop, secure and package physical evidence for scientific evaluation and comparison reconstruct the events that occurred during the commission of a crime
  • prepare detailed reports of their observations and activities at the crime scene
  • provide expert testimony in court regarding their findings and the methods used at the scene

In general, CSIs consider the following when gathering evidence:

Fragile or Transient Evidence

  • Hairs, fibers, glass, fractured objects
  • Shoe and tire impressions
  • Barefoot impressions (latent)
  • Barefoot impressions (in blood)
  • Fire accelerants (point of origin)
  • Body fluids (blood, semen, saliva)
  • Skin cells (items touched or worn)
  • Latent fingerprints
  • Gunshot residue and patterns

Solid or Tangible Evidence

  • Toolmarks (focus on point of entry)
  • Firearms
  • Other weapons (knives, clubs, etc.)
  • Fired bullets
  • Fired cartridge cases
  • Unfired cartridges
  • Drugs and paraphernalia
  • Documents (checks, notes, receipts)
  • Computers and devices

How Forensic Science Solves Crime

Think again of your favorite crime drama. When the CSIs arrive at the crime scene, they know not to disturb the scene until all possible forensic evidence is documented, photographed and gathered.

The evidence left at a crime scene tells a very compelling story that is typically more reliable than witness testimony. While forensic evidence can be used for nonviolent crime, such as computer hacking and fraud, it is most commonly used to solve more violent crimes – the types of crimes that leave a body or injure people, both physically and mentally.

The directionality of blood spatter can show where people were standing when the crime occurred. Trace fibers, hairs and other materials are gathered and sent back to the crime lab for analysis. DNA and dental records can be used for identifying a body.

Forensic science is not just used on bodies. Ballistics testing, also known as weapons testing, can yield valuable information about how a weapon was involved in a crime. Investigators can determine the specific make and model of a gun, where the shooter was standing and much more data about the weapon that can associate it with a particular person.

Forensic science plays a key role in cases of cybercrime. Circuits of phones and computers are traceable and digital footprints are left in databases and on servers that forensic scientists can use to track down cybercriminals.

How Forensic Evidence Is Used In Court

Forensic evidence is considered to be stronger and more reliable than evidence gathered from the testimony of witnesses, who could be swayed by one side or the other. The facts don’t lie and the science behind forensic evidence can show that.

However, if you must defend yourself for a crime, get legal representation with experience in the use of forensic evidence. As the prosecution is presenting their case, the validity of their forensic evidence can be questioned by a knowledgeable legal team that will ask, How was the evidence collected? Could tampering or contamination come to light? Could the chain of custody point to some other way the evidence has been compromised?

winning a court case

The Future of Forensic Science

Even though evidence such as fingerprints has been used for years to make a strong case and its scientific reliability is well established, evidence gathered scientifically through forensics must stand up to rigorous questioning before it is accepted as proof in a courtroom.

Over the past few decades, DNA evidence has proven its worth and is generally considered admissible. But the continual evolution of science means many new and untested technologies exist that have not yet proven their reliability in a court of law.

If one side in a trial asks to submit evidence that has not been proven over time and is not yet accepted by the scientific community, then the court will often order a mini-trial to review the validity of the scientific theory on which the evidence is based.

One technology currently going through the mini-trials process is functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI). This technology is a new form of lie detection that works by imaging the flow of blood around the brain in order to detect when someone is lying. If a judge in a mini-trial can be convinced that this yet-to-be-proven technology should be introduced at trial, then it could become a new accepted piece of forensic evidence in the courtroom.

Personal Attention from Professional Attorneys

If you are accused of a crime, talk to the professional attorneys at Karpe Litigation Group today. We are experts in injury and accident law and use forensic evidence to win the most challenging cases, 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.