Truckers Driving Dangerously: Unsafe Lane Changes
While the vast majority of large truck drivers exercise proper attention when it’s time to move into another lane, a few bad apples drive more dangerously, resulting in injuries and deaths for innocent victims. Abrupt lane changes by large commercial vehicles create havoc. The trailer that’s part of a semi often extends to 53 feet, and, in some cases, even longer. Such a vehicle takes up a lot of space on the road, making lane changes a matter requiring much care and attention to blind spots. McNeely Stephenson handled a case that occurred on US 150 in Southern Indiana, a semi turned sharply left, in the left turn lane, causing its load of steel I-beams to move into the adjoining lane of traffic.  The vehicle passing in the right had no chance to avoid the beams resulting in a crash that took the life of the driver and critically injured the front seat passenger. Mike ... Continue Reading
Truck Accidents, Vehicle Accidents
How Kids Get Hurt in Non-Traffic Accidents
Not all automotive dangers to your children happen on the roads. Some can occur in your own driveway. “Non-traffic accidents,” as they are known, result in hundreds of fatalities and 95,000 injuries a year for children 14 and under. Generally, the risk of injury and death is greater with young children. They often cannot be seen by the driver when they are in front of or behind a vehicle, and they do not fully understand the consequences of their actions, such as “hiding” in a car trunk or pretending they are driving. The Most Likely Perils Even the most careful parent may not be aware of the many dangers for their children in and around motor vehicles. Here are the major dangers to children from motor vehicles that don’t occur on the road: Backovers. Sadly, this is one of the most frequent reasons for child non-traffic fatalities. Many backovers injure or kill children under the age ... Continue Reading
Personal Injury, Vehicle Accidents
Preventing Catastrophic Injuries in Youth Sports
Play Hard, but Play Safely If you have kids, it’s likely that you spend time sitting on bleachers, watching them play and cheering them on. Sports are undeniably good for kids—for their bodies, their minds, and their overall social development. Athletics are one way to battle our modern society’s increasing tendency to spend time lounging in front of a screen. However, growing children are especially vulnerable to injury, more so than adults. While we have started talking more about traumatic brain injuries in football, for example, much of the attention has been focused on professionals. Did you know that high school football players are twice as likely as college players to sustain a head injury? And that 1 in 10 college players end up suffering a brain injury? On March7, 2018, the 8th Annual Youth Sports Safety Summit (YSSS) met right here in Indianapolis to discuss youth sports injuries and safety protocols. Co-hosting the summit ... Continue Reading
Catastrophic Injuries, Personal Injury
What Is the State of Our Roads in Indianapolis?
Streets and roads in Indianapolis are scandalously deteriorated, and it’s our own fault. Years of negligence from cutting public works budgets and putting off needed repairs mean that the chickens have now come home to roost—and we will all pay the price for our neglect, not only in dollars, but also in lives. Nationwide, roughly one-third of our nation’s traffic deaths are linked to poor road conditions. In a Word: “Staggering” An internal analysis done by the city asserts that the amount of money and work required to fix more than 8,000 miles of Indianapolis’s streets and roads is “staggering.” The city’s Department of Public Works was forced to conclude that “[t]his deferred maintenance and lack of improvement have resulted in severe deterioration to the city’s transportation facilities.” Just to upgrade the state of Indy’s roads from poor to fair (a 4 on a 1-to-10 scale) would cost $732 million. Keeping the streets at the ... Continue Reading
Personal Injury, Premises Liability
In late September 2017, a terrible truck accident occurred on I-70 in the Mt. Comfort Road area of Buck Creek Township, near mile marker 95.2. A tanker truck ran off the highway, hitting a bridge and spilling thousands of gallons of oil when it split in two. It took HAZMAT teams several hours to clean up the oil, and the interstate was shut down in both directions for more than three hours. The driver was taken to the hospital with critical injuries and has since died. The reason for the crash? Two of the truck’s tires blew out, and the driver lost control. Between 2009 and 2013, almost 16,000 people died in roughly 14,000 fatal crashes that involved large trucks and buses. The numbers show that tires were a factor in 223 deaths that occurred in 198 crashes. What Can Go Wrong? Truck tire blowouts are serious business that can kill the truck’s driver. A ... Continue Reading
Truck Accidents
How many times have you seen a weaving car on the road and wondered, is that driver under the influence? Did you ever consider that they might be sleepy and not drunk? It turns out that drowsy driving is a much bigger problem than the official statistics would lead you to believe. The U.S. government’s figures have traditionally pegged drowsy driving as responsible for, at most, 2 percent of all crashes. But a new study using the PERCLOS method has determined that the proportion of accidents involving drowsy drivers can be as high as nearly 11 percent, or 1 in 9, of all collisions. That’s a significant and alarming increase that requires further examination. What Is PERCLOS, and Why Does It Matter? An eye-opening study published in February, 2018, and managed by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, confirmed the surprising results using the research method PERCLOS. PERCLOS, or the percentage of time during a ... Continue Reading
Vehicle Accidents
Crime scene from wrongful death.
Wrongful death lawsuits are brought when someone’s death is caused by the wrongful actions, or negligence, of another party. Often wrongful death suits are filed directly against the party that caused the harm, such as an employer whose neglect of workplace safety or non-compliance with safety regulations caused an employee to die. In these cases, a lawsuit can be filed on behalf of the family members who are suffering from the loss of company and financial support that the deceased would have provided. Wrongful death cases are civil suits, not criminal ones, meaning that justice involves making someone financially whole. Jail time or other penalties do not apply in civil cases. However, if a criminal case against the defendant is successful, then a civil case for wrongful death is often in order. Third-Party Suits Defined A third-party lawsuit is one in which another, related party can ultimately be found liable for part or all of ... Continue Reading
Drunk Driving, Personal Injury, Worker Injury, Wrongful Death
Indiana's Future Includes Driverless Cars
Indiana may become the 22nd state to provide guidelines for the manufacture and use of autonomous motor vehicles, if House Bill 1341 becomes law. Introduced by State Representative Ed Soliday of Valparaiso, the bill consists of a number of regulations regarding autonomous vehicles, including safety standards and the creation of an automated vehicle oversight task group. Some guidelines for the autonomous vehicle industry have already been approved at the national level by the National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). Once federal regulations are well-established and robust enough for autonomous vehicles, they would supersede any state regulations. But until that day, Soliday wants Indiana to provide some regulatory structure. What Does the Bill Say? Among the many provisions of House Bill 1341, major points include the following: Forbids cities, towns, and other political entities from enacting any law or rule that would prohibit lawful use of autonomous vehicles, automated driving systems, and on-demand autonomous vehicle ... Continue Reading
Vehicle Accidents
Carbide Industries Fatality: Preventable?
It is arguably a family’s worst nightmare when the breadwinner dies on the job. But just such a tragedy occurred on February 15, 2018, at the West Louisville Carbide Industries plant, located in the Rubbertown neighborhood. At approximately 4:30 a.m., a 38-year-old worker was electrocuted at the plant. Efforts by first responders to resuscitate the man were unsuccessful; he was declared dead an hour later at University Hospital. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will investigate the death, but it’s not the first time that Carbide Industries, which makes liquids used in steel mills, has undergone scrutiny by OSHA for workplace fatalities. A History of Industrial Deaths In 2011, an explosion that killed two workers at the Carbide Industries plant also injured two additional workers. The blast was significant enough that shelter-in-place warnings were issued to everyone within a one-mile radius of the plant. When federal investigators looked into the 2011 deaths from the ... Continue Reading
Worker Injury, Wrongful Death
Semi-Truck driving through a fall landscape.
ELDs, or electronic logging devices, are now required equipment in interstate commercial trucks. The trucking industry has been at loggerheads about the use of ELDs ever since the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published a new rule mandating their installation in commercial trucks on December 16, 2015. The Supreme Court declined to hear a case that argued the devices were unconstitutional, so the ELD rule took effect on December 18, 2017. Because of the phase-in period, the rule will not be followed by enforcement officers until April 1, 2018. On and after that date, drivers and their trucks can be taken off the road if they don’t have an ELD—unless they have an AOBRD (automatic onboard recording device). Not sure what we’re talking about? We’ll defuse the confusion for you. ELDs and AOBRDs Explained Simply put, ELDs replace the paper logs that drivers previously used to record their movements on the road, notably to record ... Continue Reading
Truck Accidents, Worker Injury
Old Deflated Tire
February 28, 2018

Are Your Tires Safe?

Your life and your safety are literally riding on your tires every time you drive your vehicle. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 11,000 crashes related to tire problems take place each year. In 2015, 719 fatalities were due to tire-related crashes. Ensuring that your tires are fit for the road should be a high priority for every driver. Blowouts: Especially Perilous Of those who own cars, only about 19 percent check and inflate their tires properly, and one in four vehicles have at least one seriously underinflated tire. Underinflation has been called “the easiest way to kill a tire.” If you have a blowout, an underinflated tire may also be the easiest way to kill a person. It’s been estimated that blowouts cause around 400 deaths in tire-related crashes annually. Tire-related crashes involving large trucks often happen because of blowouts. Between 2009 and 2013, almost 16,000 people died in roughly ... Continue Reading
Personal Injury, Truck Accidents, Vehicle Accidents
Injuries to the spinal cord are not terribly rare or unusual; they occur at an average rate of approximately 48 per day in the U.S., or 17,500 per year. (This figure does not count those who do not survive the accident that causes the SCI.) Many types of accidents can produce spinal cord injuries (SCIs). The top cause of SCIs is vehicular crashes; often, collisions result from negligent behaviors such as DUI or distraction. If negligence on the part of others is involved in your injury situation, you may have an actionable claim for which you should consider locating an experienced, compassionate personal injury attorney. When seeking medical information, accuracy counts; we suggest you find the information you need here. All statistics, unless noted, are from 2017. What is a Spinal Cord Injury? The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves encased by the bony vertebrae in the spinal column. The nerves, along with our ... Continue Reading
Catastrophic Injuries
Serious burn injuries are rife with complications—some physical and medical, some psychological, some financial. A severely burned injury victim can end up permanently disabled and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If the burn injury occurred because of someone else’s negligence or recklessness, you may have an actionable lawsuit for lost income and other damages. The number of those burned because of workplace accidents runs well into the thousands. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 16,000 injuries were reported for 2013 because of industrial mishaps that created thermal burns. From 2000 to 2013, injuries serious enough to cause lost time at work happened to approximately 32,000 workers. Burn Injuries Are Extremely Costly to Treat Burn injuries are often expensive to treat because a serious injury can cause multiple medical problems. Some of the physical injuries that can result from burn injuries include: Skin damage, skin loss, and scarring and disfigurement Contracture (skin tightening ... Continue Reading
Personal Injury
A 15-month study, undertaken by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, concluded that as many as 63,000 large-truck-related crashes each year could be prevented using video-based onboard safety monitoring systems. The study, “Leveraging Large Truck Technology and Engineering to Realize Safety Gains,” determined that an additional 14,000 large-truck-related crashes could also be averted if large trucks used lane-departure warning systems, automatic emergency braking, and air disc brakes. The results were made public in September, 2017. During 2015, over 400,000 large truck-related crashes caused 116,000 injuries and 4,067 deaths, a 4 percent rise from the previous year. Preventing a total of 77,000 crashes would mean a nearly 20 percent drop in collisions and a savings of 500 lives per year. The study also determined that the extra cost for the technologies would not be prohibitive. The executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, David Yang, remarked that “There’s no question that truck safety technology ... Continue Reading
Wrongful Death
We say that a wrongful death has occurred when someone has died due to the carelessness, negligence, or wrongful actions of another party or parties. In such a case, a lawsuit can be filed on behalf of family members who are suffering from the loss of companionship and financial support that the deceased would have provided. Wrongful deaths can occur in cases of medical malpractice, work accidents, and personal injury situations (such as vehicular crashes) when negligence is involved. A wrongful death suit enables you to ask for damages. Damages, a legal concept, are monetary and are intended to make the survivors whole again. While no amount of money can compensate for the loss of a loved one, damages can ease the way of dependents left behind who are saddled with bills and who have few financial resources of their own. Damages can be either economic or non-economic. “Economic damages” can include the deceased’s medical ... Continue Reading
Wrongful Death