request a free consultation1.317.825.5200
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 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
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
Indiana University’s School of Medicine (IUSoM) researchers discovered recently that it is the passengers on motorcycles who are more likely to forgo using protective helmets, making them more likely to experience traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) than drivers of motorcycles. Surprisingly, passengers had more TBI injuries than drivers even when they did wear helmets. The report, one of the first to investigate the benefits of helmet usage, was published November 15, 2017, in JAMA Surgery online. IUSoM Department of Surgery researchers used data from 2007 through 2010 in the National Trauma Data Bank and examined outcomes for over 85,000 motorcycle trauma patients. Researchers divided the patients into two groups: motorcycle passengers and motorcycle drivers. Consistently the passengers were more likely than the drivers to be non-compliant with helmet usage and to suffer TBIs. Study Details Approximately two-thirds of motorcycle drivers who underwent trauma were wearing helmets, compared to 57.5 percent of the passengers. The study found ... Continue Reading
Vehicle Accidents
Sometimes we may have the luxury of remaining home during icy or snowy weather. Truck drivers, however, often must stay on the road because it’s their job to move freight. Most truck drivers are professionals who drive with skill and care, but it’s important to remember that truckers are controlling up to 40 tons of vehicle, and in some cases on Indiana roads, up to 67 tons. A moment’s inattention can have devastating consequences when it occurs on slick roads. Conditions such as these can make deadly chain-reaction collisions likely. An average of nearly 6 million vehicular crashes occur each year in the United States. During 2014, around 476,000 of those crashes involved buses and large trucks. In bad weather, the number of crashes climbs. It’s in your best interests to be informed about risks and the ways you can manage them. Numbers Tell the Story Of the nearly 6 million crashes happening every year, ... Continue Reading
Truck Accidents
Most of us wouldn’t think twice about whether our coffeemakers are unsafe, but surprising developments have come to light about two companies. Keurig Green Mountain, which sells machines that make coffee for you in seconds, has landed in hot water twice. In the most recent case, an insurance corporation is suing Keurig because of a house fire. In the second instance involving 7 million recalled coffeemakers, Keurig must pay $5.8 million because the company delayed recalling the K10 model, which was responsible for seriously burning 90 people. Finally, there was a decision in a Black & Decker coffeemaker carafe case. Liberty Mutual vs. Keurig Green Mountain A fire supposedly caused by a Keurig K70 machine at an Upton, Massachusetts, home caused $100,000 worth of damage. While the home’s insurer, Liberty Mutual, paid the claim, it believes that Keurig’s K70 machine is unsafe, stating, “The coffee maker was defective and unreasonably dangerous and therefore not fit ... Continue Reading
Product Injury
December 20, 2017

The Trouble with Airbags

It’s estimated that roughly a stadium’s worth of people—39,976—were kept alive by frontal airbags from 1987 to 2012. Side airbags with head protection have done their part as well. An Australian study found that the likelihood of upper-body injuries and deaths to drivers was reduced by 61 percent, a percentage similar to an earlier (2006) IIHS study. However, such protection comes at a cost. Even when airbags deploy as they should, you can be injured by them. When airbags deploy improperly, they can severely injure and kill. The Takata-manufactured airbags in many major vehicular brands have been implicated in 19 deaths and more than 180 injuries in the U.S. alone. Airbags can become more likely to rupture with age due to certain components’ becoming corroded or unstable. A Miami driver suffered second-degree burns in September, 2017, when both the passenger and driver’s side airbags in her 2002 Jeep Liberty exploded without warning. Her burns required ... Continue Reading
Product Injury
Trucks weighing up to 40 tons (80,000 pounds) are legal on Indiana roads. In special circumstances and with the proper permits and fees paid, truck weights of up to 200,000 pounds—100 tons—are allowable. Neighboring Kentucky permits truck weights of up to 120,000 pounds as long as fees are paid and permits are obtained. State governments require fees in order to pay for the damages that accumulate from a steady stream of overweight trucks on our roads and bridges. Hauling overweight loads are hard on the trucks, too, though some trucks are built especially to haul extreme weights. Overweight Scofflaws Some truckers and trucking companies try to get away with hauling overweight loads without paying fees and obtaining permits. A few examples include: September, 2017: In Minnesota, a truck was overweight by nearly 86,000 pounds—165,900 pounds total. The truck was built to handle only an 80,000-pound load. It became sidelined when the excessive load blew out ... Continue Reading
Truck Accidents