Truck Accident Case

We took more than 60 depositions in five different states. Because of Stephenson’s tireless advocacy, shortly before the trial was to commence, the defendants settled the case for $48.5 million.

An Indiana personal injury lawyer can help you sue the Indianapolis Speedway for injuries due to their negligence.

The Indianapolis 500 is a heart-stopping event that spectators love, with racecars whizzing by at tremendous speeds. However, when racecars are involved in accidents, their weight and speed can lead to devastating and life-changing injuries that can include head, back, neck, brain and spinal cord damage, paralysis, amputations, broken bones, and even death. Most often, the drivers are the victims of these accidents, but sometimes spectators are injured as well. Survivors may face long, painful recoveries that result in high medical and rehabilitation bills, at a time they are unable to work.

If you or a loved one was injured or someone has died in an accident at events such as at the Indianapolis Speedway, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses through insurance or a lawsuit. However, Indiana laws are complicated, and the big companies and their insurers have high-powered lawyers who will attempt to get you to settle for as little as possible or claim the accident was not their fault. Proving fault requires rigorous investigation and knowledge of the laws, and making mistakes can cost you the settlement you deserve.

Fortunately, there is help available from the personal injury lawyers at Stephenson Rife, LLP. At this difficult time, when you are trying to recover from a traumatic accident, our attorneys can take the burdens off you by dealing with the complex laws and multiple parties and insurers these cases involve. We understand the difficulties you and your family face, and we are deeply committed and fully prepared to handle all legal hurdles involved with proving liability and winning your case, so you can concentrate on rebuilding your life.

We provide a free consultation to discuss the details of your accident and determine the best way to move forward. You pay nothing unless and until we win, so call us today at (317) 680-2501 for your free, no-obligation case evaluation.

If You Are Hit by Flying Debris at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Can You Sue?

Flying debris caused the last spectator fatality at the Indianapolis 500, and a lawsuit resulted.

When a tire wobbled loose off Tony Bettenhausen’s No. 56 racecar on the third turn of the 130th lap of a race, it scooted down the short chute until it smacked into Roberto Guerrero’s No. 4 car. It then soared skyward, over the catch fence, toward the top row of the K grandstands. That is where it hit Lyle Kurtenbach, who was watching the race with his family. The tire weighed 18.5 pounds and was nearly 26 inches in diameter, smoldering from having pounded the pavement at 200 mph for two-plus hours. Lyle Kurtenbach became the first spectator to die at the event since 1960, and the third fan in race history to be killed by a tire.

Who was at fault and responsible for this death? Kurtenbach’s wife sued the Speedway, the U.S. Auto Club, and Bettenhausen’s race team for $9 million, claiming Bettenhausen’s car and wheel were defective, and that USAC – which governed the 500 back then – did not provide adequate inspection of the equipment. The suit also claimed that the Speedway did not have sufficient safety barriers and that spectators were not warned of potential dangers. The suit was settled out of court for an undisclosed sum three years after the death.

As a result of the lawsuit, the catch fence, which stood 15 feet on May 24, 1987, has been heightened to 19 feet, 8 inches, and there hasn’t been a fan killed at the speedway since.

Spectator Accident at the Daytona Speedway

A similar lawsuit was filed by a NASCAR fan injured by flying debris at Daytona International Speedway in 2013. The suit, filed against the racetrack and NASCAR, claimed the plaintiff suffered a serious traumatic brain injury when he was hit in the head by the wreckage of a crash that penetrated the protective catch fence between the racetrack and the spectator area.

In this case, driver Kyle Larson’s car was thrown up into the catch fence on the last lap of the Xfinity Series race, sending parts of the engine block and tire assembly flying into the crowd. Over 30 fans were injured in the accident, resulting in dozens of legal claims alleging negligence on the part of NASCAR and Daytona Speedway in the design and construction of a crossover fence. This was a removable chain link barrier allowing fans and race officials to cross over the track from the grandstands to the infield. Attorneys for the plaintiff allege the racetrack’s operators knew the crossover fence to be a weak spot, but allowed the removable barriers to remain in order to sell higher-priced tickets and increase profits.

Daytona International Speedway settled many of the lawsuits from the incident, and some claims are still unresolved. After the accident, Daytona Speedway took steps to redesign and reinforce the crossover barriers.

How a Personal Injury Lawyer in Indianapolis Can Help Win Compensation

Getting compensation after an accident requires knowledge and skill. Our personal injury law firm can help you succeed.

If you have been injured in an accident such as the tragedy at the Indianapolis 500, you may be facing major problems from physical and emotional pain and trauma and loss of income from being unable to work. These types of cases are complicated by the fact that there are often multiple defendants who may be held liable for injuries, and doing so involves identifying them and proving how they were at fault. For example, in a racecar accident, the driver and also the company they are driving for may be liable for the accident. In addition, there may be other liable parties, such as the manufacturer of the car or its parts, if there was an equipment failure; the owner of the facility where the accident occurred; and the organization the driver represented. All these parties may have insurance, and they should all be named in a lawsuit.

When you hire Stephenson Rife, we will:

  • Meet with you to get the facts of what happened and determine if you have a lawsuit and what the case should be worth.
  • Investigate your case to determine how it happened and who the at-fault parties might be. This involves examining the accident scene, interviewing eyewitness and first responders, vehicle maintenance and employer hiring and training records.
  • Gather evidence to build your case such as photos and videos, pictures of damage to vehicles and skid and tire marks, and police and medical records.
  • Hire experts to reconstruct the accident and testify on your behalf as to who was at fault, and experts to testify as to the extent of your injuries, the costs and care you may need in the future, and the physical and emotional effects on you and your family.
  • Locate all insurance companies for each defendant and negotiate with them for a fair settlement. Insurance companies are out for their own profit and will attempt to settle your case quickly for less than it is worth. Once you do, you will not be able to receive additional benefits should your injuries worsen. Our lawyers know how to deal with insurance companies, who are more likely to take your case seriously if they know you have an attorney on your side willing to take your case to court.
  • Build your case and take it to trial if a fair settlement cannot be negotiated. We will be there at every stage of the legal process, from filing pretrial motions, to discovery, to presenting evidence and making closing arguments, to filing an appeal.

It’s important to contact our attorneys as soon as possible while evidence is fresh and witnesses can be found. In addition, there is a statute of limitations – a time limit for filing. According to the law, {Indiana Code (IC) 34-11-2-4(3)} you must file a claim for personal injury or wrongful death within two years or the courts will not hear your case.

Call us now at (317) 680-2501 to get started.

Damage Awards Our Personal Injury Lawyer in Indiana May Win for You

To win your case, our attorneys must show that another party, the defendant in the case, was negligent and at fault for causing your accident. Proving fault legally involves showing the existence of the following elements:

  • Duty — The defendant owed you a duty of care not to cause harm.
  • Breach — The defendant breached that duty by acting or failing to act.
  • Cause – This action or failure to act caused a crash and your injuries.
  • Damages — You suffered damages as a result.

We would do this by thoroughly investigating the case and collecting evidence, finding all liable parties, and hiring experts to provide testimony as to fault and the damages you incurred.

In a successful case, Indiana allows victims to recover an award for compensatory damages.

Compensatory damages are to cover losses and costs for both your economic damages for monetary losses and your non-economic damages for losses that may not have a specific dollar value but negatively impact your life.

These may include:

  • Medical and rehabilitative and equipment costs
  • Loss wages and future earning capacity
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish and emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Permanent disability
  • Disfigurement and permanent scarring.

Punitive damages may also be awarded in certain circumstances to punish negligent parties for willful negligence or especially egregious behavior and to act as a deterrent for similar misconduct in the future.

Our personal injury lawyers have won major settlements over the years.

There are a wide range of damage award amounts you may receive in a personal injury lawsuit, that may range from the thousands to millions of dollars, depending on the circumstances and factors of the case. Factors that will be considered include the extent and permanence of the injuries and whether death occurred, the suffering and care involved, the degree of fault, the assets and insurance available to go toward a settlement, and the skill and negotiating ability of your attorneys.

Our Stephenson Rife attorneys have a long record of achieving large settlements. For example:

We Won $48.5 Million in a Truck Accident Case

In this case, we took more than 60 depositions in five different states. Because of Stephenson’s tireless advocacy, shortly before the trial was to commence, the defendants settled the case for $48.5 million.

Let us work to get justice for you.

Call Our Personal Injury Lawyers for Help

At Stephenson Rife, we have the experience to pursue positive results, no matter what legal challenge your case involves. We provide caring, confident and cost-effective service you can count on, which is why we are the law firm that other law firms consult.

Find out what we can do for you by calling us today at (317) 680-2501 for your free consultation. We work on a contingency basis, so there are no fees to you unless and until we win your case.

Attorney Mike Stephenson

Indiana Attorney Mike StephensonMike Stephenson has 40 years of experience and is a trusted advisor to many individuals and companies. His current practice is dominated by civil litigation in state and federal courts. He focuses much of his time on handling catastrophic injuries caused by all types of accidents, including motor vehicle, trucking, workplace injuries, product liability, and fire, just to name a few. He also works extensively in construction accidents. [ Attorney Bio ]

Lawyer Video Click for Attorney Video

Why Call Us?

Play Video

Request Free Consultation

We take the hard cases – and win them! Free consultation, no obligation.