$48.5 MILLION

Truck Accident Multimillion-Dollar Settlement.

"M.A.," a 30-year-old man, was driving to work in New Mexico. Suddenly a commercial truck veered across the center line and struck his vehicle head on. M.A. died at the scene. The McNeely Stephenson firm was hired shortly after the crash to represent the family of the deceased.

our client results

Highway Work Zone Accidents in Indianapolis

Although Indiana’s motto — “Crossroads of America” — originally referred to river transportation and early land routes, it’s even more appropriate today.

Indianapolis Highway Safety

Increased Accident Risk
How hazardous are work zones?
Who is in danger in work zones?
What causes work zone accidents?
Who is responsible for work zone injuries and deaths?
Accident Litigation Considerations

Indiana has more miles of Interstate Highway per square mile than any other state in the nation. Fourteen interstates crisscross Indiana — I-64, I-65, I-69, I-70, I-74, I-80, I-90, I-94, I-164, I-265, I-275, I-465, I-469, I-865 — as well as untold numbers of state roads. While all of these roads make for convenient connections and bring travelers and revenue into the state, they also are the site of injury and death for tens of thousands of motorists each year.

There are nearly 30,000 miles of highways in Indiana. According to Smart Growth America, a national organization advocating for wise decisions in community planning, 41% of Indiana’s roads have “fallen out of good condition.” They say that Indiana would need to spend $650 million annually for the next twenty years to get the current backlog of poor-condition major roads into a state of good repair and maintain all state-owned roads in good condition.

Increased Accident Risk

At McNeely Stephenson, an Indianapolis personal injury law firm focusing on motor vehicle accidents, we know these facts contribute to wrecks in two ways:

(1) dangerously poor road conditions can cause a crash, and

(2) work zones, where construction and repair activities are taking place, present hazards in and of themselves.

If you have been involved in a crash anywhere in Indiana, we can help you obtain compensation to pay for expenses such as medical treatment, loss of income, and reduced earning capacity — and we’ll do that by discovering all parties who contributed to the accident, including contractors and highway agencies. Call us at 855-206-2555 for a free consultation about your Indiana work zone accident or contact us online.

How hazardous are work zones?

Nationally, each year nearly 1,000 fatalities and 43,000 serious injuries occur in vehicle accidents in work zones. In 2013, 13 people were killed and more than 300 were injured in Indiana Department of Transportation work zones. By Labor Day of 2014, INDOT was reporting 1,379 crashes in highway work zones, in which there were six fatalities.

Who is in danger in work zones?

You would expect that road construction and repair personnel would be in danger of being hit by a moving vehicle. In the United States, about 130 workers die each year in road construction activities. Of this total, approximately 23% of the fatalities are due to pedestrian workers being struck by road traffic. McNeely Stephenson has an excellent track record of advocating for victims of workplace accidents.

But you might be surprised to learn that four out of five people killed in work zones are motorists, not highway workers.

What causes work zone accidents?

Some work zone crashes result from the same kind of negligent behavior that endangers people on any road: speeding, distracted driving, drunk driving, reckless lane changes, failure to yield right of way, and so on.

But work zones themselves may have characteristics that cause wrecks:

  • Obstructed view
  • Confusing, improper or lack of signage
  • Confusing traffic control devices
  • Hazards on or next to the road
  • Pavement drop-off
  • Inadequate pavement markings
  • Lack of decreased speed limit
  • Channeling devices
  • Narrow lanes
  • Frequent merge areas
  • Barriers
  • Distracting pedestrians, such as flaggers.

Who is responsible for work zone injuries and deaths?

There are often multiple defendants in work zone lawsuits. In addition to other motorists who were negligent, at McNeely Stephenson we investigate the details of the crash site to determine the potential liability of one or more of the following:

  • Government highway agency
  • Highway agency’s traffic control designer
  • Highway agency’s construction contractor
  • Highway contractor’s subcontractor
  • Inspection consultant
  • Individual employees of the above.

Accident Litigation Considerations

A work zone victim may allege that the zone was improperly designed; that elements such as barriers were improperly installed; that the area was not well maintained; that the plan was inconsistent with existing standards; that drivers were not given positive guidance; and/or that the addition or removal of certain traffic control devices would have been safer.

Recently, an accident in a Pennsylvania work zone led to a $15.8 million verdict for the family of a severely injured woman. The lawsuit named the construction contractor, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, as well as a speeding motorist. It alleged that the construction zone was dangerous because it lacked rumble strips, message displays and failure to prohibit turns, and that no improvements had been made in the area despite previous collisions there.

real-life cases

“B.K.” was driving on a two-lane road one Sunday afternoon with his mother in the front seat and his brother and sister-in-law in the back seat when his life was forever changed. B.K. was struck head on by D.C.

D.C. had spent the day drinking with a friend and had stopped at a restaurant less than five miles from the point of the accident where D.C. had been served several drinks. D.C.’s blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit.

As a result of the terrible wreck, B.K. received devastating injuries, which included multiple broken bones, facial fractures, and loss of vision. B.K.’s mother, brother, and sister-in-law were all killed in the accident.

As one would anticipate, D.C. had virtually no insurance. Stephenson, through his thorough and detailed investigation, was able to prepare claims against the restaurant and those that provided the alcohol.

Stephenson pursued dram shop claims against those responsible CASE SUMMARY

D.H. was a competitive bicyclist who was riding in preparation for a cross-country fundraising ride. In the spring of 2010, D.H. was riding across an old steel-grated deck bridge in Shelby County when he hit a hole in the bridge and flipped over the handlebars of his bike. The impact to the bridge decking caused severe injuries to his face, teeth, tongue, and elbow.

Through the investigation, they were able to learn as early as 1998, the bridge inspection reports showed the bridge in question needed to be replaced. The county never authorized additional inspections. The county obtained $844,000 in funding for the replacement of the bridge in 2000, but the Historical Society and adjacent property owners wanted the bridge repaired rather than replaced.

This crash could have been avoided if the inspectors and county had done their jobs. CASE SUMMARY

Our client (“D.W.”) was a front-seat passenger in a vehicle that was struck by a UDF truck making deliveries. D.W. received broken arms and legs, as well as internal injuries. Stephenson was retained by D.W.’s personal counsel to prepare and try the case. Discovery determined that the UDF driver had multiple driving violations. Stephenson retained numerous experts to show the jury the devastating effects of the injuries. Before trial, the defendant’s company stated that a jury in a small southern county in Indiana would never return a verdict for $1 million in this case.

The defendant was correct; the verdict was twice that amount. CASE SUMMARY

Let us put our resources to work for you.

The attorneys of McNeely Stephenson have been successfully litigating personal injury cases in Indiana since 1982. We know how to conduct a thorough investigation into an accident’s causes. Our many decades of representing Hoosiers injured in car crashes has helped us build a network of medical experts, economists and others who can assist in documenting a victim’s injuries and financial losses. Put our Indianapolis car accidents lawyer on your side.

Aggressive courtroom advocates and tenacious settlement negotiators, our Indiana vehicular accident lawyers will fight for your rights when you have been harmed in a distracted driving accident on Indiana highways. Contact Mike Stephenson at 1-855-206-2555 or use our online contact form to arrange a free consultation. McNeely Stephenson. Trusted Advisors. Proven Advocates.

 

Updates
Personal Injury Lawyer
December 3, 2018 / Truck Accidents
What’s Driving the Increase in Truck Accident Fatalities?

Highway fatalities have become increasingly common in recent years, but deaths involving semi-trucks and other big trucks have become even more widespread. While death rates in all types of vehicles have gone up, trucking deaths have increased at a rate of almost three times the rate of other types of fatalities. More than 4,300 people died nationwide in 2016 from accidents involving big trucks. That figure is an increase of 28 percent since 2...

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Mike Stephenson is a Super Lawyer in Indiana along with many of his peers at McNeely Stephenson. This is one of the highest honors an attorney can achieve

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The AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale Hubbell is the HIGHEST RATING and considered a significant accomplishment. It is a peer-reviewed process reflecting that other attorneys rank Mike Stephenson at the highest possible level of professional excellence.

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Attorney Mike Stephenson is a proud member of The Litigation Counsel of America’s Honorary Society. A close-knit, peer-selected, and aggressively diverse honorary society of 3,500 of the “best trial lawyers” in the country. Less than one-half of one percent of American lawyers, vigorously vetted for skills, expertise, and service; an invitation-only collegial network.

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The American Board of Trial Advocates is an invitation-only organization for attorneys of “high personal character and honorable reputation.” ABOTA works for the preservation of the civil jury trial, “Justice by the People,” and supports the right of a jury trial.

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The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 is an invitation-only organization composed of the premier trial lawyers. Membership is extended only to the select few of the most qualified attorneys. Indiana attorney Mike Stephenson is proud to be included in this national organization of top trial lawyers.

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Our attorneys are proven advocates and trial attorneys. They have served as lead trial counsel in more than 100 civil jury trials, and have handled litigation in 18 states