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.

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Speeding Accidents in Indianapolis

Indiana Accident AttorneyIndianapolis has long been known for speed. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Lucas Oil Raceway stand as monuments of that. So do I-69, I-70, I-74, I-65, I-465, I-469, and I-885. The “Crossroads of America” is well connected with a host of freeways and highways. Far too many local drivers and those passing through the center of Indiana seem to be in a hurry to get where they are headed. Why do these drivers feel the need to speed, and what are the potential financial and other costs associated with speeding?

Why Do People Speed?

People speed for a variety of reasons, some of which they may not even be aware of themselves. Here is a look at some of the more common reasons people speed while driving.

  • Lack of time, in a hurry. Many people who speed do so intentionally because they may be late for an appointment or work. They simply do not give themselves enough time to get to their destination at a safe speed. Of course, there are factors that can contribute to drivers being unintentionally late, like heavy traffic or an accident along their route. This can cause them to “make up time” when traffic finally frees up.
  • A sense that the speed limit isn’t the “limit.” Some drivers believe that they won’t be stopped for driving 3 to 5 mph over the speed limit. Still others subscribe to the “Nine is fine, ten you’re mine” theory, where police may not ticket you for exceeding the speed limit by 9 mph but will at 10 mph or over.
  • Driving familiar roads. Sometimes familiarity can cause speeding when a driver becomes so used to the road that he pays little attention to the speed.
  • Driving an unfamiliar vehicle. You may not have a “feel” for the speed of an unfamiliar car, and this can cause speeding.
  • Driving in the left lane. Some drivers feel more comfortable driving in the left lane of a multi-lane roadway and will speed to justify it.
  • Distracted driving. Drivers can become so engrossed in a conversation with someone in the vehicle or on a cellphone that paying attention to speed becomes a secondary concern. This can be a particular problem where speed limits may decrease along the road they are driving on.
  • Egocentric and risk-taking. Face it, there are drivers who speed simply because they believe they are the most important person on the road. They may feel others need to get out of their way and that they won’t get caught.

For those who are ticketed for speeding, rarely will any of the above reasons serve as acceptable justification. If an injury accident occurs and speed is cited as a cause, it can have even more serious ramifications.

The Costs of Speeding

The more a driver exceeds the speed limit in Indianapolis, the higher the cost of their speeding ticket. Exceeding the limit by over 30 mph is considered reckless driving and will take costs to an even higher level. Fines aren’t the only costs to consider, however. There are court costs and potentially higher insurance rates to consider. Speeding is expensive, nationally costing the U.S. economy over $40 billion dollars annually.

Speeding that is shown to be the cause of a personal injury accident can take fines from the hundreds into the thousands of dollars and could result in criminal charges and even jail time. Speeding may also lead to a personal injury lawsuit.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), out of over 35,000 traffic deaths in 2015, speeding was the cause of death of 9,557 people.

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

Have You Been Injured in an Indianapolis Auto Accident Caused by Speeding?

If you’ve been injured in a speed-related auto accident in the Indianapolis area, contact us at McNeely Stephenson. We will fully investigate any potentially responsible parties, including using the latest technology. Today’s passenger vehicles and trucks have a “black box”, much like airliners, that records the driver’s actions prior to a crash. This includes braking and the speed of the vehicle.

As Indianapolis-based attorneys specializing in personal and auto injury accidents, we can look into that data and more, to see how much speed was a contributing factor. We can also have accident reports and accident scenes expertly dissected and recreated to discover the extent of blame. If you have been injured because someone else was speeding, it is not an “accident.” Call us at McNeely Stephenson and let’s discuss your case. We offer a free initial case review, and if we accept your personal injury case, there is no cost to you unless we win.

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March 29, 2019 / Premises Liability, Wrongful Death
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