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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

According to the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI), distracted driving contributed to over 9,000 vehicular accidents in 2014. Of the 9,000 accidents, 1,000 involved the use of a cell phone. Texting while driving makes a driver 23 times more likely to be in a collision. Under Indiana Code 9-21-59, the use of a cell phone or texting is illegal unless used in conjunction with voice-operated technology Other factors for distracted driving accidents include consulting GPS systems, tuning the radio, applying makeup, drunk driving and drowsiness. Commercial truck drivers in Indianapolis often suffer from driver fatigue.

How to Prove Distracted Driving Caused the Crash

So, how can you show that another driver was distracted at the time of your accident? Here’s a list of six ways:

  • Police report – If you saw the other driver chatting on a cell phone prior to the collision, let the investigating police officer know that. This documented report can be used in court.
  • The driver admitted it – While it’s not advisable to admit fault of for an accident, some people blurt it out: “I’m so sorry. I was texting when I ran the red light.”
  • Witnesses – You can subpoena witnesses to testify about seeing any distracted-driving behaviors.
  • Cell phone records – Cell phone records can be obtained and used as proof in the plaintiff’s favor.
  • Photos or videos – Cell phone videos shot by passengers, surveillance cameras and police dash cams can catch distracted drivers red-handed. These can be used in court.
  • Accident reconstruction specialists.

How Distracted Driving Factors Cause Accidents

Drowsy driving can be as deadly as drunk driving. Drivers who are tired can have delayed reactions, veer off lane and fall asleep at the wheel. According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drowsy driving is responsible for at least 100,000 collisions each year. In Indiana, there were 124 fatalities and 2,044 non-fatal injuries linked to collisions with at least one alcohol-impaired driver or non-motorist in 2014. And the likelihood of alcohol-impaired fatal collisions was greatest in suburban areas and city areas like Indianapolis in 2013, where 17 percent of fatal collisions involved at least one alcohol-impaired driver. Alcohol impairs the ability to operate a vehicle safely.

Just recently, 17-year old Maria Droesch lost her life due to texting while driving. While at Indiana 29 and Clinton County Road 200 North, she was texting. Due to the distraction of texting, she crossed the double yellow line into oncoming traffic. She crashed her 2000 Pontiac Grand Am, lost her life and injured two others. Just like using a cellphone and texting while driving, behaviors like applying makeup and tuning the radio take the driver’s attention off of the road and can easily cause a crash.

Damages in a Distracted Driving Case

Damages in a distracted driving case include monies for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. You may even be entitled to punitive damages. These are additional monies for extreme negligence. You also have the right to sue the employer of a distracted, at-fault driver in the event that they were driving a bus, 18-wheeler or other commercial vehicle. In the case of a fatality, the estate of the deceased can recoup monies for funeral expenses, medical expenses and loss of companionship.

Your lawyer will review your medical and employment records, medical documentation of the seriousness of your injuries, emotional suffering and other relevant issues to determine the demand of monies in a personal injury lawsuit due to distracted driving. Your lawyer will also do a comprehensive accident scene investigation, including speaking with law enforcement. An accident reconstruction specialist may be hired when needed.

Often, cases of texting and cell phone usage are instances of aggravated liability and involve more than just ordinary negligence. Many distracted driving cases involve the need for special investigations. For example, a specialist may be needed to attain cell phone data from the appropriate cell phone carriers and to preserve evidence.

It’s pretty simple. An individual cannot safely operate a vehicle while drunk, drowsy, texting, using a cell phone or tuning a radio. These behaviors can cause horrendous accidents with life-altering injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured by a distracted driver in Indianapolis, you have the right to demand compensation for medical costs, pain and suffering and lost income. It’s important to hire an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you realize the full value of your claim. Full compensation means that the settlement must cover all past, present and future damages. Contact the experienced team at McNeely Stephenson today.

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 distracted driving 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.


Personal Injury Lawyer
March 9, 2018 / Vehicle Accidents
PERCLOS: The Newest Way to Detect Drowsy Drivers

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 m...


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


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.


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.


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.


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