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Evansville Legal Issues Blog

What needs to be proved in a wrongful death claim?

The death of a family member can be a sad time for the other surviving family members, but when the death was caused by some unforeseen tragedy and the family member who died was relatively young, the whole situation can be heartbreaking. Car accidents, for example, take the lives of thousands of young people in Indiana and throughout the country each year. When the death of a family member was due to the negligence or recklessness of another party, a wrongful death claim may be possible, which is intended to recover compensation to help the surviving family members cope with the financial impact of the sudden loss.

What needs to be proved in a wrongful death claim? Well, for starters, there must be a death - that much is obvious and is a fairly simple element of such a claim to prove. From there, the most important element of the claim must be proved: that the death was caused by the negligence or recklessness of another party. This often comes with a "but for" approach, as in proving that the death in question would not have occurred "but for" the conduct of the other party.

As divorce rates fall, concerns remain

Many of our readers in Indiana have probably seen news reports in recent years that state that the divorce rate in America is dropping. Such a blanket statement may seem like cause for celebration, but, as one recent article noted, there may be more to this statistic than can be discerned at first blush.

According to the recent report, the drop in the divorce rate may have less to do with any increase in marital bliss and more to do with the fact that people are waiting longer to get married, or not getting married at all. For so many years the common refrain was that half of all marriages end in divorce. This statistic was somewhat misleading. In fact, there was a large increase in the divorce rate in the 1970s and '80s, but it began to fall after that. The increase was probably largely due to new laws that made it easier to end a marriage, as well as a general increase in women entering the workforce full-time, and therefore able to earn a living without a spouse.

Planning a defense strategy to criminal charges in Indiana

Facing criminal charges of any kind in Indiana can be a nerve-racking experience, but the more serious the charge the higher the potential penalties. From DUI and domestic violence charges to assault, sex crimes and even murder charges, prosecutors in Indiana will vigorously pursue convictions. And the law enforcement efforts that support the prosecutors are oftentimes top-notch. However, there are some situations in which it may be in a defendant's best interests to challenge the evidence in any given case.

Causes of limousine accident revealed

Our readers may remember that last year a limousine accident near Albany, New York, caused the deaths of 17 passengers, its driver and two pedestrians. Recent investigations on the cause of this fatal accident revealed problems that disclose risks of commercial vehicle accidents across the country.

The limousine, a modified and enlarged 2001 Ford Excursion, sped down a hill in Schoharie last fall as it was going to a brewery for a birthday party. It sped through an intersection, crashed into a car and then struck two bystanders.

Lane-splitting may lead to serious injuries

Few things beat the thrill of flying down an open Indiana highway behind the handlebars of a motorcycle. Still, according to state traffic statistics, while motorcycles are present in just 2% of accidents in the Hoosier state, rider deaths account for 13% of all traffic fatalities. For any motorcycle enthusiast, those are scary statistics. 

Lane-splitting has been a controversial subject for decades. This riding style occurs when a motorcyclist rides his or her bike between lanes of traffic moving in the same direction, often on or near the dotted line. While lane-splitting is illegal in Indiana, many riders do it. Unfortunately, the technique may lead to serious injuries. 

The different types of brain injuries

Many Evansville area residents have had the unfortunate experience of being in a car accident. Luckily, most of these accidents do not result in serious injuries. But, occasionally a serious accident occurs in which a person suffers a traumatic injury that can impact them for months or even years. A brain injury is one such injury that can turn a person's life upside down.

There are many types of brain injuries a person can suffer. When a person is involved in a car accident, they typically suffer from the type of brain injury called a "traumatic brain injury." A traumatic brain injury is caused by an external force. There are four types of traumatic brain injuries, including: concussions; contusions; penetration; and diffuse axonal injuries. A concussion is caused by direct impact to the head, such as whiplash in a car accident, hitting a head against the windshield or hitting a head on the ground, for example. A severe concussion can result in permanent brain damage. A contusion is also caused by direct impact and is bleeding in the brain. A contusion may need to be surgically removed, if possible. A diffuse axonal injury is caused by shaking of the brain, which can result in tears in the brain structure and can result in permanent damage, a coma or death. And finally, penetration injuries are caused by a sharp object entering the brain. This can result in long-term effects or even death.

Negligence and a driver's duty of care to others

Accidents happen frequently on Indiana roads and oftentimes negligence is to blame. "Negligence" is a legal theory that suggests that individuals fail to act as they should and, as a result, cause damages and injuries to themselves and others. Generally, when a person acts negligently and inflicts harm on another person, the victim may be entitled to seek the recovery of losses as damages.

In terms of car accidents, negligence is a common basis on which litigation is founded. Drivers generally have a duty of care to others when they get behind the wheels of their cars, and that duty includes acting as a reasonable person would in the same situation. Reasonable people could be said to know driving laws and safe practices, understand that distractions are dangerous and should be avoided and use their common sense to avoid creating dangerous situations for others on roads and highways.

Motorcyclist dead after collision with SUV

Motor vehicle accidents happen often on Indiana roads and some are unfortunately serious. When individuals suffer life-threatening harm due to the negligent actions of others, they can find themselves fighting for their health and at the mercy of those who are caring for them. These individuals may be considered lucky, though, since some vehicle accident victims do not survive their ordeals.

This was the result of a dangerous motorcycle accident earlier in the week. The incident involved a motorcycle and a sport utility vehicle and the collision occurred close to 8 o'clock in the evening. When first responders arrived at the scene of the crash they discovered the motorcyclist lying on the ground. That victim did not survive his injuries.

When is spousal support awarded during a divorce?

There is no guarantee that Indiana residents who seeks spousal support from their soon-to-be ex-spouse will receive it. In some cases, particularly when a person lacks the financial capacity to care for themselves or their child due a physical or mental disability, spousal support may be awarded to ensure that people can cover their needs. However, in other cases, spousal support may be awarded if a court deems it necessary in a specific situation.

Rehabilitative alimony is a common form of spousal support that Indiana courts award. This type of support is based on the need of the requesting party to attain job training, education or other skills so that they can find a job on which to support themselves. Rehabilitative alimony is not permanent and may only be awarded for a period of years.

Your wrists may sustain serious harm in a car accident

Serious car accidents are not exactly rare in the Hoosier State. In fact, according to the Indiana University Public Policy Institute, more than 900 Indianans lost their lives in car crashes in 2017. Another 50,000 suffered some type of injury. Even though you may never have experienced a collision before, eventually, you may find yourself dealing with the aftermath of one. 

During any automobile collision, whether minor or severe, you may expect to injure certain parts of your body. After all, whiplash, soft-tissue strain and traumatic brain injuries tend to occur frequently in car crashes. Still, you may experience wrist pain after an accident. If you have ever had to deal with a sore or numb wrist, you know how consequential a wrist injury can be. Here are three wrist injuries that may occur in a car accident: 

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