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Evansville Legal Issues Blog

Fourth of July motorcycle crash kills one, injures another

Motorcycle accidents generally involve one motorcycle and at least one other type of vehicle. Only rarely do two motorcycles collide with each other. A 4th of July motorcycle accident in Parke County provides a sad example of what can happen if two bikes collide.

Two men were riding their bikes east on U.S. 36 shortly after noon. The lead cycle slowed to make a left turn. The following cycle failed to slow, the cycles collided. Both drivers were thrown from their bikes. The driver of the turning motorcycle was wearing a helmet, and he suffered only minor injuries. The driver of the second cycle was not wearing a helmet, and he was pronounced dead at the scene. The rider who had worn a helmet was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of his injuries.

Failure to yield right-of-way kills four, including two children

Traffic signals and signs play important roles on today's roads. They regulate the flow of traffic, manage traffic at busy intersections, limit speeds and prevent collisions. Unhappily, drivers occasionally ignore these signs, and the result is often an accident with multiple injuries or deaths. A recent car accident near Elnora, Indiana appears to have been the result of one driver's failure to yield the right-of-way to another vehicle, and four people, including two children, died as the result.

A car heading southbound on County Highway 425E failed to obey a yield right-of-way sign for Highway 58 and was struck by a west bound vehicle. The southbound vehicle was carrying a driver and three passengers. All four were pronounced dead at the scene. Two of the victims were children under the age of eight. One of the deceased children was the daughter of the driver who died. The other two victims were a woman aged 24 and another young girl, aged seven. The driver of the westbound vehicle suffered a head injury and was transported to Daviess Community Hospital.

Failure to yield right-of-way leads to four deaths

Most residents of Indiana are not aware that drivers have a duty of due care to their passengers. A driver is legally responsible for driving carefully, obeying traffic laws and not exposing passengers to dangers that could be avoided by responsible conduct. The Daviess County Sheriff's Office is currently investigating a car accident that was apparently caused by a driver failing to yield the right-of-way at a highway intersection near Odon.

On the morning of June 28, a southbound sedan traveling on Highway 57 was attempting a left turn but failed to yield the right-of-way to a westbound pickup truck. The pickup truck collided with the sedan when the sedan's driver failed to yield to the truck. The driver of the sedan and his three passengers died in the collision. One of the passengers was an adult, and the other two were five and seven-year-old girls. The driver of the pickup truck was hospitalized for treatment of a head injury of unknown severity. Police have preliminarily ruled out driver incapacitation, but the final word on whether either driver was incapacitated by drugs or alcohol must await the completion of toxicology reports.

7 dead, 3 injured after pickup truck crashes into motorcyclists

When we discuss motorcycle accidents on this blog, ordinarily we stick to accidents here in Indiana. Certainly, our state has more than enough motorcycle accidents of its own, without having to look elsewhere for stories. However, a recent incident in another state was so outrageous and tragic that it is worth serious consideration.

Seven people were killed and another three were injured when a pickup truck crashed into a group of motorcyclists in New Hampshire, police said. News reports described a chaotic scene after the crash, with bodies and motorcycles littered across the roadway and the grass alongside it. Bystanders rushed to the scene to try to help the victims. Witnesses said the pickup truck was in flames.

Why you should reconsider pleading guilty to theft charges

Theft charges can cover a multitude of crimes, from shoplifting to embezzlement. It is obvious why you should fight serious charges, such as for white-collar crimes, but do not underestimate the importance of fighting something seemingly minor, such as petty theft.

You may be considering pleading guilty in order to end the matter quickly, but see if you have other options first to avoid the consequences of a theft conviction.

Types of damages in car accident-related claims

When you have been injured in a car accident caused by another driver's negligence, the effects can touch almost every part of your life. You face the enormous costs of your medical care, and you will likely lose income from the time you are unable to return to work. Beyond those costs, you will also face pain and suffering and other symptoms of your injury. It's relatively straightforward to assign a dollar figure to the cost of your medical bills and lost wages, but harder to figure out how to place a monetary value on your pain.

Indiana recognizes two kinds of damages in personal injury claims: economic (also known as "special") and non-economic (also known as "general") damages. Objectively verifiable expenses such as medical bills and lost wages are considered economic damages. Non-economic damages can include pain, physical suffering and effects such as depression or insomnia that result from the injury.

No-fault divorce

Many people who are considering going through a divorce imagine they will have to argue their case in court. Some of these people may want the chance to go on the stand and tell their side of the story to a courtroom. Others may dread the idea of airing their dirty laundry, so to speak, in front of strangers.

In fact, most issues in Indiana divorces today are settled out of court through an agreement between the parties, and people seeking a divorce never have to make any accusation against their ex-spouse.

Motorcyclist killed when car driver violates right of way

Every good motorcyclist understands the risks they face, and exercises caution when on the road. They watch the road ahead of them, signal their turns, wear helmets and take other actions to protect themselves. Unfortunately, there's only so much a motorcyclist can do to protect against other vehicles on the road.

Recently in Indiana, an 18-year-old man died in a motorcycle-car collision. According to police, the man was riding eastbound through an intersection in Anderson, Indiana, when a car driver traveling westbound unexpectedly made a left turn, driving directly into the motorcyclist's path. Police said the car driver did not see the motorcyclist.

Decades of crash data show trends, both good and bad

For decades, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has kept extensive records of accidents involving commercial vehicles, such as large trucks and buses. By compiling annual statistics about these accidents, the FMCSA reveals trends that can give us a better sense of the safety of U.S. roadways.

The FMSCA recently published the statistics for 2017, and compiled them into charts going back to 1975. Looking at the beginning of the chart, we see there were 4,032 fatal crashes involving large trucks or buses reported in 1975, leading to 4,816 total fatalities. Nearly 40 years later, in 2017, the numbers had increased to 4,455 fatal crashes and 5,005 fatalities.

Can the injured file suit if they were partly at fault?

After a negligent driver injures someone else in a car accident, Indiana law provides that the injured can hold the negligent driver liable for their damages. This is the legal foundation of many personal injury claims based on car accidents. However, negligence and liability are not always straightforward. In some cases, a court can find that more than one driver acted negligently. Does this mean no one can recover compensation?

Not necessarily. Indiana law addresses these more complex cases with a legal theory known as contributory negligence.

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