Stop and be a Good Witness and Person

On the way to work today at New York and New Jersey streets in Indy a white car ran a red light and I saw it about 24 inches in front of me as I was entering intersection on a green light…. 

I missed him. The car to my right was not so lucky and a hard crash occurred.  I pulled over , stopped , called 911 and headed back to aftermath of the crash. I talked to driver of car beside me ( who did nothing wrong) and went to other driver (who ran the red light )and  who was talking to a police officer. The light runner’s story to police was that he was just following the flow of traffic and that he got hit. I gave the officer my card and told him that guy ran the red light . Point is no one else stopped and if I had not stopped it could have been a police report with each driver saying they had a green light. In these times when no one wants to accept responsibility when they make a mistake and don’t feel the need to tell the truth it is important to stop and be a witness.  When I heard the light runner give his story to the police it reminded me of many such stories I have heard over the years from defendants that I was deposing .  Sad state of affairs.

Speed Kills and Maims and Causes Car Crashes

Indianapolis Auto Injury AttorneysMy older readers may remember this slogan as a part of an anti drug campaign in the 1960’s. It is also true as it applies to automobile accidents. I would modify it to read as “Speed kills and maims”. Increased speed increases stopping time and stopping distances. Increased speed increases the likelihood of serious personal injury and death. Did you know that as a driver doubles the cars speed, the driver quadruples the stopping distance of the car. A drivers reaction time is generally thought to be between 1 second and two seconds depending on the facts of the event. This means that a driver traveling 35 miles per hour will have between one and two seconds to recognize a hazard and react to that hazard, hit the brakes and take evasive action. A car travelling 35 mph is travelling approximately 51 feet per second. This the driver will travel between 51 and 102 feet before they can do anything to avoid a collision. Now take a car going seventy miles per hour. That car is travelling 102 feet per second and will travel 204 feet before the drive even touches the brakes. When the driver does hit the brakes it will take the car four times the distance to stop as the car travelling 35 miles per hour.

So you can see that traveling faster raises the chances of not being able to see a hazard. It increases the distance the car will travel while the driver reacts and it increases the amount of distance a car will travel after the driver reacts. All of this increases the likelihood that a car crash will occur, where if the car was being at a safe slower speed, the crash will likely not occur. If you have to be somewhere at a certain time, give yourself plenty of time to get there. If you have teenagers talk to them all the time about the fact that speed kills. I know teenagers can be hard to talk to but they do listen and some of what you say will sink in. Thanks for listening.

Fall Travel Preparedness Tips

Fall is a time to enjoy the great outdoors and in Indiana we are blessed with a change of seasons that reminds us each season’s particular beauty. Safety when traveling can avoid accidents and injuries.

When preparing to take a road trip be sure to check your headlights, taillights and turn signals. Examine your wiper blades and change if necessary. Don’t forget your tires. Inspect them and check the air pressure.. Include the spare in that inspection. You want make sure all doors work properly and that the air conditioner and heating systems works properly as well. Be sure to check the fluid levels including coolant, oil, transmission fluid , brake, power steering and windshield washer fluids. Finally be sure to prepare or update your emergency road kit.. Make sure you have your cars manual, a flashlight, extra batteries, jumper cables , tire pressure gauge,  a signal flag, blanket, umbrella, cell phone, pencil , notebook and gloves.

A few moments of prevention  now can provide hours of comfort  and lowered stress levels if the need arises. These steps can help you avoid auto accidents. Accident and injury prevention can be greatly increased by following these few precautions as you and your family hit the road and explore the great fall outdoors.

Drunk Driving Accidents Shatter Lives

Indiana auto accident attorneysWe have stated many times that drunk driving collisions must end. I personally think the serious personal injury and even wrongful death caused by the recklessness of the drunk driver is shameful. It can be summed up in this way: What is good for me is good, it matters not how it affects you. The drunk driver is only thinking of themselves. They do not think about the consequences of their decision to drink and drive. Sad as it is to kill or maim a fellow Hoosier, it is just as sad when the drunk driver accident causes the death of the drunk driver. I know, it is hard not to say they deserved it, but try and say that to a child who will never have the benefit of hugging their mother, brother, father, or sister.

I know I am not alone in these feelings. I share with you the following link that proves others want to do away with drunk driving. I hope it helps you find a way to prevent others from driving drunk. Be careful.

Click here

The Problem with Insurance in Automobile accidents and Semi Tractor-Trailer Collisions which Cause Serious Personal Injury and Wrongful Death

Indianapolis wrongful death attorneysIn one of my last posts, I talked about what the insurance companies do not want you to know. They do not want you to know that most, if not all persons who were driving a car, who did not drive safely (i.e. did not follow the rules of the road) who injured another Hoosier and who has been sued by that injured person has insurance to pay for the harm caused. Everyone has insurance. It is mandatory.

What you may not know is that not everyone has enough insurance to pay for all the harm they cause. For example, say you are in a drunk driving accident. Say you are hurt badly. Say the drunk driver has $50,000.00 in liability insurance to pay for they harm he caused. Your medical bills alone are $150,000.00, and that does not figure in your lost wages and your permanent injury which will not allow you to return to your old job. Ah, but you say, I was smart, I bought Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM) to protect myself. UIM coverage is a type of coverage you can buy that will pay for the serious personal injury caused by another who does not have enough insurance to cover your harms. Now you say to yourself, well I bought UIM insurance in the amount of $100,000. You think to yourself, well at least I have a total of $150,000.00 ($50,000 from the drunk driver and $100,000 UIM) to help me pay my bills. You call your insurance company and tell them you are making your claim for the $100,000.00 in UIM coverage you bought to protect yourself. The insurance company says, Sorry, in Indiana, we (the Insurance Companies) are protected by a law (which we lobbied hard for by wining and dining legislators and getting the kind of access to power that you Joe Hoosier can only dream of getting) which allows us to offset the $100,000 of UIM coverage you bought from us (and paid full price for) by the amount of the drunk drivers liability insurance. You say, that’s crazy, why didn’t you (Insurance Company) tell me that when I bought the UIM coverage? You get some snarky reply like because you did not ask.

You are mad so you go to a lawyer to find out your rights. The lawyer tells you that the Insurance companies influence in Indiana is strong and that they do indeed enjoy the protection of the setoff.

I am that lawyer, and I have had that conversation with many Hoosiers who just can’t believe its true. I tell them we all need to stand together against these kinds of injustice, but it is difficult to overcome the influence the insurance companies money achieves. I say lets get rid of the setoff. Let Hoosiers get the benefit of what they thought they were buying to protect themselves.

Distracted Driving and Semi Tractor-Trailer Accidents

I have been very vocal about distracted driving.  It is as bad as drunk driving.  Now I want to share with you a sad tale involving a detracted driver.  To make things worse, the distracted driver was driving a semi tractor-trailer at the time he was driving distracted and predictably caused a distracted driver collision.

Indianapolis Truck Accident AttorneyA group of young people were on their way to a concert in another state.  The young people were in 3-4 separate cars, and they were in a kind of caravan.  In the rear of the line of cars was a young man, about 27 years old.  He worked for a major retailer and his talents were just being recognized.  You see he had a gift for using the computer and an eye for how to use that gift to make his employer more efficient and profitable.  He was driving his girlfriends van.  The young woman was  skilled at her marketing job, and the future looked so bright for these two.  They were exactly what Hoosiers take pride in, they were smart, hard working, and committed. They were looking forward to the concert and spending time with their friends. They were looking forward to a life promised by the American Dream.

They were in a another state.  They were on a major highway.  They realized traffic was slowing in front of them and they braked.  The problem up front was a collision.  They brought their van to a stop behind their friends at the rear of a long line of cars who were also stopped.  Unknown to these young lovers, a semi tractor-trailer was barreling down upon them at highway speed.  The driver, was distracted, looking either at a phone or other media delivery device.  The driver did not notice that traffic was stopped.  The driver realized too late that traffic stopped.  The semi tractor-trailer smashed into the van.  We want to think that the young couple suffered their wrongful death instantly.  We just don’t know.  The van exploded into flames.  The semi tractor-trailer continued its carnage, blasting into other cars causing serious personal injury to many others including serious burns, broken bones and brain injury.

All this carnage wrought because one man could not keep his eyes on the road and away from his phone.  A mother is left to grieve.  She endures the weight of this loss.  She hears herself saying to other parents, I hope you never know this pain, and cannot fathom that this is her life, her loss, her burden for the rest of her life.

Don’t cause drunk driving accidents- Just don’t drive drunk.  Don’t cause distracted driving accidents- put the phone down.

Head On Collisions and Serious Personal Injury

Auto Accident AttorneyTwo people were suffered wrongful death in a head on collision in Madison County last night. At least three people were flown by life line helicopter as a result of serious personal injury. According to news reports Lukas D. Green of Muncie Indiana crossed the centerline and collided head on with the car driven by an as yet identified driver. It is not clear why Mr. Green crossed the centerline. This presents another reminder to all Hoosiers that distracted driving kills and maims. Distracted driving includes a wide range of behaviors which take the drivers full attention away from the road. Distracted driving may include talking on a cell phone, texting, reaching to the floor board for a dropped item, turning around to talk to someone in the rear seat and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

I say that distracted driving includes drunk drivers and impaired drivers because numerous studies show that texting impairs a drivers concentration just as much as alcohol. Parents, take this time to have that discussion with your children. Distracted driving, in any form is dangerous and potentially deadly.

We wish the injured passengers a full and speedy recovery. We are saddened by this awful loss of life. Be careful out there.

Impact Of Drunk Driving

On Monday afternoon, while I was enjoying Labor Day with my family I received a call from a distraught driver.  He told me of how he was driving through an intersection, on the green light, and was hit broad side by a drunk driver who ran the red light.  The caller’s partner was killed in the collision. The next day, my wife and I were walking our dogs near our home when we noticed paint marks on the road of a busy intersection.  I knew they meant that there had been a collision at the intersection, but I did not think much of it.  As we walked on, we met my wife’s sister who lives near the intersection.  She told us that a drunk driver had disregarded the stop sign and hit a motorcycle.  The two Hoosiers on the motorcycle were killed

Indianapolis Auto Accident AttorneysWhat is going on?  I know we have done much better in the last decade focusing attention on drunk driving collisions, but this destructive behavior continues to kill, maim and ruin lives.  Consider these statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

More than a third of the people killed when an alcohol-impaired-driver* crashes are not the impaired drivers. In 2011, 9,878 people lost their lives because of drunk driving. These people make up one-third (31%) of all motor vehicle crash fatalities in the United States. The total number of people killed in motor vehicle crashes has fallen, but the proportion of those fatalities that are from drunk-driving crashes has remained the same for the past 10 years.

Our attitudes on impaired driving have changed but we still have room for improvement. Forty years ago in a roadside survey of drivers, almost 1 in 12 (8%) were driving drunk. The most recent data (2007) from the same survey shows that rate is down to 1 in 50 (2%), which is good progress. Those impaired drivers still claim the lives of nearly 10,000 people a year – and one-third are their passengers, occupants of other vehicles, pedestrians, or bicyclists. Drunk drivers cost our economy nearly $60 billion

Before you drink and drive, consider this- It can happen to you. 9,878 people is a good night for the Indianapolis Indians. Think about all those people, gone in the swig of a bottle. Do not drink and drive.

Watch Out for Bicyclists – Put down your phone, pay attention to your driving.

Indianapolis Personal Injury AttorneyPut down your phone, and drive. As I ride my bike I see many motorists who do dumb things. Most of these folks are using a cell phone. I see many folks with the phone to their ear, but I also see people looking at their phones. I do not know what they are doing, texting or surfing the web, but I do know they are being distracted from their primary responsibility, driving safely. Many of these folks drop their phone into their lap when they see me watching them. This indicates they know what they are doing is wrong. I guess it is going to take a tragedy in their lives before they learn their lesson. Unfortunately, the tragedy will be the wrongful death or serious personal injury of another Hoosier.

Although I do not know if distracted or drunken driving was a contributing factor in the injuries of two bicyclists, there is a high probability one or the other was the cause of the injuries. On Saturday, Jordin Ross, age 15 was struck by a car while riding his bike near Fall Creek Parkway and 30th street. He remains in critical condition at Riley Hospital upon last report. On Friday August 16, 2013 Alex Volz age 12 was struck by a car while riding his bike in the 7200 block of Southeastern Ave. It is likely that Mr. Volz suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of the impact. We hope that both Mr. Volz and Mr. Ross recover fully from their injuries.

Put down your phone, pay attention to your driving. Be careful.

Objects flying off vehicles causing Automobile Collisions and Serious Personal Injury

Indianapolis Auto Accident AttorneysWe all see it travelling on our highways. An overloaded pickup truck hits a bump on the road and out flies a part of its payload into the path of oncoming cars travelling at 65 miles per hour. Most of the time the cars behind the problem avoid the object and move on down the road. Not so all the time. Yesterday, a hay bale fell off a truck on Highway 46 in Bartholomew county. The bale hit a motorcycle traveling in the opposite direction causing the motorcycle to crash. Two Hoosiers William Eland III and his wife Lindsay Eland were on that bike when the hay bale struck Mr. Eland causing serious personal injury. Mr. Eland was air lifted to Methodist Hospital. He was, at last report, in critical condition. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Elands.

As with many objects flying off of other vehicles, the Elands had no time to react. However, the person who placed the bale on the truck knew that if the object, in this case a bale of hay but it could be any kind of object, flew off the truck travelling at highway speed, it would act like a missile causing serious personal injury and possibly wrongful death. Because that driver knows this, he/she is obligated to use reasonable care to make sure that all objects on the truck do not escape.

This is the basis of our civil justice system. If you know that something you are doing will likely cause serious personal injury to another unless you use reasonable care, then you are obligated to use that reasonable care to make sure others are not harmed. This only makes sense. It is essentially the Golden rule. You do not want to be hurt by someone else not using reasonable care. In turn you are obligated to use reasonable care not to injure another.

Motorcycle Accidents can be Prevented

We send our thoughts and prayers to Indiana State Police Officer First Sgt. Jon Watson. Trooper Watson was injured on I-70 when a vehicle, while attempting to change lanes, moved into a space occupied by Trooper Watson. Trooper Watson lost control and crashed. He suffered serious personal injury including fractures in several places in his leg and abrasions. We wish Trooper Watson a speedy recovery.

Indiana Motorcycle Accident AttorneyLets use this experience as a teaching moment for us all. The best way to avoid automobile collisions, and motorcycle collisions is, as the driver, to be aware of your surroundings at all times. This means to continually scan your surroundings for other vehicles. We all know that a vehicle, whether it be a car or a motorcycle can enter your blind spot where your mirrors are not effective at indicating their presence. However, a continually scanning driver has a better chance of seeing the other vehicle because the scanning driver sees the vehicle before it enters the blind spot. In addition to continually scanning, a quick turn of the head to the right, when entering the lane to the right will, in most cases reveal the presence of the motorcycle or other car.

We know that most motorcycle/automobile collisions happen because the driver of the car does not see the motorcycle. Knowing this means that we must be all the more careful to look for the motorcycle on the road. Put down your phone, pay attention to the road. Doing so will help everyone else get home safely and it will also relieve you of the guilt of making a mistake that causes another Hoosier serious personal injury or wrongful death.

Drunk Driving Accidents and Stupidity

Stupidity was out in full force and on full display this weekend. The worst thing about this stupidity is that these drunk driving collisions could have seriously injured an Indiana State Trooper. The events unfolded on Sunday morning June 30th. The mayhem was to take place at the intersection of 465 and east 56th street. Indiana State Troop Josh Graves was on duty and looking out for the good of us all. He was responding to a deer being hit by a car. The deer’s remains were still in the road when Trooper Graves arrived. Those remains were a potential hazard to other drivers on the road and had to be removed. Trooper Graves did what needed to be done and was clearing the road when a drunk driver, Fredrick Allen, hit Grave’s squad car. We are thankful that Allen did not hit the Trooper. Yet, the trooper’s lights were in operation, so we assume Mr. Allen had to be significantly impaired when he chose to get behind the wheel and drive.

The stupidity does not end there, however. Another trooper was called to the scene to investigate the first drunk driving collision. Trooper Mike McCreary and Mr. Allen were sitting in Trooper McCreary’s car when a second drunk driver, Edwardo Frias, hit McCreary’s car. Again, thankfully, Trooper McCreary was not hurt.

Come on fellow Hoosiers. If you drink, do not drive. Save yourself. Save others.

Treat Children Like Stop Signs When Driving

Today I read in the Indianapolis Star that a seven year old child was in critical condition after being struck by a car while he was riding his bike. The child is only 7 years old. I know very little about the facts of the case, because the Star did not provide any, but I bet a few things are true. This child will have injuries that will affect him for the rest of his life. The driver of the car is guilt ridden. The child was struck in his neighborhood where other children are known to play.

I do know one thing for sure about this situation. We, as drivers must train ourselves to see children as stop signs. This means that when we see a child playing in or near a street, we must be prepared to stop at a moment’s notice. This means slowing down the car. Sure you might get to your destination five minutes later, but you will not have the guilt associated with the collision. You will not have to worry whether you broke the child’s bones, or caused him to be paralyzed, and even to worry about causing his wrongful death. In fact you will enjoy your own children that much more being free of the guilt.

So, I beg you, if children are in the area, slow down enough to be able to stop at a moment’s notice. They are a stop sign.

Motorcycles: To See or not to See

Indianapolis Motocycle Accidnt AttorneyOver my twenty five plus year career representing motorcyclist injured in collisions, I hear the same response from those responsible for the motorcycle crash, “I didn’t see the motorcycle”.  This moment of inattention causes the most serious personal injuries to those on the bike including broken bones, spinal cord injuries resulting in paralysis, brain injury, amputations and wrongful death.  I also hear from these same people that they wish they had the chance to do it over again, they would have done things differently.  They would not have rolled the stop sign.  They would have taken that extra second to look again before turning left in front of the motorcycle.  They would have looked twice over their shoulder before they moved into the lane next to them where the motorcycle was in the their blind spot.

I also hear them say that they are sorry, that they will never forgive themselves, that they cannot believe what has happened.  They cry for the ones they hurt, but their tears cannot and will not give back the little girl her father who has died a wrongful death.  Their wishes will not give back the ability to walk and earn a living to the rider with the spinal cord injury dealing with paralysis.  Their anxiety will not give clear thought back to the brain injured cyclist.

I ask you, for your own mental well being, and for the health and welfare of all those riding a motorcycle, for all those riding a bicycle, for all those using the road, slow down, take that extra second to look for danger, see what is there to be seen.  Get home safely, and allow everyone else to do the same.

What to do if you are in a car accident

Indianapolis car accident attorneyIn most emergency situations if you give some consideration to what you will do if you are confronted with the emergency, you will be able to deal with the issues more efficiently.  This is especially true of automobile collisions, motorcycle accidents and semi tractor-trailer collisions.  There is always a good chance that you will be seriously hurt in the collision, which makes it even more difficult to think clearly.  We offer the following information which we found on the State of Indiana BMV website.

It is essential to remain calm.  Check your breathing and try to get control of your thoughts.  You are likely to be in shock, which might make thinking clearly and calmly more difficult.

Before taking any other action, check yourself and other individuals involved in the accident for injuries. If there are any injuries or at least $1,000 in property damage, call the police.

Cooperate with law enforcement officers, and ask the investigating officer how to obtain a copy of the police report.

Take notes. Be sure to provide and obtain the following information:

  • Names, addresses, and phone numbers of all drivers and passengers involved in the accident;
  • License plate number, make, model, and a description of each car involved;
  • Operator license number and insurance identification information of all      drivers involved;
  • Names and addresses of as many witnesses as possible;
  • Names and badge numbers of all police officers at the scene.

We suggest that you add to this list that if you cannot do these things, ask someone to do them for you if you can.  We have seen it happen very often that the police do not obtain all the names of the witnesses at the scene.  They might get a few, but not all.  Your task it to get the identifying information from all witnesses.  You never know who will have seen what.

Contact your insurance provider as soon as possible. Ask them to file a Certificate of Compliance (COC) covering the date of the accident in the vehicles involved. Failure to submit proof of insurance after an accident may result in the suspension of your driving privileges regardless of who is at fault.

Do not give a statement to the insurance company for the person who caused the collision until they agree present their insured for a statement at the same time as they obtain a statement from you.  Afterall it is only fair that if they want your statement, you should be able to obtain a statement from their insured, who is the person you think caused the collision and your injuries.

If you have any questions about your rights, please call us.  Our free consultation may be able to relieve you of the anxiety of dealing with these issues.

Rental Cars and Car Accidents

Indianapolis Personal Injury AttorneyWe all rent cars and trucks to transport us on vacations and to help us move our stuff from here to there. Sometimes we get into automobile collisions or truck accidents while renting these vehicles. I want to take just a minute to point out some pitfalls associated with insurance and rental cars.

As we all know you can purchase insurance when you rent the car. It is always a question as to whether you should buy the insurance. If you do not own a car then you definitely need to purchase the insurance. Why you ask? Well if you own a car, I presume it is insured. If your car is insured, your insurance will most likely cover the rental car as well. I do not say it will always cover the rental car because some policies exclude coverage for a rental car. So you must read your policy carefully in order to know whether your policy will cover the rental. If you read the policy (and don’t fall asleep) but still do not know whether your policy covers the rental car, then I recommend that you purchase the coverage from the rental company.

If you do purchase the insurance from the rental company, then you must know that insurance will only cover the listed drivers on the rental contract. What I mean is this. Say you go to Florida with your spouse and rent a car. The rental company tells you that it will cost extra to have an additional driver on the car (They make more money this way). So, you being the frugal renter decide to only list yourself as a driver. You arrive at your destination, take your things into the rental property and then realize that your spouse forgot their bathing suit. So, your spouse, the one not listed as the driver takes the car to the swim suit store. On the way there is a collision. This is when you find out that because your spouse was not listed as a driver on the rental car the collision is not covered by the policy you purchased when renting the car. So be real careful about how you set up the rental agreement and the insurance, and make sure you stick with your agreement. Good luck, and be safe.

Serious Personal Injury and The ARC of Indiana Trust

Indianapolis Personal Injury AttorneySometimes bad things happen to good people. Sometimes a good driver is in the path of a drunk driver and becomes seriously injured in the drunk driving accident. Some times that good driver is in a semi tractor-trailer collision and suffers a broken bone, a brain injury, paralysis because of a spinal cord injury. If that person is a Medicaid recipient, or a recipient of Supplemental Security Income because of the injuries they sustain in the car accident, a monetary settlement may make that same person ineligible for those vital programs.

As you know, in order to be eligible for Medicaid, you cannot have more than $1,500.00 in assets. If you do, you must spend those assets down to $1,500.00 in order to be eligible for the Medicaid program. To make things even more difficult, those assets must be spent won to the $1,500.00 level in the same month they are received, or that person will be ineligible for Medicaid. There are similar asset provisions for SSI (Supplemental Security Income). This is so because Medicaid (not Medicare) and SSI are entitlement programs. As such the asset restrictions are designed to prevent the use of the program by those with assets which can and should be used for medical care.
If, however, you are a Medicaid or SSI recipient you have an option. That option is the ARC of Indiana Trust. I am providing the reader with two website addresses which will allow you to get a better understanding of the benefits of the trust. www.thearctrust.org, www.arcind.org.
The trust helps injured Hoosiers by taking control of the money they receive from their settlement, which would otherwise be required to be spent down to maintain eligibility for Medicaid or SSI. By taking control of the money, the trust relieves the injured party of the spend down provisions of the two programs so that all the money can be used to improve the quality of life of the injured Hoosier. The trust will make payouts to the injured Hoosier to supplement costs of living and health care.

Protect yourself with high levels of Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage

We all know that drunk drivers cause drunk driving accidents. We also know that most drunk drivers are also irresponsible when it comes to getting car insurance. Most don’t have it or if they do they have the state minimum coverage of $25,000.00. There are also lots of folks who just cannot afford more insurance than the State minimum. We also know that a serious personal injury can easily run up medical bills of more than $25,000.00 dollars. This does not even take into account the lost wages caused when you are seriously injured or suffer wrongful death.

So how do you protect yourself and your family from this potential financial disaster? One method is to buy high limits of Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists coverage. This coverage will kick in to cover those damages that the driver who caused the collision cannot pay because they either have no insurance, and no job, or little insurance and almost no other way to cover the costs caused by the car crash they caused. Uninsured pays when the cause of the car crash has no insurance. Underinsured pays when the person who caused the auto crash has low limits of liability insurance. UM/UIM coverage is inexpensive compared to the cost of liability insurance and is even more inexpensive when compared to not being able to work and having medical bills that drive you into bankruptcy. Please talk to your insurance agent about how to protect yourself with high limits of Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage.

Yellow Traffic Signals

Indiana Auto Accident lawyerThe yellow traffic signal, you know, the one that is between the green light and the red light, which everyone seemingly ignores, means “caution, clear the intersection”.  It is intended to give traffic already in the intersection time to clear the intersection so that the traffic on the cross street can cross safely when their light turns green.  When the light for the cross traffic turns green, the light for the traffic with the formerly yellow signal turns red.  So if you enter the intersection on the yellow light, you are likely to be in the intersection when the light turns red and the chances of causing an automobile collision greatly increase.

I know we can all agree that we want to avoid car crashes.  I know we can all agree that we all want to avoid causing serious personal injury to ourselves and to others.  I know we can all agree that broken bones, brain injury, spinal cord injuries and paralysis all are to be avoided.  I know we can also agree that our chances of avoiding a car crash or even a semi tractor-trailer collision are much better if do not enter an intersection on yellow.  Instead, take a deep breath, relax and slow your car as you approach the yellow.  You will get home safe and sound if not just a few minutes later.

As an addition to my “If it’s good for me it’s good, no matter how it affects you” file, today I witnessed a person enter a major intersection on a yellow light.  The person had a cell phone to the ear with one hand and a travel cup in the other.  The person must have been steering with the knee.  The light turned red while the car was in the intersection and when the cars on the cross street pulled out, because they had the green light, there was a very near miss.  Be careful out there, we all have the right to enjoy our lives without injury.

Car Accidents and Distracted Driving

I ride my bike to work about two times per week. I do it for the exercise, to reduce my carbon footprint and to enjoy the fresh air.  I love it.  One of the unexpected consequences of riding is that I see drivers from a whole different perspective.  I see, for the most part down into their cars and can see what they are doing with their hands.

Indianapolis Auto Accident AttorneyLet me step back a minute and tell you why I am telling you the above. Distracted driving causes auto accidents. Car crashes cause serious personal injuries such as broken bones, brain injury, spinal cord injuries, and even wrongful death. Serious personal injury causes people to lose time from work and cause the injured person to not be able to provide for their families. All this leads me to conclude that distracted driving is bad and must be avoided. I understand that distracted driving (using the cell phone, texting, et cetera) impairs the drivers attention to the road to the same extent that alcohol impairs a drivers mind resulting in drunk driving collisions. We know that drunk driving is bad, lets also know that distracted driving is bad.

Now let me get back to what I see on my bike. I see drivers doing dumb things including rolling stop signs when children are present. I see people changing lanes without signaling and cutting off other drivers. I see people moving into lanes when there is a car already there. I see drivers turn left out of the right lane. I see much much more. What is the common theme among all these actions, about 60 percent of the people who are making these dumb maneuvers are staring at a cell phone. They think they are clever by holding the phone low in the car so that the police and other drivers can’t see it. They keep looking up and down as if everyone can’t tell what they are doing. While they are doing this they become engrossed in the phone and forget what is on the road near them. God help the rest of us.

What these people are actually saying is this “What’s good for me is good, it does not matter how it affects you or anyone else.” Of course this myth is shattered when they miss a stop sign and kill a family member.

Please do not text and drive.

NOTICE: No face-to-face meeting needed. You can remain safely in your home from case signup to settlement.

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