Vehicle collisions kill or seriously injure millions of Americans every year. For the most part, these incidents are not “accidents.” People accidentally leave the lights on. They do not accidentally ignore the other drivers on the road and cause crashes. Essentially, negligence claims hold people responsible for the mistakes they make. That is a fundamental principle of life. Substantial compensation might be available in car crash cases, but insurance companies do not simply give this money away.
That is where the aggressive Indianapolis car accident attorneys at Holland & Holland step in. Our professional team does more than build a claim for compensation. We also anticipate insurance company defenses so we can respond to them appropriately. This simple approach usually produces results that exceed our clients’ expectations.
Many car crash claims involve the ordinary negligence doctrine. Generally, negligence is a lack of care. In this context, most drivers have a duty of reasonable care. They must drive defensively, obey the rules of the road, and avoid accidents when possible.
Fatigued driving is a good example. Most drivers admit that, sometime in the recent past, they have been so sleepy that they almost literally fell asleep at the wheel. Such behavior clearly falls short of the aforementioned requirements in the duty of reasonable care.
Drowsiness and alcohol have the same effect on the brain. Driving after 18 hours without sleep, which is the equivalent of a long day at the office, is like driving with a .05 BAC level.
Other damage claims involve the negligence per se doctrine. The negligent party might be liable for damages as a matter of law if:
Speeding is a good example. Excessive velocity causes about a third of the fatal vehicle collisions in Indiana.
Both these doctrines have pros and cons in different situations. The best car accident attorneys in Indianapolis quickly evaluate your case and recommend a course of action.
Contributory negligence is a common insurance company defense after a car accident. This loophole shifts liability for the accident from the victim to the tortfeasor.
Assume Vicki was speeding when Tommy swerved into her lane without signaling. Either Vicki’s excessive speed or Tommy’s illegal turn could have caused the crash. In cases like these, Marion County jurors must divide fault between the parties on a percentage basis.
Indiana is a modified comparative fault state with a 51% bar. This means that even if the victim was 49% responsible for the wreck, the other party is still liable for the victim’s damages.
The sudden emergency defense often comes up in pedestrian injury claims. Frequently, insurance companies claim the victim “darted out” into traffic, so a crash was inevitable. This doctrine excuses negligence conduct if:
Last clear chance, which is a similar loophole, often applies in rear-end and head-on wrecks.
Car crashes often cause serious injuries. For a free consultation with experienced car accident attorneys in Indianapolis, contact Holland & Holland. Home and hospital visits are available.
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