Common Causes of Car Accidents in Indiana
Experienced attorneys gather evidence to prove liability
Many car accidents resulting in severe injury or wrongful death involve a combination of causes and responsible parties. A driver may have been negligent, but defective equipment may also have played a role in causing or worsening the damage. Such cases become complicated for the plaintiff, who has the burden of proving multiple parties liable, especially when the blame-shifting begins among the defendants. Often, if one of the defendants avoids a finding of liability, the remaining defendant does not have the resources to pay the full damage amount. Marshall P. Whalley & Associates, PC has extensive experience in complex accident litigation. Our thorough preparation, diligent investigation and innovative planning have produced positive results for more than 30 years.
Driver negligence is the primary cause of auto collisions
From simple human error to a disregard for human life, driver conduct is the most significant factor in an auto accident. Dangerous driver activities include:
- Distracted driving — Activities that take a driver’s eyes and concentration off the road can have tragic results. Using a cellphone and texting while driving are two of the most deadly distractions. In Indiana, texting is banned and cellphone use is illegal for drivers under the age of 18. But eating, drinking, carrying on animated conversations with passengers and adjusting the stereo can also lead to an accident.
- DUI — Alcohol and drug use is the number one cause of fatal accidents in Indiana. In 2012, there were 779 traffic fatalities, 259 of which were alcohol related. In 228 cases, a driver’s blood alcohol content was 0.08 percent or greater.
- Aggressive driving — Speed is a major factor in serious injury accidents. Other aggressive actions include racing, making unsafe lane changes and tailgating.
- Driving while fatigued — Lack of sleep can be just as deadly as alcohol consumption. A driver doesn’t have to fall asleep at the wheel to cause an accident; lack of focus and slow reaction time contribute to collisions.
Under the modified comparative fault laws of Indiana, Illinois and Michigan, a victim of a car accident might also be found negligent. If the court finds you are 51 percent or more at-fault for your accident, you are barred from recovering any compensation for your injuries. This is an important reason to have a skilled personal injury attorney managing your claim.
Causes of auto accidents where a driver is not at fault
There are many additional factors that contribute to an accident. Some lead to additional defendants in an accident lawsuit. Others may eliminate the possibility of a civil action. Common causes include:
- Auto defects — Stuck accelerator pedals, brake failures and tire blowouts are among the most dangerous mechanical problems. When the failure is due to faulty design or manufacturing, the car company may be liable for a defective product, but faulty maintenance can also be the culprit.
- Weather — Rain, snow, ice, hail, fog and high winds can make it impossible to operate a vehicle safely. However, drivers who do not take proper precautions for driving in hazardous weather do not get a free pass when reasonable measures could have prevented an accident.
- Road conditions — Potholes can cause vehicle damage and personal injury to motorists. Government entities may be liable if they were negligent in effecting repairs.
- Road design — Dangerous curves, poor signage and steep grades can present hazards for which the road designers may be liable.
- Animals — Deer are notorious for causing heavy vehicle damage and death. However, when drivers swerve or brake for smaller animals, they create hazards for themselves and other drivers.
Complex auto accident cases require in-depth investigation and determination. Choose an attorney who is firmly committed to delivering the best possible results.
Contact our Indiana trial lawyers about your car accident injuries
Marshall P. Whalley & Associates, PC has the resources to investigate complex auto accident cases and determine liability. We fight to hold the responsible parties accountable and deliver the results you deserve. For a free consultation and case evaluation, call 219.769.2900 or contact our Crown Point office online.