Car Accidents

Injured in a Car? Call PBAR

Indiana road fatalities have been on the rise since hitting a historic low about five years ago. Each year, between 800 and 920 Indiana residents die in car accidents and thousands more are injured.

The city of Indianapolis is at the epicenter of this Hoosier road danger, with 46% of all Indiana traffic fatalities and 73% of non-fatal injuries occurring in densely-populated urban areas. With more traffic, the risk of accidents is always much higher. Interstate speeds and construction zones in Indianapolis also contribute to the problem.

If you haven’t been in an accident yet, you’re lucky. Every year, between 180,000 and 225,000 auto collisions happen on Indiana’s roads. Marion County has the highest number of traffic collisions of any Indiana county, by far.

So keep this name in mind as you drive the busy roads of Indianapolis: Poynter & Bucheri Accident Recovery. We fight for people who suffer injury due to car accidents. Our Indianapolis car accident attorneys believe each injured person deserves full compensation for losses, damages and injuries caused by negligent and reckless drivers.

Talk to Someone Right Now About Your Case!

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, we want to hear your story. Speak with a PBAR representative now by calling 1-800-265-9881 or 317-780-8000 or chat online 24/7. REQUEST FREE CASE REVIEW

Common Causes of Car Accidents in Indianapolis

Car accidents very rarely happen all own their own. In almost every car crash, someone is responsible for causing the collision through negligence, recklessness or carelessness. Some of the most common causes of road crashes in Indianapolis include:

Collisions Due to Driver Error – Driver error is the most common cause of traffic accidents. Examples of driver error include distracted driving (a contributor to 25% of all vehicle crashes), DUI accidents, drowsy driving, speeding, drugged driving, following too closely, and violations of other traffic laws. In addition, when drivers are reckless or negligent, crashes occur. More than 80% of all drivers admit to occasionally doing blatantly hazardous things while driving, such as using a cell phone, changing clothes, steering with an elbow or a foot, shaving or putting on makeup.

Crashes in Poor Weather Conditions – Indiana’s weather is unpredictable and changeable weather conditions can easily trigger a car accident. When a driver fails to reduce speed or take other precautions in bad weather, they can cause an accident.

One 10-year study finds 21% of all vehicle crashes had weather as a contributing factor, including 19% of crashes with injuries and 16% of crashes involving fatalities. In the study, the weather-related conditions that most commonly contributed to crashes were wet pavement, rain, snow, sleet, ice, slush, and fog.

Accidents in Construction Zones – It seems like you can’t drive five miles in Indianapolis without encountering road construction. With massive construction zones on I-65, I-70 and I-465, Indy’s roads are often clogged with road traffic such as; stalled traffic, impatient drivers and road hazards like loose debris and traffic cones.

While U.S. car accidents decreased slightly overall in recent years, accidents in construction zones rose by 3%. The most common type of collision in an Indiana work zone is a rear-end crash. Many happen at much higher speeds than on other Indianapolis roads due to interstate and highway speed limits.

Head-on Collisions at Intersections and on City Streets – One of the most catastrophic types of accidents in the United States including Indiana is the head-on collision. When two cars are traveling in opposite directions and collide at the front bumper, the force of the energy involved can destroy both vehicles and cause massive physical injury to the occupants.

A heavier vehicle will cause more damage during a head-on collision. If a small passenger vehicle is hit head-on by a huge semi-truck, the people in the passenger car could be severely injured or killed, even if the semi-truck driver comes away without a scratch.

Head-on collisions are rare on divided highways and mostly happen at high rates of speed on country roads with no median or divider between opposite lanes of traffic. Either a car is attempting to pass another and hits the opposite-traveling car head-on, or a drowsy, drunk or distracted driver veers into the oncoming lane of traffic.

Rear-End Wrecks at Stoplights – About 48% of all two-vehicle accidents are rear-end collisions. In this type of accident, one car collides with the back end of another, either while both cars are motionless or while one or both cars are in motion.

Indianapolis stoplights present high danger for rear-end wrecks. As drivers approach a busy intersection stoplight, their attention is usually divided among the stoplight, braking, multi-directional traffic, passengers, pedestrians and more. They may misjudge what’s happening and cause a collision. 

Even though most rear-end collisions happen at low speeds, they can still do a huge amount of damage. One study finds whiplash and back injuries can happen in even the most minor collisions, at just nine miles per hour. Tens of thousands of people suffer from these types of injuries each year.

Under Indiana law, there is no presumption that the rear driver in a rear-end collision is automatically at fault, as in some other states. Instead, the law requires that all Indiana drivers operate their vehicles responsibly, so if someone rear-ends you it’s probably not responsible driving.

Side-Impact Collisions While Merging, Changing Lanes and More – Side-impact collisions are the second most dangerous types of accidents on the road and put vehicle passengers at serious risk of injury and cause many deaths per year. They go by many names: sideswipes, broadsides, side-to-side collisions, and t-bone collisions. In these crashes, one car hits another along the side while both are going the same direction, or one hits another in the side while traveling at an angle. The passengers are particularly vulnerable in a side-impact collision because the front or rear bumpers cannot protect them.

Sometimes there is a sharp angle involved in these collisions, and the two parties may have a dispute over who exactly caused the accident. In these cases, an accident reconstructionist may be called in to determine the physics involved in the accident.

Even at low speeds, side-impact collisions can do major damage. Side-impact collisions are more likely than other types to involve a fatality. While just 20% of all collisions are side-impact, they account for about one-third of all traffic deaths.

High-Speed Single-Car Crashes – When only one driver is involved, it’s known as a single-vehicle accident or single-car crash. These accidents commonly involve some type of distracted driving, where the driver is drowsy, drunk, drugged, doesn’t realize how fast they’re traveling or simply isn’t paying attention.

In a common scenario of a single-car crash, the driver leaves the road at a high rate of speed and can’t stop before hitting a stationary object like a curb, fence, construction barrier, light pole, guard rail or tree. This doesn’t include hitting a person, which would be considered a pedestrian accident.

The National Highway Safety Administration estimates that about 15% of accidents involve just one driver and up to 100,000 of these occur due to drowsy and distracted driving. About half of all single-car accidents result in serious physical injury or death due to the high speeds involved.

Downtown Indianapolis Pedestrian Accidents – In busy downtown Indianapolis, pedestrians are everywhere. Although pedestrians have certain duties under Marion County ordinances and state law, that doesn’t stop them from stepping into the roadway and contributing to car accidents.

Indiana ranks 12th in the nation for pedestrian deaths. During one alarming six-month period in 2017, 63 pedestrians were killed in the Hoosier state. The Indiana DOT kicked off new plans for pedestrian safety, including new kinds of curbs, dividers, signs, road paint, and other measures.

When a pedestrian-car accident occurs, a moving vehicle hits a person who is in or near a road. Pedestrians are a large group that may include walkers, runners, bicyclists, scooter users, people using wheelchairs and children playing in traffic, depending on the local laws involved.

After one of these accidents, there can be a tendency to view the pedestrian as the victim and blame the car’s driver for what happened. However, the actual facts of the case may be quite different from what’s reported in the media. A pedestrian might be drunk, on drugs, jaywalking, running through traffic or otherwise doing something irresponsible and unlawful.

Defective Products – Here’s an aspect of car accidents that many people forget about: When a car has defective parts or systems, this can be a contributor to a devastating auto accident. What if the brakes were designed poorly and failed suddenly? What if the airbag failed to deploy and made your injuries much worse? When a defective product is a factor in a crash, the automobile manufacturer can sometimes be held liable for damages. People are killed in car accidents each year due to defective products.

Talk to Someone Right Now About Your Case!

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, we want to hear your story. Speak with a PBAR representative now by calling 1-800-265-9881 or 317-780-8000 or chat online 24/7. REQUEST FREE CASE REVIEW

Most Common Car Accident Injuries

An important fact to remember about auto accident injuries is they’re not all obvious at the time of the accident. You and the emergency responders will notice right away if you have broken bones or bleeding cuts. However, other injuries are detected later.

You might need an X-ray, ultrasound or MRI to determine the true extent of your injuries. Or you may have persistent back or neck pain that develops in the weeks after the accident and impacts your life for a long time afterward. Let’s take a look at the most common types of injuries people tend to get from vehicle accidents.

Back Injuries – Back injuries are common in car accidents because the back is so vulnerable to sudden impact. The spine, vertebrae, and discs can be snapped out of place during a collision and even a small movement can cause serious damage. Back pain is ranked as one of the top three most burdensome health conditions a person can experience in their lifetime. Car accidents are a leading cause of spinal fractures, sprained backs, strained backs and other back injuries that lead to chronic pain.

Broken Bones – Bone fractures frequently occur during auto collisions. Due to the forces involved, a person’s body may be exposed to an impact that’s much higher than their skeleton can take. Additional bone fractures can also occur from safety devices. One of the more common examples of this type of broken bone is when the airbag or seat belt causes a broken finger or wrist.

Brain Injuries – Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for young people age five to 24. Car accidents are also a primary contributor to traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). A TBI can have life-altering effects including vision loss, hearing loss, speech loss, immobility and severely impaired thinking. In brain injuries, these impairments are often permanent and the person may need lifelong medical care.

Shoulder Injuries – Shoulder injuries often come from side-impact and rear-end collisions where the shoulder is twisted and torn. A torn rotator cuff in the shoulder is one of the most frequent injuries, where the tendons in the arm are separated from the joint and socket of the shoulder. To restore full mobility, you may need long-term physical therapy for a shoulder injury. It could be difficult or impossible to do your job, affecting your livelihood.

Neck Injuries – Like a back injury, a neck injury can be quite severe with life-changing consequences for the injured person. Neck injuries are often related to whiplash, which occurs during sudden auto accident impacts. A neck injury must be evaluated immediately by a medical professional, who will rate its severity and determine how the person should be moved from the scene of the accident. Along with head injuries, severe neck injuries are the most common cause of auto fatalities.

What Happens After an Indiana Auto Accident

Auto accidents are very chaotic for the people involved. In the moments after the accident, witnesses rush to the scene, emergency responders arrive to help, police ask questions and insurance information is exchanged. Everything happens so fast.

In the days following the crash, the authorities will record their version of events in the official police record. The insurance claim is filed and insurance companies will also decide who is at fault and determine what kinds of vehicle repairs may be needed. Anyone who is injured will continue to receive medical care.

Soon, you’ll probably receive a call from an insurance company wanting to wrap things up quickly. Be careful before signing or agreeing to anything. You need qualified legal representation to help you decipher your options.

Is Indiana a “No-Fault” or a “Fault” State?

It’s hard to say who exactly is at fault for your particular accident without a case review, so seek the advice of an Indiana car accident attorney before accepting anyone’s version of who is to blame. In general terms, Indiana is a “fault” state. This means the driver who is determined to be at fault will be held responsible and their insurance will be responsible for paying damages.

More specifically, Indiana operates under the principle of comparative fault, where the relative proportion of fault of each person involved is taken into consideration. Sometimes there is an amount of non-party fault, where someone is considered partially at fault even if they weren’t physically present at the accident – perhaps an employer.

In a comparative fault state like Indiana, you can usually recover damages only if you are less than 50% at fault. So if someone sues you for causing an accident and your attorney can prove that the suing party was more than 50% at fault, you are unlikely to owe money over the accident.

Talk to Someone Right Now About Your Case!

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, we want to hear your story. Speak with a PBAR representative now by calling 1-800-265-9881 or 317-780-8000 or chat online 24/7. REQUEST FREE CASE REVIEW

Indianapolis’ Most Dangerous Intersections

Do you know 40% of all accidents happen at intersections? In a large and bustling city like Indianapolis, a huge potential for collisions at an intersection is possible every day.

Some intersections are more dangerous than others. Below, we’ve provided a list of the most dangerous intersections in the Indianapolis area, according to information from INDOT,  WTHR Channel 13 and the Indy Star. These are listed in no particular order because of the number of car accident injuries/fatalities changes from year to year.

  • The interchange between I-65 and I-70
  • 16th Street and Georgetown Road 
  • 16th Street and Crawfordsville Road 
  • 21st Street and Shadeland Avenue
  • 38th Street and Lafayette Road
  • 38th Street and Franklin Road
  • 38th Street and High School Road
  • E. 38th Street and Fall Creek Parkway 
  • 56th Street and Georgetown Road
  • 82nd Street and Allisonville Road
  • 86th Street and Michigan Road
  • 86th Street and Ditch Road
  • 86th Street and Keystone Crossing
  • 96th Street and Keystone Crossing
  • Albany Street and Madison Avenue
  • Cunningham Road and Crawfordsville Road
  • Emerson Avenue and Southport Road
  • Raymond Street and Shelby Street
  • Rockville Road and Girls School Road
  • Stop 11 Road and Madison Avenue
  • Stop 11 Road and Emerson Street
  • U.S. 31 and Stop 11 Road

What Damages Can I Win From An Auto Accident Claim?

It is possible to be compensated for several types of damages after an auto accident. Discuss the following options with your Indianapolis car accident attorney.

Car and Property Damage – Your vehicle may be seriously damaged or destroyed. Depending on your level of fault in the accident, you may be able to recover the cost of your vehicle and other property that was ruined as a result of the collision.

Medical Expenses – Save your medical bills related to the medical care your received for your car accident injuries, as well as general health records and any other paperwork you can get your hands. You may be able to recover damages for past and future medical expenses that can be attributed to the incident. Your attorney will help with this process.

Lost Income – If you missed work as a result of the accident, it may be possible to recover some or all of your past and future lost wages. In fact, filing a lawsuit may be the only way to be compensated for lost wages.

Compensation for Pain and Suffering – In Indiana, your pain and suffering isn’t calculated a specific way and varies widely from case to case. Judges and juries often take into consideration the extent of your injuries and how severely your life has been affected.

Types of Drivers in Indianapolis Auto Accidents

Just as there are many types of auto accidents in Indiana, there are also many types of drivers. At first, it might seem that you were in a collision with an individual driver. Later, you may discover they were a commercial driver, rideshare driver or government employee on the job. Your attorney can help you track down the people and organizations involved and ensure your case is handled appropriately.

Individual Car, Truck and SUV Drivers – When you are in a collision with an individual auto driver, you’ll either pursue their insurance company for reimbursement or file a lawsuit against them. This may be the route to take if they are uninsured or refuse to take responsibility. 

Commercial Vehicle and Delivery Truck Drivers – There are thousands of light commercial vehicles on Indianapolis roads, including delivery cars, moving vans, security vehicles, tourist buses, transport vehicles and others. When you’re in a collision with one of them, the paperwork will become confusing very quickly. Your attorney can help clear things up.

Heavy Duty Semi-Truck Operators – Serious injuries are much more likely when a heavy-duty truck is involved in a crash with a passenger vehicle. These trucks can cause major property damage and physical injury. Plus, you’ll go up against a big trucking company and its insurance company, so you’ll need legal assistance.

Government Drivers – We don’t often notice government vehicles, but they’re all over Indianapolis roads. In some cases, local and state governments can be held accountable for the actions of their employees and for neglecting to have responsible drivers on the road.

Rideshare Drivers – Uber, Lyft and other rideshare companies weave in and out of traffic in Indianapolis as they pick up and drop off passengers. This is a mixed category where the driver may be covered by their company or may not. Ask your attorney for details.

Indiana Statutes of Limitations for Accidents and Injury Claims

In Indiana, the deadline for bringing a car accident lawsuit depends on the exact type of harm you have suffered and what kind of case you plan to file. Generally speaking, most car accident and personal injury cases have a two-year statute of limitations. 

Here’s something many people don’t realize: That’s two years from the date of the accident. The clock starts running at the moment of your collision, not when you receive medical bills or any other time. So don’t wait to file a lawsuit and miss your opportunity.

How Poynter & Bucheri Accident Recovery Can Help

Our experienced car accident attorneys are here to help you understand your rights after a car crash and get the compensation you need to move forward with your life. If you’re suffering physical pain, financial devastation, emotional trauma and other effects from the accident, don’t suffer in silence.

We’re here to provide a smooth legal process and help you hold the right person and/or company responsible for your injuries. We’ll give you a voice in the Indiana legal system and help you get every penny you deserve. 

Review the helpful resources below to get started with the legal process. We offer free case reviews as a service to the people of Indianapolis and the surrounding area who have been injured in car accidents. We’re ready to review your case and help you understand your options. 

Indianapolis Auto Accident Information Resources

Free Review of Your Case

Indiana Car Accident Law Information

Indiana Truck Accident Law Information

Indiana Motorcycle Accident Law Information

A List of Indianapolis Car Accident Attorneys

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“I am the victim of a truck smashing into my car. Poynter & Bucheri handled everything and were able to get me a fair settlement for my lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, and everything that comes with being smashed into by a big-rig. I really don’t know where I would be without them.”

– Matthew Brooks