Posts for Wrongful Death

What Does Wrongful Death Mean?

If you are reading this because you have lost a loved one or a friend because of the negligence of another, I am sorry. I hope you find some measure of peace in the fond memories and love of the one you lost. Originally, if a person died as a result of personal injuries caused by another person, there was not right of recourse for the family suffering the loss.  The hardship this forced on families was eventually seen as unfair.  The legislature decided to change the law by creating a statute that gave families who suffered a death as... View Article

Drunk Driving Causes Serious Personal Injury and Wrongful Death

Are you aware that there are two kinds of drunk driving charges in the criminal justice system? The first is driving with a blood alcohol content over .08. The second is operating a motor vehicle while impaired. The former is an A misdemeanor (Punishable by not more than 1 year in Jail). The latter is a D felony punishable by not more than three years in jail. Both are crimes because driving in either circumstance lessens the drivers reaction time which, when operating a 2000 pound hunk of metal, can be very dangerous. I have represented Hoosiers who have fortunately... View Article

Drinking and Driving Factor in Fatal Indianapolis Auto Accident

Last week, Paige Byers, a 22 year old woman from Noblesville, was arrested for her actions on August 9. Ms. Byers is accused of causing a crash that ended in two fatalities. David Foster and Whitney Miller were killed when the vehicle driven by Ms. Byers crashed into them head on in Indianapolis. The crash was so severe that both individuals were pronounced dead on scene. Investigators believe that Ms. Byers was intoxicated at the time of the crash. As a result, Ms. Byers now faces some serious legal charges, including two counts of operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing... View Article

Distracted Driving Can Lead to Wrongful Death

The news media is continuously reporting on instances of fatal automobile and motorcycle accidents. There are many causes behind these accidents, but the most frequent is a driver who is simply being negligent. You may think of alcohol or drugs when you think of negligent driving that resulted in a fatality during an auto accident. However, another cause of fatal accidents is distracted driving. Studies show that distracted driving can be just as dangerous, and as deadly, as driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. So, what constitutes distracted driving? Cell phones are a major cause of distraction... View Article

Father I Need You

I am in a fog, tween there and here, shivering as that sound, something like pain, takes meaningful shape. Down the hall, past the baby’s room to their room. Its dark, but I have done this so many times I can do it in my sleep. I will crawl into their bed and fall back to sleep between the warmth of two loving bodies. Strange, I hear the crying but it doesn’t really make sense. At first I think it is the baby, probably needs changing, but the crying is different, muffled, instead of the screeching wail of a wet... View Article

Enforcing Text Ban Remains Problematic

In 2011, the State of Indiana passed a ban on texting. This ban prohibited drivers from using their phones to send or receive text messages while behind the wheel of a moving vehicle. However, there are several loopholes in this law that are causing frustration amongst citizens, lawmakers and law enforcement officers. While the ban passed in Indiana addresses text messaging specifically, it does not prohibit drivers from utilizing smartphones to access other apps, such as Facebook, Twitter, email and other apps that can cause distraction while driving. Police officers are allowed to stop an individual on suspicion of texting... View Article

Wrongful Death in Indiana

Wrongful death is a phantom we wish everyone is able to avoid. Unfortunately we live in the world of Humans. In the legal world, the history of Wrongful Death begins in England. English common law is the basis of most of the legal structure we have in the United States. When the 1776 Revolution was complete, and the Constitution was being written, we kept the common law system that was in effect before we threw off British rule. The common law is different from statutory law in the following way. The common law is the law which developed through a... View Article

Hit and Run Drivers and Uninsured Motorist Driver Insurance Coverage

Charles A. Parrett hit a fellow Hoosier with his car. He left the scene.  He came back to the scene after speaking with his mother.  Good for her.  Unfortunately,  Robert L Blankenship, a pedestrian, suffered wrongful death as a result of being hit by Parrett’s car.  Mr. Parrett was charged with fleeing the scene of an accident resulting in death, and operating a vehicle under the influence of a controlled substance, causing death. How sad for all involved.  Bad choices lead to bad consequences and two families suffer. I tell you this story because it is an opportunity to help... View Article

If a Bar Serves a Minor, it Should be Held Responsible for What Happens

We all know that drunk driving accidents bring serious personal injury and wrongful death down upon innocent Hoosier Families.  We know that alcohol sales to people under 21 is illegal.  We know that checking ID is simple and effective.  BUT, did you know that a bar which serves a minor alcohol may not be responsible for the serious injury and wrongful death that minor causes when they leave the bar and drive away?  Under Indiana law the innocent Hoosier family, upon which this death and destruction has been visited bears the burden of proving that the minor was visibly intoxicated... View Article

Wrongful Death of An Adult without Dependents

A mother loses her child to wrongful death caused by a drunk driving accident.  The child is 22 years old, working, but living with Mom just to save some money to get a place of his own.   She loves him with all her heart and soul.  Her spirit is crushed because a drunk driver could not control himself and not drive while he was drunk.  Mom goes to her local attorney and asks her for help bring a wrongful death claim against the drunk driver who caused the wrongful death of her son.  She is told that her son’s life... View Article

School Zones, Speed, Serious Personal Injury and Wrongful Death

In the last few weeks schools have been out of session due to the holiday season and then a week off because of the weather.   My route to work involves passing through three schools zones.  You know a school zone, the speed limit is 25 miles per hour from 7:00 am to 4:30 pm.  The speed limit is reduced because we all know that a high concentration of children and young people will be congregating in those areas.  We also all know that some of them will be crossing the streets to get to school.  Traveling at 25 miles per... View Article

What Do Lawyers Mean When They Say Wrongful Death

Lawyers have a hard time using regular ordinary words when talking about people’s rights. We throw around words like everyone knows what they mean when the truth is lawyers had to go to school for three years to learn how to become unclear with their words. Take for example the phrase “wrongful death”. What the heck does that mean and why is it important to Hoosiers? To understand what wrongful death means, we have to go back a step and talk about what rights Hoosiers had before there was such a thing as “Wrongful Death”. There are two kinds of... View Article