Collision and Settlement – Working with a Car Accident Attorney in Fishers, Indiana
Fishers is a proud city and a vital part of the Indianapolis community. Like other places across Indiana, however, road accidents have a negative impact on many people’s lives. If you’ve had a vehicle collision and suffered a personal injury, it’s important to contact a car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Let’s take a detailed look at car accidents in Fishers and across Indiana, from accident causes and locations to personal injuries and legal processes. If you’re looking for a car crash lawyer in Fishers, Indiana, SLG Accident Attorneys is ready to support your claim.
The Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in Indiana
Unfortunately, car accidents are fairly common in Indiana, and they impact people from all walks of life. Local authorities analyze crash data to find common patterns and implement mitigation measures. From impaired and dangerous driving to speeding and pedestrian impact, the details surrounding traffic collisions are collected and maintained by the Indiana State Police.
The following data comes from Indiana Crash Facts 2020, which is a publication produced by the Indiana University Public Policy Institute in partnership with the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute. A car accident attorney deals with the following incidents on a regular basis:
Impaired driving is a common cause of road accidents in Indiana, with alcohol a main contributor along with various prescription and non-prescription drugs. Blood alcohol content (BAC) test results are reported in the Automated Reporting Information Exchange System (ARIES), which is maintained by the Indiana State Police.
According to ARIES, 124 people died in alcohol‐impaired driving crashes in 2020. This represented 14% of all traffic fatalities, which is a slight reduction from the 15% recorded in 2018.
This number is likely to be much higher in reality, however, with ARIES results excluding drivers without reported BAC tests. According to separate data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Fatality Analysis Reporting System, 29% of all 2019 Indiana traffic fatalities involved an alcohol‐impaired driver.
Pickup truck drivers were represented in 34% of alcohol impairment cases, with passenger car drivers recorded at 25%.
Aggressive driving and lack of experience
Aggressive driving is a significant cause of road accidents in Indiana, especially among young people. Collision involvement rates were highest among 15-20-year-old drivers in 2020 and lowest among drivers 75 years and older. According to the report, this huge discrepancy is due to aggressive driving and a lack of experience among young drivers.
While the number of young drivers involved in collisions dropped from 41,824 in 2019 to 28,918 in 2020, the number of young drivers killed increased from 38 to 46. Overall, 15-20-year-old drivers were involved in 8.5% of Indiana crashes, with this number diminishing with age. There were 13.5 young drivers killed per 100,000 licensed drivers in 2020, which was down from a peak of 18.1 in 2018.
Speeding is a major cause of road accidents in Indiana and across the United States. There were 15,033 collisions involving a speeding driver in 2020, compared to 20,207 in 2019. The number of fatal collisions increased, however, from 190 in 2019 to 205 in 2020.
This marks a five-year high and highlights the growing need for education and mitigation measures. Speeding-related deaths represented 9% of all collisions and 25% of fatal collisions across Indiana in 2020.
Pedestrians and non-motorists
Non‐motorists were involved in many reported road accidents, at a much-reduced rate but with a much greater impact. Pedestrians and pedal cyclists accounted for less than 1% of people involved in traffic collisions but made up 14% of the state’s total traffic fatalities.
The number of pedestrians killed across the state increased from 5% to 7% of fatalities for the year, with pedal cyclist deaths also rising from 2% to 3%. Pedestrians are particularly vulnerable during the twilight hours, as tiredness is more likely during these times, and natural lighting conditions also impact vision.
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Dangerous Locations for Fishers Drivers
Fishers is a vibrant city located along Interstate 69 in the Fall Creek and Delaware townships. This part of Indiana is becoming increasingly well-serviced when it comes to transportation, including roads, intersections, and roundabouts.
While this infrastructure is fairly well-maintained, the following examples highlight some of the most dangerous roads in the area. Car accident lawyers in Fishers, Indiana would be familiar with these locations.
The roundabout at Olio Road and Southeastern Parkway
Fishers has the most dangerous roundabout in Hamilton County, with more accidents occurring at this location than any other. Due to complicated exits and lots of traffic during peak hours, lots of confusion surrounds right-of-way laws and driver obligations when traveling in the inner roundabout lane.
According to the Indiana State Police, there were 133 traffic accidents recorded here in 2016-2017 alone. While signage is accurate and available, drivers are advised to be extra careful when navigating these roads.
The roundabout is not a standard four-way affair and has five distinct entrance and exit points. The Southeastern/Campus Parkway (146th Street) exits are much busier than the others, and that’s where most accidents occur.
While this roundabout is clearly marked, both by lead-up signs and on the road itself, the five-way design forces an exception to regular driving habits. In a novel and potentially dangerous situation, drivers in the outside lane must yield to those in the inside lane if they plan to continue past the second exit. Drivers on the Southeastern who are heading east must shift to the left lane before they enter the roundabout if they want to continue on the same road.
The intersection at 126th Street and Enterprise Drive
This intersection lies east of State Road 37, and it’s been described as one of the most dangerous in Fishers. There are no traffic lights at 126th and Enterprise, even though there are five busy lanes of traffic. Due to the sheer number of vehicles on the road and the lack of visibility, drivers often have difficulty making a left turn. Right-of-way rules also cause confusion, with some drivers failing to yield when they’re required to do so.
According to official figures from the state of Indiana, there were 22 crashes recorded at this intersection in 2015 alone. According to Hamilton County’s website, there are plans to upgrade road infrastructure along some parts of 126th Street and Enterprise Drive.
However, while new roundabouts will be placed at some locations, including State Road 37 and 126th Street, initial renderings still show Enterprise Drive without traffic signals or a median strip to block dangerous left turns.
The intersection at 96th Street and Allisonville Road
This intersection features a “Michigan left”, which is the name given to intersections where no left turns are allowed. Instead, drivers must proceed to the next intersection and make a U-turn. According to a study by North Carolina State University, this type of intersection was associated with 46% fewer crashes, 63% fewer injury-causing crashes, and a 20% reduction in travel time.
This particular intersection in Fishers is known to be dangerous, however, with 10 incapacitating crashes occurring between 2015 and 2020. Despite advantages in some locales, traffic conditions and adjacent roads make this Michigan left a dangerous and unpopular choice. The city has announced plans to replace the intersection with a two-lane roundabout at the Fishers-Indianapolis border, at a cost of $4.2 million.
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Car Accident Statistics in Indiana
Vehicle accidents on public roads vary significantly in terms of their location and severity. From collisions involving property damage to serious and fatal accidents, records are kept by local authorities. The following data is analyzed by Indiana University Public Policy using data from the Indiana State Police ARIES system and published in Indiana Crash Facts 2020. The auto accident attorneys at our personal injury law firm are aware of the latest statistics.
Total collisions for all counties
Based on data from 2020, there were 175,816 total collisions across all Indiana counties. This number included 148,705 property damage-only collisions, 26,303 nonfatal collisions, and 808 fatal collisions. In percentage terms, property damage-only events represented 84.6% of all accidents, with nonfatal events accounting for 15%, and fatal events making up 0.5% of all collisions.
Statistics for Hamilton County
Along with state totals, the ARIES report breaks down collisions into various counties. Mean, median, minimum, and maximum figures are provided for comparative purposes, with some counties responsible for more road accidents than others. Fishers is located in Hamilton County, which includes the additional large population centers of Carmel and Noblesville.
Hamilton County collisions compared to other counties
Overall, there were 6,196 collisions recorded in Hamilton County in 2020, including 5,440 property damage-only collisions, 733 nonfatal collisions, and 23 fatal collisions. This represented 87.8%, 11.8%, and 0.4% of collisions respectively. While property damage-only events were well above the state median, both nonfatal and fatal collisions were below. Hamilton County ranked 5th in the state for total collisions, but just 69th for fatal collisions.
Hamilton County collisions compared to miles traveled
Traffic collisions were also analyzed per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, both by county and by Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI) Traffic Safety Division service regions. Using this measure, the median rate for state collisions was 184, with Hamilton County once again below this level at 170.8. This puts the county in the second lowest rung of four when it comes to collisions per miles traveled.
Statistics for individuals involved in Indiana collisions
Along with accident type and location, collision data was also recorded and analyzed for individuals. There were 275,667 total individuals involved in vehicle collisions, including 235,858 or 85.6% with no injuries, 21,725 or 7.9% with non-incapacitating injuries, 17,188 or 6.2% with incapacitating injuries, and 896 or 0.3% with fatal injuries.
Numbers in Hamilton County were recorded at 9,123 or 87.9%, 751 or 7.2%, 483 or 4.7%, and 72 or 0.3% respectively. Again, while the total number of individuals involved in car accidents was above the state mean and median, it was well below for both incapacitating and fatal collisions. Once again, due mostly to population size, Hamilton County ranked 5th in the state for the number of individuals involved in vehicle collisions.
The Injuries a Car Accident in Fishers Can Cause
Car accidents vary a lot in their severity, from mild collisions to fatal life-changing events. Car accidents can impact virtually any part of the body, from acute physical injuries to ongoing psychological distress. Let’s review common injuries dealt with by car wreck lawyers and auto accident lawyers:
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
TBIs are usually the result of a violent blow or jolting impact, which often occur during a car accident. TBIs are associated with a wide range of physical and psychological effects, some of which occur days or weeks after the impact event.
Spinal cord injuries
Spinal injuries can result from a sudden blow during a vehicle collision. Severe spinal cord damage can cause a loss of sensation and function below the site of the injury, including debilitating conditions such as quadriplegia and paraplegia.
Back and neck injuries
The sudden impact of a vehicle collision can cause back and neck injuries, from disk dislocation and chronic pain to muscle, ligament, and tendon damage. Whiplash is a common type of soft tissue injury that often results from car accidents.
While rare, mild to severe burns can be caused by a vehicle accident. If a car catches fire after a crash or vehicle occupants come into contact with hot fluids or surfaces, burns are a likely outcome. Bad burns often require surgery and skin grafting.
Internal and soft tissue injuries
Car accidents can cause damage to internal organs and soft tissues. Whether it’s the impact of flying debris, the effect of internal bleeding, or the result of extensive bruising, hidden damage to the inner part of the body can be painful and long-lasting.
Cuts, abrasions, scars, and road rash
Whether it’s on your face, across your chest, or down your legs, cuts and abrasions are a common result of vehicle accidents. If you make contact with the road or any part of your car, you’re likely to get some kind of friction-based injury. Many of our clients have scars resulting from their injuries. These are often lifelong physical changes to your physical appearance and therefore should be taken seriously.
Fractures and broken bones
From single-car impacts to multi-vehicle crashes, fractures and broken bones are a common outcome. Serious breaks and compound fractures often require surgery, with crushing injuries and limb loss also possible from severe accidents.
From knee, foot, and ankle injuries to shoulder, wrist, and hand injuries, physical extremities can be strained, sprained, or fractured from car accidents. Limbs often take on the full impact of a collision, and acute and chronic problems are both possible.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Not all road injuries are physical in nature, as car accidents are also known to cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health conditions. The emotional and mental impact of a car accident can take years to realize and recover from. In order to claim this as part of your claim there are very specific steps that need to be taken for this damage to be considered in your claim.
Should You Call the Police Following a Car Accident?
If you’re involved in a car accident, it’s important to always contact the police. It doesn’t matter whether you were at fault or not, the local authorities should be made aware. In Indiana and many other states, you are required by law to report any car accident that involves injury, death, or entrapment of another person. Additionally, you must report accidents that involve damage to property, except for the vehicles involved.
If a crash involved no injuries and caused only minor damage to the vehicles involved, you don’t need to report it. However, regardless of what’s required by law, reporting an accident is essential if you want to get compensation for damages through a personal injury claim. Once you call 911 and the police arrive, they will fill out an official accident report and document the scene.
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What to Do Immediately After a Car Accident
Contacting the police is not the only thing you should do following an accident. There are lots of other steps to take, from getting medical treatment to exchanging personal information and contacting a car crash lawyer.
The following five steps are key in any accident scenario:
1. Deal with the accident scene
Once an accident has occurred, the first thing you should do is manage the accident scene. If anyone requires medical attention, you need to call 911 immediately. Additionally, it’s important to deal with the scene itself to prevent further accidents. You can help to protect the area by turning your emergency lights on and setting up flares.
2. Contact the police
As mentioned above, the police should always be contacted in accident scenarios for the success of your case. If the police can’t come to the scene of the accident for any reason, you should go to the nearest police station to file a report. A report starts to lay the foundation for what happened before people start to change their story.
3. Exchange information
Once you’ve called an ambulance and notified the police, it’s important to exchange contact information and insurance details with other people involved in the accident. If there are witnesses at the scene, you should get their information to assist you in future legal claims.
4. Document the accident
It’s important to note down the full name of all drivers, along with the location of the accident, address details, contact information, insurance companies and policy numbers, driver’s license and plate numbers, and the makes and models of all vehicles involved.
5. Notify your insurance company
Following an accident, you should notify your insurance company as soon as possible. Many policies require immediate reporting and full cooperation to receive MedPay coverage. Indiana is a fault state, which means you file a claim against the negligent driver’s policy. If you caused the accident, the other driver would file a claim with your insurance company.
What Types of Car Accident Cases Does SLG Accident Attorneys Handle?
Our car crash attorneys handle a wide range of car accident scenarios. From everyday fender benders to multi-vehicle collisions, we can help you get the best possible outcome based on your unique situation. As respected car crash injury lawyers in Fishers, Indiana, we deliver a comprehensive service for the entire community.
The following types of car accidents are covered, among many others:
- Distracted driver accidents
- Drunk driver accidents
- Speeding car accidents
- Intersection car accidents
- Sideswipes and fender benders
- T-bone accidents
- Head-on collisions
- Rear-end accidents
- Pedestrian injuries
- Hit-and-run accidents
- Lane crossover accidents
- Multi-car pile-ups and crashes
- Uber and Lyft accidents
- Rollover accidents
- City transit accidents
- Taxi and limousine collisions
- Uninsured motorist accidents
- Commercial vehicle accidents
- Taxi accidents
How an Attorney Can Help With Your Car Accident Claim
If you’ve been injured in a car accident and want to seek compensation, it’s important to find a fatal car accident lawyer. An experienced legal team will help you get the best possible outcome. Along with managing records and analyzing evidence from the accident, legal professionals offer valuable negotiation skills and have access to trusted investigators.
From the outset, your car accident attorney will deal with the other driver’s insurance company to ensure the best results. They will obtain and link evidence, manage medical records and bills, and work directly with doctors to prove damage claims. Legal experience is needed to negotiate with lien holders (health, disability, or workers’ compensation) and negotiate a satisfactory settlement with the insurance adjuster or defense attorney.
What Is the Average Settlement for a Car Accident in Indiana?
Car accident settlements vary significantly in Indiana, with huge discrepancies between claims based on the damages experienced. Information regarding claim amounts is hard to come by, with no central clearinghouse or court approval available for personal injury settlements. A publicly available settlement figure is not always available, although there are some guidelines we can use.
Indiana follows a fault-based system, with all motorists required to have a certain level of liability coverage. This includes $25,000 for bodily injury or death per person, $50,000 for bodily injury or death of two people per accident, and $25,000 for property damage liability per accident. These figures do not represent the reality of all legal cases, however, as policyholders are able to purchase more coverage than these minimum amounts.
It is important to note that many individuals are driving without any insurance at all. Despite the fact that this is against the law many at fault drivers of car crashes fail to purchase liability coverage to protect themselves and the injured party. At SLG Accident Attorneys we can provide guidance as to how to protect yourself in this situation.
What Type of Compensation Can I Expect?
The purpose of a settlement claim is to compensate people for losses experienced as a result of the accident. This includes direct losses from the accident and related losses after the event, both of which can be economic or non-economic in nature. Economic damages are easy to quantify, including medical bills, vehicle repairs, lost wages, travel expenses, rental costs, and household assistance costs.
Non-medical damages are much harder to quantify, including things like pain and suffering, emotional anguish, mental distress, and loss of quality of life. As they can’t be easily measured, a jury is usually responsible for determining the amount of non-economic damages.
Overall, the amount of compensation you can expect depends on the nature of these losses, along with the details of the other driver’s insurance coverage. If they’re underinsured or don’t have liability coverage, the amount you can recover may be affected.
Car Crash Lawyers in Indiana
Some of the locations around Fishers which our car wreck lawyers serve include: Hamilton County, Indianapolis, Carmel, Noblesville, Lawrence, Westfield, Zionsville, Beech Grove, Speedway, Greenfield, Anderson, Brownsburg, Elwood, Greenwood, Lebanon, Plainfield, Fall Creek and Delaware Townships, and more.