How to Win Your Auto Accident Case
An auto accident case is considered a “tort” and is controlled by the laws of negligence. Negligence refers to an individual's or entity's commission of a "tort", that is, the failure to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances. To establish a case of negligence, or a tort, the plaintiff must prove:
- Defendant had a duty to conform his conduct to a standard of care dependent on his relationship with the plaintiff
- The defendant breached that duty
- That breach of duty caused damages to the plaintiff.
Stratmeyer v. U.S., 67 F.3d 1340 (7th Cir. 1995).
In the context of automobile law, negligence is still the rule in order for injured people to recover damages.
In most cases, the existence of a duty to use care is easily seen and the parties do not contest or argue about it. For example, everybody knows that all drivers owe a duty of care to other drivers, their own passengers, pedestrians on the streets or anyone else foreseeably at risk of injury due use of a vehicle.
But how is that duty defined? In automobile cases, the legal duty of drivers is usually established by Indiana statutes (state laws) and ordinances (city laws) which define proper versus improper operation of a vehicle. Sometimes, a duty can be established by reference to the driver’s license manual or the Commercial Driver’s License Manual to show how all drivers were taught to operate a vehicle properly.
A breach of duty occurs when the driver is determined by a Judge or jury to have not met the requirements of these statutes, rules or ordinances. When that happens, the injured party must then prove the breach of that duty directly led to his or her injuries.
In Indiana, only proximate, direct, or material causation will support a negligence action. Huey v. Milligan, 175 N.E.2d 698 (Ind. Ct. App. 1961). Proximate cause is a very, very difficult concept for everyone to understand including attorneys and Judges. Indiana law has defined proximate cause as that cause which is in a natural and continuous sequence, unbroken by any efficient intervening cause, and which produces the results complained of. Ortho Pharmaceutical Corp. v. Chapman, 388 N.E.2d 541 (Ind. Ct. App. 1979).
Another way to think about proximate cause is to consider its opposite meaning – proximate cause is that cause which is not broken by an intervening or remote cause in producing the injury.
An example of no proximate cause would be the following fact exercise taught in law schools. In the example of an injured person who wakes up in the morning ten minutes late because his alarm clock was broken, then gets in his car and is struck at an intersection by another driver who runs the red light. Clearly, the driver who runs the red light violated a duty to operate his vehicle in a reasonable manner on the roadway. This violation led directly to the injury of the other driver. But, if the injured person wants to sue the clock manufacturer for a defect in the clock that made him late that morning (arguing he would have never been at the intersection at that exact point in time when the other driver ran the red light), a court of law would rule that although it is true the clock failed and its failure was a “cause-in-fact” of the injured person being involved in a crash, the failure was “too remote” to be a “proximate cause” or “legal cause” of the injury.
Next, we will examine the types of automobile or vehicular cases that give rise to a recovery for damages by injured persons in Indianapolis and other parts of Indiana.
The rules of the road require that other drivers must watch out for our safety. Driving is a privilege - not a right.
And too often, other drivers fail to follow simple rules that would prevent vehicle accidents.
In car accidents, we investigate the causes of the crash from the ground up -- we acquire the Standard Crash Report and talk with witnesses in a timely manner (not two years down the road like some others).
We talk with you to find out what really happened.
We help you the entire way so that while you are recuperating, we are doing the work.
We call the insurance companies and deal with property damage or getting your medical bills paid.
You don't need the hassles involved in those areas. You just need to get better.
And when it's time to settle your case, we make a fair demand to the other driver's insurance company. If they refuse to pay, we are ready to take it to the next step -- litigation. And that's where we really shine. We have over 55+ years of combined legal experience in the court room.
We can present your case in an efficient manner through our tried and true methods we've honed through the decades.
And that goes for semi-truck accidents, too.
There are more semi-trucks on our roads than ever before. And here in northern Indiana, semi-truck drivers are everywhere on our roads.
We know truck accident law. We know semi-trucks cause a lot of injuries in Indiana because our roads are filled with them.
The good thing is that the federal and state government regulate Commercial Drivers and require strict adherence to those rules.
And we know the rules. And can check if the Commercial Driver that caused your accident was following the rules.
This includes Semi-Drivers, Delivery Trucks or Cars, and business/delivery employees.
The regulations for commercial drivers are extensive and difficult to comprehend.
Here at Shaw Law we have the experience and know-how to investigate whether the commercial driver was keeping proper logs, was overly fatigued or committed other violations that led to the collision.
We have handled truck and semi-trailer accidents, including school bus, cement trucks, constructions trucks, delivery trucks (or box trucks), UPS, FedEx or other delivery type vehicles, dump trucks, rental or moving trucks and other semi-truck or tractor type accidents.
We also accept automobile design defect cases including seat belt latching or seat belt failure cases or tire defect cases.
We also handle bicycle accidents, including mopeds and scooters or ATV accidents.
No matter the injury, call us. We will investigate to see if somebody is at fault.
All consultations are FREE.
You can have your lawyer in as little as 10 minutes online or simply click on the telephone number above.
Call or Text Shaw Law Offices at (877) 225-5742. Anytime you are hurt by a business, there's only one law firm to call.