Car Accident

Auto accident involving two cars on a city street


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When proceeding with a car accident lawsuit, it is important to note that there are jury instructions as to what a driver’s obligations are while driving on the roads in the State of Indiana. The Court will instruct the jury that, “every motor vehicle driver must use the care and ordinary care that a person would use under the same or similar circumstances. Drivers who do not use reasonable care are negligent.” The Court will also instruct the jury as to a driver’s obligation to maintain a proper lookout while driving a vehicle which is, “every driver must maintain a proper lookout to see or hear what should be seen or heard through the exercise of reasonable care. A person is negligent if they do not maintain a proper lookout.”  Further, the State of Indiana has numerous laws relating to the safe operation of a vehicle which can be used to show that a driver was negligent in the way they operated their vehicle on the date of the collision.

Attorney Gladish may also employ the services of an accident reconstructionist when necessary to present to the jury how an accident occurred based upon physical evidence at the scene.  This physical evidence may include: skid marks, pavement gouges, damage to the vehicles, damage to structures, measurements of debris field, throw distances, perception/reaction times, black box computer downloads and so on.  The experts will also employ computer technology and laser measuring devices to map the scene, so that computer generated graphic can be generated to demonstrate to a jury how the collision occurred. A jury can view the scene through digital diagrams presented in a power point format which will highlight key segments of the collision to show how the driver was at fault for causing the underlying collision, thereby also causing injuries and damages to the other driver.

As for damages, Attorney Gladish looks to maximize his client’s recovery by asserting and/or claiming as many areas of damage for recovery as possible based upon the facts of each case. An example is the “bystander rule”—a fairly recent development in Indiana law—allows recovery for negligent infliction of emotional distress if a claimant can establish sufficient “direct involvement” with the incident. “Direct involvement” involves certain temporal and circumstantial factors. The temporal factor requires that the claimant be at the scene of the incident when it occurs or arrive soon after; the circumstantial factors require both the scene and victim to be in the same condition as immediately following the incident and the claimant to have not been informed of the incident before coming upon the scene. Without these requirements, an emotional distress claim fails as a matter of law.

Another area that Indiana recognizes that is a proper element of damage is the impairment of earning capacity which means the loss of one’s ability to fully engage in one’s job as distinguished from loss of earnings. The concept of impaired earning capacity involves more than mere proof of permanent injury and pain. There must be evidence of probative value which relates the injury to an inability to engage in one’s vocation. Like other damage issues this issue may be proven by both expert and non-expert testimony. The gist of the concept is the adverse effect on vocation. The basic measure of damages for impairment of lost earning capacity is the difference between the amount which the plaintiff was capable of earning before the injury and the amount which he is capable of earning thereafter. Attorney Gladish will discuss with each client which areas of recovery are allowed based upon Indiana law and facts of the case.

Finally, Attorney Gladish takes great pride in ensuring that a client is up-to-date as to all steps taken by him in presenting the claim relating to both negligence as well as the damages sustained by a client. Attorney Gladish and his staff are also happy to meet with clients that have questions or just want to discuss the progression of the case.