If You Slipped and Fell at Work, You Must Read This

February 17, 2020

If you suffer a slip and fall at work, there are steps you can take to make sure that you are treated fairly until you recover from your injuries. Consult our quick guide here, and then speak with an experienced personal injury attorney to protect yourself after your accident.

Seek Medical Attention 

If you were injured at work, anticipate that you will be following the process for workers’ compensation. In this case, you will need to consult your employer on which physicians their workers’ comp insurance will approve. However, if the injuries constitute an emergency, someone must call an ambulance and workers’ comp benefits can be sorted out later.

Even if you can walk away from the accident, do not delay seeking medical treatment. Waiting to seek medical attention could risk the employer claiming that you were injured at a different time and place. Your treatment will need to coincide closely with the date and time of your accident.

Understanding Premises Liability

Under premises liability law, all property owners are required to keep visitors safe. Property owners must either repair dangerous parts of the property or block off and clearly warn visitors of unsafe areas until repairs can be made. As such, if you or someone you love was injured in a slip-and-fall accident on work property where a property owner was negligent, that property owner is liable for the injuries.  

If the property owner is your employer, then you will most likely be filing for workers’ compensation. However, if the property owner is someone other than your employer, you may qualify for a personal injury claim against the property owner in addition to seeking workers’ compensation for your injuries.

Workers’ Compensation in Indiana

Employers in Indiana are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to protect workers in the event of an accident. Workers’ compensation pays for your medical bills, rehabilitation and a percentage of your lost wages until you can return to work. 

You can initiate a workers’ comp claim by requesting and completing form DWC-1. When completing the form, you must include as much specific information as possible about when, how and where the accident occurred. 

Indiana workers can qualify for workers’ comp even if the slip and fall was their fault. However, if your employer can prove that you intentionally tried to hurt yourself, your claim would constitute a fraud claim, and you would not be awarded any benefits.

Workers’ Compensation Exclusivity

By Indiana law, you are not allowed to sue your employer for a slip and fall so long as the accident occurred while you were working and your employer has workers’ comp coverage. Instead, you will need to follow the process to collect workers’ comp as soon as you are able after your accident.

However, if your slip and fall took place on a property where someone other than your employer possesses premises liability, you may qualify for a third-party action personal injury claim.

Third-Party Actions

If your slip and fall occurred somewhere other than employer-owned property, you may be able to prove that the property owner was negligent in his duties under premises liability law. You should consult with a personal injury attorney to see if you qualify for a personal injury lawsuit as a result of your slip and fall.  

In a third-party action, you can hold the property owner accountable for your injuries and seek compensation for damages even if your accident occurred during work and qualifies you for workers’ compensation. In many cases, workers’ compensation does not fully cover all expenses (such as lost wages) after an accident. Filing a personal injury claim against the third-party property owner can ensure that you receive compensation for your injuries in full.

For more information about how an Indiana attorney can help you with your slip and fall case, contact Stewart & Stewart Attorneys at 800-333-3529 or visit our website.


Who Is Responsible for Damages After an Accident with a City Bus?

February 10, 2020

Public transportation is a convenient service, but it also poses a risk to passengers, other drivers, and pedestrians. For these reasons, bus operators and employers are required to take every precaution in order to prevent a city bus accident. Here is a quick guide to help you understand who is responsible for damages in the wake of a city bus accident.

The City Bus Driver

In public transportation systems, the city driver is expected to exercise great care and skill when driving the bus to lower the risk of an accident. Therefore, if there is an accident involving a city bus, there is usually negligence on the bus driver’s part.

 Sometimes the bus driver fails to observe traffic laws, or they fail to look out for other cars and pedestrians on the road before making a turn. In more serious situations, they may have been driving under the influence of alcohol or prescription drugs, or they may even have been driving without proper rest. Regardless, it is important that you speak with an attorney experienced in city bus claims if you or someone you love is injured in this type of accident.

The Driver’s Employer

Ultimately, the bus driver’s employer is responsible for any negligence on the part of the driver. It may be that the employer did not properly vet their driver or train them to handle situations in a way that could have prevented an accident.

Mechanical Failure

If the brakes failed when the driver tried to engage them, then an accident is likely to result in injuries for which the maintenance staff or even the parts manufacturer may be liable. There are a number of bus parts that, should they fail, could result in serious injuries to those inside and outside the bus. Typically, vehicle operators or businesses must keep a vehicle inspection schedule in order to identify potential mechanical failures and prevent a bus accident.

Other Passengers

In some cases, disruptive or violent passengers might be the cause of the bus accident. It is possible for other passengers to be faulted for a city bus accident.

Types of Bus Accidents

Due to the size and number of passengers being transported in a city bus, there are a number of different ways that people are injured in a bus accident. If a bus collides with or crashes into another car, then the car driver is likely to be injured in the accident.

If a city bus gets into an accident, many of the passengers may fall or even injure one another as the bus moves unexpectedly. Because of the nature of public transportation, passengers are not usually seat-belted for extra safety. Many people inside are likely to suffer injuries in the event of a collision. In cases where a bus actually flips, there may even be severe injuries and fatalities.

Usually, the most tragic bus accidents occur when the bus strikes a pedestrian in the street or on the sidewalk. These pedestrians are likely to suffer severe injury or death.

If you or someone you love has been injured or died in any of the bus accidents described above, a number of people may be liable for their injury or death. You may be eligible to receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages, wrongful death, and a number of other qualified damages in a personal injury claim. 

For more information about how an Indiana attorney can help you with your city bus accident case, contact Stewart & Stewart Attorneys at 800-333-3529 or visit our website.a


How Will a Motor Vehicle Accident Affect My Insurance?

February 03, 2020

It is no secret that those who have not been in any traffic accidents in many years (or not at all) can find great insurance premiums. Still, some are concerned about how an accident will affect their vehicle insurance payments.

Understanding how insurance works can help you pick a plan that works best for you. Choosing a plan carefully can help you strike a reasonable balance between paying less each month and protecting yourself financially after a major accident.

Determining Who Is at Fault for the Accident

Indiana is an at-fault state, meaning police will draft a report naming the party at fault. While insurance will take the police report into account, they will hold a separate investigation with a claims adjuster in order to determine which insurance company must pay for injuries and damage to property.

In some cases, the police and/or the insurance company may distribute fault comparably. This means that there is enough negligence in more than one party to declare each one at fault comparably, or by percentage.

Accidents that involve property damage may remain on your driving record for up to three years. If the police determined that you violated traffic laws resulting in an accident, the citation will also go on your record and have a greater negative impact. Both can also have negative effects on your insurance.

Your Insurance Could Change

If you are accident-prone, your insurance will cost more. Without accident forgiveness on your policy, insurance companies are permitted to increase your premium if you are involved in an accident (whether or not you were at fault). 

It is more likely that your insurance will increase premiums if you are found at fault for an accident. That being said, you may or may not see an increase in your insurance if the other driver’s insurance company claims responsibility.

How Accident Forgiveness Works

Many insurance companies offer their customers accident forgiveness. This is typically an extra charge that keeps your insurance premiums from increasing should you be involved in a car accident. Depending on the insurance company, the accident forgiveness is usually a small, extra charge that makes it a reasonable upgrade to keep insurance premiums from rising in the event of another vehicle accident.

Insurance Claim Limits

If you or someone you love is involved in a major car accident, regardless of who was at fault, damages can exceed insurance limits and leave you to pay the balance of bills owed. For example, if the cost of repairing/replacing your car after an accident exceeds $25,000 (the Indiana state liability minimum), you are liable for anything over $25,000. 

For this reason, many people increase their insurance liability amount so they don’t get stuck paying for extra costs in the wake of an accident. While this will protect you financially after an accident, it also means that your insurance will cost you more.

Injuries Suffered from the Accident

Injuries after an accident prove even more difficult when it comes to insurance payouts. Any significant injuries can easily cost more than the state minimum injury liability of $25,000 per person. 

If you or someone you love is injured in a traffic accident, and the other driver was found at fault, you may be eligible for compensation in a personal injury lawsuit beyond what that driver’s insurance will provide. 

That said, of greater concern than your rising premium should be the cost of injuries after a traffic accident. It is important that you consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your accident.

For more information about how an Indiana attorney can help you with your motor vehicle accident case, contact Stewart & Stewart Attorneys at 800-333-3529 or visit our website.


What Can I Do After Injury or Overdose Caused by Opioids?

January 21, 2020

If you have an addiction or experienced an injury or overdose caused by opioids, know that you are not alone. The CDC reports, “In 16% of U.S. counties, enough opioid prescriptions were dispensed for every person to have one.” Not only have opioids been used as the “go-to” drug for pain management, drug manufacturers intentionally withheld addiction risks from doctors and patients. The results have been staggering, particularly in Indiana where patients had been prescribed opioid drugs 26% more than the national average. And with well over half of drug overdose deaths arising from opioids, millions of patients and their families are suffering from the crisis. If you or someone you love has been injured as a result of prescription opioid use, here are the steps you need to take.

If the Patient Is Alive After an Overdose, Seek Medical Attention Immediately

After learning about the incident, you or someone on the scene should call an ambulance immediately. Overdose injuries often lead to death or brain damage if not treated as soon as possible.

Examine All Prescription Medications

Occasionally, doctors prescribe drugs that are either incompatible or double up on a particularly potent drug or ingredient. If your loved one is taking multiple prescription medications from two or more different prescribing doctors, chances are that active ingredients in the drugs or supplements are reacting negatively. After discovering that a combination of medications harmed a patient, loved ones should consult the patient’s primary care physician immediately to resolve the prescription issue. Additionally, the surviving patient and family members should speak with a medical malpractice attorney to see if the doctors violated any laws in prescribing the medications.

Look for Alternative Pain Management Solutions

While opioids are known to treat pain, the risks far outweigh the benefits. It does no good to be free from pain only to overdose down the road. At the same time, the pain can be so intense that it hardly seems worth living unless the pain can be managed effectively. Thankfully, there are other alternatives to opioid prescriptions. Anyone needing to treat severe pain should always consult their doctor, and doctors can assist patients with alternatives if they express an unwillingness to take opioids.

Here are some of the leading pain management alternatives to opioid prescription medication:

  • Non-opioid Medications (such as aspirin or acetaminophen)
  • Acupuncture
  • Corrective Surgery (if applicable)
  • Biofeedback Therapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Radiofrequency Ablation
  • Pain Pumps
  • SCS (spinal cord stimulation)
  • Nerve-blocking Injections
  • Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation

While some of the solutions above have worked well, they do not work for everyone. You or your loved one may have to try a couple different options before finding the best solution.

If your doctor recommends a non-opioid drug as an alternative, make sure that the prescription will not conflict with any other medications you are already taking. You should also be wary of the fact that most pain-killing drugs can become an addiction, even if that addiction is less dangerous than opioid addiction.

Talk to a Drug Injury Attorney

The reality is that some doctors are not careful when it comes to prescribing drugs, especially where chronic health conditions and pain are involved. If you believe a doctor was negligent in how they treated you or your loved one, you may be eligible for compensation in a medical malpractice lawsuit. One should know that when it comes to personal injury claims, such as medical malpractice, there is a 2-year statute of limitations from the time of injury, and exceptions to the 2-year rule are rare. In recent times, it has become more and more apparent that many opioid manufacturers have intentionally withheld information regarding the dangers of opioid use, resulting in a national opioid addiction epidemic. These manufacturers deserve to be brought to justice, and patients and their families deserve compensation for pain and suffering. For more information about how an Indiana drug injury attorney can help you with your case, contact Stewart & Stewart Attorneys at 800-333-3529 or visit our website.


My Loved One Was Prescribed Opioids and Became Addicted—Can I Sue?

January 15, 2020

If you have suffered as a result of someone you love becoming addicted to prescription opioid drugs, you and your family may be eligible for compensation. The first thing you should do is discuss your case with a drug injury attorney so they can advise you on the next steps to take.

In the past, doctors have prescribed opioids in an attempt to help their patients manage their pain, but opioid manufacturing companies withheld information that could have highlighted the risk of addiction to doctors and patients.

The Opioid Epidemic in the US

Thankfully, opioid prescriptions have decreased by 30% in the United States since 2012 when over 80% of prescriptions involved opioids in an effort to treat chronic pain. Still, over 1/3 of opioid deaths occur as a result of an addiction that began as an opioid prescription by a doctor. This issue is especially serious for Americans 65 and older as they are often prescribed opioids by their doctors to treat severe chronic pain. Countless patients and their families have been affected by addiction that started out as a prescribed medication. However, doctors and their patients are now better understanding the risks and looking for safer ways to treat chronic pain.

The Fight Against Opioid Use in Indiana

Due to the unique opioid crisis in the state of Indiana, state officials have initiated lawsuits against opioid manufacturers and sellers. The mayor of Indianapolis has spoken out on the topic, saying, “The companies contributing to this [opioid] crisis have failed in their duty to be responsible gatekeepers. These potential defendants spread the false message that opioids were safe for chronic pain and not addictive.” By naming opioid drug manufacturers as “potential defendants,” the mayor indicated that legal action is clearly necessary, both for state lawmakers as well as the patients and families who were affected. Government officials hope to force manufacturers to own their product liability and see fewer opioid addictions and overdoses in the state.

Holding Opioid Manufacturers Accountable

Those being prescribed opioids should talk to their doctor about alternative treatments that are less likely to end in drug addiction and/or overdose. At the same time, drug manufacturers are obligated to properly warn doctors and users of the dangers and possible side effects.

Product manufacturers that allow their products to harm users are liable for injury, both through a failure to warn customers and possible product defects. These charges and more may be made in your opioid addiction case. If you or someone you love has developed an addiction after being prescribed opioid medication, you must speak with a drug injury attorney right away.

Those who file a lawsuit against opioid manufacturers could receive compensation for medical bills, funeral expenses, and damages for pain and suffering. For more information about how a drug injury attorney in Indianapolis can help you with your case, contact Stewart & Stewart Attorneys at 800-333-3529 or visit our website.


5 Common Places for Slip & Fall Accidents

December 27, 2019

Slip and fall accidents can happen anytime and anywhere. Here is our list of the top five common places that slip and fall accidents occur.

1. Work

Slip and fall injuries occur most frequently on the job. This is especially true for manual labor jobs that make frequent use of scaffolding, ladders, and/or heavy equipment. Not only are employers expected to enforce regulations that keep the workplace as safe as possible, but those who are injured at work are also entitled to worker’s compensation.

In more extreme cases where an employer’s negligence created a hazard that should not have existed, or when an employer tries to intimidate their employees from claiming worker’s compensation, there may be cause to file a claim against the employer. If you or someone you love has suffered due to employer negligence and/or intimidation, you should speak with a worker’s compensation attorney right away.

2. Stairs and Escalators

In a 2017 study, experts found that stair injuries have increased by over 20% since 1996. Hospital emergency staff also point to escalator mishaps as contributing to a significant number of slip and fall injuries.

Property owners are responsible for maintaining stairs and escalators. Most importantly, they are responsible for warning and roping off any stairs/escalators in disrepair until such hazards are addressed. When invitees (such as customers or invited visitors) injure themselves in a slip and fall as a result of hazardous conditions on stairs or escalators, the property manager assumes premises liability and may be forced to compensate the injured party in a personal injury claim.

3. Ice on Sidewalks and Parking Lots

During winter, Indiana can see its fair share of snow and ice. For businesses, they must take extra care to make sure that all pedestrian areas are reasonably clear of snow and ice. If a jury finds that a commercial property owner failed to address snow and/or ice conditions in a reasonable amount of time before the slip and fall accident occurred, that owner will be required to pay damages to the injured party.

For other issues pertaining to “winter liability,” there is no clear standard wherein property owners are tried. However, many victims of a slip and fall injury as a result of ice/snow have successfully taken their personal injury case to court and won. If you or someone you love has been injured in a slip and fall case as a result of snow/ice, it is best you consult a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

4. Restaurants

More so than other types of business, restaurants can be hotbeds for slip and fall accidents. Not only do customers roam the aisles, but the servers are often moving about quickly while holding drinks and food. When food and liquids spill onto the floor, the establishment must address the spill right away and post warning signs if the floor remains slippery. Failure to address these hazards can result in slip and fall injuries that may end in a personal injury lawsuit.

5. Assisted Living and Nursing Homes

Slip and fall injuries at assisted living and nursing homes abound. As such, any licensed facility must meet rigorous demands in order to protect elderly residents and visitors from injuring themselves accidentally. Due to the frequency with which residents are reportedly falling and injuring themselves, it is not always the fault of the facility (or the facility’s staff).

However, if the facility and/or its staff fail to meet industry regulations and provide reasonable care to patients, that facility may be liable for slip and fall injuries to their patients in a personal injury claim.

For more information about how an Indiana attorney can help you with your slip and fall accident case, contact Stewart & Stewart Attorneys at 800-333-3529 or visit our website.


How is Fault Determined If There Are Multiple Vehicles Involved in an Accident?

December 19, 2019

In a vehicle accident that involves only one or two vehicles, it is pretty simple to determine who was at fault. However, in a multi-car pileup, it is not always clear who was ultimately or partially responsible. 

Determining At-Fault Driver or Drivers

Every motorist in Indiana is expected to exercise a reasonable “duty of care” with regard to traffic laws and defensive driving.  

In some cases, expectations of driver responsibility can be higher. For example, drivers with limitations that could impair driving are expected to compensate for those limitations or not drive at all. Similarly, car drivers are expected to be extremely vigilant when looking out for pedestrians and motorcyclists, due to the fact that that pedestrians or motorcyclists may be harder to see and are less protected when involved in a car accident. Lastly, commercial truck drivers are expected to exercise even greater care since their larger vehicles pose a greater risk of injury in the event of an accident. 

After a multi-car accident, any driver(s) discovered to have been negligent may be faulted for the accident. Police officers that respond to the scene typically examine damage to vehicles and the area where the accident occurred. They will also take statements from anyone involved or who witnessed the accident.

In the state of Indiana, more than one driver can be faulted for the accident. Particularly in a multi-car pileup, there are sometimes a few drivers who were not exercising an appropriate level of care to prevent the accident.

Indiana Is a Comparative Negligence State

What is Comparative Negligence?

In the event that more than one driver is faulted for the accident, Indiana applies fault on a sliding scale, meaning that they assign each at fault driver a percentage of negligence. For example, Driver A was deemed 50% at fault, while Drivers B and C are deemed 20% and 30% at fault respectively. 

If you or someone you love was injured in a car accident that involved multiple vehicles and found at fault for less than 50%, you should consider filing a personal injury claim against the other drivers.

Insurance Liability vs. Negligence in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

In most situations, an Indiana police report names the at fault driver (or drivers), files a report, and each at fault party’s insurance assumes their percentage of liability. When a driver’s insurance company accepts liability for the accident, then they agree to pay for damages according to the driver’s policy stipulations.

If you or someone you know was injured in an accident, and the other driver’s insurance has claimed liability, insurance claim limits may keep you from receiving full compensation for your medical bills. Additionally, if there were lost wages and other damages, the at-fault driver’s insurance may not be set up to pay those bills either.

In that case, you may be eligible to seek compensation for those bills and damages in a personal injury lawsuit. Typically, once the at fault party (or parties) have been named, the same fault is applied in the courtroom. This is provided, of course, that you and your attorney are able to demonstrate that your injuries and damages are directly linked to the accident.

However, there are cases where a police report faults one driver, and the insurance adjusters attempt to fault another driver instead. Insurance companies will conduct their own investigation and may discover things that they believe the police missed. It is important that you follow-up with the police report that was filed after your accident, and that you provide as much evidence as possible to your own insurance company to prove that the other driver was at fault.

For more information about how an Indiana attorney can help you with your motor vehicle accident case, contact Stewart & Stewart Attorneys at 800-333-3529 or visit our website.


3 Things to Know When Filing a Claim After an Auto Accident

December 13, 2019

If you or someone you love has been injured in an auto accident, here are three things you should know before filing a claim.

There is a Difference Between an Insurance Claim and a Personal Injury Claim

When it comes to personal injury lawsuits and insurance claims, the terminology surrounding the word “claim” can be confusing. After an accident, it is important that you get your insurance company involved as soon as possible. It is their job to help you seek compensation for damage to your vehicle and any medical bills.

 However, if your injuries (and the injuries of your passengers) exceed claims limits, you may be liable for those costs. Depending upon the severity of damage and injuries, these costs could end up being tens of thousands of dollars beyond claim limits.

Insurance Claims Limits

In Indiana, insurance liability minimums are on the low side at $25,000 per person (up to $50,000 total). If your injuries end up costing you $60,000, then, after insurance pays for $25,000 of your medical bills, you will still be left with another $35,000 to pay on your own. 

Indiana requires drivers to carry uninsured/underinsured (UI/UDI) coverage to deal with situations where the other driver doesn’t have insurance. However, there are also claims limits for UI/UDI coverage as well.

 That’s why it may be in your best interest to file a personal injury claim after a car accident. If the other driver is at fault for the accident (and hence, your injuries), then you will be able to seek compensation for damages. These damages include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

Personal Injury Claim Process

Many people injured in an auto accident reach their insurance claims limits and seek additional compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. Much of the evidence you will need has already been supplied to your insurance company. Additionally, the responding police officer will have drafted an accident report naming the other driver as the at-fault party.

You will need to demonstrate the costs of your injuries, which would include medical bills, transportation costs, lost wages from missing work, and even emotional trauma you suffered as a result of the accident. If you are considering a personal injury lawsuit, it is important that you seek assistance from an experienced personal injury attorney to help you file your claim.

A filed claim signals your intent to sue the at-fault party. The other person has an opportunity to respond before the discovery process takes place. If the at-fault party belongs to a commercial truck company, the employing company usually offers you a settlement to prevent the claim from going to trial. Your personal injury attorney will be able to advise you on whether or not it is in your best interest to accept a settlement.

There is an Indiana Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury Claims After a Car Accident

As with any personal injury claim, you must file your claim within two years of the accident and subsequent injuries. While there are exceptions to this statute of limitations, they are rare and unlikely. It is vital that you seek medical attention immediately following an accident and leave yourself time to file a personal injury claim should it be necessary. 

Indiana is a Comparative Negligence State

Comparative negligence means that both (or all) parties were at fault for the accident. Driver 1 may have been going too fast while Driver 2 merged without signaling. In this kind of scenario, each driver will be faulted for a certain percentage of the accident. This approach of comparative negligence is usually considered in some insurance claims as well as in personal injury claims.

If you were assigned fault of 50% or more for the accident, then you are not eligible to receive compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. If you were less than 50% at fault, but more than 0%, then whatever damages would have been awarded to you are simply decreased by the percentage for which you were at fault. For example, if you were at fault for 20% of the accident and total damages amounted to $50,000, then you would be awarded $50,000 minus 20%, which is $40,000.

For more information about how an Indiana attorney can help you with your car accident case, contact Stewart & Stewart Attorneys at 800-333-3529 or visit our website.


How Can I Get My Motor Vehicle Accident Report?

December 09, 2019

After a car crash, it is typical that all involved drivers want a copy of the accident report. Police officers on the scene take statements, declare who was at fault, and then file their report later on that day or within a week. 

That being said, the paperwork that Indiana police officers give to involved drivers on the scene is NOT the vehicle accident report. It does, however, contain each driver’s contact and insurance info, along with a report number. These details are crucial and should be passed on to your insurance company to file a claim. You can also use the report number to locate your vehicle accident report online.

When Motor Vehicle Accidents Must be Reported

It is highly recommended that you always contact the police after a vehicle accident. However, it is legal to not report the accident as long as there were no injuries and property damage amounted to less than $1,000.

Sometimes, though, it can be difficult to know the costs of damage to property in the wake of an accident, so it’s always important to report the accident to the authorities.

How Indiana Accident Reports Work

The state of Indiana partners with BuyCrash.com to help drivers access their vehicle accident reports. Indiana state drivers should first visit IN.gov (see here) and select the button “Request Your Vehicle Crash Report Online.”

Non-Indiana drivers involved in a motor vehicle accident while traveling through Indiana would essentially need to follow the same instructions demonstrated in this article. All Indiana police reports following an accident are uploaded the same way.

Guide to Using BuyCrash.com

After selecting the button “Request Your Vehicle Crash Report Online,” your browser will redirect you to BuyCrash.com. Since BuyCrash.com supports many state and municipality reports, you must first select Indiana from the “Start Search” dropdown menu.

Those looking for Indiana Vehicle Crash Reports are then redirected to the Indiana page on BuyCrash.com. You may choose to either enter the report number (which should be listed on the paperwork the police gave you on the scene) or search via your name, plus the date or police department that issued the report.

After entering the correct information, select your report from the results page and follow the instructions for delivery and checkout. The cost to retrieve your report can vary. 

If you wish to avoid the online fees altogether, you may try speaking directly with the police department that filed the report. However, it is not guaranteed that the reporting agency will agree to give you your report.

Indiana is an At-Fault State: What Does That Mean?

Indiana police officers who arrive on the scene must take statements from the drivers and declare a party at fault in the accident. If you were in an accident where the other driver was found at fault by the police, it is vital that you request a copy of the vehicle accident report and submit it to your insurance company. Though this does not necessarily guarantee that the other driver’s insurance company will accept liability, it does carry a lot of weight.

In some cases, Indiana may declare comparable at fault. That is, more than one driver is partially at fault for the accident. This would have an effect upon rulings in a personal injury lawsuit where one party seeks damages from the other party as a result of injuries and property loss after the accident.

For more information about how an Indiana attorney can help you with your car accident case, contact Stewart & Stewart at 800-333-3529 or visit our website.


Do I Need Special Insurance If I Drive Both a Car and a Motorcycle?

November 25, 2019

In short, the answer is that you need to meet state minimum insurance requirements for both your car and your motorcycle. Both vehicles must also be registered with the Indiana Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) before you are permitted to drive them.

Vehicle Insurance

Before you can register your car or motorcycle, you must have the proper insurance for each vehicle. Every driver will need to bring proof of insurance to their local DMV. Here is a quick rundown of minimum insurance requirements. A licensed insurance agent can help with making sure a vehicle will have appropriate insurance.

For a car, the minimum insurance requirements are as follows:

  •       Liability coverage for injuries to first person: $25,000
  •       Liability coverage for injuries to additional persons: $50,000
  •       Liability coverage for property damage: $25,000
  •       Uninsured or underinsured coverage (in case the other driver is uninsured or underinsured): $50,000

For a motorcycle, the minimum insurance requirements are as follows:

  •       Liability coverage for injuries to first person: $25,000
  •       Liability coverage for injuries to additional persons: $50,000
  •       Liability coverage for property damage: $10,000
  •       Uninsured or underinsured coverage: $50,000

Drivers can often save money each month by bundling insurance plans for multiple vehicles with the same company. It is important to keep in mind that the cost of many accidents can exceed the above coverage limits. Additionally, should a vehicle become harmed or destroyed in an incident other than a traffic accident, drivers won’t likely be covered unless they have proper comprehensive coverage.

For those reasons (and more), many choose to carry insurance coverage for both their car and motorcycle that exceeds state minimum requirements.

Vehicle Registration

In Indiana, drivers must register cars and/or motorcycles within two months of purchase or moving from out of state. If purchasing either vehicle from a dealership, sellers may be able to handle vehicle registration directly with the DMV on their customers’ behalf. Buyers should confirm this before assuming vehicle registration has been completed.

In order to obtain car registration, vehicle owners must complete a VIN inspection, present a valid driver’s license, and be prepared to complete an emissions inspection within two years of registering (an emissions inspection will need to be completed every other year to retain your vehicle’s registration). Be sure to bring the car title (or if held by the auto lender, proof of ownership such as the lien agreement), proof of residency and proof of insurance.

For motorcycle registration, drivers must complete a VIN inspection, as well as have a valid motorcycle driver’s license. Additionally, proof of home address (residency), proof of social security number and proof of the state’s motorcycle insurance minimum liability and uninsured/underinsured coverage is required. Currently, the cost for registering a motorcycle in Indiana is less than $30 before taxes.

For more information about how an Indiana attorney can help you with your motorcycle accident case, contact Stewart & Stewart Attorneys at 800-333-3529 or visit our website.