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.



What to Do If You’re at Fault for a Motorcycle Crash

November 18, 2019

Because motorcyclists are far more likely to become fatally injured in a crash, getting into an accident with a motorcycle can be extremely frightening. Everyone’s first priority should be making sure that any injured drivers receive medical attention.

However, in the aftermath of the accident, you may be accused of being the one responsible for the accident, especially if the motorcyclist was badly injured. If you’ve been found at fault for a motorcycle crash, here are some things you need to know.

Speak as Little as Possible

In the moments during and after the accident, what you say can be used against you or even twisted by witnesses. Therefore, say as little as possible while you exchange insurance information with the other driver. Let the responding police officers do their job of taking statements.

Gather Your Own Evidence

While on the scene, you should take pictures of the scene of the crash, including the damage to all vehicles involved. Record information that could demonstrate that the motorcycle driver could have been negligent.

Inform Your Insurance Company

As soon as you are able, contact your insurance provider and give them the necessary details of the accident. If your insurance company unfairly finds you at fault, you should challenge their decision.

Talk to an Attorney

After seeking medical attention, nothing is more important in the aftermath of a motorcycle crash than talking to a personal injury attorney. They will be able to help you deal with your insurance company, the other driver’s insurance company, and possible personal injury lawsuits that may be filed against you later.

Understanding Negligence

In a typical motorcycle accident case, the injured motorcyclist will claim that the vehicle driver was negligent. The reasoning is that because motorcyclists are less protected on the roads, vehicle operators must exercise greater care while sharing the road with motorcyclists. 

However, this isn’t always the case. Your motorcycle accident attorney will review the evidence to see what other factors contributed to the accident. Gathering your own evidence that demonstrates other drivers’ (including the motorcycle driver) negligence could be crucial in the event of a personal injury lawsuit.

Understanding the “Reasonable” Standard in Negligence

When discussing negligence in a personal injury case, the overarching concern is whether or not both parties exercised reasonable care and took sensible steps to avoid a crash. It is possible that neither party did the “reasonable” thing in an accident, particularly if someone intentionally caused the accident to seek damages in a personal injury lawsuit.

No-Contact Motorcycle Crash

If a motorcycle driver sees that a crash is about to take place, they may put the bike down in order to minimize damage and injuries. These crashes are known as no-contact crashes. In a no-contact crash, the vehicle driver may still be found at fault for injury and property damage sustained by the motorcyclist. Therefore, if you or someone you love was involved in a no-contact accident with a motorcycle driver, you should speak with a personal injury attorney with experience in motorcycle accidents.

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


3 Tips for Choosing the Right Indianapolis Car Accident Attorney

November 05, 2019

If you were injured in a car accident, you should start working with a personal injury attorney right away. You may be eligible for compensation for medical bills and more. Here are three tips to help you find the right attorney for your case.

Check Years of Experience

First, the attorney that you select to help you with your car accident case should have a thorough understanding of Indiana traffic laws. The top car accident attorneys know how unique each car accident can be. They will be able to spot and address each crucial nuance involved in your case.

Second, your attorney should have a good intuition when it comes to investigating. That is, knowing the right questions to ask, the right evidence to collect, and even the right attitude during the discovery phase of personal injury claims. Gathering evidence and testimonies can be tedious. Good attorneys know how to prioritize their investigation and get key evidence fast.

Third, a skilled car accident attorney will feel at ease in high-pressure situations, including depositions or jury trials. They are not easily discouraged or intimidated by changing circumstances or strong opposition.

Research Fee Structure

While the standard fee structure for personal injury is around 30% of awarded damages, some car accident attorneys may charge more. An attorney that charges more may or may not be worth the extra cost. However, in many cases, attorneys with the highest amount of experience and success charge more because their clients tend to win more.

On the flip side, just because a car accident attorney charges less than someone else doesn’t mean the attorney lacks the experience or ability to get the job done. Either way, you should definitely examine the firm or attorney’s fee structure in addition to the track record to get a better idea of whether or not those fees are worth the investment.

Establish Trust

A qualified attorney will need to know all the details of your car accident case. As such, you need to feel that you can trust the attorney you choose. An attorney who makes you feel small and insignificant may not inspire the honesty and courage your personal injury claim will require of you.

Additionally, car accident lawsuits can be a long and arduous process. Those who remain patient are the ones who win their cases and receive compensation for damages. Furthermore, the best attorneys will help you manage your expectations for the long journey ahead so that you do not feel misinformed or alone.

Attorneys who build a strong relationship with their clients will remain in contact with them, providing regular updates and making sure that their clients’ questions and concerns are addressed at all times. You need to feel that your personal injury attorney is deeply invested in your case, even while they juggle other cases. The right attorney will make sure that you know you are a priority to them. 

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



What Should I Do If I Get Into a Truck Accident in Indiana?

October 31, 2019

In the United States, accidents involving commercial vehicles typically cause more damage and injury than a routine car accident. Because of the many risks associated with large trucks on the road, Indiana traffic law takes truck accidents very seriously. If you are involved in a truck accident in Indiana, you should take the following steps.

Call the Police

Regardless of the extent of damage or injuries, you should call the police. They can file an official report holding responsible parties accountable. This report is an important aspect of a personal injury claim.

Request an Ambulance If There Are Injuries

The law requires that non-injured parties in a vehicle accident immediately tend to the care of injured parties. If someone has been injured, make sure to request an ambulance while on the phone with 911.

If possible, move those who are injured from the scene to a safe place. However, if it appears that the injured party has suffered a head or spine injury, do not attempt to move them. Once the emergency response team arrives, they will handle the patient in a way that will not further aggravate the injuries.

Collect Names and Contact Info from Involved Parties

If you are able, get names and contact information from all who witnessed the accident. Should you file a personal injury claim, your attorney will need to speak with them.

Make sure to note if anyone noticed any unusual behavior in the other drivers involved. Anyone exhibiting signs of sleep deprivation or drunkenness should be reported to the responding police officers at the scene.

Collect Insurance, Driver’s License Info, and UDOT Numbers from the Involved Parties

In order for you and the other drivers to receive compensation for damages or injuries caused by the accident, you will need one another’s information. This includes information proving that the drivers involved have a valid driver’s license and insurance coverage for the state of Indiana. If truck drivers were involved, make sure to get their UDOT numbers.

Take Pictures of the Scene

If you can, take photos of the scene of the accident. Focus on the damage to your car, as well as damage to property around the scene where the accident took place. Additionally, take pictures of license plate numbers. Make sure to also take pictures of any injuries once the injured parties have been tended to.

Contact Your Insurance Company

As soon as you are able, contact your car insurance provider to file a claim. In the days following the accident, you may be contacted by insurance adjusters from the other drivers’ insurance companies. Decline to speak with them. Simply deal directly with your insurance company and your attorney.

Talk to a Truck Accident Attorney

The aftermath of an accident involving a commercial truck can be complex. Because several companies may be liable for the accident, they will all try to make the case that the other drivers (namely you) were at fault for the accident. Therefore, you should talk to a truck accident attorney right away. They will be able to advise you on your next steps.

Additionally, if you or someone you love was injured in an accident, you may be eligible for compensation. These damages include medical expenses, cost of ongoing treatment, damage to property, and even emotional losses sustained as a result of the accident.

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


Is There a Statute of Limitations for a Motor Vehicle Accident Claim?

October 25, 2019

In the state of Indiana, personal injury claims for motor vehicle accidents have a two-year statute of limitations from the date of the accident. 

What Is a Statute of Limitations?

In personal injury law, a statute of limitations is the time limit in which the plaintiff (the individual suing for damages) may file a claim for a personal injury lawsuit. Individuals suing the responsible party for damages must do so within the statute of limitations, or else they risk losing an opportunity to seek compensation.

Those injured in a car accident must seek medical assistance as soon as possible to determine the extent of the injuries. Waiting too long could result in Indiana courts dismissing the claim since it is more likely that any injuries were caused by events after the car accident.

What Are Some Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations?

There are some exceptions to the standard two-year statute of limitations. However, most exceptions actually shorten the time frame rather than extend it. Here are a few examples:

  • Individuals who seek to hold an Indiana government organization responsible for injuries and property damage are allowed a nine-month statute of limitations from the date of the car accident.
  • Individuals who seek to hold an Indiana city or county responsible for damages in a car accident case are allowed only a six-month statute of limitations.
  • Minors are not allowed to file a personal injury claim for themselves. Therefore, they are allowed a two-year statute of limitations from the date of their 18th birthday.

While there have been rare exceptions granted to plaintiffs seeking damages after the standard statute of limitations, most people who attempt to file a personal injury claim late often see their case dismissed by Indiana courts.

What Is Involved with Filing a Personal Injury Claim?

When filing a personal injury claim after a car accident, Indiana courts grant the defendant (the individual or organization you claim to be at fault for the accident) an opportunity to respond to the claim.

If the defendant does not admit guilt, then your attorney will begin building your case. Both sides proceed to gather evidence through the discovery phase before taking your personal injury case to court.

Most personal injury lawsuits take anywhere from six months to three years in the state of Indiana. Because of the length of time it may take to defend their case, as well as court costs, many defendants make a settlement offer to the plaintiff early on in the process. 

Is It a Good Idea to Accept a Settlement Offer?

Not all settlement offers are fair. That’s why you should allow a personal injury attorney to guide you through the process. They will be able to advise you whether it is in your best interest to take the settlement or to settle your case in the courtroom.

Your entire personal injury case doesn’t need to be resolved within the two-year statute of limitations. It is only required that you file your intent to sue (known as your complaint) within the statute of limitations.

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



What Happens If I Get into an Accident in a Rental Car?

September 24, 2019

Most of us know what to do when our vehicle is involved in a car accident. However, the steps to follow may not be quite so clear if we get into an accident driving a rental car.

For the most part, many of the same things apply in a rental car as they do for your personal vehicle. For example, you will want to make sure that anyone injured is being taken care of, or that an ambulance is on the way to assist.

You will also want to make sure to move your rental car out of the way of traffic, take pictures of the damage, exchange information with the other driver, call the police, request an accident report and, if feasible, take down names and contact information of any witnesses present.

The At-Fault Party

As with any car accident, the at-fault party will be held responsible. Therefore, the at-fault driver’s insurance is required to cover the cost of the rental car’s repairs. The same holds true for any injuries resulting from the car accident. Whether or not you feel injured at the time of the accident, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible so that a doctor can confirm that you are okay.

It’s important to note that frequently the costs associated with car accident injuries exceed auto insurance caps. If this is the case, it is important to speak with a personal injury attorney right away. You may be eligible for compensation for any medical bills, lost wages and damages incurred in an auto accident. Even if you were injured while driving a rental car, if the other driver’s negligence caused your injuries, it may be in your best interest to initiate a personal injury claim.

Sometimes, the at-fault party is uninsured. That’s why it is important for every driver to carry uninsured/underinsured insurance. While Indiana requires a minimum of $50,000 for uninsured/underinsured insurance, car accident injury costs can easily exceed that amount. Talk to your insurance provider to see if it is a good idea to add more coverage.

Substitute Vehicle Coverage

Before renting a vehicle, it is important to confirm with your regular car insurance provider that you have substitute vehicle coverage. This will ensure that any rental vehicle you book has the same coverage as your personal vehicle.

Using the Rental Company’s Insurance

Even if personal insurance offers substitute vehicle coverage, it may be worth considering adding the rental company’s insurance options. This could protect you from having to pay large deductibles to your own insurance company in the event of an accident. Additionally, rental car insurance can keep your regular insurance premiums from spiking as a result of an accident.

Adding a Collision Damage/Loss Waiver

Occasionally, rental car companies are not able to rent out vehicles involved in accidents because they have to be repaired. To cover these costs, rental car and insurance companies offer damage and loss waivers to drivers. Without the waiver, the rental car company may try to hold drivers responsible for loss of revenue while the car is being fixed (this is known as “loss of use”). This may include charging a daily fee for the vehicle while it remains under repair. Fees can be as high as the normal rental rate.

Many people who have substitute vehicle coverage with their own insurance providers opt to take the collision damage waiver (CDW) or collision loss waiver (CLW) for the reasons described above. However, many recommend that drivers avoid taking the additional coverage of CDW/CLW. It is best to consult with your own insurance company before accepting or declining CDW/CLW coverage.

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


Truck Accidents 101: Laws in Indiana

September 17, 2019

On average, 3,000 to 5,000 people die each year in vehicle accidents involving trucks. Over three-fourths of those injured in a truck accident are not truck drivers. In spite of stringent federal and Indiana state regulations, commercial vehicles remain the most deadly cause of fatal accidents in the country.

Indiana State Regulations

In the state of Indiana, the Motor Carrier Services Division (MCS) of the Department of Revenue (DOR) monitor and enforce commercial trucking laws and regulations.

The size and weight of the average truck pose a serious threat to the safety of non-commercial drivers. As such, all truck drivers must have an adequate amount of rest and steer clear of any substances that may impair their state of mind. These substances include alcohol, illegal drugs, and prescription drugs.

Additionally, those in charge of loading commercial trucks must adequately distribute the weight in a way that does not prohibit the driver from being able to maneuver the vehicle.

Lastly, not all roads allow commercial trucks. They must adhere to state traffic regulations, which restrict them to roads that give them adequate space.

Federal Regulations

Many federal regulations are similar to those in the state of Indiana. However, when injuries occur in a truck accident, the most strict laws will bear greater authority in a personal injury lawsuit.

Federal regulations address how often a truck driver must inspect all the equipment in their vehicle. Brakes, tires, hitches, and more must meet federal requirements. Those who manufacture the equipment parts must also maintain minimum quality standards to make sure they are not endangering the truck driver and other drivers on the road.

All federal regulations pertaining to commercial vehicles are moderated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration(FMCSA) within the US Department of Transportation.

Liable Parties in Commercial Trucking

If you or someone you love is injured in a truck accident, you should speak with a personal injury attorney right away. You are entitled to compensation for your injuries, but liable parties may try to coerce you into accepting responsibility for the truck accident.

In a traditional vehicle accident, only the drivers involved are potentially liable for injuries and property damage. In a truck accident, however, several organizations and individuals may share the blame for injuries and property damage. The truck driver may be liable. Both state and federal regulations place a greater burden of care upon them, and they are required to take adequate breaks and maintain their vehicle equipment.

The company that hired the driver may also be liable. They are ultimately responsible for the negligence of their drivers. The loaders may also be liable. Whether it’s a loading company or a few individuals, they are expected to follow state and federal regulations when it comes to weight distribution. Lastly, the vehicle parts manufacturers may be liable for defective parts.

There could be as many as four different individuals or organizations that share liability for your injuries. Because each of these groups knows the gravity of the situation, companies will be eager to put the issue to rest before having to present their negligence to a courtroom.

Seeking Compensation After a Truck Accident

Speaking with an Indiana truck accident attorney will help you take on personnel representing the truck driver. Also, your attorney can help you seek compensation for hospital bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

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


Highway Safety Tips for Motorcycle Riders

September 10, 2019

In a year, nearly 15% of those killed in motor vehicle accidents are motorcyclists. Notably, a motorcycle is not as protected as other vehicles on the road, leaving riders exposed in the event of a crash. Nearly all accidents that involve a motorcyclist result in major injuries to the motorcyclist.

If you or someone you love is injured or killed in a motorcycle accident, you may be eligible for compensation if the other driver was negligent in any way. Having said that, those who ride motorcycles should exercise the following safety tips to avoid accidents or serious injury.

Always Wear a Helmet

According to Indiana State law, all motorcycle riders age 18 and under must wear a helmet. However, smart motorcycle riders of all ages wear strong helmets. Even a “fender bender” at a traffic stop can send a rider flying through the air and result in a concussion or even death. 

When shopping for a helmet, never buy used. It is best to look for helmets displaying a DOT (Department of Transportation) sticker. This means that they are best suited to withstand strong impact and protect your head from injuries in an accident.

Motorcycle riders that wear helmets are 70% less likely to suffer head injuries and nearly 50% less likely to be killed in a motorcycle accident. In contrast, riders that neglect to wear helmets can suffer brain damage as a result of a minor accident.

Never Stop Improving Your Ability to Maneuver

While motorcyclists are not structurally protected in the same way as those who drive cars, they do have one major advantage over other vehicles: they can maneuver through tight spaces and take sharper turns.

This advantage, of course, should never be used to chase danger or drive aggressively. On the contrary, becoming acquainted with the maneuverability of a motor bike can help you avoid or dodge potentially dangerous traffic situations. Make sure to select a bike that is appropriate to your skill level, and then work to improve your skills with driving courses and time on smaller roads.

Understand that Many Drivers Don’t See You and Aren’t Vigilant

Even though most laws in Indiana are there to protect motorcyclists from car driver negligence, many vehicle operators simply do not pay attention because they drive distracted. Motorcycles can fit perfectly in other cars’ blind spots. A lot of motorcyclists get hurt when they attempt an illegal pass and a car abruptly changes lanes and runs them off the road.

Avoid dangerous moves like lane splitting. Numerous motorcycle injuries have been caused by car doors opening and colliding with motorcyclists trying to cut their way through traffic.

Smart motorcycle riders drive defensively, anticipating unexpected moves from other drivers. 

Never Drink and Drive

In spite of obvious dangers when drinking and driving, nearly 30% of motorcycle deaths occur because the rider consumed alcohol. Instead of taking your motorcycle to and from parties where you suspect there will be alcohol served, take a taxi or use a ride-sharing service like Uber instead. Even better, save some money by hitching a ride with a non-drinker.

Alcohol isn’t the only substance that impairs drivers. The same goes for other drugs and medications. As mentioned above, your advantage with a motorcycle is maneuverability and other drivers are often not paying attention. Any delay to your reactivity or motor skills can mean the difference between life and death.

Ride with Safety-Conscious Motorcyclists

Another common reason motorcyclists are injured or killed in an accident is they ride with other aggressive riders. If you choose to ride in a group, make sure the other members are responsible riders. Peer pressure has shown to have a major impact on one’s approach to driving on open roads, highways, and interstates.

Smart motorcyclists know that trying to keep up with reckless motorcyclists is a recipe for disaster.

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


What is the Difference Between Veteran Disability Benefits & Social Security Disability?

August 30, 2019

The primary difference between veteran disability and social security disability is that one only serves veterans, while the other serves any citizen of the United States who qualifies for disability benefits.

The Department of Veterans Affairs administers disability ratings and payments to any veteran who suffered an injury during their time of service. In addition to taking care of service members, VA disability prevents veterans from being denied coverage for “preexisting conditions.”

The Social Security Disability Program seeks to help any eligible citizen who is physically incapable of reasonable employment. The program is also more complex than the VA disability process.

Veteran Disability Ratings

For any injuries sustained or initiated (bodily wear and tear) during a soldier, sailor, airman, or Marine’s time in service, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs assigns a disability rating for monthly payout.

Ratings are given as a percentage, both on individual injuries and as a total combination of injuries. While the rating system can be complex depending on the number of injuries and the severity of each, the final disability rating lies somewhere between 0-100%, which merits a specific benefits amount.

VA disability is an obligation from the government to assist injured veterans as long as they suffer from injuries they endured while in military service.

A significant privilege to VA disability is the opportunity for the disabled veteran to continue earning a livable wage while receiving disability compensation. Naturally, disabled veterans are encouraged to improve their health and exercise discernment when re-entering the workforce.

Social Security Disability

Technically, social security disability is a payout on an insurance plan. If you’ve paid social security taxes (which are required), then you pay into social security benefits.

The social security administration does not assign a rating to those eligible to receive disability benefits. You either qualify for all of it or none of it.

While those eligible for social security disability compensation might be able to work some, the key is that they are unable to acquire “gainful and substantial” employment. As such, those who have qualified to receive social security benefits does not mean they magically achieve “gainful and substantial” employment while also receiving disability pay.

Specifically, those qualifying and receiving social security disability are limited in their working income to approximately $9,000 a year.

Changes in Disability Law After 2017

Prior to 2017, veterans receiving high disability ratings (usually 100%) with the VA were fast-tracked in qualifying for social security disability.

Each agency must perform its own investigation prior to awarding benefits. Before 2017, a veteran qualifying for full benefits at one agency pushed another agency to do the same.

Changes in social security regulations in 2017 allowed these agencies to work more independently. Therefore, each agency examines the evidence submitted by the other agency but may still make their own decision.

In short, as a disabled veteran, you may qualify for social security disability benefits in addition to your VA benefits. Discussing your injuries and current VA disability rating with an attorney will help you know your options and next steps to receiving adequate benefits.

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


What Can I Do If I Am Affected by Water Contamination?

August 25, 2019

With increased industries and population, there is an increase in waste and pollution. In the 21st Century, first-world countries are still fighting to make some drinking water safe for the greater population.

Even in the United States, water becomes contaminated in spite of federal regulations and the Clean Water Act. Thankfully, safety standards provide a means of holding responsible parties accountable.

With more information, you and your loved ones can take steps to find out sooner rather than later if your water is contaminated, and to seek medical assistance and justice for your injuries.

What is most important is that you seek medical attention if you are experiencing sickness. Additionally, thanks to the EPA and state-sponsored efforts, you can get your water tested and clean to prevent further injury.

The Clean Water Act (1972)

The Clean Water Act (CWA) forbids unregulated releasing of waste and pollution into any bodies of water, natural or otherwise.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s website, “Under the CWA, the EPA has implemented pollution control programs such as setting wastewater standards for the industry. They have also developed national water quality criteria recommendations for pollutants in surface waters.”

To violate EPA regulations in the CWA is to violate Federal laws that protect the drinking water of Americans.

Getting Your Water Tested

In the state of Indiana, everyone is allowed to request a drinking water test from the Indiana State Department of Health. Simply complete the order form and pay a fee of approximately $40 online.

The ISDH will send you a sterilized bottle with instructions for gathering a water sample and shipping it to the ISDH labs for testing. The state of Indiana recommends that residents test their drinking water once a year.

If your water is found to be contaminated, you can begin disinfecting your water by boiling it for at least one minute. If you are financially able, you might also consider purchasing clean water at the store until local organizations can isolate and correct the problem.

Seek Medical Treatment

If you or someone you love has been suffering from chronic health issues, and you find that your water is contaminated, you and your family should see a doctor right away. Bring with you the test results from your ISDH drinking water test so that your doctor can properly diagnose any health issues.

If you had a family member who recently passed away due to disease, that death could be connected to water contamination. Water contamination has been responsible for fatal outbreaks of pathogens, cholera, typhoid, Legionnaires disease, and more.

Statute of Limitations

After discovering that your drinking water has been contaminated, the contamination could have occurred as a result of individuals or organizations violating the Clean Water Act.

If you discover that you or someone you love has been hurt or died as a result of contaminated water, you may be eligible for compensation in a personal injury claim.

You should consult an experienced attorney to help you find out who may have been responsible for your contaminated drinking water. These individuals are also responsible for you and your family’s illnesses.

Indiana statute of limitations gives you two years to file your personal injury claim from the time that it was discovered contaminated water caused illness or death to your family.

In a personal injury case, you could be awarded compensation for medical costs, lost wages, funeral costs, and pain and suffering.

For more information about how a local Indianapolis personal injury attorney can help you with your case, contact Stewart & Stewart at 800-333-3529 or visit our website.