Avoid Auto Accidents This Winter With These Essential Tips

Winter does not officially begin for two more weeks, but we have already seen our share of dangerous driving conditions from snow and ice in Indianapolis this year. Just last week, 27 vehicles were involved in a multi-vehicle pile-up in Carmel after a wintry mix created slick driving conditions throughout central Indiana. Even the most experienced drivers can benefit from reviewing wintertime driving tips. The following tips are provided by the AAA’s Roadway Safety Exchange:

1.     Avoid driving while fatigued. Studies have shown that driving fatigued can result in driving risks similar to those who are impaired by alcohol.

2.     Never start your car in an enclosed area and let it run to warm up, like in a garage. This can create a deadly buildup of carbon monoxide, which can kill a person without warning.

3.     Always make sure your tires have enough tread and they are properly inflated.

4.     Always have about a half tank of gas in your car.

5.     Avoid using the parking break as a handbrake on snow and ice.

6.     Don’t use the cruise control function when driving on snow, ice and wet surfaces.

7.     If you lose traction on snow or ice, steer in the direction you want to go.

8.     Put your seat belt on every time you get into your vehicle.

9.     Make sure your windshield wipers are in good working condition, and your wiper fluid is topped off.

10.  Pack extra warm clothing (gloves, hats, coats, and a blanket), food, water, and emergency kit in your vehicle in the event you get stranded.

Most importantly, at any time of year, do not drive distracted! Distracted driving is deadly, especially when a driver’s ability to react is compromised by road conditions.

Contact an experienced Indianapolis car accident attorney at Pavlack Law, LLC.

If you have the unfortunate experience of being involved in a wintertime car accident, call the attorneys at Pavlack Law 317-251-1100 for a free consultation. We will see that you receive the maximum compensation allowed under Indiana law.

 

 

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Tragic School Bus Stop Accidents in Four States in the Last Week Leave 5 Children Dead and 5 Others Hospitalized

An unimaginable tragedy occurred this week in Northern Indiana when three siblings were hit and killed as they were attempting to board the school bus on their way to school. The driver of the vehicle that struck the children claims she saw the flashing lights, but did not recognize the lights as a stopped bus until it was too late. Tragically, school bus stop accidents also occurred in Mississippi, Pennsylvania, and Florida this week resulting in 2 additional deaths and 5 being hospitalized. For the safety of children everywhere, it is absolutely imperative that drivers familiarize themselves with, and follow, school bus and school zone safety laws for their states. A few simple safety tips can go a long way to keeping everyone safe:

Safety Tips for Drivers:

  • When backing out of a driveway or leaving your garage, watch out for children walking or bicycling to school or the bus stop.

  • When driving in school zones, always reduce your speed and be ready to stop quickly if necessary.

  • Be alert and watch for children playing and congregating near bus stops. They may dart quickly or be unaware of traffic.

  • Learn and obey school bus laws for your state.

  • Learn the flashing light signal system that school bus drivers use: yellow flashing lights indicate an impending stop. Drivers should slow down and be prepared to stop. Red flashing lights and extended stop arm indicate students are getting on or off the bus and motorists MUST stop. Always err on the side of stopping if you are unsure what the bus is trying to signal.

Safety Tips for Children and Parents:

  • Get to the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is expected to arrive.

  • As the bus approaches, stand at least 6 feet away from the curb where the bus expected to stop, and line up away from the street.

  • Wait until the bus stops and the driver says it is safe before approaching the bus.

  • Never walk behind the bus, and if you have to walk alongside the bus, walk at least 6 feet away.

  • If you drop something near the bus, tell the bus driver. Never pick something up off the ground near the bus because the driver may not be able to see you.

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Did You Know Indiana Has the Third-Highest Rate of Maternal Mortality in the United States?

 

Death rates in pregnant and postpartum women in the United States continue to rise, even as they continually decline in other wealthy countries. More American women are dying of pregnancy-related complications than any other developed country. In the U.S., for every 100,000 live births, 26.4 mothers will die from pregnancy related-complications. Shockingly, in Indiana this number is much worse: 43.6 deaths for every 100,000 births.

Common causes of maternal death from childbirth are preeclampsia, eclampsia, severe bleeding, infection, and complications from delivery. Most maternal deaths can be prevented if women receive quality care during pregnancy, childbirth, and in the days and weeks following delivery. An in-depth study by USA Today found that although safety measures are well developed in hospitals in the U.S., hospitals routinely fail to implement these life-saving measures.

 If you believe a loved one has suffered a preventable maternal death or trauma, contact the wrongful death attorneys at Pavlack Law, LLC for a free consultation. 317-251-1100.

 

Bird Scooter Rider Injured in Accident With Car on the Same Day Electric Scooters Return to the Streets of Indianapolis

 

Bird and Lime scooters made a return to the streets of Indianapolis on Tuesday. That very same day, a Bird scooter rider was injured when a car exiting a parking garage in downtown struck the scooter. The scooter rider was driving on the sidewalk and not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.

https://www.indystar.com/story/news/2018/09/04/bird-electric-scooter-rider-struck-injured-car-downtown-indy/1198359002/

Big Rig Blind Spot Safety

2018 has been a record year for road travel, and over 35 million people are expected to hit the road this Labor Day weekend. One of the largest dangers posed to travelers is sharing the road with big rigs. Did you know that drivers of commercial vehicles have very limited visibility due to large blind spots on all sides of their vehicles? Familiarize yourself with the blind spots around big rigs, and do your best to stay out of these “no zones” to avoid dangerous situations on the road.

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Read the following article from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for more tips on avoiding accidents with big rigs.

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/ourroads/large-blind-spots

Bird and Lime scooters are applying to return to Indianapolis. They are effecient and cost-effective, but who is liable when scooter accidents result in injury?

Electric scooters from companies like Bird and Lime are now commonplace in cities all over the country. While they only made a brief appearance in Indianapolis earlier this summer, both companies have submitted applications to return to Indy with even more scooters than before. These e-scooters are an efficient and cost-effective way to get around the city, but they also put riders and non-riders alike at the risk of injury.

Operating agreements from both companies require riders to wear helmets and always follow traffic laws, but even with these requirements, emergency rooms are seeing severe injuries caused by scooter accidents. In addition to scooter riders being at risk of injuring themselves, scooters also put pedestrians at risk. Pedestrians can be injured when they are struck by a scooter or by tripping over a scooter that has been discarded on the sidewalk.

So who pays for medical treatments and other damages following an electric scooter accident? There are many different scenarios to consider:

·      Scooter rider is injured due to a defective or malfunctioning scooter;

·      Scooter rider is injured due to negligently maintained street, pothole, etc.;

·      Driver of another vehicle is injured due to illegal or dangerous maneuvers by scooter rider;

·      Pedestrian is injured when struck by a scooter; and/or

·      Pedestrian is injured after tripping over a scooter left on the sidewalk or in an entryway.

As we see the return of Bird and Lime scooters to Indianapolis, we will no doubt also see accidents and the resulting injuries to scooter riders and pedestrians. If you have been involved in an accident, call the Indianapolis injury attorneys at Pavlack Law at 317-251-1100 for a free consultation.

 

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It is back to school time! Safety tips for children and motorists.

It is back to school time, and that means the buses will be out in force. Here are some school bus safety reminders offered by the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. Stay safe out there, kids!

School Bus Safety Tips for Children

• Help your child find the safest route to the bus stop. Review with your child the bus safety rules, stressing why they are necessary.

• Make sure that your child’s clothing and book bag do not have loose strings or straps that can be caught on the bus handrail, door, or seats.

• School bus discipline is a cooperative effort among student, parent, bus driver and principal to ensure the safety of all students. Misbehavior on a school bus is highly distracting to a driver and creates an unsafe condition.

• The bus driver merits the respect and courtesy due all school personnel. Please teach your child to obey the bus driver.

• When your children are very young, accompany them to the bus stop and meet them on their return, if possible.

• If children will be unaccompanied when they get off the bus in the afternoon, teach them the safest route to get home. Stress that they should go directly home, or to their regular after-school location, and check in with you or their other caregiver, before going anywhere else.

School Bus Safety Tips for Motorist

• As children throughout Indiana return to school, drivers will notice more school buses on the road.

• State law requires motorists to stop when a school bus is picking up or dropping off children. Watch for school buses with their stop arm extended and red lights flashing which means STOP, not “proceed with caution”.

• This law applies to all roadways except those that are divided by a physical barrier or a median.

• On a divided roadway, only vehicles traveling in the same direction as the school bus are required to stop. Extra awareness is also required in rural areas where distracted or impatient drivers often ignore school buses when children are getting on or off the bus.

• Disregarding a school bus stop signal is serious, and you can receive a traffic ticket for doing so.

• Drivers should also be aware of increased pedestrian traffic, particularly around bus stops and schools. Please remember, if your child was boarding a school bus, you would want motorists to use caution and stop.

IMPD Traffic Enforcement: 3821 Industrial Boulevard Indianapolis, Indiana 46254 Phone: (317) 327-6525 IMPD Traffic Enforcement Website: http://www.indy.gov/eGov/City/DPS/IMPD/Enforcement/Traffic/Pages/home.aspx

 

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Inmate found dead at Marion County Jail

Sadly, an investigation is underway after another Marion County Jail inmate, Brian Wickelhaus, was found unresponsive in his cell and later declared dead.

Pavlack Law has had the privilege of representing numerous families whose loved ones have died as the result of negligence while incarcerated. If you or a loved one have been injured or died as a result of jail neglect, contact the lawyers at Pavlack Law at 317-251-1100 for a free consultation to see if you have a claim.

https://fox59.com/2018/08/01/marion-county-jail-inmate-declared-dead-after-being-found-unresponsive-in-cell/

Eric Pavlack named 2018 Super Lawyer

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Pavlack Law LLC is proud to announce that Eric Pavlack has been named to the 2018 class of Super Lawyers. Super Lawyers utilizes a patented selection process based on peer review and professional achievement to annually recognize the top 5% of attorneys in each state. Eric has consistently been selected as a Super Lawyer in the state of Indiana for personal injury. Please join us in congratulating Eric for this achievement.

 

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Pavlack Law Attorney Honored at Indiana State Bar Association's Awards Luncheon

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Pavlack Law attorney Colin E. Flora was honored at the Indiana State Bar Association's Awards Luncheon held at the Conrad in Indianapolis on August 30, 2017. Colin received two awards, the Harrison Legal Writing Award (First Place) and the Donald R. Lundberg Writing Award, for his articles When, Where, and How of Piercing the Corporate Veil in Indiana and Citing Unpublished Cases in Indiana: Rules & Caselaw, respectively. The Harrison Legal Writing Award, named for the founding president of the state bar and former President of the United States, Benjamin Harrison, is presented to the top article published in Res Gestae (the journal of the ISBA) from December 2015 through May 2017. Colin previously received the Harrison Legal Writing Award (Third Place) in October 2015. The Donald R. Lundberg award commemorates the top article for the YLS Network publication.

In addition to receiving the Harrison Legal Writing Award, Colin has been invited to speak on behalf of the Business Section at the ISBA's annual meeting on the topic of piercing the corporate veil in Indiana.

Colin, who is a prolific legal writer, also has two forthcoming articles accepted for publication, one of which will be presented at the Seventeenth Annual Symposium on Legal Malpractice & Ethics in San Antonio, Texas in January.

Another Marion County Inmate Dead From Apparent Cardiac Arrest

In what is becoming a much too frequent statistic, another Marion County inmate, George Davis, passed away due to an apparent cardiac arrest. Mr. Davis was taken into custody at 2:45 p.m. on Wednesday, August 9th. Around 11:35 p.m. that evening, staff at the Arrestee Processing Center determined that Mr. Davis needed medical attention and summoned EMS. Mr. Davis was dead less than 2 hours later. 

Pavlack Law currently represents the family of a man who died at the Marion County Jail from a cardiac emergency that went untreated, in addition to several other inmates who died after failing to receive proper medical and or psychiatric care. Inmates have a constitutional right to receive the appropriate medical care while they are in custody. When law enforcement officials deny individuals this right, they can be held liable for the consequences of their actions or inactions. We must keep jails and prisons accountable for keeping inmates safe. Contact a jail wrongful death attorney at Pavlack Law now for a free and confidential consultation: 317-251-1100.

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Carmel Roundabouts Have Greatly Reduced Injury Accidents at Intersections

            Carmel, Indiana is well known for consistently showing up on lists of best places to live in small town America, but over the last decade, Carmel has also become internationally known for its expansive network of roundabouts. The main reason Carmel gravitated toward replacing traffic signals and stop signs with roundabouts is for safety purposes.  Unlike traditional traffic signals, roundabouts require drivers to reduce their speed when approaching the intersection therefore reducing the likelihood of a collision. Should a collision occur, the severity of the collision and the risk of personal injury are greatly reduced due to the lack of head-on and right angle collisions. In fact, Carmel reports that the number of injury accidents has been reduced by about 80 percent, and the number of overall accidents has been reduced by approximately 40 percent.

            On Monday, March 6, a proposed ordinance to further enhance the safety of roundabouts was submitted to the Carmel City Council. The ordinance would require drivers to use their turn signal when exiting the roundabout. Drivers not signaling their exit could face a $100 fine if the ordinance is enacted. In addition to promoting public safety, Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard said the use of turn signals would increase the efficiency of the roundabouts. The ordinance was sent to the Finance, Utilities, and Rules Committee for further analysis.

Read more about roundabout procedures and safety here:

http://www.carmel.in.gov/index.aspx?page=123

Indiana State Police and Local Law Enforcement Tip Off March Madness With Increased Patrols and Checkpoints

           In an effort to reduce automobile crashes related to dangerous or impaired driving, local law enforcement and the Indiana State Police have announced they will be increasing patrols and setting up sobriety check points in random locations throughout the month of March. Between St. Patrick’s Day festivities and the NCAA basketball tournaments, many Hoosiers will be out celebrating. According to the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI), in March 2016 there were 495 alcohol-related crashes. Sadly, eleven of those crashes resulted in fatalities.

            Crashes from impaired and dangerous driving are easily preventable. Make sure you have a plan prior to enjoying the festivities:

·      Designate a driver

·      Get an Uber or Lyft (tip: download the app well in advance of when you may need it) or take a taxi

·      If you see an impaired driver or someone driving dangerously, call 911.

Read more from the Indiana State Police regarding the March 2017 Enforcement Campaign:

http://www.in.gov/activecalendar/EventList.aspx?fromdate=2/24/2017&todate=3/9/2017&display=&type=public&eventidn=259014&view=EventDetails&information_id=259428&print=print


Eric Pavlack named 2017 Super Lawyer

Pavlack Law LLC is proud to announce that Thomson Reuters' Super Lawyers has designated Eric Pavlack as a Super Lawyer for the third consecutive year. Super Lawyers utilizes a patented selection process based on peer recognition and professional achievement to annually recognize the top 5% of attorneys in each state. Congratulations, Eric!

Indiana Supreme Court Grants Transfer In HHGregg Class Action Lawsuit

On January 19, the Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer in the matter of Dwain Underwood, et al. v. Gregg Appliances, et al. Underwood filed the case in March 2013 on behalf of himself and others similarly situated, claiming that the incentive plans received by hhgregg's managers required bonuses to be paid based on hhgregg’s annual EBITDA, which happened to include $40 million in insurance proceeds received from a key man insurance policy. hhgregg failed to pay those bonuses, claiming that the insurance proceeds should not be included when calculating bonuses, which was contrary to the express terms of the incentive plans. 

In July 2015, Marion County Superior court Judge Robert Altice, who has since been appointed to the Indiana Court of Appeals, granted summary judgment in favor of Underwood. HHGregg appealed to the Indiana Court of Appeals, which reversed Justice Altice's decision and granted summary judgment in favor of HHGregg. Pavlack Law requested that the Indiana Supreme Court grant transfer of this matter. The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer, and an oral argument is scheduled to occur on February 23rd.

Pavlack Law has been successful pursuing claims on behalf of employees in various forms of wage disputes: claims of underpayment or nonpayment of wages, failure to pay commissions, and withholding of money owed to an employee. We make the process as smooth and seamless as possible, while aggressively fighting for due compensation. To meet with an attorney who is knowledgable on wage cases, contact our Indianapolis, Indiana law firm today.

Dave Stafford, Justices take appeal from HHGregg managers denied bonus proceeds, IndianaLawyer.com (Jan. 24, 2017)

Federal Judge Grants Preliminary Injunction Against Overtime Pay Law

     On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant upheld a challenge to the new overtime pay rule announced earlier this year by the Department of Labor as part of an update to the Fair Standards Labor Act. Currently, employers do not have to pay overtime to any employees who are considered “salaried” and make more than $23,660 per year. The new law, which was set to take effect on December 1st, would have raised the threshold salary to $47,500. Twenty-one states, including Indiana, joined a lawsuit to challenge the law. The preliminary injunction granted on Tuesday by Judge Mazzant prohibits the law from taking effect nationwide. The Labor Department estimated that the new law would impact the wages of 4.2 million workers in the United States.

     Overtime wages, as well as minimum wage requirements, are regulated by the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA). The FLSA was enacted to ensure that workers in the United States are fairly and adequately compensated for their work. If you feel you have not been properly compensated for your time at work, contact the Indiana employment attorneys at Pavlack Law. Through individual cases and class action lawsuits, Eric Pavlack has successfully represented employees with claims against their employers. Call Pavlack Law today, 317-251-1100. The consultation is always free, and there are no fees or expenses unless we win your claim.

Judge blocks Obama rule extending overtime pay to 4.2 million U.S. workers (Nov. 23, 2016)

The Northwest Indiana Times Reports on Lead Poisoning Tort Claims Filed by Pavlack Law and Alvarez Law

As reported yesterday in the The Northwest Indiana Times, Pavlack Law and Alvarez Law have filed 251 tort claims on behalf of West Calumet residents who have been living in a housing complex built on the site of a former lead smelting plant. 

Lauren Cross, 250 residents plan lawsuits against East Chicago officials, Northwest Indiana Times (Nov. 16, 2016)

For more information on the West Calumet Lead Poisoning Lawsuit, visit WestCalumetLead.com or call Pavlack Law at 317-251-1100.

 

Chicago Tribune Reports on Lead Poisoning Tort Claim Notices Filed by Pavlack Law and Alvarez Law Office

As reported by the Chicago Tribune, Pavlack Law LLC and Alvarez Law Office recently filed tort claim notices on behalf of over 250 residents of the West Calumet Housing Complex who were exposed to the lead contamination from nearby factories.

Pavlack Law and Alvarez Law Office have set up a website, www.westcalumetlead.com, that provides information for those who may have been exposed to lead at the West Calumet Housing Complex. If you have any questions regarding lead exposure and your rights, please contact the experienced team of attorneys at Pavlack Law 317-251-1100 or Alvarez Law Office 219-662-6400 for a free consultation.

Pavlack Law and Alvarez Law Office File East Chicago Lead Poisoning Tort Claim Notices

Despite the growing awareness of the potentially devastating health effects of lead exposure in children, lead poisoning continues to be one of the most common health problems impacting children today. Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) notified over 1,000 residents of a West Calumet Housing Complex in East Chicago, Indiana that the lead levels found in and surrounding their homes were dangerously high.

As reported by the Chicago Tribune, Pavlack Law LLC and Alvarez Law Office recently filed tort claims on behalf of hundreds of residents who were exposed to the lead contamination at the West Calumet Housing Complex.

Pavlack Law and Alvarez Law Office have set up a website, www.westcalumetlead.com, for those who may have been exposed to lead at the West Calumet Housing Complex. If you have any questions regarding lead exposure and your rights, please contact the experienced team of attorneys at Pavlack Law 317-251-1100 or Alvarez Law Office 219-662-6400 for a free consultation.