Helping Victims of Indianapolis Motorcycle Accidents Recover Compensation
When passenger vehicle drivers operate their cars and truck while under the influence of alcohol, they put every other driver on the road at risk. Motorcycle operators and their passengers are especially vulnerable to drunk drivers.
Alcohol can significantly slow down a driver’s reaction time, making it more difficult for the driver to avoid obstacles—including other motorists. Moreover, drugs and alcohol can lead to blurred vision, making it extremely difficult to safely operate a motor vehicle while on the roadway. When a drunk driver collides with a motorcycle—especially at a high rate of speed—the results can be catastrophic. Since motorcycle operators and their passengers have limited protection anyway, an out-of-control drunk driver careening towards them can only make a bad situation worse.
If you or a loved one sustained injuries in a motorcycle accident that was caused by a drunk driver, you may be eligible to recover money damages. The Indianapolis drunk driving motorcycle accident lawyers at The Law Office of William W. Hurst may be able to file a claim or lawsuit against a drunk driver on your behalf.
Drunk Driving under Indiana State Law
In Indiana, drunk and drugged driving can subject offenders to serious criminal penalties, including monetary fines and jail time. The offending motor vehicle driver may also be sued for civil damages.
Indiana law does not use the terminology “driving under the influence”—or DUI—in a drunk driving case. Rather, Indiana uses “operating while intoxicated,” or OWI, to characterize drunk drivers.
Under state law, an Indiana driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher may not operate a motor vehicle. Moreover, an individual may not operate a motor vehicle with a schedule I or schedule II controlled substance of any amount in their system, or while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs.
Operating a passenger vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol significantly increases the chances of a serious motorcycle accident. The experienced Indianapolis drunk driving motorcycle accident lawyers at The Law Office of William W. Hurst can review your accident case with you and determine whether you may pursue monetary recovery against a drunk driver.
Negligence Per Se in Indiana
To prove that a passenger vehicle driver is negligent for causing a motorcycle accident, the accident victim must ordinarily be able to prove all four of the following elements:
- Duty – To prove negligence on the part of a passenger vehicle driver, the accident victim must first be able to show that the driver owed a duty of care. Motor vehicle drivers owe a duty of reasonable care to all other drivers on the roadway at that time. Specifically, they owe a duty to operate their motor vehicles in a reasonably prudent, careful, and safe manner at all times.
- Breach of duty – In addition to establishing the existence of a legal duty, the accident victim must be able to prove that the passenger vehicle driver violated the standard of care. Illegally operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol violates the state statute and amounts to a violation of the reasonable person standard of care.
- Causation – To prove causation, the accident victim must be able to show that the accident would not have occurred but for the passenger vehicle driver’s negligence—and that the accident was a foreseeable result of the passenger vehicle driver’s negligence.
- Damages – Finally, in order to prevail in a negligence case, the accident victim must be able to prove that he or she sustained injuries and damages—and that these injuries and damages were the direct and foreseeable result of the motorcycle accident.
In drunk driving accident cases where the passenger vehicle driver was found to be intoxicated (OWI) under state law, that criminal violation is usually enough to prove the duty and breach elements of a civil negligence case. In other words, this violation of the criminal drunk driving statute is negligent per se—or negligent “on its face.” Nevertheless, in a drunk driving motorcycle accident case, the accident victim still needs to prove the causation and damage elements of the personal injury case.
The Indianapolis drunk driving motorcycle accident lawyers at The Law Office of William W. Hurst can help you prove all of the necessary legal elements to prevail in your personal injury case.
Filing a Claim or Lawsuit against the Vehicle Owner
In addition to filing a claim or lawsuit against the driver of a passenger vehicle in a drunk driving motorcycle accident case, you may also be able to sue the owner of the vehicle—assuming that the owner is a different person. The owner may be legally liable for negligently entrusting his or her vehicle to the drunk driver. This is especially true if the driver has a history of drinking and driving, about which the vehicle owner knew, or in the context of an employer/employee relationship.
The skilled drunk driving motorcycle accident attorneys at The Law Office of William W. Hurst can pursue legal recovery against all potentially responsible parties in your case.
Contact an Indianapolis Drunk Driving Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today for a Free Legal Consultation and Case Evaluation
Motorcycle accidents caused by drunk drivers can result in serious injuries and possible fatalities. If you have been injured in an accident that was caused by a drunk driver, you should not delay in seeking legal representation. Remember, insurance companies and their adjusters will do everything they can to undermine the extent of your injuries and the value of your personal injury case. The motorcycle accident attorneys at The Law Office of William W. Hurst can be your advocates throughout your entire personal injury case, from the first settlement negotiation through the last day of your jury trial.
To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with an Indianapolis drunk driving motorcycle accident lawyer, please call us at (317) 636-0808, or contact us online.