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What’s Driving Indiana’s Increase in Fatal Car Accidents?

Car accident debris on road

Officials say speeding and lack of seat belt use are causing more roadway deaths

Car accident fatalities in Indiana have increased dramatically in recent years, according to WISH-TV 8 News in Indianapolis. Looking at the number of fatal car accidents in Indiana during the first nine months of last year, traffic fatalities appear to be still trending in the wrong direction.

According to accident statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 639 people were killed in car accidents in Indiana between January 2020 and September 2020. In 2021, that figure was 9 percent higher, as 699 fatalities were recorded between January 2021 and September 2021.

As for this year, the numbers look even worse (so far). During the first two months of 2022, there were 22 more car accident fatalities in January and February this year compared to the same two months in 2019.

Crash statistics

The number of fatal car accidents in Indiana and across the nation has skyrocketed in recent years. Even though there were fewer drivers on the road in 2020 due to the pandemic, there were more than 38,000 motor vehicle accident fatalities nationwide, the largest number of deaths since 2007.

As for Indiana, car accident fatalities have been on the rise for several years and reached record highs in 2020. That year, 897 people died in motor vehicle accidents. The only recent year in the past decade with more motor vehicle fatalities was 2017, when 916 people in Indiana died in car accidents, according to the NHTSA.

What's causing the spike in fatal accidents?

When it comes to fatal crashes in Indiana, several factors seem to be playing a role – more speeding drivers and more people not wearing their seat belts.

“For the first time in more than decades, we saw a slippage in the seat-belt use during the survey,” Rob Duckworth, the director of the traffic safety office at the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, said in an interview with WISH 8 News. “So, we know we are seeing seat belts less often.”

As for speeding-related accidents in Indiana, a record-high 238 fatalities (the most in more than a decade) were recorded in Indiana in 2020 due to speeding drivers, according to car accident statistics compiled by the NHTSA.

Who pays for car accidents in Indiana?

Indiana has an at-fault car insurance system. That means the at-fault party (and by extension, their insurance company) is responsible for paying for your accident-related expenses. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by another driver in Indiana, you generally have several options to recover compensation for your losses:

  • Accept a settlement offer from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Be careful, though, as it's common for insurance adjusters to make quick, lowball settlement offers that ultimately don't come close to covering all the victim's damages.
  • Ask for more money and negotiate a better settlement offer. You are allowed to ask for more money when negotiating a settlement, but studies conducted by insurance companies have shown that those who are represented by an attorney receive more on average in compensation.
  • File a lawsuit or take other legal action seeking financial compensation in the form of a court verdict.

In each case, a car accident attorney can help you decide which strategy makes the most sense for your particular situation.

Talk to an experienced Indianapolis car accident lawyer today

You might think you don’t need an attorney if another driver clearly caused your accident. Unfortunately, that’s not usually the case. Many times, an at-fault driver will deny doing anything wrong. And when this happens, the at-fault driver’s insurance company usually takes their side.

Remember, insurance companies have a financial interest in paying crash victims as little money as possible, and you can be sure that they will take whatever steps they think are appropriate to achieve that goal. That's why you should let a car accident attorney protect your rights and aggressively advocate for your best interests.

At Hocker Law, our Indianapolis car accident attorneys know how to deal with insurance companies and fight for the compensation our clients deserve. That’s because our law firm has decades of experience helping crash victims throughout Indiana. We know how the civil justice system works here and understand what it takes to build a winning personal injury case in Indiana. No matter what the insurance company throws at us, we'll be ready.

Put your trust in a law firm that puts your needs first. Contact us today for a free consultation. We have three offices conveniently located in Indiana, including two offices in Indianapolis.

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