In 1812, the city of Evansville was established. Today, Evansville is the third largest city in the state. With major highways like US 41, US 62, US 66, and I-69 pouring into the city, it’s no wonder that Evansville experiences a large amount of daily traffic.
But Evansville isn’t just a city people drive through on their way to somewhere else. Evansville is attractive to many visitors for reasons such as:
- Its proximity to the Ohio River. Known to many as River City, Evansville boasts access to the Ohio River Scenic Byway.
- Its institutions of higher learning. Students from across the country come to Evansville to attend University of Evansville, Harrison College Evansville, and University of Southern Indiana, among other institutions.
- Its status as the county seat of Vanderburgh County. Many visitors come to Evansville to connect with their local government.
With all that Evansville has to offer, it makes sense that in 2008, Kiplinger readers voted Evansville the best city in the country to live, work, and play.
But the roads that connect Evansville to Illinois, Kentucky, and the rest of Indiana are the same roads that unfortunately make it a perfect city to experience regular car accidents. If you do get into an Evansville car accident, you might need the help of an Evansville car accident lawyer in order to get the compensation you deserve.
Here are a few reasons why Evansville car accidents can be so unique—and so dangerous.
1. Major Highways Mean Major Accidents
Evansville embodies the Indiana state slogan, “The Crossroads of America,” with its many highways and interstates. But those large freeways increase the likelihood of a serious car accident for Evansville drivers.
Trouble merging, difficulty navigating construction, failure to resist the temptation to speed on long stretches of empty road: all of these reasons may cause an Evansville car accident. If someone is driving on an unfamiliar highway, they might not be able to anticipate lane shifts. They may hit their brakes or veer into someone else’s lane. At the same time, commuters who are too comfortable with their morning drive might take their eyes off of the road.
This doesn’t even take into account the many semi trucks that use Evansville’s major highways. Most truck drivers are excellent at keeping their large vehicles under control. However, when semi truck accidents do occur, they tend to result in more serious injuries than regular car accidents.
2. The Tri-State Area Complicates Car Accident Claims
Evansville is the largest city in the Indiana-Illinois-Kentucky tri-state area. Its proximity to two additional states other than Indiana complicates car accident claims.
Indiana is a fault state, which means that the driver who caused the accident is responsible for most or all of the damages. If you’re a percentage at fault for the accident, you’ll be responsible for a similar percentage of the damages. This is what’s known as comparative fault.
For example: if your damages equal $10,000 and you’re 40 percent at fault, you’ll likely only be able to recover $6,000 (60 percent of your damages) from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Illinois is a fault state as well.
But Kentucky is a no-fault state. That means that if you’re in a car accident in Kentucky, your insurance company will pay for your damages, regardless of who is at fault. It doesn’t matter if it was 100 percent the fault of the other driver; you can only recover through your own insurance company.
So what if you get into a car accident in Evansville with a Kentucky driver? Or what if you hop across the border and get into a car accident in Kentucky with an Illinois driver? How will fault affect your claim?
What matters is where your car accident happened, not where you or the other drivers are from. If you’re a Kentuckian and you get into an Evansville car accident, be prepared to pay more if you’re the one who caused the accident. If you’re from Evansville or Illinois and you get into an accident in Kentucky, you’ll need to have your own car insurance in order to recover.
3. Indiana Weather + Ohio River = Danger
Ask anyone in the state of Indiana, and you’ll hear that Indiana weather is crazy. It doesn’t matter whether you live up north in South Bend or down south in Evansville; it can be sunny one minute, then snowing the next. It’s a fact of life we Hoosiers have learned to put up with.
But unpredictable weather makes car accidents more likely. Especially because so many out-of-towners drive through Evansville, there may be people on the road unaccustomed to Indiana’s frequent weather changes.
Unpredictable weather can also turn a beautiful river into a potential hazard. Major rain can cause the Ohio River to flood, leaving roads impassable like in the famous Ohio River flood of 1937 . Rainy roads can freeze over if the temperature drops suddenly. Drivers may lose control and cause their vehicle to plunge into the river.
Crazy weather and a potentially hazardous river mean that if you do get into a car accident in Evansville, your injuries are likely to be more severe.
Help from an Evansville Car Accident Attorney
Serving Indiana since 1998, Hensley Legal Group has successfully handled numerous Evansville car accident cases. Our car accident lawyers are ready and willing to work with you to answer your questions and help you understand your options following a devastating car accident. If you or a loved one need an Evansville car accident attorney, don’t hesitate to give us a call or contact us online for a free consultation.