Who is Liable for Construction Defects That Cause Personal Injury Accidents?

Springtime is the prime time of year to break ground on construction projects. Builders, engineers, architects, and contractors are all working to get their plans in motion now that the weather is warmer. Such professionals are trained in their industry and required by law to maintain certain certifications and licensing, but that does not mean they do not make mistakes, sometimes very serious and deadly mistakes.

Construction defects are a common cause of serious, injurious accidents across the nation. But when someone gets hurt because of a construction defect, who would be held legally liable for their damages?

Construction Defect Lawyer Indianapolis Indiana  317-881-2700
Construction Defect Lawyer Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700

Legal Liability for Flawed Construction

Construction defects typically happen in the design phase of the construction process or in the actual building phase of the construction process. The state of the construction process plays an important role in determining who is legally liable for accidents that occur as a result of a design or construction defect. When flaws and defects occur during the design phase, the architect or engineer would be deemed responsible. Contractors and subcontractors are usually liable for defects that occur more during the building and construction phase.

Because construction defects can take place before ever breaking ground AND well after a project has been completed, accidents can injure multiple types of victims, from construction workers and laborers to future visitors or occupants of the building, pedestrians, interior designers, and more.

How Construction Project Contracts Can Affect Liability for Defects

The two major legal concepts in a construction defect liability case are contracts and indemnification. A single construction project can involve a stack of contractual agreements, all of which are legally binding to whoever signs them. For instance, the building owner might have a contract with the architect, who in turn has one with the engineer. The building owner may also have a contract with the general contractor, who might have contracts with subcontractors.

When it comes to applying the law in a construction defect case, the provisions of such contracts will have the most impact on outcome. The details of each contractual agreement should fully spell out all terms and conditions surrounding construction defect liability. In most cases, liability for a design or construction defect gets pushed down the chain of authority. The building owner hands over full liability for defects to the general contractor, who places the liability via contract onto each subcontractor, and so forth.

Liability for construction defects is commonly passed through contractual agreements as well. Indemnification provisions allow this passing of liability to be held up under law. This might happen between contractor and subcontractor. A general contractor might include an indemnity provision in their contract with a subcontractor, making the subcontractor indemnify the general contractor. Essentially, the indemnitor, in this case the subcontractor, would agree to pay back any expenses incurred as a result of a construction defect lawsuit against the general contractor that was caused by the subcontractor’s negligence.

Examples of Personal Injury Accidents Caused by Construction Defects:

Unsecured railing causes a person to fall off the balcony.
Occupants are crushed after the roof collapses.
Faulty electrical work leads to an electrocution accident.
Improper installation causes a gas line explosion.
Poor design causes a roadway bridge or building to collapse.

For Construction Defect Accident Victims

If you are a recent victim of a construction defect accident in Indiana, you deserve financial justice. Get in touch with a skilled and experienced Indiana personal injury law firm that can fully document a strong and impactful case and obtain the maximum settlement for your damages.

Are you the victim of a negligent building defect or construction accident in Indiana? Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a free consultation with a trusted Indianapolis construction accident lawyer who knows product defect cases. We represent victims all throughout the state of Indiana and Indiana residents injured in other states.

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Who is Liable for Independent Contractor Commercial Construction Injuries?
Who is Liable for Public Park Accidents and Injuries?
Is My Job-Related Injury Covered By Workers’ Compensation?

4 Reasons Why You Should Not Represent Yourself in a Personal Injury Case

There is an old English proverb that is particularly relevant to this topic:  “A man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client.”

Although you certainly have the law-given right to represent yourself in a personal injury lawsuit, it is not the encouraged option for claimants. Continue below to learn 4 critical reasons why, plus what legal recourse you should take to ensure you are awarded the maximum settlement for your damages and losses.

Personal Injury Lawyers Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700
Personal Injury Lawyers Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700

Personal Injury Self-Representation is Not a Good Idea

It is understandable that some accident victims ponder the idea of self-representation since civil litigants do not have a constitutional right to legal representation like criminal defendants do. But most personal injury law firms work on contingency, which means accident victims needn’t worry about affording a lawyer. Under a contingency-fee arrangement, clients do not pay any upfront costs or fees. They only pay after the law firm has obtained a settlement or verdict for them. If the law firm is unable to obtain a settlement for a client, the client owes nothing.

Some people consider representing themselves because they think they can be successful. However, there are many elements and aspects of a personal injury case that require astute and knowledgeable understanding of the law in order to maximize an accident settlement. In fact, this is the first reason why you should not choose to represent yourself in a personal injury lawsuit.

4 Risks You Take When You Choose to Represent Yourself

Complexities of the Legal System

If you plan to represent yourself, understand that the courts will strictly hold you to all related duties. You will be expected to know and understand all rules regarding evidence and civil procedures, plus identify the principal legal matter and raise all arguments. They will also expect you to know about and file all necessary paperwork within their differentiating deadlines. Failure to do so can end a case.

These legal processes are complicated, even for someone with a basic understanding of the court system. A personal injury lawyer is the best resource for obtaining the most money possible for your damages because they are specialized in tort law and have an acute knowledge of the law and courts.

Instant Legal Expenses

As soon as you begin on your personal injury case, the legal expenses will immediately begin to accrue. Clients of personal injury lawyers who operate on contingency are often covered by the law firm in terms of any required upfront legal costs. Clients pay for all legal expenses when their attorneys obtain a settlement for them. Oppositely, anyone representing themselves will be forced to pay their own legal costs from start to finish, which may include court costs, filing fees, copying fees, serving pleadings, depositions, hearing transcribing, expert testimony costs, investigatory costs, and more.

Less Compensation

It is very difficult for the average personal injury claimant to gain the full value of their case when representing themselves. Attempting to do so would certainly pose all sorts of challenges. Not only do personal injury lawyers know how to negotiate with insurance companies, especially since they are acutely trained to dodge the common tactics used by insurance companies to lower the value of a claimant’s case, but they know how to accurately evaluate your claim’s full worth.

Complicated Lien Resolution

For most personal injury cases, an awarded settlement means that at least one healthcare lien must be resolved with a government healthcare program or private insurer, typically Medicaid or Medicare, but sometimes the Veterans’ Administration. This process of lien resolution for personal injury settlements requires seasoned legal knowledge and training. Self-representing personal injury claimants often find themselves stuck in regulatory traps and red-tape mazes. 

Do you still need more convincing that a personal injury law firm is the right choice for your accident case in Indiana? Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a free personal injury case evaluation. You can speak directly with a trusted and experienced Indianapolis IN accident attorney over the phone, via online video, or in person at our office. We represent clients throughout the state of Indiana.

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What is a Full Liability Release?

In the days or weeks following an injurious car accident that was not your fault, you may be confronted with a full liability release form from the at-fault party’s insurance company. Should you sign this form? What will happen if you do? Will it affect your settlement? These are all wise inquiries to ask yourself before approving a release of all claims. After all, as a victim of a car accident, you deserve the maximum settlement for your auto accident damages.

Continue reading to learn what you need to know about car accident full liability releases, including who to trust for legal advice regarding your accident case in Indiana.

Car Accident Law Firm Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700
Car Accident Law Firm Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700

Full Liability Releases

A full liability release tends to come into play after a car accident victim receives a settlement offer from the opposing insurance company. Before the insurance company sends a check for the settlement amount, they may insist that the claimant sign a full liability release, also known as a “waiver liability” form, “hold harmless agreement”, or a “release of all claims” form. The request is not usually a surprise, but rather, included in the settlement agreement.

The document’s purpose is to show that both parties agree to resolve their dispute and end all claims. It is significant because it releases the opposing party, both driver and insurance company, from all liability moving forward, including not being subjected to additional damage claims. Once a claimant accepts and signs a full liability release, the opposing party is no longer responsible for compensating them for any future damages resulting from the car accident.

Key Elements of a Waiver Liability Form

A waiver liability form should contain all related information regarding the claim, including all relevant laws pertaining to the case, official identification of all involved parties, full details of the auto accident, the types of claims being released (bodily injury, property, etc.), and payment agreement details. 

A typical excerpt within such forms might include something similar to, “The undersigned hereby assumes all risk of injury or harm as a result of the activities specified above and agrees to release, indemnify, defend, and forever discharge the releasee from all liability, claims, demands, damages, costs, expenses, and causes of action due to death, injury, loss, or damage to the undersigned.”

Should You Sign a Release of All Claims Form?  Answer: Not Without Talking to an Attorney First.

You should never sign a release of all claims form too soon. Once you sign the claim, you lose your right to pursue compensation for any future-arising damages that resulted from your car accident. Before signing a waiver liability form, it is important to complete all medical treatment. This is sometimes referred to as maximum medical improvement (MMI).

More importantly, right after your accident, it is critical to hire an experienced Indiana car accident attorney for help navigating your claim. They will fight for your rights to full and fair compensation, including past, current, and future damages. With their assistance, you will know that the right decisions are being made, and in the best interest of your quality of life.

Were you recently injured in a negligent car accident in Indiana? Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a no-risk, no-fee personal injury consultation with a skilled auto accident lawyer in Indianapolis, IN. We represent clients all throughout the state, and there is no need to travel. We can hold case evaluations via phone or online video conference.

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Top 4 Pieces of Evidence That Will Help You Win Your Car Accident Claim

A car accident renders more consequences than just shock and fear. It tends to come with significant financial, physical, and emotional repercussions for victims. If you were hurt in a car accident that was caused by another’s negligence, you deserve to be compensated for these damages. The best way to be successful in a car accident injury claim is to back your case up with evidence. With the guidance and management of a seasoned personal injury lawyer, you have the best chance at winning your car accident claim.

Continue reading to learn the top 4 pieces of evidence that are the most important when fighting for your rights to a full and fair settlement after being seriously injured in a car accident.

Auto Accident Lawyers Indianapolis IN 317-881-2700
Auto Accident Lawyers Indianapolis IN 317-881-2700

Case Evidence to Collect After a Car Accident

Car accident claim evidence is extremely important to the outcome of a claimant’s injury case. Such evidence goes a long way to prove your damages that resulted from the accident, including how the other party was negligent in causing the accident, how much the accident cost you in terms of property damages, medical expenses, and lost wages, as well as how the injuries have affected your quality of life, such as pain, suffering, prolonged therapy, disabilities, and more.

If you want the court system and opposing party to see the accident from your point of view, these pieces of evidence are key:

Pictures

Not just pictures, but video evidence too, if possible. Taking photographs of all elements relevant to the accident will help prove your case. Take pictures and videos of vehicle positioning, property damages (both vehicles), skid marks, bodily injuries, nearby street signs and traffic lights, environmental conditions, and more. The more media you provide, the better you attorney or in more complicated cases, an accident reconstructionist, can demonstrate the fault of the opposing party.

Police Report

Many people ask if they have to make a police report after a car accident, or if they can choose to just deal with the situation themselves. ALWAYS MAKE A POLICE REPORT. The police report provides evidence taken at the scene by a neutral, third-party in writing of the accident.  People are less apt tot change their story about what happened with their insurance carrier if they are confronted with what the officer wrote down they said at the scene to them.

Witness Statements

There is no better way to back up your stance on a car accident that was not your fault other than having the word of an unbiased onlooker support your story. Witness statements are very effective and useful for car accident victims. Although it is not always possible for the victim themselves, gathering the contact information for any witnesses to the accident is a key step in preparing to file a claim. Name, email, phone number, and if they don’t mind, their address, are the best contact data to ask for.

Medical Documents

After a car accident, it is critical to see a doctor regarding your injuries. By keeping all medical records, you can prove the seriousness of your injuries and the resulting consequences they have brought on. Keep and secure all medical records that stem from emergency room visits, doctors’ appointments, physical therapy sessions, counseling, medical device purchases, medications, and more.

Are you looking for skilled and experienced personal injury representation for your car accident claim in Indiana? Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a free personal injury case evaluation for your Indiana car accident claim. We represent clients throughout the state of Indiana.

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How to Take Your Pledge for Distracted Driving Awareness Month

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. To show your support and dedication to safe and responsible driving, partner with the National Safety Council (NSC) to take your NSC Just Drive Pledge! Continue below to learn more about Distracted Driving Awareness Month, including how you can make your pledge official.

Indiana Auto Accident Lawyers  317-881-2700
Indiana Auto Accident Lawyers 317-881-2700

Distracted Driving is Dangerous

New preliminary studies reported by the National Safety Council (NSC) suggest that our roadways are the most dangerous that have been in quite some time. The addition of mobile phones and similar technologies have impacted the increasingly hazardous road conditions by distracting drivers. In fact, distracted driving remains a top-cause for car accidents in the United States. According to recent NSC findings, hundreds of car accidents are caused by distracted driving each day. An average of 8 people lose their lives in such accidents each day. With such sad and alarming statistics, it is not difficult to see the awareness the National Safety Council (NSC) is aiming to convey.

Help Spread the Word Against Distracted Driving
#JustDrive

Texting, using the phone, checking your reflection in the mirror, snacking, putting on makeup, changing the listening station, rummaging through your purse or console, looking at electronic devices, turning around to deal with children; these are all common types of distracted driving. Even hands-free technology and touchless systems can sometimes distract you from the road, so be sure to include these devices on your list of possible distractions.

You can honor and support the cause behind Distracted Driving Awareness Month by creating a viable safe driving program for yourself and even alongside your family. Develop a system of rules and codes that help all of you avoid driving with distractions. The National Safety Council (NSC) provides all sorts of free resources you can sign up to use for help creating a safe driving program at home or in the office.

In addition to establishing a safe driving plan for yourself and your licensed loved ones, visit the National Safety Council (NSC) website and take the NSC Just Drive Pledge! Fill out and submit the form to prove you are dedicated to protecting others on the road! Then post your pledge on social media with the hashtag, #JustDrive! On their website, you can also choose to donate to their road improvement missions or become a member.

Were you or a loved one seriously injured in a car accident because the culpable party was driving distracted? Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a free case evaluation with an experienced auto accident attorney in Indianapolis, Indiana. We represent clients throughout the State of Indiana.

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Indiana Slip and Fall Accident Claim Guide for Victims

Slip and fall accidents can come with some serious and prolonged or permanent bodily injuries. Those harmed in such accidents due to another’s careless should not be held responsible for their economic losses, like hospital bills and medical expenses.  They are also entitled, by law, to recover for their pain and suffering caused by the negligence of another. If you have just suffered serious injuries because of a slip, trip, or fall accident that was not your fault, it is important to talk to an Indiana personal injury lawyer right away. In the meantime, be sure to follow the recommended Indiana slip and fall accident claim guide for victims like yourself.

Continue reading to learn how to protect your legal rights after a slip and fall accident in Indiana, including which law firm to trust for skilled and compassionate representation.

Slip Fall Attorney Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700
Slip Fall Attorney Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700

WHAT TO DO AFTER A SLIP AND FALL ACCIDENT IN INDIANA

Report the Incident to the Property Authority

The first step to take after being injured in a slip, trip, and fall accident is to notify the owners or persons in charge. For commercial properties like retail stores, gyms, or restaurants, ask for the staff member who holds the most authority or highest ranking. Be sure to tell them you want a written report of the incident made and ask for a copy.

Report the accident. Be brief by simply stating where you fell, which obstruction caused the fall (torn carpet, poor lighting, uneven floorboard, wire or cordage, puddle of water, spilled drink etc.), and where you feel hurt.

For public grounds like parks, notify the town or city the same day, both via phone call and written notification. If the injury is too severe, notify the city or town as soon as your health allows. This is especially important for accidents that take place without any witnesses, which brings us to our next step.

Ask for Witness Information

The next step, depending on the severity of your injury, is to collect contact information from anyone who may have witnessed the accident and/or witnessed what caused you to fall.  If you cannot do so, hopefully a good Samaritan, police officer, friend, family member, etc… will be able to assist you with that.  Do not trust that the needed witness information is being obtained by the persons writing the report for the owner of the property.

Be sure to record their full names, phone numbers, and email addresses. If they are willing to give additional contact information, like a copy of their drivers’ license, date of birth or place of employment, take those as well. Keep in mind that witness testimony can play a huge part in obtaining a full and fair personal injury settlement or verdict.

Gather Evidence

Immediately take photos and video recordings of the scene of the accident, what caused you to fall and your injuries. Sometimes, injuries appear days, weeks and even months after a fall and doctors call this delayed onset. Do not assume that you are not hurt if you do not feel any pain immediately after slipping and falling. Gathering digital evidence may have to be obtained by a friend or family member depending on the severity of your injuries. If photos and videos cannot be taken at the moment of the accident, have them taken as soon as possible after your fall.  

These pictures should be taken at a few different angles, and should capture the hazardous environment or obstruction, the condition of the victim, the victim’s injury, and the condition of the injury in the days following the accident. All these photos and videos have to be done BEFORE any changes are made and evidence is lost (i.e. melting snow or ice, garbage spills, flooding, etc.) if at all possible. The more evidence you have to offer, the higher your chances of recovering fair compensation.  Sometimes, a property owner will fix a dangerous condition, but only after someone gets hurt, so it is important to obtain that evidence as soon as humanly possible.

Seek Medical Care

A person should seek medical treatment the same day, or as soon as they are experiencing pain or symptoms from the accident. As mentioned earlier, injuries do not always present themselves right away, especially with slip and fall accidents. Injuries can show up days, weeks and even months following an accident. This is very common among neck, spinal, back, knee, elbow and shoulder injuries.

Insurance companies for the property owners will argue that a claimant wasn’t seriously injured enough to receive compensation if they didn’t require and seek professional medical care. Medical treatment not only validates that a slip and fall victim is injured, the doctor’s diagnosis and victim’s medical records are evidence for a case.  Hopefully, with the appropriate care and treatment, you can get your life back to where it was before your fall as soon as possible, which is what any injured persons wants.

Hire a Skilled Indiana Personal Injury Law Firm Immediately

Before talking to any insurance companies, it is critical to hire a seasoned personal injury lawyer in Indiana. The process of speaking with insurance adjusters is delicate and complex. One seemingly harmless or innocent statement can be manipulated and used in an attempt to place fault on a victim in an attempt to evade or eliminate liability. It is vital to the outcome of your case to have a licensed slip and fall lawyer on your side, walking you through the process from start to finish.

Looking for a personal injury law firm that is fully qualified and equipped to meet your legal needs after a slip and fall accident? Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a no-risk, no-fee personal injury consultation with an experienced slip and fall attorney in Indianapolis, Indiana. Although our office is located in Indianapolis, we represent injured persons throughout the state of Indiana, as well as Hoosiers injured in other states.

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What to Do if Your Boss Does Not Want to Report Your Workplace Injury

Workers’ compensation injury claims in Indiana involve several complex laws and legal jargon that can quickly confuse anyone who does not retain a basic understanding of both worker compensation laws and tort law. However, if you are a recent workplace injury victim, you can be clear on one fact: getting hurt on the job means you do get medical treatment and you do get compensation. Although Indiana employers are legally required to maintain adequate worker’s compensation insurance, sometimes a boss can be hesitant about reporting a workplace injury; some might even flat-out refuse. If your employer is refusing to report your workplace injury, reinforce yourself with the right facts, starting right now.

Continue reading to learn what to do if your boss does not want to report your workplace injury, plus who to contact for worker’s compensation injury claim advice and representation in Indiana.

Workers' Compensation Law Firm Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700
Workers’ Compensation Law Firm Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700

Your Responsibilities as an Injury Worker in Indiana

When you are injured on the job, you are protected under law in terms of receiving benefits like medical treatment and compensation. However, you still have certain responsibilities to uphold yourself if you want to be eligible for worker’s compensation benefits.

First, do not assume that your employer is aware of your accident and injury. If you fell off of a 10-foot scaffold and had to be transported to the hospital via ambulance, it is likely that your boss would know about it. But no matter how obvious and dramatic your accident is at work, never presume that your employer knows and intends to report it.

Even if your injuries are minor, it is important to report the accident. Although you’re probably not going to report paper cut or a stubbed toe, seemingly innocuous incidents like bumping your head or taking a tumble over some scattered construction scrap can lead to injuries that appear later on. If you wait too long to report your injury because you don’t think you’re hurt, it will make it more difficult to prove your workers’ compensation benefits claim. Always report an accident that causes injury right away, so that you can at least have it documented on a timeline.

Your Employer’s Responsibilities

Employers are required by law to report most injuries to workers on the job site. Simply put, if your boss doesn’t report your workplace injury, they are breaking the law. Not only is your employer required by law to report your injury, but they are required to report it within a certain amount of time. As soon as you notify your boss that you have been her on the job, they should file a DWC-1 form with the state’s workers’ compensation board called a First Report of Injury. Most states give employers 30 days to file this form, however there are some states that only give employers one week.

When Your Boss Refuses to File a Work Injury Report

Workers’ compensation insurance works very similar to automotive insurance in that, the more claims you file, the higher your premiums are. Employers can sometimes be hesitant to report workplace injuries to the state board because they selfishly don’t want their policy rates to increase. Other times, employers refuse to file a work injury reports because they believe that the employee is lying about being hurt or they don’t think the injury is serious enough to warrant a formal report. Either way, it is their legal duty to report the injury as soon as you notify them, no matter how they feel about the situation.

✘ DO NOT USE YOUR PRIVATE INSURANCE FOR WORK INJURIES

Did your employer ask you to use your private health insurance for your workplace injury, medical treatment? Do not do this under any circumstances! When you see your doctor, explain to them that you were injured on the job while performing work-related duties. Get this on record as soon as possible to protect your rights to workers compensation benefits.  Your employer’s worker compensation carrier usually gets to control what doctors you see.

✘ DO NOT ACCEPT PAYMENT FROM YOUR BOSS

Did your employer offer to pay you under the table for your medical treatment? Do not accept it! It is very possible that your workplace injuries can persist for quite some time, which would entitle you to compensation for past, current, and future damages. Accepting payment under the table is risky because you don’t know when the money will stop coming your way. It might also revoke your right to pursue workers’ compensation benefits.

Are you looking for an Indiana personal injury law firm that specializes in workers compensation cases? Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in Indianapolis, Indiana. We represent clients all throughout the state of Indiana.

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Does My Accident Give Me a Civil Cause of Action?

After being hurt in a wrongful accident, you may be wondering if you can recover compensation in the form of an injury-based insurance claim or lawsuit against the negligent party responsible. Continue reading to learn when a personal injury accident might give cause to a civil action, plus how to determine your own eligibility for bringing about a claim or complaint against an at-fault party in Indiana.

Personal Injury Civil Litigation Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700
Personal Injury Civil Litigation Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700

Wrongfully Injured Victims Deserve Financial Justice

If you are wrongly injured in an accident that was caused by another person, entity, or product, there is no doubt that you deserve to be financially compensated for your damages and losses. Damages include things like medical expenses and hospital bills, as well as lost wages from missing work, fuel used to travel to and from doctors’ appointments, prolonged physical therapy, partial or permanent disability, pain, suffering, reduced quality of life, and much more.

However, there are a few factors to consider as a personal injury accident victim before making the decision to move forward with legal action against an at-fault party.

Ask yourself about the severity of your injuries. Are you severely injured? Are you moderately injured? Are your injuries proving to be long-lasting or impactful to the quality of your life?

You also want to ask if some of your damages and losses have already been paid for. Did insurance or someone else already cover the past, current, and future expenses incurred as personal injury victim?  Are you required to reimburse your insurance carrier out of any settlement or judgment with the at-fault party’s insurance carrier.

Lastly, you must ask yourself how strong your case is. Are you the victim of a wrongful accident? Can you provide proof and evidence that you have incurred compensatory losses as a direct result of the accident?

An experienced personal injury lawyer in Indiana can help you answer and evaluate these questions and many more.

Do You Have a Personal Injury Case?

Confirming personal injury case eligibility is not so cut and dry. Although the accident might not have been your fault, there are different requirements and stipulations that may impact your case’s strength. For instance, most accident victims have two years under Indiana statutes of limitations to bring about a claim or lawsuit against an at-fault party. If you have waited longer than the state statute of limitations, which may be shorter or longer than two years depending on the type of accident you are in, you may have forfeited your right to do so.

For these reasons and more, it is critical to consult with a licensed Indiana personal injury lawyer as soon as possible following your accident so that you may learn exactly which damages and losses you have incurred as an accident victim, plus whether or not you have a valid or strong case for civil action.

Are you looking for a qualified Indiana personal injury law firm to represent you in your recent accident? Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a no-risk, no-fee personal injury evaluation to explore your eligibility, today. We represent clients all throughout the state of Indiana.

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Types of Income Covered By Lost Wages Benefits

When a victim is wrongly hurt in an accident, it is common for them to miss weeks and months of work while recovering from their injuries. Sometimes, victims cannot go back to work at all if the injury is permanent and severe. While out of work, injured victims lose out on their regular earnings. These missed earnings are referred to as lost wages in a personal injury claim. Lost wages are one of the more common types of personal injury damages available for injured victims to recover.

Continue reading to learn which types of income are generally covered by lost wages benefits, plus where to schedule a free personal injury case evaluation in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Indianapolis Indiana Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700
Indianapolis Indiana Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700

Personal Injury Coverage for Lost Wages

Lost wages refer to the missed earnings that are involuntarily forfeited by an employee who was injured in a negligent accident. After being injured in an accident that was not their fault, an injured victim is legally entitled to a financial recovery for their resulting damages and losses, including missed pay from missing work.

Most people assume that lost wages only cover missed paychecks, when in fact, they can cover a lot more. Lost wages can include all sorts of income and benefits, from salary and hourly pay to tips, bonuses, job perks, and more. The extent of compensation awarded for lost wages in a personal injury case depends on how long the injured victim is forced to miss work due to their injuries.

Once an injured victim reaches maximum medical improvement (MMI), they can usually go back to work to the best of their ability. In the case of an injured victim suffering temporary, partial, or permanent disabilities that prevent them from performing the same duties as before, there are benefits that are available under Indiana worker compensation laws and third-party laws for this type of loss as well.

Examples of Lost Wages That May Be Awarded in a Personal Injury Case:

Hourly Pay
Salary
Commission
Tips
Overtime
Sick Leave
Vacation Days
Bonuses
Promotions
Job Perks

Returning to Work at a Lower Pay

Sometimes an injured victim can return to work after an accident, but not in their full capacity. In such cases, an employee comes back to work, but in a different role and at a lower pay. This type of earning loss may also be covered by personal injury lost wage benefits. In other cases, an injured victim cannot return to work to the same capacity ever again. In personal injury cases, this circumstance is known as loss of earnings potential. Those who qualify may be awarded future lost wages.

Evidence of Wage Related Losses

In a personal injury case, the claimant and their legal team holds the burden of proving lost wages. Fortunately, this is not usually a challenge, especially for particularly skilled and experienced Indiana civil litigators. Common types of evidence used to prove lost wages in a personal injury case include recent pay stubs, W2’s, bank records, medical records, tax return statements, expert testimony, a letter from the doctor stating a patient cannot return to work, and even a simple wage verification letter from the employer.

Are you wondering how you can recover damages for missing work after being wrongfully injured in Indiana? Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a free initial case evaluation with a skilled Indianapolis IN personal injury lawyer. We represent injured persons throughout the state.

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Factors for Calculating a Personal Injury Settlement

Facts About Wrongful Death Statutes in Indiana

Years ago, there was no legal recourse for those who lost a loved one in a wrongful accident. Back then, when a personal injury victim died, the right to claim damages for any resulting losses suffered by the family was lost as well. Widows, children, dependents, and next of kin were finally given justice in such cases when Indiana passed its first Wrongful Death Statute. Since passing the Indiana Wrongful Death Statute, two more relevant statutes have been passed that give wrongful death survivors additional rights to a personal injury settlement, the Indiana Adult Wrongful Death Act and Indiana Child Wrongful Death Act.

Continue reading to learn facts about all three Wrongful Death Statutes in Indiana, plus how to verify your rights to pursuing a claim after the loss of a loved one.

Wrongful Death Litigator Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700
Wrongful Death Litigator Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700

Indiana Wrongful Death Claims

If a person or business is negligent in a way that directly causes another person’s death, it is considered a wrongful death accident. Wrongful death accidents are caused by many types of negligence, such as recklessness, inaction, product or manufacturing defects, medical malpractice and even intentional torts like assault. When a person loses a loved one in a wrongful death accident, certain persons have a right to bring about a negligence suit for the purpose of obtaining compensation for their damages and losses. Although it varies from state to state, here in Indiana, the law specifically defines eligible wrongful death claimants to be spouses, children, and dependents.

Examples of damages and losses suffered by those who have lost a loved one to a wrongful death accident generally include pre-death hospital bills and medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, loss of financial support, loss of future earnings, loss of employment benefits, loss of consortium, loss of emotional support or care, and similar expected economic losses.

Wrongful Death Statutes of Indiana:

The Indiana Wrongful Death Statute

Indiana Code § 34-23-1 is the basic wrongful death statute of Indiana. Under this act, a “personal representative of the estate” is the party permitted to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Such representatives include spouses, children, and dependents. Additionally, there is an established statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death suit that gives claimants two years from the date of the accident that resulted in the loss of their loved one. A unique element of the Indiana Wrongful Death Statute is that there is no cap on damages. A judge or jury can award whatever settlement they deem fit without limitations.

The Indiana Adult Wrongful Death Act

This wrongful death statute is reserved for adults, which the state defines as anyone over the age of 20, or anyone over the age of 23 but still in college, and who is also unmarried and has no dependents. Under this statute, a personal representative must also be the one to file suit, and they have two years from the date of the accident that caused the death to do so. In contrast to the general wrongful death statute of Indiana, the Indiana Adult Wrongful Death Act sets a maximum recovery cap of $300,000.00 on such cases. Additionally, there are some damages that are excluded, such as lost earnings, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and punitive damages. The judge and jury also specify how much each person gets in damages if the lawsuit involves more than one child or parent.

The Indiana Child Wrongful Death Act

Indiana Code § 34-23-2-1 wrongful death act is reserved for children who have lost their lives to a negligent accident caused by another. The state defines a child as someone not married and without dependents, plus younger than 20; or younger than 23 and enrolled in a post-secondary educational institution; or younger than 23 and attending a career and technical educational program. Parents and guardians are permitted to file a wrongful death lawsuit under this statute, and they have 2 years to do so from the date of the accident. As for damage caps, the limit is not set by a monetary amount, but rather, how long the child had before they crossed over into adulthood. There are also limitation to the types of damages that can be awarded in child wrongful death cases.

Have you recently lost a loved one to a wrongful death accident in Indiana? Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a free case evaluation with an experienced Indianapolis IN wrongful death attorney you can trust. Wrongful death cases are complicated so you should obtain representation immediately. We represent clients throughout the State of Indiana.

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