What You Can Expect From the Personal Injury Lawsuit Process

No personal injury case is alike. They each have their own unique set of circumstances. However, most personal injury lawsuits will involve a similar legal progression, from the initial step of filing a lawsuit to the final phase of receiving a verdict or settlement. Continue reading to learn which steps will likely fill in the blanks between the start and finish of a personal injury case, plus where to obtain skilled accident representation for your claim in Indiana.

Personal Injury Law Firm Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700
Personal Injury Law Firm Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700

Litigation Milestones in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Although your personal injury case will not look like the next person’s, you can count on a few standard litigation milestones after deciding to move forward with a lawsuit, such as hiring an Indianapolis accident attorney and filing a complaint, as well as exploratory investigations, pretrial and discovery, depositions, and more.

Obtaining Legal Representation

The first step after making the decision to sue is to hire a personal injury law firm to represent you. An accident attorney has the proper knowledge, experience, and resources to build a strong and impactful case on your behalf to obtain the maximum settlement possible for your lawsuit.

It is not recommended to represent yourself in a personal injury lawsuit. Not only is the law complex, but the filing and deadline requirements are stringent. Furthermore, representing yourself places you at a much higher risk of losing money. You would be required to pay for all upfront costs and legal expenses, and in the end, likely receive a much lower settlement than you would without legal representation. 

The personal injury lawyer might choose to initiate an exploratory investigation before taking you on as a client. An exploratory investigation primarily involves researching and confirming the defendant’s insurance coverage and your own underinsured coverage. If the lawyer decides you have a viable case, they will commence all the necessary paperwork, making the client-attorney relationship official. Next comes attempting to resolve your case with the defendant’s insurance carrier after you have finished your medical care and if the insurance company does not wish to resolve your case for a full and fair settlement,  next comes filing the lawsuit.

Filing a Complaint With the Court

After establishing the client-attorney relationship, your accident lawyer will take the necessary steps to file a personal injury complaint, which will be physically served on the defendant. From there, the defendant is given time to hire their own legal team and prepare for the first court appearance. The personal injury complaint is the first official legal document in the lawsuit process. It contains the circumstances of the accident, including how the defendant was negligent and the damages you’ve suffered as a result.

Pretrial and Trial

The next major stage in the personal injury lawsuit process is pretrial, which is followed by mediation or a trial. During the pretrial process, the “discovery” phase takes place, which involves both sides exchanging evidence and information, including depositions from both parties, witness statements, expert witness testimonies, and more.

Also, during the pretrial process both sides will appear in front of a judge to agree to or reject mediation. The pretrial phase can take several months due to the intermittent court hearings and scope of evidence collection. Most personal injury cases settle out of court, but some do go to trial.

If your case goes to trial, lawyers will begin to select a jury, set mandatory settlement conferences, debate which pieces of evidence will be allowed at trial, and so forth. Once the trial begins, the process only takes a matter of days. Within a weeks’ time, give or take a few days, the court and jury will decide if and how much the defendant should pay the plaintiff for damages. If the defendant is found liable and ordered to pay, they can choose to appeal, which continues the process for several more months.  The defendant’s insurance company will pay any verdict entered against the defendant, up to the insurance policy limits.

Receiving a Settlement

Both parties can agree to a settlement and close the case at any point in the process, even before a complaint is ever filed. There are many factors used to calculate a personal injury settlement.

The attorneys are responsible for preparing and agreeing upon the release document, which sets forth all the terms of the settlement.

Are you looking for skilled personal injury law firm to represent you in your negligence case in Indiana? Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a free consultation with our personal injury attorneys in Indianapolis, Indiana. We also represent injured victims all across the state.

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What You Need to Know About Bicycle Accident Personal Injury Claims 

Spring is in full swing, which means an increased opportunity for outdoor fun. Bicycles, tricycles, scooters, roller blades, and more are all traditional springtime activities for adults, teens, and kids alike. It is a fun and healthy recreational pastime that allows us to get outdoors, spend time with our loved ones, and enjoy the nice weather. Unfortunately, bicycle safety is pushed under the rug all too often, and because of this, accidents happen. Even when safety is properly considered, there are incidents that can take place out of our control. For this reason, all cyclers bike enthusiasts should know their rights if injured on a bicycle at no fault of their own.

Continue reading to learn what you need to know about filing a bicycle accident personal injury claim in Indiana after being wrongfully injured on your bike.

Bicycle Accident Claims Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700
Bicycle Accident Claims Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700

Indianapolis Bicycle Accident Causes and Common Injuries

There are two main types of bicycle accidents that result from negligence outside of a rider’s control: motor vehicles and bicycle defects. If a car, truck, or product defect causes an accident that results in a rider’s injury, liability falls on them, not the rider. Both situations can lead to serious personal injuries to a cyclist.

Several serious injuries can result from bicycle accidents, such as brain damage, traumatic brain injuries, comas, concussions, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, paralysis, and even death. These injuries can be life-threatening or permanent in severe situations. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), from the years 1932 to 2008, more than 50,000 bicycle-related deaths occurred.

These alarming statistics do not even include injuries and deaths sustained from bicycle defects. According to the same statistics, in the year 2008 alone, more than 50,000 cyclists were injured in negligent traffic accidents.  The most devastating truth among these statistics is that in 2008, 13% of bicycle accident fatalities were children. Bicycle safety is something everyone needs to take seriously. We can stop these accidents from taking place with responsible driving and education at a young age.

Defective Bicycles

As for product defects and bicycles, there is not much we can do to stop these unfortunate and unforeseen incidents from happening. We can only hope and trust that bicycle manufacturers are working hard at preventing problems with their products and doing their best to improve their product’s safety value. The most common defects seen in bicycle accidents include problems with bolts, screws, composite forks, aluminum frames, and similar components.

Making an Injury Claim After a Bicycle Accident

In the case that a person is seriously injured in a bicycle accident as a result of another driver’s carelessness or bike defect, it is crucial to contact a bicycle accident personal injury attorney immediately. All states have a statute of limitations that set forth how long a victim, or their family, has to file a personal injury claim. Once this time frame runs out, a victim can no longer lawfully sue for full and fair compensation.

A licensed Indiana personal injury lawyer can help victims of bicycle accidents obtain compensation for their damages, such as pain and suffering, medical expenses, hospital bills, prolonged rehabilitation, lost wages, time of work, and much more. Licensed accident attorneys with extensive experience and knowledge will try to negotiate and settle out of court for their clients if possible. Be sure to choose a law firm that has your best interests at heart and in mind.

Were you recently injured in a wrongful bicycle accident in Indiana? Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to meet with a seasoned Indianapolis Indiana personal injury lawyer you can trust to recover the settlement you deserve. We represent victims all throughout the state of Indiana and Indiana residents injured in other states.

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Legal Facts About Shopping-Related Personal Injury Claims

When you plan an afternoon out to run errands or go shopping, you don’t usually portend any sort of danger. However, among all the personal injury claims made in the United States, shopping-related injuries are one of the most common. Accidents like slip and falls or orthopedic injuries are common shopping injuries that occur at a store due to store owner negligence. If you were recently injured on a shopping trip, it is important for you to understand the law so that you may best protect your rights to being compensated for your damages.

Continue reading to learn what you need to know about shopping- how to get started on learning your eligibility for pursuing legal action against a negligent property or store owner.

Store Accident Injury Lawyers Indianapolis IN 317-881-2700
Store Accident Injury Lawyers Indianapolis IN 317-881-2700

Shopping Injuries and Accident Claims

Going over budget is not the only risk shoppers take when they visit a store. Shopping accidents are a common occurrence, and they happen under all sorts of different circumstances. In the case that a store owner was negligent by not taking the proper actions to maintain a safe premises or warn consumers of any potential hazards, an injured shopper could make an accident claim against them. Shoppers are not the only ones granted this civil right; workers, staff, and guests are also protected against such negligence.

Types of Shopping-Related Injuries

Shopping-related injuries describes a broad range of personal injuries that take place in a retail establishment, such as a mall or department store. These types of accidents increase in frequency during high shopping seasons, like Black Friday, Christmas, Labor Day sales events, and Memorial Day weekend sales.

One of the most common types of shopping-related personal injury accidents is slipping. Slip and fall accidents can cause serious muscular and orthopedic injuries, both of which can have long-lasting consequences. Neck, shoulder, hip, knee, and back injuries are common traumas suffered in a slip and fall accident, while more serious injuries include spinal injuries, head injuries, and broken bones. In the most serious of cases, shopping injuries can lead to wrongful deaths.

Slip, trip, and fall accidents are not the only type of shopping related accidents seen across the country. Additional types of shopping related injuries include crushing or blunt force trauma caused by a heavy falling/tipping object, or even trampling accidents caused by overcrowding. Shoppers are often injured in parking lot accidents as well due to poor lot design, poor lighting conditions, negligent maintenance, and failure to remove snow and ice.

Liability for Shopping Injuries to Consumers

So, when is a store owner responsible for a shopping accident that causes injury? The basis of all personal injury claims is proving negligence. Under premises liability law, a store owner has a legal duty of care to ensure that their premises is reasonably safe and free of any relatively foreseeable hazards. If a store owner fails to uphold this duty by not taking the proper actions to keep their premises safe or neglects to warn shoppers of a possible on-site hazard, they can be held accountable for the victim’s damages and losses.

To be successful in a personal injury claim, an injured shopper and their legal team would need to prove that:

▷ The store owner was (or should have been) aware of the hazardous condition.

▷ The store owner failed to provide routine inspections and maintenance on the premises.

▷ The shopper would not have been injured had the premises been free of hazardous conditions.

▷ The injuries suffered by the shopper were caused by the dangerous condition.

▷ The shopper suffered damages because of the accident.

Also, you should note that an entity leasing the property, as well as companies hired to manage and maintain the property can also be potential defendants in a slip and fall case.

Your Next Step as a Shopping Accident Victim in Indiana

It is important to retain professional legal counsel right after an accident has taken place. You could be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, hospital bills, pain and suffering, lost paychecks from time off work, and much more. Be sure to choose a skilled personal injury law firm in Indiana for trusted legal advice regarding your claim.

Not sure which personal injury law firm can help you recover the maximum settlement for your shopping accident claim in Indiana? Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to speak with us about scheduling a free consultation with an experienced premises liability personal injury attorney in Indianapolis, Indiana. We represent clients throughout the state and can hold meetings via phone, internet, or in person.

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Key Legal Considerations for Parents of Children With Food Allergies

May is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, and the 2nd week of May is Food Allergy Awareness Week.

Parents with children who suffer from food allergies maintain a strict awareness of food allergy dangers every day of every month, living with the keen understanding of what it takes to protect their kids from serious reactions and anaphylactic shock. This month is a dedicated time to review the important facts surrounding the potential legal concerns that might result from your child having an attack, and to share your knowledge with friends, family members, caretakers, teachers, coaches, and more.

Continue below to learn more about Food Allergy Awareness Month, including some key legal considerations you should explore or prepare for if your child has serious or life-threatening food allergies.

Asthma and Food Allergy Awareness Month is celebrated in May.
Asthma and Food Allergy Awareness Month is celebrated in May.

Food Allergy Awareness and National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month

We can give thanks to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) for declaring May as the National awareness month for both asthma and allergies. Their food allergy division, Kids With Food Allergies (KFA), reports that more than 6 million children suffer from food allergies, the most common allergens being peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, fish, milk, eggs, wheat (gluten), sesame, and soy.

Parents Raising Children With Food Allergies

When your child suffers from serious or life-threatening food allergies, the concern for potential accidents never goes away. But with avid education, you can help your kid as well as their teachers, coaches, daycare staffers, and family better monitor and abate the risk of reaction when you are not around. However, accidents happen, and when they do, parents of children with food allergies may face certain legal matters.

Kids With Nut Allergies

Parents who have kids with nut allergies can protect themselves from a legal battle with schools or daycare centers by implementing risk-abatement strategies and routines. It is important to routinely remind the school, daycare, or activity center of your child’s food allergy, plus ensure they have a fixed anaphylaxis care plan in place and an EpiPen always available if something happens. It is recommended to review their allergy management policy with them to fill in any inadequacies.

Suing for Negligence in a Food Allergy Lawsuit

When a child suffers a serious allergic reaction to a food allergy, many parents want to know if they can sue the presumed responsible party. When it comes to food labels, the Food Allergen and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 mandates that all food manufacturers clearly label their products with a warning if they contain a major food allergen, like nuts or shellfish. Restaurants are typically good at scripting their menu items and warning if a food contains a major food allergen. But if a restaurant or food manufacturing company fails to uphold that duty of care, they could be held liable for the damages and losses suffered as a result of a serious or fatal allergic reaction.

In 2008, the legal definition of disability was broadened to include those who suffer from serious food allergies. Thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), discrimination against disabled individuals is illegal. If a school, daycare, or activity center refuses to accommodate or disregards your child’s food allergies, they could be in violation of this Act, thus subjecting them to civil litigation.

Was your child serious injured after experiencing a severe allergic reaction at the hands of another caregiver or authority? Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a free initial consultation with a seasoned child injury attorney in Indianapolis, Indiana. We represent clients throughout the state of Indiana.

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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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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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