An Overview of Indiana Negligence Laws

As a personal injury victim who has a claim, you shouldn’t have to decipher through complex legalese just to be sure your rights are being protected. Although the best course of action is to consult with an attorney who specializes in accident and personal injury law in order to fully understand your claim, it also helps to review some important principles of negligence law yourself.

Continue reading for a basic overview of Indiana’s negligence laws.

Indiana Negligence Lawyers 317-881-2700
Indiana Negligence Lawyers 317-881-2700

Negligence Law in Indiana

“Legal negligence” occurs when a person or corporation owes a duty of care to another person, and fails to uphold that duty, therefore becoming responsible for any subsequent injuries, damages, or losses. For instance, a drunk driver who fails to stop at a red light will be held liable under negligence law for the injured victim’s damages and losses. See Indiana Code Title 34, Section 51-2-5, et seq. for details regarding state negligence ordinances.  The insurance company for the drunk driver would pay for any damages assessed against the drunk driver.

Proving Negligence

Here in Indiana, the plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit (the victim), holds the burden of proving negligence. There are some central elements to a negligence case, and a personal injury victim must be able to prove that these elements exist:

✦ The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care.

✦ The defendant breached their duty of care.

✦ If it weren’t for the defendant’s breach, the plaintiff would not have suffered harm.

✦ The defendant’s breached duty of care was a responsible cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.

✦ Any reasonable person would have been able to foresee the accident could have occurred.

✦ As a result of the incident, the plaintiff suffered damages and losses.

Personal Injury Damages

Damages and losses include both economic and non-economic damages. Losses that can be defined by an actual dollar amount and redeemed through financial compensation are considered economic damages, such as hospital, medical expenses, lost wages, and anything else that was a direct financial loss to the victim or their family. Non-economic damages are awarded for emotional or mental losses and tribulations, such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of consortium, permanent disabilities and more.

Contributory Negligence

For cases in which a plaintiff is partially responsible for their injuries, Indiana uses the contributory negligence legal principle. Contributory negligence, also known as “comparative fault”, is the legal concept that refers to the situation in which an injured person is a contributing factor to their injuries. This is common in motor vehicle accidents and slip and fall accidents. In contrast, comparative negligence divides the amount of fault among each person involved in an accident. This concept is used in a situation where multiple parties were negligent.

Statutes of Limitations

Here in Indiana, the law gives personal injury claimants 2 years from the date of the incident to make a claim against the at-fault party in most situations. See our blog, “Is it Too Late For Me to Make a Personal Injury Claim?” to learn more about our state’s statute of limitations.  Applicable time limits are substantially less, depending upon who the at-fault party is, so it is very important to call an injury attorney as soon as you have been able to obtain your initial treatment for your injuries.

Indianapolis Personal Injury Attorneys Who Will Fight For Your Rights

Call Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Indianapolis personal injury attorney who can determine the best strategies for your case. Not only does our law firm offer free consultations, we never collect lawyer fees unless we prevail for you! Call 317-881-2700 to get started on your financial recovery, today.  We represent injured persons throughout Indiana.

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

An Overview of Personal Injury Basics

Personal injuries fall under an area of law known as tort law. Under tort law, anyone injured at not fault of their own, but rather, the fault of another person or entity, is entitled to recover compensation for various types of damages. If you or someone you love has suffered losses as a result of a negligent accident, continue reading to learn some basic terms and information that will help you get started on your personal injury claim.

Indiana Personal Injury Attorneys 317-881-2700
Indiana Personal Injury Attorneys 317-881-2700

Statute of Limitations

An important factor to consider when facing a potential personal injury claim is time. There are set time limits on how long a personal injury victim has to make a claim against a negligent, at-fault party. The amount of time set for such cases depends on a few factors, primarily the type of injury and state laws. See our blog, “Can a Personal Injury Statute of Limitations Be Extended?” to learn more about personal injury claim timelines.

Negligence

Under tort law, negligence is defined as a failure to possess or demonstrate a level of care, expected by all persons under law, which protects another person, reputation, or property from harm or foreseeable and unreasonable risks. The burden of proving negligence in a personal injury case falls onto the plaintiff, who must show that the defendant 1) owed a legal duty of care, 2) breached that duty of care, 3) the breach directly caused the accident, and 4) the accident resulted in losses and damages.

Damages and Losses

There are various types of economic losses a victim can suffer as a result of a serious accident or injury. Common damages awarded to personal injury victims include compensatory, nominal, and punitive damages such as hospital bills, medical expenses, lost wages, loss of future earnings, physical disablement, lost ability to work, and more. See our blog, “Types of Damages Awarded for Victims of Injury” to learn more about personal injury damages.

Pain and Suffering

Also referred to as hedonic damages, pain and suffering is a legal term used in tort law that describes the cumulative non-physical injuries, or emotional and mental trauma and burdens, experienced by the victims as a result of the accident and injuries. Non-physical injuries might include fear, anxiety, grief, worry, insomnia, a loss of enjoyment for one’s life, loss of consortium, wrongful death, and more.

Personal Injury Claims

In order to recover the full and fair amount of compensation you deserve after being seriously injured in an accident that was not your fault, it is best to make a personal injury claim. In order to present an effective case, it is wise to seek out professional legal representation for help navigating and negotiating your claim. See our blog, “How to Make a Personal Injury Claim in Indiana” to learn how to get started. Or simply scroll below to skip the hassle and speak directly to seasoned Indianapolis personal injury lawyers who can help.

Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyers

Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700, located in Indianapolis, Indiana, if you or a loved one was recently hurt in a serious accident in Indiana. Our personal injury attorneys offer free initial consultations to sit down and assess your case. If we feel that you are entitled to compensation for your injuries, we begin working on your case immediately, without charging a dime. If we do not prevail for you, you will not owe our law firm any payment. We are the strong voice and immediate action you need for your personal injury lawsuit.

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

The Fundamentals of a Negligence Lawsuit

Indianapolis Accident Lawyers 317-881-2700

Indianapolis Accident Lawyers 317-881-2700

When a victim sues an at-fault person in civil court for personal injuries that resulted from an accident caused by the defendant, it is considered a negligence lawsuit. In criminal court, there are wrongdoers, whereas, in civil court, there are negligent or at-fault parties. In a negligence lawsuit, the plaintiff (victim or family of victim) carries the burden of proving their case. In order to do so, they must provide evidence to prove the 4 main elements of every negligence lawsuit.

The 4 Main Elements of a Negligence Lawsuit:

The Plaintiff must prove…

Ⅰ. The defendant had a legal duty of care.

An example of having a duty of care would be a school. Teachers and administrators have a duty of care to ensure children are looked after and kept safe from danger.

Ⅱ. The defendant breached that duty of care.

Continuing the example above, if the teacher takes their class to the park, and a child falls into a pond, she is guilty of negligent supervision.

Ⅲ. The breach of care directly caused the accident, which caused the Plaintiff injuries.

Since the child would likely have not fallen into the pond if they were being properly supervised, the teacher could be held liable for any injuries or wrongful death that resulted from the child falling into the pond while under her supervision.

Ⅳ. The Plaintiff’s injuries caused damages and losses.

The final element of every negligence case has to do with damages and losses. Victims can recover various types of damages depending on the details and circumstances of their case.

Types of damages include:

Compensatory – Compensates for actual costs incurred as a result of the accident/injuries, such as lost wages, hospital bills, and medical expenses. Compensatory damages can include both general and special damages.

General – Monetary compensation for injuries.

Nominal – Awarded when negligence is proven, but losses have not yet occurred.

Special – Compensates for material possessions lost or damaged in the accident.

Punitive – Awarded to victim for the purpose of punishing the defendant for their negligence.

Indianapolis Accident Attorneys 317-881-2700

Indianapolis Accident Attorneys 317-881-2700

It is the judge in the end who decides what duty of care the defendant had with the plaintiff. It is the personal injury attorneys who fight on behalf of injured victims to ensure they receive the full and fair amount of compensation for their damages and losses. Choose an experienced Indianapolis personal injury lawyer if you or someone you love was recently injured as a result of another person or company’s negligence. They have the knowledge and resources to prove your case and win the settlement you deserve.

Call Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a free consultation with a licensed Indianapolis personal injury attorney who can determine the best strategies for your case. Not only does our law firm offer free consultations, we never collect lawyer fees unless we prevail for you! Call 317-881-2700 to get started on your financial recovery, today.

The 4 Elements of Negligence in a Personal Injury Case

Personal Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700

Personal Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700

Every personal injury case is based on the legal principle of negligence. Under this principle, if a person or company’s negligent actions causes another person harm, they can be held legally responsible for the victim’s damages and losses. Most personal injury and accident disputes are adjudicated by using the principle of negligence to determine fault. But the victim holds the burden of proving that a defendant acted in a negligent or careless way. To recover compensation, victims must prove all four elements of negligence: 1) duty of care, 2) breach of duty, 3) causation, and 4) damages.

Continue reading for a closer look at each element of negligence.

Duty of Care

The first aspect of proving negligence is to establish whether or not the defendant owed the victim a legal duty of care in any way. This could be between employer and employee, child and sitter, doctor and patient, school and student, and much more. For instance, an employer has a legal duty of care to provide employees with a clean and safe work environment, while a doctor has a legal duty of care to provide competent medical care for patients. In other examples, a nursing home has a legal duty of care to look after their residents, while drivers have a legal duty of care to drive safely when behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Breach of Duty

Once it is recognized that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant breached that duty. A defendant can breach their duty of care by either action or inaction. If a person does something, or fails to do something, that a reasonable person under the same circumstances would do, and it causes harm to another, they are acting negligently. For example, if a person is late for work and runs a red light to save time, and in running the red light they strike another vehicle and injure the driver, they will be found negligent in a court of law. In an example of inaction, if an employer fails to keep their premises up to code, and as a result their employees suffer from severe respiratory illnesses from mold inhalation, they can be found negligent.

Causation

It is not enough for a victim to prove that a defendant breached their duty of care. Plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits must also prove that the defendant’s action (or inaction) was the direct cause of their injuries. But there is another aspect to causation. Courts will also assess and determine whether or not the defendant could have reasonably foreseen that their actions would or could injure someone. Accidentally causing someone harm through a random, unforeseen act of nature might not be looked at as negligent. However, if it is found that a defendant should have known that their actions or inactions would or could cause injury, then they can be found negligent in a personal injury case.

Damages and Losses

After proving all of the above elements of negligence, a victim must then prove their subsequent damages and losses. Word of mouth will not hold up in a court of law, so a victim must have proof and evidence of their damages and losses. Damages and losses can include medical expenses, hospital bills, lost wages, prolonged treatment, pain and suffering, mental anguish, permanent disfigurement or scarring, loss of companionship, loss of job opportunity, and much more. These losses can be proven with medical records, doctors’ statements, receipts, bills, witness testimony, and more.

Indianapolis Personal Injury Attorneys

Personal Injury Attorney Indianapolis

Personal Injury Attorneys 317-881-2700

Call Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 for help with your personal injury claim in Indianapolis, Indiana. Our Indianapolis personal injury attorneys, Daniel Craven, Ralph Hoover, and Keith Blazek are eager to help victims recover the full and fair compensation they deserve after being hurt in a serious accident. We offer free initial consultations to discuss your claim, and never collect lawyer fees unless we recover for you! Call 317-881-2700 to schedule an appointment, today.

The Importance of Foreseeability Tests in Personal Injury Cases

Personal Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700

Personal Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700

The burning question everyone wants to know after being involved in a serious accident or traumatic event is, “Whose fault was it?” This is where an experienced injury lawyer can help. They look at all the facts surrounding the accident and everyone involved, and study the evidence to proficiently determine the negligent party. From there, they work hard to secure the rights of their clients and recover ample compensation for their pain, suffering, and tangible losses.

One of the most important tools used in personal injury cases to determine who was negligent, and to what extent, is a foreseeability test. Continue reading to learn about foreseeability tests and how they are used to determine proximate cause in a personal injury case.

Negligence

Everyone has a legal “duty of care” to uphold, meaning they are responsible for not causing harm or injury to another person. This is the law in the United States. Negligence is the act of breaching that duty, and proving it is the first factor in personal injury cases. In order for a person to be guilty of negligence in a personal injury case, the act that caused the harm or injury must be foreseeable. This also relates to proximate cause, since the concept of foreseeability is used to determine the legal cause of injury.

Foreseeability

Personal Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700

Personal Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700

The law uses foreseeability tests to determine legal causation, or proximate cause, in personal injury cases. They are basically questions that are used as a formula for determining whether or not a person should have “reasonably foreseen” the harmful consequences of their actions. The law does, however, make certain distinctions based on the foreseeability of the type of harm and the manner of which the harm occurred; but not the extent of harm. Terms for these concepts include: unforeseeable type of
harm and unforeseeable manner of harm.

Unforeseeable Type of Harm

A person is not liable for injuries and accidents to others that occur under unlikely circumstances, or events that are generally unforeseeable. For example, if a person dropped a bag of marbles on the ground and failed to clean them up, causing another person to slip and injure themselves, they can be legally liable since slipping on marbles is a foreseeable consequence. But if the marbles reflect in the sun in a way that causes a spark and subsequent fire, they would not be liable for injuries caused by the fire since a fire is not a foreseeable consequence of marbles left on the ground. Of course there are several exceptions to these concepts depending on the various unique circumstances of a person’s case. This is why it is imperative to hire a personal injury lawyer to manage your case and proceedings and recover full and fair compensation for your damages and losses.

Unforeseeable Manner of Harm

In the event that a person acts negligently in a way that does NOT harm another person, but then a superseding event makes the initial negligence harmful to others, the person may not be held liable for the superseding event and subsequent damages. For example, if a person leaves a candle burning while they are at school, and an earthquake occurs causing the candle to fall over and catch everything on fire, the person may not be held liable for the damages caused by the fire since a second event caused the candle to fall over and catch fire; even though it can be argued by opposing parties that the initial act of leaving a candle burning is negligent.

Again, it is important to have an experienced personal injury lawyer on your team to protect you against low insurance settlements and tricky lawsuit proceedings. They have the knowledge, experience, and resources needed to recover a fair settlement for your losses.

Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C.

Personal Injury Attorney Indianapolis

Personal Injury Attorneys 317-881-2700

Call Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to find experienced personal injury lawyers in Indianapolis, Indiana. Attorneys Daniel Craven, Ralph Hoover, and Keith Blazek have extensive trial and litigation experience, and will fight to recover the full and fair amount of compensation you and your family deserves after being injured in an accident. We offer free initial consultations and work on a contingency-fee basis, meaning if we don’t recover for you, you owe us nothing. Call 317-881-2700 to schedule a consultation with a licensed personal injury
attorney in Indianapolis, IN
today.

What is Negligent Supervision?

Indianapolis Accident Lawyers 317-881-2700

Indianapolis Accident Lawyers 317-881-2700

There are three primary cases of negligent supervision. They are cases that generally involve children, elderly, or employees. Although three separate circumstances exist, all cases of negligent supervision share the same principles. They all must prove that the negligent person was in fact responsible for monitoring the individual, whether child, employee, or senior citizen.

And all cases must prove that the negligent person failed to sensibly and dutifully supervise the individual. Also, all cases must prove that the negligent person’s failure to properly monitor the individual was a direct cause of that individual’s serious injury and damages. Last, all cases must prove that the accident or injury to the individual was foreseeable had proper supervision been used. Here are some examples of such cases:

Negligent Supervision of Employees Occurs If…

• An employer is responsible for monitoring an employee that works from a satellite office or at home, and that employee is conducting company-related scams or personal scams on company time or while using company property.
• An employer chooses to ignore acts of violence or threats in the workplace, or dismisses complaints from co-workers about such behavior.
• An employer allows a convicted child sex offender to be alone with minors.
• An employer fails to provide and ensure proper training for jobs that require using dangerous weapons, chemicals, tools, or machinery. Also if they fail to properly supervise the use of such objects.
• An employer allows or ignores sexual advances or harassment of another employee.
• An employer allows an employee to drive or operate machinery while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Negligent Supervision of Elderly Occurs If…

• A nursing home ignores financial and physical abuse by staff members, visitors, or guests.
• A senior citizen with dementia wanders off the property.
• A senior citizen that is at-risk of falling, falls and injures themselves due to improper monitoring.
• A senior citizen chokes as a result of unsuitably-sized food.
• A senior citizen suffers bed sores and other injuries as a result of poor or infrequent hygienic care.

Negligent Supervision of Children Occurs If…

• Parents allow teenagers to drink alcohol or use drugs at unsupervised parties.
• A child accesses matches and starts a fire.
• A child finds a gun and shoots themselves or another person.
• A child or minor is neglected while in foster care.
• A daycare fails to prevent a child that is known for aggression from harming another child.
• A daycare fails to retain appropriate staff numbers for effective child supervision.
• A parent allows an unlicensed minor to drive a vehicle.
• Babysitters, nannies, caregivers, or guardians fail to protect children from traffic, animals, ledges, pools, and other obvious hazards.

If you believe yourself or a loved one was a recent victim of a personal injury resulting from negligent supervision, contact a licensed and experienced accident attorney to discuss your legal options and your right to compensation. You or your loved ones may be able to collect remuneration for your damages.

Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C.

Personal Injury Attorney Indianapolis

Personal Injury Attorneys Indianapolis 317-881-2700

Call Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 for information about filing a personal injury claim in Indianapolis, Indiana. Attorneys Daniel Craven, Ralph Hoover, and Keith Blazek are happy to answer your questions about a recent accident or negligent case. If you believe you or your loved one has been a recent victim of negligent supervision, nursing home abuse, or other form of personal injury, contact our licensed accident attorneys right away to learn your legal options. Call 317-881-2700 and schedule a free initial consultation with an Indianapolis personal injury lawyer, today.