The General Steps of a Car Accident Injury Trial

In the vast majority of cases of car accident lawsuits, both parties usually avoid trial by settling the case with the assistance from their respective attorneys. This happens when the claimant party, or injured victim, agrees to a settlement offered by the opposing party’s insurance carrier. However, if both parties cannot come to a settlement agreement, the case will go to trial. Trials are serious matters, which is why it is vital to always have private personal injury representation as a wrongfully injured victim in Indiana. They can navigate your car accident case every step of the way.

For a better understanding of what this might involve, continue below to review the general steps of car accident injury trial.

Car Accident Attorney Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700
Car Accident Attorney Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700

Car Accident Liability Disputes

In the case of a car accident liability dispute, a claimant has two options for resolution: they can settle with the insurance company or file a personal injury lawsuit. Settling with the insurance company would involve out-of-court settlement negotiations that would take place between the claimant party (injured victim and their legal team) and the insurance carrier.

If the insurance carrier offers a full and fair settlement for the injured victim’s damages and losses, the injured victim might agree to the settlement, and the case can be completed and closed. If the injured victim and their legal team reject the settlement offer by the insurance carrier, they can bring the case to court. At trial, a car accident injury dispute will be heard and decided normally by a jury and rarely by a judge.

Car accident injury cases tend to go to trial because they are high-value, or because they involve complicated factors surrounding liability and causation. It is important to have an experienced Indianapolis car accident lawyer working your case for the best possible chance at recovering the maximum settlement for your damages and losses.

What To Expect at a Car Accident Injury Trial

Your personal injury car accident lawyer will handle every aspect of your case, from start to finish. On your behalf, they will attend every hearing and pretrial meeting representing your best interests. The general phases of a car accident injury trial include discovery, mediation, jury selection, opening statements, presentation of evidence, closing arguments, jury deliberation, and verdict delivery.

Discovery Phase

The discovery phase is a type of pretrial meeting that takes place between the legal team of the claimant party (injured victim) and the legal team of the plaintiff party (insurance company). During this phase, the lawyers will exchange information relevant to the case by means of depositions, interrogatories, or other requests for evidence.

Jury Selection

Following the discovery phase, both the plaintiff and claimant legal teams will interview a panel of potential jurors by asking them several questions. They will need six qualified jurors and one alternate in Indiana.

Opening Statements

Once the trial begins, both sides will make opening statements to the court and jury. These statements outline what the lawyer intends on proving throughout the proceedings.

Presentation of Evidence

During this stage of a car accident injury trial, both legal teams for each side will present the evidence they have that proves their case. Such evidence might include documents, records, witness testimonies, expert testimonies, photographs, videos, receipts, and relevant evaluations.

Closing Arguments

Towards the end of the trial, after all evidence has been presented and argued, the claimant’s lawyer and the plaintiff’s lawyer will make closing arguments. These are similar to opening statements in that they summarize all facts and testimony presented and proved throughout the trial.

Jury Deliberations

During this phase of a car accident trial, the jury will deliberate and ultimately decide whether the claimant met their burden of proof or not.

Verdict

After the jury and judge decide that the claimant party did meet their burden of proof and therefore the opposing party’s liability in the case, they will be award financial compensation. If the judge and jury decide that the claimant party failed at meeting this burden, the case will be closed, and they would receive no compensation.

Are you ready to discuss the legal options you have surrounding your recent and wrongful car accident in Indiana? Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a free initial case evaluation for your car accident injury lawsuit in Indianapolis, Indiana. We represent injured persons and the loved ones following the wrongful death of a relative throughout the State of Indiana. We also represent Hoosiers who were injured and the Estates of persons wrongly killed in other states.

Related Posts:

Recurrent Types of Commercial Trucker Safety Violations
What You Need to Know About Car Accident Claim Demand Letters
Understanding Onset of Injuries After a Car Accident

Do I Need to File a Lawsuit After Being Hurt in an Accident?

After being injured in an accident by the carelessness of another, many victims are legally entitled to some degree of reimbursement or compensation for their losses. These losses include damages like lost wages, medical expenses, hospital bills, prolonged rehabilitation, mental trauma, pain, suffering, property damages, and more. In extreme cases where the wrong doer demonstrated egregious misconduct or caused such trauma that compensation is not a sufficient means of amends, punitive damages may also be awarded by a court or jury.

Although a victim of a negligent act or accident is truly a victim and should be compensated for their damages, pursuing a lawsuit for such restitution may not always be in the victim’s best interest. Most often, a personal injury lawsuit is the path wrongly injured victims should take, but in some instances, it may not be the best option for a number of reasons. For this reason, it is wise to consider whether a lawsuit is a worthwhile endeavor.

Continue reading to learn a few considerations that can help a personal injury victim decide if a lawsuit is the productive course of action to take after being hurt in an accident.

File Accident Lawsuit Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700
Accident Lawsuit Lawyers Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700

Examining the Details of the Accident

After being injured in an accident at the expense of another person or entity, it is important to indicate three aspects of the incident. First, it is critical to consider the actual level of fault of the opposing party.

What was their role in the incident?

Did they have a legal duty of care to prevent such accidents from happening to the same class of people as the victim?

Would a reasonable person have foreseen the possibility of the accident happening?

Did they take reasonable action to prevent such accidents?

There is much more involved in determining fault in a personal injury case, but these are a few inquiries that come into play when assessing liability. Sometimes, it can seem like an accident was the other person or company’s fault, when in fact, they are cleared of such liability for several other reasons. If a person does not have a strong enough claim against an opposing party, or if the opposing party is not the majority at-fault, there may be no point to a personal injury lawsuit.

Comparative Fault Analysis

It is also important to consider the victim’s own liability in the accident. This is referred to as comparative fault analysis. According to USLEGAL.com, Comparative Fault Analysis is defined as, “…a doctrine of tort law which permits plaintiff and defendant to compare their liability for the accident. It allows proportionate recovery if both the plaintiff and defendant were negligent and thereby contributed to the cause of an injury.” So, one must ask themselves what was their level of fault might be? Could they have prevented their injuries? Should they have reasonably foreseen that such an accident could happen?  Was what they were doing at the time of the incident reasonable?

For example, consider a winter blizzard. On a snowy and icy day, a young man visits a grocery store wearing roller skates. Although there are wet floor signs posted everywhere and the store attempted reasonable clean up, he ignores them and continues to skate his way through the store, eventually wiping out and injuring himself badly. Since a reasonable person would not wear roller skates to a grocery store in those conditions because they know that floors will be wet and slippery, and since the grocery store took reasonable action to try to clean and to post “wet floor” signs as a warning to customers, the level of fault might fall onto the man. In this case, the store would not be held liable or fully liable for his injuries.  A personal injury lawsuit might be futile in this example.

Extent of Damages

And the third aspect to consider is the severity of the victim’s injury and the extent of damages incurred because of the accident. If the injury is not so serious that it caused the victim to suffer calculable financial losses like medical bills, lost wages, and loss of ability to work.

For instance, let’s say a person is wrongly rear-ended by another driver and the collision causes the airbag to deploy. As a result, the person who was rear-ended incurred minor airbag burns on their forearm but no other injuries. Because these burns are minor, they only required one doctor’s visit in which the physician orders the patient to use OTC topical ointment to soothe the burns as they heal. Because the accident did not cause them to suffer serious damages and losses, a personal injury lawsuit would be useless, although if a settlement were not reached with the at-fault party’s insurance carrier, a lawsuit in small claims court might be sufficient but again, the pros and cons of your time and effort in obtaining a small claims judgement would need to be weighed.

Had the car accident resulted in a head injury, orthopedic injury, or similar serious injuries that require extensive medical treatment and ongoing rehabilitation, the circumstance would change, and a personal injury claim and possible lawsuit would be worthwhile filing.

Prospect of Compensation

Aside from the three aspects of the accident, it is important to think about the possibility of compensation. Although a court can rule that a victim is owed compensation, the court is not the one to pay it, and neither is the government unless the claim was brought against the government. All compensation that is court- ordered to the victim or their families has to come from, in almost all cases, the defendant’s insurance company. If a defendant has no insurance, and has very little assets, income, or savings, there is little chance to get the compensation. They usually cannot pay a judgment if they could not afford to carry liability insurance. For this reason, pursuing a lawsuit is most often not worthwhile, but every case needs to be looked at individually.

Would you like to learn more about your opportunity to obtain compensation through an Indiana personal injury claim or lawsuit? 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 and Indiana residents injured in other states.

Related Posts:

The First Questions You Should Be Asking About Your Personal Injury
What You Need to Know About Car Accident Insurance and Injury Claims
Can I Recover Compensation For My Injuries if an Accident Was My Fault?

Can I Settle My Personal Injury Case Through Arbitration?

When a personal injury claim is filed, the case doesn’t always end up in front of a jury. Many personal injury claims are negotiated out of court. When a personal injury case is settled out of court, negotiations usually take place between opposing parties, which may include an alternative dispute resolution process known as arbitration.

Continue reading to learn some important facts about personal injury arbitration, including which cases are more likely to be settled this way.

Accident Lawyers Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700
Accident Lawyers Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700

Facts About Personal Injury Alternative Dispute Resolution

Both personal injury defendants and claimants can sometimes choose arbitration over going to trial, namely for reasons of time and money. Arbitration is faster, more efficient, and costs much less than a court trial. It is a streamline version of dispute resolution since it eliminates the formalities of court procedures, such as filing, court dates, motions, jury selection, and more. Court costs, attorney fees, filing fees, and time off work are all examples of associated, out-of-pocket costs claimants can face if they push for their case to go to trial. 

What it Means to Agree to Arbitration

To be granted this type of alternative dispute resolution, both parties must agree to it in most circumstances. When two parties go to arbitration, together they select an impartial, unbiased party to arbitrate their dispute. This person is known as an arbitrator. The two parties agree beforehand that they will comply with the arbitrator’s award. Once the arbitration begins, a single hearing or a series of hearings are held to allow both parties to present their evidence and testimony. At the conclusion, the arbitrator renders a final decision. Sometimes arbitrations occur by panel decision, with three arbitrators deciding the case.

Be Aware of Arbitration Clauses

Some contracts between parties retain an arbitration clause that mandates mediation over trial in the event of a breach of contract or a disagreement about the terms of a contract. In this scenario, both parties would have no other choice but to go to arbitration to resolve the case. This avoids high court costs and trial fees and makes the process much quicker.

In some personal injury cases, insurance companies use this clause because they think they are more likely to have a sympathetic arbitrator than a sympathetic jury. Arbitration clauses are near impossible to escape because they are in most cases valid and legally-binding. In some cases companies will abandon their arbitration clauses, while in other cases, courts can hold that they are not enforceable. Every case is different.

Are you wondering how to get started on the right path toward obtaining the full and fair settlement you deserve after being wrongfully injured in an accident? Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Indianapolis, Indiana. We represent clients all throughout the state and Indiana residents injured in other states. There is no need to travel, as we are happy to hold case evaluations via phone or online video conference.

Related Posts:

Do Personal Injury Cases Go to Arbitration?
When Will the Settlement Negotiations Begin for My Accident Claim?
Questions and Answers About Personal Injury Negotiations

Information About Personal Injury Structured Settlements

When you are in the middle of a personal injury lawsuit, your mind is in constant motion with questions about all the possible outcomes of your case. Although you might have an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side who is fighting for your rights to compensation, it can be tough putting your mind at ease until the case is completely settled.

Many people are worried about their settlements and wonder how they will receive their payment in the end. Questions like, “Will I get all my money at once?” and “Is it possible that my compensation will be awarded as a structured payment?” are all common concerns by most personal injury plaintiffs.

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

The Benefits of Structured Accident Settlements

A structured settlement is an agreed periodic payment plan in which the recipient receives a set amount of money over a specified period. Structured payments are a fairly common method of dispersing personal injury settlements and verdicts. Whether a structured settlement is a good result or a bad one really hangs on the recipient. There are both advantages and disadvantages of structured payments, depending on personal perspective.

The number one benefit of a structured settlement is that you usually receive more money overall. In a lump sum payment, the amount is usually negotiated lower. Another major benefit is personal financial management. When a large sum of money is paid out overtime, it is typically easier to manage your finances, pay bills, save money, and maintain a positive financial portfolio. It may be especially beneficial in terms of tax liabilities as well.

Additional Advantages of Structured Payments:

☑ Simpler Tax Planning
☑ Possible Income Tax Advantages
☑ Additional Annual Income
☑ Broader Subsidy Opportunities
☑ Budget Protection

Disadvantages of Personal Injury Structured Settlements

One of the common downfalls to structure pay is limitation. For those consider themselves financially savvy, not receiving your full compensation can be a huge restriction since you cannot use the money to make any lucrative investments. In other cases, a personal injury victim has already paid all of their hospital bills, medical expenses, and other related expenses, out of pocket. They have also already incurred lost wages from work. So, by not receiving a full payment can be frustrating since victims in this type of situation is simply trying to put the money back where it was before their accident.

Timeline for Receiving a Structured Settlement

If you win your claim and an insurance company agrees to give you a structured settlement, you will not be given a paycheck right away. Instead, you will be paid a set amount over a set period of time. The terms of structured settlement agreements vary from case to case, and payment amounts, and schedules can be set in many different ways. These payments generally begin as soon as all the paperwork is processed; however, this time period can vary, and sometimes can take up to one year to begin receiving payments.

Lastly, a settlement can also be a portion paid out up front in cash and a portion in a structured settlement.

Are you looking for a seasoned personal injury law firm to obtain the maximum settlement for your Indiana accident claim? 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 personal injury lawyer over the phone, via online video, or in person at our office. We represent clients throughout the state of Indiana.

Related Posts:

4 Factors to Consider Before Agreeing to a Structured Settlement
Pros and Cons of Insurance Company Structured Settlements
The Benefits of a Structured Settlements

What You Need to Know About Car Accident Claim Demand Letters

After sustaining serious injuries in a wrongful auto accident, you may be entitled to pursue legal action against the negligent party to obtain compensation for medical bills and similar economic damages.  If you obtain a settlement or judgment against the negligent party, their insurance carrier will pay the settlement of judgment, up to the negligent party’s liability insurance limits. 

The best strategy for obtaining a full and fair car accident injury settlement is to hire a licensed and experienced personal injury attorney who specializes in motor vehicle accident claims. From there, they may implement an effective strategy to support the full value of your claim that involves creating a solid letter of demand to the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier. A demand letter is a formally written document that becomes the basis for negotiating compensation for your resulting damages and losses.

Continue below to learn what you need to know about car accident claim demand letters, including what they entail, why most cases require one, and why you should never attempt to write your own.

Personal Injury Claim Help Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700
Personal Injury Claim Help Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700

The General Template for a Demand Letter

Demand letters are written with a strict focus on facts first, followed by opinions. Facts that are generally included in a demand letter are as follows:

Description of why the claimant believes the other party is to blame. Did they run a red traffic light? Or maybe they neglected to stop at a stop sign?  Whatever the violation or cause may be, it should be included in the demand letter.

Description of ALL injuries sustained by the claimant, how they were sustained, how they are being treated, and how the injury or wound is healing or is healed.

A breakdown of all medical-related financial losses associated with the accident, including hospital bills, medical expenses, and any other evidence and documents showing missed time at work, physical therapy, counseling, medical equipment and supplies, fuel costs traveling to and from medical appointments, and similar losses.

Information about an IUM claim, if applicable.  This is when the other person does not have insurance, or their insurance wasn’t enough to cover the medical expenses and other damages and losses.

This typically completes the introduction of a demand letter. Next is the actual demand section. The demand segment of the letter requires a different set of guidelines that should be followed by the claimant and their legal team. In this section, claimant’s demand compensation for:

Medical Expenses – The hospital can provide documents proving a claimant’s injuries and the treatments that followed.  Claimants can also provide bank statements, invoices, and other forms of billing evidence that shows the dollar amount associated with the medical treatment.

Liability – Description of how the accident happened and why the other driver was at fault.  This should include police reports, photos and witness statements to support the allegations.

Lost Income – All information on the total amount of lost wages incurred because of the injury.  Description of how the injury affected the victim’s ability to work and make money, plus proof on how much time they had to take off from work.

Comparative Negligence – If the defendant’s insurance company attempts to argue comparative fault on the party of the plaintiff/claimant, the plaintiff/claimant’s attorney can argue the facts to the insurance adjuster on why such an argument is without merit.

Emotional Distress and Pain and Suffering – Description of injuries sustained and how they have affected the victim’s everyday life, including pain and suffering and relationships, and more.  Also, a detailed description of the injuries and accident and how they have caused the victim suffering and trauma. 

What to Keep in Mind as You Proceed With Your Auto Accident Claim

Demand letters are important ways to begin the negotiation process of a car accident claim.  They can be complicated and could possibly make or break your compensation claim all together.  It is strongly encouraged to hire a seasoned Indiana personal injury law firm to navigate all elements of your claim, including writing your demand letter.

Are you looking for a qualified Indiana auto accident lawyer who can represent your best interests in a car accident claim? Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a free consultation with a seasoned car accident attorney in Indianapolis, Indiana who knows how to obtain the maximum settlement or verdict for your claim. We represent victims all throughout the state and Indiana residents injured in other states.

Related Posts:

What is a Reservations of Rights Letter?
The Difference Between a Reservations of Rights Letter and a Demand Letter
The Importance of Documentation in a Personal Injury Case

Common Methods of Discovery in a Personal Injury Case

Personal injury cases require the collection of information and evidence, regardless of which side you are on. The process of obtaining and reviewing such information in a personal injury case is known as discovery. Continue below to learn which options personal injury parties might have in the discovery process, plus where to get the best advice regarding your recent accident or injury in Indiana.

Indianapolis IN Personal Injury Claims 317-881-2700
Indianapolis IN Personal Injury Claims 317-881-2700

The Personal Injury Discovery Process

After a personal injury complaint and answer is filed with the court, the discovery phase can begin. The discovery process generally takes usually anywhere from 6 to 12 months, but this can vary depending on various factors, such as the current traffic of the court, the amount of investigation required, court delays, rescheduled court dates, and so forth.

During this phase, both the legal teams for both the claimant (party making the claim) and the defendant (the party being sued) will exchange all evidence with one another, including witness information. They will also go before the proceeding judge to let them know how the case is proceeding. Also in the presence of the judge, they will either decide on mediation, which is normally ordered by the judge, and they will move forward with the lawsuit by setting a trial date.

Common Options For Discovery

There are different methods used by the court system to obtain personal injury case information. The two most common methods are depositions and interrogatories and physical exams, Requests for Production, Requests for Admission, and Subpoena Duces Tecum are other methods used to investigate and research all legal claims and defenses.

Depositions

Depositions are formal, recorded interviews conducted under oath and used to learn what a person knows pertaining to the case in question, and as evidence for later use during the trial. Depositions can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour, but in larger cases it may take several hours and even a day or two to reach completion.

Interrogatories

Interrogatories are a little different but are used for much of the same purpose. Rather than a formal interview in person, interrogatories are a set of written questions that each party sends to the other. Each party must fill out the entire list in writing, under oath, and within a limited period of time (usually between 20 and 40 days depending on the state). Although they are not always phrased in the form of questions, interrogatories always pertain to specific factors surrounding the case, such as reckless driving, distracted driving, and intoxicated driving. Since it is common for both parties to have different versions of what happened in an accident, they are designed specifically to get both sides of the story so that each party can prepare their case before trial.

Physical Exams

It is very common for the defense to request that the claimant be physically examined by a licensed medical practitioner chosen by the defense to verify and confirm the extent of their injuries.  Judges almost always grant these requests.  Although these examiners are obviously biased since they are hand-picked and paid for by the defendant’s insurance carrier, the witness can be cross-examined at trial on any testimony and opinions.

Requests for Production

A Request for Production is a motion that asks the opposing party for specific types of evidence or information that they are in possession or control of. This might include medical records and reports that detail the extent of injuries to the claimant, invoices or documents evidencing lost wages, photos of the scene or injuries, fuel receipts, and similar documents that prove or disprove allegations or statements made by either side.

Requests for Admission

A Requests for Admission is when one party asks the other to either deny or confirm facts. It is basically asking for them to admit to certain statements for the purpose of streamlining the case process. It allows the court and jury to focus on the necessary points of the case.

Subpoena Duces Tecum

A Subpoena Duces Tecum is a special type of subpoena used in cases. They are very similar to Requests for Production in that they ask someone to disclose evidence or information pertaining to the case. But while Requests for Production are reserved for claimants and defendants, a Subpoena Duces Tecum can be applied to expert witnesses, doctors, and other case-relevant entities who are called nonparties.

Are you a Hoosier who is looking for trusted and qualified advice regarding your rights to pursuing compensation for a wrongful accident you were recently injured in? 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.

Related Posts:

Deponent Tips for Personal Injury Depositions
What are Interrogatories in a Car Accident Claim?
Information You May Be Required to Give in a Personal Injury Deposition

The Importance of Documentation in a Personal Injury Case

Documentation makes all the difference when it comes to adjudicating legal matters. As for personal injury cases, having all the proper paperwork in order is key to enhancing the quality of your claim, and ultimately supporting a more successful outcome. Continue below to learn more about the importance of documentation in a personal injury case, including the types of paperwork and files you should keep, as well as how to ensure you are getting started on the right foot with your Indiana injury claim.

Accident Attorneys Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700
Accident Attorneys Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700

Why Personal Injury Evidence is So Valuable

Without the proper evidence, it is possible for a personal injury claim to get thrown out before it can even begin. Under tort law, the claimant (victim or victim’s family) holds the burden of proving that the defendant (alleged at-fault party) was negligent and that their negligence was a responsible cause of their accident and subsequent damages. In order to prove anything in life, especially negligence in a personal injury case, you need evidence to back up your assertions. And it is vital to note that quality of evidence, documentation specifically, is more impactful than quantity of evidence.

Types of Evidence Supported in a Personal Injury Claim

There are several types of documented pieces of evidence that can be used to support a claimant’s personal injury case. The most common personal injury documents and paperwork include police reports, medical records, pay stubs, hospital records, witness statements, expert testimonies, accident reconstruction reports, depositions, interrogatories, and even photos and videos of the scene of the accident or injuries. Other forms of personal injury evidence may include receipts for property repairs and medical expenses.

Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer

Not only is it critical to have the right type of evidence in a personal injury claim, but it is equally critical to submit it all within the required deadlines and formats, and to the proper authorities, which may be judges, courts, lawyers, clerks’ offices, or other legal departments.

For this reason and more, it is necessary to hire an Indianapolis personal injury lawyer to navigate your case and document a strong and impactful argument on your behalf. They can ensure that all pieces of evidence, including all documentation and paperwork, are sorted, organized, investigated, and submitted as evidence in accordance with court procedures and rules.

Are you looking for personal injury lawyer to represent you in a current accident case? Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a free initial case evaluation for your personal injury claim in Indianapolis, Indiana. We represent injured persons and the loved ones following the wrongful death of a relative throughout the State of Indiana and Indiana residents injured or killed in other states.

Related Posts:

What Physical Evidence Should I Keep for a Slip and Fall Claim?
Top 4 Pieces of Evidence That Will Help You Win Your Car Accident Claim
How a Personal Injury Attorney Will Prove Your Accident Claim

Am I Liable if My Guests Drink and Drive?

Social host liability is a real thing, and you should be fully informed of this legal responsibility before serving alcohol at your next soirée. Of course, not all states have social host liability laws, such as New York and California, but most do. So, do your part by learning what it takes to be a safe and responsible social host.

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700
Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700

Key Facts Surrounding Social Host Liability

If you are planning to serve alcohol to guests at your next event or party, be sure you know where you stand in terms of legally liability. The law will hold you [and therefore your home owner’s insurance company] responsible for the actions and inactions of your intoxicated guests, including drinking and driving. In fact, DUI cases are among the most common scenarios in which social host liability comes into play. If you knowingly serve alcohol to an already-inebriated guest or over-serve alcohol to a formally-sober guest, and then they drive home, you can be held legally responsible for any damages and losses they cause while operating their vehicle under the influence of alcohol.

Whether they drunkenly decided to joyride across a private golf course, fall asleep at the wheel and hit a pedestrian, or cause a serious auto accident that results in bodily harm to another, responsibility for these incidents could link back to you if the driver got drunk at your party on your alcohol. In serious cases, a social host could face criminal charges on top of a civil lawsuit.

Serving Minors

Social hosts also have a legal duty of care to ensure alcohol does not get in the hands of anyone who is under the legal drinking age. If you are caught serving alcohol to a minor, and that minor, under the influence of alcohol, drives and gets into an accident, you could be held civilly and criminally responsible. This also applies in some cases of unknowingly supplying alcohol to minors. In the case that your teenager and some friends steal the liquor from the cabinet, and then an accident takes place as a result of their intoxication, the law might hold the homeowners and legal guardians liable.

Dram Shop Laws

Restaurants must uphold this same duty of care. Dram Shop laws impose legal liability onto owners of bars, restaurants, liquor stores, and any other establishments that sell alcoholic beverages and products to intoxicated customers. These laws are set to protect individuals from harming themselves or others as a result of over-indulging in alcohol. For instance, it is possible for a victim of a drunk driving accident to sue the establishment that sold the drunk driver the alcohol, but only if the driver was already intoxicated at the time of the sell.

Were you or a loved one seriously injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver? Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a free case evaluation with an experienced drunk driving accident lawyer in Indianapolis, Indiana. We represent all drunk driving cases throughout the state of Indiana, including car accidents, truck accidents, pedestrian accidents, motorcycle accidents, wrongful deaths, and more.

Related Posts:

Accident Liability for Hosting an Employee Party With Alcohol
How to Make an Injury Claim Against a Drunk Driver
State Regulations for Truck Drivers Regarding Drugs and Alcohol

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.

Related Posts:

Are Bicyclists Considered Drivers if They Ride on the Street?
How to Make Your Own Bicycle Safety Kit
How to Avoid Bicycle Accidents While Riding Roadside

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.

Related Posts:

Can I Settle a Personal Injury Claim if I Cannot Prove Fault?
Can I Receive Personal Injury Compensation Without Filing a Lawsuit?
The Basics of Personal Injury Fault and Negligence