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Did You Know - Personal Injury Tips

Tip #1 If You’re In A Car Accident - Call the Police

Call the police. Indiana Law provides that you must stop and remain at the scene of an accident until the authorities are notified. The only exception to this is very minor property damage when, then, you must make every effort to contact the owner of the damaged property. When the authorities arrive give factual information, but do not admit fault or blame.

Auto Accidents

A frequent injury claim that we see in our office is the automobile collision. Usually, there is some type of standardized crash report prepared by a law enforcement agency after an automobile collision. However, these reports must be reviewed with great scrutiny, as frequently mistakes exist within the crash report. Frequently, there are witnesses available who have not been interviewed by either party. I guarantee you that the insurance company will undertake a quick and immediate investigation of the matter. Failure to do so can result in loss of evidence necessary at a later date.

Frequently you will be dealing with damage to your vehicle. Negotiating an adequate settlement on the property damage claim can be a difficult process. If the cost of repairing your vehicle exceeds the cost of repairs, your vehicle will be totaled. Then the evaluation turns to deciding what the fair market value of the vehicle was immediately before the crash.

One huge area of frequent confusion is the application of multiple insurance coverages. You may have medical insurance, and you may have medical pay coverage on your existing automobile policy. Deciding which one to use is important. You may also have other coverages on your own automobile, including uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage, which can provide hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional liability coverage.

You should contact Graham Law Firm to discuss these matters before you start signing documents, and giving free interviews to the insurance company.


Medical Negligence

Years ago, the State of Indiana imposed a statutory scheme which must be followed in pursuing medical negligence claims. Doctors, and other healthcare providers are protected by Indiana’s Medical Malpractice Act. Basically, you may not file a claim against a qualified healthcare provider in a court of law, until you have completed the review processes as prescribed by Indiana’s Medical Malpractice Act. This process can take a very long time, and is extremely difficult and beyond the abilities of most lay individuals.

If you feel someone in your family has been the victim of medical negligence, please contact us so we can review the matter.


Motorcycle Injuries

Our law firm has handled many motorcycle injuries.   As expected, when someone is driving or a passenger on a motorcycle and they are in a collision, either party is in an extremely vulnerable position because there is no surrounding metal compartment to protect them.  Further, the individuals on the motorcycle  can be severely injured because of the difference in weight and force between a motorcycle and other large moving vehicles.  Frequently, individuals injured on a motorcycle do not have sufficient insurance which usually requires utilization of under-insured or uninsured motorist insurance. 

We would be happy to consult with you regarding injuries as a result of motorcycle collisions and provide a free case evaluation so that you make informed decisions.

Frequently you will be dealing with damage to your vehicle. Negotiating an adequate settlement on the property damage claim can be a difficult process. If the cost of repairing your vehicle exceeds the cost of repairs, your vehicle will be totaled. Then the evaluation turns to deciding what the fair market value of the vehicle wa,s immediately before the crash.


Products Liability

Products liability involves injuries resulting from unreasonable dangerous or defective products.  Often referred to as strict liability, it is a frequently debated area of personal injury.  Basically, if a manufacturer places into the stream of commerce, a product which is unreasonably dangerous, the manufacturer may be responsible for injuries resulting from the product - irrespective of provable fault. 

These products frequently involve defective machinery, consumer products, and other manufactured items which by their nature, are unreasonably dangerous and harm the ultimate user of the products. 

If you feel you have been injured by a dangerous product please contact us.



Slip and Fall Injuries

Graham Law Firm frequently handles injuries resulting from slips, trips, and falls.  Frequently we  see  cases involving falls on accumulations of ice, and snow.   We have also handled cases where floors are covered with wax, or which are broken or have become unreasonably dangerous.  There are numerous statutes -  and Indiana Case Law -  pertaining to these types of cases, and if you feel you have been injured  in a slip and fall accident as a result of the fault of another individual please contact us.


Trucking Accidents

As you might imagine, collisions with semi-trucks frequently result in serious injury.  These cases can frequently become complex as Department of Transportation regulations are involved, and frequently trucks are leased out by their owners.  It may be difficult to ascertain exactly which insurance company may provide the coverage.  Normally, a case of this type cannot be pursued without the services of an experienced injury lawyer.

There are multiple reasons where truck drivers, or company owners may be negligent.  These frequently involve driver fatigue or improper log maintenance resulting in excessive driving hours.  Defective tires and rims also contribute to trucking accidents.  Wide turn angles, unsafe lane changing, and the use of drugs or alcohol may also contribute to semi-truck liability.  Frequently, hazardous roadways contribute to the incident resulting in multiple party litigation.  Unsecured loads, general poor maintenance of the truck, or a poor  braking system also frequently result in truck crashes.

Products liability may also be pursued in many truck accidents where poor braking illumination lamps on the rear of the trailer are utilized, or in cases where there is an under-ride situation and a vehicle is trapped underneath the trailer.

We would be happy to consult with you regarding injuries resulting from collisions with semi-trucks.


Worker's Compensation

The Workers Compensation Act was passed years ago to provide a uniform system of compensation for individuals injured during the course of their employment.  Employees may not directly sue their employer for injuries resulting from the  employers negligence or fault.  There are many third party actions which can result in direct liability.

Basically, coverage is automatic for employees injured during the course of their employment, without a showing of fault.

There are basically three categories of compensation for injured employees:

  1. Medical Expense.
    An employee hurt during the course of his employment is entitled to medical care. However, the employer decides which medical provider shall provide the care. The employer is required to pay for the care of the doctor selected by the employer. If you consult physicians of your own choosing the workers compensation insurance carrier will  likely not pay for it.  Before you switch doctors, you need to speak with the nurse, or workers compensation  adjuster handling the claim.

  2. Weekly Benefits.
    If you are off work for more than seven days continuously, your employer, or his insurance carrier, is required to pay what is known as temporary total disability payments.  This requires weekly payments  based on your average weekly wage.  This may be difficult to compute on individuals who have worked for a short period of time.

  3. Permanent Partial Impairment.
    Finally, If you left with a permanent partial impairment as dictated by a treating physician, you will be entitled to a lump sum payment based on the nature and extent of the degree of impairment. Frequently, there is a debate as to the nature and the extent of the  impairment. 

I have provided various information in our learning library which you should review.  If you have questions please contact us.


Wrongful Death

Wrongful death cases pose  particularly tragic situations for family’s dealing with a death of a loved one. In Indiana, only the personal representative of the estate may bring a wrongful death action. Anyone can apply to be a personal representative and consequently, it is important to diligently pursue the opening of an estate to pursue a wrongful death claim. Delay in doing so can result in the undesirable result of dealing with a personal representative who has no relationship to the family.

Our firm has handled many wrongful death cases and we are equipped to immediately open the estate so that a proper investigation may commence in a timely manner.

We will provide a free opinion, and information, so that you can make informed decisions.