Amputation Caused By Accidents In Indiana
Our practice is dedicated to assisting individuals who have suffered amputations by the carelessness or negligence of another. Call for FREE consultation.
It only takes a second for an amputation injury to occur – yet the physical and emotional damages last a lifetime. Amputations are devastating. So, before we review the legal issues, let me say I’m sorry. Having helped so many clients deal with amputations, we’ve seen their immediate shock never really disappears.
The attorneys at Goodin Abernathy LLP are experienced handling Indiana amputation cases. Typically, we see finger or toe amputations. We handle arm, hand and leg cases. We are also practiced working on enucleations (“eye loss”) claims.
If you need an understanding, experienced and aggressive attorney, contact us for immediate help. Before you call a big box, advertising law firm you saw on the side of a bus, remember the Goodin Abernathy LLP attorney in charge of your case meets with you in person and manages your claim from start to finish. We do not refer your case out to other attorneys – whom you might not even meet in person.
For a review of your legal situation, categorize your amputation loss between an 1) Indiana Worker’s Compensation (“work comp”) amputation claim; or 2) a Negligence amputation claim. Indiana law treats them differently. In both situations, we help our clients with their immediate legal questions, like: Who pays for the medical bills? If I need a prosthetic, where do I get one and who pays for it? How am I going to work again? Do I qualify for financial support from the government, like Medicaid, Medicare or Social Security Disability (SSD)? What is my employer obligated to pay under Indiana Worker’s Compensation?
Indiana Work Place Amputations – A Worker’s Compensation Claim
Indiana’s worker’s compensation law (“work comp”) applies a special legal system for processing amputations suffered in the course of employment. First, if you were an employee and acting in the course of your job, then it does not matter how the accident happened. An employer cannot raise a liability defense and try saying you committed an error that caused your own injury. If you were not intoxicated, committing a crime or intentionally trying to hurt yourself, then your employer must provide these benefits: Medical and psychological treatment; Payments for time you are off work – known as Temporary Total Disability (TTD) or Temporary Partial Disability (TPD); and a Permanent Partial Impairment (PPI) payment representing the impact your amputation will have on your future income. As you already see, the work comp system uses a lot of acronyms and abbreviations that we will explain and simplify when you contact us.
In Indiana work comp, the employer, or typically the employer’s insurance company, handles medical treatment after visiting the emergency room. That is, the insurance company often chooses the doctors that you visit for treatment. You may visit your own doctor or medical provider. But without the employer / insurance company’s permission, you must pay for that treatment out of your own pocket.
During the timeframe the work comp doctor says you cannot work, the employer must pay you 66.66% of your average wage. This formula is controlled by Indiana statute. We will review it and verify the correct formula is being used. One important piece of relief is these discounted payments are NOT reduced by your income taxes.
In the latter parts of your medical treatment, we review a Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) determination and your Permanent Partial Impairment (PPI) benefits. Indiana’s PPI benefits are limited by the state legislature. We make sure the employer / insurance company are using the correct formulas so your payment is maximized.
Indiana law controls how attorneys charge for legal services in the work comp area. Basically it is a set percentage (%) of the PPI award. In certain circumstances where we must litigate for the benefits, we charge a percentage of the medical bills and TTD payments that we collect for you.
Amputations caused by Negligence in Indiana
This category of claim known as “negligence” is a tort. “A wrongful act or an infringement of a right (other than under contract) leading to civil legal liability.” Basically, if your amputation injury is caused by another person or company, then you have a legal claim for negligence against them.
Typical examples of negligence claims include accidents caused by motor vehicle collisions (“MVA’s”); construction accidents; faulty products, machines or equipment; electrocutions; fire and burn injuries; premises or property defects. In each case, the act (or failure to act) of another person / company makes them legally responsible for your amputation injury.
Here are some major differences between Indiana Negligence and Work Comp legal claims. In negligence claims, liability does matter. A defendant (responsible party) can defend its legal position by saying you were at fault. Collecting evidence, interviewing and deposing witnesses is critical for this type of case. The sooner an attorney gets involved to protect your legal interests, the better. You don’t want that evidence to disappear.
Next, you are technically responsible for medical bills, therapy, medicine costs and other financial damages resulting from your amputation injury. Until you legally prove the defendant is responsible, the medical and collection agencies will contact you for payment. Even if a defendant is clearly 100% responsible, the legal obligation does not attach until your claim is resolved by a settlement or trial. While waiting to establish this legal liability, we step in to help our clients manage their bills. It does not mean we pay their bills – the law prohibits that. But we are allowed to contact medical providers and arrange billing options until your legal case is finished.
Unlike a work comp case, Indiana law allows your negligence claim to include damages for pain, suffering and emotional distress. Plus, there is no statutory limit on the financial damages you can claim for future lost income. Importantly, we also address the future needs for prosthetics, medicine, therapy and a possibility of additional treatment.
The team of Goodin Abernathy LLP attorneys and staff personally meet with you at your home, our office, by video or anywhere that’s convenient. We enjoy helping our clients and want to see them progress – not only through their legal case but through their recovery as well.
If you or someone you love has suffered an injury like this, contact us for a free initial consultation.
Attorneys with a Focus on Amputation Injury