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Mediation Vs. Court: What is Right for You?

Mediation Vs. Court: What is Right for You?

The majority of personal injury claims do not get litigated in court. This is because they go through a negotiation process known as mediation. Implementing mediation before litigation helps to reduce the caseload in the court system. It also enables injured individuals to recover damages sooner. The lawyers at Goodin Abernathy work with clients to explain the mediation and court process. They advise which approach is best for a client’s particular situation. If you recently experienced an injury due to another’s actions, you are probably wondering, is mediation or court right for me? 

What Happens During Mediation? 

Mediation is a voluntary process designed to be an alternative dispute resolution process that helps people avoid going to court. The parties will hire a professional mediator to facilitate the negotiation process to reach an agreement. This process is informal, and the mediator does not decide the outcome for the parties. The parties will meet at a neutral location on the agreed-upon day of mediation. The mediator will then communicate with the parties together or in separate rooms to create a mutually agreeable outcome. The lawyers at Goodin Abernathy represent clients during this process to ensure their best interests are advocated for. 

What Happens At Court 

Almost anyone can file a lawsuit claim with the court at almost any time. Once that paperwork gets filed, it puts the wheels in motion for a process that requires the defending party to respond. Even if the defendant thinks the lawsuit is frivolous, incorrect, or false; they must respond to the claim. There is a strict set of rules that both parties must follow, and participation is not optional. 

The parties will exchange evidence, and a trial date will be set. During the trial, both parties will argue their point of view in front of a judge. The judge will then review the applicable law, the evidence, and the arguments set forth. From this, the judge makes a ruling that is final and binding. If a party does not like the ruling, they can begin the appeals process. The legal process of going to court can take years. 

Reasons to Choose Mediation 

There are several reasons for someone to consider mediation instead of litigating their claim in court. First, because mediation is a voluntary process that does not preclude you from pursuing your claim in court, it is worth considering. The lawyers at Goodin Abernathy speak with their clients about the best approach and strategy for pursuing a claim for damages. Because each case is different, our attorneys use their experience to advise a plan that will effectively advocate for the client’s best interest. 


One of the biggest advantages of mediation is the cost factor. Litigating in court is an expensive pursuit. Mediation is a more affordable alternative. This is something to consider when litigating a lawsuit could become cost prohibitive to the potential recovery of damages. 


There is a significant amount of freedom and flexibility when negotiating during mediation. Resolutions that wouldn’t be available during litigation in court are available in mediation. First, the parties participating have a voice in who the mediator is. In contrast, parties cannot pick and choose the judge that hears their case in court. Next, the parties can shape and define how the mediation process will work. This enables the parties to choose a process and method that will work best for the uniqueness of the situation at hand. When litigating in court, a strict set of rules must be adhered to. 


Participating in mediation is a voluntary activity. No one can force someone else to participate in mediation or accept an offer extended during mediation. Because of this, it puts people in the right mindset to come to an acceptable resolution for all parties involved. 


The timeline for going through mediation is significantly shorter than litigating in court. How long mediation will take varies based on the facts and details of the claim and the situation causing the claim. The process could take a few weeks, months, or a year. However, this is quick compared to the court process, which can take years. 

The longer a process takes, the more stress, fear, and anxiety someone will experience. So mediation can offer relief sooner, allowing someone to move on from the situation sooner. 

Reasons to Choose Litigation 

While mediation has several benefits that make it worth considering, it isn’t the right course of action in every situation. Mediation may not result in an outcome that delivers the appropriate recovery of damages for some injured victims. Before you agree to participate in mediation, a lawyer from Goodin Abernathy can help you understand your options and possible outcomes. 

Inequitable Party Power 

Mediation may not be the best option if there is a significant difference in power and resources between the two parties. The more powerful party could pressure the other to agree to a less favorable mediation outcome. This is commonly seen when an injured individual attempts to negotiate with an insurance company. The insurance company has significantly more resources and experience. As a result, the individual is at a disadvantage during mediation. One approach is to hire a law firm with experience and a strong reputation for client advocacy. This can level the playing field, making mediation more viable. If an acceptable outcome cannot be reached, the law firm can advise the client to proceed with litigation in court. 

Party Refusal to Compromise

For mediation to work, both parties must agree and want to mediate the disagreement. Despite both parties agreeing to mediation, an agreement will never be reached if one party refuses to compromise. If it is clear that an agreement or resolution will not be reached, then the next option is to pursue the claim in court. 

Contact Goodin Abernathy About Your Claim 

If you have recently experienced an injury due to the actions of another individual or business, then you may be considering seeking compensation. Before you pursue your claim for damages, it can be helpful to speak with a lawyer. The team of attorneys at Goodin Abernathy are ready to listen to the circumstances surrounding your injuries. They will then discuss the available options and recommend a plan to advocate on your behalf. 

Schedule a free consultation and speak with a lawyer from Goodin Abernathy today. 

Involved in a Not at Fault Drunk Driving Accident? 10 Things You Need to Do

Involved in a Not at Fault Drunk Driving Accident? 10 Things You Need to Do

One person dies every 52 minutes in a drunk driving crash in the United States. That is over 10,000 lives yearly. Here in Indiana, 124 people lost their lives in alcohol-impaired accidents in 2020. These are tragic numbers for something entirely preventable. Goodin Abernathy represents victims who experience injuries due to a not-at-fault drunk driving accident. There are ten things that victims can do to protect their interests and rights after the accident. 

1. Stay Calm

Accidents are jarring and potentially frightening. Adrenaline and emotions tend to run high after an accident. For those under the influence of alcohol, their emotions and actions become even more unpredictable. It is important for you to stay calm to accurately assess the situation and avoid further conflict with the intoxicated driver. In addition, if the other driver is drunk, they may not make the smartest or safest decisions that could further endanger you. 

2. Get Out of Traffic

Assess yourself, your passengers, and your vehicle. If you are able to maneuver your vehicle out of traffic safely, do so. This aids in preventing further accidents. If the vehicle is undrivable, but you can move, remove yourself from the vehicle and get out of traffic to safety. This reduces your risk of further or greater injury. Do not attempt to move anyone seriously injured, as you risk injuring them further. 

3. Seek Medical Care 

If there are seriously injured people, call emergency services so that they can receive immediate treatment. If you do not need immediate medical care, plan to visit a doctor after you leave the accident scene. Do not wait to seek medical care. You may not realize immediately what your injuries are. Waiting to seek treatment could bar you from recovery later. Seeking medical treatment immediately establishes your injuries and condition, making it easier to prove their relevance to the accident. 

4. File a Police Report 

After the accident, do not leave the scene. File a police report by speaking with an officer. Cooperate with officers and answer their questions. Provide a factual account of what happened. Do not embellish or pontificate on theories of what you think happened. However, report any behavior or comments you observe the intoxicated person making. Inform the officer of your concerns that the other driver is intoxicated. 

5. Stay Silent at the Scene 

While at the scene of the accident, try to stay silent. Focus on taking care of yourself, your passengers, and anyone injured. Document the scene and gather witness contact information. Do not admit fault. Do not talk about what happened with anyone other than the responding officer. Be careful what you say, as you do not want to unknowingly admit fault by having your words misconstrued. 

6. Take Pictures or Video of the Scene 

If you are able to, take pictures and videos of the accident scene, the vehicles involved, and your injuries. Documenting as much as possible will help when you file your claim for damages later. Try to take clear, non-blurry images. Documenting the scene helps to verify the facts and circumstances of the accident later. This bolsters your claims as the victim and can counter the defendant’s claims of innocence. 

7. Speak With a Lawyer 

Speaking with a personal injury DUI victim attorney will help you understand your rights. They will explain the applicable law, what you are entitled to, and the process for pursuing a claim. Insurance companies will want you to agree to a settlement right away. Hiring a lawyer will put a barrier between you and the insurance company, removing this pressure. That way, you do not agree to something that isn’t as favorable as it should be. The lawyers at Goodin Abernathy have experience representing victims of DUI accidents and fighting for their rights. 

8. Track Your Expenses 

In order to prove your claims in court, you need to have adequate evidence. This means carefully tracking all of your expenses. Keep records of every bill your receive and payment you make. Your attorney will use these expenses to determine an appropriate amount to ask for when filing your lawsuit. These are some examples of the types of expenses you should keep records of. 

  • Emergency room costs
  • Ambulance costs
  • Medical equipment
  • Tests
  • Co-pays
  • Vehicle repair costs 
  • Missed Work 

9. Create a Future Medical Care Plan 

If you have suffered minor injuries, you may not need ongoing treatment. If this is the case, you can track your expenses and seek compensation as you recover. Unfortunately, drunk driving accidents often result in severe injuries due to increased speed or reckless driving behavior. The required treatment could be long-term or permanent for victims with extensive and severe injuries. You will not be able to come back and seek compensation for a second time at a later date. This means you will need to address your potential long-term medical treatment and care in your present lawsuit. Work with your doctors and medical professionals to determine your long-term treatment needs. Your attorney will then use this plan to seek the necessary compensation. These are some common medical expenses that injured victims may seek. 

  • Ongoing treatment 
  • Physical therapy 
  • Disability 

10. Stay Away From Social Media 

In today’s world of technology, it can be tempting to document your experience on social media. However, this is one life event your followers do not need to know about. Do not post on social media about your accident in any way, even if your profiles are set to private. Anything you post on social media can be used as evidence in your claim. If you claim to have injured your back, you don’t want to post a picture of you moving heavy furniture. This will undermine your claims and hinder your ability to recover from your injuries. 

Seek Legal Representation with Goodin Abernathy For Your Injuries 

Experiencing a drunk driving accident can be a potentially life-altering event. Doing these ten things post-accident will ensure you protect your rights. The lawyers at Goodin Abernathy help clients who wish to pursue compensation for their injuries and damages due to a DUI accident. If you are the injured victim of a drunk driver, do not wait to speak with a lawyer about your situation. 
Schedule a consultation to speak with one of our personal injury lawyers about your drunk driving accident injuries.

Quick Tips To Help You Better Understand Business Contracts

Quick Tips To Help You Better Understand Business Contracts

Business contracts are an important part of operating any enterprise. These documents serve as the guidelines by which you will enjoy mutually beneficial relationships with your partners, vendors, subcontractors, and more. Today’s tips can help you better understand the purpose of these legal documents and how to best enter into an agreement that’s binding and fair for all.

Do I Really Need A Legal Contract?

In a nutshell, yes. Say that you open a business with a friend. You both agree that one of you will put up more financial capital and the other more time and effort into running the business. For this, you agree to split your profits 50/50.

However, despite your financial injection, your partner chooses to pay themselves a share of profits proportional to the time they put into the business. In this case, you may have a difficult time proving your verbal agreement. Keep in mind, however, that verbal agreements may be enforceable; they are just more difficult to prove.

A legally-binding contract will clearly spell out each of your roles and responsibilities, compensation, and expectations so that there’s no question of who gets what.

A Partnership Agreement Should Be Your First Document

With this thought in mind, it’s smart to create a general partnership agreement before you begin your business together. This is an unincorporated structure that outlines business responsibilities and, when written well, can help you overrule your state’s local default guidelines, which may or may not be in your and your partner’s best interest.

When drafting a partnership agreement, you will need everyone’s full legal name, their financial and physical contributions, expected administrative and managerial duties, and a list of procedures you expect to follow. This agreement offers simplified taxes, and you won’t have to file an annual report.

E-Signing Versus Physical Signing

Before the advent of the internet, contracts had to be signed in person, and this often required a notary to witness the event. While this is still common practice in many areas, you may want to try e-signing documents. This is more convenient, and you can use a tool that allows you to sign an editable PDF document, which can then be stored and shared securely.

There are many rules and regulations that go into electronic signatures, and these types of documents can easily be tracked for unauthorized changes. Keep in mind, however, that different countries may have different enforceable laws when it comes to e-signatures. However, the vast majority require, at minimum, that there be intent to sign electronically, a digital audit trail, signature protection, multiple copies, record retention, and an opt-out clause.

Your Words Matter

When drafting a legal document, it’s important that both parties understand the agreement completely. While it’s smart to have the document drafted and reviewed by an attorney, make sure that the wording is such that there is no question on meaning or interpretation. In this case, it’s better to use more common language instead of legal jargon. The goal is to have a complete understanding of each other so that there is no question of your intent and responsibilities.

Ultimately, having a legal agreement in place is one of the best things you can do for your business, whether you are a one-man show or a multi-level corporation. And whether you choose to electronically sign your documents or stick with an in-person signature and handshake, having a tangible and relatable agreement in place is one small way you can protect your interests and that of your business.

Contact Goodin Abernathy

If you’re a business owner or entrepreneur, it’s crucial to have a trusted legal partner on your side to help you create and review legally binding contracts. Goodin Abernathy law firm can provide you with the guidance and expertise you need to protect your interests and those of your business partners. Contact Goodin Abernathy today to learn how their team of experienced attorneys can assist you with your legal needs.

The Importance of Documenting Your Personal Injury: Tips and Best Practices

The Importance of Documenting Your Personal Injury: Tips and Best Practices

Whether you’ve been in a car accident or slipped and fallen, one thing is certain: proper documentation can make or break your personal injury case in Indiana. That’s because documentation establishes the facts, determines liability, and helps secure the compensation you deserve. With so much on the line, it’s essential to have a comprehensive understanding of the importance of documenting personal injuries in Indiana. This blog is your ultimate guide to navigating the complexities of injury documentation. We’ll cover everything from relevant laws to tips for proper documentation and the critical role an experienced personal injury attorney can play in your case.

Understanding Personal Injury Law in Indiana

Definition of personal injury

Personal injury can take many forms, from physical harm to emotional or psychological distress, and it often arises from the careless or intentional actions of others. Fortunately, Indiana law allows victims to pursue compensation for their injuries and losses through the legal system. This area of law provides a framework for seeking damages and holding negligent parties accountable. In this post, we’ll delve deeper into personal injury law in Indiana, exploring how it can help you recover from the harm you’ve suffered.

Common types of personal injury cases

Some of the most common personal injury cases in Indiana include:

  1. Automobile accidents
  2. Motorcycle accidents
  3. Trucking accidents
  4. Slip-and-fall incidents
  5. Medical malpractice
  6. Defective products
  7. Dog bites

Indiana’s comparative fault law

Indiana’s personal injury law operates under a “comparative fault” system, which allows you to recover damages even if you share some of the blame for an accident, as long as your fault is less than 51%. Your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you. For instance, if you are 30% at fault for an accident and your damages total $100,000, you can receive $70,000 in compensation.

Statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Indiana

Another crucial aspect of Indiana’s personal injury law is the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit, which is typically two years from the date of the incident. It’s crucial to act quickly in pursuing your claim, as missing this deadline can bar you from seeking compensation. However, there are exceptions and nuances to this rule, and consulting with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney can help you navigate these complexities and protect your rights.

Tips for Properly Documenting Your Personal Injury

Establishing evidence to support your claim

Documenting your personal injury is crucial for establishing the evidence necessary to support your claim. This evidence provides a clear and objective record of the incident, including the extent of your injuries and the damages you’ve suffered. With proper documentation, you can paint a vivid picture of what happened and demonstrate the other party’s liability, which is key to securing the compensation you deserve.

Be thorough and accurate in your documentation

When compiling documentation for a personal injury claim, it is crucial to be meticulous and precise in documenting all pertinent details. This approach will bolster your case and simplify the task of your legal representative in comprehending and advocating for your claim.

Keep all documents organized and easily accessible

To improve the efficiency and accessibility of important information, it is recommended that you implement a systematic organization of your documents. Whether it be through digital or physical means, maintaining a well-ordered documentation system can benefit you, your attorney, and your insurance company in swiftly and effectively reviewing necessary materials.

Update your personal injury journal regularly

Maintaining an up-to-date personal injury journal is crucial to building a strong case. Regularly documenting physical pain, emotional distress, and any changes in your condition can provide a comprehensive account of how your injury has impacted your life. This information can be critical evidence to support your claim, so it is essential to keep your journal organized and regularly updated.

How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help

Assessing the strength of your case

A lawyer specializing in personal injury cases has the expertise to analyze your situation, review the available evidence, and offer an objective evaluation of its viability. Furthermore, they can guide you on the probable outcomes and help you determine whether settling out of court or pursuing litigation would be the most advantageous course of action.

Ensuring proper documentation

A seasoned lawyer can assist you in navigating the complexities of compiling and arranging all the essential paperwork required for your personal injury lawsuit. They can pinpoint any gaps or insufficiencies in the evidence and guarantee that your case is established on a firm footing.

Negotiating with insurance companies

Insurance providers frequently try to reduce their financial liabilities by contesting or underestimating the value of claims. An attorney specializing in personal injury cases can act as your representative in negotiations with the insurance company, leveraging their legal know-how and familiarity with your case to achieve the most favorable settlement outcome on your behalf.

Representing you in court, if necessary

If your case goes to trial, your attorney will represent your interests in court, presenting evidence, cross-examining witnesses, and making persuasive arguments to the judge or jury on your behalf.

Maximizing your compensation

An attorney specializing in personal injury cases can play a crucial role in safeguarding your rights and ensuring that you receive adequate compensation for your medical bills, lost income, emotional distress, and other losses resulting from your injury. Their proficiency and unwavering commitment can have a substantial impact on the resolution of your case, potentially resulting in a more favorable outcome for you.

Consult with Goodin Abernathy for Expert Personal Injury Representation

If you have sustained a personal injury in Indiana, it’s essential to act swiftly. You can rely on the professionals at Goodin Abernathy to assist you in navigating the process of documenting your injury and pursuing compensation. Our team of devoted attorneys is dedicated to providing tailored legal guidance, safeguarding your rights, and advocating for your best interests. Reach out to us now to schedule a complimentary, obligation-free consultation to discuss your case and examine your legal alternatives. Let us work in partnership with you to secure the most favorable resolution for your personal injury lawsuit.

Are Rottweilers Dangerous? A Breed Highlight

Are Rottweilers Dangerous? A Breed Highlight

Rottweilers were responsible for 9.8% of fatal dog attacks between 2005 and 2019, making them the second most deadly dog breed behind pit bulls. Unfortunately, these statistics have given Rottweilers a bad reputation, leading many people to ask, are Rottweilers dangerous or are rottweilers aggressive? The short answer is that it depends. All dog breeds, including rottweilers, are potentially dangerous when they are not cared for and trained by responsible owners.

Are Rottweilers Dangerous?

Many myths surround Rottweilers as a breed. One of the most common is that Rottweilers are a naturally aggressive and dangerous breed. However, research shows Chihuahuas are naturally more aggressive.

Rottweilers are safe, loyal dogs, and well-behaved when properly trained. The American Kennel Club rates them as highly affectionate and playful. The owner should focus on proper training and mental stimulation to ensure that a Rottweiler dog thrives in a family home. Rottweilers are eager to please and thrive with plenty of mental stimulation. This lets the dog know what is expected of them and helps them stay happy and healthy.

Physical Size

Rottweilers are large dogs, with male Rottweilers measuring 24-27 inches at the shoulder and females measuring 22-25 inches. These dogs can weigh 75-125 pounds. In addition to being physically large, they are also solidly built with a lot of muscle, making them incredibly strong. A fully grown adult Rottweiler can easily knock an adult human over, making them potentially more dangerous than other dogs should one decide to charge at full speed at someone.

Protective Qualities

Rottweilers were originally bred to work as drover dogs and are one of the oldest herding breeds, descended from ancient Roman dogs. This means centuries of protective qualities and traits have been bred into the Rottweiler breed.

Unfortunately, Rottweilers can get a bad reputation when owners are not responsible. Without proper training and correction, this protective trait can lead the dog to act in an undesirable or dangerous way, resulting in dog attacks.

Individual Personalities

Similar to people, dogs have unique personalities. So, while general guidelines exist for Rottweiler personalities, each dog can vary from the standard. This means a Rottweiler dog may be more prone to protective traits, playfulness, or loyalty than other dogs.

What Injuries Can Be Caused By Rottweilers?

Because the attorneys at Goodin Abernathy regularly represent dog bite victims, there are some common injuries for which clients seek compensation. Rottweilers are large and muscular dogs with powerful jaws. Because of this, they can cause significant injuries such as lacerations, puncture wounds, broken bones, and nerve damage. In addition, during the healing process, the bite victim could experience infection or scarring.

These injuries could occur on the leg or arm, but they can also happen to the neck, head, and face, causing life-altering disfigurement. When this happens, dog bite victims can experience psychological and emotional trauma from the experience.

Rottweiler Safety Tips

Responsible dog owners educate themselves on responsible ownership and take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of their dog and those who could potentially interact with it. This starts with the professional training of the dog. When trained, a dog should listen to the owner’s commands, ensuring the owner is in control of the dog and the situation.

Do not allow children to approach or play with dogs without supervision. Children are unpredictable and can make sudden loud noises, startling a dog and causing them to react unpredictably.


Rottweiler owners need to begin socializing their puppies at an early age. The owner needs to become the leader of the pack and prevent the Rottweiler from thinking it rules the house. This helps to temper the protective and territorial traits. In addition, proper socialization helps to raise a friendlier dog that will be more trusting of strangers, making them less likely to be aggressive toward people they do not know.

Rottweilers are intelligent and can learn to recognize regular guests. Always supervise first introductions and never allow a stranger to surprise your Rottweiler in their territory. Teach individuals the proper method of meeting a dog; this helps to put the dog at ease and be more welcoming to new people.

Speak With a Lawyer About Your Dog Bite Injury

If you have experienced a dog bite from a Rottweiler, you can seek compensation from the owner for your injuries. After receiving medical care, your next step is gathering all the relevant information and evidence of your dog bite injury. The lawyers at Goodin Abernathy are here to help you through the legal process. Our experience representing dog bite victims helps us fight for your rights.

Schedule a consultation to speak with a lawyer about your dog bite experience.