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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.

What is the No Zone?

What is the No Zone?

A No-Zone refers to a region around a sizable commercial vehicle, like a semi-truck, where the driver’s visibility may be restricted or blocked. These areas can pose risks for other motorists because the truck driver might not see them, potentially leading to accidents.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) introduced the term No-Zone to characterize the zones around a semi-truck where accidents are more likely to happen. These regions are called No-Zones because they are spaces that other drivers should avoid to ensure safety.

It’s important to recognize that the dimensions and position of a No-Zone can differ based on the size and kind of commercial vehicle. For instance, buses and delivery trucks may have distinct No-Zones compared to semi-trucks. Motorists should always stay vigilant about the No-Zones surrounding the vehicles they share the road with and take measures to avoid them.

By comprehending what a No-Zone is and their locations, drivers can take action to remain safe on the road and prevent accidents involving large commercial vehicles. By keeping clear of the No-Zones and allowing trucks ample room, drivers can lower the chances of accidents and encourage safer driving habits.

Where Is a Semi-truck’s No-Zone?

To ensure safety when driving near semi-trucks, it’s crucial to be familiar with the No-Zone’s location. The No-Zone denotes the regions around the truck where the driver’s visibility may be restricted or hindered. There are four primary No-Zones surrounding a semi-truck:

Front No-Zone: The space immediately in front of the truck, where the driver’s sight is blocked by the truck’s hood and the driver’s seat angle.

Rear No-Zone: The area at the back of the truck, where the driver’s sight is obstructed by the truck’s dimensions and the cargo’s height.

Side No-Zones: The regions on both sides of the truck, where the driver’s sight is limited by the truck’s length and the driver’s seat height.

Wide Turns: The zone where the truck requires additional room to execute a turn, potentially causing the truck to encroach on other lanes or the sidewalk.

Being aware of the No-Zones’ locations can aid drivers in evading them and maintaining safety on the road. By maintaining a safe distance from the truck and staying alert to the truck’s movements, drivers can minimize the likelihood of involvement in an accident.

What is the danger associated with driving in a truck’s “No-Zone” area?

Navigating near sizable commercial vehicles such as semi-trucks can be risky, particularly if motorists are unaware of the potential hazards these vehicles present. One of the most notable dangers is the existence of a “No-Zone” region surrounding the truck. The No-Zone is a zone where the truck operator’s visibility may be limited or blocked, making it difficult for them to spot other vehicles on the roadway.

If a motorist enters a No-Zone, they increase the likelihood of being in an accident with the truck. For instance, if a motorist is in the truck’s blind spot, the truck operator might not notice them while switching lanes, resulting in a crash. Likewise, if a motorist tails a truck too closely, they might not have sufficient time to respond if the truck comes to an abrupt halt, causing a rear-end collision.

Beware of Trucks and Wide Turns

One of the riskiest situations for motorists near a semi-truck arises when the truck executes a wide turn. Wide turns demand more room than a standard turn and may cause the truck to encroach on other lanes or the sidewalk. Consequently, drivers who are not attentive to the truck’s movement might unintentionally enter the truck’s No-Zone, leading to an accident.

To ensure safety when sharing the roadway with semi-trucks, drivers should remain alert to the truck’s movements and refrain from entering the wide turn No-Zone. Drivers should also exercise patience and allow the truck ample room to finish the turn securely. It is equally important to avoid overtaking a truck engaged in a wide turn, as this can be highly dangerous.

In addition to being mindful of wide turns, drivers should exercise caution when switching lanes close to a semi-truck. Drivers must never assume that the truck operator can see them and should always confirm their visibility to the truck driver before making a lane change. Drivers should also steer clear of the front, rear, and side No-Zones and maintain a safe distance from the truck while driving.

The Rear No-Zone when Driving Behind Trucks

The area behind a semi-truck, known as the rear No-Zone, is among the most hazardous zones surrounding such vehicles, posing particular risks for motorists following the truck. The rear No-Zone spans about 30 feet behind the truck, and its danger stems from the truck driver’s obstructed view caused by the vehicle’s size and the cargo’s height.

To ensure safety when driving behind a semi-truck, motorists should keep an appropriate following distance and refrain from tailgating. It is advised that drivers maintain a gap of at least one car length per 10 miles per hour of their speed. For instance, a motorist going at 60 miles per hour should ideally stay a minimum of six car lengths away from the truck.

Motorists should also pay attention to the truck’s brake lights and turn signals, being ready to decelerate or come to a full stop if the truck is reducing its speed or preparing to turn. Moreover, it’s crucial to avoid overtaking the truck from the right side, as this area has the poorest visibility for the truck driver.

By remaining vigilant and mindful of the truck’s actions, motorists can minimize the likelihood of accidents while driving behind a semi-truck. By keeping a secure distance and steering clear of the rear No-Zone, drivers can promote safety on the road and contribute to accident prevention.


In conclusion, understanding and respecting the No-Zone areas around large commercial vehicles such as semi-trucks is essential for ensuring road safety. By being aware of the dangers associated with driving near a semi-truck, including the front, rear, side No-Zones, and wide turns, motorists can minimize the risk of accidents. If you have been involved in a car accident, contact Goodin Abernathy’s car accident attorneys for a free consultation!

How Long Do You Have to Report a Car Accident in Indiana?

How Long Do You Have to Report a Car Accident in Indiana?

In Indiana, drivers must report a car accident resulting in injury, death, or property damage exceeding $1,000 to the police or local sheriff’s department immediately, and file an accident report with the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles within 10 days of the incident.

Now, let’s go more in-depth.

Car accidents can be unexpected and traumatic experiences that can leave accident victims in a state of shock. In the aftermath of a car accident, there are many things to consider, including seeking medical treatment, dealing with insurance companies, and repairing any property damage.

One critical thing that often goes overlooked, however, is reporting the accident to the proper authorities. In Indiana, failing to report an accident within the appropriate timeframe can have serious legal and financial consequences.

This blog post will provide an overview of Indiana’s car accident reporting requirements and answer the question of how long you have to report an accident in Indiana. We’ll also discuss the legal and financial repercussions of failing to report an accident and provide some recommendations for how to protect your interests in the event of a car accident.

What is Indiana’s Reporting Law?

Indiana’s car accident reporting law requires anyone involved in an accident to report the incident to the police or local sheriff’s department if it results in injury, death, or property damage exceeding $1,000. The driver must also provide their name, address, and driver’s license information to the other parties involved in the accident. If the driver is unable to provide this information, they must report the accident as soon as possible.

It’s important to note that Indiana’s car accident reporting requirements apply even in minor accidents. Even if there is only minor damage to the vehicles involved, drivers are still required to report the accident to the police and file an accident report with the BMV.

If you are involved in an accident and are unsure about the reporting requirements, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and report the accident to the proper authorities as soon as possible. Doing so can protect you from potential legal and financial consequences down the line.

How Long Do You Have to Report an Accident in Indiana?

If you are involved in a car accident in Indiana, it’s important to report the incident to the appropriate authorities as soon as possible. Indiana law requires drivers to report accidents resulting in injury, death, or property damage exceeding $1,000 to the police or local sheriff’s department immediately. Drivers must also file an accident report with the Indiana BMV within 10 days of the incident.

If the accident resulted in injury or death, the driver must report the accident to the Indiana State Police within 24 hours. Failure to report an accident in a timely manner can result in penalties, fines, and even criminal charges.

It’s important to note that Indiana’s car accident reporting requirements may vary depending on the circumstances of the accident. For example, if the accident involves an unattended vehicle or a property owner, the driver must make a reasonable effort to locate the owner and report the accident within a reasonable timeframe.

Additionally, there are exceptions to Indiana’s reporting requirements in cases where the driver is physically unable to report the accident due to injury or medical emergency. In such cases, the driver must report the accident as soon as possible once they are able to do so.

It’s important to understand that there is a statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit in Indiana. Under Indiana law, accident victims have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim. Failing to report an accident in a timely manner can complicate the claims process and potentially limit the victim’s ability to recover maximum compensation for their injuries.

What Happens if You Fail to Report an Accident in Indiana?

Failing to report a car accident in Indiana can have serious legal and financial consequences. If you fail to report an accident to the proper authorities within the required timeframe, you may face penalties, fines, or even criminal charges.

In addition to the legal consequences, failing to report an accident can also have implications for insurance claims and potential lawsuits. Insurance companies require prompt reporting of accidents to ensure that claims are processed correctly and in a timely manner. Failure to report an accident can lead to delays or even denials of insurance claims, leaving accident victims responsible for paying for their own medical bills and property damage.

Failing to report an accident can also make it difficult to prove fault in a personal injury lawsuit. Under Indiana’s modified comparative negligence law, accident victims can only recover damages if they are less than 51% at fault for the accident. Failure to report an accident or delay in reporting can make it harder to prove fault, potentially reducing the accident victim’s chances of recovering maximum compensation for their injuries.

It’s important to note that if you are involved in an accident and admit fault, this can also have significant legal and financial consequences. Admitting fault can make it harder to defend against claims of negligence or liability, potentially exposing you to greater financial liability in the event of a lawsuit.


In conclusion, reporting a car accident in Indiana is a legal requirement that should be taken seriously. Indiana’s reporting requirements apply to all accidents involving motor vehicles and failure to comply can have serious legal and financial consequences.

If you are involved in a car accident in Indiana, it’s important to report the accident to the appropriate authorities as soon as possible. This includes reporting the accident to the police or local sheriff’s department and filing an accident report with the Indiana BMV within 10 days. If the accident resulted in injury or death, the driver must also report the accident to the Indiana State Police within 24 hours.

Failing to report an accident can result in penalties, fines, and even criminal charges. It can also complicate the insurance claims process and limit your ability to recover maximum compensation for your injuries. It’s important to understand Indiana’s reporting requirements and to comply with them to protect your legal and financial interests.

Contact a Goodin Abernathy Car Accident Lawyer today

Call the car accident and injury attorneys at Goodin Abernathy for more advice.  We enjoy connecting with people and we’ll tell you if you need an attorney or if you should work it out yourself.  The Goodin Abernathy attorneys do not charge for initial consultations.  We will explain what happens with auto repairs and total damage claims.  Our attorneys will describe how insurance companies operate and how your medical bills are handled.  Make it easier on yourself and contact us.  At Goodin Abernathy, you’re not just a file number because we care about our clients.

Unemployment Insurance: 10 Things You Need to Know Before Applying

Unemployment Insurance: 10 Things You Need to Know Before Applying

Millions of Americans have depended on unemployment insurance to help them remain financially stable while in between jobs. This public assistance program began in 1935 as a way of helping people during the Great Depression and has been relied upon ever since. Filing for unemployment requires you to follow a specific process. Failing to do so and you risk not getting approved. The first step is to confirm state regulations, gather paperwork, and prove job loss. Understanding these ten things before applying will help to make the process feel more approachable. 

1. Are You Eligible? 

You must meet certain requirements to be able to file an unemployment benefits application. Otherwise, your application will get rejected. First, you must be a resident of Indiana. Then, you must meet the following requirements. 

  • Unemployed, and
  • Worked in Indiana during the last 12 months, and
  • Earned wages per Indiana guidelines, and
  • Actively seeking work

2. Gather Paperwork 

Before you start your application, gather all of the necessary information. This will make the application process easier and faster. It will also ensure you do not make a mistake or forget important information. Gather the following pieces of information for your unemployment application. 

  • Email account
  • Driver’s license or valid ID
  • Address
  • Social Security number
  • Date of birth
  • Phone number
  • Last employer’s name, mailing address, phone number, 
  • Dates of employment
  • The reason you are unemployed to prove job loss
  • Bank routing number and account number

3. File Weekly Vouchers 

After you submit your initial benefits application, you must file weekly vouchers. You will file a voucher each week that you wish to receive benefits. This is because benefits are paid weekly. Do not wait to start filing your weekly vouchers. Continue with weekly filings even if your application is delayed or going through an appeals process. Should your application get approved or corrected, all previous payments will get released. However, if you failed to file your weekly vouchers, then there are no payments to release. 

When filing your weekly vouchers, report any income you receive for that week. Failing to do so is fraud. 

4. Keep Detailed Job Search Records 

Each week, you will need to fill out a Work Search Activity form on the website. If you keep a detailed written record of your job search activities, then this should be a relatively quick and straightforward process. You will need confirmation emails for jobs applied to, company contact information, and any proof of your job search activity. The DWD offers a log template to aid in your record keeping. Do not throw away your records after filling out your weekly search activity form. The DWD can request to verify your job search activity at any time while receiving benefits. If your records are determined to be lacking or inaccurate, your benefits claim could be denied, and you would cease to receive unemployment benefits. 

5. Can You Waive the Work Search Requirement?

As a general rule, everyone receiving unemployment benefits must be actively looking for employment. However, there are certain circumstances where this requirement can get waived. For example, you could be enrolled in a training program that is approved by DWD. Or you could be a member in good standing of a DWD-approved union hiring hall. Finally, you have a specific recall date for the company position that let you go that is within 60 days of your filing date. Do not assume you are eligible and do not need to search for work. Speak with a representative to confirm your eligibility so that you do not unknowingly fail to fulfill the requirements to continue receiving payments. 

6. There Is a Time Limit

Unemployment payments do not last forever. The standard maximum length is 26 weeks. During the pandemic, there were federal programs in place that made it possible to apply for additional weeks. However, these federal benefits ended in 2021. 

7. Look for the Monetary Determination of Eligibility Form

After submitting your unemployment benefits application, you should receive a Monetary Determination of Eligibility form within ten days. This form does not mean you qualify for benefits or have the approval to receive benefits. Instead, it simply lists what your weekly benefit would be and the total maximum benefit you are eligible for. Your eligibility determination will happen within 21 days. However, this determination can take longer if there are issues with your filing. 

8. Be Honest and Forthcoming  

The state of Indiana takes unemployment benefits fraud seriously and actively pursues those suspected of this activity. You could face prison time, probation, repayment of money received, and restitution if caught. Thankfully, fraud is simple to avoid. Be honest and forthcoming with information about your unemployment, earning history, and job search efforts. 

Do not intentionally withhold information. Do not provide misleading or inaccurate information. Double-check the information before submitting documents. If you do discover an error or mistake, correct the issue as soon as possible. 

9. Be Responsible 

You must take ownership of your unemployment filing. Read all of the materials provided and watch the tutorial videos to confirm state regulations. This will help you avoid making errors that could result in an under or overpayment. It will also help you understand your rights. This self-responsibility is what led some Indiana residents to stand up for their rights and take their grievances to court. This led to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) paying millions in back payments. If you feel you have a right to more unemployment than what you are receiving, it could help to speak with an unemployment lawyer. They can help you understand the regulations applicable and your potential right of recovery.  

10. Hire a Goodin Abernathy LLP Lawyer

Losing a job is stressful as you look for new employment while staying financially stable. Applying for unemployment benefits can help ease the financial pressure while looking for new employment. In addition, unemployment benefits can make it easier to pursue compensation if you feel you have been wrongfully terminated. The team at Goodin Abernathy fights hard to help clients pursue their employment claims. Thanks to their years of experience, clients get the answers and guidance they need to file an unemployment claim. 

Schedule a consultation with the employment lawyers at Goodin Abernathy to discuss your recent loss of employment and potential wrongful termination claim. 

Is Indiana an At-Will State?

Is Indiana an At-Will State?

Yes, Indiana is an at-will employment state, which means that employers in the state have the right to terminate an employee’s job for any reason or no reason at all, as long as it is not an illegal reason.

Now, let’s look into it more in-depth.

At-will employment is a concept that affects both employers and employees in the United States. In at-will employment, either the employer or the employee can terminate the employment relationship at any time and for any reason, without legal recourse. However, there are some exceptions to at-will employment that can provide legal protection for employees. In this blog post, we will explore whether Indiana is an at-will state and what implications this has for employees and employers in the state. It is important for both parties to understand Indiana’s employment laws to navigate the employment relationship in a fair and lawful way.

What is At-Will Employment?

At-will employment is a term used to describe a working relationship where the employer or employee can end the employment relationship at any time, with or without cause or notice. In an at-will employment arrangement, employers can terminate an employee’s job for any reason, including poor performance, personality conflicts, or even without giving any reason at all. Similarly, employees can resign from their job at any time without providing a reason.

Exceptions to At-Will Employment in Indiana

While Indiana is an at-will employment state, there are some exceptions to the at-will doctrine that can provide legal protection for employees. These exceptions can limit an employer’s ability to terminate an employee’s job and provide legal recourse for employees who are wrongfully terminated.


One of the most significant exceptions to the at-will employment doctrine is the prohibition against discrimination. Under federal and state laws, employers are prohibited from firing employees based on their race, color, age (over 40), national origin, disability, religion, pregnancy, or genetic information. If an employee can demonstrate that they were fired for one of these reasons, it is considered wrongful termination.

In order to prove wrongful termination based on discrimination, the employee must first show that they were a member of a protected class and that the termination was motivated by their membership in that class. The employer may then argue that the termination was based on legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons, such as poor performance. In this case, the burden shifts back to the employee to prove that the employer’s stated reason is pre-textual (not true), and that the real reason for the termination was discrimination. If the employer cannot provide evidence of a legitimate, non-discriminatory basis for the termination, it may be easier for the employee to prove that discrimination was the true motivation for the firing.

Under both state and federal laws, it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee based on their membership in a protected class. If you believe you have been wrongfully terminated due to discrimination, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney who can help you understand your rights and options under Indiana and federal law.

Employment Contract

Another exception to at-will employment in Indiana is the existence of an employment contract between the employer and the employee. If an employee has an employment contract that specifies the conditions under which their employment can be terminated, then the employer is bound by those conditions. This means that an employer cannot terminate the employee’s job outside of the specified conditions without breaching the employment contract.

Collective Bargaining Agreements

Another exception to at-will employment in Indiana is the existence of collective bargaining agreements. These agreements are negotiated between the employer and the employee’s union, and they specify the conditions under which the employee’s job can be terminated. Employers in unionized workplaces must adhere to these agreements and cannot terminate an employee’s job outside of the specified conditions without violating the collective bargaining agreement.

Understanding these exceptions to at-will employment can help employees and employers navigate the employment relationship in a fair and legal manner. Employers should be careful to ensure that they are not violating any laws when terminating an employee’s job, and employees should be aware of their legal rights and seek legal counsel if they believe they have been wrongfully terminated.

Implications of At-Will Employment in Indiana

At-will employment can have significant implications for both employees and employers in Indiana. While at-will employment provides employers with flexibility and reduces the costs associated with terminating employees, it also places employees at risk of being terminated without cause. Employees who are wrongfully terminated may face financial difficulties, loss of benefits, and difficulty finding new employment.

Employers in Indiana should be careful to ensure that they are not violating any laws when terminating an employee’s job. Terminating an employee for discriminatory reasons, for filing a workers’ compensation claim, or for serving on jury duty can result in legal action and financial penalties for the employer. Employers should also be aware that employees may have legal recourse if they are terminated outside of the conditions specified in their employment contract or collective bargaining agreement.

Employees in Indiana should be aware of their legal rights and seek legal counsel if they believe they have been wrongfully terminated. Indiana law provides some protections for employees, such as protection against discriminatory terminations and protection for whistleblowers who report illegal activity in the workplace. Additionally, employees may be able to negotiate an employment contract or collective bargaining agreement that provides additional job security.

Understanding the nuances of at-will employment in Indiana can help both employers and employees navigate the employment relationship in a fair and legal manner. Employers should be aware of their legal obligations when terminating an employee’s job, and employees should be aware of their legal rights and seek legal counsel if they believe they have been wrongfully terminated.


In conclusion, Indiana is an at-will employment state, which means that employers in the state have the right to terminate an employee’s job for any reason or no reason at all, as long as it is not an illegal reason. However, there are some exceptions to at-will employment in Indiana, such as the existence of an employment contract, collective bargaining agreements, and legal protections against discriminatory terminations.

It is important for both parties to communicate openly and honestly to avoid any misunderstandings or legal disputes. Employers should provide clear expectations and performance feedback to employees, while employees should be aware of their job responsibilities and seek clarification when necessary. By working together, employers and employees can create a positive and productive work environment that benefits everyone.

Contact a Goodin Abernathy Employment Lawyer

At Goodin Abernathy, our experienced employment law attorneys can provide guidance and legal support to help you navigate the complex employment laws in Indiana. Whether you are an employer seeking to ensure compliance with legal requirements, or an employee who has been wrongfully terminated, our attorneys can help protect your rights and interests. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can assist you.

The 9 Most Common Injuries from Construction Accidents

The 9 Most Common Injuries from Construction Accidents

Falls account for one in three construction site accident deaths. However, not all accidents are so extreme that they result in death. For many people, their injuries include bruises, cuts, broken bones, and concussions. However, it doesn’t matter if the injury is minor or severe. If it impacts your ability to work, it affects your life and family. The lawyers at Goodin Abernathy understand that a construction injury can be a life-altering accident. They fight hard to secure their clients just compensation for their injuries. 

Broken Bones 

The most cited OSHA safety regulation violation is the lack of fall protection on construction sites. Completed buildings have several safety features in place to protect people from falling. Buildings that are in the construction process do not have these features installed yet. This and the very nature of working up high puts construction workers at a greater risk of falling. For example, from ladders, rooftops, scaffolding, or large machinery. When you fall from a tall height, your body is at risk of breaking bones and bruising upon impact. 

Other common causes of broken bones are struck-by accidents or crush accidents. This is when the construction worker gets struck by or crushed by a vehicle, machinery, or equipment. Broken bones can take months to heal, then require many more months of rehab. In some situations, the victim may never fully regain the functionality of their broken limb. 


Because construction sites are buildings in progress, they have an increased risk of electrocution. Exposed wiring and generators present a risk by exposing construction workers to electricity. Then there is the use of power tools and electrical equipment as an everyday part of the job. If these tools are not properly maintained, they can have an electrical short that injures the user. Finally, excavation and site trenching activities can result in a construction worker unknowingly hitting buried electrical wires. When someone experiences electrocution, they can experience nerve damage, respiratory problems, seizures, and brain damage. These injuries could be short-term or long-lasting, depending on the severity of the electrocution. 

Knee and Ankle Injury 

Construction sites are not easy places to walk. Building materials, equipment, and tools are strewn about. Then there is the uneven ground, holes, and trenches. Navigating this minefield of potential danger can sometimes result in a slip or trip and fall. When this happens, knee and ankle injuries also occur. Minor injuries may require the injured worker to stay off their foot for weeks or months. More serious injuries could require surgery. 

Back Injury 

Sometimes back injuries happen from falls, being struck by, or being caught in-between accidents. But they can also occur from over-exertion. Simply being required to carry or move equipment that is too heavy for you can cause a back injury. These injuries can debilitate a person, rendering them unable to sit or stand for extended periods of time. Recovery can require rest and physical therapy to heal and strengthen the back muscles. 

Head and Brain Injury 

There is a reason construction workers wear hard hats. Even a minor bump to the head can cause a head or brain injury. Head injuries are tricky; minor injuries rarely cause long-term problems. However, severe injuries can create extensive complications that are long-lasting. If a construction worker suffers a head injury, they should get checked by a doctor. The most common type of injury is a concussion. Recovery requires rest, which can keep you from work. In contrast, severe head injuries can impact speech, coordination, seizures, and cognitive thought. Effects can directly impact the victim’s ability to function and prevent them from going back to work. 

Spinal Cord Injury 

A spinal cord injury occurs when a sudden and traumatic blow to your spine causes your spinal bones to crush, compress, or dislocate. This movement of the bones damages the spinal cord located within them. Because your spinal cord is a tight bundle of nerves that acts as a central command center for your body, these injuries can have far-reaching effects. You could experience minor numbness or total paralysis. Injury to your spinal cord is permanent. This type of injury is life-altering and affects every part of a construction worker’s life. 


Asbestos and lead were once commonly found in construction. These materials are harmful to the human body. Construction workers who work on an older building could be exposed to these hazards. However, they aren’t the only dangers that can cause illness. Construction workers exposed to toxins, chemicals, solvents, and pesticides are at risk of suffering illness. This type of injury is more challenging to prove liability for. Unlike physical injuries, illness does not always happen right away. Sometimes, it can take years for the illness to become known. If you worked in construction and suspect that your illness is a result, consider speaking with a personal injury attorney.

Loss of Limb 

In some caught in-between accidents, a construction worker may lose a limb. This happens when the victim gets caught where they shouldn’t be. The limb gets caught, causing it to get crushed. Another common occurrence is the loss of a finger or toe. Fingers can easily get caught in the way of a sharp blade. Toes can become injured when heavy equipment or building supplies get dropped on the foot. Depending on the limb lost, this injury can prevent the construction worker from continuing to work in the construction industry. 

Internal Organ Damage 

Being caught between, crushing, and fall accidents can have a devastating impact on the human body. While external damages are readily assessed, internal organ damage can lead to potentially life-threatening complications. Surgery may be required to repair the injury and stop bleeding. It can then take months or over a year for the individual to heal. During this time, they may not be able to work. 

Hire a Goodin Abernathy LLP Lawyer

The Goodin Abernathy LLP attorneys handle worker’s compensation and negligence claims for clients injured on construction sites.  These two legal claims involve difficult issues in which the Goodin Abernathy attorneys are experienced taking to court and fighting for our clients’ recoveries.  A “work comp” case involves making a claim against the worker’s employer for statutory benefit.  These include medical treatment, lost wages and physical impairment.  

A “negligence” claim is the second legal area that many attorneys are not as experienced in handling.  In certain situations, an injured worker can make legal claims against general contractors, project supervisors, project owners or other services typically involved in a construction project.  Especially in death, amputation or serious injuries, we need to make sure our clients exhaust their legal remedies and collect the damages they are entitled to under the law. That’s why we help our clients recover more money for damages through negligence cases compared to only going after a work comp claim.  In serious injuries, amputations or death claims, call the Goodin Abernathy LLP attorneys right away.  We care about our clients, their families and supporting them with first-rate representation. 

Do not wait to seek treatment if you’ve experienced an injury while working on a construction site. Once you have a diagnosis and treatment plan, consider speaking with a lawyer. The team at Goodin Abernathy has experience representing injured construction workers. They fight for the compensation they deserve to ensure they have financial security. 

Schedule a consultation to discuss your construction site injury with one of our attorneys.