Finally, after years of remaining at the same level, the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Board and State of Indiana increased the financial recovery rates an injured worker can claim for their case. www.in.gov/wcb/files/PPIandTTD-benefits2023_1.3_.pdf For injuries that occur on or after July 1, 2023, an injured worker may recover more money for their PPI and TTD benefits. The schedule used by the state increases annually over the next four years. Understanding these rate tables can be complicated. Since every dollar for your work injury case is precious, you should contact Goodin Abernathy for legal help.
Worker’s Compensation Laws
Employees hurt on the job in Indiana are protected by Indiana’s Worker’s Compensation laws. Attorney Jim Browne and Goodin Abernathy regularly help our Hispanic clients navigate the legal process to protect their rights and fight for more benefits. This article highlights main points of the Indiana Worker’s Compensation process.
Each state uses different laws for their worker’s compensation (“work comp”) claims. In Indiana, a work injury is considered a civil law claim. It does not involve criminal or immigration law issues. Something a little different about work comp claims is an agency handles the legal process – not a court of law. The Indiana Worker’s Compensation Board is the agency that tracks and handles these cases. You can learn more about the Board at this website https://www.in.gov/wcb/
An important part about Indiana’s work comp law is that an employer cannot defend a case based on liability or fault. Unlike an auto accident or other typical type of injury claim, it does not matter whether an employee was negligent and did something to cause the accident. As long as the employee was not intoxicated or intended to hurt themself, Indiana requires the employer to offer benefits.
Unfortunately, we often hear that employers threaten immigration reporting or similar problems when their employees are injured. You should not be afraid of immigration issues. Indiana’s work comp law allows any worker to make a claim. Your immigration status does not affect your legal rights and does not involve notifying the U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement (“ICE”) agency. Hispanic workers should not be concerned about immigration problems and notify their employer or supervisor immediately if injured on the job. Make sure to report your injury right away because waiting to do so may allow the employer to dispute responsibility.
Preliminarily, a couple legal issues we see affecting work comp claims involve whether the worker was an employee and whether the employer has insurance coverage. Determining whether an injured worker is an employee or independent contractor can be a complicated legal question. Since Indiana law does not require employers to offer independent contractors work comp benefits, let’s review some basic differences between employees and independent contractors.
Signs That Show A Worker Is An Employee
The worker is paid with a company check
Taxes are taken out of their pay checks
Worker does not work at other jobs
Worker does not have her/his own business
Worker uses the employer’s equipment
Worker regularly visits the employer’s place of business
Works the hours and schedule the employer chooses
An Independent Contractor Is Usually Identified When These Circumstances Apply
The worker has her / his own company
They work for various other companies
They do not work for the employer full time
They receive a 1099 tax form from the employer
They do not have taxes withheld from their payments
They use their own vehicles and equipment to perform the work
Worker’s compensation insurance coverage is an important part of the claim. Without insurance coverage, employers usually cannot pay the benefits they owe their injured employees. Many employers are small companies or individuals and choose not to pay for insurance. This is an important reason why you should ask if your employer has worker’s compensation insurance. A legal option that sometimes helps injured workers in these situations is if your employer is performing work for another company or contractor. Typical examples of this arrangement are found in construction and staffing agency arrangements. Indiana’s work comp law allows us to take one step up and make a claim for benefits from the general contractor or staffing agency if the primary employer does not carry insurance.
When an employee is injured on the job, Indiana law requires the employer to offer various benefits. The first and probably most important benefit is for medical treatment. If you visit the doctors, therapists and medical providers the employers offer, they must pay for all your costs. You are not responsible for deductible payments. You are not required to use your own health insurance or take FMLA time. Since your health and well-being are your primary concerns, you may seek medical treatment immediately after your work accident. If your employer or the insurance company deny you treatment, then you should seek legal help immediately. The attorneys at Goodin Abernathy understand the process and will explain your rights.
When a doctor or medical expert says you cannot work due to your injuries, you may claim Temporary Total Disability (“TTD”) payments. Indiana’s work comp law requires employers to pay two – thirds (66.66%) of your regular income while you cannot work. These TTD payments are not reduced for income tax or other typical withholdings. Before the payments start, the doctor must determine that you miss more than seven (7) consecutive days of work. If you miss thirty (30) consecutive days or more, than the employer must go back and pay you for the first 7 days of work that you missed. Sometimes, workers do not miss time off work immediately after their injury. But later, they require surgery or start treatment that keeps them off work. The TTD rules also apply to these subsequent periods of missed work.
When the employer or its insurance company determine that certain benefits should finish, they are required to send you a Termination of Benefits form. The form looks like this www.in.gov/wcb/files/Blank-38911.pdf If you dispute that benefits should stop, it is important to respond to these within seven days of receiving the form. If you fail to respond, then technically the employer may stop sending you the TTD benefits.
The final type of benefits owed to an injured employee involves the Permanent Partial Impairment (“PPI”) value of your injury. Basically, this benefit pays the employee for the future impairment they will suffer from the injury. That is, how will the injury interfere with their work and ability to earn income in the future. Calculating this benefit is complicated. For instance, the doctors and work comp Board uses the AMA Guidelines for reference. https://www.ama-assn.org/delivering-care/ama-guides/ama-guides-evaluation-permanent-impairment-overview. To understand it best, you should contact our Legalmente Hablando Indy team for representation. We will examine the medical records, show you how the government calculates the benefits and describe your legal options for maximizing recovery of PPI benefits.
Indiana law controls how attorneys charge for legal services in work comp claims. All attorneys in the state charge the same percentages for contingency fees. Since we charge a contingency fee, that means we collect our fees only when we win and you get paid money for your claim. If we do not collect money, then you do not pay. Our legal fee agreements are explained in both Spanish and English.
If you or a loved one are injured in a workplace accident, contact the Goodin Abernathy legal team. We handle death claims, amputations, orthopedic surgeries, electrocution, burns, explosions, head /brain injuries, spinal column fractures and broken bones. You will find we care about our clients and patiently explain the legal process. Count on us to aggressively represent your claim. Contact us today.
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:
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.
Why Experience Matters & Why You Should Hire Goodin Abernathy LLP Attorneys For Your Trucking Accident Case
The Goodin Abernathy LLP trial attorneys are sharp at prosecuting Indiana negligence claims involving semi-trucks and serious injuries. Many of our clients, who live out of state, suffer accidents in Indiana and need reliable legal representation. If you want personal attention by an Indiana attorney that excels in the courtroom, then contact Goodin Abernathy LLP because we are real attorneys who CARE ABOUT OUR CLIENTS.
Our initial consultations are free. More importantly, since each client’s truck accident experience is unique, Goodin Abernathy LLP does not charge a set contingency fee. Our fees depend on the level of legal work your claim requires. When meeting with us for the first time, no one will pressure you to sign a fee agreement or make any decisions right away. We prefer in person initial consultations. If time and distance are a barrier for out of state clients, we handle video conferencing and telephone conferences at convenient times, all days of the week.
Before you read any more, consider this: If you are attracted to a big box law firm, with a flashy commercial campaign and marketing gimmick, where the named attorney does not even handle your case or go to court, then we are not your firm. Goodin Abernathy LLP attorneys stick to a traditional “attorney and client relationship” – where you have direct access to the attorney, paralegal and staff who actually represents you. If this is the legal care and trust you want, then keep reading.
Indiana is known as the Crossroads of America and handles a huge volume of interstate traffic. Over the road semi-trucks pass through our state every minute – working to stock our shelves with food and keep the economy running. But sometimes those truckers make mistakes. From the congested Terre Haute section of I-70 over to the hills and bridges of I-74 near Cincinnati; along the I-65 pressure exchanges near Louisville, driving through the stop and go traffic of Indianapolis and up to the incredible volume and speeds of I-90, I-64 and I-65 corridor through the Indiana Region, Goodin Abernathy LLP takes the time to investigate cases as if they occurred in our own parking lot.
Some trucking accidents are caused by innocent mistakes with small damages. Other Indiana trucking accidents are horrific, resulting in death, paralysis that forever change lives. Often these accidents are caused by truck driver inattention, fatigue or plain risky driving. These are the cases Goodin Abernathy LLP’s attorneys aggressively handle.
Goodin Abernathy LLP attorneys handle personal injury cases for injured clients and their families from all across the country. If the accident happened in Indiana, Goodin Abernathy LLP attorneys know the law. We handle state and federal lawsuits involving trucking companies and drivers from all around the United States. We are proficient at holding trucking companies and drivers accountable for their negligence. Since trucking companies are structured for financial profit, the companies must also be prepared to pay for damages they cause.
Semi-trucks are gigantic and extremely heavy. When you mix their speed and weight with the consequences of driver inattention, faulty maintenance or driver fatigue, it creates a deadly recipe. The most common truck accidents we handle include rear end collisions, head-on collisions, jackknifes and rollovers. On the highway, these trucking accidents usually involve multi car pileups and cause problems for the police re-construction experts to evaluate. When Goodin Abernathy LLP attorneys take a trucking case, we grab it hands on and work to collect the details that accurately describe how and why the accident happened. This includes interviewing the investigating police, contacting other drivers that witnessed the incident and hiring qualified experts to report on safety violations. We also use reconstruction experts who describe why the collisions occurred with diagrams, photos and video production.
Big trucks cause big accidents and big injuries. Many of our cases involve fatalities, brain trauma, spinal cord injuries and amputations. Highway collisions, like under-ride and override accidents are the most likely to cause fatal injuries, severe brain or spinal trauma, often leading to permanent damage or paralysis. Our experience handling medical testimony, using top quality experts and showing a jury the anatomy of an injury is just as important as our experience investigating accidents.
The scope of injury isn’t the only thing larger than normal in a trucking accident. The claim process itself is much more rigorous. More people are involved than in your typical motor vehicle accident. Since trucking companies often have greater financial resources than the common driver, they create legal headaches for injured drivers and families. That is why hiring an experienced truck accident attorney is so important.
The attorneys at Goodin Abernathy LLP understand the legal intricacies of collecting evidence and using it in the courtroom. As important as our legal abilities is the fact that WE CARE ABOUT OUR CLIENTS.
Trucking accidents are complicated. Let Goodin Abernathy LLP guide you through a legal claim. We walk beside you through the entire process handling your case with the care and attention you deserve. We want to get to know you, discuss the legal process, provide you the opportunity to ask questions and explain our fee structure. Reach out to Goodin Abernathy LLP and let us show you how we set ourselves apart from other attorneys. Experience the care, wisdom, and experience Goodin Abernathy LLP has to offer by calling 317.843.2606 today for your free consultation.
The attorneys at Goodin Abernathy LLP handle Wrongful Death claims – fighting to honor the memory of lost loved ones and supporting their dependents as the law allows. Losing a loved one is catastrophic. The physical and emotional void left by a family member’s death feels insurmountable. These emotions don’t even include the financial toll of losing a family’s bread-winner. Money can’t replace someone we love, but as a practical matter, it’s something families need legal help collecting. In Wrongful Death cases, not only do Goodin Abernathy LLP attorneys know we are legally obligated to pursue the fullest extent of damages under the law – we want to fight for them because we care about our clients.
Indiana law allows family members and dependents to recover money as legal damages when their loved one is killed by another’s negligence. “Damages” is a legal term referring to the compensation – normally a sum of money – provided to a person who suffers harm or loss due to the negligence of another. Negligence causing one’s death is commonly known as a “wrongful death” claim.
Here are some things to consider when deciding what to do after losing a loved one to Wrongful Death.
Wrongful Death is a Civil Claim not a Criminal Claim
Wrongful Death refers to deaths that result from the negligent act of an entity or another person. A negligent act does not always mean a crime was committed. Your loved one’s death need not be the result of an intentional criminal act for you to make a Wrongful Death claim. We are experienced handling cases involving both criminal and negligent (civil) claims. Explaining how the criminal and civil laws work is one of the first things we address with grieving families. It’s natural to ask “Why didn’t that driver, who ran the red light, get sent to jail?” Goodin Abernathy’s attorneys evaluate and explain cases clearly. Sometimes cases do not involve criminal acts and we understand families are stunned the at-fault driver is not going to jail. While being honest with our clients, we are also sympathetic to their loss. No question is a dumb one and no feelings are dismissed by us. We take the time to walk our clients through legal explanations because we want them to understand and be comfortable with the process. As regular people, Goodin Abernathy’s attorneys actually care about our clients – then we use our training and experience to provide them with superior legal services.
Was someone driving erratically, causing an accident that killed your loved one? Did your loved one suffer an accident at work resulting in their death? Besides having an Indiana Worker’s Compensation claim, you may also have a wrongful death claim. There is a big, important difference between the two. Because we’ve handled these situations, we’ll explain how we prosecute both legal claims for our clients’ maximum benefit.
I’m Grieving and Don’t Have the Time or Energy to Pursue Legal Action
Losing a loved one is exhausting. It feels like there is a never-ending number of things to take care of and the last thing most people want to consider is a drawn-out legal battle. We get it- just remember two things: 1) In Indiana, the personal representative of the deceased has two (2) years to make a claim. (IC 34-23-1-1); and 2) the longer you wait to engage legal help means the more likely important evidence is lost. You might not feel like you have the time to juggle a lawsuit and find your way after a loss. But trust the idea we want to help, and we will make it as easy as possible to connect and communicate with us. When it comes to the legal issues involved with a claim, it’s our job to do the work so you and your family can move forward at the same time.
What Sort of Damages are Available in a Wrongful Death Case?
Damages may include medical, hospital, funeral and burial expenses. Damages include the loss of someone’s love and affection. Another big category of damages includes lost income or lost earnings. Under Indiana’s Wrongful Death Statute “recovery of emotional damages is allowed for spouses and dependent children; a decedent’s minor children may recover for loss of parental training and guidance as well as for the loss of their parent’s care.” (TRW Vehicle Safety Systems, Inc. v. Moore) “This loss can be determined, in part, from assistance that decedent would have provided through money, services or other marital benefits, but it also includes loss to children of parental training and guidance and loss of love and affection to surviving spouse.” (Southlake Limousine and Coach, Inc. v. Brock)
Wrongful Death cases are complex. The attorneys at Goodin Abernathy LLP are here to help you navigate these difficult times. Unlike a lot of big name advertising firms, our fees are structured for fairness to our clients. Our fees depend on the level of legal work you claim requires. You should not pay one set fee percentage for your case. We will explain how our fee structure works and comfortably answer your questions. Goodin Abernathy LLP gives you the time for decision making – we do not pressure you into signing our fee agreement the first time we meet. In these situations, you deserve an attorney that will walk beside you through the entire process. Contact us, Goodin Abernathy LLP, and see how we set ourselves apart from other attorneys. We know this is an emotional time. Let us help you recoup a sense of security for your family’s future. Call Goodin Abernathy LLP at 317-843-2606 today to schedule your Free Consultation.
Each year in Indiana and across the United States, workers are severely injured or killed in workplace accidents involving electrocutions. In 2015, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 134 workers across the nation were killed when they were exposed to electricity while they were working. Workers in the construction industry are especially at risk of suffering an on-the-job electricity-related injury. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration calls electrocution accidents among the construction industry’s fatal four, which are the four types of injuries that result in death each year. In addition to the risks of death from contact with electricity, electrocutions also bring risks of serious injuries.
Causes of Workplace Electrocution Injuries
Both electrical workers and non-electrical workers may suffer electricity-related injuries while working. The primary causes of electrocutions in the workplace are contacts with overhead power lines, contacts with electrical wiring and equipment and contacts with appliances and machinery. Among workers who are not employed as electrical workers, the primary cause of work-related electrocution accidents is contacting overhead power lines because of failing to stay far enough away from them; failing to protect the lines; and failing to de-energize them before working around them. Other workers may also suffer from electric shocks from using old extension cords and engaging in other unsafe workplace activities. Defective wiring in the workplace is also a leading cause of electric shocks among workers outside of the construction industry.
Work Related Electrocution Injuries
Coming into contact with electricity may cause injuries ranging from mild pain and discomfort to death. Some people who suffer from them may be left with permanent disabilities and be unable to return to their jobs. The injuries may include the following:
Cardiac arrest or other heart problems
When workers suffer from electrical shock, they may suffer several symptoms, including heart attacks, dizziness, unconsciousness, seizures, muscle pain, headaches or hearing loss. It is important for people who have suffered electric shocks at work to seek medical care immediately.
Workplace Electrical Hazards
In order to help prevent workplace injuries from electrical exposures, OSHA promulgates and enforces safety regulations that companies are required to follow. There are numerous hazards that may lead to electrical accidents in the workplace, including wet floors, defective wiring, overloaded circuits, downed power lines, exposed electrical parts and others. When companies violate these regulations, they place their workers at risk of suffering debilitating injuries or fatalities. No matter who was at fault in causing the accident, eligible workers may recover benefits from workers’ compensation when they have been injured on the job by electricity.
Recovering Benefits or Damages from Workplace Electrocution Accidents
Workers who suffer from electric shocks while they are on the job may file claims for benefits through their employers’ workers’ compensation insurance policies. Most employers in Indiana are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance so that workers who are injured may recover benefits for their injuries. Injured workers may recover benefits to pay for all of their related medical costs, including hospital care, medical appointments, rehabilitation, prosthetics and prescription expenses. If a worker is unable to return to work because the accident caused a disability, the worker may recover monthly benefits that pay for a percentage of his or her former income. Disability benefits through workers’ compensation may include those for partial or total and temporary or permanent disabilities.
In some cases, third parties may hold liability for workplace electrocution accidents under a theory of negligence. For example, if a worker is electrocuted by a defective piece of equipment, the parties that were involved in the chain of production may hold liability to pay damages to the injured worker or to the family members of workers who were killed. Families of workers who are killed in workplace accidents involving contacts with electricity may also recover benefits from the employers of their loved ones by filing workers’ compensation claims. The spouses of the workers may recover monthly benefits to replace a percentage of their loved ones’ incomes that were lost when they were killed in an electrical accident while working.
How an Attorney May Help
If you were injured at work in an accident involving contact with electricity, you may benefit by seeking help from an experienced attorney at Goodin Abernathy. Our attorneys may help you to recover the workers’ compensation benefits to which you should be entitled. If a third party is partly to blame for the accident, our attorneys may also file personal injury lawsuits against the third party in addition to your workers’ compensation claim. This may help you to maximize the amount of compensation that you might recover to help pay for the losses you have suffered from your electrocution accident.