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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.

Socialization

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.

Wrongful Death:  Indiana Law and How it Impacts You

Wrongful Death: Indiana Law and How it Impacts You

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.

What Sorts of Deaths Qualify as Wrongful Deaths?

Here are some situations that can lead to a Wrongful Death claim: Auto Accidents, Bicycle Accidents, Birth Injuries, Dog Bites, Drunk Drivers, Motorcycle Accidents, Drowning, Electrocution, Construction Accidents, Dangerous Working Conditions, Traumatic Brain Injury and Trucking Accidents.

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.

 

Photo by Nate Isaac on Unsplash

Dog Bites 101

Dog Bites 101

Dogs have long been known as natural animal companions, or best friends, to many of us. Their unconditional love and loyalty are one of the big reasons why so many people have them as pets. However, not everyone has had good experiences with dogs. In fact, in 2016, State Farm insurance paid $6.4 million in damages in Indiana from dog bite claims. This places Indiana as 8th highest state for dog bite claims for State Farm insurance (note this does not include other insurance companies). Seeing that a dog bite or dog-related injury could happen to you, here are some tips that could help you handle that type of situation.
Pet or Stray?

One of the first actions you will need to take is to try to find the owner or person in custody of the dog that bit you. By finding the person, you can then get their contact information and have them confirm the dog received a rabies shot. If the person in custody of the dog does not own it, it will be important to get contact information for that person and the dog’s owner. If you cannot find the owner or person in custody of the dog, then you should seek medical attention and let the doctor know you were bitten by a stray animal.
Photograph Everything!

A picture is worth a thousand words, so be sure to take more than one. Your insurance company will most likely ask for visual proof of the incident. Be sure to take pictures of the environment and of the physical wound.
Seek Medical Attention

Seek a medical professional to examine the wound. Especially if the dog is a stray, there is a chance the animal has rabies. If not treated quickly, rabies can be fatal to humans. Another reason to seek medical care is to make sure you receive documentation of the type of injuries that occurred.

Animal Control

  • It may also be beneficial for you to call your local animal control agency. It may be able to help you find the dog’s owner or vaccination information.
  • It also wouldn’t hurt to consider seeking legal advice. Those who are bitten by dogs may be entitled to damages such as medical expenses, lost income, cosmetic surgery for scarring, and money to compensation you for pain and suffering.

*Please Note: This article contains legal information but should NOT be considered legal advice. You should consult with an attorney before you rely on this information.*

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At Goodin Abernathy, LLP, we realize the law can be confusing and difficult to navigate. We have been serving Indiana since 1984, with a strong and reliable focus on Personal Injury, Worker’s Compensation and Employment Law. Our team of Indianapolis attorneys is dedicated to providing premiere civil trial services for individuals and small businesses.

If you need assistance with any of these matters, call us for a FREE consultation.

Goodin Abernathy also offers all of these services, in Spanish, to the Indiana Latino community. Haga clic aquí para obtener más información sobre los servicios que brindamos a la comunidad latina de Indiana – Legalmente Hablando Indy.