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Holiday Season – Drinking & Traveling Contribute to More Accidents

Holiday Season – Drinking & Traveling Contribute to More Accidents

We want you to have a safe and enjoyable holiday season, so here are a few things to think about before the celebrations begin.

According to NHTSA Highway Safety Funding , there were 821 crashes involving fatalities in Indiana in 2015 – with 178 of them being alcohol-impaired driving fatalities.

Thanksgiving holiday weekend is the most popular holiday for Americans to travel to visit family and friends. Blackout Wednesday, the night before Thanksgiving, is one of the biggest drinking days of the year. Combine the biggest drinking day with the highest travel holiday, and accidents are bound to happen.

Being both a major holiday (one where government services, such as the Post Office and local libraries shut down and many employers give time off) and occurring on a weekday, the number of auto accidents that occur on Thanksgiving day are much more consistent than for other holidays, like Christmas and New Year’s. These two latter holidays see fluctuations largely based on whether they occur on a weekend or a weekday.

The increase in the number of auto accidents is partly rooted in the substantial (more than 50 percent) increase in traffic on the roads. But it is also pushed up due to an increase in the incidence of drinking and driving. Holiday celebrations and family gatherings often involve the consumption of alcohol.

Sadly, drinking and driving often hurts more than just the drunken driver. Although a car crash can involve a single vehicle, many of them involve two or more vehicles. Even if it’s a single car accident, there may be passengers on board. In either of these cases, other parties are also subjected to personal injury caused by drunk driver.

Although everyone is aware that it is a problem to drink and drive, far fewer people think about other risks that drinking can cause – i.e. poor impulse control and people saying or doing things they wouldn’t normally say or do. What might normally be a calm exchange of words between those of differing opinions, can escalate to full-blown physical altercations – in public or at family gatherings- resulting in personal injury or even death.

You cannot control the actions of others, whether on the road or off, but there are some things you can do to reduce the risk of injury for yourself, loved ones and guests this holiday season. Here are a few tips to make this a safer season:

• Volunteer to be the Designated Driver
• If you are hosting, stop serving alcohol an hour before the party ends.
• If you plan to drink, arrange alternate transportation home beforehand. This prevents you from needing to make an important judgment call while under the influence.
• If you are hosting, help guests arrange alternate transportation or let them stay the night rather than letting them get behind the wheel after a night of drinking.
• Most alcohol related accidents occur between midnight and 3 a.m., so avoid the roads during those hours this holiday season.
• End your party by 11:30 p.m. so your guests can get home before midnight, therefore helping them avoid being on the roads during the most dangerous hours.
• Host holiday events that do not revolve around alcohol. Promote good food and sober good times as an alternative.
• If there is unpleasant history with certain individuals, think through how to avoid having this turn into a fight at a party or family gathering before you run into them.

Remember, most accidents do not “just happen.”  Drinking and traveling contribute to more accidents. A high percentage of accidents are really a case of failure to think things through or to plan ahead. If you know you will be drinking this holiday season, or spending time with others who are drinking (especially those whom which you do not get along), plan beforehand how to handle it, so it is less likely to end in tragedy.

Of course, even if you do everything right, other people can still be the cause of tragedy, especially on the roads. If an altercation results in injury or there is a personal injury caused by drunk driver, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. Soft tissue injuries are not always readily apparent, so do not think you are fine just because you seem fine at the moment of the event.

Many insurance companies look for a reason to deny a claim, rather than looking for reason to approve and pay. Waiting can cause you to forget pertinent details and it can allow evidence to disappear.

Often times, an initial legal consultation is free, so do not hesitate to start a paper trail, just in case. Right now would be a good time to put a few phone numbers on a business card and stick it in your wallet. Be prepared and have a safe and enjoyable holiday season.

We Come to You

We Come to You

Our Clients Come From All Over Indiana

Our experienced personal injury attorneys are currently accepting injury and wrongful death lawsuits all over the State of Indiana in all 92 counties. With today’s modern technology, distances do not create obstacles for representing our clients whether they are – from Terre Haute, Richmond, Evansville or Ft. Wayne, or any of the other great cities and towns in between.

We Come To You

Although we are conveniently located on the north side of Indianapolis, we don’t require that our clients come to us. Our central Indiana location may be convenient for you, but if not, we are happy to come to you to discuss your personal injury case. In fact, many of our meetings with clients take place at the kitchen tables or the living rooms of hard-working Hoosiers all across the state of Indiana. We will gladly do the same for you. Our consultations are free, and there is no obligation if you decide not to hire us to be your lawyers.

Knowledge of Local Ordinances

With vast experience helping injured Hoosiers throughout all parts of Indiana, we have gained extensive knowledge of not only Indiana law, but the local ordinances of communities all over the state. This can be significant in various types of cases from automobile accidents to vicious dog bites.

Wherever You Are, Contact Us

We are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Please call our toll free number 1-800-625-4710 or reach us locally at (317) 572- 8052 to speak with an attorney. If you prefer, you can send us a message via our website: We look forward to meeting you and earning the opportunity to by your lawyer.

Injuries at the County Jail

Injuries at the County Jail

Individuals are generally housed at a County Jail while they wait for their trial or when they are waiting to be sent to a Department of Correction facility after being sentenced.

While at the County Jail, Indiana law dictates the County Sheriff is the one charged with a duty to administer the jail in a manner which preserves the safety of the inmates. Indeed, the Sheriff must exercise reasonable care to preserve the life, health, and safety of those in custody.

Frequently, the County Sheriff will delegate duties to jail employees to run the jail, and sometimes the County Sheriff will delegate the responsibility for providing medical attention to inmates to a doctor or an outside health care provider. However, even when duties are delegated, the Sheriff is responsible for the acts of jail employees, if the employees, acting in the course and scope of their employment, commit negligence. Similarly, the Sheriff is responsible for the acts of heath care providers. Therefore, when an inmate at a County Jail commits suicide; is sexually assaulted by a jail employee; or is deprived reasonable medical care; the Sheriff, in an official capacity, may be liable for damages.

Any individual who desires to make a claim against a County Sheriff, in their official capacity, must file what is known as a Notice of Tort Claim. This Notice must be filed within 180 days after the loss or event and must contain specific required information or the claim will be barred. Consequently, it is important that individuals who have suffered an injury or event at a County Jail, as a result of the actions of a jail employee or medical care provider, consult with an experienced attorney.

The Dangers of your First Day as a Temp Employee

Recently the US Department of Labor posted a story on their Facebook page about a temporary worker who was crushed to death on the first day of his job at a bottling facility.

In 2013, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced an initiative to improve safety conditions for temporary workers.

When a worker is employed by a temporary agency and is assigned to a specific host employer, both the agency and the host have responsibilities to ensure the safety of employees. Unfortunately many temporary workers are injured on the job, some on their first day as in the case of the worker in the bottling facility.

The attorneys of Goodin Abernathy LLP have experience representing injured temporary workers when they are injured on the job. Even if it was your first day or first week on the job site you have rights as an employee in Indiana if you are injured on-the-job– even if you are a temporary employee. Many of our Spanish-speaking clients work for temporary agencies and have suffered injuries at work. These cases present unique circumstances and challenges for workers. If you have been injured while employed by a staffing agency and have questions, don’t hesitate to call us—317-843-2606.

Indiana Job Safety: Factory Deaths and Serious Injury

A Hispanic worker was cooked alive at his job in a tuna factory.  Legal penalties were ordered for the dangerous acts of the man’s co-workers and the factory management.

Indiana’s Worker’s Compensation laws control injury and death claims when workers suffer job accidents.  This website answers many common questions injured workers have regarding their claims.  Undocumented Latino workers can legally claim medical costs and disability benefits in Indiana.  In certain cases, they can also sue general contractors, property owners or other service providers for negligence.  Unfortunately, many Spanish speaking Hispanics do not know that Indiana’s worker’s compensation laws protect them.

Our attorneys speak Spanish and many of our Goodin Abernathy LLP clients are Latino.  Since many employers and their insurance companies try to avoid paying the benefits legally required for job accidents, our experienced attorneys fight for their legal rights.  We evaluate settlement offers and push for reasonable awards.

We have represented injured workers throughout Indiana with injuries like: A burned foot when a cleaner stepped in hot oil; amputated fingers and hands when workers get their hands stuck in machines; broken backs where workers fall or get crushed at construction projects; brain injuries from head trauma after falling or getting hit by construction materials.  Also, our attorneys successfully handled cases for workers trapped inside large machinery and furnaces, like the man killed at the tuna plant in the story selected above.

Many of our Hispanic clients are worried about their immigration status.  Many of their legitimate claims go unreported because a worker does not believe the law protects them.  Contact us.  The Goodin Abernathy LLP attorneys explain the benefits Hispanic workers can legally recover – regardless of their immigration status.  Call us today for a free Spanish consultation.

Living Wills

In Indiana, the legislature has set-up a document that individuals may execute to inform their family and health care providers what they desire in regard to end-of-life decisions. These are called “Living Wills” and can be a part of your will and estate planning. While it is uncomfortable for most people to think about these end-of-life issues, Living Wills allow the person to make their own decision before they are in a situation where they cannot make the decision for themselves.

Recently, Bobbi Kristina Brown, the daughter of Whitney Houston and R&B singer, Bobbi Brown, passed away after she was found unresponsive on January 31, 2015. Ms. Brown reportedly suffered “global and irreversible brain damage.” She was only 22 years-old. Tragedy can even strike young people. If Ms. Brown lived in Indiana, her Living Will could have provided guidance to her family and health care providers about her end-of-life decision surrounding her treatment and care.

Indiana also has recently adopted the Indiana Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment (POST) form. This is filled out between a treating physician, advanced practice nurse, or physician assistant and the patient. The purpose is to inform EMTs and other treatment providers what medical intervention the patient desires if an emergency arises. The POST form is used by patients and their health care providers when the patient has a medical condition that is very serious or terminal. This document provides even more guidance to health professionals.

Goodin Abernathy, LLP can assist you in the creation of your Living Will along with your entire estate portfolio. Contact us today to discuss your estate planning needs.