Indiana Social Security Lawyer – Married Couples Can Maximize Social Security Benefits

As a lawyer who represents Hoosiers before the Social Security Administration, I am often asked about benefits arising out of married life.  I recently read an interesting article in US News and World Report Magazine.  I wanted to share it with my readers.  I did not write this article and I give full credit to U.S. News and World Report for the Article.  I hope you enjoy it and learn a little in the process.

Six Ways For Married Couples to Maximize Social Security Benefits.

Couples who are currently married, or who have stayed together at least 10 years, tie their working records — and the resulting Social Security checks — together as long as they both live. In the case of Social Security payments, the result is often better for the couple. Spouses have Social Security claiming options that single people don’t. Here are a few ways couples can boost their Social Security benefits:

Utilize Spousal Payments

Spouses are entitled to a Social Security payout of up to 50 percent of the higher earner’s check if that amount is higher than benefits based on his or her own working record. Retired couples in which one spouse did not work or had low earnings have the most to gain from this provision. However, low-earning spouses must wait until what the Social Security Administration calls the “full retirement age” to collect the full 50 percent. (For baby boomers born between 1943 and 1954, the full retirement age is 66.) Benefits are reduced for spouses who collect before their full retirement age. For example, a low-earning spouse whose full retirement age is 66 would only be eligible for 35 percent of the higher earner’s benefit at age 62. The spousal benefit does not increase above 50 percent of the higher earner’s benefit if claiming is delayed beyond the full retirement age.

Claim and Suspend

The lower earner cannot receive spouse’s benefits until the higher earner files for retirement benefits. Workers who have reached their full retirement age may apply for retirement benefits and then request to have the payment suspended. Claiming and suspending payments allows the lower earner to claim a spousal benefit and the higher earner to continue working and earn delayed retirement credits until age 70. “This would tend to maximize their lifetime benefits and more importantly maximizes the survivor’s benefit,” says Andrew Biggs, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a former deputy commissioner of the Social Security Administration. “You will ensure you will have a higher benefit when you need one, which is when you are a widow later in life.” Social Security checks increase by 7 to 8 percent for each year of delayed claiming between your full retirement age and age 70. After age 70 there is no additional benefit for waiting to collect your due.

Claim Twice

Duel-earner couples who have reached their full retirement age can claim Social Security twice: first as a spouse and later using their own work record. A person may choose to sign up for only a spouse’s benefits at their full retirement age and continue accruing delayed retirement credits on their own Social Security record. The worker may then file for benefits based on their own work at a later date and receive a higher monthly benefit due to delayed retirement credits. For example, a man planning to retire at age 70 could claim a spouse’s benefit based on his wife’s earnings at age 66 and then claim again based on his own working record when he exits the workforce at age 70. High-income couples with relatively equal earnings gain the most using this strategy, according to calculations by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

Include Family

Social Security recipients who have children under age 16 or who are disabled can secure additional Social Security payments for the child and a spouse caring for the child, even if the spouse is under age 62. Each child is eligible for up to 50 percent of the retiree’s full benefit. However, payments to family members are capped, typically at 150 to 180 percent of the retiree’s benefit payment. If the total benefits due to the retiree’s spouse and children are above this limit, their benefits will be reduced. The retiree’s payout, however, will not be affected.

Ex-Spouses are Eligible

A former spouse may be eligible for benefits if the marriage lasted at least 10 years. The divorced spouse must be age 62 or older and unmarried. The amount of benefits an ex-spouse claims has no effect on the benefits the worker and her or her current spouse can receive.

Boost the Survivor’s Benefit

Widows and widowers are entitled to the higher earner’s full retirement benefit. Surviving spouses can begin receiving Social Security benefits at age 60, or age 50 if they are disabled. Benefits are reduced by up to 28.5 percent if claimed before the recipient’s full retirement age. The surviving member of a dual earner couple can also claim a reduced benefit on one working record and then switch to the other. For example, a woman could take a reduced widow’s benefit at age 60 and then claim 100 percent of the retirement benefits based on her own working record when she reaches her full retirement age. Most survivor benefits are paid to women because wives are generally younger than their husbands and live longer. A husband can increase the monthly survivor’s benefit his wife will receive by 60 percent by waiting to sign up for Social Security until age 70.

Copyrighted, U.S.News & World Report, L.P. All rights reserved.

The Sam Schmidt Foundation

The Sam Schmidt Foundation  is dedicated to curing paralysis.  Sam’s motto is “It’s not if, but when?”  Many of you may remember Sam Schmidt, a successful driver on the Indy Care open wheel circuit.  He injured his spinal cord while driving at the  Indianapolis 500 Mile track in Indianapolis.  Sam’s never say quit outlook has lead him on a journey to find the cure for paralysis and to help those dealing with spinal injury and paralysis to thrive and live full lives.  I first became aware of Sam’s Foundation when a very good friend and client injured his spinal cord and became quadriplegic.  While Bob was in the Rehabilitation Hospital in Indianapolis, trying to make sense of what happened to him and what he was going to do with the rest of his life, he was visited by none other than Sam. I was not present, but when I saw Bob after Sam’s visit, I detected a new sense of purpose for Bob.  He knew that his injuries were not the end of his life.  Bob knew there was much for him to do and achieve and he set out on that journey with a passion.

Sam’s mission statement, taken from his website:

Leading the Charge to Cure Paralysis.
The Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation helps individuals overcome spinal cord injuries and other neurological disorders by funding scientific research, medical treatment, rehabilitation and technological advances. This research also benefits stroke victims and people diagnosed with ALS, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

Sam was injured in a professional motor sports car crash.  Bob was injured in a fall from a climbing tree stand.  Hoosiers across the state are injured in semi tractor-trailer crashes, or drunk driver accidents, or motorcycle collisions or construction accidents.  It does not matter how the spinal cord injury occurs.  What really matters is that the spinal cord injured Hoosier know that they and their family are not alone.  People like Sam Schmidt, and his foundation, are an inspiration to all.

At Young and Young, we are Indianapolis and Indiana spinal cord injury lawyers.  We have represented hundreds of Hoosiers with spinal cord injuries and have been doing so for more than 56 consecutive years.  If you would like to discuss the legal issues surrounding spinal cord injury, including, workers compensation, social security disability, private disability insurance or the liability of the person whose negligence caused the spinal cord injury, please contact Young and young toll free at 1-888-639-5161, or on the web at  Your call is confidential.  We will meet with you personally wherever is required.  There is no fee for this consultation and we do not charge a fee unless we recover fair compensation for you.  Call today.

Alleged Drunk Driver With Two Kids In Car Crashes Into Tree

Yet another instance where a car operated by a suspected intoxicated driver can become a lethal weapon. A Muncie, Indiana, man driving his fiancée’s two young children home from daycare veered off the road and smashed head-on into a tree on Tuesday night at about 5:30 p.m. The driver as well as the children ages 5 and 2 were all wearing seat belts. However, the older child was flown to Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis for emergency surgery and is said to be in stable condition. The younger child only suffered minor injuries fortunately, and driver himself came through okay. According to local media, the driver told police he had consumed four beers and a couple of shots” four hours before the wreck. Blood and breathalyzer tests apparently indicate that the motorist was legally drunk. On a preliminary basis, the motorist has been charged with driving while intoxicated resulting in injury and two counts each of neglect of a dependent and driving while suspended causing injury. Police also notified Child Protective Services of the incident. The motorist, who is currently in Delaware County Jail, apparently has two priors for drunk driving.

Safety is everyone’s business. As we have said time and again, getting behind the wheel after having one too many can be one of the most dangerous things that a motorist can do. It jeopardizes the safety of the vehicle operator, his or her passengers including innocent children, and other motorists on Indiana roads.

Based on many years of experience, we know that drunk drivers can devastate Hoosier families. If you or a loved one have been seriously hurt by a driver under the influence, please contact the personal injury lawyers at Young and Young in Indianapolis to obtain full information about your legal rights to recover money damages in civil court.

Be Considerate on Earth Day and Every Day

Today is Earth day.  In celebration of caring for our home, the planet earth, I saw many Hoosiers walking and riding their bikes to work.  I celebrated the day with my ride in.  For those in cars, please be considerate of the biker and the walker.  As an Indiana/Indianapolis personal injury attorney, I saw many things on my six mile ride that made me cringe.  I pulled out of my drive and headed south.  At the first intersection a driver in an SUV while talking on the phone ran right through a stop sign.  The children in my neighborhood walk to school and there were children all about.  One of the other drivers at the intersection honked their horn and the distracted driver took her free hand off the wheel and gave the honker the single finger insult.  Her lack of empathy for the plight of the others using the road is appalling.  This is how car crashes injure people.  This is how semi tractor-trailer accidents occur.  It is this lack of respect for the well being of our fellow Hoosiers that allows a drunk to drive and cause a drunk driving accident.

Further on down the road (Eric Clapton) I saw a car following another car very closely, I would call it tailgating.  The speed limit on the road is thirty miles an hour and there are people on the sidewalks of both sides of the road, including children going to school.  The rear driver decides that their needs are more important than all the rest of the people in the area and pulls right of the first car, guns the engine and passes on the right.  The children on the sidewalk jumped to their left  out of fear.  The car did not enter their path, but if it lost control in that split second, I may have witnessed the wrongful death of a child.   The irony of the whole situation is that the idiot driver sped up to a stop light two blocks ahead and then sat there while the first car pulled up slowly behind them.  I passed them too.  I gave them my best “you should be ashamed look” and rolled on.

We all have to live together.  We can avoid traffic accidents and motorcycle accidents and highway accidents if we will just be a little more concerned about the welfare of our fellow creatures.

Suspected Drunk Driver Crashes After High-Speed Chase

Apart from the potential penalties imposed by law, common sense tells us not to drink and drive. Alcohol slows reaction times, impairs judgment, and leads to highway accidents. But if you happen to watch the popular TV show “Cops,” you also  know that it’s never a good idea to run from the police regardless of the circumstances (such as a long rap sheet or outstanding warrants).  Last Thursday night, a local man with four priors for drunken driving found that out. He led police on a pursuit where he weaved in and out of cars at up to 130 mph before losing control of his vehicle. According to the Indianapolis Star, he “crashed his red 1995 Mercedes at the split where eastbound I-70 meets northbound I-65 at about 11 p.m. Thursday. Police said the car drove into a ditch before going airborne over I-65 and landing at the bottom of a ravine.” Although he wasn’t buckled in, the man managed to avoid serious injury. Apparently no other vehicles were involved fortunately. The motorist submitted to both a breath and blood test after the accident. Police have charged him on a preliminary basis with operating a vehicle while intoxicated, reckless driving, felony operating a vehicle as a habitual violator, and criminal recklessness. Police indicated that the motorist was already designated as a habitual traffic violator for life under Indiana law (which could mean a lifetime license suspension) and possible jail time if found guilty in criminal court.

Drunk drivers on Indiana roads can cause serious injuries to other drivers and passengers such as amputations, paralysis, spinal cord injury, paraplegia, quadriplegia, brain injury, broken bones, and even wrongful death. The role of the civil court is to compensate victims for their injuries in these incidents by providing a forum for seeking money damages from offender. If you or a loved one have been seriously hurt by a driver under the influence, please contact the personal injury lawyers at Young and Young in Indianapolis. With more than 55 years of experience, we stand ready to assist.

Indiana Brain Injury Attorney

If you are interested in brain injury, you should consider becoming a member of the Brain Injury Association of Indiana.  You can contact them at is the contact point for families and friends of Hoosiers coping with brain injury.  The Association was founded by a group of Hoosier families who found themselves trying to help a loved one cope with the severe effects of a brain injury.  They found that there was no coordinated effort to help families deal with the needs of their loved one and thus started the Association to help themselves and Hoosiers who surely would follow.  The idea of the Association is to ensure that families and friends of brain injured Hoosiers have access, from a single point, to all information currently available about resources to help their loved ones cope with their brain injury.  The Association preaches prevention as the best way to deal with brain injury.  In many instances the effects of brain injury are permanent and life altering.  The best way to cope with brain injury is to prevent it.  The Association preaches bicycle safety, helmet use, and other ways to avoid brain injury.

The Association also is a fabulous educational resource.  The Association has many differing types of educational materials to help educate those new to the effects of brain injury.  The Association also holds seminars with speakers from all facets of the brain injury experience.  These folks range from neurologists and neurosurgeons, to neuropsychologists to rehabilitation specialists to adaptive living specialists.  Survivors  and their families are also speaking directly to those new to the issues.  Who better to help brain injured Hoosiers than Hoosiers who have already been down that path.  The Association sponsors support groups all over the State of Indiana.  These groups are wonderful for allowing you to tell your story, hear about how others are coping and the newest and best therapies to help.

John P. Young, as a former Chair of the Board of Directors, has the knowledge and experience to help you and your loved one obtain fair compensation for your injuries.  Contact Mr. Young toll free 1-888-639-5161 or on the web at for your private, confidential and no charge consultation.  We do not charge a fee until we successfully obtain fair compensation for you.

Bicycle Safety

John P. Young is your Indiana Injury Attorney. We have 22 years experience in matters involving personal injury.  We represent Hoosiers injured in highway accidents, semi tractor-trailer crashes, motorcycle accidents, car accidents, drunk driving accidents and crashes, construction accidents and more.  We deal with only serious personal injury including broken bones, spinal cord injury with paraplegia and quadriplegia, wrongful death, blindness, amputations. Today I would like to discuss bicycle safety.

I ride my bike to work two to three times a week.  The only time I won’t ride is when there is snow and ice on the roads.  I ride for a couple of reasons.  When I finish my ride to work and sit down at my desk my energy level is high and I feel alert.  I guess it is because of the fresh air and the heart pumping.  Whatever it is, it is better than coffee, no kidding.  I like to think riding is a green action I can take to make the world a better place for my children  and yours.  I think I am keeping my weight under control, but I should also do a few push aways from the table.

A few of the things I notice that can help people be safer on bikes include wearing bright clothing and having a front and rear flasher on your bike or clothes.  The key to avoiding injury is being seen by cars.  You would think in bright sunlight it would be easy to see a full grown man on a bike, but it isn’t.  Riders should go out of their way to be seen. Wear a helmet.  Most of the time we are in control on the bike, but in an instant that can change.  When it does, we may no be prepared and go over the handle bars.  If that happens it is likely we are going to hit our head on something.  An unprotected head is an easy target for brain injury.  Your brain is slammed as hard as your head is.  As your brain is really mostly like jello, it can be easily injured.  The brain injury can leave permanent life altering damage.  A helmet is an inexpensive way to minimize (not eliminate) the danger of a brain injury.

Always ride with traffic.  This seems to be a point of confusion.  Walk against traffic, ride with traffic.  This allows people who are turning from side streets into your path to more easily see you.  This is because they are looking for cars and while they are doing this they will likely see you.  If you are riding against traffic, the driver will look in the opposite direction of the way you are coming last, to avoid the car that might hit them. This is especially true on one way streets.

Finally, watch out for drivers talking on their cell phone.  Of the multitude of things on that drivers mind, you, on your bicycle is one of the last things.  You watch out for them.  They already are demonstrating an extremely careless attitude about their own safety and the safety of other drivers on the road.  Of all the dangerous things I have seen happen on the road in the last four years of riding my bike to work, most (say around 75%) have been done by people driving and talking on their cell phones.

Enjoy your ride, be safe.  If you are injured by another’s negligence while you are riding, call John P. Young for your personal, confidential and no charge consultation.  You may reach Mr. Young toll free at 1-888-6395161, or on the web at

Indiana Injury Attorney on Lost Carmel Teens

John P. Young is your Indiana/Indianapolis Injury Attorney.  Young and Young has served injured Hoosiers and their families since 1954.  The Young family has had a member of the family practicing in the Indianapolis Metropolitan area for more than 106 years, beginning with Howard S. Young, Sr. who began his practice in 1904.  Over those years we have helped Hoosiers who have been injured in many types of accidents, including highway accidents, semi tractor-trailer accidents, motorcycle accidents, construction accidents car crashes, explosions, bleacher collapses, injuries from defective products.  We are a full service law firm helping disabled people obtain their Social Security Disability Benefits.

We were saddened to read about the young man who made a decision based on inexperience and teenaged judgment to take his father’s car and take his two friends for a joy ride.  As is often the case youthful indiscretion and lack of experience combined to cost the two passengers their lives.  The way we see it, the criminal justice system is not an effective tool in this case to deter future behavior.  It is a tool, do not get me wrong, but putting this young man in jail, and teaching him how to become a criminal helps no one.  Instead, the criminal justice system should ensure that he speaks to other teens and spreads the word about the dangers of making a hasty and frightful decision.  The criminal justice system can put him on probation and keep an eye on him.  Hoepfully, that young man will obtain his high school diploma, and maybe a college degree, and honor the lives of those young men in the car by making a success of his life.  Success includes living his life for others.

What part does the civil justice system play here?  As our mothers have taught us, and as this young man’s mother surely taught him, he has made a mess, it is up to him to make up for it.  This can be done by encouraging his insurance company to compensate the families of the two you men for the costs associated with their funeral and burial, and the medical bills for the treatment they may have received after the collision.  The loss of a child rates as one of the most traumatic events a person can endure.  You are not supposed to survive your children.  Though the money from the insurance company cannot bring back those young men, making sure he makes up for the harm he caused includes compensation for the loss of love and affection caused to those families.

Godspeed, young man. Honor your friends by living a courageous life. Make up for the harm you caused as best you can.

Psychologist Draws Parallel Between Underage Drinking and Brain Injury

A Connecticut psychologist says that one of the greatest threats to the still-developing adolescent brain (i.e., generally the teenage years) is alcohol abuse. Chris Brown maintains that during adolescence, “the brain has difficulty handling emotions, seeks high excitement/low effort activities, and has poor planning and judgment skills. That combination leads to a cycle in which impulsive decisions to consume [alcohol] reduce inhibitions more and lead to increased impulsiveness and risk taking.” He adds that the chance of alcohol dependency decreases by 14% with each year a person waits to start drinking. He asks rhetorically, “Which part of your brain do you want to sacrifice to alcohol or drugs?” Browns adds that the brain receptors begin to shut down the earlier in life someone starts drinking, “meaning more and more alcohol is needed to cause the desired effect.”

The issue of teen drinking and binge drinking also unfortunately plays out on the roads of Indiana and around the nation, sometimes with fatal consequences. As we discussed in a previous posting about how to identify behaviors indicating that your high school-age child might be drinking, the typical teenager’s inexperience with the effects of alcohol, their fearless attitude towards real danger, and their lack of familiarity with the operation of the vehicle is a potent combination for real trouble. Intervention by parents and school officials may be able to avert a tragedy, either in the form of a highway accident, or a life wasted because of addiction.

If you or a family member have been injured in a car accident by a driver that operated a vehicle while impaired, regardless of that driver’s age, it is important to retain legal counsel with the experience and skills needed to obtain full compensation for your injuries. At Young and Young, we have
represented thousands of Hoosiers with serious auto accident injuries. We have more than 55 years of experience waiting to help.

Carmel Teens Perish in Car Wreck

A tragic car accident in Carmel, Indiana on Friday night, April 9. A driver apparently refused to pull over when a police officer tried to stop him for speeding. He led the officer on a brief, high-speed chase, and then lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a utility pole, causing the car to catch fire. Two 15-year-old passengers were pronounced dead at the scene. The 15-year-old driver, who obviously had no business being behind the wheel, suffered non-life-threatening burns. The accident is still under investigation, and it remains to be determined the criminal charges, if any, that will be filed against the driver. Apparently the pursuit procedures involved are also being looked into. Our hearts go out to all the families involved in this horrible incident.

It’s been said by someone that an automobile is like a 2,000 pound bullet, which might be especially true in the case of an underage and/or inexperienced driver. As we have discussed previously, the criminal and civil justice system works on a parallel track in similar events of this nature. Prosecutors will attempt to impose whatever sanctions against a driver that might be called for under criminal law. The civil justice system ensures that Hoosier families who are injured on the roads receive fair monetary compensation from the responsible party or parties.

If you or a loved one have been seriously hurt in an accident on Indiana roads owing to the actions of a reckless or negligent driver, please contact the personal injury lawyers at Young and Young in Indianapolis to obtain full information about your legal rights to recover money damages in civil court.

Two Teen Pedestrians Struck By Hit-and-Run Suspected Drunk Driver

When we think about the disastrous effects of drunk driving, the image conjured up is usually a car-on-car accident. However, a suspected drunk driver mowed down two 15-year-old girls who were merely walking on the sidewalk in Indianapolis near Keystone Avenue. To make matters worse, the driver fled the scene, although he was shortly thereafter arrested by police after ramming a parked car. The motorist apparently has a long rap sheet, including two previous drunken driving convictions. One of the teens is listed in critical condition, while the other has been upgraded to stable. Hopefully both girls will fully recover from their injuries, and we wish them all the best.

The motorist, who is in Marion County Jail, faces the following preliminary charges: causing an injury while operating a vehicle while intoxicated, driving while intoxicated, and failure to stop after an accident involving injury. [As we discussed in a prior blog entry, in late March a visitor to Indianapolis was killed by a suspected drunk driver in a car-on-pedestrian accident.]

In a horrendous case like this, the criminal justice system will obviously prosecute the suspect (who is innocent until proven guilty) to the fullest extent of the law. Separately, the civil justice system allows the victim and the victim’s family to seek money damages from the offender to compensate them for the injuries. That’s where a qualified, experienced personal injury lawyer comes in. If you, a friend, or a loved one has been injured in a drunk driving accident, call Young & Young in Indianapolis for a personal, confidential, and no-charge consultation. Our firm has 55 years of experience helping Hoosiers obtain full compensation for injuries caused by intoxicated drivers on Indiana roads.

Spinal cord injury can occur in the blink of an eye.

John P. Young is an experienced Indiana/Indianapolis spinal cord injury lawyer.  Mr. Young has represented Hoosiers with Spinal Cord injuries for 22 years.  These injuries have occurred in highway accidents, semi tractor-trailer accidents, motorcycle accidents, drunk driving accidents and construction accidents.  Spinal Cord injury can have devastating effects not only on the injured Hoosier, but on their family and finances.  The light at the end of the tunnel is that we, as a society, have risen to the challenge of providing resources for the spinal cord injury victim.  We recommend that anyone with a relative, or friend who is dealing with spinal cord injury get in touch with the National Spinal Cord Injury Association (  We also recommend the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation (   These organizations make the first steps to entering the world with a spinal cord injury more sure.

Spinal cord injury can occur in the blink of an eye. 

For hunters using climbing tree stands, take a hunter safety course and always be connected to the tree with you safety line and harness.  We recommend a body harness with four point contact.  This will keep you from hitting the ground, turning upside down or becoming asphyxiated while waiting for help.

For those of you with trampolines, never allow your child to jump with others on the trampoline.  The “double bounce” action of the second person can cause the first person to be launched higher, lose control turn upside down and land on their head causing spinal cord injury.

Never allow anyone to dive head first into any body of water until you are certain of the depths.  Simply because the diver is on a dock extending into the water, or on a boat far from shore does not mean that there are not shoals in the area.

Motorcyclists, always take a rider safety course.  Most motorcycle accidents happen because the auto driver does not see you.  Cars turn in front of motorcycles all the time.  Watch for them and drive at a speed which allows you to stop suddenly and safely.

If you, or a loved one suffers a spinal cord injury due to another person’s negligence, call John P. Young for a personal, confidential and free of charge consultation.  Know your rights.  You can contact Mr. Young at 1-888-639-5161 or on the web at  We charge no fee until we have secured just and fair compensation for you  or your loved one.

Don’t Become a Drunk Driving Statistic

As we have underscored previously, drunk driving can have devastating consequences. Injuries may include broken bones, spinal cord injuries including paraplegia and quadriplegia, brain injury, scarring, and even wrongful death. According to some estimates, there are over 500,000 people injured in alcohol-related crashes each year. And while drunk drivers come in all shapes, ages and sizes, underage drinking is a major problem in Indiana and all around the country.

One of the main priorities of the Indiana State Police is removing intoxicated drivers from state roads before they can harm anyone else.  The legal limit in Indiana as in most states is a BAC of 0.08. According to the ISP, motorists can avoid finding themselves “over the limit and under arrest” by following these reminders:

Plan ahead and always designate a designated driver before consuming alcohol

Don’t get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking alcohol–call a taxi or sober friend

Take care of your friends.  Never let a friend drive while impaired–  take their keys

If you are hosting a party, always offer non-alcoholic beverages.  Make sure all of your guests leave with a sober driver

Never provide alcohol to anyone under the legal drinking age of 21

Call 911 if you see an erratic driver on the road with a description of the vehicle, location, and direction of travel

If you or a loved one have been seriously hurt by a driver under the
influence, please contact the personal injury lawyers at Young and Young in
Indianapolis to obtain full information about your legal rights to recover money damages in civil court.

Federal Government Wants Permanent Ban on Truck/Bus Texting

In a previous posting, we discussed how texting and driving don’t mix, and that if the texter is a commercial trucker or bus driver, the consequences can be especially deadly. For that reason we at Young and Young applaud the permanent texting ban proposed for large truck operators and bus drivers by the U.S. Transportation Department. Interim rules prohibiting mobile texting in commercial vehicles went into effect in January, but Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood wants to make the ban permanent. The federal rulemaking initiative to do just that “keeps our commitment to making our roads safer by reducing the threat of distracted driving,” he said. LaHood’s stated long-term goal is to outlaw all forms of wireless operation on the roads.

On his blog, Secretary LaHood explains that Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration research indicates that texting motorists take their eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds out of every 6 seconds , and that at 55 miles per hour, that 4.6 seconds is enough time to cover the length of an entire football field including both end zones. “Now, imagine a truck or bus hurtling that distance at that speed with a driver whose attention is not on the road ahead. I think you can see that there would be consequences,” the secretary added.

The proposed rules for the commercial texting ban were published in the April 1 edition of the Federal Register as required by federal government procedures. The deadline for public input is May 3. To learn more about the specifics of the proposal and even to file formal comments, go to Regulation Room.

If you have been injured by a texting truck or bus driver, or even by someone texting behind the wheel in a passenger car, please call Young and Young in Indianapolis for a free consultation.  We have 55 years of experience to help you and your family obtain full compensation for  injuries caused by distracted drivers, regardless of the cause of the distraction, on Indiana roads.

Indiana Social Security Disability Attorney

John P. Young has 22 years experience representing Hoosiers before the Social Security Administration for Social Security Disability Benefits.  Mr. Young has represented hundreds of claimants, each of whom he met personally with to discuss their claims.  Mr. Young speaks to you directly when you call, personally prepares you for your hearing and personally attends your hearing.  You will not have to deal with anyone but the lawyer who knows how to win before the Social Security Administration.  Mr. Young knows that the key to success is threefold. First, meet with and personally handle all aspects of the claimant’s claim.  Second, know, inside and out the rules, regulations and procedures of the Administration.  Mr. Young has mastered these over the twenty two years he has represented Hoosier claimants.  Third, be prepared.  Thoroughly interview the client about their disability.  Obtain each and every piece of evidence and provide that to the Social Security Administration. This includes medical evidence, evidence from prior employers, evidence from past employment, evidence from vocational rehabilitation. Review each piece of evidence and note how that evidence supports the claim for disability.  Fight to the end for the client.

The Social Security Administration publishes a list of injury illnesses and diseases which may qualify a person for disability.  The list includes spinal cord injury resulting in paralysis, either paraplegia or quadriplegia, back injuries including disc injuries, brain injury, blindness, amputation, burns, psychological issues and others.  It matters not how you were injured.  It could be from a highway accident, a drunk driving accident or a construction injury.  What matters is that you have the injury, illness or disease and it is severe enough to meet the criteria set out by the social security administration.  The experienced Indiana Social Security Lawyer knows that to prove the existence of the disability and to prove it is severe enough requires proper documentation.  The competent lawyer will work with the client to make sure that they know all of their options for obtaining the crucial medical documentation, whether it be through resources at the local public hospital, Medicaid, or low income clinics.

John P. Young knows how to maximize your chances of obtaining your Social Security Disability Benefits.  You worked hard but now you cannot work.  You are entitled to those benefits.  Call Mr. Young today, toll free at 1-888-639-5161 or contact him on the web for your immediate, personal, confidential and free of charge initial consultation now.

Resources from your Indiana Brain Injury Lawyer

As a current Emeritus Board of Directors, Past Board of Directors and past Chair of the Board of Directors of the Brain Injury Association of Indiana (BIAI), John P. Young has the experience to represent you, your family and or your friends when brain injury strikes.   Mr. Young has seen brain injury strike in many ways including highway accidents, semi tractor-trailer accidents, drunk driving accidents, construction accidents and motorcycle accidents. The brain injury may be known immediately, but it may also be hidden, by what are thought to be more severe injuries at the time, such as paralysis including paraplegia and quadriplegia, amputation, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, and blindness.   Brain injury has many obvious effects such as requiring hospitalization, testing and rehabilitation.  While this is occurring, you have lost wages and medical bills.  The more subtle effects are changes in personality including becoming more emotional or doing things that are considered socially unacceptable.

When brain injury strikes, you do not have to go at it alone.  BIAI was founded by a group of families who were dealing with brain injury suffered by a loved one.  They each were frustrated because no one would give them any direction or guidance on how to deal with the brain injury or tell them what resources were available to help their loved one achieve the best possible outcome.  BIAI is a wealth of information to help you help yourself or your loved ones.  You can access the BIAI website by going to  BIAI’s mailing address is Brain Injury Association of Indiana, PO Box 24167, Indianapolis, Indiana 46224, P: (317) 356-7722 F: (317) 481-1825.

Support Groups are an essential tool to helping Hoosiers cope with this injury.  A listing of local support groups includes:

Anderson  – 1st Friday of the month

Sharon and John Blake
Date:  Begins April 2, 2010
Location:  Aspire Indiana, 2020 Brown Street
Anderson, IN
765-620-9815 (John) or 765-641-8345
Meeting time:  2:00 – 4:00 pm (will end promptly at 4:00)

Bloomington – 1st Mon. 6:00 to 7:00

Rebecca Eberle, MA, CCC, SP
Laura Karcher, MA, CCC-SLP
Indiana University: Dept. of Speech & Hearing
200 S. Jordan Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47405
W (812) 855-6251
Web site (You will see links on the right side for our support group and a valuable TBI Brochure in PDF format)

Columbus – 1st Tues. 6:30p.m. to 8:00p.m.

Katie Novreske
Columbus Regional Hospital
2400 E. 17th Street
Columbus, IN 47201
812-375-3685 or 800-841-4938

Corydon; 1st Saturday, 2-4pm

Joe Ward
(502) 713-3351 or (812) 225-5252

Fort Wayne – 1st Mon 6:30p.m. to 8:00p.m.

Kristin Smith
Parkview Hospital
2200 Randallia Drive
Fort Wayne, IN 46805
W (260) 373-9765
P (260) 401-1433

Indianapolis – Support Group for Veterans – The 3rd Monday of the month from 6:00 – 8:00pm.

Robbie Schmidt
Location: VA Medical Center Room C4077
(317) 988-3554

Indianapolis – Bridging the Gap –  The 4th Monday of every month from 7:00pm until 9:00pm

Dr. Samantha Backhaus or Heather McCann
For Adults (age 16 and older) who have experienced a brain injury within the last year or who have completed formal rehabilitation in the last year, as well as their family members, friends, or caregivers.
Neuro Rehab Center
9531 Valparaiso Court
Indianapolis, IN 46268.
Phone 317-879-8940

Indianapolis – Southside – 2nd Saturday 9:00am

Bryan & Janna Downer
2nd Saturday at 9:00 am
Meeting Location:
Bob Evans
7515 E. Washington St.
Indianapolis, IN

Indianapolis – For Parents of Children with Brain Injury – The first Monday of every month from 6:00-7:30 pm

This support group is for parents of children with acquired brain injuries, ages infancy to 21 years of age, and is held the first Monday of each month at 6:00 PM.

Contact Kathy Munroe for directions to the Conference Room
(317) 962-5009 or

Indianapolis – Westside – 1st Monday 7:00p.m. to 9:00p.m.

Elaine and Paul Howard
Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana
4141 Shore Drive
Indianapolis, IN 46254

Kokomo – 3rd Monday 7:00p.m.

Russ and Sue Ragland
Howard Regional Hospital
1008 N. Indiana Avenue
Kokomo, IN 46901

Muncie – 1st Tuesday 6:30p.m. to 8:00p.m.

Pat Webb: 765-254-3840
Medical Consultants
800 S. Tillotson
Muncie, IN 47304
Pat Webb at 765-254-3840 for more information.

South Bend – 1st & 3rd Thursday 7:00p.m.

Barb Baker
6384 N. 900 E
New Carlisle, IN 46552
H (574) 654-8559

Southeastern Indiana – 3rd Thursday 7:00p.m. to 9:00p.m.

Bob and Beverly Setree
802 Webster Blvd
Jeffersonville, IN 47130
W (502) 452-9851

Terre Haute – 3rd Wednesday 7:00p.m. to 8:30p.m.

Leon Huffman
Wabash Valley Brain Injury Support Group (Terre Haute)
Third Thursday of each month- 7:00 PM
Vigo County Main Library (downstairs Room A)
7th & Popular Street
Terre Haute, IN

Vincennes – 2nd Monday 6:00p.m.

Mary Ann Cazel M.S. CCC-SLP
Good Samaritan Hospital
Eva Hill Auditorium
520 South Seventh Street
Vincennes, IN 47591
(812) 885-3011

For Information regarding support groups in the surrounding states, please call:

Brain Injury Association of Illinois (312) 726-5699
Brain Injury Association of Kentucky (502) 493-0609
Brain Injury Association of Michigan (810) 229-5880
Brain Injury Association of Missouri (314) 426-4024
Brain Injury Association of Ohio (614) 481-7100

Yield Right of Way to Emergency Vehicles for Roadway Safety

It’s spring, which means that many Hoosiers and their families will be out on the roads enjoying the warm weather. It also means simultaneously (for better or worse) a lot of highway construction activity. In 1999, Indiana became the first state in the U.S. to pass a law requiring drivers to move over or slow down when approaching stopped emergency vehicles, including police cruisers on the side of the road in construction zones.

Indiana Code 9-21-8-35 Requires Motorists to Yield the Right of Way to Emergency Vehicles

Indiana Code section 9-21-8-35 requires motorists to yield the right of way (and pull  over to the side) for an approaching an emergency vehicle with flashing lights or with a siren going. On a two-to-four-lane highway, however, motorists must change lanes away from the emergency vehicle if they can do so safely. Otherwise they must slow down and proceed with caution. Violating the law could result in a $10,000 fine and a driver’s license suspension.

Types of Emergency Vehicles

In Indiana, emergency vehicles include police cars, ambulances, fire trucks, and rescue vehicles, highway incident response vehicles and highway work vehicles, and tow trucks.

Roadside Traffic Stops & Construction Roadwork Are Very Dangerous, So Pay Attention!

Apparently police statistics indicate that an officer is more likely to be run over during a roadside traffic stop than he is to be shot or stabbed. Other emergency personnel and construction workers are also at risk when motorists don’t pay attention to what’s going on around them and fail to slow down when they see flashing lights. Be careful out there!

Child Critically Injured At Indianapolis Amusement Park

A five-year-old boy suffered serious injuries after hitting his head in a spinning “teacup” ride at the Indianapolis amusement park Xscape last Friday. The child is apparently in a coma at a local hospital and is listed in critical condition. According to updated media reports, the amusement park operator evidently had no legal operating permit, and state authorities have ordered the park shut down. A full investigation of the tragic incident which occurred at the Lafayette Square Mall is underway.

We wish the child and his family the best. In general, a horrific accident of this nature sadly has the potential for traumatic brain injury which lead to a variety of devastating physical and mental issues and a long recovery period.

Thousands of Hoosiers unfortunately suffer brain injuries every year. Brain injury is one of the most common occurrences in a collision, fall, or other traumatic event. If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident involving a blow to the head, see your doctor immediately, and follow the medical advice given. If the condition was the result of an injury caused the negligence of someone else, legal representation is also important. John P. Young is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Brain Injury Association of Indiana, serving as its chair for two years. Mr.Young has 20 years of experience helping Hoosiers and their families deal with brain injury. Call him at Young & Young in Indianapolis for a free consultation and let him assist you and your family.

Trucking and Texting from Your Indiana Truck Accident Lawyer

Picture the scene:  You and your family are on the road for the family vacation.  The kids are in the back seat, giggling.  You spouse is in the seat next to you, going through the schedule of the vacation.  You are comfortable with the radio on listening to a song that was your favorite several years back.  All is right with the world.  Suddenly and without warning the semi tractor trailer to your right moves left into your lane hitting you and sending you out of control. It is a nightmare scenario.  You later learn that the reason that the big truck lost control because the driver was texting his girlfriend on his cell phone and became distracted.  In our world of instant communication, the good comes with some baggage.  Texting and automobiles do not mix.  Anything that takes the drivers attention from the road, and following the rules of the road is going to end up badly sooner or later.  If the texter is a large truck operator or bus driver, the consequences can be deadly.

John P. Young is your Indiana/Indianapolis truck accident lawyer.  Mr. Young, in his twenty two plus years of representing injured Hoosiers, has seen the effect of large truck accidents/crashes.  The injuries are often severe, including head injury, amputation, broken bones, back injuries, spinal cord injuries resulting in paralysis and even wrongful death.  As a result of this experience, we, at Young and Young, applaud the new texting ban proposed for large truck operators and bus drivers. The ban, proposed by the Department of Transportation (DOT) covers texting and driving.  This ban is part of a larger effort by the Department of Transportation to reduce driver distractions on the road.

The DOT reports that 5,870 people were killed and 515,000 people were injured in 2008 on our roadways due to distraction, most of which were related to cell phone use and texting while driving.   It is good to know that the trucking and bus industries are in favor of the ban. The industry position is that texting and driving is a serious safety hazard.

If you or your family have been injured in a large truck accident, or any type of highway accident, call John P. Young, your Indiana/Indianapolis Truck accident lawyer for a no charge, personal, and confidential consultation.  You can reach Mr. Young toll free at 1-888-639-5161 or through email at  Remember, we work only for you and there is no charge unless we recover fair compensation for your injuries.

Control of Domestic Animals

Owners of dogs and other domesticated animals have a duty to confine them to their property to avoid injury and hazards to others.  While it makes sense in urban areas which often have “leash ordinances” that require dogs to be on a leash when taken off the owners property , many dog owners especially in rural areas do not  realize their responsibility or ignore the legal duty to keep their dogs confined to their property.

One of the reasons for this duty is the recognition that a dog in the roadway is a hazard and a danger not only to the dog but to users of the road (whether they are in motor vehicles, on bicycles, mopeds or motorcycles).  Prevention is easy and affordable.  It could be accomplished by use of a leash, tether, pen or dog run, conventional fence or an invisible fence.  The risk to the dog and users of the roadway is foreseeable and should be prevented by use of any of these methods.

NOTICE: No face-to-face meeting needed. You can remain safely in your home from case signup to settlement.