Indiana Brain Injury Lawyers – New Study Focuses on Multiple Head Injuries

At Young and Young, we pay special attention to brain injury and the science of diagnosing the injury. As your Indiana Brain Injury lawyers, we want to bring to your attention new studies about the effect of hits to the head.  If you are a football fan, and have been following the National Football League, you know that the NFL recognizes that players are in danger from significant blows to the head.  Philadelphia Eagles fans remember Harold Carmichael, the six foot nine receiver who had to quit the league because of too many concussions.  San Francisco 49ers fans remember losing their quarterback to concussions.  Indianapolis Colts fans watched in horror as Austin Collie lay helpless  on the field with his arms drawn up like he was paralyzed.  The NFL has instituted new rules to try and minimize the danger associated with hits to the head.  We think going back to leather helmets would encourage players to not lead with their head or to enter contact so violently.

In this month’s copy of National Geographic Magazine further evidence is discussed that places even more emphasis on protecting the brain. A study being conducted at the University of North Carolina is pointing out that a lot of small hits may be just as bad as a few large hits.  The scientist are quick to point out that it is too early to draw conclusions from the study, but some theories are emerging. It has long been known that repeated blows to the head causes brain injury.  In boxers it was called being punch drunk. Now we know this as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). The study is attempting to determine the effect of repeated smaller blows to the head with the idea of trying to prevent injury to future athletes.  For now, we encourage all athletes to wear their helmets, including when skiing and biking. Be careful, the best way to treat brain injury is to prevent brain injury.

Accident Attorneys Young and Young Say “Thank You, Officer David S. Moore”

davidmooreAt Young and Young, we work very hard to be the best Indiana Serious Injury lawyers we can be.  Serious injuries arise from serious accidents.  If you or a loved one is involved in a serious highway accident, drunk driving accident, big truck accident, construction accident, or any other serious accident, we know the medicine and know how to aggressively represent your interests.

We want to take a minute, in these days of danger and concern, to send out our thanks to the family and colleagues of IMPD Officer David S. Moore.  Thank you Officer Moore for dedicating your life to the protection of Hoosiers living in Indianapolis.  Thank you for your bravery.  Thank you for your selflessness.  We  want you to know that we support your family and your fellow employees on the IMPD.   For those who survive Officer David S. Moore, please be careful, thank you for your hard work.  We all sleep better because you are willing to stand between us and those who would do us harm.

Along these same lines, we have noticed a troubling lack of empathy in our society.  Empathy is the ability to understand the situation of a fellow human being.  It is not sympathy, sympathy allows us to feel sorrow or pain when another is dealing with a loss.  We see this lack of empathy all around us.  We see it when someone walks across the street despite the other person having the right of way.  We see it when someone throws their trash on the street, for others to have to look at and pickup.  We see it when a drunk gets behind the wheel and places everyone else on the road in danger. We see it in a felon with a gun taking the life of an officer because the felon does not want to get caught.  The sad part about this lack of empathy is that it is a learned behavior.  It can be learned as a child when that child is abused.  It is learned as a child when parents do not train and guide their children. It is learned when children are shown that whatever is good for me is good, no matter how it might affect anyone else. I do not have the answer to this problem. I do know, however, that every day, I can empathize with others and show concern for their suffering.  I can be kind to others, and not always think about myself.  What is best for me is not always best, if it will hurt others. I can keep this in mind as I move through my day.

David S. Moore, thank you for living this truth.  May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

Indiana Spinal Cord Injury Attorneys – Care for the Caregiver

At Young and Young, we have worked with the finest doctors in the country on spinal cord injury. As Indiana Spinal Cord Injury Attorneys, representing Hoosiers dealing with spinal cord injuries out of our Indianapolis offices, we know the full impact on the family of a Hoosier dealing with spinal cord injury.  We represent Hoosiers with paraplegia, quadriplegia, and other problems caused by an injury to the spinal cord.  It does not matter whether the injury was caused by a car accident, a drunk driving accident, a truck accident, a construction accident, a fall from height, or any other kind of accident, we have been here for you since 1954.

HandsCaregiver We would like to take just a moment to say a few words about an issue that arises frequently in families dealing with spinal cord injury. It makes no difference if you are Sam Schmidt , Christopher Reeves or a working Hoosier, we need assistance with our activities of daily living and personal toilet.  Often times the spouse steps up and takes on this very important role.  Others times it is another family member.  Of course additional assistance is generally necessary.  The focus is on the injured family member, and rightly so.  Yet, the spouse and family members must recognize that they too have suffered a loss.  They must know that it is not selfish to feel burdened and sad.  It is a normal part of the grieving process over a loss.  One danger associated with these types of losses is that the spouse or family member does not recognize, or is unwilling to accept that they are involved in the grieving process.

Why is this so important?  Well, truth be told, you cannot continue to offer good quality care to your loved one if you do not take good quality care of yourself.  You must consider counseling.  If not counseling, then maybe a support group for people dealing with these issues.  Talking about your loss and your feelings is not an insult to the person you are assisting. It is a benefit to them because you are helping yourself to stay healthy so that you can be the most effective assistant you can be.  Thank you for being a strong person and standing by your family member.  Yes, thanks are appropriate because what you are doing is making the life of another human being fuller and richer and there is no greater gift than that.

Indiana’s Wrongful Death Statute

death At Young and Young we represent Hoosier families who are coping with the tragedy of the wrongful death of a loved one.  These are particularly hard times for families who lose the bread winner.  Even more distressing is the loss of the love, affection and guidance of a family member.  The Indiana Wrongful Death Act is the statutory law that controls a case when the family loses a loved one to wrongful death.  For the purposes of this statute, it matters not how the accident occurs.  In many instances the wrongful death is the result of a drunk driving accident, a highway accident, or a big truck accident.  However, we also see wrongful death accidents from construction accidents, falls and other accidents.

We set out for your convenience the Indiana Wrongful death statute as follows:

34-23-1-1 Death from wrongful act or omission

Sec. 1. When the death of one is caused by the wrongful act or omission of another, the personal representative of the former may maintain an action therefore against the latter, if the former might have maintained an action had he or she, as the case may be, lived, against the latter for an injury for the same act or omission. When the death of one is caused by the wrongful act or omission of another, the action shall be commenced by the personal representative of the decedent within two (2) years, and the damages shall be in such an amount as may be determined by the court or jury, including, but not limited to, reasonable medical, hospital, funeral and burial expenses, and lost earnings of such deceased person resulting from said wrongful act or omission. That part of the damages which is recovered for reasonable medical, hospital, funeral and burial expense shall inure to the exclusive benefit of the decedent’s estate for the payment thereof. The remainder of the damages, if any, shall, subject to the provisions of this article, inure to the exclusive benefit of the widow or widower, as the case may be, and to the dependent children, if any, or dependent next of kin, to be distributed in the same manner as the personal property of the deceased. If such decedent depart this life leaving no such widow or widower, or dependent children or dependent next of kin, surviving her or him, the damages inure to the exclusive benefit of the person or persons furnishing necessary and reasonable hospitalization or hospital services in connection with the last illness or injury of the decedent, performing necessary and reasonable medical or surgical services in connection with the last illness or injury of the decedent, to a funeral director or funeral home for the necessary and reasonable funeral and burial expenses, and to the personal representative, as such, for the necessary and reasonable costs and expenses of administering the estate and prosecuting or compromising the action, including a reasonable attorney’s fee, and in case of a death under such circumstances, and when such decedent leaves no such widow, widower, or dependent children, or dependent next of kin, surviving him or her, the measure of damages to be recovered shall be the total of the necessary and reasonable value of such hospitalization or hospital service, medical and surgical services, such funeral expenses, and such costs and expenses of administration, including attorney fees.

The claim must be brought by a person appointed by the Court to bring the claim.  This person is called the administrator and is usually the spouse, parent or sibling of the deceased Hoosier.  The administrator may seek assistance from an attorney to file the proper paperwork and pursue the claim.  Remember, the person whose negligence caused the wrongful death is covered by insurance which is responsible for paying the fair compensation the family of the deceased deserves

Indiana Serious Injury Attorneys on Defending Tort Law

hot coffee As you know from our recent talks, we have been taking this time to defend the civil justice system against those who would rather strip the American public of their rights than have to make up for the harm they do.  We, as Americans, have done a poor job defending our right to jury trial.  Our founding fathers thought enough of this right to specifically place it in our constitution.  We should be defending it more vigorously than the gun lobby works to defend the right to bear arms.  We have let the insurance companies and the moneyed interests chip away at our rights over the last 40 years.  These interests have been very effective with ad campaigns and smear tactics to redirect our attention away from our rights so they be taken away from us without us really know or understanding why it is happening.  Imagine, if you are involve in a serious automobile accident or seriously injured in a drunk driving accident, not being able to demand, yes I say demand that the person whose negligence caused your serious injury be required to make up for the harm they cause, to fully make up for the harm they caused.   You may think this is impossible but we are sliding ever closer to this reality.  In Indiana, hundreds of immunities now exist in our law to protect those who cause injury from having to fairly make up for the harm they cause.  We see stories in the papers and on TV telling us another out of control jury has awarded outrageous damages for no injury.  These stories are believed despite the fact that the jury heard all the facts, were controlled by the judge and strict rules of evidence and made their decision based on those facts rather than the inflammatory accusations made by those who stand most to lose by a fair jury, the Insurance companies, and vested interests.  We are barraged by false stories about lawsuits, such as the Stella Awards, and instead of checking the facts, we believe the hype and condemn the system, the very system designed by our founding fathers to protect us.  If guns were assaulted as heavily as our right to a jury trial America would be howling.

For this reason, I want to recommend you watch a new documentary entitled “Hot Coffee.”  It tells the story the jury heard about the McDonalds Hot Coffee case from 20 years ago, and then goes into other examples of “Tort Reform.”  Most important, it explains why the lies have been told for over 20 years about our Tort system, and the corporate interests behind the public relations nightmare.  The documentary is so good that it’s been accepted at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival.  Here’s a link to the first official critique of the film:  Sundance Review:  Hot Coffee

I do not ask you to swallow whole what you see in this documentary.  I ask you to think about what you see.  Check the facts and make your decision.  After doing so, I am confident that you will have a renewed respect for jury trials, the civil justice system and your rights.  Pass on what you learn.

Free Speech Not Equal to Truth – Indianapolis Personal Injury Attorneys Site the Stella Awards

rumor At Young and Young we are serious injury lawyers representing seriously injured Hoosiers all over the State of Indiana from our Indianapolis Offices.  We defend the civil justice system from unfair and unfounded attacks by people of corporations who want to attack the system for their own benefit.  The benefit they seek in attacking the civil justice system is to close the Court House doors to deserving Hoosiers who have been injured by others negligence.  These people will say that they do not want to close the doors to legitimately injured Hoosiers, but their actions speak louder than their words.  These people want to give immunity to all sorts of businesses so even if these businesses are negligent and their negligence  results in serious injuries to deserving Hoosiers, the business will not be responsible for making up for the harm they cause.  Honestly, most of these businesses are insured against such claims, so it is really the insurance industry that benefits.  These same people want to cap the damages a person can recover.  Say this injured person has a million dollars in medical care costs caused by the malpractice. This injured Hoosier cannot recover more than $1,250,000.00  Thus, this injured Hoosier will have to apply for Medicare and Medicaid, and instead of the doctor making up for the harm he/she caused, you and I will be taking care of this unfortunate seriously injured Hoosier for the rest of his life.

Another way these people attack the civil justice system is by making up outrageous stories that make the system look like it is the problem.  Of course, by and large these stories are false.

Take for instance the Stella Awards. About this time every year we start getting the “Stella Awards” email (thestellaawards.com) from friends who think the examples cited are outrageous and somehow want us to comment or justify  the attack on civil justice that these “Awards” put forth. If you get the “Stella Awards” in your email, please, before giving it any credibility or passing it along to your contacts click onto www.snopes.com and learn how this is totally false and untruthful. The only thing worse than making up false damnation’s about our civil justice system is to pass that untruth onto your contacts as if it were true. The truth is that we are blessed with the best system in the world to determine the truth and protect parties in either our civil or criminal justice system. Many people have sacrificed ,which has included giving  up their lives, to obtain and preserve our right to trial by jury.  Our state and federal constitutions recognize this rights importance and are  written to preserve our basic rights including our  right to trial by jury.  We also have a freedom of speech which those same people sacrificed and died to obtain and preserve. It is not the freedom of truthful speech.  Unfortunately that freedom allows and often protects untruths and distortions to be spread just as easily as the truth. It is our duty to look with a critical eye when we read things like the “Stella Awards”, because while our freedom of speech protects its dissemination it does not guarantee it truthfulness… Thanks for your consideration in stopping this outrageous attack on our precious right to trial by jury which so many sacrificed to preserve.

Indianapolis Auto Accident Attorney Offers Advise for Winter Driving

The Indiana State Police warn that snow and ice don’t cause crashes… but rather driving behavior causes crashes.  Old man winter is dishing out more than a fair share of snow , ice and cold for us this winter and there are a few things the state police recommend to help safely travel in these conditions.

You should be prepared. First,  you should check the forecast and let someone know your route before traveling. Next, you should keep your gas tank full.  You should also carry a winter driving kit.  This should include blankets,flashlight and extra batteries, a brightly colored cloth, sand or cat litter, a shovel, candle, matches, non-perishable high calorie food, a first aid kit, jumper cables and a cell phone(preferably with a car charger).

You should also drive according to the road conditions. You should allow extra time to get to your destination.You should clear all windows of ice and snow, including removing snow from the hood, roof and all lights, including both headlights and taillights. Take added care at bridges,underpasses,shadowy areas and intersections ,where ice is slow to melt. It is wise to slow down to increase traction and don’t use your cruise control on slick roads. The use of low beam headlights decreases the glare from ice. You should avoid abrupt stops and starts. It is better to slow down gradually and keep your wheels turning to avoid losing traction.

If you become stranded don’t leave your car as it is the best protection you have. You should tie a brightly colored cloth to your antenna to alert your need for help. Rolling down a window a little amount lets in some fresh air. You should keep the exhaust pipe free of blockage to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning .  It is important to not panic.  A car idling only uses a gallon of gas per hour.

Statewide road and weather information can be gained by calling 1-800-261-7623 or visiting INDOT’s website at TrafficWise.IN.gov.

Responsibility and the Free Market

Albert Einstein once said that the world is a dangerous place because people do not do anything about it.  We, as children learned something from our mothers that is as true today as it was when she said it.  If you make a mess, you are responsible to clean it up.  You are responsible to clean it up fully.  We, as trial lawyers know that this means if you harm someone through your negligence, you are responsible for making up for that harm by fairly compensating the person you hurt.  This rule has two good effects.  The first is that the person who is harmed is taken care of by the person who hurt them.  The responsibility for this harm, and taking care of it, is not shifted to Medicare to pay the bills and Social Security to pay for the lost wages.  We as a society do not have to make up for the harm because the responsible party is doing that.  Second, it causes people to be more careful, so that they do not hurt people and do not have to make up for the harm they cause.  As social animals it is our goal to live a happy and fulfilling life.  If no one injures us, we can do that.  If we do not injure another, everyone is free to do that.  This is not a concept of socialism or communism, it is a pillar of the free market society.  Capitalism is best served by happy healthy workers contributing to their own welfare and pursuit of the dream of living the better life.

So, we ask you, why would a system that promotes these values be under constant attack?  Why are our legislatures so intent on stripping the people of the protections offered by the tort system?  A logical response is that our legislative bodies are controlled by the moneyed interests.  Lobbyists, corporations with huge amounts of money,influence lawmakers to do their bidding. Why would corporations spend money to attack the tort system?  Said another way, why would corporations spend money to restrict your right to be fairly compensated if you are injured by another’s negligence? Behind every car accident there are two insurance companies, one for each car.  One of those companies now has the legal obligation to pay the injured party to make up the harm caused by their insured.  Every dollar the insurance company pays out in fair compensation is one less dollar of profit.  The profits for these companies are huge.  These huge profits justify the obscene amount of money these companies spend to influence lawmakers to restrict your rights and as a consequence increase their profits.  Remember, the good hands people, despite their warm and fuzzy commercials, are a for profit corporation and if they do not have to compensate you fairly they make more money.  Said another way, if they do not have to compensate the bread winner who can no longer work, you and I will have to take care of the injured person through Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

You might say it can’t be that bad, but it can be.  Our world will become a more dangerous place unless we the people stand up and tell our lawmakers that what our mothers taught is is right and we are not going to let it go.  We have the right to be fairly compensated if we are hurt.  It is a matter of honor to make up for the harm we cause.  Corporate self interest cannot warp mother’s words.

Indianapolis Serious Injury Attorney

We welcome you back to your work week.  As part of our ongoing series of blogs from the perspective of our college age associates, we are proud to present the thoughts of Joseph M. Young, Junior, Indiana University.  Joe is majoring in Religious studies and Psychology.

Drunk driving has a negative connotation in America, for good reason. It can lead to all kinds of accidents driving into a ditch, to a massive multiple car pile-ups. Drunk driving can lead to motorcycle accidents, highway accidents, large truck accidents , semi tractor-trailer accidents, and other trucking accidents.  In any drunk driving accident, serious injuries can occur. These injuries include back injuries, paralysis, brain injury, and permanent impairment. All  these injuries can lead to lost wages, future medical bills, unemployment, disability, and hours and hours of painful physical therapy. Larger bills, bigger fines, and a greater loss of life and limb can result from major collisions caused by drunk driving.

Like any bad habit though, drunk driving is preventable. If a person knows that he or she is prone to drive after they have been drinking, the responsible and right thing to do is for that person to give the keys to a friend. If a friend is not around a responsible person will have to choose not to drink or to stay home all together. There is always a cab, which is possibly one of the best options, provided money is available. Having a sober friend or designated driver is also always a good preventative option.

Unfortunately all of the preventative ideas in the world will not stop some people from drinking and driving. Hopefully, some people can recognize their fault and stop when they realize their error in judgment. If you ever find yourself drunk and need to get somewhere call a friend immediately.

Indianapolis drunk driving accident warnings

Indianapolis Personal Injuy AttorneysThe lawyers of Young & Young are proud to be Indiana Serious Injury Attorneys.  We travel all over the state representing seriously injured Hoosiers from our Indianapolis offices.  We hope you had a wonderful Christmas Season and a safe New Year.  If you are like us you were concerned about drunk driving on New Year’s Eve.  I know you spoke directly to your children and told them to minimize their driving on that night.  For your older children, the warning against drunk driving cannot be heard too often or too loudly.  In Indianapolis, the cab companies offered free rides to anyone over the age of 21.  What a great way to build a good relationship with our community and to keep our families safe. 

Drunk driving accidents happen every night, not just on New Year’s Eve.  Warn your children to be careful always.   Drunk driving accidents are always serious, and can lead to serious injury and wrongful death. Our hearts go out to families torn apart by the careless and thoughtless few who choose to get behind the wheel and cause mayhem.  We would like you to know that we take these cases very seriously.  We work with the finest accident reconstructionists, and police agencies to understand exactly what happens in these drunk driving accidents.  We also work closely with nationally known doctors to understand the medicine associated with serious injuries including brain injury, spinal cord injury resulting in paralysis, broken bones, blindness, burns and scarring and wrongful death.  We know you need answers.  We know you are angry.  We know you want a tough and aggressive lawyer to make sure your family is fairly compensated.  We also study the law associated with underinsured and uninsured motorist insurance coverage.  John P. Young has been a lecturer to lawyers across the state about these issues for the last nine years.

We are sorry to report that an Indianapolis woman was critically injured yesterday when she was hit by a hit and run driver.  Now it is true that not every hit and run driver is a drunk driver, but quite a few are.  They run because they are scared they will be caught drinking and driving.  They run because they are cowards and refuse to take responsibility for their actions.  They know they are leaving another human being injured or dyeing on the side of the road, but they don’t care. Tabetha Lynn’s car broke down at about 9:35 pm in the 4600 block of E. 16th street.  Her emergency flashers were working.  She was standing by her car when an SUV ran into the back of her car and hit her.  Ms. Lynn was left unconscious in the street. If you know the identity of the car and or driver who left the scene, please call crime stoppers.  Your tip is confidential and anonymous.

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

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