We most often get calls when someone is seriously injured as a result of an auto accident or other event that causes wrongful death or injury as a result of negligence. Damages can come in the form of injury to property as well. A recent example is occurring in the form of damage to trees including mainly Norway spruce and white pines. A relatively new lawn care herbicide is believed to be causing damage to these trees which may require their removal and replacement. A recent notice from DuPont indicates that the herbicide Imprelis may be harming the trees. IF you have pines or spruce trees that appear to be dying in an area where this product was used you should call contact the State Chemist office (765-494-1582) and file a report to have your damage investigated and documented. If the damages were causes by negligent application then there may be insurance coverage to help defray the cost of removal and replacement. Another source to contact is your homeowners to see if you have purchased protection against these types of losses. In either situation a valuable tool to help prove the loss is an official investigation by the state chemist.
You should not wait to consult with a lawyer if you are injured as a result of someone else’s negligence. A lawyer specializing in personal injury generally will not charge for a consultation and you should not have to sign any contract just to get some initial advice. Things to discuss include how should your medical bills be paid after an injury. This could include, depending on the facts, whether workers compensation should be involved or whether health insurance or medical payments coverage through your own policy should come into play. There are deadlines that you should be aware of in the event your injury is a result of a governmental entity fault. They often require a notice to be sent within 180 days of an injury. Whether you should give the other sides insurance company a statement is also an important decision that you should consult with a lawyer before agreeing to do…These are just a few of the possible issues that you should be educated on before agreeing to do anything.Even if you are planning on handling the claim on your own a consultation now could prevent problems for your claim in the future..
As your Indiana Social Security Disability Lawyers, operating out of our Indianapolis offices, we pride ourselves on courteous, friendly service. That is why you will always be working with an attorney through every step of the process. I often receive questions about whether a claimant needs an attorney in the application process, and what happens if you are turned down on the first application. Well, here is a short hand version of my standard answer. Of course every situation is different, so if you have a specific question give us a call.
To file an application you can do it on line. Go to www.ssa.gov. Be careful, there are copy cat sites, so type in this address carefully (You can right click on the blue address and then paste it into the address bar on your browser.) Or if you are not computer savvy, go to your local office. Either way I recommend you have 4 lists ready and with you. 1. Your medical providers with addresses; 2. Your medications with side effects, 3. Your jobs for the last 15 years including what you did physically at the job such as I sat most of the time or I walked most of the time, I lifted so many pounds frequently, etc, and 4, A complete list of your disabling conditions. I cannot stress enough that this list must be complete. When this is complete you may be, later, asked to see a doctor of the Administrations choosing. Make sure you get to that appointment. The whole process takes about 3-4 months. If you are turned down on your application. Do not despair, most people are turned down. Call me and we will do the following.
First we will file a Request for Reconsideration for you. The process after the filing of the Req. For Recon. is loosely as follows. All additional records are obtained by the social security administration. They may ask you to see another of their doctors, but that is not common. I will have access to your efile within 10 days of mailing in my Appointment of Rep. form. I will assess the file to see if we should ask for a determination on the record. Such a determination is usually performed by an attorney working for the Administration. They have a little bit more discretion than other SSA employees but not as much as a judge. The whole process takes three to four months. If you are denied at this level, then we file the request for Hearing before Administrative Law Judge and essentially follow the same process just described. It is important to keep me informed of any changes in your medical condition so that we may obtain any additional records.
There are as many different issues as there are claimants, so I cannot answer every question in this short paragraph. I am always happy to speak with you on the phone.
On June 23 ,2011 the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a voluntary recall of Circo Aloma Infant Giris Sandals imported by Target . Decorative flowers on the sandals can detach and pose a choking hazard. Thankfully no one was injured yet. This does point out a problem that injured persons face when injured by products that are not recalled before someone is injured and that is when products are manufactured overseas (e.g. China) then the ability of injured persons to seek justice in our courts is made much more difficult and expensive if not almost impossible. For additional information regarding this and other products recalled go to http://www.cpsc.gov .
Why does the State of Indiana require that there be minimum insurance? As your Indiana Serious personal Injury lawyer, we see firsthand the kinds of harm car accidents can cause. It does not matter if the crash is a drunk driving accident or a highway accident. These harms, including brain injury, broken bones, spinal cord injuries resulting in paralysis or amputation, can interfere with any Hoosiers ability to earn a living and enjoy their life. So when a driver carries the minimum state limit of liability insurance coverage, that is all the insurance company will have to pay you even if your injuries cost you far more than the amount available. The State minimum insurance amount in Indiana is $25,000.00. If you are injured and your injuries require you to be in the hospital for a few days, your medical bills will get high quickly and $25,000.00 probably is not going to fairly compensate you. What do you do then? Well you can sue the other driver, but chances are that the other driver has state minimum limits because they have little in assets and the state minimum is all they can really afford. Therefore, A judgment against that person does little good because there is little chance they will ever be able to fairly compensate you for their negligence.
Your best defense is buying three different kinds of insurance in addition to your liability coverage. The first two are very similar and are called Uninsured Motorist coverage (UM) and then Underinsured motorist coverage (UIM). If the drunk driver, or any driver, has no insurance your claim will be against your own UM coverage. If the other driver has state minimum coverage then your claim will be against your own UIM coverage because the State minimum coverage was not enough to cover all your losses. I recommend you purchase as high a limit of UM/UIM coverage as you can afford. After all, it may be the only insurance available if you have a serious personal injury or even a wrongful death.
The other type of insurance is medical payments insurance. This insurance will pay your medical bills, up to the limit of coverage you purchase, for injuries sustained while a passenger in your car. It is a kind of health insurance. It comes in very handy when you have a high deductible on your regular health policy. Med Pay Insurance is very affordable. I recommend that you buy as much as you can, but at a minimum you should buy an amount equal to your deductable on your health insurance. That way you will have little or nothing out of pocket if you are hurt in a crash or accident.
If you are a witness to someone being injured or are injured yourself it is important to get photographs or video of the scene of the injury at the time or as near the time of the event as possible. Subjects for photographing could include vehicles location, damages and people at the scene. Other subjects for video or photographs could include stairs ,walkways,ice conditions etc.The importance of documenting the scene of the injury may not seem important at the time but months later when trying to describe why or how someone was injured the video or photographs can be extremely important to show just exactly what occurred. E.G. if a store says wet floor signs were in place , photos taken at the time showing no signs can help to establish the truth of what actually occurred. Most everyone has a cell phone with some video capability.If you are injured then obtaining this information can be invaluable later on.IF you witness someone being injured then taking pictures or video can be invaluable to them at a later date. You should always be sure that you give your name and contact information to the injured person or someone who knows them. By taking these few measures you can assist in making sure that the truth of what occurred prevails.
I am always amazed at people I see riding bikes and scooters and motorcycles without helmets. I am even further amazed and how strongly some of these people feel about laws requiring the use of helmets. A couple years ago, the Indiana legislature was all set to pass a mandatory helmet law. On the day of the final vote several hundred motorcyclists filled the halls of the state house to voice their opposition to mandatory helmet laws. I understand smaller government, but I do not understand not wearing a helmet.
In what must be one of the most ironic stories of the year, Police say a motorcyclist participating in a protest ride against helmet laws died after he flipped over the bike’s handlebars and hit his head on the pavement. 55-year-old Philip A. Contos of Parish, N.Y., was driving a 1983 Harley Davidson with a group of bikers who were protesting helmet laws by not wearing helmets. He hit his brakes and toppled over the handlebars. He was pronounced dead at a hospital. Troopers say Contos would have likely survived if he had been wearing a helmet. We are saddened for Mr. Contos’ family. However, this story is a teaching moment. Helmets prevent more serious injuries. Helmets are comfortable. Helmets should be worn at all times.
I often wonder if the same folks who do not want to be told by the government to wear a helmet, have any objection to receiving social security and Medicare for the rest of their lives after a severe brain injury in a motorcycle accident. After all, for the rest of their lives the Government they did not want telling them what to do, will be telling them what to do for the rest of the lives.
A few days ago we wrote about the dangers of distracted driving. In that discussion we talked about texting and driving. Well, one of our own brought home the importance of the discussion yesterday. Lucas Harrison of Richmond just had to get that last text out. He was driving his car in Richmond, and texting in violation of the new anti texting law. He was distracted from his duty on the road to pay attention by his texting., the next thing he knows he is driving through a medical building and coming out on the other side. The good news is that no one was injured. Mr. Harrison’s car is a total loss, and the building requires big repairs. All because Mr. Harrison was distracted while driving.
If you doubt how dangerous texting and driving is Mr. Harrison could come to your home and give you a firsthand demonstration. Imagine if someone had been sitting in that building in Harrison’s path. Imagine it was a mother and two children. Imagine it was you and your children or grandchildren. Mr. Harrison’s thoughtless actions could have resulted in the wrongful death of fellow Hoosier. It could have resulted in serious personal injury such as spinal cord injury, brain injury, broken bones, paralysis. It could have wiped out a family or taken the bread winner from their family. No good comes from texting and driving. It is a selfish and thoughtless act. It demonstrates a complete lack of concern for the welfare of our fellow Hoosiers. Mr. Harrison, you were lucky. Take this opportunity to make a difference. Never text and drive again. Do what you can to get this message out.
As your Indiana Serious Injury Lawyers, we at Young and Young want you to talk with your kids about horseplay. Horseplay is any action of a passenger or passengers, that distracts the driver of a car. Horseplay can be as dangerous as drunk driving. The reason we have drunk driving accidents is because the driver’s reflexes are too slow and their thinking is impaired. We have talked quite a bit about the dangers of drunk driving and drunk driving accidents. A car can be, in the hands of a driver who is not fully attuned to the road, a dangerous machine. Passengers, do not take actions that will demand the attention of the driver away from the road.
A collision in Noblesville, over the holiday weekend, is more evidence of the dangers associated with distracting a driver. Nicholas Killinger was northbound on Ind. 37, just south of 206th street, when he was distracted by a passenger. Killinger’s pickup truck crossed the center line on collided head-on with a Kia Spectra driven by Daniel Stone. Daniel Stone, and his passenger, Lisa Stone both suffered wrongful death as a result of Mr. Killinger being distracted. Mr. Killinger’s passengers were seriously injured in the accident.
Anything that distracts a driver away from their duty of operating a car safely must be avoided. Other examples of common distractions include texting while driving, driving while talking on the cell phone, reading anything such as a map or a paper, the list goes on and on. If you must do anything that will take your attention away from the road, please pull of the road to a safe location and take care of your business. After you have safely concluded your work, drive again. Parents, please have this discussion with your children. Children, please have this conversation with your parents and your friends. We all want to get where we are going safely. Avoiding distracted driving will help us all.