Your Indiana Brain Injury Lawyer

John P. Young is your Indiana Brain Injury Lawyer.  Mr. Young has been representing Hoosiers dealing with Brain Injury for the last 22 years.  Mr. Young started when a client came to him who had been roofing a building at a surface mining operation.  The client asked the mine operators to turn off the power to the line going over the roof.  The mine operator sent an employee to shut off the power.  The employee told the roofers it would take five minutes to shut off the power and they could begin work in ten minutes.  The crew waited for 30 minutes, just to be sure, besides, they had to unload their supplies and equipment, so the delay was no problem.  Turns out the mine employee met his girl friend on the way to shut off the power, and never did get around to shutting off the power.  My client came into contact with the line and was hit with 7,500 volts in the mouth.  The shock caused him to fall from the roof and land on his head.  His injuries were severe.

Mr. Young immediately joined the National Brain Injury Association and the Indiana Brain Injury Association.  He went to the seminars held by both organizations and met world renowned experts in brain injury trauma.  Mr. Young was so enthralled with this area, he joined the board of directors of the Indiana chapter and eventually served as the Chair of the Board Of Directors of the Indiana Brain Injury Association.  For the client, the case was resolved giving him fair compensation that allowed him to live in a fashion he was used to, with all the skilled medical care necessary to make him comfortable.

Brain injury can come from any source, such a traffic accident, a highway accident, a semi tractor-trailer accident, a drunk driving accident, or a construction accident.  The injury can be severe (coma, death) or less severe (concussion) and all manner of descriptions in between.  I say that a concussion is less severe on purpose.  In the vernacular of the TBI world, a concussion may well be classified as a mild brain injury.  I think this is misleading as it implies the injury is necessarily slight and short term.  Brian injury has as many different impacts as there are people.  So, how do we know if you have had a concussion.

Signs and Symptoms of Concussions

  • Nausea (feeling that you might vomit)
  • Dizziness or balance problems
  • Double or fuzzy vision
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Headache
  • Feeling sluggish or tired
  • Feeling foggy or groggy
  • Confusion
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Trouble remembering

It is never wise to ignore a concussion.  If you are in sports, tell people in charge you think something is wrong.  Continuing to be active, or play, before you see a doctor can be a dangerous thing.  I suggest seeing a health professional right away.  Generally, a neurologist has the proper training to give you the best opinion.  Following your doctor’s orders is key to successful recovery.

Concussions are common, and you will not necessarily lose consciousness.  Having an altered awareness of what is going on around you may occur.  (Sometimes this is referred to as being knocked goofy, or having your bell rung).  Multiple concussions can be dangerous and cause lifelong injury.

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident, and you believe might have suffered a brain injury, see you doctor, and follow the advice given.  Then, call John P. Young for a free consultation about your rights and fair compensation.

Indiana Personal Injury Lawyers

John P. Young is your personal injury lawyer.  At Young and Young all we do is represent injured Hoosiers.  I would like to share with you one of the most common things I hear from Hoosiers who come to my office, or whom I speak with in their homes or hospital rooms. They are sitting in bed, they may have been in a semi tractor-trailer crash, or a highway crash.  They may have even been in a traffic accident with a drunk driver.  They are in pain with broken bones, maybe an amputation or paralysis, very serious injuries.  They all tell me, “I am not one of those money hungry people trying to get something for nothing” or “I am not ‘sue’ happy”.  They say these things despite the obvious necessity for themselves and their families to seek fair compensation from the negligent person who caused their injuries.

My experience is that most people are honest.  They will not lie to get something they do not deserve.  Of course, there are those out there who will lie, and ruin it for the rest of the honest Hoosiers who need help, but that percentage is very small.  In fact the dishonest persons I encounter, maybe one a year, are so easy to detect that they pose no problem.  We just tell them the evidence does not support their claim and show them the door.  So, why are hard working Hoosiers so likely to apologize for asking for what’s fair?  Let’s start with what your mother taught you, and what you teach your children.  If you make a mess be responsible and make up for the harm you cause.  Is your neighbor being unreasonable for asking you to fix the window you put your baseball through?  No, in fact, we all think the person who does not take responsibility for their actions is a bad person.

People feel they need to apologize because in our society personal responsibility has come to mean don’t ask the person who negligently hurt you to make up for the harm they caused, it has come to mean, shut up and take what you get with a stiff upper lip.  Why would this silliness ever be acceptable?  It is because the insurance companies desire us to think this way.  Why would they want us to think this way?  Because if jury’s consistently were fair with their peers, the insurance companies would have to pay more in fair compensation and that would hurt their executive bonuses.  Don’t feel sorry for them, look around your city, who names are on the biggest buildings?  In Indianapolis, it is the insurance companies.  Last year there were record profits all around the insurance industry, despite Hoosier families struggling to meet the mortgage and feed their children.

Your mother was and is right.  It is everyone’s personal responsibility to fairly make up for the harm they cause.  Hoosiers are not, on the whole, greedy.  They are hard working honest people.  Anyone who says differently either does not live here or is so jaded that their opinions are always angry and destructive.  If you have been injured by another’s negligence, John P. Young is your personal injury lawyer.  He believes your mother is right, and will fight anyone who says differently.

Indiana Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Keeps Eye on Criminal Prosecution

John P. Young is your Indiana drunk driving accident lawyer.  Mr. Young knows that keeping tabs on the criminal prosecution of the drunk driver who caused your injuries is crucial to helping you recover fair compensation for your injuries.  Why is it so important?

We know from experience that drunk driving accidents can be devastating.  Your injuries will probably be worse if it is a motorcycle accident.  Those injuries may include broken bones, spinal cord injuries including paraplegia and quadriplegia, brain injury, scarring and even wrongful death.  With these kinds of injuries, you will build up medical bills fast.  You may not be able to work immediately after the accident and for a long time after.  Therefore handling your claim against the drunk driver right is crucial.  Mr. Young knows working with your investigating police and prosecutor is very important.

It is important for many reasons.  The police should do a thorough investigation of the facts leading up to, during and after the collision.  This includes taking measurements and pictures at the scene, talking to witnesses, taking evidence to test the drunk driver (breath and blood tests).  Our investigation follows the police investigation to collect any evidence which might have been missed.  We work with the police, not against them, to insure all the evidence is collected.  We follow the prosecution of the drunk driver, providing any and all information they may need. We also consult with our client who has been requested to speak with the prosecutor about the prosecution, just to make them feel more comfortable with the process.

If the drunk driver is convicted, or accepts a plea agreement, we obtain the transcripts of the drunk driver’s admissions.  These admission are admissible in civil court (where we bring the claim for fair compensation for your injuries) to prove that the drunk driver was negligent and caused your injuries.  This is a very efficient and effective method of establishing the drunk driver’s obligation to make up for the harm he/she caused you and your family.

If you have been injured by a drunk driver, in a drunk driver accident, call John P. Young for a free consultation.  Mr. Young and his partners will work for you and with you to protect you and your family.

Highways Keep Getting Safer

As your Indiana Truck Accident Lawyer, we keep our eye on the news about highway  safety. A highway accident with a large truck, including a semi tractor-trailer or other large truck, can have devastating effects on Hoosier families.  We know these traffic accidents cause paralysis including paraplegia, quadriplegia, amputation and even wrongful death.   Prevention of Tractor trailer accidents, and all other accidents is the primary goal of the civil justice system.  Keeping vigilant, proving when a truck crash was caused by negligence and requiring the culprit to fairly compensate the injured Hoosiers when negligence occurs is a powerful incentive for trucking companies to comply with over the road safety regulations.  After all it is never acceptable to needlessly endanger Hoosier families.  Hoosier families are needlessly endangered when truck concerns ignore safety rules and regulations.

The Indianapolis Star reported on March 12, 2010 that the number of people dying on our highway system is at its lowest point since the 1950s. The Star obtained these statistics from the United States Transportation Department.  These statistics show that wrongful death on our highways fell nearly nine percent in 2009.  This seems like a small number, but it translates to more than 10,000 fewer deaths in 2009 than compared to 2005.  This is truly significant given that highway traffic and use has increased in that same period.

It is also gratifying to hear that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is striving further still to bring this number down further.  The NHTSA credits wearing seat belts, programs to discourage drunk driving, and cars with better safety features.  These are all developments which trial lawyers have advocated and championed for decades.

Unfortunately, 680 people died on Hoosier Highways in 2009.  We can do better, but this number represents the lowest number of highway deaths since 1925, when Calvin Coolidge was president, and no one had heard of the great depression or World War II.

If you or your family have been injured or wrongfully killed in a highway accident, call John P. Young, Your Indiana Truck Accident Lawyer, for a no charge consultation.

Why Trial Lawyers are Really Our Friends

Toyota has problems.  Those problems kill people.  Do you really trust the government to fix the problem.  Remember the Ford Pinto? It was not the government that forced Ford to fix the problem.  It was the private sector which forced Ford to fix the problem.  It was trial lawyers.  It was trial lawyers representing people who had been injured by the Pinto who developed the evidence to convince the world that the Pinto was a dangerous product and was killing people. Only after this evidence was made public, through a trial, did Ford do something about its dangerous Pinto.

John P. Young, of Young and Young, is your Indiana injury Attorney.  Young and Young has been representing injured Hoosiers, as private lawyers, for more than 56 years.  Mr. Young is proud to be associated with the firm form more than 22 years.  Young and Young represents Hoosiers injured in all different types of accidents.  These include construction accidents, drunk driving crashes, semi tractor-trailer accidents, highway accidents, traffic accidents, large truck accidents, and industrial accidents.  Mr. Young has experience with the medicine involved in most types of injuries, including burns, scarring, broken bones, spinal cord injuries resulting in paralysis including paraplegia and quadriplegia, brain injury and wrongful death.

Americans know that the private sector is much more efficient than government agencies.  Americans do not want bigger government interfering with their lives.  The answer is continued strength of the civil justice system.  This system is the envy of the world, giving the little guy the ability to take on the largest corporations and the government when they have been injured or wronged.  Ask the people of Iraq, Afghanistan and Myanmar (formerly Burma) if they wish they could legally and effectively take on their government.  Their answer would be a resounding “H—Yes”.  They would be astounded that Americans would want to limit such an effective system.

Only the moneyed interests want to see this system changed.  They want to limit the ability of lawyers to represent injured Americans.  Why?  For the same reason no one trusts congress – money!!  The less ability American Citizens have the right to press their rights to fair compensation, the richer the moneyed interests become.  When you hear the civil justice system is hurting our competitive edge, ask yourself who is preaching this message?  If it is the moneyed interests, what they are really saying is we want to be richer and compensating people we injure makes being richer harder, and we don’t like it.  Be critical in your thinking on this issue and resist the moneyed interests attempt to take away your rights.

How Does the Social Security Administration Evaluate Pain?

So, how does the Social Security Administration evaluate pain when deciding if you are disabled, after all, you can’t see pain.  There is no test for pain.  The Administration will not, as you can imagine, just take the claimant’s word for it that he/she is in pain. So how do they do it?  First they want to know all about your disabilities. John P. Young, your Indiana Social Security Disability Lawyer, recommends that you tell the Administration about each one of the disabling conditions you have, even if you might think it is not that important, when you first apply.  Also give the administration the name address and telephone number of each one of your doctors, and of the hospitals you have visited.  This gives the SSA the chance to obtain all your medical records, and thus know everything about your disability.  It is crucial that you see medical doctors and have your disabilities documented.  The SSA will never find you disabled if you have no documentation to support your claim.  Next make sure you provide the SSA a list of all your medications, what you take them for and the side effects they cause.  This is very important, because if the doctor thinks you have a condition that requires serious medications to treat, that gives your pain complaints believability.

The SSA looks at your medical records to see what disabilities are documented.  They look at your list of medications to see what treatment you are receiving.  They then look to see what kinds of symptoms your disability is likely to cause. They look at your testimony to see if your pain complaints are consistent with the pain complaints they would expect to hear from a patient with those disabilities.  If your pain complaints are not consistent with what is expected, you will lose credibility.  If your pain complaints are more severe than what is expected of a person with your disability, you lose credibility.  If you lose credibility, you are less likely to be granted benefits.  That is why it is very important to be strictly honest with your doctors and the SSA.

John P. Young, Your Indiana Social Security Disability Lawyer, knows from 22 years experience how to properly present you claim to the Administration in order to give you the best chance to win.  John does this with personal service.  John will go to your hearing with you, no assistants will ever be asked to go in his place.  Call John P. Young, your Indiana Social Security Disability Lawyer, today.

Personal Help with Social Security Disability

John P. Young, a partner in the Indianapolis Law firm, Young and Young, is an Indiana Social Security Disability Lawyer.  John has been representing Hoosiers before the Social Security Administration for Twenty-two plus years.  A competent Indiana Social Security Lawyer, practicing in Indianapolis, John knows that personal service is key to successfully prosecuting your disability claim.  It makes no difference to John how you were injured.  Your injury may have been from a traffic accident, a highway accident, an auto crash, a motorcycle accident, you may have been in a drunk driver accident, or a highway accident with  a semi tractor-trailer.  John P. Young sees severe and disabling injuries from big truck accidents quite often.  Further, it makes no difference to John if your disability arises from broken bones, a brain injury or spinal cord injury resulting in paraplegia or quadriplegia, amputation, burns, scarring, blindness or any other type of disability.  If you have a disability, and it is severe enough, John P. Young will personally work to gather the evidence the Social Security Administration needs to approve your disability claim.

You should know that there are two types of Social Security Disability.  The first is Title Two Disability, and the second is Title Sixteen Supplemental Security Income (SSI).  In order to qualify for either, you must have a disability which prevents you from engaging in substantial gainful employment (these are the words the social security administration uses, sorry), and your disability must be expected to last for 12 months or more.  If you meet these criteria, then you must decide if you are eligible for Title Two Disability of title Sixteen SSI.

You become eligible for Title Two disability by working.  You must work for twenty out of the previous forty quarters prior to your disability to qualify for Title Two Disability.  The government takes taxes out of your paycheck in the form of a social security payroll tax.  They call it F.I.C.A.  You can think of this money as the premium for the disability insurance.  When you stop working, because of your disability, you remain insured for Title Two Disability for the next five years.  Like private disability insurance, if you become disabled in this five year period, you are allowed to continue receiving Title Two Disability for as long as you are disabled.  After being disabled for two years, you are also eligible for Medicare.

If you have not worked the required 20 out of the last forty quarters, and are not insured, you may be eligible for SSI.  There are restrictions on SSI such as if you are married and your spouse earns enough money, you are not eligible for SSI.  The Administration also counts the rent you do not have to pay (if you are staying with someone) and things such as food stamps as income, so as to reduce the amount of SSI benefits you will receive.

John P. Young recommends that you apply for both Title Two and Title Sixteen benefits.  The Administration will determine if you are eligible for one or the other, and there is no penalty for applying for both.  John P. Young, your Indiana Social Security Disability Lawyer stands ready to assist you in successfully proving your claim.  You will not have to tolerate an assistant, John handles all his client’s needs personally.  Call today.

Proving Brain Injury

Do you know why a blow to your head can cause brain injury?  Do you know why having your head violently shaken causes injury to your brain?  At Young and Young, as Indiana Spinal Cord Injury Attorneys for more than fifty six years, we know many of the reasons for this injury.  First let’s talk about why Indiana’s Spinal Cord Injury Attorneys are talking about brain injury. The brain and the spinal cord are part and parcel of the central nervous system.  Violent injury, such as those suffered in a construction accident, large truck collision, a traffic accident with a drunk driver can exert strong forces on the spinal column and the brain and cause injury. So, in order to truly understand the impact of an injury, the experienced injury lawyer must understand both structures and how they work together.

Although there are many ways the brain can be injured, a little known cause of injury to the brain is Diffuse Axonal Shearing.  The brain contains billions of nerves called axons. The axons are often depicted as looking much like tree roots.  They interact by carrying electrical impulses throughout the brain.  The pathways of these axons have a great deal to do with how we process information and make us who we are.  The axons can be damaged in a traffic accident in much the same way they can be injured in a shaken baby syndrome case.  Violent forces on the body, such as rapidly moving forward (Acceleration) and rapidly stopping (Deceleration) such in a semi tractor-trailer accident, have a direct effect on the brain.  Generally the brain will not move as fast as the head and will be violently twisted, (torqued) causing the axons to tear.  As a result of this injury, the brain tries to help itself by releasing chemicals.  In some instances, these chemicals can cause additional injury.

The difficult part of detecting this injury, is that currently medical science does not possess a test which cannot directly detect axonal shearing while the injured person is alive. Despite not being able to directly detect the injury, a series of tests known as neuropsychological tests are used to predict axonal injury based on the problems you might have because of the injury, including, inability to handle many tasks at a time (executive function) emotional lability (loss of emotional control) and other problems.

At Young and Young, over our fifty six years of experience as Indiana’s Spinal Cord Injury Attorneys, we have helped thousands of Hoosiers with axonal injury prove the extent of the harm caused by the accident and recover fair compensation. John P. Young is a former Chair of the Board of Directors of the Brain Injury Association of Indiana.  He has the skill and knowledge to help you. Please call for a free consultation today.

Spinal Cord Injuries, information and common causes

Approximately 40,000 Americans suffer spinal cord injuries every year. Although research is improving the quality of care surrounding spinal cord injuries, there is still much to be learned.  Unfortunately, it remains clear that spinal cord injuries are often permanent and almost always devastating.  At Young and Young we are experienced Indiana spinal cord injury attorneys. As accident lawyers and injury attorneys for more than fifty six years we know the impact s spinal cord injury has on a family.  We know that spinal cord injuries arise from construction accidents, traffic accidents, large truck accidents, semi tractor-trailer accidents, motorcycle accidents large truck crashes and falls.  Spinal cord injury can be accompanied by other injuries such as broken bones, brain injury and amputations.

The spinal cord injury can be so catastrophic because it can lead to paralysis.    If the injury is high in the spinal cord, the result can be quadriplegia, or the loss of sensation and motor movement from the neck down.  If the spinal cord injury is high enough in the neck (also called the cervical region) the result can be wrongful death.  If the injury occurs lower down in the spinal cord, the injury can be paraplegia, or the loss of sensation and motor movement from the waist down.

At Young and Young, as experienced Indianapolis Injury lawyers, we know that it is essential to work with all your medical professionals to completely understand the full extent of the spinal cord injury.  We know from experience that the injury will require many new and different types of treatments.  Usually the spinal cord injury is watched over by a hospitalist (also known as a physiatrist) who is the Captain of the ship so to speak.  They head up the team of medical specialists and coordinate treatment.  These professionals will include one or more of the following: neurosurgeon, neurologist, orthopedist, pulmonologist, infectious disease specialist, nephrologist, physical therapists, and others.  The injured Hoosier will initially be treated at an acute care hospital.  They will then be sent a rehabilitation hospital.  Therapies will last months, and will focus on adaptation.  Devices adapted to the injury will be introduced to help you re-enter your life and complete the activities of daily living, to get back to being as independent as possible.

Young and Young knows how to document all of the costs you will face, including future medical care, and future lost wages.  We have helped hundreds of spinal cord injured Hoosiers and we can help you and your family.  Call today for a free evaluation either in the hospital or in your home.

If My Back is Injured in an Accident – Can I Get Social Security Disability?

Young and Young is a firm of Indiana personal injury attorneys.  We are accident lawyers and accident attorneys.  We pride ourselves on being full service injury lawyers and accident attorneys.  When one of our clients is hurt in a traffic accident or a construction accident, we know that they may also have a claim for Social Security Disability benefits.  If you are in a car wreck with a drunk driver, or hit in a big truck accident, a semi tractor-trailer accident,  a motorcycle accident, a truck accident or any kind of trucking accident, we know the possibility of being severely injured is very real.   The injuries fall into a wide spectrum including broken bones, back injury, spinal cord injury, paralysis including paraplegia and quadriplegia, brain injury,  scarring, burns and wrongful death.  These injuries can interfere with your ability to work, earn a living and support your family. So let’s talk about a very common injury, the back injury and whether that allows you to qualify for Social Security Disability.

The rules and regulations for the Social Security Administration for Social Security Disability are found in the Code of Federal Regulations.  The specific Code Section is Section 20, parts 400-499. Appendix 1 to Subpart P of Part 404.  The listing looks like this:

Appendix 1 to Subpart P of Part 404—Listing of Impairments

The body system listings in parts A and B of the Listing of Impairments will no longer be effective on the following dates unless extended by the Commissioner or revised and promulgated again.

1. Growth Impairment (100.00): July 1, 1999.

2. Musculoskeletal System (1.00 and 101.00): June 7, 1999.

3. Special Senses and Speech (2.00 and 102.00): July 1, 1999.

4. Respiratory System (3.00 and 103.00): October 7, 2000.

5. Cardiovascular System (4.00 and 104.00): February 10, 2000.

6. Digestive System (5.00 and 105.00): December 6, 1999.

7. Genito-Urinary System (6.00 and 106.00): December 6, 1999.

8. Hemic and Lymphatic System (7.00 and 107.00): June 7, 1999.

9. Skin (8.00): June 7, 1999.

10. Endocrine System and Obesity (9.00) and Endocrine System (109.00): June 7, 1999.

11. Multiple Body Systems (110.00): July 1, 1999.

12. Neurological (11.00 and 111.00): July 1, 1999.

13. Mental Disorders (12.00 and 112.00): August 27, 1999.

14. Neoplastic Diseases, Malignant (13.00 and 113.00): June 7, 1999.

15. Immune System (14.00 and 114.00): July 1, 1999.

The part we want to discuss is the musculoskeletal system, because that this the section that talks about back injuries.  To meet any listing you must have the listed impairment (diagnosed and documented by your physician) and the impairment must be severe.  The section on back injury looks like this:

1.05 Disorders of the spine:

A. Arthritis manifested by ankylosis or fixation of the cervical or dorsolumbar spine at 30° or more of flexion measured from the neutral position, with X-ray evidence of:

1. Calcification of the anterior and lateral ligaments; or

2. Bilateral ankylosis of the sacroiliac joints with abnormal apophyseal

articulations; or

B. Osteoporosis, generalized (established by X-ray) manifested by pain and limitation of back motion and paravertebral muscle spasm with X-ray evidence of either:

1. Compression fracture of a vertebral body with loss of at least 50 percent of the estimated height of the vertebral body prior to the compression fracture, with no intervening direct traumatic episode; or

2. Multiple fractures of vertebrae with no intervening direct traumatic episode; or

C. Other vertebrogenic disorders (e.g., herniated nucleus puplosus, spinal stenosis) with the following persisting for at least 3 months despite prescribed therapy and expected to last 12 months. With both 1 and 2:

1. Pain, muscle spasm, and significant limitation of motion in the spine; and

2. Appropriate radicular distribution of significant motor loss with muscle weakness and sensory and reflex loss.

At Young and Young, we have been helping injured Hoosiers obtain their Social Security Disability Benefits for more than 20 years.  You work with an attorney who answers your calls and goes with you to your hearing.  You are not forced to waste time with a paralegal.  When you need your benefits, Young and Young will get them for you.  Call John P. Young today.

What is an Indiana Drunk Driving Lawyer?

Although it is illegal, many people still drink and drive. Drunk drivers cause all kinds of havoc.  It is common for drunk drivers to be in large truck accidents, semi tractor trailer accidents, traffic accidents, accidents with motorcycles, trucking accidents, accidents with pedestrians. The injuries and damages caused by a wreck with a drunk driver can be horrible.  So what is an Indiana Drunk Driving lawyer and why do you need one?

An Indiana Drunk Driving lawyer is an experienced accident lawyer and injury lawyer who makes it their business to make drunk drivers clean up the messes they make.  The smart injury attorney knows that fair compensation is essential for Hoosiers who have been injured by a drunk driver.  Experience is key.  You cannot afford to risk your family’s financial welfare by hiring a lawyer who does not work every day on pursuing drunk drivers when they have hurt another.  What does experience give you?  It gives you rapid response when the case first occurs.  It gives you the ability to work with police and prosecutors in the prosecution of the drunk driver who caused the injuries.  It gives you the knowledge of how to use the guilty plea or conviction of the drunk driver to your advantage when pressing your rights to fair compensation.  It gives you the ability to interact with your doctors to most effectively demonstrate the full extent of your injuries.  Sometimes graphic depictions of your injuries or how the injuries affect your life are essential to proving the full extent of the harm.

An experienced Indiana Drunk Driving Attorney gives you that personal touch, based on working with thousands of Hoosier families.  It gives you home visits and hospital visits and rehabilitation visits and discussions about how you are going to get through all of this with your family and life intact. At Young and Young, we are experienced Indiana Drunk Driving attorneys.  John P. Young has been on the front line with families who have been devastated by drunk drivers. Mr. Young has represented Hoosiers injured by drunk drivers for more than 21 years.  Mr. Young is a member of Mother Against Drunk Driving and has been for years.  Mr. Young has been in attendance at Mothers Against Drunk Driving Victim Impact Statements.  Mr. Young has created day in the life videos telling those who need to hear it, all about this special person who was killed by the drunk driver, or all about the injuries caused by the drunk driver.  Mr. Young is an experienced and aggressive Indiana Drunk Driving injury attorney.  Call today.

Multiple People Injured by One Persons Negligence

We have spent a lot of time talking about injuries to one person, but what happens when many people are injured by the negligence of one person? Often times multiple people are injured in accidents with tractor trailers, highway accidents, traffic accidents with drunk drivers, big truck crashes, and other vehicle accidents.  Smart accident attorneys and accident lawyers know that the effect of severe injuries, such as broken bones, scarring, spinal injury leading to paralysis such as paraplegia and quadriplegia, back injuries, burns and even wrongful death.  The injury lawyer knows that fair compensation is often times more difficult to obtain, because the injuries to the persons in the car may be so severe that their value may exceed the insurance available to cover the claim. 

Let’s take a step back and talk about how people protect themselves if they are negligent and cause injury to others.  First, a person who is negligent (runs a stop sign, is speeding, runs a red light) is responsible for fixing the harm they cause. This is what your mother taught you when you were little, and it is only fair. Second, people protect their assets by buying insurance to cover their car in case they are negligent and cause an injury.  The injured person makes a claim against the negligent person’s insurance company for fair compensation for the injuries the negligent person causes.  This is true whether there is a settlement out of Court, or a judgment as a result of a jury verdict.  As I told you before, if you are ever a juror, know, for certain, that the person against whom the claim is brought is being represented by an insurance company. All that person’s legal costs are being paid by the insurance company and the insurance company will pay the verdict that you as the jury feel is fair compensation for the injured person. 

If the negligent person hurts more than one person, they have insurance that will pay.  The way it normally works is that the negligent person has purchased insurance that says it will pay out a certain amount per person to a person making a claim and it will pay out a maximum amount per accident. So, for example, negligent person A has insurance with limits of liability insurance of $100,000.00 per person, $300,000.00 per accident. (Check your policy, I bet you find language similar to this although the amount of coverage may differ).  This means that each person injured in the crash will be limited to $100,000.00 of compensation from that policy.  You ask, what if fair compensation is above $100,000.00, or there are four people with claims that have a fair compensation value in excess of $100,000.00 each? (This is important because the most the insurance company will have to pay under this example is $300,000.00 because of the per accident limit of liability).  This is a great question. 

The answer is Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM) the injured person maintains on his/her car.  This coverage will kick in to pay the additional fair compensation you are entitled to.  This is true even if you are not driving your car at the time of the collision.  The Underinsured Motorist Insurance follows you, even if you are not in your car.  Because UIM is for your protection, and it is relatively inexpensive, you should keep high limits of UIM insurance.  I keep $250,000.00 plus an umbrella insurance policy which will pay additional amounts. 

At Young and Young we have 56 years of experience representing severely injured Hoosiers.  Call John Young for assistance today.

Bicycle Safety and Sidewalks

As bicycle and bike use are increasing there are some things both the biker and the motorist need to know.  First, as we all know, in a collision between a bicycle and a car, the car is going to win every time.  These collisions can result in very severe injuries, including, brain injury, back injury, broken bones, scarring, road rash, spinal injuries causing paralysis including paraplegia and quadriplegia, and wrongful death.

What is the law regarding the use of bicycles and sidewalks?  In Indianapolis, there is an ordinance that gives us clues on this subject, it reads as follows:

The Revised Municipal Code of Indianapolis-Marion County can be found online.

The local ordinance(s) regarding this topic are found at Chapter 431 regarding Streets, Sidewalks and Public Ways. State Law regarding bicycles is found at IC 9-21-11.

ARTICLE VI.  BICYCLES*

Sec. 431-601.  Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section.

Bicycle  means and includes every conveyance or device which is designed:

(1)   To travel on two (2) or more wheels in contact with the ground;

(2)   With a saddle or seat for the use of a human rider; and

(3)   To be propelled solely by human muscular power.

However, bicycle shall not include a pedal cab, as defined in chapter 903 of the Code, or a wheelchair.

Greenway  means a linear open space which is intended for the use of pedestrians and non-motorized devices, and which facilitates transportation to neighborhoods and other community destinations.

(G.O. 45, 2001, § 1)

Sec. 431-602.  Operation by children under twelve years of age; responsibility of adults.

(a)   It shall be unlawful for the parent, legal guardian or custodian of a child under twelve (12) years of age to suffer or permit such child to operate a bicycle in a roadway in the city while such roadway is open and used by vehicular traffic; however, this subsection shall not apply when and where:

(1)   The child is at least eight (8) years of age, and is accompanied by a parent, legal guardian or custodian who at all times is in position to observe and direct such child’s bicycle operation; or

(2)   The child is riding only in that portion of a roadway which is designated by signs or pavement markings as being set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles; or

(3)   The street where such roadway is located is designated by the city as a play street.

(b)   A child under twelve (12) years of age may operate a bicycle upon a sidewalk or greenway in the city in the manner provided by section 431-603(b) of the Code.

(c)   After a law enforcement officer gives one (1) warning to a parent, legal guardian or custodian that he or she has committed a violation of this section, it shall be unlawful for such parent, legal guardian or custodian to commit a second or subsequent violation of this section. A second or subsequent violation of this section is subject to the enforcement procedures provided in chapter 103, article III, of the Code.

(G.O. 45, 2001, § 1)

Sec. 431-603.  Operation on roadways, sidewalks and greenways; violations.

(a)   A person who operates a bicycle in a roadway shall comply with the provisions of IC chapter 9-21-11.

(b)   A person who operates a bicycle on a sidewalk or greenway in the city shall do so only in the following manner:

(1)   The bicycle shall not be operated at a speed, or in any manner, which constitutes a threat to the safety of either the bicycle operator or other persons, or diminishes or impairs the free use of the sidewalk or greenway by other persons.

(2)   The person propelling, and each person riding upon, a bicycle shall be seated upon a permanent and regular seat firmly attached to the bicycle;

(3)   The person propelling the bicycle shall not allow more persons to be carried at one (1) time than the number for which the bicycle is designed and equipped;

(4)   The bicycle shall be equipped with a bell or other device capable of giving an audible signal, lamps, and brakes in the same manner as is required by state law for bicycles operated upon a highway; and

(5)   The bicycle’s bell or other device capable of giving an audible signal shall be sounded not less than fifty (50) feet from any pedestrian or vehicle approaching upon the sidewalk or greenway; and

(c)   It shall be unlawful for a person to operate a bicycle in a manner prohibited by this section. A person’s first violation shall be subject to the enforcement procedures provided in chapter 103, article III, of the Code, and each second and subsequent violation is subject to the enforcement procedures and penalties provided in section 103-3 of the Code.

(G.O. 45, 2001, § 1)

Secs. 431-604–431-606.  Reserved.

Editor’s note:  G.O. 45, 2001, § 1, adopted May 21, 2001, repealed in their entirety §§ 431-604–431-606.

Formerly said sections pertained to manner of operation; impoundment of unregistered, stolen or abandoned bicycles and enforcement of this article as to children, respectively, as related to the operation of bicycles. See the Code Comparative Table.

Please, be very careful when riding your bicycle on the road.  If you have been hit by a car, while riding your bicycle, and are injured, call injury lawyer John P. Young, right away.

Can a Child Bring a Claim for Injury Compensation?

We’ve spent a lot of time talking about injuries to adults, but this ignores about 20 percent of our population.  Children are often injured in tractor trailer crashes, highway accidents, traffic accidents with drunk drivers, big truck crashes, and other vehicle accidents.  Smart accident attorneys and accident lawyers know that the effect of severe injuries, such as broken bones, scarring, spinal injury leading to paralysis such as paraplegia and quadriplegia, back injuries, burns and even wrongful death.  The injury lawyer knows these injuries may be even more severe for a child because they may affect the child for the rest of their life.  A child born in the United States can expect to live at least 75 years.  That is a long time to live with injuries that make it so the child cannot work and is in pain for the rest of their lives. 

The answer to our question is, yes, a child can bring a claim for fair compensation based on injuries caused by the negligence of another.  It used to be that the child’s parent had to bring the claim on behalf of the child. This is because the child was considered incompetent, simply because of the fact that the child was not 18 years old.  This has changed over time, and the child can bring his/her claim for fair compensation in his/her own name.  The determination of compensation for the child is determined in the same way it is for an injured adult.  

Ultimately, if the claim is resolved, resulting in fair compensation, the money will have to be placed in a restricted account (bank or otherwise) for the protection of the child.  Believe it or not, some parents have been known to take their children’s money and spend it on things other than the child’s welfare.  The Court in the county where the child lives will have oversight of the account until the child reaches the age of 18.  At that time the funds will be released to the child.  In the mean time, if money is ever allowed out of the account, it must be with the Court’s permission.  Even then the Court will only allow money to be taken out of the account for things that are for the direct benefit of the child.

At Young and Young, we have worked for thousands of Hoosier Children who have been injured by others negligence.  To help your child obtain their fair due, call John  P. Young today.

What Should I do if I am Injured in an Accident?

Knowledgeable accident attorneys and injury lawyers know that the dangers of having an accident – be it a motorcycle accident, highway accident with a semi tractor-trailer, a large truck accident, a wreck with a drunk driver, a truck crash , a construction accident , a fall, or even a battery.  Aggressive accident lawyers and injury attorneys also know that these types of accidents can cause all sorts of serious injuries.  When a traffic accident occurs what are some of the things you should do? 

Stay at the scene of the collision.  This will allow you to speak with the police and receive medical treatment if necessary.  In addition, state law requires you to stay at the scene. 

Call the police to begin an investigation in the cause of the collision. 

Wait for the police to tell them what happened, you do not need to give a statement to anyone else. 

If there are witnesses to the collision at the scene, and you are able to do so, write down their name, address and telephone number.  Sometimes witnesses do not have time to wait for the police.  Sometimes the police do not obtain all the names of the witnesses. 

Seek medical attention right away.  Even if you think you are okay, injuries have a way of showing themselves after the adrenaline rush is over.  

Follow your doctor’s advice.  

Contact Young and Young to assist you in the investigation of the vehicle accident.  As we have said in other blogs, a thorough and immediate investigation is very, very important.  Waiting can cause evidence and witnesses to be lost. 

Allow Young and Young to contact the insurance company for the negligent driver who caused the collision and your injuries.

 Focus on your recovery, following the medical advice you are given and allow Young and Young to worry about the claim.

I was in a Traffic Accident – What do I do?

Today, you were in a traffic accident. It was your first, and you are injured.  What do you do?  

Experienced injury attorneys and accident lawyers know this is a scary time for you.  You do not know the full extent of your injuries.  You do not know how long you will be off work, and you do not know how long you will have this pain.  First things first, do not panic.  Take a deep breath.  From the collision scene, you should seek medical attention.  If your injuries are severe enough – go to the hospital by ambulance.  Do not play the hero.  Your injuries are unpredictable at this time and an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you do not go to the hospital by ambulance seek medical care immediately.  Have someone drive you to the hospital.  Go to your doctor’s office, go to an immediate care center, but seek out medical care. 

As to the damage to your car, let it be towed to where you want, a body shop, your favorite dealer, an impound lot.  Let your insurance company know what has happened either by calling them yourself of by having a family member or friend call.  You do not have to wait for the person whose negligence caused the collision to turn in the claim to their insurance company.  You can call them yourself or have a family member or friend turn in the claim.  Give the insurance company the location of the vehicle and ask them to appraise the damage.  I recommend that you do not give them a statement at this time.  Also ask them for a rental car until your car is repaired or the settlement for the total damages on the car is paid. 

If these things seem a little overwhelming, you may want to contact an attorney to perform these tasks for you.  This gives you the opportunity to relax, and concentrate on your healing.  This will also allow the smart accident attorney and injury lawyer to begin their investigation by speaking to witnesses and taking pictures. 

One thing you will receive in the mail is an SR-21 form from the State.  This is a proof of financial responsibility form which the State requires to be completed within 90 days of the collision, even if it was not your fault.  You provide this to your insurance agent, who then completes it and sends it to the state.  If you do not complete this form, your license will be suspended.  There will be fees for reinstating the license if you do not complete the SR-21 form in a timely fashion. 

Young and Young has 55 years of experience handling auto accident cases.  Let our family help your family.  Give us a call.

What Is A Contingency Fee Agreement

You were minding your own business when a drunk driver driving a large truck causes a large truck crash.  Experienced injury attorneys and accident lawyers know trucking accidents are often the most dangerous.  These types of traffic accidents result in serious injuries, burns and even wrongful death. Smart accident attorneys and injury lawyers know that when Hoosiers have been injured, money becomes tight.  We also know that your injuries might cause you to be disabled, and force you to file for Social Security Disability.  Then the money really gets tight.  How can the injured Hoosier pay an attorney to represent them for either fair compensation from the person whose negligence caused the injuries, or to represent them before the Social Security Administration?  John Young is a Social Security lawyer with 21 years experience. 

The answer is the contingent fee.  Contingent is defined as depending upon a preceding event. So, a contingent fee is a fee that is only paid if you win your case (the preceding event).   At Young and Young we work almost exclusively with personal injury and wrongful death claims for compensation on a contingency fee basis.  This contingency fee does two things for you.   First it gives you, the injured Hoosier, the keys to the Court House.  What I mean by this is that without the contingency fee, most injured Hoosiers would not be able to bring their claim for compensation to court, it would simply be too expensive.  In addition, despite what you hear about the injury compensation system, there is risk that a jury will not agree with you about who caused your injuries, or the extent of your injuries.  If the jury does not agree with you, and you lose your case, then without the contingency fee, you would lose all the money you had to pay to the lawyer to bring the case, plus the money you had to pay to bring the case.  In some cases it can cost as much as several hundred thousand dollars to bring your case to court.  They don’t talk about this cost when they call the system a lottery.  

The other benefit the contingency fee provides is incentive on the part of your lawyer to present your case in the most effective way.  The lawyer (like me) knows that if the presentation is not the best it can be, the case may not be successful in providing you fair compensation.  It further means that the lawyer will not get paid, and all the time and effort put into the case may be for nothing. 

The Social Security Administration knows that people making claims for disability benefits have no money, but need competent representation.  The administration allows for contingency fees.  The administration also controls fees, meaning that a layer cannot charge you any fee unless you win your case, and the administration approves the fee. 

All contingency fees must be in writing and signed by the client.  It is unethical to charge a contingency fee without the agreement being in writing. At Young and Young, we have been representing Hoosiers for more than 55 years.  We work for you through a contingency fee arrangement.  We are paid when you are fairly compensated.  Please give us a call.

If I am Compensated for an Injury – is it Taxable?

Knowledgeable accident attorneys and injury lawyers know that you can will have medical expense and lost wages if you have a motorcycle accident, a highway accident with a semi tractor-trailer, a large truck accident, a wreck with a drunk driver, a truck crash , a construction accident , a fall, or even a battery.  Your medical bills and your lost wages are money that you may recover as part of your compensation for the injuries you receive as a result of another person’s negligence. 

You may also be able to recover compensation for pain and the inability to live your life the way you want to.  Remember compensation means to be made whole- in other words recover the fair amount of what you lost.  Some may say that it is not fair to compensate someone for their pain, or the inability to enjoy life.  I hear this all the time out of insurance executives and politicians.  Remember who is saying this and why.  The less the insurance companies have to pay out for just compensation the richer the suits become.  When was the last time you saw your premium go down, even though your state has passed so called tort reform.  Indiana is silly with tort reform and my rates have never gone down.  I bet yours haven’t either.  The last thing I want to say about pain is that it is easy for the suits, who get paid obscene amounts of money to say that you should not be compensated for pain.  I say let them live in your shoes for a day and they will change their tune. 

Compensation for your injuries, medical bills, pain and inability to enjoy life are not taxable. Why, you ask.  The reason is very sensible.  As the money you receive in compensation is simply to make up for the harm you suffered as a result of another’s negligence, you are not actually getting income.  You are simply receiving what makes up for the harm.  Now wages are different.  You would have been taxed on the wages if you earned them by working, so it is only fair that you pay taxes on them if they are part of the compensation you receive. 

If you have a structured settlement as a result of your injuries, the tax code allows the interest on the money in the annuity to be nontaxable if your accident attorney is wise enough to set the structured settlement up properly.  If you or your family is hurt by another’s negligence, call Young and Young.  Put our families’ 55 years of experience to work for you.

How will a Hospital Lien Imact My Injury Compensation?

 Knowledgeable accident attorneys and injury lawyers know that you can be put in the hospital if you have a motorcycle accident, a highway accident with a semi tractor-trailer, a large truck accident, a wreck with a drunk driver, a truck crash , a construction accident , a fall, or even a battery.  Aggressive accident lawyers and injury attorneys also know that these types of accidents can cause all sorts of serious injuries including broken bones, back injuries, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries causing paralysis including paraplegia and quadriplegia, blindness, burns, and amputations.  When these things occur you will be taken to the hospital for treatment.  When the hospital finds out the injuries were caused by a traffic accident they will send a message to their legal department to begin the process of filing a hospital lien.  A hospital lien is usually filed when the injured person does not have health insurance.  The hospital lien can also be filed even if the person does have insurance.  The hospital lien is usually filed when the hospital is not fully paid for its services. 

So what is a hospital lien, and why are you getting one?  The hospital lien is like any other lien, it gives the hospital a legal right to collect the remaining balance of their bill from any compensation you receive as a result of the injuries you have from the accident.  In order for the hospital lien to be enforceable certain things must be done in a timely fashion.   The first thing you should know is that the hospital lien is authorized by statute.  The Indiana Statute is I.C. 32-33-4-1 and the related statutes which follow this first statute. 

To be a valid lien, the hospital must follow the requirements of the Hospital lien statutes.  Some of those requirements include: The lien must be filed in the recorder’s office of the county where the hospital is located within 180 days after you are released from the hospital, the lien must have your proper name, your proper address, the name and address of the hospital, the dates of service and more.  If the hospital does not comply with the statutes, their lien is not enforceable.  This does not mean that you are not responsible for the bill.  It only means that the hospital does not have a lien against your settlement.  

One of the protections built into the hospital lien statutes is that if the lien exceeds the amount of insurance to compensate you for your injuries, you as the patient are guaranteed 20% of the amount of the settlement.  In other words, the hospital lien cannot take all your compensation. 

At Young and Young we have more than 55 years of experience helping injured Hoosiers.  Part of what we do is to help resolve these hospital liens.  If you are seriously injured, please give Young and Young a call.  We know when we can help.

Safety and Truck Crashes

It is a risk we accept every day.  A drunk driver driving a large truck causes a large truck crash.  Experienced injury attorneys and accident lawyers know trucking accidents are often the most dangerous.  These types of traffic accidents result in serious injuries including paralysis such as paraplegia or quadriplegia, brain injury, spinal cord injury, spine injury, amputation, broken bones, terrible scarring, burns and even wrongful death. Smart accident attorneys and injury lawyers know that the Federal Government issues a series of rules and regulations to protect highway users from fatal trucking accidents.  Roadway safety is in everyone’s best interest, but not every truck on the road is safe. 

The Federal Motor Safety Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) is dedicated to this principal.  This is reflected in its latest campaign:  “A Change to Save Lives: With Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010 (CSA 2010), the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), together with state partners and industry will work to further reduce commercial vehicle (CMV) crashes, fatalities, and injuries on our Nation’s highways. “   You can visit the FMSCA to learn more about how the FMCSA is working hard to make the roads safe for everyone. 

Part of what the FMSCA is doing is revamping its safety analysis system. As reported on its web site, the FMSCA establishes how this update compares to the older model. Within the Comprehensive Safety Analysis (CSA 2010) Operational Model, the Safety Measurement System (SMS) quantifies the on-road safety performance of carriers and drivers to identify candidates for interventions, to determine the specific safety problems exhibited by a carrier or driver, and to monitor whether safety problems are improving or getting worse. SMS replaces SafeStat in the new Operational Model.  This model includes several expanded and improved indicators of safety performance of truck carriers.  These include an expanded set of categories of analysis including seven behavior analysis and safety improvement categories, up from the previous four categories, giving a more detailed basis for analysis.  The system also emphasizes on-road safety performance, using all safety-based inspection violations.  The system includes a safety rating to identify possible safety problems based on a carriers current on road safety performance. 

The highway interstate trucking industry is the backbone of American commerce.  Keeping all users of the road safe will only enhance the effectiveness of our trucking industry.  If you, a loved one or a friend have been injured in a trucking accident, Young and Young has more than 55 years of experience aggressively working to ensure Hoosiers are properly compensated for their injuries.  Give us a call today.

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

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