Serious Personal Injury Caused by Entering Traffic Blind

Indianapolis Auto Accident AttorneysWe have all seen it.  Traffic is backed up.  A driver wants to turn left into a drive or parking lot. The stopped traffic leaves a space for the turner to turn.  The turner takes this as an indication that traffic in the lane to the right  to the stopped traffic is clear.  Without looking, honking, flashing its lights or slowly moving forward, the turner drives into the lane next to the stopped traffic and hits a car properly in that lane causing serious personal injury to the driver who was properly in that lane and who had the right of way.

Avoiding this common collision is so simple, if you are the turner and you cannot see do not proceed.  It is just like coming to an intersection, closing your eyes and making the turn.   It just is not done.  Reasonably careful drivers see before they proceed.  because it is just as likely as not that there is a car in that lane and if there is a car in that lane, that car has the right of way.  The turner must yield to the traffic in that lane.  Only after that lane is clear may the turner proceed.  If the turner cannot see they must not proceed.  This simple rule serves to keep all users of the road safe from car crashes and the resulting serious personal injury and or wrongful death.  This rule is true even if the driver in the stopped lane waives you out.  This “waive out” cannot be relied upon.  That driver has limited vision, and may simply be indicating that they will wait for the turner,  not being meant as a guarantee that the adjacent lane is clear.  The turner must assure themselves that the other lane is clear before they enter the lane.

If you cannot see do not proceed.

Spinal Cord Injury

Indianapolis Personal Injury AttorneysYou are likely reading this blog because either you, a loved one or a friend is dealing with the effects of a spinal cord injury.  As you know, the spinal cord is the hard wire connection between the brain, and the rest of the body.  The brain is the primary body structure making up the central nervous system.  The brain sends and receives electrical impulses which control muscle and sensory functions within the body.  The nervous system is known to be made up of three distinct systems, the autonomic nervous system, the voluntary nervous system and the sympathetic nervous system.  All three are governed by the hard wire connections provided by the spinal cord.

Different sections of the spinal cord transmit electrical impulses, and thus control, to different sections of the body.  As this blog is not designed to be a class in medicine, we speak about these parts very generally.  The cervical area (neck area) controls the neck, shoulders, arms and top quarter of the trunk.  The thoracic area generally controls the trunk part of the  thorax (above the diaphragm) and the abdomen (below the diaphragm).  The Lumbar section controls the hips, buttocks and legs. Thus the higher on the spinal cord the injury, the more of the body affected.  Spinal cord injuries can result in temporary or permanent injury.  If the injury is severe enough, the hard wire connection is broken, and results in paralysis.  If the injury is less severe, paralysis may occur, but may be only temporary.  It can also result in parasthesia (pins and needle feeling) and the numbness type feeling that sometimes occurs when you hit your funny bone (which is actually an injury to the nerve near the surface running past the elbow.)

Spinal Cord injuries can occur in many ways, but as injury lawyers we generally represent those with spinal injury caused by trauma, such as in  a car crash, a trampoline injury, a semi tractor-trailer collision and drunk driver accidents.  Our clients generally are treated at neuro-intensive care facilities for the short term (also known as the acute care phase), and then are transferred when they stabilize to a rehabilitation facility, also known as a post acute care facility.  Once released from these facilities, a number of accommodations are usually required to allow the patient to maximize quality of life considerations.

Our job is to make sure that the insurance companies for the person or company responsible for causing our client’s injuries fully make up for the harm caused.  This will likely require us to contract with an expert known as a life care planner.  A life care planner specializes in the needs of those dealing with paralysis.  This expert accumulates the costs of all the accommodating options our client needs to regain the highest quality of life available to them.  This may include wheelchairs, ramps, transfer apparatus, wound care specialists, therapists for occupational, physical, speech and other therapies.

We also spend hours with our clients in the hospitals and at their homes familiarizing ourselves with the full range of their injuries and what it will take at home to help them live a full and satisfying life.  We have been helping Hoosiers dealing with Spinal Cord Injures for more than 58 years.  We would like to help you and your family.

Serious Injury and mediation?

Indianapolis Personal Injury attorneysWhen a person is seriously injured, such as in a car accident, a semi tractor-trailer accident or a drunk driving accident, as a result of another person’s failure to be careful, we all know that the harmed person has the right to ask the person who caused their injuries to make up for all the harm they caused.  In any of these claims, the Courts have developed a method to try and help the two sides come to an agreement about how to make up for the harm.  The Court calls this “Alternative Dispute Resolution”. It is called this because it is seen as an alternative to a trial.  It is not a replacement for a trial.  A jury trial is a constitutional right just as important as the right to free speech, freedom of religion or the right to bear arms.  No, alternative dispute resolution is simply a tool to help seriously injured Hoosiers to settle their claim.

One example of this is a mediation.  A mediation is a nonbinding method of bringing the parties together to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the case.  This is done with the help of an independent mediator.  A mediator is a person who is trained in the techniques of compromise.  The mediator is agreed to by the parties.  The mediator is nonbiased.  The mediator is paid by the parties equally and is paid whether the case settles or not.  The mediator cannot force either party to settle their claim.  The mediator listens. The mediator views the strengths and the weaknesses of both sides of the claim and helps the parties discuss those strengths and weaknesses.  The mediator guarantees that whatever is told to the mediator, in confidence, remains confidential.  Whatever is said in the mediation is confidential, meaning that it cannot be used in the trial if the case does not settle.  The parties are not bound by the settlement numbers they express if the case does not settle.  This means they are not limited to that amount in the trial if the case does not settle.

The process takes anywhere from a few hours to a full day, depending on how complicated the issues are.

Property Damage v. Bodily Injury Damage

I just got off the phone with a potential client who had a very common question.  He was involved in an automobile accident yesterday.  His car was rendered a total loss and his body was injured.  His question was, how can I settle my claim on the car while I am still in medical treatment and I do not know the full extent of my injuries?  The answer is simple but it takes a little to explain.  First, you need to know that your property damage claim and your bodily injury claim are two separate and distinct claims.  Of course they both arise out of the car crash, but they can be resolved independent of each other.  First you need to know that for both claims the statute of limitations for both claims is two years from the date of the car accident.  This is true whether the damage was caused by a drunk driving accident, a semi tractor-trailer accident or any highway accident.  This means that you must have a complaint filed in a court within the two year period, or your right to compensation for your claims will be forever lost.

So, you have plenty of time.  I suggest that initially, you stop, take a deep breath and try to not panic.  Second, contact the insurance company for the person who was at fault for the collision.  Inform them that you want to resolve your property damage claim.  I do not suggest that you give the insurance company a statement about what happened.  This is never in your best interest.  If that insurance company says they will not negotiate with you until you give a statement, you have a few options.  You can give the statement, which I do not recommend.  You can settle the claim with your own insurance company under the collision provision of your policy.  This will necessarily involve paying your deductible, but you will get that back when your insurance company settles their claim against the responsible parties insurance company.  Finally you can hire a lawyer.

Most people are unsatisfied with the offer they receive on their totaled car.  Usually it is not what they feel their car is worth and usually it is not enough to buy another reliable car.  The measure of property damage, in Indiana, is the value of the car immediately before the collision v. the value of the car immediately after the accident.  The value after the accident is scrap value and can range from $300 to $1,000.00.  Of course it can be more, but that is the exception.  The insurance company will want to pay you wholesale bluebook value for a car in average condition.  If your car is above average (be honest in your evaluation most cars really are of average condition) then you must be able to document why it is above average in condition.  I think you must remain firm that this has to be a retail value, not whole sale value.  You cannot buy a car wholesale, and therefore your loss is a retail loss. 

When you do reach a fair value and want to settle the claim, the insurance company will present you with a release of your property damage claim.  You can sign this without jeopardizing your bodily injury claim.  You must read the release and make sure it is for the property damage only.  Things to look for are words such as “release of any and all claims”  etc.  If the release has this language, and you are not settling your bodily injury claim, do not sign it, contact your lawyer immediately for advice.

Indianapolis Serious Injury Attorney Discusses Hospital Liens

As we all know a serious car accident, a drunk driving accident, a construction accident can lead to very serious personal injuries.  As Indiana’s Serious Personal Injury Law Firm, representing Hoosier all over the State from our Indianapolis Offices, we have seen those injuries, including broken bones, spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, amputation and paralysis.  These injuries lead to lengthy and costly hospital bills. If the injured person does not have health insurance, or if the person depends on Medicare, the hospital has the right to file what is called a Hospital lien.   This lien was authorized by the Indiana legislature, and can be found at the following Indiana Code citation: I.C. 32-33-4-1.  This lien gives the hospital the right to collect all the money for the charges made from the injured persons personal injury claim.  Now, you say, what is wrong with that?  Well, in principal, there is nothing wrong with that, but the reality is much different. 

When a person has private health insurance, the hospital submits the bills to the insurer, which then “writes down” the bill to the “Reasonable” charges for these medical services.  For those of you lucky enough to have private health insurance you have  seen this.  The hospital bill is say, $20,000.00.  The insurance company determines that the reasonable bill is $11,000.00 and the $9,000.00 is written off by the hospital.  Remember what I’m saying, the reasonable bill is only $11,000.00.  Therefore when the hospital writes off the other $9,000.00 they are agreeing the $9,000.00 is not reasonable. Now take the person without insurance, or the person with Medicare.  They are billed, by the hospital, $20,000.00.  There is no write down by an insurance company.  This person is obligated to pay the full $20,000.00 even though if they had private pay insurance, the hospital would have admitted that $9,000.00 of the bill is not reasonable.  That is not fair!!

In addition, when the money is collected through the injury claim, the private pay insurer has to share attorneys fees with the injured person.  Thus out of the $11,000.00 the injured party recovered from their suit, they have to pay the insurer 2/3rds of that amount because the injured party had to pay the attorney and it is only fair that the insurer has to pay also.  The hospital does not have to share the attorneys fees, they get all their money even though a large percentage of the money is  not a reasonable charge.

We say, change I.C. 32-33-4-1 to require that the injured person only has to pay the reasonable amount of charges, and that the hospital must pay their fair share of attorneys fees.

Indianapolis Serious Injury Attorney Talks About Rehabilitation Hospitals

Every one knows that when a person suffers a serious personal injury, whether it be in a car accident, a drunk driving accident, semi tractor-trailer accident or construction accident, the injured person is taken to a hospital. At the hospital, the patient is assessed for injuries, stabilized and treated. The stay in the hospital may be for less than 24 hours or it may be for several weeks. This part of the patient’s recovery is called the acute phase of recovery. This is true whether the injury is a brain injury, broken bones, spinal cord injury paralysis, burns or amputation. However, once the patient has reached a certain point in their recovery, but still needs assistance in the form of therapies, including physical therapy, occupational therapy or speech therapies, or requires assistance to relearn to take care of their activities of daily living, they are likely to be transferred from the acute care hospital to a post acute care hospital, also known as a rehabilitation hospital.

Many rehabilitations hospitals exist in the Indianapolis metropolitan area, including the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indianapolis, and Hook Rehabilitation Hospital. These hospitals focus on helping patients continue their recovery by focusing on the therapies and teaching techniques that will allow the revering patient to step back into their normal lives. These facilities are generally less expensive than the acute care hospitals. There are no surgeries performed at these hospitals, they do not have emergency rooms nor do they have intensive care facilities. The medical staff generally uses a team approach to help patients further their recovery. The team may include a Physiatrist (a doctor that specializes in physical and rehabilitation medicine), a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, a speech therapist, educators who specialize in dietary needs, and transition back to home living.

If you, or a loved one, are told that you will be transferred from the hospital to a rehabilitation hospital, rest assured it is in your best interest.

Indiana Serious Injury Lawyer discusses Social Security Disability and your Serious Injury Case

 The question always arise, in my initial consultation with either a seriously injured Hoosier, or their family, “Should we file for Social Security Disability Benefits now or should we wait until the claim against the person who hurt me is completed?”   My answer is based on twenty three years of experience in representing seriously injured Hoosiers against the people whose negligence caused their injuries and my twenty three years of experience representing disabled Hoosiers in their claim before the Social Security Administration.  If you are injured seriously enough so that you cannot work, you should file for benefits immediately.  This is not to say that you will be entitled to benefits from the Social Security Administration, hopefully you will not.  You see, in order to be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits, your disability must be expected to last more than twelve months.  It is my hope that you will be healed and back to work before that twelve months.  It is my experience that Hoosiers are generally happier to be back at it, productive and working.  They earn more money and are generally happier to be back to work.

Most of the time it is impossible to know early on if your serious injuries, such as a spinal cord injury resulting in paraplegia, or quadriplegia, brain injury, broken bones, burns etc.,  will heal in twelve months and if they do, whether you will be able to get back to work.  This is true regardless of whether your injuries are caused by a drunk driving accident, a construction accident or even an semi tractor-trailer accident. So it is vitally important to apply for benefits now.  There is no penalty for dismissing your claim later if you are able to get back to work.  The main reason I encourage early filing is because the application process takes a long time.  It will take three to four months just to get a response to your application.  Even then close to 80% of all initial applications are denied.  Most people are approved for benefits by an administrative law judge.  It can take two years to get a hearing before a Judge. So you can see that can be very important to file early.  The social security claim should have no impact on your serious injury claim.

Indiana Serious Injury Attorneys Discuss Semi Tractor Trailer Accidents

Recently we wrote about the dangers associated with sharing our highways with semi tractor-trailers.  We know the benefits of this arrangement far outweigh the benefits, but that does not mean that passenger cars are in greater danger on the highways of having a semi tractor-trailer collision.  The danger arises from the serious injuries that are more likely in a semi tractor-trailer accident.  Because the trucks are so big and the cars are so small serious injuries such as spinal cord injury, resulting in paralysis, brain  injury, broken bones, blindness and even wrongful death are very real possibilities.

States, and the Federal Government, have been taking steps to protect cars from collisions with semi tractor-trailer.  One such step is median barriers.  There are several different types of barriers including concrete walls, moveable concrete barriers known as “New Jersey” barriers, and more recently a series of reinforced wires.  Beware, however of a false sense of safety.  When a semi tractor-trailer loses control at 55-70 miles per hour it is a multiple ton missile capable of overcoming such barriers.

Take, for example, the multiple car/semi tractor-trailer accident which happened on Interstate 70 on the west die of Indianapolis on April 11, 2011. The accident started when a semi tractor-trailer drove into the “New Jersey” barriers separating traffic.  The force of the impact caused the barriers to be pushed into the opposite lanes of travel.  The drivers on that side of the barriers now had to swerve to avoid hitting the barriers, which just a second before were not in their path. As the first cars began to swerve and brake, they hit other cars, or were hit from behind by other drivers. Unfortunately, Judson D. Dye was killed in the collision.  Four other people were injured, fortunately not with life threatening injuries.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Mr. Dye.

 Please, be careful on our highways.  They are there to benefit us all, but danger still lurks there.

Indiana Spinal Cord Injury Attorneys Recognize Sam Schmidt Foundation Efforts

At Young and Young we have represented seriously injured Hoosiers dealing with the life altering effects of spinal cord injury. We are Indiana Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers.  We have represented Hoosiers coping with quadriplegia, paraplegia and nerve injury.  A closely associated issue to spinal cord injury is vertebral and disc injury.  Often times a traffic accident or drunk driving accident will cause a fracture of one of the vertebrae which can also cause injury to the spinal cord.  Disc injuries also can press on nerves coming from the spinal cord and cause injury to the nerve and or pain, numbness and tingling shooting down the arms or legs.  We have spent time with the best doctors in America, such as neurologists, neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, pain management specialists, and physiatrists, to learn the medicine involved in treating these injuries and helping Hoosiers return to happy productive lives.  We think it is important to know the medicine in order to properly educate jurors about the full extent of the spinal cord injury and the adaptive devices and techniques that are so crucial to the welfare of Hoosiers.

 We want to take this time to mention, again, our admiration for Sam Schmidt.  As many of you may know Mr. Sam Schmidt suffered a spinal cord injury while driving his race car in 2001. He is paralyzed with quadriplegia.  Sam has not let his physical injuries interfere with leading a full and productive life.  Mr. Sam Schmidt founded the Sam Schmidt Foundation  (www.samschmidt.org) to help find a cure to spinal cord injury.  The foundations mission is Leading the Charge to Cure Paralysis. Sam Schmidt has made it his mission to help others overcome what they might, originally, believe are insurmountable obstacles.  We represented a young man with a family of four who suffered a spinal cord injury as a result of a failure of a climbing tree stand.  Naturally this young man was terrified.  He was depressed.  He worried about how he was going to take care of his family.  He was frightened and angry.  He was considering giving up.  It was painful to watch, and although everyone who came into contact with him helped, he was having great difficulty.  One day Sam Schmidt came to see this young man.  They talked for an hour or more.  After that conversation, everyone could see the strength rising in this young man.  This young man spoke of Sam as a guide through his hardships.  Mr. Sam Schmidt kept in contact with this Young man by phone whenever the young man needed a lift.  The Young man returned to work and until his death ten years later, that young man took care of his family and was a proud Hoosier.

Mr. Sam Schmidt is now re-entering the Izod Indy Car Series. Mr. Schmidt purchased the Fazzt Race Team and is now in charge of Sam Schmidt Motorsports. His driver will be Alex Tagliani with the crew led by Rob Edwards.   We wish Mr. Sam Schmidt great success with his team and hope to see them in the winner’s circle at the Indianapolis 500 in May.

Indiana Serious Injury Attorney Speaks to Impact Resistance in Cars

If you were born before 1975, you remember cars as big bodies and big engines.  They were not too good with gas mileage, but gas was cheap.  Sometimes we called them tanks, thinking they were indestructible.  More often than not if you hit something the car would have very little damage.  Today, if you hit something at the same speed, chances are your car will look like it hit the wall at the Indy 500.  And that, my friends is on purpose.  When a car, or any object, is moving, it is storing and expending energy. When there is a crash, which results in the car stopping suddenly, the energy stored in the car has to go somewhere.  In the old cars, with bodies designed to resist the deforming energy of the crash, the energy was transferred to the passengers. The body of the passenger is not equipped to handle this energy and is injured.  The injuries could include, brain injury from the head slamming back and forth rapidly; spinal cord injury from the spine moving rapidly back and forth; broken bones from hitting the inside of the car; and even wrongful death

 Today’s cars are engineered to deal with the problem of transferring the energy to the passenger.  In modern cars, the energy is transferred to the body of the car which is made of materials designed to absorb the energy.  Have you ever seen the bumper of a modern car ripped off and underneath you see Styrofoam? That Styrofoam is very effective at absorbing the energy of the crash.  The front of the car may look like heck, but that means the bumper has done its job.  It is fitting that we mentioned the Indy 500 because racetracks all over the country are using energy absorbing wall bumpers in turns to reduce the energy transferred from the crash to the driver. This technology was developed in part through testing done at Indy.  It is still not quite certain why some accidents result in serious injury, even though the car looks like it has little damage and there is no injury when the car is destroyed, but we do know that if the energy of the crash is absorbed by the car, the passengers are much safer.

Indiana Spinal Cord Injury Attorneys on the New Health Care Law and How it Affects You

As your Indiana Spinal Cord Injury Attorneys, we want to discuss with you the impact of the new Health Care Law on Hoosiers dealing with paraplegia and quadriplegia.  The fact is that Hoosiers dealing with spinal cord injury have a multitude of medical issues that may not be apparent to the casual observer.  Some examples include pressure sores.  Pressure sores develop because the spinal cord injury prevents the person from sensing pressure on parts of the affected body.  People without spinal cord injury are constantly sensing heat or pressure when sitting or laying down and move to relieve that pressure.  When the pressure is not relieved, the tissue begins to break down and sores develop.  Pressure sores are dangerous because the spinal cord injury affects the Hoosier’s immune system and cause the sore to take a long time to heal.  These sores can be life threatening.  Another example of a danger to a person dealing with paraplegia or quadriplegia is infection.  As we discussed, the immune system of the person is lowered, their ability to cough may be affected so they cannot clear their lungs and trouble starts.  

As there are so many problems for these folks, good health care is essential.  Unfortunately many of these folks have, in the past met their maximum limit of coverage or have been kicked off their plans because the medical care costs cut into the obscene profits of the health insurers.  As health insurance in America is a for profit system, and as the free market system encourages lower costs and higher profits, it is only natural that insurers look with dismay at spinal cord injury victims. 

 The health care law has provisions that will help spinal cord injury victims.  I read in the paper today, that despite all the gloom and doom about the health care law and its effects on profits, most health insurers are doing quite well.  So it is shocking, though not surprising (profits can never be too high) that the vested interests are attacking the law and as a consequence attacking Hoosiers, and all Americans, with Spinal cord injury.  I am placing a paragraph from the National Spinal Cord Association Website (http://www.spinalcord.org/) about this issue here in order to bring attention to the problem:

TELL CONGRESS TO OPPOSE EFFORTS TO REPEAL AND REPLACE THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT

NSCIA urges all our members and their family members to immediately call your Representatives and Senators to oppose the House Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. A vote is currently expected to be scheduled late in the week of January 17. Thanks to the generosity of Families USA, our coalition partner, you can call 1-888-876-6242 for free connect directly to the Congressional switchboard where you can ask for your Representative’s office. Click to full story for suggested message points.

After identifying yourself, tell your Congressional Representative you oppose the repeal or replacement of the Affordable Care Act because:

The Affordable Care Act has provided you and your family members with the peace of mind of knowing that as a person with a disability, you and others in your family will not be denied health care coverage because of a pre-existing condition.  IF YOU HAVE BEEN DENIED ON THIS BASIS PREVIOUSLY, LET THEM KNOW.

The Affordable Care Act has provided you and your family members with the peace of mind of knowing that you and your family members will no longer be subject to annual or lifetime caps on benefits which has bankrupted many families and caused destitution.  IF YOU HAVE A PERSONAL STORY TO SHARE ON THIS MATTER, LET THEM KNOW.

The Affordable Care Act has provided you and your family members with the peace of mind of knowing all policies must now contain certain essential benefits, including rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices and chronic disease management so needed by those living and working in the face of long-term chronic conditions and disability challenges.  IF YOU OR A FAMILY MEMBER HAS BEEN DENIED SUCH SERVICES UNDER YOUR POLICY, LET THEM KNOW.

The Affordable Care Act has provided you and your family members with the peace of mind of knowing expanded home and community based services will be made available for people with disabilities and chronic conditions to live at home and participate in their communities rather than be institutionalized at far greater expense.  IF YOU HAVE BEEN INSTITUTIONALIZED AT A NURSING HOME OR OTHER LONG-TERM CARE FACILITY AND FEEL YOU WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER SERVED REMAINING IN THE COMMUNITY, LET THEM KNOW.

It is critical that we make our voices heard as we battle this first major effort to dismantle the health reforms we fought so hard to finally obtain.  Please call your Representative and Senators today.  It will cost you nothing but your time and what is at risk is enormous.  The toll-free number again is: 1-888-876-6242. ACT NOW!

Know that your fellow Hoosiers, and fellow Americans, deserve the dignity of proper health care.  Act now.

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 Spinal Injury Attorney

recovery-spinal-injury-200X200 We hope neither you nor family ever have to deal with a spinal cord injury that is visited upon you because of another negligence. Negligence, you will remember, is simply the failure of another person to act like a reasonable person. In an auto accident, a negligent person is the person who fails to follow the rules of the road. In a construction accident, the negligent person (or company) is the person who does not comply with OSHA rules and regulations, in a semi tractor-trailer accident, the negligent truck driver is the driver who does not follow the rules of the road, and does not comply with all safety rules and regulations for maintaining and operating the big rigs. The list goes on and on. After all, the purpose of tort law is accident and injury prevention. It is only when we fail in this first purpose that we turn to the second purpose of tort law, fair compensation to the person who was injured because another did not act reasonably.

If you are dealing with spinal cord injury because of the negligence of another, the lawyers of Young & Young stand ready to assist you in obtaining the fair compensation to which you are entitled. We hear, all the time, “I am not the suing type, I just want what’s fair”. We are glad to hear this. Although there are always exceptions to the rules, almost no Hoosier is the suing type. You’d have to be crazy to want to put yourself through such a trying ordeal. For all your troubles, you get to be cross examined by smart attorneys hired by the insurance company. There are always insurance companies, but in Indiana we have to sue the person who caused the harm, we are not allowed to even mention insurance. I am here to tell you, there is almost always insurance. Think about it, we have mandatory financial responsibility laws that require all drivers have insurance. You get to have your truthfulness questioned, you get to have people be suspicious of you for not being honest, just because you are asking a negligent person to make for the harm they did. Nobody, who has a spinal cord injury, and is paralyzed in any part of their body is the suing type. They are just asking to be treated with fairness, dignity and respect, those things everyone is entitled to.

If you are dealing with the impact of a spinal cord injury, and the resulting paralysis, you either know, or will find out, that your health depends on good medical attention and adaptive equipment. These things are not cheap. When asking another to pay fair compensation for the harm they caused, these things are as important as anything to help you live as you are entitled, happy and as comfortable as you were before their negligence forced this new set of circumstances on you. What your mother taught you is still true: If cause harm, you fix it, you make up for it. You don’t fix it half way, you fix it as best you can. When Young and Young works with Hoosiers dealing with spinal cord injury, we employ the finest minds available to help us calculate the full extent of the costs to help you live your life as you are entitled to. Call us toll free at 1-888-639-5161 or contact us on the web at [email protected].

We can help with any social security issues as well.

Indiana Spinal Cord Injury

What is a life care plan and why is it important to one dealing with spinal cord injury?  John P. Young is an Indiana Spinal Cord Injury attorney practicing in Indianapolis, IN since 1988.  Mr. Young is part of Young and Young, spinal cord injury lawyers since 1954.  We have represented many, many Hoosiers injured in car  crashes, construction accidents, semi tractor-trailer accidents, motorcycle accidents and drunk driver accidents who have dealt with spinal cord injury.  As you know spinal cord injury can be a catastrophic injury if it leads to paralysis.  We knowwheelchair that depending on where the injury is in the spinal column, the injured person can have varying degrees of paralysis.  The higher the injury, the more of the body is affected.  Of course there are many different possible results when a person is recovering from a spinal cord injury, but the purpose of this discussion necessarily deals with the higher spinal cord injury which results in significant paralysis.  The person dealing with a high spinal cord injury is commonly referred to as a person dealing with quadriplegia or a quadriplegic.   This individual has lost sensation over most of the body but at the very least from about the nipples down.  These people may have partial movement of the arms or sensation in a finger, but there freedom of movement is significantly impaired.  Some effects of this condition are obvious, a person cannot walk, dress themselves, use stairs etc.  Some of these effects are not so obvious.  This person will require a bowel and bladder maintenance program.  Infection is another big danger because of the weaker immune system.

So, what does a life care plan have to do with the welfare of a person with significant spinal cord injury?  It is essential.  If the injury was caused by the negligence of another such as in one of the type of accidents listed above, the person who caused the harm is responsible for making up for that harm. It is not enough that they “kind of” make up for it, they must make up for all the harm.  So, in the situation of the quadriplegic person, how do we know what making up for all the harm means?  Well, in addition to paying the past medical bills, and the past and future lost wages, the person who caused the harm should pay for the future medical bills and for future needs for adaptive devices.  Adaptive devices are those things that give the injured person the most independence available to them.  Examples of adaptive devices include wheelchairs, slide boards, special gloves for allowing manipulation of dinner tools, and many, many more.  A life care planner is a specialist in studying the needs of the person dealing with quadriplegia, talking with the patient’s doctors and formulating a list of items likely to be required to maintain the injured person in the best quality of life possible.  The life care planner prices these items in the local market, establishes the likely number of replacements in the future, the likely type of continuing medical care anticipated and the costs of the medical care, and puts together a plan which will support the highest quality of life for the individual. These plans are adjusted for anticipated inflation.

Knowing the individual needs is the first step to making up for the harm caused.  If you or anyone in your family is dealing with a spinal cord injury caused by another’s negligence, call John P. Young, at Young and young.  Put their experience on your side.  Call, toll free, 1-888-639-5161 or write Mr. Young at [email protected].  Mr. Young guarantees no fee unless you receive compensation.  Call today.

Indiana Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer

John P. Young is your Indiana spinal cord injury lawyer.  Mr. Young has and continues to represent Hoosiers coping with spinal cord injuries for more than twenty years.  The common thread in Mr. Young’s cases is that the spinal cord injury was caused by trauma, and the cause of that trauma was another’s negligence. sleep-paralysis-imagery Remember, just because a person did not intend to harm you, cause you to incur medical bills and lose your ability to earn a living to support your family does not mean that they should not be responsible for making up for the harm they did cause.  As your mother taught you, and you teach your children, if you make a mess, or break something, you are responsible for making up for that harm.  You are responsible for making up for all the harm.  Negligence means, in the law, a failure to use reasonable care.  Reasonable care is obeying the rules of the road, or following the safety regulations which cover a construction site.  When a person violates these rules, even if they did not mean to, they are still responsible to make up for the harm they cause, all of the harm they cause.

Statistically speaking close to 11,000 people in the U.S. sustain a traumatic spinal cord injury each year.  These injuries can be permanent or temporary and can affect your ability to feel, to move or both. As we have discussed before, the higher in the spinal cord the injury, the more of the body will be affected. Almost 200,000 people live with paralysis caused by spinal cord injury. For those coping with spinal cord injury, the good news is there are many resources available to help you adapt to your injury and make a life for yourself.  Mr. Young highly recommends you visit the website of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association (www.spinalcord.org). This organization has a wealth of resources and information crucial to a family coping with spinal cord injury and paralysis.  The Association is made up of professionals dedicated to treating spinal cord injury.  It lists support groups and other resources directly from families and individuals who have been on the road you are travelling.  Do not go at this alone, help is near.

If you or a loved one is dealing with a spinal cord injury caused by another’s negligence, call John P. Young for a personal, confidential and free of charge consultation. Mr. Young works exclusively for you and there is no charge unless you receive fair compensation.  You can call 1 888 639-5161, or email Mr. Young at [email protected].  Let Mr. Young help you and your family, call today.

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.

brain 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.

Economic Doldrums Have Little Influence on Brain Injury Compensation

An interesting story posted at Finance-Commerce.com suggests that there is no let up in money damages awarded for catastrophic personal injuries such as brain trauma despite a precarious economy.

Even a so-called mild head trauma can have far-reaching consequences for the injured person and that person’s family. The article notes that a severe concussion can–among many symptoms–affect the victim’s personality,
judgment, and concentration–which in turn can directly affect his or her ability to continue to earn a normal living.

According to the article, several factors continue to influence large out-of-court settlements or jury awards in favor of those who have suffered brain injuries:

  • – ever higher medical bills, including home care costs
  • – personal injury lawyers with the know-how to demonstrate the extent of brain   
  •   injuries through high-tech evidence and changes in the injured person’s behavior
  •   and moods
  • – jury sympathy for what the injured person is going through

As a lawyer quoted in the article puts it, "All personal injury cases with real objective damages that strike a chord with jurors still have the potential for high damage awards."

If you believe that you (or a family member) have sustained a severe concussion, it is important to hire an experienced personal injury attorney in addition to obtaining expert medical attention. As a result of the potentially devastating nature of a blow to the head, representation by the best possible attorney is crucial for a fair recovery against the responsible party. John P. Young is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Brain Injury Association of Indiana, serving as its chair for two years. Mr. Young has 20 years of experience helping Hoosiers and their families deal with brain injury. Call him at Young & Young in Indianapolis and let him assist you and your family.

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.

“Drew’s Law” Aimed At Drunk Drivers Sent to Indiana Governor

A bill that would make it a crime to cause the death of an unborn child in a drunk driving accident is close to becoming law in Indiana. The Indiana Senate unanimously approved the measure in January and the House subsequently approved it unanimously in late February. "Drew’s Law," which would amend IC 9-30-5-5, is now on the desk of Governor Mitch Daniels. Criminal penalties would also apply in the case of reckless driving.

The law is named for Drew Steinberger, who was killed in a horrific accident on New Year’s Eve 2007. Drew’s parents, Dustin and Danielle, championed the new law and set up a special website to publicize the measure. According to Richmond’s Pal-Item.com: "Drew was two weeks from his delivery date when his mother’s car was struck head-on by another vehicle in Richmond. Drew did not survive the accident and her injuries ended Danielle Steinberger’s ability to carry another child."

It also turned out that the perpetrator had a history of motor vehicle violations including impaired driving but was never charged with DUI because apparently no blood samples were taken a the time of this tragic accident.

In addition to facing criminal charges, drunk drivers who injure other motorists or passengers can also be sued in civil court for money damages. If you or a loved one have been seriously hurt by a driver under the influence, please contact the personal injury lawyers at Young and Young in Indianapolis to obtain full information about your legal rights.

Spinal Cord Injuries

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.

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

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