Indiana Accident & Personal Injury Lawyers
Each year in the United States thousands of people are involved in accidents or are victims of defective products, dangerous drugs or unsafe medical devices. The injuries sustained can leave these unfortunate victims dealing with lost wages, stacks of medical bills and indifferent insurance companies. Most people are not only unfamiliar with the legal system, but they are also completely unprepared for the decisions they are being asked to make, as well as the avalanche of paperwork they must wade through. Those forced to deal with a personal injury situation are vulnerable to the system in place and likely anxious about their future. The personal injury lawyers at Cohen & Malad, LLP in Indianapolis, Indiana will ensure you receive the compensation which your injuries entitle you by taking quick legal action to protect your rights.
You Can Be Injured In An Automobile Accident In The Blink Of An Eye
Yet the reality is, that an accident can occur anywhere at any time. The world can be a dangerous place where auto accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents and even airplane and boat accidents occur.
Automobile accidents (including truck accidents and motorcycle accidents) are the largest contributors to personal injury lawsuits. When a person is driving carefully and safely, yet is hit by a careless, negligent, or reckless driver, he or she deserves to receive compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering, and property damages.
How Do Personal Injury Claims Work In The State Of Indiana?
In the state of Indiana, the rule of “comparative fault” governs personal injury claims. This means that when a person injured by the negligence of another person or entity is judged to be even partially liable for the accident, damages are reduced, or, in some cases, eliminated altogether, based on the percentage of fault assigned. As an example, suppose you go through a yellow light that turns red on your way through. Another vehicle that is significantly exceeding the speed limit slams into your car in the middle of the intersection.
A jury may determine that you are 25 percent at fault for the accident, while the speeder bears 75 percent of the fault. So, if your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages were determined to be $100,000, then your final award would be reduced by $25,000 for your fault in the accident. Your share of fault must be less than 50 percent for you to collect damages in the accident.
Since Indiana is a fault state regarding auto accidents, if you are injured through the negligence of another you have several options. You can choose to file a claim with your own insurance company (depending on the circumstances), you can file a claim directly with the at-fault driver’s insurance company (a “third-party” claim), or you can file a court claim to prove fault and seek damages if either insurance company refuses to pay what your claim is worth.
When you are in the negotiation stage of a personal injury claim, even the mere threat of a lawsuit can be considered a bargaining chip—so long as you have an Indiana injury lawyer in your corner. Simply making the threat on your own is likely to have no effect, or very little effect. Without experienced Indiana personal injury lawyers in your corner, it is unlikely you will be taken very seriously should you threaten a lawsuit.
It is important to know that there are certain damage caps in Indiana personal injury claims. As of 2012, the state of Indiana capped non-economic damages in medical malpractice claims at half a million dollars, and caps damages paid by the government in any one accident at $5 million. This changed for claims accruing on or after July 1, 2019 for medical malpractice claims, which are now capped at $1.8 million, with the healthcare provider responsible for the first $500,000. Any remaining damages, up to $1.25 million are paid by the state Patient’s Compensation Fund. For those injured by the negligence of a healthcare provider, they are now eligible to receive an equitable compensation award than they might have been under the 2012 caps.
What Damages Can Personal Injury Lawyers Potentially Recover From My Claim?
Of course, the damages you will be entitled to receive following your personal injury will depend largely on the facts surrounding your injury. Generally speaking, you may be entitled to the following:
- Compensatory Damages are meant to reimburse claimants for any losses they incurred or can reasonably be expected to incur following an accident caused by another’s negligence. These losses can be economic in nature (medical bills and lost wages), or non-economic for losses like disfigurement or scarring. Recoverable compensatory damages can also include:
- Lost work benefits
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Medical equipment and rehabilitation
- Permanent disability
- Property damage
- Punitive Damages are meant to punish those who caused an accident through willful negligence, fraud, malice, or particularly egregious behavior. Punitive damages are also meant to deter such conduct in the future. The majority of personal injury claims do not involve punitive damages because most of those who are responsible for an accident did not willfully cause the accident, rather exhibited negligence or carelessness. If you were hit by a driver who was impaired, then punitive damages might apply, although the burden of proof lies with the plaintiff. Punitive damages in the state of Indiana are capped at $50,000, or three times the total compensatory damages, whichever is greater.
What is the Indiana Legal Process For Personal Injury Claims?
One consideration for those filing a personal injury claim in the state of Indiana is the statutes of limitations. These statutes govern the amount of time you have to file a personal injury claim and vary from state to state. Some states have statutes of limitations as short as one year, while other states set their statutes of limitations as high as eight years or more. The “average” statutes of limitations time frame is two years, which is where Indiana sits. This two-year time limit begins running on the date of the accident; should you fail to file your personal injury claim within that time limit, do not expect a judge to give you a pass. In the vast majority of personal injury claims, missing this statute will forever bar you from recovery for your accident damages. If your personal injury claim is against a city or county governmental entity, you only have 180 days to file your claim, and for claims against a state government agency you have only 270 days to file.
Product Liability Personal Injury Lawyers
Injuries may also involve product liability which encompasses dangerous drugs, defective or dangerous medical devices, and other faulty consumer products which cause harm. There are many prescription drugs on the market today which were not properly tested and have caused serious harm (even death) to those taking the medications. Likewise, there are medical devices, such as metal hip replacements, IVC filters and hernia and transvaginal mesh which have also caused injury and death to those implanted with the devices.
As consumers, we expect our prescription drugs and medical devices to help us, not to cause even worse problems. The Cohen & Malad, LLP product liability / personal injury lawyers have helped thousands of clients who have suffered life-altering injuries. In addition to the types of personal injury case listed above, we also help those who have been injured in:
- Airplane Accidents
- All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) Accidents
- Boating and Jet-Ski Accidents
- Bus Accidents
- Car Accidents
- Catastrophic Injuries
- Child Injuries
- Dram Shop: Over-Serving Of Alcohol
- Insurance Claims
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Negligent Security Claims
- Premises Liability Accidents
- Railroad Accidents
- Truck Accident
- Wrongful Death
- Construction Accidents
- Sexual Abuse
- Birth Injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injury – TBI
Wrongful Death Claims
A wrongful death claim is essentially a personal injury claim filed by the survivors of a person who has died following an injury caused by the negligence of another. Wrongful death claims are argued in court, separate from any criminal charges which could also be brought against the defendant. Medical malpractice, negligent security accidents, dangerous drug and dangerous medical device injuries, automobile crashes and other injuries can all lead to a wrongful death claim. Usually, the spouse of the deceased, as well as his or her children and possibly his or her parents can file a wrongful death claim. However, this varies based on state statutes. One of our Indiana wrongful death attorneys can advise you if you have a claim.
The Insurance Company Myth
Too many injured people are under the impression that their insurance company will do their best to help—after all, isn’t that what the barrage of insurance commercials on television lead us to believe? It is important to remember that the singular goal of all insurance companies is to make a healthy profit. Your future is of little concern to them, yet the opposite is true of your personal injury attorney. Cohen & Malad, LLP personal injury lawyers are highly skilled in dealing with recalcitrant insurance companies and are concerned not only with your health and your financial situation but with your overall future.
The Importance Of An Experienced PI Attorney
Should you find yourself unexpectedly injured, not knowing where you should turn, and wondering whether hiring a personal injury attorney is the right move, remember this: A reputable personal injury attorney will never allow you to lead a compromised life due to the negligence of another. The goal of your personal injury attorney will be to competently and compassionately guide you through the maze of information and decisions following your accident or injury. Because personal injury cases can be much more complex than a property claim, choosing an experienced attorney from Cohen & Malad, LLP, who will be your advocate, every step of the way is crucial.
Time Is Of The Essence
Those who hire personal injury lawyers tend to receive settlements which are considerably larger than those who decide to handle the matter on their own, and even after all legal fees are deducted, the final settlements for those represented by an experienced Indianapolis personal injury attorney is likely to be considerably higher than the original offer from the insurance company. In the end, hiring a personal injury attorney sooner, rather than later, is almost always the better choice.
After all, don’t you want a trusted, knowledgeable personal injury attorney in your corner who will fight tirelessly for your rights and a fair settlement? Your Cohen & Malad, LLP personal injury attorney will do everything in their power to get your life back on track following an injury or accident which was caused by a negligent person or entity, so make the call that can make your future look a little brighter.
Most Commonly Asked Personal Injury Claim Questions
- What is my claim worth? While each case is different, and your Indiana personal injury attorney is best equipped to give you an idea of what your claim is worth, the goal is to arrive at a number that will thoroughly cover your injuries and damages, both now and in the future. In some cases, a specific “multiplier” will be used, along with your actual medical expenses, property damages, and lost wages, to estimate what you are entitled to receive for your pain and suffering. If you are expected to miss additional work due to ongoing injuries and treatments, then future lost wages will be estimated, and if you will require ongoing medical treatment for your injuries, that figure will also be estimated. While special damages (medical expenses, lost income) are fairly easy to quantify, general damages are less easy to quantify. General damages include physical discomfort, stress, anxiety, pain, suffering, and the impact these have on your day-to-day life.
- How long do I have following an injury to pursue an injury claim? As noted above, in the state of Indiana you have two years from the time your accident occurs to bring a personal injury claim—unless your injuries were caused by the negligence of a city or county, in which case you have 180 days to bring a personal injury claim. If your injuries were caused by the negligence of a state, you have 270 days. While two years may seem like a long time, it can go very quickly, leaving you without sufficient time for your attorney to build a solid personal injury claim on your behalf. The sooner you contact an injury lawyer from Cohen & Malad, LLP, the quicker we can begin collecting evidence and talking to witnesses.
- How does an attorney help with an injury claim? There are many great reasons to have an experienced personal injury attorney assist you with your claim. Your injury lawyer will communicate with the other driver’s insurance company, obtain the necessary evidence, make sure your medical records and expenses are organized, communicate with your health care providers if there are missing records, ensure you receive the medical treatments you need, speak to witnesses, negotiate with lien holders, and negotiate an equitable settlement on your behalf. Perhaps one of the most essential tasks your personal injury attorney will accomplish is to obtain all your medical records—which can be no easy feat—then use those records to build your claim and support the settlement amount you are requesting. Negotiation is a very specific skill that requires years of experience and knowledge to perfect. Your Cohen & Malad, LLP accident and personal injury lawyers know what your case is worth and knows how to negotiate to receive top dollar on your behalf.
Getting The Help You Need From The Cohen & Malad, LLP Law Firm
The experienced personal injury attorneys at Cohen & Malad, LLP have negotiated and litigated many successful personal injury settlements on behalf of their clients. We believe you deserve justice, and our Indianapolis personal injury attorneys have decades of experience representing injured clients across the state of Indiana. We understand that the process of a personal injury claim can bring anxiety, frustration, and apprehension, which is why we take the time to explain the process to you simply and thoroughly. At Cohen & Malad, LLP, our clients are our family—many of our clients are referred by friends, family, and fellow attorneys.
When we represent you in a personal injury claim, we will advocate as strongly for you as we would for a member of our own family. We have earned a reputation for being tough in personal injury matters. We negotiate when appropriate, and litigate when necessary, and we have extensive resources available to properly prepare your case and take it to trial. We believe you deserve a fair settlement, and we promise to give Power to Your Voice. Call Cohen & Malad, LLP today at (317) 793-2252 or contact us to discuss your personal injury claim and the options available to you.