FAQS

A little knowledge goes a long way

A serious personal injury can impact more than your immediate future; it can also hinder your future earning potential, leave you with a disability that you'll live with for the rest of your life, or even cause death in extreme cases. Take the first step toward learning how you should handle a specific situation by reviewing our guides below or calling for your FREE case evaluation today.

General FAQs:

Should I provide a statement to an insurance company without a lawyer's help?

It is in your best interests to only provide your contact information to an insurance company after you consult with a lawyer. The more significant your injuries, the more imperative it becomes to seek legal counsel before providing any statement.

Will I have to go to trial to recover damages?

Whether cases go to trial depends on many different factors. About 95 percent of personal injury cases filed settle prior to trial.

What is considered "pain and suffering"?

Pain and suffering includes harm caused by physical injury and mental anguish. Another harm to be considered is the nature and extent of the injury such that it affects the injured person's ability to function as a whole person. For example, avoiding activities in which you engaged prior to your accident and the potential of surgery.

What determines the amount I might recover?

Every case addresses three issues:

  • Liability - establishing someone's negligence or fault
  • Damages - the amount that will fairly and adequately compensate you for your injuries
  • Source of collection - insurance or other assets from which damages can be recovered

What is a typical settlement amount?

An experienced personal injury lawyer reviews and interprets your case information to determine the appropriate value for your claim:

  • Incurred medical bill amount
  • Impact on future earning capacity
  • Future medical bills
  • Activities you can no longer do
  • Loss of past income
  • Activities you can do but do not enjoy as much
  • Your age
  • Prognosis for further problems
  • Any permanent limitations caused by the injury
  • Strength of lay witness testimony

The goal is fair and adequate compensation for your injury and an experienced attorney will know what a reasonable jury would award. The strength of lay and expert witness testimony will likely influence the amount.

What do I do about my medical bills?

In most circumstances, you cannot submit bills to the wrongdoer's insurance company for payment like you can with your health insurance. Injury cases are usually resolved for a lump sum payment after the extent of your injuries is determined. So, you should submit your bills to your own coverages. That could include medical payments coverage on your automobile policy, your health insurance and workers' compensation depending on the circumstances. Your own insurance company may be entitled to repayment at the time of settlement or judgment. Coordination of insurance benefits is another reason it is in your best interest to consult a lawyer concerning your injury claim.

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Auto Accident FAQs:

What should I do when I have been involved in a crash?

  • Call the police
  • Seek medical assistance
  • Take photos, if possible
  • Contact your insurance company

What do I do about my car damage?

Property damage and injury claims are treated differently. Most people need prompt service to repair or replace damaged vehicles while the value of an injury claim takes time to determine. If you have collision coverage, your own insurance company can assist with your car. If you do not have collision coverage, you can resolve your property damage with the wrongdoer's insurance company before your injury claim.

An attorney can also help with property damage. In Indiana, the measure of damages is the cost of the repair or fair market value if the car is a total loss. In some circumstances, there is a loss of use and/or diminished value claim as well.

What do I do about my medical bills?

In most circumstances, you cannot submit bills to the wrongdoer's insurance company for payment like you can with your health insurance. Injury cases are usually resolved for a lump sum payment after the extent of your injuries is determined. So, you should submit your bills to your own coverages. That could include medical payments coverage on your automobile policy, your health insurance and worker's compensation depending on the circumstances.

Your own insurance company may be entitled to repayment at the time of settlement or judgment. Coordination of insurance benefits is another reason it is in your best interest to consult a lawyer concerning your injury claim.

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Dog Bite FAQs:

A dog bit me. Who do I tell?

Contact your local animal control agency or the police.

Which jurisdiction covers dog bites - state or local?

Both. In addition to Indiana laws, local communities might also have animal laws covering bites, leashing, and vaccinations. Your local laws might ban ownership of certain breeds, too.

What do leash laws cover?

Most communities require dogs to be leashed unless they are confined to a house or fenced yard, even on the owner's property. Failing to adhere to the leash laws combined with dog biting may increase potential penalties.

Can posting a "Beware of Dog" sign help get me out of trouble if my dog bites someone?

While the sign may help to alert others to any potential hazard, specific facts surrounding the dog bite determine any liability.

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Workers' Compensation FAQs:

What should I do if I get injured on the job?

You must notify your employer of the injury. You should also tell your employer if you need medical attention. You may also have to notify Indiana's industrial commission. Under Indiana workers' compensation law, your employer and/or its insurance carrier can choose the physician to attend to you. An experienced workers' compensation lawyer can help you understand the process and your rights in Indiana and file your claim.

How can I jeopardize my benefits?

Your claim may be denied if you fail to report injuries promptly or fail to cooperate with your employer and authorized treating physician regarding medical evaluations, treatment, rehabilitation services, and claim investigation. Your claim can also be denied if you refuse to return to suitable employment. Some other reasons for denial of claims include submittal of fraudulent information, refusal to take a drug test, and refusal to submit to a medical examination by the authorized treating physician, at reasonable times.

Under what circumstances could I be denied workers' compensation benefits as a result of an on-the-job injury?

Benefits are not payable if you are injured while engaged in willful misconduct or if your injury is due to the use of alcohol, drugs, or the misuse of controlled substances.

Can I sue anyone else for a work-related injury?

This is called a third party suit. If your injury was caused by the negligence of a third party other than another person who is also an employee of the company for which you work, you may have a right to sue that party. Greene & Schultz Trial Lawyers handles third party jobsite claims.

What if my workers' compensation claim is denied?

If your employer and its insurance company deny coverage on the claim, you may file a claim with Indiana's workers' compensation agency. There is a time limitation; all workers' compensation statutes restrict the amount of time you or your dependent has to file a workers' compensation claim, usually between one to three years from the date of injury, depending on the State. If your claim is for a job-related disease, the time limitation period begins when you learn you have the disease.

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Wrongful Death FAQs:

What is wrongful death?

When a person is killed by another, a wrongful death claim may be appropriate. The idea behind a wrongful death lawsuit is the wrongful death, in addition to injuring the person who died, also brought harm to the people who depended on that individual for financial and/or emotional support. The wrongful act might be the following:

  • A negligent or careless act (e.g., careless driving)
  • A reckless act
  • An intentional act such as deliberate murder (Insurance will not cover a claim for an intentional act

Indiana has a statute permitting a lawsuit to be brought by the decedent's relatives in the event of a wrongful act.

What is the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim?

Indiana law sets the timeframe for filing. Time begins with the time of the incident or when the party became aware of or discovered the injury. In general, the statute of limitations is two years, but there are important exceptions. If the claim is against a governmental entity, for example, a written notice may be required within 180 days. It is important to consult a lawyer promptly if a loved one has been killed by the carelessness or recklessness of another. There are deadlines that my prohibit bringing the claim if missed.

Who can sue for wrongful death?

Indiana defines the person(s) allowed to claim damages in a wrongful death suit. In Indiana, a spouse and dependent children may file. Where there are no dependent children and no surviving spouse, parents and non-dependent children may make a claim for limited damages. If your family has wrongfully lost a loved one, contact Greene & Schultz to find out who may make a wrongful death claim.

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Libel/Slander FAQs:

What is the difference between libel and slander?

The act of communicating a false statement about you to someone else with the intent of damaging your reputation or good name is called defamation. Defamation through the written word is libel. Defamation through the spoken word is slander.

What recourse do I have if someone libels or slanders me?

If you have been defamed by public media-e.g., a newspaper, television station, or magazine-you should demand a retraction first so you can collect damages in court. If the defamation continues, you should write a "cease and desist" letter demanding the immediate cessation of defamation. You may want an attorney well-versed in defamation law to write the letter for you.

If you have been slandered, bear in mind that it is more difficult to prove damage through a verbal statement versus a written one. Keep a log of the statements, including when, where, what, and who. Also note any witnesses and their contact information.

The statute of limitations applies to filing a lawsuit and may be less than one year, so immediate action is necessary. An experienced defamation law attorney can help you fully understand the best course of action and likely outcome. Once in court, you may receive punitive damages, that is, money intended to punish the person defaming you.

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Product Liability and other FAQs:

What if I know that a defective product harmed other people besides me?

When the same defective product injures a large number of people, they may join together in mass tort lawsuits to hold manufacturers and sellers liable for the injuries caused by their product.

What is a toxic tort?

A toxic tort is an injury or wrong committed to a person or property of another person caused by contact with a toxic substance-toxic mold, lead paint, a faulty medical device, dangerous medication, etc. The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) and other federal laws protect you and the environment from the effects of toxic substances.

Have a question that isn't answered here? Get a fast, informed answer by  contacting one of our attorneys today.

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