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 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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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:

I was hurt at work. What should I do?

Notify your supervisor immediately, even if you do not think the injury is serious. Ask them to complete an accident report and get a copy of it.

My employer won't turn my claim in to worker's comp. What should I do?

You may need to file a formal claim against your employer. The forms are available on the Indiana Worker's Compensation Board's website www.in.gov/wcb. If you are not sure what to do, call Shean Law.

What is TTD?

TTD Stands for Total Temporary Disability. This is your wage loss benefit.

How will my TTD rate be calculated?

To calculate your TTD rate, take your total earnings for the 52 weeks prior to your accident and divide by 52. This is your average weekly wage. Your TTD rate is 2/3 of your average weekly wage.
If you did not work at your job for 52 weeks prior to your injury, the wages of another employee performing a similar job may be used to calculate your average weekly wage.

I don't like the worker's comp doctor. Can I go to my own doctor?

The Indiana Worker's Compensation Act allows the employer or its insurance company to choose the doctor. If you want to see your own doctor, worker's comp will not pay for it.

What is a Nurse Case Manager?

A Nurse Case Manager is a Registered Nurse that is hired by the insurance company to oversee your medical treatment. A good Nurse Case Manager can be very helpful to your recovery. A poor Nurse Case Manager can interfere with your medical treatment.

Do I have to let the Nurse Case Manager come to my doctor appointments?

Yes, but you do not have to allow them in the examination room.

What is MMI?

MMI stands for Maximum Medical Improvement. This is when the doctor says you do not require any more medical treatment.

What is an IME?

IME stands for Independent Medical Examination. If your TTD benefits are terminated because you have reached maximum medical improvement, you are entitled to an IME - a second opinion with a doctor appointed by the Indiana Worker's Compensation Board.

What is a PPI rating?

PPI stands for Permanent Partial Impairment. A PPI rating is a percentage number that describes your permanent loss of physical function.

What if I disagree with the doctor about my PPI rating?

You can get a second opinion but you will have to pay for the PPI examination and report. Worker's comp will not pay for a second opinion.

What if someone other than my employer is responsible for my work injury?

In addition to your worker's compensation claim, you may have a legal cause of action referred to as a "third-party claim" against the party or parties responsible for your work injury.

I have an old injury that only began bothering me when I was injured at work. Will this injury be covered, even though it is a pre-existing condition?

Yes, if your work accident aggravated a pre-existing injury, it should be covered.

What benefits am I entitled to if I have a compensable work injury?

  • Free medical care.
  • 2/3 of your average weekly wage for as long as a doctor says you are unable to work.
  • Payment for a permanent partial impairment rating, if the doctor feels that you have permanent impairment because of your work injury.

My employer wants me to come back to work? Should I?

If your employer has work for you that meets the restrictions the doctor has given you, you should return to work.

What if I am injured at work and my employer does not have workers' compensation insurance?

If your employer does not have worker's compensation insurance, you can make a claim directly against the employer. Indiana law allows for penalties against any employer in Indiana who fails to carry workers' compensation insurance.

What if my employer has a job for me that meets my restrictions but I do not take that job?

If you choose not to accept the light-duty position that you are offered, your TTD pay will be suspended.

Can I take a new job with a different employer while I am receiving workers' compensation benefits?

Yes, but you will no longer receive TTD benefits.

Can I be fired for filing a workers' compensation claim?

No. Indiana law prohibits an employer from firing an injured employee in retaliation for filing a worker's compensation claim. If you believe that your employer fired you in retaliation for filing a claim, contact the Indiana Department of Labor to file a complaint. Your employer may, however, be able to fire you if you are unable to complete the duties of the job.

Do I have to claim worker's compensation benefits on my taxes?

No.

I have received a bill from the worker's comp doctor. Do I have to pay the bill?

No. You are not responsible to pay for medical treatment that resulted from a work injury.

What about my pain and suffering?

Indiana worker's compensation law does not pay for pain and suffering.


What is Permanent Total Disability?

Permanent Total Disability is when you are permanently disabled from working at any job. If you are permanently totally disabled, you are entitled to 500 weeks of TTD benefits. When the 500 weeks is up, you may apply for additional benefits from the State of Indiana.

My restrictions prevent me from returning to my job. What should I do?

If you were injured on the job, you are entitled to Vocational Rehabilitation services from the State of Indiana. These services may include training you for different vocation.

My relative was killed on the job. Am I entitled to benefits?

If you are a dependent of the deceased worker, you may be entitled to benefits. If a deceased worker has no dependents, worker's comp will still pay the medical expenses and up to $7,500.00 for funeral expenses.

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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.

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Have a question that isn't answered here? Get a fast, informed answer by contacting an attorney at Greene & Schultz today. Call 812-336-4357 or email us online.