The Indiana Hospital Lien Statute May Affect the Compensation You Receive for Your Auto, Motorcycle, Semi Tractor-Trailer Accident or Personal Injury Claim for Damages

History of Hospital Lien StatuteCall Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

Indiana’s Hospital Lien Statute, IC 32-33-4, is designed to legislatively protect the financial interests of treating hospitals in accidents involving injury. When an injured party is taken to the hospital following a car, motorcycle, pedestrian or trucking accident, hospital administrators may instruct their attorneys to file a lien for hospital charges against any action, suit or claim which may be brought by the patient against the party or parties responsible for their injuries. The hospital is given a period of 180 days after patient discharge to file the lien with the county recorder’s office and an additional 10 days to serve notice by registered mail upon the Indiana Department of Insurance, claimant and claimant’s attorneys.There are several exceptions to Indiana’s Hospital Lien Statute including distributions paid from the supplemental state fair relief fund. For a list of others, see IC 32-33-4-3(b)(3).

How does the hospital statute affect your claim?

  1. Hospitals are given up to 180 days to “perfect” or file a hospital lien. An experienced personal injury attorney will not begin negotiating a claim until the hospital has asserted their lien or 180 days have lapsed without the hospital perfecting its lien.
  2. The statute provides that the claimant shall receive no less than 20% of their settlement. However, the hospital may pursue recovery of any remaining unsatisfied balance by any other legal means necessary.
  3. Payments made by health insurance shall be deducted from the total amount due. However, the hospital may assert a claim over and above payments received notwithstanding applied discounts contracted with health insurance carriers. If the hospital lien has not been fully satisfied after disbursement from proceeds of the settlement, the hospital may use any legal means necessary to recover the outstanding balance.

Update on Hospital Lien Statute

Since this article was written, the Hospital Lien Statute has been changed by legislators with the help of dedicated attorneys and the Indiana Bar Association. Medicare recipients have also benefitted under the new legislation.

Financial Effects of Hospital Lien Statute and Your Lawyer

An outstanding hospital lien, the result of a catastrophic injury, can bring about financial ruin at a time when wits are required to piece lives back together emotionally and physically. An experienced personal injury attorney will negotiate with all parties involved to secure a full hospital release before settlement is made. The attorneys of Ward & Ward, Charlie Ward and Don Ward, have over 80 years of combined experience in dealing with personal injury and wrongful death claims. We understand personal injury law and work on behalf of our clients to successfully resolve their legal claims.

Call Charlie Ward today for a free consultation at 317-639-9501.

Charlie Ward

 

Roundabouts Safer for Pedestrians, Bicycles in Indiana

Roundabouts Mean Fewer Accidents for Cars, Pedestrians and BicyclistsCall Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

Long ago Europe embraced and adopted the roundabout as a key part of their transportation system. Their statistics show that accidents involving pedestrians have been reduced by approximately seventy-five percent and attribute that reduction to the vast number of roundabouts populating much of Europe’s highways. The IIHS states regardless of age, pedestrians involved in crashes are more likely to be killed as vehicle speeds increase. In a report on pedestrian injuries recently prepared by the Preusser Research Group for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the authors cite *research concluding

“about 5 percent of pedestrians hit by a vehicle traveling 20 mph will die. The fatality jumps to 40 percent for cars traveling 30 mph, 80 percent for cars going 40 mph, and 100 percent for cars going 50 mph

Roundabouts engineered to reduce speed

Roundabouts are becoming the standard in commuting. Carmel, Indiana is known for its more than 60 roundabouts. Their pedestrian crossing signs and line markings advise the pedestrian of the crosswalks. (Learn more about Carmel’s roundabouts here.) And in 2012, the city of Indianapolis developed plans to add four new roundabouts to the metro transportation grid. Each year, as funds become available, this number will grow.

Bicyclists and Pedestrian Recommendations

Roundabouts can be made safer for bicyclists and pedestrians.The Institute for Highway Safety recommends pedestrians walk the perimeter sidewalk using line markings to cross where necessary. Make yourself visible by wearing brightly colored clothing and make use of eye contact with approaching drivers’ who are intent on getting to their destination. Cyclists are recommended to ride the “middle” of the lane, not on the edge. This reduces confusion among drivers of motor vehicles. Cyclists should signal their turn for as long as possible and also try to make eye contact with drivers if possible. If traffic seems erratic and is overtaking you, pull off on the side and walk your cycle around the roundabout.

Lawyers with Bicycle and Pedestrian Accidents

The law firm of Ward & Ward has over 85 years of combined experience in personal injury law. If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident as a pedestrian or while riding a bicycle, call Charlie Ward for a free consultation.
By Charlie Ward

[email protected]

Ward & Ward Law Firm
728 S Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46225
(317) 639-9501

* To learn most about the Preusser study, visit http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/research/pub/

Protect your Personal Injury, Wrongful Death Claim – Refrain from Social Networking Activity

Personal injury lawyer in Indianapolis IN Protect Your Accident Claim by Refraining from Posting on Social Media

If you have hired a personal injury lawyer to protect your interests in a claim for injuries and damages involving a car, motorcycle, truck or semi tractor-trailer accident, your attorney will likely ask you to refrain from posting photos or messages of any kind to social networking sites, no matter how harmless or irrelevant your posts may seem to your case. Insurance company defendants can infer a great deal of information — and misinformation —from ‘harmless’ photographs that are taken out of the context of your daily life.

The legal term “discovery” means a formal pre-trial investigation. Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501Attorneys for claimants and defendants use the discovery approach to build their claim or make their defense. Vehicles used by attorneys for the discovery process may include, but are not limited to, Interrogatories, Request for Admissions and Request for Production of Documents. Despite privacy concerns, several state and federal courts have ruled that pictures, postings and messages transmitted via social media, i.e. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, and many other online networking sites, may be compelled in the discovery process. You may be asked to turn over personal or professional profiles (both private and public), posts and images that you or your “friends” have posted online, even those postings made prior to your accident if defense can make the case that previous posts could be relevant to the case at hand.

Penalties for Spoliation of Evidence

I should caution you about ‘cleaning up’ or deactivating your social networking sites. In a wrongful death case in Virginia, a plaintiff received monetary sanctions from the Court in the amount of $180,000 for “spoliation” or tampering with the evidence by removing 16 photos from his Facebook account. Although the jury ultimately found on behalf of the Plaintiff, his monetary award was greatly reduced by that amount and his attorney was sanctioned $522,000 for instructing his client to destroy his page.

Lawyers practicing in the state of Indiana must abide by the Indiana Rule of Professional Conduct. Section 3.4 of the rules states:

 “a lawyer shall not unlawfully obstruct another party’s access to evidence or unlawfully alter, destroy or conceal a document or other material having potential evidentiary value. A lawyer shall not counsel or assist another person to do any such act.”

Sound Rules for Social Media Posts

An experienced personal injury or wrongful death lawyer may ask you to refrain from further online posting but should never ask you to hide, clean-up or remove posts, messages or photos which you or someone you know has already posted. The following are a few good common sense rules to abide by if you are involved in a personal injury claim:

  1. Do not talk about your case to anyone except your attorney;
  2. Do not accept any “friend” requests from people you don’t personally know;
  3. Do not post any photos of yourself online; and
  4. Do not hide, remove or in any way destroy any online postings that were made by or about you until your case has been disposed.

Lawyers experienced in accident with injury cases

The law firm of Ward & Ward has over eighty-five years of legal experience with personal injury and wrongful death claims. Our firm receives no legal fees or expenses unless we collect damages on your behalf. Call Charlie Ward today for a free evaluation of your claim.

By Charlie Ward

[email protected]

Ward & Ward Law Firm
728 S Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46225
317-639-9501