Ward & Ward Law Firm Announces Partner in Personal Injury Law Firm is Selected for Inclusion in Best Lawyers in America
Indianapolis personal injury attorney, wrongful death attorney and medical malpractice attorney, Charlie Ward, has been selected by his peers for inclusion into the 23rd annual edition of The Best Lawyers in America©
Indianapolis, Indiana (PRWEB) September 29, 2016
Ward & Ward Law Firm of Indianapolis, Indiana, announces partner and Indianapolis personal injury attorney, Charlie Ward, has been selected by his peers for inclusion into the 23rd annual edition of The Best Lawyers in America© under the heading of Plaintiffs Personal Injury Litigation. Ward, a 27-year career advocate for citizens harmed by the negligent acts of individuals and entities, received his Bachelor of Arts Degree, cum laude, from Butler University in Indianapolis before attending the Robert H. McKinney School of Law, where he earned his law degree in 1989.
Best Lawyers® is regarded by members of the legal profession as a trustworthy resource for attorney-client and attorney-to-attorney referrals. Attorneys currently listed in Best Lawyers® are asked to rate local nominees in like practices. Each voting attorney is asked the question: “If you were unable to take a case yourself, how likely would you be to refer it to this nominee?” Voters rate the candidate on a scale from 1 to 5 and are encouraged to add comments to the nominee’s voting form. A voter may select “Do not know” if they have no knowledge of the nominee. Lawyers are not allowed to vote for themselves, nor can they complete ballots for lawyers within their own firm. When the voting ballots have been received by the decision-makers at Best Lawyers, each nominee is reviewed and their standing with the bar association is verified before a final determination of inclusion is made.
Personal injury and wrongful death attorney Ward was admitted to the Indiana Bar Association in 1989. From 1990 to 1991 he clerked for the Honorable Indiana Supreme Court Justice Richard M. Givan. In August, 1992, he co-authored the article entitled “Journey’s Account Statute: Litigator’s Little-Known Friend,” 35 Res Gestae 60 (1991), the Indiana State Bar Association’s bar journal. Shortly after graduation from Indiana University’s school of law, Ward and his father, Donald W. Ward, a former recipient of the prestigious 2015 Indiana Bar Foundation’s Legendary Lawyer Award and prominent wrongful death attorney in Indianapolis, formed a partnership under the name of Ward & Ward Law Firm.
Charlie Ward concentrates on earning maximum financial reparations for his clients who have been severely injured or killed by the negligence of another person or entity. “Staying on top of judicial opinions and legislation is critical to obtain the best possible outcome for our injury and wrongful death clients,” states Ward. His personal injury and wrongful death areas of experience include commercial trucking accident claims, car, motorcycle and bicycle accident claims, nursing home neglect and medical malpractice claims.
If you or someone you know has been injured or killed in an accident caused by the negligence of another person or entity, call 2017 Best Lawyer® recipient and Indianapolis personal injury lawyer, Charlie Ward of Ward & Ward Law Firm at 317-639-9501 or toll free at 888-639-9501 for a free analysis of your claim.
For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/09/prweb13723357.htm
Victims of latent asbestos related diseases have reason for hope after Indiana’s State Supreme Court Ruling
What is a product liability claim?
A product liability claim seeks to hold miners, manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, retailers, and others along the commerce and distribution chain, responsible for the personal injury and wrongful death caused by dangerous and defective products, including, but not limited to asbestos-related injuries. Read Indiana’s Product Liability Act (IPLA).
Plaintiffs seek relief in lawsuit involving latent Mesothelioma diagnoses
Both plaintiffs were exposed to materials containing asbestos during their employment. One plaintiff, an electrician, was exposed for approximately 40 years and diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma 15 years after leaving his employment. The other plaintiff was employed by an electric utility company where he worked on and around asbestos-containing products for 15 years; he was diagnosed with mesothelioma nearly 37 years after terminating his employment. Both defendants filed separate suits naming multiple defendants. When the cases were brought before the Indiana State Supreme Court, they argued that the following provisions in Article 1 (The Bill of Rights) of the Indiana Constitution had been violated:
Section 12 of the Indiana Constitution, commonly referred to as Rights to Remedy states:
All courts shall be open; and every person, for injury done to him in his person, property, or reputation, shall have remedy by due course of law. Justice shall be administered freely, and without purchase; completely, and without denial; speedily, and without delay.
Section 23 of the constitution, commonly referred to as the Equal Privilege and Immunity Clause, states:
The General Assembly shall not grant to any citizen, or class of citizens, privileges or immunities, which, upon the same terms, shall not equally belong to all citizens.
The argument and the ruling
Two sections (Section 1 and Section 2) in Chapter 3 of the Indiana Products Liability Act (IPLA) are at the center of the instant case.
Section 2, written by the Indiana General Assembly specifically for those with asbestos-related injuries , limits actions to those brought against persons or entities who both mined and sold commercial asbestos. Since plaintiffs sought damages from defendants who neither sold nor mined raw asbestos, they were barred from recovering damages under Section 2 and were therefore subject to the limits expressed in Section 1 of the IPLA.
Section 1 of the Indiana Product Liability Act, imposes a 10-year statute of repose upon persons exposed to dangerous and defective products. The Statute of Repose, as it is commonly called, states the product liability action must be commenced within ten years after the delivery of the product to the initial user or consumer. Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma is a disease which sometimes manifests many years after initial exposure to asbestos. Both plaintiffs were exposed to asbestos products and both developed asbestos-related diseases over a protracted period of time, greater than the 10-year statute of repose provided for in Section 1 of the IPLA.
In March of 2016 in a 3-2 split decision, the Indiana State Supreme Court, joining 3 appeals under one ruling, looked primarily at the Equal Privilege and Immunity Clause and held Section 2 of the IPLA created an impermissible disparity between classes of plaintiffs (those with claims against defendants who both mined and sold raw asbestos, and those with claims against defendants that sold asbestos-containing products) which violated Section 23 of the Indiana State Constitution, the Equal Privileges and Immunities Clause of the Indiana Constitution. And since Section 2 of the IPLA contained special verbiage which voided the entire section if any part of the section was held invalid, all of Section 2 was deemed unconstitutional. It was further decided that the ten-year statute of repose contained in Section 1 of the Indiana Product Liability Act did not apply to claims arising out of long-term exposure to products containing asbestos. Justice Brent Dickson wrote the opinion for the majority; Chief Justice Rush and Justice Massa wrote the dissenting opinions.
Petition for Re-Hearing
Shortly after the cases were decided, defendants submitted a petition to the court requesting a re-hearing. But in a 3-2 split, on April 28, 2016, a re-hearing was denied.
Indiana Product Liability Lawyers with Experience
Don and Charlie Ward, of Ward & Ward Law Firm in Indianapolis, have more than 86 combined years successfully litigating cases against corporations both large and small for bringing dangerous products into the marketplace that may harm individuals.
Our experienced personal injury lawyers and wrongful death lawyers use their knowledge of the law, legislation and judicial opinions to employ strategies that maximize our clients’ financial recovery after they have experienced a life-altering accident or event caused by another person or entity. If you or someone you know has been injured by an unsafe product, involved in an accident, injured by the negligence of a medical professional, or were the victim of nursing home neglect or wrongful death, call personal injury attorney, Charlie Ward, today at (317) 639-9501 or toll free at 1 (888) 639-9501 for a free consultation.
Charlie WardWard & Ward Law Firm 728 S Meridian St Indianapolis, IN 46225 317-639-9501 or toll free at 1 (888) 639-9501 Published 09/24/2016
Ward & Ward Law Firm Personal Injury Lawyers Receive Prestigious Award from Expertise.com
The attorneys at Ward & Ward Law Firm have been recognized by Expertise.com as 2016Best Personal Injury Lawyers in Indianapolis. Expertise.com connects people in every U.S. city with qualified experts from their own communities. The Seattle based corporation researches every business in the city, then filters out the businesses and professional services that don’t meet the company’s standards of excellence. Businesses that survive the cut are scored on twenty-five criteria across six categories. The categories include reputation, credibility, experience, availability, professionalism and engagement with the community. After the businesses are ranked, the Expertise team personally reviews the highest scoring results and the list of top local professionals are published on their website. Expertise ranked 261 personal injury attorneys in Indianapolis and hand-picked twenty lawyers and their firms to spotlight as the best local experts in personal injury law.
Attorney Don Ward, a graduate of Notre Dame’s Law School, has practiced personal injury and wrongful death law in Indianapolis for more than sixty years. In 1978 and 1979, Ward served as President of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association, an organization committed to protecting the constitutional rights of open access to the courts and equal protection under the law for all persons in Indiana. In 1975, Ward was elected Vice-President of the Indianapolis Bar Association. He was privileged to serve a number of terms on the Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission and Indiana Judicial Qualification Commission. In 2015, he was presented with the Indiana Bar Foundation’s highest career award as Indiana’s Legendary Lawyer.
Since 2005, Ward’s son, Charlie Ward, an Indianapolis, Indiana personal injury lawyer, has received continuous annual recognition in the Super Lawyers publication. Ward holds the prestigious Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer-Review Rating, is Lead Counsel Rated and is ranked by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney. Indiana State Bar Association member Ward is an advocate for equal access to the courts.
If you or someone you know has been injured or killed in an accident cause by another person’s negligence, call Indianapolis personal injury attorneys, Don or Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501 or 1-888-639-9501 today for a free consultation.
Read more in the press release at PRWeb.
Are You Paying Too Much for Hospital Care? | Indianapolis Personal Injury, Car Accident Lawyers and Personal Injury Attorneys
This article defines the Hospital Charge Master—the mysterious menu of hospital prices for products and services. A link has been provided that allows you to compare prices for every participating Indiana hospital.
The Charge Master
Every hospital is responsible for setting their retail prices for the products and services they offer. Medical goods and services are priced and coded in an internal hospital database called a Charge Master. Since hospitals do not function as free-market competitors, hospital Charge Masters are veiled in secrecy in all but 13 states* where state law requires disclosure of Charge Master prices upon patient request. Although Indiana hospitals are not required to make their Charge Master public, the Indiana Hospital Association publishes an enlightening website that discloses certain hospital data provided to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Indiana State Department of Health including measures of care provided in each hospital, patient satisfaction, readmissions, infections, deaths, birthing outcomes and some basic hospital procedure charges. The Indiana Hospital Association’s website is a respectable first step toward public disclosure. But in light of a staggering disparity in hospital Charge Master rates and the perception that the deepest discounts are granted to the largest third-party payers, forces are pushing for greater transparency.
The Hospital Lien Statute | Ward & Ward Law Firm, Car Accident Lawyers
For example, Indiana’s Hospital Lien Act provides hospitals may file a lien for hospital charges against an action or claim brought by a patient against the parties responsible for their injuries. In Parkview Hospital v. Thomas E. Frost, Frost’s car accident lawyers alleged Parkview Hospital’s charges were unreasonable and requested Parkview Hospital provide information about discounts given to other patients with private health insurance and government healthcare reimbursement programs.
A recent opinion from the Indiana Court of Appeals stated:
“… evidence of discounts provided to patients who either have private health insurance or are covered by government healthcare reimbursement programs is relevant to the determination of reasonable charges under the [Indiana Hospital Lien] Act…”
Hospital costs and reimbursements
The Charge Master balances hospital costs, including inventory, staff, facility, insurance and permits with the less predictable estimate of account receivables from patients and third-party payers who reimburse hospital providers at diverse rates.
A hospital’s Charge Master for a procedure or product may be as little as 150% or as much as 1000% over Medicare, which reimburses only a small fraction of the Charge Master rate. Private and group health insurance providers contract separately with hospitals to discount the Charge Master rate by negotiating a Fee Schedule, a percentage of charges or by agreement of ‘usual, customary & reasonable fees’. Insurers generally reimburse at an amount greater than Medicare but substantially less than Charge Master. In an article written by Steven I. Weissman for the Florida Bar Journal, it is estimated that average Charge Master pricing at Florida’s hospitals would be 300% – 400% over the amount negotiated with major health insurance providers. Although Indiana hospital procedure rates may vary somewhat from Florida, the national trend toward deep discounts for government and contracting insurers remains the same.
Compensating for the reimbursement deficit
Automobile Insurers frequently pay hospital expenses resulting from an accident up to the policy limits of their clients’ Medical Payment automobile insurance coverage. Because Medical Payment insurance is considered primary to health insurance, hospitals bill auto insurance carriers the full Charge Master rate before balance-billing the patient’s health insurance—offsetting the deficit incurred from discounted health insurance and fractional Medicare reimbursements. *Note: Car accident lawyers would prefer patient’s health insurance pay the rate contracted between health insurance provider and the hospital.
Workman’s Compensation Insurance, out-of-network patients and uninsured patients are also billed Charge Master although out-of-network patients often pay a percentage of the Charge Master. Uninsured patients may qualify for free or reduced fee medical care.
Is there a better way?
In the last decade, we have seen some striking changes to the medical industry. But it can’t be overlooked that third-party payers have successfully exerted their influence to sustain the status quo. In a healthcare system that categorizes patients—favoring some, penalizing others—it’s of no surprise that the current structure of “reasonable charges” and “acceptable reimbursements” imposed on patient classes, is coming under scrutiny by a citizenry increasingly burdened by the high cost of health care, public servants, members of the legal community and medical professionals that would like to see a transparent and equitable hospital marketplace—one that implements predictability, consistency and fairness in hospital billing and discounts applied—all while maintaining quality hospital services indispensable to our communities and the well-being of our families.
Experienced car accident lawyers and personal injury attorneys
Our experienced personal injury attorneys and wrongful death lawyers use their knowledge of the law, legislation and judicial opinions to employ strategies that maximize our clients’ financial recovery after they have experienced a life-altering accident or event caused by another person or entity. If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident, injured by the negligence of a medical professional, or the victim of nursing home neglect or wrongful death, call car accident lawyers, Ward & Ward Law Firm, today at (888) 639-9501 for a free consultation.
Charlie WardWard & Ward Law Firm | Car Accident Lawyers 728 S Meridian St Indianapolis, IN 46225 317-639-9501 or 888-639-9501
Website recommendation: My Care Insight.
*Figure obtained as of this writing, June, 2016
Tractor Trailer and Wrongful Death Attorneys, Don and Charlie Ward of Ward & Ward Law Firm, have been chosen by Three Best Rated as one of Top Three Personal Injury Lawyer firms in Indianapolis, Indiana
“Ward & Ward Law Firm personal injury and wrongful death attorneys have been selected as Top 3 Personal Injury Lawyers in Indianapolis, Indiana by Three Best Rated. The top 3 local businesses are chosen by category and community. The criteria used for the selection process utilizes the business’ reviews, history, complaints, ratings, satisfaction, trust, cost and general excellence. Categories include doctors, lawyers, restaurants and other professional services in Indianapolis.”
Read the full press release.
Dead Red Indiana Law Give Motorcyclists and Bicyclists Alternative to Breaking the Law
In March of 2014, Indiana became the 15th state to add the “Dead Red” law to their books. Indiana Representative, Mike Karickhoff of Kokomo, wrote House Bill No. 1080 that provides:
“…the operator [of a motorcycle, motorized bicycle, motor scooter, or bicycle] may proceed through the intersection on a steady red signal only if the operator:
(i) comes to a complete stop at the intersection for at least one hundred twenty (120) seconds; and
(ii) exercises due caution as provided by law, otherwise treats the traffic control signal as a stop sign, and determines that it is safe to proceed.”
The Indiana General Assembly passed the law 84-10.
Few Options for Cyclists Prior to Dead Red Law
Prior to the “dead red” law, when lightweight motorized and non-motorized vehicles failed to trigger a left-turn signal, the operator had one of three choices: 1) wait until a larger vehicle pulled behind them, tripping the scale; 2) make a right-hand turn and return to proceed through the intersection; or 3) ignore the traffic signal altogether and turn left on a red.
An Educated Public May Reduce Motorcycle Accidents in Indiana
ABATE of Indiana (The American Bikers Aimed Toward Education) strives to educate responsible cyclists on motorcycle safety. And because accidents involving motorcycles are often caused by other drivers who admittedly fail to see the cyclist, ABATE seeks to educate all drivers about motorcycle awareness. May is Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month. On May 5, ABATE of Indiana, along with many other civic organizations, will kick off Motorcycle Awareness Month by hosting an event on the Circle to bring attention to motorcycle awareness.
Personal Injury, Motorcycle and Bicycle Accident Attorneys with Experience
The defenses used by defendant insurance companies to minimize their financial loss and the potential jury bias that occurs when litigating a motorcycle or bicycle injury claim is good reason to seek the assistance of an attorney experienced in motorcycle and bicycle injury cases. If you, or someone you know has been injured or killed in an accident involving a motorcycle, moped or bicycle, call Charlie Ward, an attorney with experience in pursuing claims on behalf of cyclists, at 317-639-9501 today for a free analysis of your claim.
2016 Update on Indiana’s Medical Malpractice Reform Legislation | Indiana Medical Malpractice Attorneys and Wrongful Death Lawyers
As lay people, we put our faith in physicians, nurses, hospital facilities and other medical providers whom we trust to exercise sound professional decisions, provide quality care and abide by “best practice” standards in their field(s) of medicine. Most healthcare professionals meet or exceed the benchmark of quality health care we have come to expect. But when medical experts fail to meet a reasonable standard of care that results in your bodily injury or the death of a family member, you need an experienced Indiana medical malpractice attorney to represent you and your family’s interests in a legal action against a negligent medical practitioner(s ).
History of Indiana’s Medical Malpractice Act
In 1975, to avert an exodus of medical professionals from the state of Indiana, lawmakers enacted the Medical Malpractice Act which would bring stringent reform to civil actions for medical negligence and place caps on liability payouts. Caps for acts of medical negligence had been raised only twice since the initial legislation was enacted 41 years ago. Periodically, lawmakers should revisit the caps imposed by the Malpractice Act and make fair, economic adjustments that reflect inflation and soaring healthcare costs.
The Medical Malpractice Act as Amended in 2016
Currently, Indiana has one of the lowest caps in the nation. In 2016, Senator Brent Steele from Bedford, Indiana authored and introduced Senate Bill 28 (SB 28) which would not only increase the caps imposed upon injured persons and the families of persons deceased by an act of medical negligence, but would hasten payments made by the Patient’s Compensation Fund for a court approved settlement or final non-appealable judgment. The Indiana Trial Lawyers Association (ITLA), one of the most respected lobbies serving the interests of Hoosiers, backed Steele’s bill and worked diligently with lawmakers and healthcare providers alike, to amend and improve on certain aspects of Indiana’s Medical Malpractice Act. Although ITLA does not favor caps on tort claims, the political climate was ripe for all interested parties, including the Indiana Medical Association which represents physicians, to strike a compromise with lawmakers that would benefit individual citizens and continue to attract accomplished physicians and talented healthcare professionals to the state of Indiana.
After SB 28 was heavily amended by both the house and the senate, lawmakers voted unanimously on March 8, 2016, to send the bill to Governor Mike Pence for his signature. Several of the bill’s key changes to Indiana’s Medical Malpractice Act are shown on the right hand column in the chart below. Read SB 28.
Medical Malpractice Act
July 1, 2017
Medical Malpractice Act
Effective July 1, 2017
Patients can only receive up to $1.25 million in damages from an act of malpractice.
Effective, July 1, 2017, patients injured or killed by a negligent act of malpractice on or after July 1, 2017, may receive an amount no greater than $1.65 million in damages.
Effective July 1, 2019, lawmakers have approved an additional raise of $150,000 for patients injured or killed by a negligent act of malpractice on or after July 1, 2019. Patients may receive an amount no greater than $1.8 million in damages.
(PCF) Patient’s Compensation Fund
Physicians and Providers are responsible for the first $250,000 in damages owed to one patient for one act of malpractice, and no more than $750,000 combined annually. The PCF covers the rest of a patient’s damages, which allows patients a guarantee of full compensation by excluding physicians’ insurance plans as a factor in the ability to cover damages awards.
(PCF) Patient’s Compensation Fund
Effective, July 1, 2017,
Effective, July 1, 2019,
The statute of limitations for filing a complaint is two years from the act of malpractice. Children less than six years-old have until their eighth birthday to file a complaint.
Before taking a case to court, patients must file a complaint with the Indiana Department of Insurance, where a three-physician medical review panel reviews the claim. If there is one defendant, two of the three panel members must be from the accused physician’s specialty. The panel gives a non-conclusive, non-binding report, but they can be called as experts if the defendant chooses to take the case to court.
Payment from PCF
Claims for payment from the Patient’s Compensation Fund are paid quarterly
Payment from PCF
Effective July 1, 2017
Experienced Indiana Medical Malpractice Lawyers and Nursing Home Negligence Attorneys
Our experienced Indiana medical malpractice lawyers are here to navigate the complexities of the medical malpractice claims process for you and your loved ones. Call Ward & Ward Law Firm today at 317-639-9501 and ask for “Charlie” for a free, no obligation, consultation.
By Charlie Ward
Read more about medical malpractice lawyers in Indiana:
Motorcycle Helmets Reduce Injuries and Save Lives | Motorcycle Accident Lawyers in Indiana
May is ‘Motorcycle Awareness’ month. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration encourages everyone to share the road and urges cyclists to make themselves visible to others.
A brief history of helmet laws and why they vary from state to state
In 1966, the national Highway Safety Act mandated each state enact universal helmet laws in order to receive federal highway construction funding. In 1975, under the authority of HSA, the Secretary of Transportation was about to impose penalties upon the states of California, Illinois and Utah for non-compliance, when lobbyists successfully pressured congress to stop the assessment of penalties on states lacking universal helmet laws. By 1980, a majority of states had repealed the universal mandated laws, favoring a unilateral approach to legislation.
As of 2016, three states, Illinois, Iowa and New Hampshire, are without legislation regulating helmets. Nineteen states, along with the District of Columbia, have statutes mandating helmets for all cyclists. The states and districts include:
Alabama, Mississippi, Oregon, California, Missouri, Tennessee, District of Columbia, Nebraska, Vermont, Georgia, Nevada, Virginia, Louisiana, New Jersey, Washington, Maryland, New York, West Virginia, Massachusetts, and North Carolina
The remaining states have passed legislation that takes one or more of the following factors into account:
- operator experience
- operator age
- passenger age
- proof of medical insurance
- cycling horsepower
States laws for helmet use as they stand currently in 2016, can be found at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Statistics favor ‘gearing up’ with helmets and bright clothing
Statistics from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimate:
- Helmets saved the lives of more than 1,600 motorcyclists in 2013
- 4,668 motorcyclists lost their lives in accidents while over 88,000 suffered personal injuries in 2013.
- Since 1997, motorcycle deaths have more than doubled
- Motorcycles are only 2 percent of the registered vehicles nationally, but motorcyclist fatalities are 5 percent of traffic fatalities each year.
- The percentage of intoxicated motorcycle riders involving fatal accidents is higher than intoxicated drivers.
Helmets minimize injuries and reduce the likelihood of long term brain trauma.
The extent of Indiana’s helmet law requires passengers and motorcycle operators seventeen and younger wear a helmet. However, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) advocates protective clothing as the only defense a cyclist has against injury. Reccomendations include a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218 compliant helmet, heavy-duty jacket and pants, boots, gloves, and eye protection.
Experienced Motorcycle and Bicycle Accident Attorneys and Wrongful Death Lawyers
Motorcycle enthusiasts and bicyclists enjoy the same legal rights as every driver on the road, i.e. the right to compensation for injuries, loss of wages, impairment, pain and suffering and all other remedies available by law. (Learn more about jury bias) For more than 85 combined years, motorcycle accident attorneys and wrongful death lawyers, Don and Charlie Ward, have represented plaintiffs injured in motorcycle accidents and the families of cyclists killed because of another driver’s negligence.
The personal injury attorneys at Ward & Ward Law Firm receive no legal fees or expenses unless we collect damages on your behalf. Call Charlie Ward today at 317-639-9501 to discuss your accident and receive a free analysis of your claim.
By Charlie Ward