Category Archives: Whiplash Injuries

How Do I Pay My Medical Bills After an Accident?

Overwhelmed by medical bills from my accident – How do I pay my bills?

If you have health insurance, your insurance provider may cover the care you receive from in-network hospitals, doctors and other medical providers. In rare situations where you were taken by ambulance to a hospital that is not in your network, your health insurance may cover the ER bill if you were unable to select an in-network hospital from the scene of the accident. After your health insurance, your medical payment insurance or “med-pay” will help you to pay your medical bills. Check your automobile policy to determine how much med-pay insurance you have.Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

Lawyer Charlie Ward of Ward & Ward Law Firm recommends you purchase as much med-pay insurance as your can afford. Talk with your insurance agent to obtain a quote. Med-pay insurance becomes cheaper the more your purchase. You may be surprised how inexpensive good coverage is when you seek a quote for a higher amount. Remember that medical payment insurance is to your benefit by covering medical bills and medical expenses, i.e. hospital, doctors, radiology, lab work, prescriptions, physical therapy and much more. It can ease the strain of potential economic hardship and/or the loss of your wages after you’ve experienced a wreck or collision.

If you know someone that has been injured in an accident and having trouble paying their medical bills, call attorney, Charlie Ward, today at 317-639-9501.

By Charlie Ward

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

Seat Belts Saves Lives | Auto Accident Attorney Indianapolis

Indianapolis IN Personal Injury Lawyer - Seat Belts and Car Accidents Seat Belts Reduce Injuries and Deaths

Approximately 33,000 (AAA article) individuals  are killed in auto accidents each year in the United States.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that the leading cause of death for individuals ages 4, and 11 through 27 is from an auto accident.  Why??  Failure to wear a seat belt.Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

Statistics show that seat belts reduce the probability of death from an auto accident by over 50%.  In 2012, more than 2.2 million (CDC article) adults and passengers were treated at an emergency room for injuries as a result of an auto accident.  Again statistics show that many of the serious injuries sustained in these accidents could have been minimized with the use of a seat belt.  The cost to society is staggering–it is estimated in 2012 that non fatal injuries cost society over 50 BILLION dollars for lifetime medical costs and loss of work productivity.   Teenage drivers who survive accidents give the main reason for failing to wear a seat belt as follows:

  1. Simply forgot to wear the seat belt.
  2. Driving just a short distance.

Research further shows that seat belts reduce the risk of death to a front seat passenger by 45% and the risk of a critical injury by 50%.   Ejection is the main injurious event from failing to wear a seat belt to a front seat passenger.  In addition, 77% of passengers ejected from the vehicle were killed.

The mechanics of seal belt use

In order to understand what happens in an accident where a person fails to wear a seat belt, one must understand the work energy principle, kinetic energy and stopping distances. Read about the mechanics of seat belt use. This is all very technical but least to say that all literature shows that value of wearing a seat belts reduce the probability of death and the severity of a serious injury by approximately 50%.

Recently Cam Newton, quarterback for the Carolina Panthers was in a serious accident where his vehicle flipped several times. Because he wore his seat belt at the time of the accident, he walked away with less serious injuries.

Indianapolis lawyers with experience in auto accidents involving injuries and wrongful death cases

Conclusion–It is a fact–seat belts saves lives and minimize serious injuries. If you have been injured or know someone that has died as a result of another person’s negligence, call Charlie today at 317-639-9501 for a free consultation.

By Charlie Ward

[email protected]

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

Whiplash and Other Serious Neck Injuries Resulting from an Automobile, Motorcycle, Bicycle, Pedestrian or Trucking Accident — Ward & Ward Law Firm, Indiana’s Injury Accident Lawyers

Injuries kill more people ages 1–44 in the U.S. than any other cause. Neck injuries are common injuries to accidents involving cars, motorcycles, bicycles and semi tractor-trailers. If you have incurred an injury to your neck because of another party’s negligence, it is important to seek medical treatment from a licensed medical physician (hospital, primary care physician or medical specialist) right away and then to call an experienced personal injury or accident attorney to recover your losses for medical bills, bodily injuries, loss of wages and other damages suffered.

Types of neck injuries

There are a wide variety of neck injuries. Examples of some common neck injuries are:

  • Strains: When muscle fibers are torn due to lifting heavy weights or whiplash, the result is a strained neck. The pain involved with a strain can vary in severity.
  • Spasms: A spasm occurs when your neck muscles seize up into a tight muscle contraction. Bracing before impact may cause a neck spasm.
  • Stingers: When the neck is rotated in an unnatural way or forced into an extreme tilt, a “stinger” injury can result. The symptoms of a stinger include a burning or tingling sensation in the arms, shoulders and neck. Stingers are commonly caused by high impact collisions.
  • Whiplash: A soft-tissue injury to the neck muscles, ligaments and tendons is described as whiplash. This type of injury occurs when the neck is forced to extend beyond its normal range of motion. Common symptoms of whiplash include headache, pain, stiffness and dizziness.
  • Fractures: The neck contains fragile bones that can be broken by high-impact pressure. The severity of a broken neck can range from minor pain and numbness to a serious neck fracture, leading to paralysis.
  • Herniated disc: When a disc of the cervical vertebra ruptures causing pressure on nerve roots, it is referred to as a herniated or ruptured disc injury. Symptoms of this type of injury include stabbing pain, tingling, numbness and weakness in the neck, back, shoulders, arms and hands.

 

Treatment for a neck injury depends on the type and severity of the injury. Common treatments may include medications, rest, physical therapy, exercises, steroid injections and surgery.

If you have suffered a neck injury because of the negligence of another party, speak with an experienced injury lawyer to learn how you can recover compensation for your medical bills, bodily injuries, lost wages, pain and suffering and property damage.

Charlie Ward

Ward & Ward Law Firm

(888) 316-3449

 

Spinal Cord Injuries Affect Your Body And Your Wallet

Damage to the vertebrae

A spinal cord injury (SCI) is one of the most devastating, life-long injuries you can suffer — both emotionally and economically. SCI occurs when there is damage to the nerves connected to the vertebrae, which carry messages to and from the brain and the entire body. SCI can be a minor bruise or a partial or total tear, usually caused by force to or penetration of the body. Indiana personal injury law allows victims of another person’s negligent or willful, harmful act to receive compensation for economic and emotional losses due to injuries like SCI.

Physical effects of SCI

It is estimated that more than 12,000 people sustain SCI each year, and vehicular-related accidents and wrecks account for 36.5 percent of new injuries. Usually, the higher the site of the damage on the spinal cord, the more disabling the injury. These injuries can occur to the:

  • High cervical (neck) — This usually results in quadriplegia (paralysis of all four limbs). Patients may need a ventilator to breathe and cannot cough or control bladder and bowel movements. They may not be able to speak, and cannot perform everyday activities, such as eating, dressing, bathing and engaging in sexual activities
  • Low cervical —This varies, depending on the site of injury, but there may be some movement in the wrists and hands. Patients usually can speak and breathe properly, but cannot perform everyday activities without assistance.
  • Thoracic (chest) — Usually, this results in paraplegia with the ability to use a manual wheelchair. Muscles, chest, back and abdomen are affected, but arms and hands are usually not impaired. Patients cannot control bladder and bowel movements.
  • Lumbar (lower back) — This includes loss of hip and leg function. Patients may be able to walk with leg braces, but cannot control bladder and bowel movements.

There are two types of SCI. Complete injuries result in no sensation or movement below the site of injury, and both sides of the body are equally affected. Incomplete injuries result in some function below the site of injury, usually where one side of the body has more movement, while the other side has more sensation.

Economic effects of SCI

Costs associated with SCI vary greatly, depending on the patient’s age at the time of injury, the severity of the injury and recovery prognosis. Bills for hospital visits, physical therapy, in-home care, wheelchairs and ventilators can pile up quickly. Medical expenses can reach more than $1 million for the first year and $181,000 for each subsequent year of a high cervical SCI — not including lost wages or other benefits. Experienced Indianapolis personal injury lawyers can help you recover those damages.

Contact us for a reputable personal injury lawyer in Indiana

If you or a loved one suffered a SCI, you are probably facing economical and emotional challenges, especially if the injury resulted from someone else’s wrongdoing. The attorneys at Ward & Ward Law Firm have the experience in and knowledge of Indiana personal injury law to fight for you. Call for a free consultation about your legal options.

Indiana Hospital Lien Statute – Legislation Benefits Private Health Insured’s Injured in Auto, Motorcycle, Trucking or Semi Tractor-Trailer Accidents Caused by Another’s Negligence

Lawmakers and lawyers working for fairness in IndianaCall Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

Since the Hospital Lien Statute was amended in 2013, a number of changes have gone into effect that may benefit you if you have a claim for personal injuries and compensation for damages caused by a car, motorcycle or trucking accident. I will discuss the change benefitting the citizens of Indiana called “No Balance Billing.”

Hospitals typically contract with specific Insurance providers to accept their plans. When a patient has health insurance with a hospital approved contracting provider, the treating hospital is bound to honor that contract by accepting the patient’s insurance and billing their services at mutually agreed upon “reasonable fees”. Reasonable fees are predetermined between the hospital and the insurance provider. Anything not considered “reasonable” by the private health insurer is contractually adjusted or written off by the hospital and the patient is only responsible for their deductible, their percentage split or their co-pay.

Prior to July 1, 2013, some hospitals would accept the injured patient’s private health insurance—allowing the insurance provider to pay their contracted amount—and attach a lien to the injured party’s legal claim for the remaining charges. To make matters worse, if the hospital lien could not be satisfied by the plaintiff’s legal claim, the remaining unpaid balance could follow the claimant after judgment or settlement was made.

The original legislation was never meant to hurt accident victims

The original intent of the hospital lien statute served to compensate the hospitals providing treatment for injured victims. Today, as hospitals treat more and more indigent and uninsureds, hospitals are seeking financial compensation that will cover the skyrocketing costs of the medical care our hospitals provide, albeit, the issues outlined above have progressively caused problems for personal injury attorneys seeking justice and wholeness for their injured clients.

New legislation benefits persons injured in a crash

Under the new provisions of the Indiana Hospital Lien Statute [IC 32-33-4-3(b)(5)], the hospital must make reasonable effort to pursue private insurance claims in cooperation with the patient. A lien perfected by the hospital within 90 days of patient discharge must first be reduced by the amount of any benefits to which the patient is entitled under the terms of any contract, health plan, or medical insurance. Most importantly, the lien must reflect credits for payments made by the insurance provider, contractual adjustments and write-offs.

Experienced lawyers helping injured victims

If you have been injured or know someone who has been injured as a result of someone’s negligence, call attorney, Charlie Ward, for a free consultation at (317) 639-9501. The law firm of Ward & Ward has over 80 years of combined experience in personal injury and wrongful death claims including injuries resulting from auto, motorcycle and trucking accidents.

By Charlie Ward

[email protected]

Ward & Ward Law Firm
728 S Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46225

 

Protect Your Rights After a Wreck | Indianapolis Indiana

Protect your claim for injuries and economic damagesCall Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

When individuals suffer injury or illness due to the negligent or willful acts of other parties, they have the right to pursue compensation for all expenses connected with their injuries. However, they need to know how to protect their rights immediately after the accident, even before they obtain legal assistance.

Since motor vehicle accidents typically involve two or more parties and carry special legal requirements, you need to follow specific procedures to protect your legal rights to compensation. If you are involved in an auto accident, motorcycle or truck accident, the following tips can help:

  1. Seek medical attention.

    Even if your injuries seem relatively minor, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. Many injuries do not reveal symptoms for hours or even days after the accident, yet delays in treatment can adversely affect recovery. Let your an emergency room doctor decide the extent of your injuries—and be sure to retain medical reports and receipts.

  2. Take photos.

    Use your cell phone camera to photograph the accident scene, damaged property, and injuries.

  3. Follow-up with your primary care physician after your hospital visit.

    You should make a follow-up appointment with your family physician as soon as possible after the accident. Your primary care physician knows you and your medical history better than the emergency room doctor you saw initially.  If you are still having problems after you’ve been seen at the ER, make a list of the problems and symptoms you have experienced and your family physician will chart a course of medical steps by possibly requesting x-rays, an MRI, or make an appointment for you with a specialist or a physical therapist.

  4. Secure the accident report.

    When police or local law enforcement are summoned to the location of the accident, they are required to complete a report with a drawing showing how the accident occurred. This report will give driver information,  witnesses statements and contact information, name of insurance company for all drivers and state where injured parties were disposed. This information will be used by your attorney to start the investigation into the facts of the accident. Bring this report to your attorney’s office at the first meeting.

  5. Contact your insurance company.

    Indiana state law requires a proof of insurance form immediately following the accident. Your insurance agent will send the form to the authorities electronically when you notify him or her of the accident in which you were involved. DO NOT DISCUSS FAULT.

  6. Contact experienced Indianapolis injury lawyer.

    Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501 for a free consultation and evaluation of your accident claim.

Charlie Ward

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

A Medical Exam After an Accident Can Protect Your Rights

Have you seen a physician following an accident?

Call personal injury and accident lawyer Charlie Ward today for a free consultation

In the daily practice of law, I frequently receive telephone calls from people who were involved in a motor vehicle accident in need of advice. After the caller has detailed the events of the crash and described their physical pain, I go on to inquire if a medical exam was sought either at the scene of the accident or shortly thereafter. Why is that important?

Shock and the Adrenaline Rush

Immediately following an accident, the body swings into defensive response. A minor shock to the system can begin fueling the natural production of the powerful neutralizing hormone called adrenaline. People have been known to accomplish fantastic feats of strength and endurance during these hormonal bursts.  An adrenaline rush can even precipitate a loss of ordinary time reference. Think back on a stressful situation and I’ll bet you can recall the trauma in great detail frame-by-frame using the time delay of a slow motion sequence of events.

About 20% of adrenaline is composed of the hormone norepinephrine. Produced in normal amounts, norepinephrine (manufactured in part from dopamine) can create a sense of well-being and euphoria. The involuntary release of adrenaline throughout your system increases your heart rate and blood-sugar levels, improving the body’s performance in the short term. Those experiencing adrenaline rushes typically feel temporarily stronger, faster and more tolerant of pain.

Is your injury attributed solely to the accident?

It’s especially important to receive a medical exam as soon as possible after a trauma or accident since it may be days before an auto, motorcycle, bicycle or trucking accident victim begins to experience an onset of symptoms. The more time passes, insurance companies become less and less persuaded that a latent onset injury can be directly attributed solely to the accident. Seeking a medical examination either at the scene of the accident or immediately following, will establish your desire to follow through with a physician recommended treatment or follow-up plan and places you under the monitor and care of an accepted medical authority.

Experienced lawyers

Charlie Ward is a personal injury attorney experienced in litigating accidents and wrongful death claims involving cars, motorcycles and semi tractor-trailers. The law office of Ward & Ward receives no legal fees or expenses unless we collect damages on your behalf. Call Charlie today at 317-639-9501 to discuss your accident and receive a free analysis of your claim.

Charlie Ward

728 S Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46225
317-639-9501

 

What Does Negligence Mean in a Lawsuit?

‘Negligence’ Defined

Call personal injury and accident lawyer Charlie Ward today for a free consultation

We all have an idea of what negligence means. For example, we know a neglected child when we see one, we can all identify that one neglected house on our street, and we know what happens when we neglect our health or our finances.  But what does negligence mean in the legal sense?

Negligence and its elements

Legal negligence constitutes more than simply not taking adequate care of something.  It means failing to adhere to a minimum standard of conduct in a way that causes measurable harm to another person.  Lawyers and judges look for four elements of negligence:

  • Duty. In legal theory, everyone owes a duty to everyone else.  At base, everyone has the duty to exercise the care that a reasonably prudent person would exercise in like circumstances.  For example, while it may seem sensible to you to speed home to feed the dog before you call AAA because your power steering and brakes have just failed, a reasonable person in the same circumstances would probably get off the road right away to avoid endangering himself and other drivers.
  • Breach. Breach is a violation of the duty owed.  To continue the example from above, your duty as driver of a vehicle that has suddenly lost its power steering and brakes is probably to move your vehicle out of traffic as quickly and safely as possible.  Failing to do this constitutes a breach of your duty to the other drivers on the road.
  • Cause. Legal cause encompasses two concepts. Factual causation means that your breach of duty set in motion a chain of events that otherwise would not have occurred. Proximate cause assumes factual causation and examines whether your breach was closely related enough to the resultant injury.  For example, if your reckless driving compels another driver to leave his or her usual route and take a detour through a bad neighborhood where he or she suffers an assault and carjacking, there may be factual causation—she would never have taken that detour if you stopped driving when you should have—but no proximate cause.
  • Damage. Finally, legal negligence requires a showing of damages.  If your poor driving merely frightens the other drivers on the road, but does not cause any accidents or injuries, the final element of negligence is missing—except under very special and limited circumstances, the law does not consider merely being afraid of something a measurable injury.

Experienced Indianapolis personal injury lawyers working for you

If you have a negligence case in Indiana, you need to work with an attorney who knows Indiana personal injury law inside and out.  The Indianapolis personal injury attorneys at Ward & Ward have nearly 80 years of combined experience working to ensure that personal injury victims in Indiana get the attention they deserve and the financial security they need.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury because of another’s negligence or recklessness, Ward & Ward, Attorneys invite you to contact them as soon as possible to arrange a free initial consultation about your case, by phone at 888-316-3449, through their website, or simply by visiting their conveniently located Indianapolis office.

Aggravated Injuries and Awards for Damages from Car, Motorcycle and Trucking Accidents

What is a pre-existing condition?

Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

A pre-existing condition is a medical condition or disability that was in existence prior to the accident for which you are claiming injuries and other damages. You can be born with a pre-existing condition; you may have acquired a pre-existing condition through illness; you might have been harmed or disabled because of a prior accident or you may suffer from a medical condition due to age and the degenerative processes. These are all examples of pre-existing conditions.

When a person seeks legal remedy for past and future medical expenses, loss of wages and other damages resulting from someone else’s negligence, be it car accident, motorcycle accident, truck accident or 18-wheeler semi-tractor trailer accident—and the negligent party is responsible for re-injuring an existing condition or injury, the case becomes more complex. Many people in a population have experienced some kind of medical condition at least once and sometimes on an ongoing basis. Often a condition may involve chronic pain from a previous back injury.

If an existing condition becomes aggravated because of the negligence of another driver, then the person who has been injured has every right, under the law, to recover for damages for the aggravated injury—even if the person’s pre-existing condition made him/her more vulnerable or susceptible to an aggravation than a person in good health and in the same circumstances.

Defendant may also be held responsible for any complications that may arise as a result of the aggravation including the acquisition of a disease because of lowered vitality; for aggravation of an existing condition caused by the negligent acts of medical care providers; and for injuries received in a subsequent accident which would not have occurred had plaintiff’s physical or mental condition not been injured or impaired.

Experienced personal injury attorneys

An experienced plaintiff’s lawyer will submit evidence to the court showing that a pre-existing condition was aggravated as a proximate result of defendant’s negligence. The law firm of Ward & Ward has over 80 years of combined experience in personal injury claims. If you’ve been injured in an accident and you’ve received an aggravated injury, call an experienced personal injury attorney. Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501 today for a free analysis of your claim.

Charlie Ward

(317) 639-9501

www.wardlawfirm.com

Ward & Ward Law Firm
728 S Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46225

Whiplash Injury Causing Embolism Leads to Death

Embolism from a Whiplash Injury May Cause Death

Hollywood and portrayal of the injured victim

Most diagnosed whiplash injuries result from rear-end car collisions. Hollywood often portrays the whiplash victim as the neurotic personality or the gold-digging opportunist who is represented by the fast-talking, amoral courthouse lawyer. And we all laugh at Hollywood’s depiction—yes, even attorneys have a sense of humor about their profession. But the truth is that some whiplash injuries may go undetected for a period of time after an impact and in the worst case scenario, may result in embolism or even death.

The reality of whiplash is not so funny

Reports have documented deaths up to 8 days after a serious whiplash injury. But one case published in 1995 by the American Heart Association examined the death of a man which happened nearly 2 months after he was injured in a rear-end collision.[stroke.ahajournals.org]

The 50 year-old taxi driver and victim of a rear-end collision complained of headaches and experienced incidents of visual instabilities. Approximately 2 months after the accident, he was found unconscious in his cab and was admitted to the hospital. The initial CT scan was normal but another scan performed a couple of days later revealed abnormalities. On the third day he passed away. An autopsy showed that whiplash was responsible for a lesion to his right vertebral artery which quickly led to an embolism at the base of his skull.

The mechanics of a whiplash injury.

A forward flexion of the neck followed by an immediate swing backward describes what doctors and lawyers call whiplash. Whiplash injuries resulting from rear-end auto accidents can cause injuries to the cervical spine producing severe headaches and a stiff neck. If you or a family member has been rear-ended by another vehicle, no matter how minor the accident seems at the time, you should be followed up by a physician as soon as possible. And because an accident attorney knows that some injuries can bear a delayed manifestation, it is wise to seek legal advice.

Experienced injury lawyers understand the seriousness of whiplash injuries

Whiplash injuries are more serious than many acknowledge. Attorney, Charlie Ward, is experienced in personal injury accidents involving whiplash and would be happy to consult with you about your auto, motorcycle or trucking accident. Call him at 317-639-9501 today for a free consultation.

Charlie Ward

[email protected]

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