Tag Archives: injury

Why personal injury lawyers may refuse your case – Failure to Mitigate Injuries | Car Accident Lawyers

Why personal injury lawyers may refuse your case – Failure to Mitigate Injuries | Indianapolis Car Accident Lawyers

why-personal-injury-lawyers-refuse-your-caseAn injured party has a duty to minimize the harm caused by a negligent party. This concept, common to contract and tort law, is firmly entrenched in American jurisprudence.

An insurance policy is a contract between two parties, the insurer and the insured. Insurers expect an injured victim to seek medical treatment and obtain a diagnosis immediately following an accident or an injury caused by the negligence of another person or entity. Insurance companies view the failure to seek immediate medical attention as a failure to mitigate the damages. Why?

  1. An injured plaintiff has a duty and responsibility to receive a diagnosis and treat their injuries, thereby mitigating their injuries and other potential damages; and
  2. Absent a timely medical diagnosis, an insurance adjuster and claims panel cannot know what actions or activities the claimant has performed since the accident that may have acerbated the original injury.

In my law practice, I have learned injured victims often fail to follow-up with a physician soon after a collision. Some fear a doctor will order tests they are not prepared to pay, taking off from work may pose a problem and others do not want a disruption in their lives. They may self-diagnose, thinking the pain and discomfort will get better over time.

Men, in particular, may be reluctant to seek treatment or the advice of their physicians. The American Academy of Family Physicians found that 92% of men polled in an online survey conducted by Harris Interactive, waited a few days before seeking care. Nearly one-third wait “as long as possible” before they seek the care of a physician.

Delayed Symptoms and the Onset of Pain

Immediately following an accident, blood pressure and adrenalin levels surge. This triggers the hyperactivity of opioids in the brain, which may be responsible for the lack of tenderness and pain generally expected after an injury.

In an interview with The New York Times, Dr. Dennis Charney, a psychiatrist at Yale and director of clinical neuroscience at the National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder states:

“The opioid system of the brain, which can blunt the feeling of pain, is hyperactive…For the brain changes to occur, scientists now say, people usually have to experience the stress as catastrophic, an overwhelming threat to life or safety and one over which they [have] no control… It does not matter if it was…a one-time experience, like being trapped in a hurricane or almost dying in an auto accident…All uncontrollable stress can have the same biological impact.”

When the brain’s chemistry finally returns to the patient’s baseline, varying degrees of discomfort may be experienced. Pain is an indicator that something unusual is occurring in the body. It may be an indication of inflammation or a precursor to a heart attack―but it should never be ignored. If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident, our attorneys recommend you consult with a physician as soon as possible after the collision or injury. Many attorneys will refuse to file a claim if the injured person has delayed diagnosis and treatment.

Experienced personal injury attorneys and car accident lawyers in Indianapolis

The car accident lawyers and personal injury attorneys at Ward & Ward Law Firm have more than 85 combined years of experience practicing  personal injury, wrongful death and medical malpractice law. Call personal injury lawyer, Charlie Ward, today at 317-639-9501 or toll free at 888-639-9501 for a free consultation.

Charlie Ward
Ward & Ward Law Firm, Car Accident Lawyers
728 S Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46228
[email protected]
Phone: 317-639-9501

Read our reviews: http://www.wardlawfirm.com/indianapolis-personal-injury-lawyers-ward-ward-law-firm-reviews/

Learn about Indiana’s RAP Clause

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

‘Tis the Season – The Primary Cause for Hunting Accidents in Indiana

Hunter’s Tree Stands Post Risk of Serious InjuryDeer Stand Hunting Accidents and Wrongful Deaths Indianapolis Indiana 46225

At the time of this writing on November 16, 2014, eight hunting enthusiasts have already been injured in Indiana since deer season opened on October 1st. Statistics show that tree stand, also known as deer stand injuries are responsible for the most common type of hunting accidents injuries.   Accidental shootings are the second most common hunting injury. National studies show that 10-30% of hunters posturing in a tree stand will have an incident during their hunting career.  Due to the high placement of the stand, most falls result in serious injuries and sometimes death.Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

 

As interest in sport hunting increases, so does the use of tree stands

Over 1 million tree stands are manufactured annually and this number increases every year with the renewed interest in hunting for sport. States with longer hunting seasons, including Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, and Ohio, experience a greater number of serious injuries and deaths.

Although safety is paramount to preventing injuries, many individuals have never taken any form of tree education classes. Tree education classes are available for hunters of all ages.

Factors contributing to injuries

In general, tree stands are small in design and hunters have little room for mistakes.  Statistics show that most individuals who fall from the temporary stands seldom wear any form of safety belts.  The Indiana Department of Natural Resources recommends all hunters wear a full body harness which is attached to the tree as soon as the hunter begins their climb.

Cold air, darkness and lack of sleep are also contributing factors to individuals falling from tree stands.  The number of injuries can be reduced with proper education and proper warnings about the dangers associated with tree stands.

Attorney Charlie Ward has the knowledge and experience to get you the compensation you deserve, bringing your personal injury claim to a successful conclusion. If you or someone you know needs help with an injury claim, call Charlie at 317-639-9501 today.

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

Roundabouts Reduce Accidents in Indiana Counties

Indianapolis Lawyer car accident InjuriesA recent study details the ten most dangerous intersections for accidents in Indianapolis

The study, conducted by Indiana University Public Policy Institute in cooperation with other organizations, concluded the following information:

  • The least dangerous  intersection was South Post Road and East Washington Street (eastside Indianapolis) with 22 accidents.
  • The most dangerous intersection was at East Stop 11 Road and Madison Avenue (southside Indianapolis) with a total of 38 accidents.
  • Each intersection averaged approximately 30 per yearCall Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

Accidents involving intersections have higher death rates and serious injuries

In 2013, Marion County Accident Statistics showed:

  • Approximately 29,000 accidents occurred
  • 9,700 of these accidents occurred at intersections
  • 69 individuals died as a result of the accidents

Roundabouts in Indianapolis and Surrounding Counties Save Lives

As a result, many towns and cities (including Carmel, Westfield, Fishers, Plainfield and Greenwood) have aggressively been installing roundabouts as a way to minimize serious accidents.   In the past 10 years Carmel has installed over 80 roundabouts and continues to aggressively install more.   Plainfield, Fishers, Westfield and Greenwood have stepped up their installation of roundabouts and Speedway is installing a roundabout at 16th and Crawfordsville Road next to The Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

What are the benefits of roundabouts?

Roundabouts save time for the driving public and are much safer than intersections.   Statistics show that traffic moves much easier and accidents in roundabouts are generally minor with fewer serious personal injuries.

Experienced Lawyers for pedestrians and bicyclists who have been injured

The lawyers at Ward & Ward Law Firm are experienced litigators of car, motorcycle, bicycle and trucking accidents. While the installation of roundabouts have improved the flow of motorized traffic, the designs may pose some problems for pedestrians and non-motorized vehicles. If you have been hurt by a negligent or careless driver of a vehicle, give Charlie Ward a call at 317-639-9501. We are here to speak with you 24 hours a day. Charlie Ward [email protected]

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

 

Basics Of A Negligence Action in Indianapolis and Greater Indiana

Indianapolis Auto Accident Injury Lawyer‘Negligence’ Pertaining to a Personal Injury Claim

You were involved in an accident. Now you are entangled in insurance paperwork and solicitations by lawyers to handle your case. You are bound to hear a bevy of unfamiliar legal terms related to your case. One of those common terms is “negligence.” What is negligence, and what exactly does it mean?Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

According to Cornell.edu, negligence is the failure to take reasonable care that a prudent person would take under the same circumstances. Basically, it refers to a person’s careless or reckless actions that led to another person’s injuries or damages.

Negligence occurs in many forms, from car crashes to professional malpractice. Regardless of the specific type of case, ever since colonial times, a negligence action in the United States has had the same basic components:

  • Duty: Reasonable care, which is an objective standard, is the duty that most people owe to other people. Sometimes, there is a higher duty, such as in an attorney-client matter, and sometimes there is a lower duty, such as when a trespasser is injured on another person’s land.
  • Breach: If defendants fail to meet the applicable standard of care, then they have breached the legal duty. Often, as in Blyth v. Birmingham Water Works, there is an element of foreseeability: The defendant must understand that the breach of duty may result in damages.
  • Cause: Causation, the link between the breach of duty and the plaintiff’s damages, is actually a two-step inquiry:
    • Cause in fact: In legal terms, the plaintiff must show “but for” causation, i.e., that the injury would not have occurred “but for” the defendant’s negligence.
    • Proximate cause: Proximate cause goes back to foreseeability. In one famous case, Palsgraf v. Long Island Railroad, the defendant railroad company was not liable for the plaintiff’s injury that occurred when two porters pushed a man onto a moving train car, causing the man to drop a package of fireworks. The shockwave from the fireworks pushed over a pair of scales, which fell on the plaintiff. The court found that the injury was not foreseeable and the connection was too remote.
  • Damages: There is no action for negligence unless the plaintiff is damaged. Damages can include both economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages would be easily quantifiable numbers, such as medical expenses and property damage. Non-economic damages are harder to assign value to, such as pain and suffering. Punitive damages are also available in some cases.

If you have questions about your personal injury case or need hard-hitting representation, contact an Indianapolis accident attorney today.

Broken Bones | Medical Malpractice Lawyers in Indianapolis

Many children who sustain a fracture to an arm or leg as a result of an accident have a good chance of having the fracture improperly splinted.

Personal Injury Lawyer - Medical Malpractice Statistics show that almost half of all boys and a quarter of all girls will fracture an arm or leg before 16.  Properly set, the fracture heals rather quickly with little residual problems.  However, in a recent study from the University of Maryland (pediatric bone specialists) more than 90% of children with fractures had their bone improperly splinted.  As a result, further complications such as loss of motion or skin grafts can occur.Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

Dr. Josh Abzug, who directs pediatric orthopedics at University of Maryland believes that improper splinting occurs from a lack of education in some situations and a lack of attention to detail in others.  In addition, in many situations a doctor or health care worker splints a fracture with instructions for the parent to follow-up with an orthopedic the next day.  However, the follow-up does not occur right away and complications set in.

Dr. Abzug believes that posters or flashcards in an emergency room or urgent care center outlining proper splinting can minimize the problem.  He further advises parents to listen to their children. Should a child complain of lots of pain (crying) or major swelling/discoloration occur in the split area, Dr. Abzug advises to immediately proceed to the emergency room.  Time is of the utmost importance.

 

New Scooter Legislation in Indiana

New scooter law will reduce accidents with serious injuries

Yesterday, March 27, 2014, Governor Mike Pence of Indiana signed into law a measure that would require scooter operators to pass a road sign test, hold a valid state ID and to have their scooters plated. Unfortunately, this law does not require scooter operators to obtain insurance as some legislators and police agencies had originally sought. A scooter is defined as having an engine of no more than 2 horsepower and a maximum design speed of 25 mph.

The new requirements should reduce the number of fatalities and serious injuries.

By Charlie Ward

[email protected]

 

Where does Indiana stand on red-light texting, emailing and reading from telecommunications devices? – Your car, motorcycle, bicycle, trucking accident and injury lawyer advocating for you!

Distracted driving while waiting at stop lights

So much has been written about the risks of distracted driving and the numbers of accidents caused by typing, sending and reading on electronic devices. Indiana Legislators have addressed texting, emailing and reading while driving in Indiana Code 9-21-8-59. The language used in the statute makes clear that texting, emailing and reading of the same applies to a “moving vehicle” only. It reads in part as follows:

     Sec. 59. (a) A person may not use a telecommunications device to:
(1) type a text message or an electronic mail message;
(2) transmit a text message or an electronic mail message; or
(3) read a text message or an electronic mail message;
while operating a moving motor vehicle unless the device is used in conjunction with hands free or voice operated technology, or unless the device is used to call 911 to report a bona fide emergency.

Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501By omission in statute, it is clearly legal at this time to text, send or read an email or text from a telecommunications device if you are not operating a “moving motor vehicle”, the keyword here being “moving.”

*Not from Indiana? Find out where your State stands on distracted driving.

In an article written by David MacAnally and published at wthr.com, Dr. Fred Mannering, a traffic expert at Purdue University, believes that “red light texters may be sparking problems, including road rage.” When a red light texter delays or entirely misses a green light, drivers in cars backed up in the queue can become explosive…enraged. Mr. Mannering goes on to say that a gap in traffic that is greater than 2 ½ to 3 seconds will cause detectors (in the pavement) to shut off the green to that signal.

Can an officer of the law confiscate the driver’s device to determine compliance with the law?

Section 59. (b) of Indiana Code 9-21-8-59 adds:

  (b) A police officer may not confiscate a telecommunications device for the purpose of determining compliance with this section or confiscate a telecommunications device and retain it as evidence pending trial for a violation of this section.
As added by P.L.185-2011, SEC.4.

Since the law took effect on July 1, 2011, very few tickets have been written for violation of Indiana Code 9-21-8-59. Unless a driver admits to having broken the law, it would be difficult to prove as access to the phone by law enforcement is denied without a Court Order. Whiteland Town Marshal Rick Shipp told 24-hour News 8 partner, The Daily Journal, that police departments can get cellphone records only by court order and wouldn’t have the time to do so during a typical traffic stop.

So while the law as written has made it difficult to enforce, it has brought the issue of texting and driving to the forefront. Most drivers are aware of the dangers inherent in distracted driving. Many will wait until they have arrived at their destination or at the very least until they are stopped in traffic. But the best solution would be to wear a Bluetooth device compatible with your cell phone, become comfortable using the device and routinely sync it with your cell phone before leaving home.

Attorneys experienced in litigation of texting and driving crashes

The law firm of Ward & Ward is experienced in personal injury laws that may govern your financial recovery as a party injured by a negligent driver. If you or someone you know has been injured due to someone else’s negligent behavior, contact the law firm of Ward & Ward for a free analysis.

Charlie Ward

317-639-9501

Ward & Ward Indianapolis Personal Injury Law Firm Uses Discretion to Protect the Privacy of our Client’s Auto, Motorcycle, Bicycle and Trucking or 18-Wheeler Accident Settlement and Jury Awards

I was recently approached by a colleague who asked:

Why our personal injury law firm did not publish our clients’ large settlement and jury awards for compensation?Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

Ward & Ward Law Firm is a plaintiff’s personal injury law firm that operates at the behest of private citizens who have been injured in car, motorcycle, bicycle, pedestrian and semi tractor-trailer or 18 – wheeler trucking accidents. We feel that our clients’ interests are best served by exercising discretion—honoring their trust with confidentiality.

A million dollar settlement or jury award can alter behavior of friends and family

A quiet settlement or jury award permits our clients to pick up the pieces of their lives after a traumatic accident and move on privately. We strongly advise our clients refrain from divulging to friends or family when a settlement or award for economic, non-economic losses or punitive damages has been made. Well-meaning people can inadvertently exert enormous pressure on individuals to ‘share the wealth.’ They may not comprehend that our clients will use their settlement or award to protect a future which may include permanent disabilities.

The Confidentiality Clause

Additionally, large settlements by prominent corporations may contain a clause within the settlement agreement that prevents the claimants from discussing any negotiations and dollars received with anyone, exempting plaintiff’s attorney and their tax preparing accountant. But why?

Settlements often are not an admission of guilt by the defendant(s), but rather the determination has been made that it would be in neither party’s mutual best interest to continue with further litigation.

We respect the privacy of our personal injury clients.

The law firm of Ward & Ward will never broadcast our clients’ identities or injuries in conjunction with settlement or jury awards to enhance the prestige of the firm. We respect the confidentiality of each and every client. If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident with traumatic injury, call Charlie Ward today at 317-639-9501 for a free analysis of your case.

Charlie Ward

Injured in an accident? You may benefit from knowing about the RAP Clause! – Your Auto, Motorcycle, Trucking and Bicycle Personal Injury Indiana Attorney

Your health insurance contract may have a RAP Clause that can save you moneyCall Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

A serious injury from an auto, motorcycle, trucking or bicycle accident may necessitate a surgical procedure to make the patient whole again. Under the best of these circumstances, a non-life threatening injury would give the injured party an opportunity to seek a consultation with a surgeon “in-network” under their health insurance plan. When a course of treatment was agreed upon, the surgeon would schedule the operation with an in-network facility. But how many other physicians and healthcare professionals are performing services on your behalf while you are under anesthesia? You may be surprised when the bills start rolling in.

It takes a team of physicians and healthcare professionals

While you are in the operating room and during your hospital stay, a team of professionals work side-by-side with your surgeon providing supplemental services that make a successful surgery possible.

Your anesthesiologist has probably been hand-picked by your surgeon who chose him/her because of a good working relationship and his/her availability on the date of surgery. Many anesthesiologists do not contract with health insurance carriers because they are not usually chosen by the patient and therefore “in-network” status is not a consideration. The same holds true for assisting radiologists (the physician reading and interpreting your images) and pathologists (one who checks organs, tissues and bodily fluids).

Many, though not all health insurance policies, have a clause within the policy that pays “in-network” rates for “uncontrollable” out-of-network providers, meaning you can’t control who comes in to perform the service. The RAP (Radiologist – Anesthesiologist – Pathologist) Clause within many health insurance policy descriptions may also be called the PARE (Pathologist – Anesthesiologist – Radiologist – Emergency Providers) Clause. Under the PARE clause, you may be additionally covered for emergency services and trauma providers as in the case of life-threatening injuries resulting from an accident.

If your surgeon and hospital facility are in-network, and your surgeon has received pre-approval under your health insurance plan, you have every reason to expect you are within policy coverage. If an “uncontrollable out-of-network provider” bills your health insurance company before your insurance carrier has received your hospital bill, your insurer will probably decline or pay their bill at out-of-network rates. In this case, it is important that you file an appeal under the RAP or PARE clause with your insurance provider and immediately notify the “uncontrollable provider” that an appeal has been filed.

Experienced Accident Attorneys Helping You

An experienced personal injury attorney will negotiate to secure a full 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 stay on top of Court decisions to successfully resolve our client’s legal claims.

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

Charlie Ward