Tag Archives: medical expenses

Evaluating Damages for Personal Injury Claims, Part I: Economic Losses

Verifiable Economic Losses of Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Claims

Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

A personal injury lawyer brings a claim against a negligent driver, defendant, who caused an auto, motorcycle or trucking accident, on behalf of his client, plaintiff. The goals of the personal injury attorney are to make his or her client financially whole again, i.e. to recover plaintiff’s past and future monetary losses; to recover for non-economic losses; and in certain cases to assign punitive or exemplary damages to the defendant. This article, Part I will focus on claimant’s economic losses.

A motor vehicle accident can be a life-altering event. Keeping in mind that the Statute of Limitations in Indiana for filing a motor vehicle accident claim is two years, an experienced personal injury attorney may delay filing on his client’s behalf, to allow his client time to mend and make any necessary emotional adjustments, particularly in cases where their client has suffered catastrophic injuries. When the fog of this life-changing event has cleared and plaintiff’s injuries and prognosis become known, plaintiff’s attorney will begin the process of estimating past and future economic losses suffered by his or her client.

Compensatory damages for economic losses are objectively verifiable losses driven by the facts of the case. Plaintiff’s attorney might take some or all of the following economic losses under consideration:

  • Past and future medical and rehabilitative expenses – These include all past and future medical expenses including hospital, doctors, prescriptions, medical devices, physical therapy and costs associated with rehabilitation;
  • Past and future loss of earnings – This category encompasses client’s loss of wages during recovery. And in cases where plaintiff’s injuries will affect his or her ability to earn a living in the future, those earnings will also be calculated using an acceptable economic model that may take promotions, re-training, medical benefits, retirement plans, inflation, economic industry outlook and taxation variables into account—just to name a few;
  • The costs of living with a disability – These may include medical devices, construction and transportation costs associated with adapting plaintiff’s environment for disability(ies) and domestic services;
  • The cost of repairing or replacing property – vehicle and property damaged or lost as a result of defendant’s negligence; and
  • Funeral and burial expenses – costs associated with a wrongful death claim.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, it’s important to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney — someone who understands the future ramifications of your injuries and how they may affect your life going forward — before the statute of limitations runs. The law firm of Ward & Ward has over 80 years of combined experience in personal injury law. Call Charlie Ward today at 317-639-9501 for a free evaluation of your claim. Ward & Ward receives no legal fees or expenses unless we collect damages on your behalf. Our attorneys are available to speak with you.

Charlie Ward

(317) 639-9501


Trying the Motorcycle Accident Claim Before a Jury, Part I — Overcoming Negative Perceptions of Cyclists

Defendants exploit ‘bad boy’ biker stereotypes

Call Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501

Cyclists involved in a motorcycle accident are more vulnerable to injury and fatality than motorists afforded the intrinsic protection of an auto or truck body. In a study produced by NHTSA, it was found that the failure of motorists to detect and recognize motorcycles in traffic is the predominating cause of motorcycle accidents. In the study, the driver of the other vehicle involved in a collision with the motorcycle either did not see the motorcycle before the accident, or did not see the motorcycle until it was too late to avoid the collision.

Motorcycle stereotypes cannot prevail in jury trial

Cyclists enjoy the same legal rights as those enjoyed by car and truck drivers. Yet, trying plaintiff’s claim for motorcycle injury or death requires an understanding of a jury’s general attitudes toward riders. Focus groups studying the psychology of jurors seated on motorcycle cases have found that the non-riding public often perceives cyclists to be risk-takers. Indiana’s own James Dean and others like Marlon Brando and Steve McQueen have seared these wild and reckless roles onto the psyches of American moviegoers. Their legends perpetuate these notions. And while certainly, not everyone seated on a jury shares these opinions, the ‘bad boy’ images must be met—ahead of the defense—by Plaintiff’s attorney and before the stereotypical images take hold in the jurists’ minds.

Personal injury attorney humanizes injured cyclist

From day one of trial, an experienced personal injury attorney will differentiate the claimant from the common misperception before the defense can exploit any negative notions held by a possible few jury members. By humanizing the injured or deceased party and establishing their role in the family and community and through submission of evidence of education and employment history, a real person begins to flesh out early on, making the claimant interesting and attractive to jury members on a human level.

“It has been said that verdicts in motorcycle crash cases can be expected to come in 25% lower than those of an otherwise similar automobile crash.”  [Unique Intricacies of the Motorcycle Crash Case, The Lawyers Logbook, Aug.-Sept. 2011] Regardless of jurists’ personal feelings toward motorcyclists, it’s the personal injury attorney’s responsibility to instruct the jury that any motorcycle rider injured or killed due to the negligence of another driver, has the same right as the car or truck driver to full compensation for injuries, past and future medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and all other remedies available by law.

Charlie Ward is a personal injury attorney experienced in litigating accidents and wrongful death claims involving motorcycles. 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 motorcycle accident and receive a free analysis of your claim.

Charlie Ward

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


How Much Med-Pay Insurance is Enough?

Medical Payment Auto Insurance Coverage

The next time you receive a policy renewal from your automobile insurance company, take a look at the Declarations Page (coverage break-down) to determine the amount of “Medical Payments” coverage you carry. Unless otherwise requested, most auto insurance companies in Indiana, automatically quote medical-payment limits of liability coverage in the amount of $5,000 each person. If you or a family member, have never had to use this important benefit due to a traumatic injury from an auto accident, chances are you may not have given much consideration to the amount of med-pay coverage you should have.

What is med-pay insurance?

Medical-payment insurance exists for the benefit of the policyholder(s) injured in an auto accident. This coverage insures the automobile insurance company will make timely payments to the medical provider(s) for hospitals, medical treatment, physical therapy, and reimburse out-of-pocket medical costs including prescriptions, co-pays and other medically-necessary incidentals resulting from an accident.

How much medical payment insurance should I buy?

Most major health insurance policies today put forth high annual deductible plans. A good rule of thumb is to look at the deductible of your health insurance. How much of your family’s deductible could you affordably self-insure if you were seriously injured in an auto accident? Medical payment coverage of $5,000 may cover only half of the medical bills for someone with a $10,000 deductible health plan. Would you be comfortable withdrawing $5,000 from your savings or investments to make those medical payment arrangements which could have been easily avoided by doubling your med-pay auto insurance for just a few pennies a day?

It takes time to resolve a legal action. In the mean time, hospital and medical creditors require payment.  You can avoid the financial and medical hardship created by callous collection agents, whom  it seems (tongue in cheek) lock your phone number on their speed dial — by properly assessing your financial needs. The next time you have a moment, review your coverage. If you need clarification, get the answers you need from your agent or call  lawyer Charlie Ward at 317-639-9501 for an in depth explanation of your auto insurance coverage. Then determine how much medical payment coverage is right for you.

Charlie Ward

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