When you lose a loved one due to someone else’s actions, you may experience many emotions. Naturally, you feel grief and anger. You may also wonder how you can achieve justice for your loved one and prevent others from experiencing similar harm. At Gerling Law, we can’t take away your pain. However, we can help you pursue justice. We can help you hold the person who caused your pain accountable for their actions. Our compassionate attorneys have been representing victims and their families for decades. If you would like to speak with one of our knowledgeable lawyers, call anytime for a free consultation. When many clients initially speak with us, they’re not sure if they can sue for their loved one’s death. Here, we provide an overview of who can file a lawsuit for wrongful death and what such legal action involves. What Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit? The goal of a wrongful death lawsuit is to compensate the surviving family for the harm they have suffered. Before considering a Kentucky wrongful death lawsuit, you should know what the term actually means. Wrongful death is the death of a person caused by the negligent or wrongful act of another. This wrongful act could be unintentional or purposeful. In other words, someone does not have to intend to kill your loved one for it to be a wrongful death. A person or company might be responsible for your loved one’s death. For instance, if a drunk driver hits your loved one, that individual should be held responsible. However, if a sober driver hit your loved one after her brakes malfunctioned, the auto manufacturer may be liable. Who Can File a Kentucky Wrongful Death Lawsuit? In Kentucky, the personal representative (executor) of the deceased’s estate can file a wrongful death lawsuit. The probate court names a personal representative based on the instructions in the deceased’s will or the preference of the judge. While the personal representative files the wrongful death lawsuit, most of the lawsuit proceeds go to the deceased’s estate and surviving family members. Funeral and burial expenses, as well as attorney fees, go to the estate. But then the remainder of the award goes to the deceased person’s surviving family members. Payment is awarded according to these rules: All to the surviving spouse if there are no surviving children; If there are a surviving spouse and surviving children, half to the spouse and half divided among the children; If there is no surviving spouse, all divided among the children; or If there is no surviving spouse or children, all to the surviving parents. If there is no surviving spouse, children, or parents, the wrongful death award goes to the estate. After paying debts, the award will be distributed according to the deceased’s will or intestate succession rules. What Damages Are Available? A wrongful death lawsuit compensates family members for the harm they have suffered as a result of their loved one’s death. You can sue for these damages in a wrongful death case: Pain and suffering, Loss of companionship, Loss of support, Loss of care, Funeral and burial expenses, and Attorney fees. You may also be able to request punitive damages for intentional harm or gross negligence. These damages go beyond compensating your family for the harm suffered. Instead, they serve the goal of punishing the person for their wrongful actions. The State may choose to criminally prosecute the defendant, but that is a separate legal action. A criminal prosecution punishes a wrongdoer by taking away their freedom. A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil action that will not put the defendant behind bars but seeks to financially compensate your family for the death of your loved one. If you think you might have a Kentucky wrongful death claim, you should contact an experienced attorney. At Gerling Law, we have helped grieving family members with wrongful death claims in Kentucky for decades. We have the experience to get the results you deserve while showing you compassion and respect. Contact our law firm for a free consultation. You’ll have the opportunity to ask questions and get to know our knowledgeable legal team. If we think we can help you, you should know that we work on contingency. This means you owe us nothing until we win your case. Review our decades of winning cases here, and call us when you’re ready to talk. Don’t trust the fight for justice and your family’s financial future with just anyone. Remember: Go with Experience. Go with Gerling.®Keep Reading
Personal Injury Lawyers Serving Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky.
You have a story to tell. We’re ready to listen.
After a serious injury or illness you might not know where to turn. You’ve got medical bills piling up, you’re not able to work, and the stress from the situation makes it difficult to focus on healing.
We can help.
We are here for one reason: the pursuit of justice for our clients, no matter what. We will fight for you. We will win for you.
Experienced. Tested. Successful.
The injury attorneys at Gerling Law have decades of experience helping people just like you. We work for clients all over Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky. Our team is skilled, passionate, and determined to help you get your life back.
Putting Clients First for Over 50 Years.
Gerling Law was founded on “client first” principles. In every situation, we do what’s best for our clients. During our long history, we’ve recovered over $500 Million for people in the tri-state area, and we want to help you to. We’re here 24/7, and we’re ready to start working on your case right now. Get a free consultation from an experienced member of our team today.
How Can the Personal Injury Attorneys at Gerling Law Help You?
We’re ready to help with a wide variety of injury, social security, and mass tort issues. Reach out today to see how we can help with your case.
Go with Experience.
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A History of Wins for Our Clients
At Gerling Law Injury Attorneys, our focus is always on our clients. Our results speak for themselves:
Over $500 Million in Recoveries
5 Reasons People Choose Gerling Law
Our attorneys have recovered over $500 Million for injured plaintiffs in Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky.
Our attorneys have over 125 years of experience, have received numerous awards, and are leaders of bar associations and community organizations. We also have talented and service-minded paraprofessionals with varying backgrounds on our team.
We Fight for Our Clients
We are at our best when our clients need someone to fight for them. We don’t back down. Our track record speaks for itself. We go head to head with the biggest corporations and insurance companies and we win.
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Call or email us any time, 24/7, and we’ll be there for you.
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We won’t charge our clients a fee unless we successfully secure a settlement or judgment. Case reviews are always free.
After a car accident, I was left completely blind in one eye. I wasn’t sure who to turn to until I spoke with Gerling Law. From the beginning, I was completely blown away with the service I received at the firm. My attorney, Nikki Roby, and her paralegal, Jennifer Bland, were fantastic. Both my friend and I had to go through the process and we both were more than satisfied. I cannot say enough about how awesome the team was throughout the whole case. I would recommend Gerling Law to my friends, family, or anyone in need of an attorney for any injury. - Anne S.
Each and every person at Gerling Law believes in our community. Whether we’re talking about Evansville, Owensboro, or the greater states of Indiana and Kentucky, we focus on giving back where we can.
We strive to be more than personal injury lawyers, we want to be active and engaged members of the community. Whenever possible, we support local groups and organizations that give back to the community in a variety of ways. And we try to give as well. A community is only as strong as the people that create it.
News & Information
When you develop a medical condition that impedes your ability to hold a job, it can significantly impact your life. There are no two ways about it. In such a situation, it is important to figure out what options you have for financial help, including disability benefits. After developing a life-altering medical condition, you may find yourself wondering, Do I qualify for disability? The answer to this question is not always cut and dried. That said, there are a number of conditions that automatically meet social security disability qualifications by definition. Other conditions can qualify you for an expedited decision on your application but are not automatic. Whatever your questions are, Gerling Law is here to help you navigate the disability application process from start to finish. What Conditions Qualify You for Disability? Some medical conditions will, with a diagnosis, automatically qualify you for disability. You can find these conditions on the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Compassionate Allowances List (CAL). With a medical diagnosis of one of the conditions on this list, you will, by definition, qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or both. SSA has published a complete list of all CAL medical conditions here. The list is too long for this piece, but some of the notable medical conditions on the CAL include: Adult non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Adult-onset Huntington’s disease, Anaplastic adrenal cancer, Bladder cancer, Batten disease, Canavan disease (CD), Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, Esophageal cancer, Gallbladder cancer, Heart transplant waitlist, Inflammatory breast cancer, Lou Gherig’s disease (ALS), Pancreatic cancer, Small cell lung cancer, and Stage IV breast cancer. If you have a medical diagnosis of one of the diseases noted on the CAL, the SSA simply requires proof of that medical diagnosis for approval of your application for benefits. Suppose you are applying for disability benefits on the basis of one of the conditions in the CAL. In such a case, you do not need to do anything different in your application than you would for any other medical condition. Simply submit the application with the required materials. Once your application is received, it will be flagged automatically by the SSA system for expedited review. The Importance of Documentation Maintaining proper documentation of your medical diagnosis is critically important in the application process. Your medical diagnosis is the most indisputable documentation and record of your medical condition and disability. This is what the SSA will look at, so we cannot overstate the importance of keeping track of it. It is also important to document your symptoms before and after you go to the doctor. If you make a journal of symptoms and bring it to medical appointments, it will help your service providers make an accurate diagnosis. An accurate diagnosis is critical. Documenting symptoms is also a great help in managing your disability. How to Submit Your Application There are three ways to submit your application for disability benefits to the SSA. The first way to apply is to do so in person. For this, simply go to the closest Social Security office. To apply in person, you do not need an appointment. The SSA’s online field office locator tool will help you find the office closest to you. If you don’t want to apply in person, you can call 800-772-1213 to schedule a phone appointment with an SSA agent. The third option to apply for SSA disability benefits is to use their online application tool. To apply online, visit www.ssa.gov/applyfordisability/ on the SSA website. You will also find more detailed information on the application process on this web page, so be sure to give it a visit even if you plan to apply in person. If you have any questions or troubles with the SSA disability application process, contact us at Gerling Law today. Our disability attorneys have extensive experience helping people claim their disability benefits. From wrongful denials to application and administrative details, our disability attorneys have seen it all and are here to help you. Don’t just take our word for it; be sure to check out our testimonials page to see how we have helped our clients in the past. If you need help, reach out and tell us your story in a free consultation, and we’ll do our best to make things right. Remember Go with Experience. Go with Gerling®Keep Reading
No one wants to think about moving a loved one to a nursing home only to find out they are at high risk for abuse and neglect. Unfortunately, abuse in nursing homes is a widespread problem that affects countless elderly patients across the country. If you have a loved one in a nursing home, it’s imperative to visit regularly and learn the warning signs of abuse. If you suspect your family member is being mistreated, you should also speak with an experienced nursing home attorney right away. Nursing Home Abuse Statistics It’s estimated that up to five million older adults experience abuse in a nursing home each year. According to the World Health Organization, around one in six people 60 years and older experienced some type of abuse in a community setting between 2017 and 2018. Elder abuse in nursing homes is rampant, with two out of every three staff members reporting they personally committed abuse within the past year. With almost one out of three nursing homes receiving citations for abuse, the problem is only getting worse. Types of Nursing Home Abuse Nursing home abuse takes different forms. The four most common types of abuse are physical, emotional, sexual, and financial abuse. Physical Abuse Physical abuse involves physical contact that results in harm. Examples of physical abuse include pushing, punching, slapping, or kicking a resident. Physical abuse is intentional, and it’s meant to cause the victim harm. Look for potential physical abuse signs such as bruises, cuts, broken bones, and other unexplained injuries. Emotional changes may be present as well, such as withdrawing from touch or startling easily. Emotional Abuse Emotional abuse is also called psychological abuse. Abusers typically manipulate elders through intimidation or threats, which can cause injury to a person’s emotional and mental state. Even keeping someone in social isolation can be a form of emotional abuse. While emotional abuse may not leave physical scars, it can lead to mental and emotional scars. In fact, it is common for emotional abuse victims to develop high levels of anxiety and depression. Watch for sudden changes in your family member’s demeanor, as such changes can signal that abuse is occurring. If they become unusually frightened by an individual staff member or other residents, complain about how the staff has treated them, or are suddenly terrified of being left alone, pay attention. Sexual Abuse No one wants to believe that sexual abuse happens in nursing homes, but it does. Unwanted sexual contact of any kind is sexual abuse. Potential abusers include both staff members and other residents. In rare cases, it may involve someone who is there visiting or is a temporary contractor. Unexplained wounds around the genitals, bruising, bleeding, torn undergarments, or a sexually transmitted disease can point to sexual abuse. The victim might also start to withdraw from activities or social gatherings, develop anxiety, or become depressed. Financial Abuse Financial abuse can also occur in a nursing home. Understandably, staff and residents may become friendly with one another over time. However, some nursing staff may not truly care about the residents. Instead, their friendliness may be a way of getting close to unsuspecting victims so they can exploit their trust. Be sure to routinely verify that all funds are still in your loved one’s bank account, that no property from the room is missing, etc. If there is something suspicious with your family member’s accounts, ask them what is going on. Look for unexplained spending habits, new donations, new subscriptions, missing credit cards, or missing checkbooks. Identifying and Reporting Nursing Home Abuse Unfortunately, nursing home abuse is not taken as seriously as it should be. Some warning signs are ignored when long-term care facilities dismiss potential issues as dementia or old age. However, it’s imperative to look for potential red flags and report any suspected abuse right away. If your family member is in immediate or life-threatening danger, call 911. Report the suspected abuse to the appropriate agencies, such as Adult Protective Services and the Long-Term Care Ombudsman. Nursing home abuse and neglect affect both the victim and their families. A nursing home abuse lawyer can help victims and their families pursue justice against all responsible parties. At Gerling Law, we have decades of experience representing nursing home abuse victims in Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky. We’ve recovered hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of our clients. Depending on the circumstances, we can file a lawsuit on your family member’s behalf. During litigation, we need to prove several elements to hold the nursing home accountable. The nursing home must have had a legal duty to care for your family member, which is usually easily proven through a resident contract. The nursing home must have breached its duty and failed to meet the resident’s needs. And finally, the resident must have suffered harm as a result of the breach that led to serious injuries. To learn more about how one of our nursing home abuse lawyers can help you and your family, contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation. If your loved one was abused in a nursing home, let us put our years of experience to work for you. We can help you and your family get the justice you all deserve. Remember: Go with Experience. Go with Gerling®Keep Reading