| Read Time: 4 minutes | Accident Lawyer

How to Get Money From a Car Accident Without a Lawyer

Car accidents happen rather frequently and can leave you with a variety of injuries. After suffering these injuries, you will likely be left with medical bills and perhaps lost wages. Seeking compensation for your injuries is your next step.  You may be wondering whether a car accident attorney is necessary to obtain compensation. Every car accident case is different, and the answer will depend on your particular situation. Getting a Car Accident Settlement Without a Lawyer If you are working to receive compensation without an attorney’s help, you will need to follow specific steps and stay organized. The following steps will help you and your car accident claim.  Seek Medical Attention Following a car accident, seek medical attention. If you suffer severe injuries at the scene of the accident, call 911. Even if you did not suffer any injuries, you should still visit your primary doctor as soon as you can. Some injuries are not apparent right after a car accident, with some injuries taking a few days to surface. Speaking with your doctor in detail may help them diagnose hidden injuries.  Equally as important is following all recommendations your doctor may give you. If they instruct you to seek further medical treatment or rehabilitation, do as they say. All of your medical visits and treatments are well recorded, and these medical records can strengthen your case. If your injuries are severe, you should at least consider getting help from a car accident attorney. You likely deserve pain and suffering damages for more serious injuries, but the insurance company is unlikely to offer you a fair settlement if you don’t have a lawyer to represent you. Gather Evidence Your health and safety are most important following an accident. However, if possible, gather as much evidence at the scene of the accident as you can. Evidence to collect can include: Photos of the accident scene; Pictures of the vehicles and property damage; and The other driver’s information. When police are at the scene, they will write a police report. You can obtain a copy of this police report for your records. If there were any witnesses to the accident, be sure to get their information. Also, gather any other helpful documentation, including medical bills and a record of missed days of work and lost wages. The more evidence you collect, the stronger your claim will be. Notify Both Insurance Companies After a car accident, you must notify your insurance company. Most insurance companies require you to inform them of an accident within a certain period of time, generally within 30 days, But it’s best to notify your insurer as soon as you possibly can. Also, be sure to report the accident to the other person’s insurance company. While you may want to give extensive details of your accident, refrain from doing so. Insurance companies are always looking for ways to limit liability, so they may use anything you say against you. It is best to keep details at a minimum and avoid giving a recorded statement. Use PIP Coverage, MedPay, and Your Insurance If you suffered injuries in an accident, you will undoubtedly have medical bills. Depending on your state, you may have personal injury protection (PIP) insurance coverage. You can make a PIP claim against your own insurance company for payment of any initial bills. After your PIP coverage has run out, you can then use your medical insurance to take care of the rest. Or if another driver was at fault for the accident, you may be able to pursue a claim through their insurance or file a lawsuit. If you have extensive medical bills, it’s usually best to consult with a lawyer about your options.  Some states also have medical payment insurance, or MedPay. MedPay coverage helps cover medical expenses for you and your passengers in case of an accident. To utilize this coverage, you will need to file a claim with your insurance company. Keep in Mind There Is a Statute of Limitations While you may want to handle your own car accident claim, there may be times you will find yourself needing to file a lawsuit. If there is a possibility of a lawsuit, keep in mind that a statute of limitations governs every type of lawsuit. The statute of limitations for a personal injury claim is typically two years after the date of the accident, but it varies by state. After this time clock has run, you are unlikely to be able to recover any compensation. If you wish to sue a government entity, you will generally need to file a tort claim notice before filing a personal injury lawsuit. The notice period is usually much shorter than the typical statute of limitations. Additionally, the notice period may vary depending on whether you are dealing with a state or municipal agency. It is wise to consult with your lawyer about the rules in your state to make sure you comply with all notice requirements on time. Is It Worth Getting a Lawyer After a Car Accident? No two accidents are alike. Therefore, there is no exact science as to when you should or should not hire a lawyer to represent you in a car accident case. Generally, if you feel uncomfortable handling your own claim, or want to be sure you’re getting the fairest settlement, you should consult with a car accident attorney. A car accident attorney can be a great ally after your car accident. They will handle every aspect of your case, including: Gathering necessary evidence, Calculating damages, Dealing with insurance companies, and Engaging in settlement negotiations. If you’re concerned about the cost of hiring a lawyer, don’t be. Most personal injury attorneys, including those at Gerling Law, take car accident cases on contingency. That means that you won’t owe any fees unless you recover compensation. Then your fees will be paid out of a portion of your settlement or award. Navigating a car accident claim can be tricky, especially for someone unfamiliar...

Continue Reading

| Read Time: 4 minutes | Animal Attack Accidents

Filing a Dog Bite Personal Injury Claim

Dog bites can happen quickly and without notice. They can leave you with injuries and mounting medical bills. You may not even be able to engage in normal daily activities. After suffering a dog bite injury, you have legal rights. A personal injury attorney can help you seek just compensation for your injuries. Is a Dog Bite Considered Personal Injury? Yes. Dog bites are considered personal injury and fall into the category of common personal injury claims, like car accidents and slip and falls. If you’ve suffered a dog bite, you can seek compensation for your injuries from the owner of the dog. What to Do After a Dog Bite If you’ve suffered injuries resulting from a dog bite, there are specific steps you should follow. Seek Medical Attention If your injuries are severe, call 911. If your injuries are less serious, it is still essential you seek medical care as soon as possible. Complications with dog bite injuries are common, including infection. Receiving medical attention soon after the incident can lessen your chances of any complications.  Gather Information If possible, collect information and evidence at the scene of the incident. This includes: Photos of the scene, Pictures of your injuries, and Witness information. Be sure to get the dog owner’s information. Also collect any information or documentation pertaining to your case, including medical bills and a record of lost wages. Report the Incident Many states require a victim report the dog bite to local authorities. Local agencies, like animal control, can gather important information, including whether the dog has its rabies vaccination. They can also decide how to handle the situation, depending on whether the dog remains a threat to others. What Is the Average Settlement for a Dog Bite? Settlements are agreed-upon resolutions to a case. After suffering dog bite injuries, you will want to engage in settlement negotiations with the dog owner to recover compensation. The dog owner or their insurance company will pay the settlement. You may seek compensation for a variety of things, including: Medical bills, Lost wages,  Pain and suffering, and Scarring. Your settlement will highly depend on the circumstances surrounding the incident. No two dog bite cases are alike. Therefore, there is no average settlement for dog bite injuries. Filing a Dog Bite Personal Injury Claim When looking to file a dog bite personal injury claim, follow these crucial steps. Determine Fault Typically, a dog owner will be liable if their dog caused someone harm, even if they were not negligent in restraining or supervising the animal. Most states operate under strict liability for dog bites, meaning that if you have a dog, you will be held responsible for their actions.  Certain states use a “one bite” rule. This rule states that after a dog bites someone once (or harms them in another way, such as knocking them over), an owner should be aware of their dog’s propensity to harm others. In states that follow the one bite rule, if you can’t show that the dog had previously caused harm to someone, you will need to prove that the caretaker’s or owner’s negligence caused your injury. Every state has different laws regarding dog bites. When meeting with your attorney, discuss your state’s dog bite laws and how they can affect your case. Documentation Documenting all aspects of your claim can have a significant impact on your case. Some of the most important information to gather includes: Medical records, Medical bills, Record of lost wages, Witness reports,  Scar evaluations, and Photo and videos. The more information and evidence you gather, the stronger your case. Every bit of information you have can help prove your case. Contact a Personal Injury Attorney If insurance is involved, the dog owner’s insurance company will likely want to speak with you. Do not talk to them without first consulting with an attorney. Insurance companies often try to get recorded statements and will utilize these statements to limit their liability. Aside from helping with the insurance company, a personal injury attorney will be your ally. Your attorney will handle all aspects of your claim, including: Dealing with the insurance company; Gathering relevant documentation; Investigating your case; and Engaging in settlement negotiations. Having a personal injury attorney will allow you to focus on your recovery while putting you at ease, knowing your claim is in good hands. Factors That Play a Major Role in Your Case Because every dog bite incident is different, many factors will affect your settlement. The following are the most prominent factors that will affect your dog bite case. Age Age can be an important factor in dog bite cases. The age of the victim matters. Often, minor children will have the ability to receive larger settlements than adults for a variety of reasons, including: Adults are more aware than children; Children are less likely to be able to defend themselves; and A dog bite will often cause permanent emotional damage. While adults can still recover fair compensation for their injuries, there is an added layer of complication when the victim is a child. Injuries The severity of the injuries incurred will undoubtedly affect your recovery. A surface injury that heals quickly will never be worth as much as a severe injury that requires surgery.  Dog bite injuries can vary greatly. Some of the most common include: Puncture wounds, Lacerations, Infections, Dismemberments, Nerve damage, and Scarring. The more serious the dog bite, the more you will be able to recover for your injuries.  Ongoing Issues Many dog bite injuries will eventually heal with medical treatment, and you will be able to go back to living your everyday life. However, in certain circumstances, serious injuries can leave you disabled and unable to resume your daily activities. In these cases, you can seek additional damages, including lost wages and pain and suffering. Status of Injured Person If you were lawfully on the dog owner’s property or on public property when the dog bite occurred, you should not have any...

Continue Reading

| Read Time: 4 minutes | news

What Is the Average Wrongful Death Settlement?

Losing a loved one in an accident leaves their family and friends devastated. As they move through the stages of grief, they begin searching for answers and recognize the financial stresses associated with the loss of a loved one. Potential plaintiffs often ask what a wrongful death lawsuit average is when deciding if they want to pursue one. Unfortunately, there is no one average number. No two cases are exactly alike, so there is no way to compare cases to each other. The amount of compensation you can receive will depend on a number of factors. Understanding what a wrongful death claim requires and how damages are calculated can help the family decide how to proceed. What is a Wrongful Death Suit? Wrongful death is a civil claim brought by the deceased’s surviving family or personal representative against the negligent party. It is completely separate from a criminal charge, with a different burden of proof. Every state defines wrongful death in their own way, but there are common elements: Duty of Care. The plaintiff must show that the defendant had a responsibility to avoid behaviors that could cause foreseeable harm to the plaintiff (the deceased);  Breach of Duty. The plaintiff must show that the defendant violated their duty of care; Causation. The defendant’s violation/breach caused the person’s death; and Damages. The deceased and their family suffered injury or damage as a result. In these situations, the family has the option to file a wrongful death lawsuit and seek compensation. What Damages Are Available in a Wrongful Death Case? A wrongful death claim covers those losses experienced by the next of kin after the deceased’s death. These can include: Loss of future inheritance, Loss of parental guidance (if they had minor children), Loss of spousal companionship (also called consortium), Loss of the decedent’s benefits such as retirement, and Loss of the decedent’s future income. Depending on your state, you may also be able to pursue a claim for losses suffered by the deceased prior to their death, such as medical expenses and pain and suffering. Your attorney can help you understand the laws that apply to you. How Are Wrongful Death Damages Calculated? Because each case is so different, it’s hard to name a number, or even a range, for damages. However, there are several factors that may affect a settlement amount. Usually, the main consideration is the decedent’s status and circumstances at the time of death. Factors to consider include: Age of person at time of death; The deceased’s career, education, and earning capacity; Their state of health; Income at time of death; and The age and needs of the deceased’s legal dependents. The final amount of damages cannot be a guess. It must be supported by objective evidence, which can require expert witnesses. Because of this, it is so important to have a personal injury attorney on your side who knows how wrongful death cases work. If a case does reach a jury, the plaintiff can also ask for punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended to punish a defendant whose conduct is considered grossly negligent or intentional. Some states put a cap (limit amount) on this category. In Indiana, punitive damages are capped at the greater of three times compensatory damages or $50,000, whichever is greater. Kentucky and Illinois do not limit punitive damages. Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Claim? Each state has its own laws stating who has standing to bring a wrongful death claim and who can collect damages. Usually, only immediate family members like spouses, children, and parents of unmarried children can recover damages in a wrongful death suit. Often, these individuals also have standing to bring the wrongful death suit. However, many states require a deceased’s personal representative (executor, executrix, or court appointed administrator) to bring suit on behalf of the family members. Is a Wrongful Death Settlement Taxable? The IRS considers any portion of a settlement or award that is “compensatory” as non-taxable. Compensatory damages are intended to repay someone for a loss that they have already sustained and are not considered “income” for tax purposes. If the case goes to trial and a jury awards punitive damage, the result may be different. It is possible that any punitive damages in a jury award or settlement may be taxed.  How a Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Help You Navigating a wrongful death claim can be complicated and overwhelming. You may be grieving and wondering if a claim is in the family’s best interest. Sometimes insurance companies contact family members shortly after an accident and offer an amount that seems substantial. But in most cases, their offer will be significantly less than the family’s actual losses. A wrongful death claim will take an additional toll on everyone involved, so having an attorney is essential. First, they will be your advocate against the responsible party, insurance company, or opposing counsel. They know the law and how to navigate the legal system on your behalf. The loss of a loved one cannot be reclaimed through a personal injury action. But a claim can compensate a family for emotional and economic harms so that they can begin to move forward. An experienced lawyer can help you negotiate a settlement or represent you at trial if necessary. Suffering the Loss of a Loved One? Go with Experience. Go with Gerling. Did you lose a family member or loved one due to the negligent actions of another? The team at Gerling Law is incredibly sorry for your loss, and we want to help you if we can. Our attorneys are dedicated advocates who will fight hard to get you the compensation you deserve after such a tragedy. We have successfully represented clients in Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky in wrongful death suits and other personal injury matters for over 50 years. Call us at 866-651-2195 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free case consultation today!

Continue Reading

| Read Time: 4 minutes | medical malpractice

Do I Have a Medical Malpractice Case?

When you are sick or injured, you trust healthcare workers to do their best to heal you. But when a medical professional fails to uphold the standard of care expected in their field, a patient can suffer serious health consequences. If you’ve suffered injuries due to the actions of a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional, you may be wondering, Do I have a medical malpractice case? You can seek compensation by filing a claim against the negligent party. In Illinois and Indiana, this is known as a medical malpractice suit. In Kentucky, it is known as medical negligence, but the claims are essentially the same.  There are several common causes of medical malpractice lawsuits. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can help you understand whether you have a claim and how to pursue compensation. Common Medical Malpractice Causes While negligence can happen at any time during treatment, there are some common situations that result in medical malpractice. Diagnosis Errors & Failures A common malpractice situation is when a healthcare professional misdiagnoses or fails to identify the patient’s condition. If a condition is left uncorrected, the patient can suffer injury, and the condition may need serious intervention to correct later on.  Medication Errors/Medical Records Mismanagement Proper recordkeeping and patient tracking is a vital part of providing competent care. If a patient’s records aren’t current and all treatments and medications tracked, a doctor or nurse might accidentally make a serious error. Anesthetic/Surgical Errors Surgery takes a high level of skill and education. Procedures on nerves, blood vessels, arteries, or vital organs are delicate, and mistakes can cause serious injuries. In addition, anesthesia is a critical part of surgical and medical care. Doctors who specialize in this area of medicine must make sure drugs are administered in a safe manner. What Can Make or Break Your Medical Malpractice Claim? A malpractice suit may be warranted when a medical worker’s actions fail to meet the accepted standard of care for their profession. If a patient suffers further injury or illness as a result of those actions, they can seek compensation. The basic elements of a medical malpractice claim are: Person owed a professional duty to the patient;  They breached that duty;  The breach caused the patient’s injury; and  The patient suffered damages as a result. However, medical malpractice cases are complex and technical. They require proper evidence and expert opinions, which is why seeking legal help is important. It is the best way to make sure your case isn’t dragged down by common pitfalls. Standard Of Care A medical provider’s duty depends on the professional standard of care that applies to them. Many medical malpractice cases are tossed out because the plaintiff couldn’t prove that the defendant deviated from the standard of care that would be expected of a physician with similar education and training. Rare complications, unforeseeable issues, or bad luck may not be negligent if the professional performed as someone in their position should. In these cases, recovery is unlikely. Proving Causation Another issue can occur if the defendant is able to challenge causation. They may argue that another factor was the cause of the patient’s injury or that their actions did not affect the patient’s outcome.  Proving Damages The final element of the claim requires you to show the malpractice resulted in measurable damages. If you can prove malpractice but cannot show that an injury resulted, you will not be able to win your case. A plaintiff needs proper supporting evidence, often backed by expert opinion. This includes documentation of necessary corrective medical care, future medical costs, lost wages, and more. If you cannot prove any actual damages resulted, you will not be able to recover from the negligent party. Ultimately, having the right evidence and the right experts will make your case. Any legal proceeding can be complicated, but the technical complexity of medical malpractice claims means that they require special experience and skill to prove.  Seek Legal Help as Soon as Possible Medical malpractice laws are complicated, and the time for filing a claim is limited by your state’s statute of limitations. This time limit can quickly evaporate if the patient’s recovery takes a significant amount of time. Many states now require a plaintiff to file an affidavit from an expert confirming a meritorious claim or provide evidence to a panel before proceeding with their suit. Because of this, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible. They can assess your case to determine what legal course of action is right for you. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can help you gather the right documentation to prove your claim and tell you if your state has a cap on medical malpractice damages.  Injured Due to Medical Malpractice? Go with Experience. Go with Gerling. If you want to know whether you have a medical malpractice case, contact Gerling Law today. If you or a loved one sustained serious injuries due to medical malpractice in Indiana, Illinois, or Kentucky, don’t let the bills pile up while you suffer and struggle to recover. Right now, you need an experienced medical malpractice attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you deserve. The team at Gerling Law is here to help you get your life back. We have over 50 years of experience successfully representing people in Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky, and offer a free case evaluation for potential clients. Call us at 866-651-2195 or fill out our online contact form to schedule an appointment today!

Continue Reading

| Read Time: 3 minutes | news

Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?

Personal injury cases arise after someone has suffered injuries and another party might be legally responsible for the accident that caused the harm. If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, you may consider legal action. When pursuing compensation for your injuries, you might also consider hiring a personal injury attorney. While personal injury attorneys are not for everyone, they are valuable allies in your legal battle. Do I Really Need a Personal Injury Attorney? You are not legally required to have an attorney represent you in a personal injury claim. You are free to file all of the necessary paperwork and represent yourself in the matter. However, your chances of winning your case and obtaining fair compensation are much greater if you hire an experienced personal injury attorney. A personal injury attorney will use their knowledge and skills to fight for your rights and just compensation. You can feel confident knowing that your attorney is working diligently on your behalf. Why Should You Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer? After an accident, seeking compensation for your injuries can be stressful and time-consuming. Having a personal injury attorney on your side will give you peace of mind and allow you to focus on your recovery. There are various steps to handling a personal injury claim, and your attorney will take care of every complex detail you don’t want to deal with. Personal injury lawyers will handle all aspects of your case from start to finish. Having the help of an attorney can be extremely beneficial for many reasons, including: Gathering relevant evidence and documentation; Determining who’s at fault; Calculating damages; Interviewing witnesses;  Dealing with the insurance company; and Engaging in settlement negotiations. Personal injury claims can be challenging to navigate, especially if you are inexperienced. A personal injury lawyer will take care of everything, easing your worry and stress. What Makes a Good Personal Injury Attorney? When it comes time to pick a personal injury attorney, you will have plenty of options. Still, not every lawyer will be right for you. It is important to look for specific characteristics and attributes when looking for the right personal injury attorney. They Are Knowledgeable and Experienced First and foremost, it is crucial to look for an attorney with extensive experience handling personal injury claims. Personal injury is a unique area of law, and not just any attorney can handle your case. It is essential to have an attorney that fully understands the laws pertaining to personal injury. They Have Glowing Reviews When a client is happy, they will want to tell the world about their excellent experience. Look for an attorney with past clients willing to share their experiences and speak candidly about the attorney. Good reviews from happy clients are always a good sign and can give you a great idea of what you can expect. They Have Past Successes Attorneys will often want to share results from previous cases. These past successes are typically on the attorney’s website. While no two personal injury cases are alike, this shows the attorney is open and honest about past cases and has the ability to handle a case successfully. They Are Communicative Personal injury cases can be confusing and frustrating. You don’t want to find yourself in the middle of your lawsuit, unable to reach your attorney, wondering what is going on with your case. A good attorney will be open and communicative. They will keep you informed along the way and make you feel comfortable and assured. You Feel Confident About Them It’s so important to consult with any potential attorney before committing to them. This initial meeting will allow you to speak to the attorney and get to know them while having any questions answered. Ask yourself what is most important to you in regards to your attorney. Then, after your consultation, determine whether the attorney checks all those boxes. You will be working with your personal injury attorney for some time, so you must hire an attorney you like and feel good about. Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer Today Gerling Law has over 50 years of experience working with injured clients. We understand better than anyone the hassle and aggravation that personal injury claims can bring, and we’re here to help in any way we can. We strive to put clients and their needs first, fighting aggressively for their rights and never backing down. Our team offers free case evaluations. We’re ready to hear your story. Contact us today.

Continue Reading

| Read Time: 3 minutes | car accidents

Do I Need an Attorney for a Car Accident?

Pursuing a claim for injuries sustained in a car accident can be time-consuming and frustrating. Even if evidence points to the other driver being entirely at fault, their insurance company is likely to deny liability or offer you less than your claim is worth. At this point, you may be wondering if you should be finding an attorney for a car accident claim. While retaining legal representation is a personal decision, you should at least meet with a car accident attorney who offers a free, no-obligation consultation. Evaluating Car Accident Injuries Evaluating your injuries after a car accident is not necessarily straightforward. The other party’s insurance company will look at the accident facts and determine whether they believe your injuries are related. They will also look at the treatment you had, the costs, and whether your treatment was reasonable and necessary. Did you recover within the expected period of time for that type of injury, or did it take you considerably longer? These are all factors that can impact your case value. Other damages like pain and suffering and lost wages will depend on the severity of your injuries. If you need future treatment, like surgery, that will affect the value of your claim too.  Why Do I Need a Lawyer to Help with My Case? Hiring an attorney after a car accident can give you an objective view of your case. When you meet with an attorney, they will review the facts of your accident, your injuries, time off work, etc., and tell you what your case is potentially worth. Having this information is vital because it’s hard to remain objective when you are personally involved. Most plaintiffs think their case is worth more than it actually is. When you have a realistic view of what you might receive in compensation, it can make resolving your claim easier. An attorney can also handle all negotiations with the other party’s insurance company. Dealing with insurance adjusters can be daunting. They may give the appearance they are on your side, but they aren’t. Their goal is to gain information from you that they can use against you to reduce your claim’s value or deny it outright. The adjuster may offer you a small amount early on in the case in hopes you will settle. That way, they can close their file before you have additional treatment. If your case proceeds into litigation, you need an attorney who has the necessary experience to take your case all the way to trial. Many cases won’t ever go to trial, but there is always the chance. That is why you want an attorney from the start who can fight for you and win over a jury if it comes to that point. 5 Signs You Need a Lawyer If you are still undecided about finding an attorney for a car accident claim, here are five signs you need to hire one: You sustained severe injuries in the accident; You have concerns you cannot pay for your treatment costs; The insurance company has denied liability and won’t pay for any of your treatment; You missed time off work; or You have been seeking medical treatment, but you’re not improving at all. Any time you have serious injuries or have been treating for several months without improvement, you need to contact an attorney. When you have an attorney representing you, they will fight for the maximum compensation possible. They can also offer suggestions on various specialists with whom you could make an appointment if you aren’t improving. Understandably, medical bills can bring added financial stress. If you are concerned about how your medical treatments will be paid for, you want to contact an attorney. Likewise, you should talk to an attorney if you missed a significant amount of time from your job. If the insurance company isn’t offering you enough to cover your medical treatment and loss of earnings, you need an attorney who can negotiate with the other driver’s insurance adjuster. When the insurance company denies your claim, your only recourse is to file a lawsuit. Your attorney will continue to push settlement through the discovery process. If the other driver’s insurance company keeps denying liability, your attorney will prepare your case for trial.  How Do I Find the Right Attorney for a Serious Car Accident? When you’ve decided to hire an attorney, you don’t want to hire just anyone. Choosing the best car accident lawyer after an accident takes some research. You may need to meet with several attorneys before finding the one that’s right for your case. You want someone who has experience handling cases similar to yours, as well as trial experience. Make sure you feel comfortable with the attorney you meet with and that they care about your case. You don’t want to wind up as just another case file in a law firm’s computer system. Choose a lawyer who will give your case the attention it deserves. At Gerling Law, you get the skilled professionalism you expect from a large firm with the personalized focus you get with a boutique firm. Have you been injured in a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence? If so, contact Gerling Law today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. Remember, Go with Experience. Go with Gerling.™

Continue Reading

| Read Time: 3 minutes | personal injury

Recall on the Road and Your Safety

Have you ever received a letter from your car manufacturer telling you about a recall on your car? If you have, did you look into it? Ensuring your car is meeting safety standards regarding recalls is extremely important. It can even mean the difference between life and death. March 10, 2010 A pediatric nurse, Brooke Melton, in Georgia fell victim to a vehicle defect on her 29th birthday. While driving down the highway after a shift at the hospital, Melton’s car, a 2005 Cobalt, “slipped into the accessory position,” causing her car to lose all power and struck another vehicle. Due to her injuries, Melton passed away. At first, police concluded that Brooke Melton lost control driving since the roads would have been wet due to rain that day. However, weeks after the accident, Melton’s family discovered a notice in the mail from GM. This notice, addressed to Brooke, informed them of the open recall on Cobalt’s that GM had let slide for too long. Unfortunately, 124 people lost their lives due to vehicle defect that was the subject of this recall, and left 257 injured. Startling Facts The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported in 2018 that over 30.7 million cars were on the roads with open recalls. That number should be concerning to you if you know you have an open recall on your car. In 2017, every 1 in 5 vehicles had some sort of open recall. However, if you’re wondering if you car is subject to any sort of recall, even regarding tires, check here. Most recalls come in the form of a printed notice in the mail. Otherwise, you could be notified when taking your vehicle in for maintenance at a certified dealership. Dangers Behind a Recall Imagine you’re on a road trip. Maybe this is for work or leisure. Either way, you are traveling down a fairly unoccupied highway and suddenly your car stops. Or, it is making a funny noise. Something happens and you know this can’t be good. You vaguely remember receiving some kind of recall notice in the mail. But, you discarded it without a second thought. Ignoring a notice can lead to you becoming stranded or even be the cause of an accident. Unfortunately, for Brooke Melton, her notice was not sent out until it was too late. If you start to notice your car acting funny, or doing something it should not be doing, contact your local manufacture dealership and ensure there are no open recalls. Keeping up with your car’s safety will help keep you and your loved ones safe. Gerling Law is a leading personal injury law firm dedicated to providing aggressive legal representation to individuals and their families.  With over 50 years of experience, Gerling Law has helped thousands of people in Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky recover hundreds of thousands of dollars in a wide variety of personal injury and consumer protection cases, including trucking accidents, wrongful death, medical malpractice, nursing home negligence and social security disability. Gerling Law takes pride in the fact that we have never represented insurance companies, hospitals or large corporations and that we fight against powerful companies for our clients. If you need an experienced, dedicated personal injury lawyer, Gerling Law is here to help.  You can always reach us at 888-GERLING (888-437-5464) or through our website at www.gerlinglaw.com.

Continue Reading

| Read Time: 4 minutes | personal injury

5 Types of Personal Injury

Personal injury. You have heard the term used many times. But what does it actually entail? A personal injury is typically some sort of harm that is caused by someone or something. Your mind might automatically think of a car accident, which is certainly a common type of personal injury. However, there are many other ways one can obtain an injury that may require legal assistance in the battle for justice. Let’s take a look at 5 different types of personal injury. Workman’s Compensation If you’ve ever had any type of job, you have surely heard of a workman’s compensation injury. These types of personal injuries occur in the workplace, as the name suggests. Many jobs have safety manuals or guidelines you must follow while on the clock. People who work in factories typically must wear protective eyewear and masks to prevent anything from harming their face. Other places might have rules such as requiring someone else to be present when you’re on a high ladder. If you’re a construction worker, you wear hard hats to protect your head from falling material or other harm. This is to prevent any accidents from happening and to protect yourself and other employees. If you become injured at work, it would be best to seek the legal assistance of a personal injury attorney. Having an attorney on your side during a workman’s compensation case is beneficial for many reasons. Firstly, they will handle all the paper work and communication with insurance companies. Secondly, your attorney will fight for a satisfying outcome when it comes to your settlement. Motor Vehicle Accident Like mentioned above, motor vehicle accidents are a huge type of personal injury. Accidents can cause any sort of injury, from concussions to paralyzation, and even death. Unfortunately, when it comes to vehicle accidents, there is usually a laundry list of expenses. The worse the injury, the longer the tab. Having an attorney on your side during a vehicle accident would be highly beneficial to you and your loved ones. Experienced attorneys know when insurance companies are not playing fair or may not be giving you their best offers. Injuries obtained in accidents require lots of proof, paperwork, and communication with medical facilities and insurance companies. Your attorney will handle this all so you can focus on recovering. Slip and Fall Another type of personal injury is a slip and fall. Slip and fall personal injuries are pretty much what they sound like. You slip and fall in an unsafe place, the fall is not your fault and obtain an injury. For some, this can happen in a public place such as a store. If the floor is wet and the store failed to warn customers with a caution sign, then they will most likely be held accountable for your fall. Slip and fall cases will typically become associated with the term “premises liability.” This just means that the property owner or company has failed to ensure safety where the accident occurred. Dog Bites Another common form of personal injuries are dog bites. This is one of the common types of personal injury. We’ve touched on this topic before, but it can never be said enough. Owning a pet, especially a dog, is a huge responsibility. However, it is also your responsibility as an individual to make sure you use safe practices around animals. Some safe practices include ensuring your own pet is on a leash. You don’t want to risk your dog attacking another dog or person. Even if your dog is normally well-behaved, their animal instincts can kick in at any moment. You do not want to be liable for your dog biting another human, so keeping them on a leash at all times is important. If you see a person approaching or reaching down to pet your dog, make sure you’re keeping an eye out. Also, never attempt to pet another dog without asking permission. Some dogs do not take well to people they do not know, which leads to attacks. Often when dogs attack young children, it is because the child has done something to upset the dog. Make sure you never leave your dog and young ones unsupervised together. Medical Malpractice Unfortunately, the medical field is no exception to mistakes. When negligence comes from a doctor or other medical professional, you may have a medical malpractice case. Some common forms of medical malpractice include being misdiagnosed or prescribed the wrong medicine. Sometimes these errors might seem small, but the long-term effects could be extremely dangerous. Imagine being told you have a common cold when actually it is a severe case of pneumonia. If you believe you have experienced medical malpractice, it is important you seek out an attorney to help you. Insurance companies and hospitals will want to be very thorough with all your medical records which can be very confusing when trying to tackle a lawsuit on your own. This is where a personal injury attorney can help. Gerling Law is a leading personal injury law firm dedicated to providing aggressive legal representation to individuals and their families.  With over 50 years of experience, Gerling Law has helped thousands of people in Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky recover hundreds of thousands of dollars in a wide variety of personal injury and consumer protection cases, including trucking accidents, wrongful death, medical malpractice, nursing home negligence and social security disability. Gerling Law takes pride in the fact that we have never represented insurance companies, hospitals or large corporations and that we fight against powerful companies for our clients. If you need an experienced, dedicated personal injury lawyer, Gerling Law is here to help.  You can always reach us at 888-GERLING (888-437-5464) or through our website at www.gerlinglaw.com.

Continue Reading

| Read Time: 3 minutes | Accident Lawyer

3 Totally OK Questions to Ask Your Attorney

Hiring an attorney can be quite stressful if you don’t know what questions to ask. You might be unsure of what is appropriate to ask. The truth of the matter is, you can pretty much ask an attorney anything. One thing you need to keep in mind from the very beginning is that honesty with your lawyer or potential lawyer is very important. What types of cases have you handled before? Don’t be afraid to ask the attorney if he or she has taken similar cases or not. Feeling comfortable and confident with your attorney’s abilities is important as well. However, keep in mind they may not be able to give you exact details. Also, every case is different. Most people want a lawyer with lots of experience. Luckily, all of our attorneys here at Gerling have lots of successful cases under their belts. However, we understand that you may want to dig a little deeper. Feel free to ask your attorney about similar cases. All results will differ based on the facts and situation of your case, so keep that in mind. How long will it take to resolve my case? Timelines regarding personal injury cases are often unpredictable. Though, your attorney might be able to give you an estimate. Keep in mind it might take a while for things to process in your case. It takes time and detailed attention to settle a case. Your medical records must be shared to the attorney and insurance companies, as well as accident reports or other documents containing proof or information regarding the accident. These files are looked over by everyone, including your attorney, to ensure accuracy and fairness. The more records there are to look over, the longer it will take. However, this precision helps your attorney make the best decisions for you and your case. Who will be working on my case? Another of the important questions to ask your attorney is who will be working on your case. Often times our attorneys will consult each other on certain cases. For the most part, your attorney and their paralegal will be the ones handling your case. However, a lot of your communication will come through the paralegal. A common misconception is that the attorneys pictured in commercials and billboards will be the one handling your case. Most law firms have multiple lawyers and paralegals. At Gerling, our owning and managing attorney is Gayle Gerling Pettinga. However, there are six practicing attorneys, each who have their own paralegal. Gerling Law is a leading personal injury law firm dedicated to providing aggressive legal representation to individuals and their families.  With over 50 years of experience, Gerling Law has helped thousands of people in Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky recover hundreds of thousands of dollars in a wide variety of personal injury and consumer protection cases, including trucking accidents, wrongful death, medical malpractice, nursing home negligence and social security disability. Gerling Law takes pride in the fact that we have never represented insurance companies, hospitals or large corporations and that we fight against powerful companies for our clients. If you need an experienced, dedicated personal injury lawyer, Gerling Law is here to help.  You can always reach us at 888-GERLING (888-437-5464) or through our website at www.gerlinglaw.com.

Continue Reading

| Read Time: 3 minutes | personal injury

Recall on the Road and Your Safety

Have you ever received a letter from your car manufacturer telling you about a recall on your car? If you have, did you look into it? Ensuring your car is meeting safety standards regarding recalls is extremely important. It can even mean the difference between life and death. March 10, 2010 A pediatric nurse, Brooke Melton, in Georgia fell victim to a vehicle defect on her 29th birthday. While driving down the highway after a shift at the hospital, Melton’s car, a 2005 Cobalt, “slipped into the accessory position,” causing her car to lose all power and struck another vehicle. Due to her injuries, Melton passed away. At first, police concluded that Brooke Melton lost control driving since the roads would have been wet due to rain that day. However, weeks after the accident, Melton’s family discovered a notice in the mail from GM. This notice, addressed to Brooke, informed them of the open recall on Cobalt’s that GM had let slide for too long. Unfortunately, 124 people lost their lives due to vehicle defect that was the subject of this recall, and left 257 injured. Startling Facts The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported in 2018 that over 30.7 million cars were on the roads with open recalls. That number should be concerning to you if you know you have an open recall on your car. In 2017, every 1 in 5 vehicles had some sort of open recall. However, if you’re wondering if you car is subject to any sort of recall, even regarding tires, check here. Most recalls come in the form of a printed notice in the mail. Otherwise, you could be notified when taking your vehicle in for maintenance at a certified dealership. Dangers Behind a Recall Imagine you’re on a road trip. Maybe this is for work or leisure. Either way, you are traveling down a fairly unoccupied highway and suddenly your car stops. Or, it is making a funny noise. Something happens and you know this can’t be good. You vaguely remember receiving some kind of recall notice in the mail. But, you discarded it without a second thought. Ignoring a notice can lead to you becoming stranded or even be the cause of an accident. Unfortunately, for Brooke Melton, her notice was not sent out until it was too late. If you start to notice your car acting funny, or doing something it should not be doing, contact your local manufacture dealership and ensure there are no open recalls. Keeping up with your car’s safety will help keep you and your loved ones safe. Gerling Law is a leading personal injury law firm dedicated to providing aggressive legal representation to individuals and their families.  With over 50 years of experience, Gerling Law has helped thousands of people in Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky recover hundreds of thousands of dollars in a wide variety of personal injury and consumer protection cases, including trucking accidents, wrongful death, medical malpractice, nursing home negligence and social security disability. Gerling Law takes pride in the fact that we have never represented insurance companies, hospitals or large corporations and that we fight against powerful companies for our clients. If you need an experienced, dedicated personal injury lawyer, Gerling Law is here to help.  You can always reach us at 888-GERLING (888-437-5464) or through our website at www.gerlinglaw.com.

Continue Reading