| Read Time: 2 minutes | car accidents

Distracted Driving vs. You: Now what?

Distracted driving. Your mind might automatically jump to texting and driving, a big issue we face today. However, distracted driving can include anything that takes your attention off the road. Eating or putting on makeup. Looking for something in a bag or changing the radio station. Using a GPS. As a result of these actions, many people have lost theirs lives, or taken the lives of others. So, what do you do if you’ve been the victim of a distracted driver? Maybe you are walking across the street and a distracted driver doesn’t stop in time. You could be rear ended for the same reason. No matter what happens, it is important you take action right away. What to do after the accident Of course, the first thing you need to do is make sure you are okay. If you are able to, check on others as well. Then, immediately call 9-1-1. Even if it doesn’t seem like anyone is extremely hurt, it is important to get a police officer out to the scene. Insurance companies will want an official police report. If someone is hurt, do your best to assist them and keep them out of the way of more harm. It is also imperative you exchange information with anyone involved in the accident, such as another driver or victim. You will want their name and phone number, and a picture of their insurance cards. When you have done this, next take lots of pictures of the accident scene. This can be important no matter what. Having photos of the scene will better help police, attorneys, and insurers understand what happened and why. For example, if you are a pedestrian crossing the street because you have the right away and a car hits you, take a picture of the intersection. Make sure the photos are clear and you have lots of angles. Following this advice could be imperative to helping your attorney in your personal injury case. 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.

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | safety

Spring Safety: Did you know these facts?

Happy first day of spring! When springtime falls upon us, it brings with it many wonderful things; blossoming flowers, more sunshine, warmer weather, and the opportunity to spend time outdoors. However, did you know springtime also means an increase in accident rates? When the temperature rises, more people are likely to be outside walking, running, or doing other activities. As a result, this means more folks closer to the roads and quite possibly on them. To better protect yourself and your loved ones, we have put together some information about spring safety. Bike riding and pedestrian safety There are many activities that gain attention during the springtime weather. One of these is bike riding. This is an activity that can be done alone or as a family. Most likely, you have probably come across people riding their bikes on busy roads. Make sure if you are the one driving a vehicle to slow down around bike riders. If you need to move around them, double-check that the other lane is clear before going around. You can find more bicycle safety in related blogs here. Another activity that sees a rise in participants when it warms up is walking/running. As you drive down your neighborhood streets, keep an eye out for those who may be taking a family stroll or jogging by themselves. Just as it is for bicyclists, make sure you slow down if you near a pedestrian. That being said, if you are a bicyclist or pedestrian, you have responsibility, too. If you’re riding a bike, it is very important you signal. Signals can be made with just one hand in the direction you plan on turning. If you are unsure of what those signals are, that’s okay! The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a handy document explaining all the bike signals you’ll need to know. Even if you are not a bike rider, it is important to know these few signals in case you are on the road as a cyclist at the same time. Family safety Spring safety is especially important for those with little ones running around. If your family lives near a busy street, it might be worthwhile to invest in some form of fencing for your yard. This will allow any children and pets you have to roam freely within the boundaries of your yard. Further, ensure that they are always being supervised. Even small children can figure out how a gate works and could possibly slip out and into the street. To prevent any tragedies, it is important to keep an eye on the kiddos! Fun fact Did you know that the number of car accidents rise during the first few weeks of spring, following daylight savings? The ‘springing forward’ of the clocks has an effect on the human body. As a result, losing an hour of sleep means more tired drivers on the road. Fatigue is a very common form of distracted driving. Therefore, more accidents. Remember if you’re on the road, don’t drive if you’re exhausted. Keep an extra eye out for any unexpected road hazards during the darker times of the day. That being said, spring safety is a number one priority for us here at Gerling, and it should be for you, too. However, if the unfortunate happens and you do experience an accident or personal injury, you’ll need an attorney on your side. 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.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Fatal Accidents

Semi-Truck Safety – Avoiding a Huge Accident

When you’re on the road driving, safety should be your #1 concern. However, when you’re in a hurry and you get stuck behind a semi-truck, it can sometimes be inconvenient. Despite this inconvenience, it is important to follow semi-truck safety when behind the wheel. You might think that safety with semi-trucks is solely the responsibility of the truck driver. However, that is inaccurate. As a driver, it is your duty to practice safe driving when operating a vehicle. This includes being in control of possible road rage when near a semi on the road. In 2018, 67% of those who died in an accident involving a semi-truck were passengers of another vehicle. This is mostly because an 18-wheeler is obviously a lot larger than the average family vehicle. How can you practice semi-truck safety? There are many things you can do on the road to protect you and your loved ones. When it comes to pulling around semi-trucks, make sure you have plenty of space behind you before merging in front of a semi-truck. On average, it will take a semi-truck 40% longer to stop than it would a car. If weather conditions are bad, it can be up to a quarter mile. Also ensure you are putting plenty of distance in between you and the back of a semi. If the truck suddenly stops, you may not be prepared and could rear end it. Or, the person behind you could push you into the truck. The more space between you and the semi, the better. Following these tips can help protect you and the truck drivers as well. You can better your chances of avoiding a bad accident with a semi by simply being more aware of the distance and space between you and a semi-truck. 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.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | social security disability

The Benefits of Benefits

You may be aware of the struggle some folks face when it comes to obtaining social security disability benefits. If you have ever considered applying because you qualify, but have wondered if it is worth it, here is your sign: it is! Social Security disability benefits could be the only thing standing in the way of your and your loved ones living comfortably. Stability in Finances A serious concern for most people is household finances. The average American household spends over $1,500 a month on necessary items, such as bills or groceries. Unfortunately, if you are disabled, one of your main worries is how you are going to pay for these things. However, by applying for SSI or SSDI, you start the process of possibly overcoming that financial concern. On average, monthly payments can range from $700 to $1700. This payment replaces what would be income from a steady job. Insurance Coverage Maybe this is something you would consider with your finances. However, once you are approved for social security, you no longer need to worry about medical coverage. So, depending on the type of benefits you apply for, SSI or SSDI, your medical costs will be low or reduced. We understand that with a disability comes what seems like an endless amount of doctors appointments. As a result, it doesn’t take long for those bills to start adding up. So, if this is something you might be worried about, it would be beneficial for you to apply for social security disability. However, don’t expect to be approved right away. As mentioned above, sometimes the process can seem tedious. But, it is worth it in the end if you receive an approval. 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.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | auto

A police report could be vital to your case

A fender bender. A side swipe in the parking lot. Even the smallest of vehicular accidents require a police report. Why? This could be a vital piece of evidence in your personal injury case. Even if you think you just have a small concussion from a fender bender, you need to call 9-1-1. Police reports are actually extremely important when it comes to a personal injury case. There are multiple reasons for this. First, an official police report will document exactly what happened for every party involved. This means that no one can report to their insurance company a false story. However, if the same report is submitted to everyone, no lies can be spread. Secondly, the report will give insurance companies a more realistic picture of the accident scene and what happened. This will help prove who is at fault for the accident. Police presence helps YOU Police are also well-trained in accident situations. As a result, they can do a lot for you if you are in an accident. The police will find and question any witnesses, which allows you to focus on your own injuries and seeking medical attention. The police will most likely be able to figure out who is at fault, too. And, if it is not you, this is good news. Police reports will help you avoid any kind of scam or losing more money than you already have. If you find yourself injured because of an accident, it is imperative you seek out the police to file a report. This will be extremely helpful for your attorney in your case. 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.

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Birth Injuries

Is a birth injury 100% avoidable? Nearly always.

Some say there is no greater joy in the world than becoming a parent. After nine months of excitement and emotion, all you could want as a soon-to-be parent is a healthy and safe delivery. However, what happens when someone else’s negligence leads to your precious baby having a birth injury? The last thing you’ll want to worry about is having to seek justice for your innocent newborn because of someone else’s carelessness. We are here to help. Here are some things you should keep in mind if you’re expecting. Truth in numbers While you may think a birth injury is unlikely to happen to you, let’s look at the alarming statistics. Approximately 28,000 babies are born with a birth injury every year That is 1 in every 9,714 births 76 babies per day are born with some form of a birth injury Over 150,000 birth injuries occurred between mothers and babies during childbirth in 2006 (all avoidable) So, what can you do to best protect yourself and your unborn child? First, make sure you trust your OBGYN and their staff. If at any time you feel uncomfortable or as if they are not taking your health seriously, it may be time to find a new doctor. Birth injuries occur more often in tool-assisted births. This means the use of forceps or a ventouse (vacuum). Although safe births can happen with the use of these instruments, it is vital to discuss with your doctor why/if these are necessary for your delivery. Birth injuries or birth defects? Sometimes, it can be hard to determine whether or not the issue is a birth injury or a birth defect. And while birth injuries can sometimes happen despite all the proper steps taken, it is vital to make sure you have all the information. Lack of oxygen during birth can lead to conditions like cerebral palsy. However, it can also be the result of a birth defect. A birth defect is something that cannot be avoided, and is not the result of a doctor’s negligence. Who is liable? You might be wondering who is responsible for an injury inflicted during birth. Anyone whose care you are under, whether that be a nurse, OBGYN, family doctor, or other hospital staff can be held liable. The hospital as a whole can also be liable for its employees’ actions. When the day your baby arrives finally comes, make sure you feel comfortable and safe with your delivery team. And, if at any moment, you think you are being given the less-than-standard care that you deserve, it might be time to seek legal consultation. We 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.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | auto

Car seat safety – there's an 85% chance you're doing it wrong

Ensuring protection for yourself while operating a vehicle is usually a top priority – buckle your seat belt, look before merging, etc. But what about the others in the car with you, like children? Each state has very specific laws about car seat safety in regards to children. Let’s take a look to better protect the little ones you love. Indiana It is encouraged to keep an infant rear-facing for as long as possible. Legally, those under a year old and less than 20 pounds have to be rear-facing. Once your baby reaches a year old and 20 lbs. you may opt for a front-facing seat using an internal harness. Harness straps should be secure and snug at the armpit level. Indiana State Police suggest keeping your child in a front-facing seat with harness until they reach 40 lbs. Then, your young one can graduate to a booster seat until the age of eight, as long as they meet certain weight requirements. Kentucky In Kentucky, car seat safety laws are similar to Indiana. Infants must remain in a rear-facing seat until the age of one or upon reaching the weight of 20 lbs. When your child reaches 40 lbs. or the age of 4, they may move up to a booster seat. Once they turn 8, or becomes over the height of 57 inches, they may get rid of the booster seat and only use a seat belt. It is important to enforce seat belt safety with your children. It can be the difference between life or death. Illinois In Illinois, infants and toddlers under the age of 2 must be secured into a rear-facing car seat. However, if they are 40 lbs. and 40 inches they may advance to a front-facing seat with a harness. Once the height and weight requirements for the manufacturer is met, children may move on to a booster seat. Booster seats in Illinois are recommended for children ages 7-12. You might be thinking 12 seems a little too old, but this suggestion is due to the fact that some 12-year-olds might not have grown enough to safely fit into an adult seat belt. Following these car seat safety laws can be vital to the safety of your children or other little loved ones you may be transporting. While you may be a safe driver, that can’t be said for everyone on the road. Taking these laws seriously and ensuring the protection of young children is extremely important. 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.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | premises liability

Pool safety depends on attending to some rules

Watching children engage with water is fun. Many take to the water naturally. Others come to the experience a little more hesitantly and need encouragement. In midwestern states like Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky, water access is available through lakes, ponds, streams and, of course, pools indoor and outdoors. Anyone who owns or operates a pool faces an extra duty of care to be sure that use of their pool takes place in the safest way possible. The same goes for those owning home spas. This is especially true when it comes to keeping children safe. There are many suggestions for “waterproofing” ourselves, but the reality is that negligence leads to unsafe conditions that can result in serious or fatal injury. Keep Children from Drowning More than 200 youngsters die by drowning in backyard pools every year. Because of this, experts have come up with a number of tips to improve pool safety. We’ve touched on some in previous posts. These include securing pool areas with safety covers and fencing, and perhaps even installing an alarm that can raise an alert if someone enters the pool without proper supervision. In addition to that, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission suggests the following: Never leave children unattended near any water, indoors or out. Have your child take swimming lessons, and take them yourself if you don’t know how to swim. Steer children clear of pool drains and filtering equipment Know how to shut off a spa’s systems in an emergency. Consider getting certified in CPR and maintain the certification year to year. One other suggestion experts offer is to make sure youngsters stay hydrated. It might seem counterintuitive considering they are soaking on the outside, but swimming is exercise and the body’s insides need maintenance, too. Swimming is a fun summertime activity, and Gerling Law hopes you’ll be safe out there. 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.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Accident Lawyer

Statutes of Limitations: How to beat the clock

You may have heard the term SOL or statutes of limitations. More importantly, if you haven’t, you could be literally SOL. Why? Because the statutes of limitation set a time limit for filing lawsuits. In other words, if your case isn’t filed by the SOL deadline, it can never be filed at all. Statutes of limitations are different for every state Time limits are different for every state Did you know that every state sets its own time limits for personal injury claims stemming from a vehicle collision? For instance, in communities like Evansville, Henderson and Owensboro that are close to state borders, it’s important to know the statutes of limitations for Indiana and Kentucky, because you could be in an accident in either state. So, you need to arm yourself with the right information. When the statutes of limitations clock starts ticking… Time limits for filing a personal injury suit depends on two factors. First, what kind of accident you were in. And, second, what state the accident happened in. In Indiana, the statutes of limitation for bringing a personal injury suit for a car accident is two years. But to bring a fraud suit, Indiana gives you six years. Unlike Indiana, Kentucky only gives you one year for personal injury in a car accident, but five years for fraud. However, the proverbial clock starts ticking at the same time for both states: on the date that you had the accident. Additionally, there is a limit to how long you have to collect a favorable judgment. It is 20 years for Indiana. While Kentucky’s is just 15 years. By calling an experienced injury attorney right after your accident, you can know what your time limit is In conclusion, if you’ve been injured in a car or other kind of accident, you need to take action before the statutes of limitations run. Let an experienced injury attorney help you avoid making the costly mistake of missing your statutes of limitations. 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.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Disability Law

Timing is critical with Social Security Disability

Timing is a critical factor in seeking Social Security Disability because each step of the process is dependent on the step that comes before it. One of the foundation blocks of basic computer programming is the conditional construct. The creator of the program establishes the computer’s task with if-then statements. We use them in real life too. A simple example would be to say, if A equals B, and B equals C, then A equals C. There Are Many Factors Conditional statements are also part of applying for Social Security Disability Insurance. If an applicant fails to take specific steps, in the right order, then benefits are denied. Trying to trace all the possible if-then conditions can be dizzying. So, here’s one more for you. If this cycle baffles you, an attorney can help you get through the SSDI application maze. The SSD System is full of quirks One of the things that can catch many people in Indiana up short when it comes to claiming SSDI is that they find out the quirks of the system too late. In the simplest of terms, here is how it works. SSDI is insurance. Worker and employers pay the premium on the insurance through Social Security taxes. So what happens if the worker and his employer no longer pay the premium? Coverage fades away. When it disappears is called the date last insured (DLI). DLI might come weeks, months or years down the road. What can happen is that a disabled worker leaves his or her job, but doesn’t take immediate steps to start an SSD application? Coverage fades away. And if the disabled worker applies for benefits after the DLI expiration, application denial follows. It’s Possible to Prevent Thus But, it is possible to extend SSDI coverage beyond your DLI if you establish a “protective filing date.” To get more time, inform the Social Security Administration that you intend to file for disability benefits. You can do this in writing. Alternatively, if you start the online application process, the date of your application can serve as the protective filing date. The value of early notification is that an applicant remains eligible for SSDI even if the paperwork isn’t filed until after DLI expiration. If you doubted the value of early reporting of a disability, then this should clear it up: timing is critical! 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.

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