| Read Time: 3 minutes | Car Accident

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.®

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Car Accident

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).

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Car Accident

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.

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Car Accident

Safe Driving Tips You Need to Know

If you’ve got a license and are out on the road regularly you have probably broken some traffic laws subconsciously. Have you ever rolled through a stop sign because no one else was around? Or speed even five miles over the limit? Ever checked your phone or sent out a quick text while at the wheel? These are only a few of the many causes of car accidents in the U.S. Small road violations can lead to big accidents, even if you think no one else is around. Safe driving is important even when no one else is looking or the violation may seem small. Here are some eye-opening statistics regarding vehicle accidents in the United States: 40,000 accidents result in death each year 90 deaths per day Accidents resulting in permanent injuries reaches 2 million a year Fatal injury accidents happen more on the weekends 1,600 kids under the age of 15 die every year in some sort of vehicle accident These high numbers mean that you could be a part of these statistics. We share this information not to scare you, but to help protect you and your loved ones. Safe Driving Tips We’ll start with the obvious – wear your seat belt! The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that 15,000 lives were saved in 2017 because drivers and passengers made the smart decision to click their seat belt. Everyone should know that if you are using your phone behind the wheel, you’re not driving safely. In most states, it is illegal to even be on your phone while behind the wheel of a vehicle. Of all the accidents that occur each day, the National Safety Council reports that 1 in every 4 accidents is caused by a driver distracted by his or her cell phone. Another important safe driving tip – never get behind the wheel when you have been drinking or may be under the influence of any kind of drugs or alcohol. This is also important for those times when you may be on a new medicine. Age Can Be a Factor Another important thing to note is that people between the ages of 16 and 19 are at a much higher risk of being in an accident than those who are older. About 8,000 young people are killed in auto accidents between the ages of 16 and 20. One of the most terrifying moments in a parent’s life, but exciting for most teens, is the day they get their license and are finally able to hit the open road without a parent or guardian in the front seat next to them. This is why it is extremely important to go over road safety if you have a teen receiving their license. Tell your kids to wear their seat belt, put their phones down, and never, ever get behind the wheel if they have consumed any amount of alcohol or drugs, even if they think they are “okay to drive.” Hopefully, they will pass along the lessons they learn to their friends, too. Next time you get behind the wheel, remember these statistics and remind yourself that safe driving takes priority over speed and convenience. If you have been involved in an auto accident, Gerling is here to 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 | Car Accident

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: 2 minutes | Car Accident

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 | Car Accident

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: 2 minutes | Car Accident

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 | Car Accident

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 statute 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 | Car Accident

Vicarious Liability and how it effects YOU

Your car is, well, yours. You’re going to be behind the steering wheel nearly every single time that vehicle goes out on the road. However, there will be moments when someone else is driving your car. Perhaps your teenage son or daughter needs to take the car somewhere with their friends. Or maybe a friend or employee needs to take your car out for an important purpose. How does this relate to “vicarious liability” and you? Most of the time, this won’t be a problem. Your friend, family member, or associate will take the car out and return it without issue. However, there are people that loan their car out to their close confidants. Then, they later find out shortly after they have left with their vehicle that they got into an accident. Vicarious liability means that you could still be partly liable for the accident even if you weren’t even in the car when the accident happened. Parents can be held liable if their children cause an accident under the “Family Car Doctrine,” or if the friend that you give the car to is known to be a risky or dangerous driver, you could be held liable for any accident they cause under vicarious liability. These are tricky situations, and if you are being held responsible for an accident under vicarious liability, be sure to take it seriously. Also, make sure if you’re loaning your car out that it is to someone responsible and safe.

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