| Read Time: 3 minutes | auto

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 sped 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 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: 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 | Accident Lawyer

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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| Read Time: 2 minutes | car accidents

A settlement or collection… which is better?

Anyone who has been in a minor car collision in Indiana probably knows the drill. The crash happens. You and the others involved exchange essential data. Insurance company name and policy number, vehicle registration material, and personal contact information. However, sometimes conditions warrant police to the scene. In most cases a settlement becomes a matter of negotiation with the insurance companies. After investigating, adjusters could conclude you share fault for the crash. This means the settlement offer could be less than what it will take to fully compensate you. Even for the total damage to your vehicle. If you were injured in the crash, you could be blamed for shared fault. It’s important to consult a skilled attorney to be sure that you understand your rights and how to exercise them. Having an Attorney Can Make a Difference In the event of a dispute over fault, a skilled attorney can advocate for you from beginning to end. In addition to being able to marshal resources for accident investigation and reconstruction, the attorney has depth of experience in framing matters in the context of any possible medical care or long-term financial needs that you might face to obtain optimal results with insurers. After an appropriate settlement is agreed upon, if the insurer or other driver fails to deliver, civil action might be called for. And once again, having an attorney at your side will be crucial. You will want to be sure that you bring your case within the two-year statute of limitations set by state law in most cases. If the at-fault party is the state or local government, the window for action is restricted to just 270 or 180 days, respectively. Should it happen that you win your case and obtain a court order for compensation, you still must collect. And if the defendant still refuses to pay, further legal action might be required. This could include garnishing wages or funds in bank accounts. And again, an attorney can help.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | car accidents

Need an Auto Accident Attorney?

Unfortunately, auto accidents happen every single day. And while you may think you can handle the situation on your own, you could benefit from contacting an auto accident attorney. At Gerling Law, we have years of experience helping individuals who are just like you: those who have been injured in a car crash. If you or someone you know has been involved in an auto accident, let the professionals assist you. After all, you’ve been through enough, and your sole focus now should be set on healing. About Auto Accidents According to the Association for Safe International Road Travel, more than 2.35 million individuals are injured or disabled each year throughout the United States due to auto accidents. There are several types of auto accidents, such as the following: rear-end collisions, side-impact collisions, sideswipes, head-on collisions, vehicle rollovers, and more. Further, these accidents can lead to a myriad of injuries. Of course, the nature of the accident will determine the severity of the injury. Common injuries sustained in auto accidents include head and back injuries, neck and chest injuries, brain injuries, broken bones, whiplash, spinal cord injuries, and more. After an Auto Accident Following an auto accident, the most important thing to do is verify your safety, as well as the safety of all other passengers. If your vehicle is in the middle of the road and in potential danger of getting hit again, move it off to the side. Then, call the police, as getting a professional report is imperative. Exchange information with the driver of the other car, never admit fault for the accident, and if you can, take pictures of both vehicles and the surrounding area. Next, get checked out by a doctor, even if you don’t have any symptoms or ailments. It is possible to have internal injuries or even a concussion, but not be aware of it. Finally, contact an auto accident attorney to help you with the process moving forward. Better yet, if you are in Evansville, Indianapolis, Louisville, or Owensboro, then contact Gerling Law today.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | car accidents

Meeting with an Evansville Car Accident Attorney

Being in a car accident and suffering injuries is a stressful and overwhelming experience. For some, adding to that stress by meeting with an Evansville car accident attorney can be an intimidating thought. When you meet with one of our attorneys, it is best to be prepared. This will relieve you of some of the stress that you might be feeling. Remember that your first meeting is much like an interview and that this is the time to ask questions of the attorney. It is also a good chance for one of our legal professionals to learn more about you and your situation so that they can provide you with realistic and honest feedback about the case. Preparing for the Meeting with an Evansville Car Accident Attorney Before you meet with an Evansville car accident attorney that you may hire to represent you, take a moment to prepare yourself. Sit down and make a list of any questions that you might have for the attorney such as how long have they been practicing, how much of their practice involved car accidents, and what their success rate is. Provide the attorney with any documentation that you have relating to the accident including accident reports, police reports, letters from your insurance company, information from your employer and any medical documentation you might have on hand. You will likely want to know what they see as an outcome of your case. Remember that they can only speculate based on the facts and their knowledge as to how your case will go. They can provide you with information about the process ahead and what you can expect. Get Started with an Evansville Car Accident Attorney Today The best thing you can do is to hire a competent and experienced Evansville car accident attorney from Gerling Law. Don’t wait until time has gone by before you get started. The attorney will be able to relieve some of the stress and get you started on protecting your rights in any upcoming process. Call Gerling Law at 888-437-5464 today and discuss the case at hand. They are ready to help you get what you deserve and the help of a professional.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | car accidents

The Devastation of a Trucking Accident

Data suggests that approximately 5,000 people in passenger vehicles die every year in accidents that involve semi-trucks. Whether or not a big rig is loaded, these massive vehicles are capable of causing serious and debilitating damages to people, vehicles, and property. Injuries from accidents involving trucks often result in the need for compensation for physical, emotional, and/or financial losses. In order to collect for injuries suffered in a truck accident, it is important to identify all defendants. This may not be limited to the driver. In many cases, the trucking companies, contractors, employers, and insurance companies may be obligated to compensate you for your injuries. Reasons that others may be named in legal action include: Inadequate training for the driver Mechanical issues Improper loading of cargo Non-compliance of “Hours of Service” meaning operating the truck longer than is allowed by law Unrealistic schedules and expectations of trucking companies that encourage drivers to hurry, despite safety risks involved Should You Settle or Go to Court? Often, a trucking accident lawsuit can be settled in advance of a court date via methods such as arbitration, mediation, or negotiation. Having a truck accident attorney as part of a settlement will help you obtain the maximum reward you deserve and help you decide if a settlement is your best option. Settlements have several benefits: They save time They are cheaper and save both parties a significant amount of money Settlements are less adversarial and confrontational The disadvantages of settling without going to court include: You usually give up the right to pursue any further legal claims There is a risk that the settlement amount may be much less than what you would get if successful in court The injured party must usually agree not to publicly hold the defendants liable for their harmful actions Legal Guidance What is best for your case? Contact one of the professional attorneys of Gerling Law and meet with them at our locations in Evansville and Indianapolis, IN or Louisville and Owensboro, KY. We have experience in truck accident cases and are dedicated to getting the compensation you deserve for your injuries. We will help you determine if your case is best settled out of court or if it would be better to go to trial. Call us now for a free consultation at 812-266-9051.

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| Read Time: < 1 minute | car accidents

62-year-old killed in accident caused by intoxicated street racer

Seven vehicles were involved in a fatal wreck outside the state of Indiana recently. The wreck was started by a 38-year-old who was speeding through the streets of Los Angeles, allegedly in an act of illegal street racing. The other person involved in the street racing later told police that he was simply scared of the 38-year-old and trying to get away from him. Whether that is true or not will be left up to the police to fully investigate. Of greater importance are the 38-year-old’s behavior and the accident he caused. Traveling in the range of 80 to 90 miles per hour, the young man crashed into the back of a vehicle that became so damaged that it was tough to identify what type of vehicle it actually was. It appears to be a Nissan, and the 62-year-old driver of the apparent Nissan was killed in the wreck. The Nissan then spun off and into multiple other vehicles, with numerous people in those vehicles suffering injuries. It was later found that the 38-year-old was also intoxicated at the time of the street racing incident. Street racing is illegal and reckless, and the terrible results of this behavior are made all too clear in this story. Innocent people suffered because of this 38-year-old’s horrible decision. Victims of car accidents that are caused by negligent drivers should consider legal action Source: The Drive, “Street Racing Eyed in Fatal Seven-Car Crash Outside Los Angeles,” Kyle Cheromcha, Sept. 22, 2017

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | car accidents

Traffic fatalities reflect growing problems of the opioid crisis

There are many ways to measure and analyze the opioid crisis that has shrouded the United States of America in discomfort and outrage for many years. It appears that few proactive and effective measures are being taken to address the crisis. This is reflected in this staggering statistic: about 100 million people in the U.S. took some form of prescription opioid in 2015. These drugs are too widely available and they do far too much damage to public health. Beyond the obvious personal harm that opioids can do, how else does the opioid affect public safety? Researchers at Columbia University set out to discover just that by looking at car accidents, fatalities, and the people who tested positive for opioids over a multi-decade period of time. According to this study, which looked at fatal traffic accidents in states that had drug testing laws, there was remarkable consistency (as well as very low rates) in the consumption of opioids from 1995 to 1999. In traffic accidents, both men and women that died in these wrecks tested positive for opioids about 1 percent of the time. But if you fast forward to the time period of 2010 to 2015, the numbers explode. About 5 percent of men killed in accidents tested positive for opioids, and even more women (7 percent) tested positive for opioids under the same conditions. Drivers that are under the influence of drugs are willfully taking their lives, and the lives of others, in their own intoxicated hands. Such behavior is negligent, and can be established with a personal injury lawsuit. Source: The Drive, “Prescription Opioid-Related Fatal Car Crashes Spike in U.S., Study Says,” Kyle Cheromcha, July 31, 2017

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