| Read Time: 4 minutes | news

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Indiana?

Losing a loved one is never an easy experience to go through, especially when the death is sudden and preventable. Wrongful death happens when a person is killed because of another person or entity’s negligence or misconduct. If your loved one was killed under these circumstances, you may be eligible to bring an Indiana wrongful death lawsuit.  Why File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Indiana? A monetary award cannot replace your loved one; however, the law does not have a more effective remedy to offer you for your loss. An Indiana wrongful death lawsuit is a civil action that allows the family to seek justice on behalf of their deceased loved one. The monetary award can help support the deceased’s surviving dependents. In some cases, the lawsuit may be used to serve as an example to others that the behavior that caused the death will not be tolerated and there are consequences.  Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Indiana? In Indiana, if the deceased is an adult, the personal representative (often referred to as the executor of the estate) or the deceased’s estate is the person who files a wrongful death lawsuit. This person is usually the surviving spouse, an adult child, sibling, or parent. Either or both parents may file for a deceased child.  What Is the Average Settlement for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Settlement? No two wrongful death cases are alike, which means settlements vary depending on the circumstances of the lawsuit. Factors such as the age of the deceased, their earning potential, medical treatment at the time of death, and more may be taken into consideration. Indiana caps wrongful death awards by juries for people without dependents at $300,000.  The following are some of the damages you may be able to recover. Lost of Financial Support These damages are especially important when the deceased was the primary provider for the household. Compensation covers the income that the deceased would have provided from their future employment earnings to support dependents.  Medical Expenses Costs of medical care can vary greatly depending on whether the deceased person was receiving medical care for the injury or illness that ultimately led to their death. Doctors, hospitals, diagnostic services, and pharmacies must all receive compensation, despite the outcome of treatment.  Loss of Parental Guidance Monetary awards cannot come close to adequate compensation for losing a parent. Surviving minors may receive financial compensation in an attempt to make up for not having their parent present to raise them and guide them.  Loss of Affection and Care This segment of wrongful death damages is also called “loss of consortium.” It pertains to the loss of a significant other and all the emotional and physical components of a relationship. This compensation may be hard to quantify. The surviving spouse should be prepared to answer a lot of questions about the happiness of their marriage.  Household Service Contribution Running a household is difficult even with multiple people contributing. Maintaining a home, caring for children, doing chores, preparing meals, and all other things that we often take for granted are relevant in your Indiana wrongful death lawsuit.  Burial Expenses Funeral and burial expenses can get expensive and may be covered under your Indiana wrongful death lawsuit damages.    Legal Fees If you succeed in your wrongful death claim, the court will likely grant attorney fees to be paid by the defendant. Legal fees are not assessed until after the verdict.  Elements of a Wrongful Death Claim Not every accidental death that occurs is a wrongful death. To succeed in your Indiana wrongful death cause of action, all the following elements must be satisfied:  A person died; A negligent or intentional act caused the death to occur; Surviving family members incur losses as a result of the death; and Appointment of a personal representative of the estate.   There are many ways that wrongful death can occur. Circumstances vary with every case, and it is important to understand causation. Here are some common circumstances that may lead to a wrongful death cause of action: Vehicle or airplane accident,  Occupational exposure to hazardous conditions or substances, Criminal activity,  Premises accident,  Death during a supervised activity, and Medical malpractice.  The most difficult component of your Indiana Wrongful Death case is proving that the action of the party, whether negligent or intentional, is what led to the death of the deceased. Without the action, death would not have occurred.  How Can a Wrongful Death Attorney Help? Wrongful death claims in Indiana can be complicated, and there are a lot of things to take into consideration. An experienced personal injury attorney can conduct an independent investigation into the death of your loved one to ensure that you have all the evidence necessary to prove your case. One very important benefit of hiring an attorney early is that they can help you accurately determine how much your claim is worth. This could require extensive evidence gathering, including witness testimony.  According to the Indiana statute of limitations, you must file your claim no later than two years after the death occurred. Failing to file within that time frame could bar you from ever filing the wrongful death lawsuit. Your attorney can make sure all your paperwork is submitted in a timely manner, conduct settlement negotiations, and litigate if necessary.  Contact Us Today Navigating the legal system is difficult at best. Gerling Law has been serving the legal needs of Indiana for over 50 years. We pride ourselves on treating each client with compassion and respect. What you are going through is undoubtedly difficult and painful. We are here to fight on your behalf for what you deserve. Contact us today for your case evaluation. Go with Experience. Go with Gerling. ®

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| Read Time: 4 minutes | Defective Consumer Devices

Serious CPAP Machine Side Effects and Risks: What You Should Know

Due to the risk of severe and potentially life-threatening CPAP machine side effects, the FDA recently announced the voluntary recall of some CPAP, BiPAP, and ventilator devices manufactured by Phillips Respironics. A design and manufacturing flaw causes these devices to expose users to potentially lethal particles and gasses. As a result, users could develop cancer, organ failure, and other significant health issues. If you or a loved one sustained harm from using one of these faulty medical devices, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and other damages. The defective medical device attorneys of Gerling Law are committed to the pursuit of justice for wrongfully injured clients. We can assist you with filing a Phillips CPAP lawsuit today. What Are the Most Common CPAP Side Effects? Some types of mild CPAP machine side effects are common. Two of the most common side effects of CPAP equipment include dry mouth and nasal discharge. Some users might find it difficult to sleep while others might develop a skin rash around the mask area. Some gastrointestinal problems can develop if a user swallows the pressurized air.   Fortunately, many of these conditions typically resolve on their own once users become accustomed to using the equipment. In the case of sleep disruption, simply adjusting the machine’s pressure or mask tightness can take care of the problem. Switching to a different type of mask can also reduce or eliminate many of the most common side effects. These issues tend to occur across the board and affect users of all CPAP brands and types. Some other side effects, however, are much less mild. In fact, some CPAP side effects can be life-threatening—and these symptoms do not resolve on their own. What Are the More Serious CPAP Machine Side Effects? Some potentially severe CPAP machine side effects are specific to Phillips Respironics devices. For users of Phillips CPAP machines, serious side effects can develop as a result of breakdown in polyester-based polyurethane (PE-PUR) sound abatement foam. Phillips used this material in the design and manufacturing of CPAP devices for the purpose of reducing operational sound and vibration. When PE-PUR foam breaks down, the resulting broken foam particles (known as black debris) can potentially enter the airway of CPAP machines. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can also enter the airway as a result of foam degradation. When someone inhales or ingests these compounds, they can develop respiratory side effects. These side effects, which can be toxic or even carcinogenic (cancer-causing), include the following: Headache, Dizziness, Chest pressure, Respiratory tract irritation, Airway inflammation, Asthma, Nausea or vomiting, Liver or kidney damage, and Cancer. These complications can lead to life-threatening or permanent injury. Some Phillips CPAP users require extensive medical intervention to save their lives or to prevent permanent damage. Details Regarding the Phillips CPAP Machine Recall In late June of 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a notice of voluntary recall and warning regarding CPAP machines manufactured by Phillips Respironics. The warning described the potential health risks of using these devices, including the more serious side effects described above. Phillips voluntarily recalled devices that were manufactured during the period of 2009 to April 26, 2021. The manufacturer provided a listing of all the recalled Phillips CPAP models. Users were instructed to immediately stop using the affected CPAP and BiPAP devices and consult with their physicians regarding next steps. Through testing and lab analysis, Phillips identified a number of CPAP toxic chemicals that were present after the breakdown of PE-PUR foam. The results, including the following, were shocking, discovering the presence of: Diethylene glycol, Dimethyl diazene, Phenol, 2,6-bis (1,1-dimethylethyl)-4-(1-methylpropyl), Toluene diisocyanate, and Toluene diamine. These chemicals are all used in the manufacturing of other chemicals and industrial products. Toluene diamine, for example, is often used as a sensitizer for explosives. Exposure to Toluene diamine is known to cause cancer, organ damage, and genetic defects. This chemical can also cause fertility damage. Toluene diisocyanate can be fatal if inhaled, while Diethylene glycol can be toxic if swallowed. In its lab analysis report, Phillips stated the following. “Based on the test data and information available to date, Philips believes that most degraded foam particulates are too big to be deeply inhaled.” Whatever the stated opinion of the manufacturer might be, patients continue to develop significant health problems and complications as a result of having used the Phillips devices.  What You Should Know About the Phillips CPAP Lawsuit The list of injuries related to Phillips Respironics products continues to grow. Multiple forms of cancer—including bladder cancer, breast cancer, brain cancer, and leukemia—have been linked to these faulty devices. Organ failure, heart attack, and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) have also been reported. Whatever type of complications you developed as a result of using a Phillips CPAP machine, you have a challenging road ahead of you. You will likely need extensive and potentially ongoing medical treatment and care. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you could be left disabled and without a way to earn a living.  If you or someone you love sustained injuries or other damages related to a Phillips CPAP machine, you deserve justice and fair financial compensation. Filing a Phillips CPAP lawsuit can help get you the resources you need. Contact a CPAP Lawsuit Attorney Today to Get Started If you believe you suffered side effects from using a CPAP machine, it is important for you to explore your options for taking legal action. At Gerling Law, we help CPAP injury victims in Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, or anywhere else in the United States. Our firm has more than a half-century of experience. We fight to get injury victims the justice they deserve. You could be entitled to recover compensation for your medical treatment, lost wages, emotional trauma, and more. We offer injury victims a no-cost, no-obligation consultation and case review. Our experienced personal injury attorneys are passionate about getting justice for wrongfully injured clients. You do not have to face this significant challenge alone. Call us...

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| Read Time: < 1 minute | Dangerous Drugs

Johnson & Johnson Sued Over Retina Damaging Drug

Multiple lawsuits are outstanding against Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceuticals and Janssen Pharmaceuticals after patients taking Elmiron developed permanent retinal injuries. Elmiron, which is used to treat interstitial cystitis,  is also known as pentosan polysulfate sodium (PPS). Individuals currently taking Elmiron should obtain an eye examination. The pharmaceutical companies have yet to release a statement on the apparent connection between the drug and maculopathy.  Source: The National Law Review

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| Read Time: 4 minutes | news

Step by Step: What to Do if You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse

When you move a loved one to a nursing home, you expect the nursing home will treat them with the respect and professionalism they deserve. However, nursing home abuse and neglect are problems plaguing facilities across the country. Do you know what to do if you suspect abuse in a nursing home? Taking the proper steps can help keep your family members safe and the nursing home from harming someone else. What to Do If You suspect Abuse in a Nursing Home At Gerling Law, our nursing home attorneys have years of experience with suspected abuse and neglect in nursing homes. Here are the steps you need to take when you suspect something is going on:  Remain calm. It’s easy to lash out and lose your temper. However, remaining calm is vital as you need to keep a level head when attempting to resolve this situation. Speak to the nursing staff about red flags and suspected signs of abuse before proceeding with other actions. If you don’t get a satisfactory response, look at more formal action. Talk with your family member privately, if possible. In some cases, family members are unable to communicate and may not be able to tell you what’s happening. Watch everything going on when you visit and take notes. If possible, get photos of injuries or things that stick out, like unsanitary conditions. Contact the police right away if your loved one is in immediate danger. Report any suspected nursing home abuse or neglect to the proper legal authorities. When you suspect nursing home abuse, it’s essential to contact a nursing home abuse lawyer right away. Please don’t wait around to see what happens, as it’s crucial to stop the abuse before it happens again. What Is Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect? Nursing home abuse is one type of elder abuse. Patients in nursing homes who are mistreated, neglected, or receive substandard care can be elder abuse victims. Nursing home staff have a duty to protect and take care of their residents. Failure to do so is a breach of duty, and the nursing home can be held accountable. What Causes Nursing Home Abuse? Numerous factors can lead to nursing home abuse. Staff turnover is typically high in nursing homes, and many facilities are understaffed. It is a stressful job, and staff members are often overwhelmed and overworked. Unfortunately, some staff members take out those frustrations on the residents. Lack of adequate training is also a common problem that can lead to neglect and abuse. It’s important to point out that nursing home abuse is not limited to staff either. While less common, residents are at risk for abuse from visitors to the nursing home facility. If the staff is not properly supervising residents, they can still be held accountable. What Are the Six Types of Elder Abuse? It’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the six main types of elder abuse so you can look out for signs of abuse and neglect in a nursing home. Physical Abuse Physical abuse involves threatening to inflict or inflicting injury or physical pain on a nursing home resident. It can also include depriving the person of a basic need, such as purposely withholding food. Potential signs include unexplained injuries, bruises, sprains, broken bones, marks on the wrists that suggest the use of restraints, etc. Emotional or Psychological Abuse Emotional or psychological abuse includes inflicting  mental pain, distress, or anguish on an elderly person through verbal or non-verbal actions. Actions can include intimidation, insults, threats, name-calling, and more. Potential warning signs to look for in your family member include being suddenly depressed or withdrawn, isolation, mood swings, appearing scared, and a change in sleeping patterns. Sexual Abuse It’s hard to fathom that sexual abuse is a problem in nursing homes. While not as common as physical or emotional abuse, it does happen. Sexual abuse is any non-consensual sexual act coercing or forcing someone to witness or participate in sexual activity. Elders who cannot communicate for themselves, have a disability that prevents them from consenting, or have Alzheimer’s or dementia are more at risk. Warning signs of sexual abuse in a nursing home include bruises on inner thighs or genitals, bleeding or pain in the genital area, torn or bloody underwear, panic attacks, and sudden withdrawal. Neglect or Abandonment by Caregivers When someone fails to provide necessary care, shelter, food, or protection, it can be considered neglect. Neglect is more than a mistake or accident; it is rooted in carelessness and disregard for the resident’s wellbeing. Examples can include failure to provide hygiene, clothing, essential activities, etc. Financial Exploitation Financial exploitation is also a common problem with elders, especially in nursing homes. This type of elder abuse involves the unauthorized or illegal use of a person’s financial resources. Someone in a trusting relationship with the victim could take property, get ahold of their ATM card and withdraw funds, coerce them to change their will, and more. Healthcare Fraud and Abuse When a nursing home employee mistreats a patient and then submits the payment of a claim for the services involved, it can fall under health care fraud. For example, a staff member may abuse a patient and then submit a claim to the resident’s insurance for the treatment required to treat their injuries. Other examples include medical identity theft, billing for services not provided, charging for medical equipment not received, and counterfeit prescription drugs. How Much Is a Nursing Home Neglect Case Worth? Without knowing the facts yet, it’s impossible to estimate what your nursing home neglect case is worth. We evaluate each case individually. Because no two cases are alike, no two settlements are precisely the same. Once we learn more about the type and extent of your family member’s injuries, we can provide you with an accurate evaluation. How a Nursing Home Attorney Can Help An experienced nursing home abuse attorney can help you recognize the warning signs of abuse and help you get the compensation your family is...

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| Read Time: < 1 minute | news

New Class Action Zantac Lawsuit Includes Claims from More Than 200 Zantac Users

September 16, 2020 — More than 200 people joined to file a Zantac class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. The plaintiffs brought the action on behalf of themselves and all other similarly situated residents of the U.S. or its territories who purchased and/or used Zantac for personal use. According to the complaint, Zantac manufacturers deceived millions of consumers into “purchasing and ingesting a defective, misbranded, adulterated, and harmful drug” while failing to warn about the potential for that drug to conatin N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a cancer-causing agent. The plaintiffs claim they would never have used the medication if they were aware of its potential to contain NDMA. They say that the defendants knew or should have known of the NDMA risk in their products as early studies showed the possibility of conversion into cancerous N-nitroso compounds. Additionally, the plaintiffs state that the defendants long knew that NDMA could be formed, yet failed to take any action to protect consumers. Reference: Luhana, R. (2020, September 15). New Class Action Zantac Lawsuit Includes Claims from Over 200 Zantac Users. Retrieved September 23, 2020, www.newyork.legalexaminer.com/legal/new-class-action-zantac-lawsuit-includes-claims-from-over-200-zantac-users/

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| Read Time: < 1 minute | news

Researchers Find NDMA in Zantac Can Develop During Storage

January 9, 2020- Emery Pharma says that recent tests indicate that levels of NDMA – a known carcinogen – in Zantac can increase during storage, especially if the drug is exposed to high heat and even while it remains in the package. The researchers found that stored Zantac medication exposed to high heat can produce unacceptably high levels of NDMA in as few as five days. Based on these findings, Emery Pharma has urged the FDA to recall Zantac and all similar ranitidine drugs. A Citizen Petition was filed by Emery Pharma, requesting that the FDA suspend sales and recall all ranitidine-based products due to the threat of NDMA exposure to consumers. Valisure had filed a similar Citizen Petition early last October 2019 after its tests indicated that heat from manufacturing could create high levels of NDMA. According to Valisure, they tested a number of ranitidine-containing heartburn medications, and all of the batches tested, regardless of dose forms, “detected extremely high levels” of NDMA in every lot. In response, the FDA asked drug-makers to test all batches of ranitidine-containing products that they produce to ensure consumers are not exposed to dangerous levels of NDMA. Many of the manufacturers discontinued the production and sales of their ranitidine-containing drugs after conducting these tests.Reference: Palmer, Eric. “Lab Finds NDMA in&nbsp;Zantac Can Develop during Storage.” FiercePharma, 3 Jan. 2020, www.fiercepharma.com/manufacturing/lab-finds-ndma-zantac-can-develop-during-storage-bloomberg.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | news

DENIED: Overcoming the Challenges of SSDI

Did you know that most people find getting Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) to be quite the challenge? Well, it’s no secret to our legal team, because we handle SSDI cases everyday. Unfortunately, the Social Security Administration (SSA) denies almost everyone the first time they apply. So, don’t feel too disheartened if the SSA sends back your first claim “denied.” How to avoid SSDI “denial” First, your disability must be on the SSA’s list of disabilities. Next, you must provide the right medical documents. In addition, you must prove financial need. Importantly, you must fill out every field of your application accurately. Truly, even the smallest mistake can cause a denied claim. For example, the SSA denies around 70 percent of all first-time SSDI applications. Also, the SSA denies most people for reasons unrelated to whether they are truly disabled or not. In other words, common reasons why the SSA denies people boils down to improperly completed forms or failing to provide necessary records. How Attorneys Help Obviously, to avoid these problems, you should turn to an attorneys with experience and dedication to getting the job done right. What will a Gerling Law SSDI attorney do? First, we present your disability in terms that comply with qualifying disabilities. Second, we ensure that your income meets SSDI requirements. Third, we put your application together properly and review it to avoid errors. As a result, when you work with a skilled attorney from the outset, you can improve the chances that you will be among the 30 percent that get approval on the first try. That being said, if SSA has already denied your claim, getting an attorney’s help can help you handle the complicated appeals process. Furthermore, it increases your chances of finally getting the disability benefits you deserve. If you need an SSDI attorney, Gerling Law 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. In addition, 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 | news

Stress due to a spinal cord injury is our problem

Have you recently experienced a spinal cord injury? If so, the attorneys at Gerling Law offer our deepest apologies. Unfortunately, we know how difficult and painful this time can be for you and your family. However, we also understand that you could benefit from speaking with a spinal cord injuries lawyer, depending on the injury. According to the National Spinal Injury Statistical Center, almost 17,000 people throughout the United States suffer from a spinal cord injury every single year. You do not have to face this confusing, painful, and challenging time alone. Leave the Legalities to the Lawyers Both mild and severe injuries can occur in various types of accidents. Automobile accidents, slips and falls, violence or assault, athletic injuries, and more can result in spine injuries. If the accident was not your fault, then you could be eligible for compensation. In other words, if this was caused by the negligence of someone else, you might be owed some money. Therefore, speaking with a spinal cord injuries lawyer could prove to be beneficial. You will want someone on your side who has experience with these types of cases. Above all, your health should be your primary concern, many cases have a statute of limitations. Unfortunately, time is limited. A settlement can assist with missed wages and medical bills. In conclusion, let us handle the legal stress while you focus on your health and recovery. 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 | news

Are You Applying for Social Security Disability?

Are you contemplating applying for social security disability? There is a myriad of conditions that could potentially qualify you for disability, including the following: back conditions, speech issues, vision or hearing loss, asthma, and more. At Gerling Law, we are here to help assist you with the process. After all, you have been through a lot, and this entire process should go as smoothly as possible. The last thing you need right now is another complication or challenge. About Applying for Social Security Disability According to the Social Security Administration, to receive disability benefits, an individual must meet the definition of disability under the Social Security Act. It is imperative to note that applying for social security disability can seem like a job itself. The process can be tedious and challenging. However, completing each step correctly is necessary for anyone wanting to get their benefits approved. If any mistake is made, the benefits can (and most likely will) be denied, resulting in a lengthy appeal’s process. Further, having detailed, completed, and proper paperwork can and will only assist in the approval of your benefits. Before you begin the process of applying for social security disability, you should educate yourself on it, becoming fully familiar with what to expect. Preparation is key! It is also important to be honest and thorough on your application. You can also save yourself a lot of time and energy by knowing what is considered a “disability.” For example, if the disability occurred from a drug or alcohol-related accident, then the claim will be denied. Get Help Applying for Social Security Disability Do you need help applying for social security disability? Remember, this process can be challenging, and it is vital to get it right the first time around. Therefore, consider speaking to the professional attorneys at Gerling Law. If you are in Evansville, Indianapolis, Louisville, or Owensboro, we can help you with your needs.

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| Read Time: < 1 minute | news

8 vehicles involved, 7 people injured in Indianapolis crash

While the following story is a couple of months old, the circumstances of the car accident in question still make for an important post. The wreck in question occurred back in June in Indianapolis, with at least seven vehicles being involved. Around 10:45 p.m. the seven vehicles converged on west 73rd Street near Spring Mill road. Eight people suffered injuries in the crash, though thankfully none of the injuries were deemed life-threatening. However, there were some people that suffered serious injuries that required hospitalization. Two of the people harmed in the crash were children. Some witnesses of the crash said that at least one vehicle ran a red light at the intersection. It is unclear at this time if this is what triggered the crash. The police are still investigating and no official word has been given about the cause of the crash. But running a red light qualifies as reckless and negligent behavior out on the road. Far too many accidents occur as a result of this type of behavior, which can include distracted driving, drunk driving, dangerous driving (such as speeding), and many other unsafe behaviors. Victims of any car accidents that involved a distracted, drunk, dangerous, or otherwise reckless driver should consider their legal options immediately. These unsafe drivers should be held accountable for what they have done. Source: WTHR, “At least 8 injured in northwest Indianapolis crash,” June 17, 2017

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