| 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: 3 minutes | Personal Injury

Average Settlement for a Herniated Disc in Indiana

Herniated disc pain can be excruciating. When your herniated disc is the result of someone else’s negligence, you might be under additional stress, wondering who will pay your medical expenses. Understandably, many prospective clients want to know the average settlement for a herniated disc. Various factors impact the value of all personal injury claims, including herniated disc lawsuit settlements. To understand what your claim is worth, you need to speak with an experienced Indiana personal injury lawyer at Gerling Law. What Are Average Herniated Disc Settlement Amounts? There is no average range for herniated disc settlements or any other type of personal injury claim. It’s impossible to provide a typical settlement value because each case is unique. While herniated discs are one of the most common injuries in a car accident, they are often one of the most contested by insurance companies. Insurance adjusters are quick to point the finger at a pre-existing condition. Diagnostic tests can show you have a herniated disc, but they won’t tell the doctors when your injury occurred. Even if you do have a pre-existing herniated disc, it does not necessarily prevent you from getting compensation. For example, you might be entitled to a herniated disc car accident settlement if the collision aggravated your injury. You might be researching compensation for herniated disc car accidents online and wondering why an insurance calculator won’t work to provide an average settlement amount. There is no such thing as a herniated disc settlement calculator—at least not an accurate one. Using an online calculator for your injury claim will not give an accurate value because online calculators are simply incapable of considering all the variables that influence your claim. Factors That Influence Your Herniated Disc Settlement Amount To reach a potential value for a herniated disc injury, we look at various factors that impact your claim. Some of the most important ones include: Your age; Your medical history; Any pre-existing conditions; The prognosis of your herniated disc; Who caused the accident; Your total damages, including medical expenses and time off work; and Your pain and suffering. All cases are unique, which means these factors will vary from case to case. For example, older people may not have lost earnings because they are retired or not working a full-time job. Or if your prognosis for recovery is not good, you could have a higher figure for pain, suffering, and additional medical expenses.  When you retain Gerling Law to represent you, our skilled legal team will help you calculate the total value of your damages and advise you on what a fair settlement range would be. How to Prove Damages in a Herniated Disc Injury Case Proving liability is a crucial part of successfully pursuing a herniated disc settlement. Indiana is a modified comparative negligence state. That means if you share fault for the accident that caused your herniated disc injury, you still might be eligible to collect a portion of your damages. However, you cannot be the primary cause of the accident. For example, if a jury finds you 20% at fault, you could still collect 80% of your damages. If you’re 50% at fault, you could collect 50%. Unfortunately, if you are 51% or more at fault, you will be barred from recovery. Because of this law, insurance companies will look to place the maximum amount of fault on you whenever possible. This tactic reduces their potential payout or may even eliminate it if they can show you were at least 51% at fault. By hiring our skilled Indiana personal injury lawyers, we can protect your rights and work tirelessly to prove liability and damages against the at-fault parties. Why Hire an Indiana Personal Injury Lawyer for Your Herniated Disc Claim You need a legal advocate on your side. Unfortunately, insurance companies rely on the fact that you don’t know the legal process or how to calculate your total damages and negotiate a settlement. At Gerling Law, our top priority is to protect your rights and help you pursue the maximum amount of compensation possible.   We will request all relevant records that show proof of your herniated disc, such as an MRI. We will also obtain all your prior medical records to establish whether you had a pre-existing condition or spinal pain complaints. If necessary, we will hire a medical expert to review your medical history and testify whether the accident caused your herniated disc or aggravated a pre-existing herniated disc. If there were any witnesses to your accident, we will get their statements as well. Contact Gerling Law If you sustained a herniated disc in a car accident—or in any type of accident—contact Gerling Law today to learn how we can assist you. We have decades of experience helping injured victims just like you. We always put our clients first and will do what’s best for you. We have a proven record of success, recovering more than $500 million to date for people in the tri-state area. Call our office or use our online contact form to schedule a consultation. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can start working on your case. Go with Experience. Go with Gerling. ®  

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| Read Time: 4 minutes | Personal Injury

Calculating Pain and Suffering in Indiana

If you sustain severe injuries in an accident, chances are you may experience physical or emotional distress during recovery. In Indiana, plaintiffs may pursue compensation for their pain and suffering in the form of damages. However, you may be wondering, How do you calculate pain and suffering? Let’s take a look at how a personal injury attorney may calculate your pain and suffering depending on your situation. Damages Available in Indiana In personal injury cases, there are three types of damages available for victims to pursue: economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages. Each category has an effect on the total settlement amount and requires different types of evidence. Economic Damages These damages compensate the plaintiff for any calculable losses from their injuries. This includes any monetary losses, such as medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and more.  Non-Economic Damages Also known as general damages, non-economic damages are any non-calculable losses sustained by the plaintiff. In other words, these damages are intangible and highly subjective. Pain and suffering falls into the category of non-economic damages. Punitive Damages These types of damages are awarded only in cases where the defendant acted with malice or gross negligence. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish the defendant for extremely reckless misconduct. Popular Pain and Suffering Calculation Methods in Indiana While methods vary between attorneys, many use the multiplier method to calculate non-economic damages like pain and suffering for their clients. The multiplier is usually a number between one and five depending on the severity of the injury. Your attorney will multiply that number by the amount of your economic damages. Consider the following example: Susan gets into a car accident and suffers permanent paralysis in her lower body. Her economic damages amount to nearly $1,000,000. Susan was a competitive swimmer, so in addition to losing the ability to walk, she can no longer participate in this activity. Because of Susan’s significant losses, her attorney pursues a pain and suffering multiplier of five. Susan and her lawyer decide to sue the defendant for $6,000,000 total, which includes $1,000,000 in economic damages and $5,000,000 in non-economic damages. One thing to keep in mind is that some cases may use a multiplier higher than five, especially if the injury results in total disability. However, keep in mind that the State of Indiana caps the amount of damages for some types of cases. For example, under IC 34-18-14-3, a plaintiff may not recover more than $1.8 million for an act of medical malpractice that occurs after June 30, 2019. Do Online Indiana Pain and Suffering Calculators Really Give Accurate Settlement Estimates? No, Indiana pain and suffering calculators do not give accurate estimates. Since every person has unique circumstances, it is impossible for a calculator to determine an estimate that matches your case. The best way to find an accurate estimate for your settlement is to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. How Much Is My Pain and Suffering Worth? The value of your pain and suffering depends on several factors. Since there is no objective way to determine pain and suffering, the jury usually decides whether to award pain and suffering based on the following: The type of injury sustained by the plaintiff, The type of medication required to treat the injury, The effect of the injury on the plaintiff’s quality of life, The length of the plaintiff’s recovery, and The strength of the evidence provided. While these aren’t the only factors that the jury may take into consideration, they are a major part of their calculation. Here’s an example from a 2001 Indiana case where the jury awarded pain and suffering damages. On May 6, 1995, trucker Jerry Stanton made a delivery to Kroger’s Indianapolis Distribution Center. Before leaving, he decided to take a break and parked his tractor trailer next to another parked trailer. A Kroger employee, Ira Ritter, began backing up a tractor into the parked trailer without looking, pinning Stanton between her vehicle and the trailer. He suffered devastating injuries, including a pelvic fracture, broken ribs, lung contusions, internal bleeding, and hemorrhagic shock. Stanton sued Ritter for more than $65 million in damages. When the case went to trial, the jury determined that Stanton was 20% at fault for the accident and awarded him $55 million in damages. There are several reasons why the jury awarded such a large amount. First, the doctors who testified for Stanton said it was the most severe injury they’d ever seen in their careers. Second, Stanton had to be resuscitated several times over the first month of recovery and developed respiratory distress syndrome. Finally, due to Stanton’s injuries, he could no longer participate in any outdoor activities that he used to enjoy. Based on these circumstances, the jury found Stanton’s award justified. How to Prove Pain and Suffering Generally, the best way to prove pain and suffering after an injury is to document it. There are a few ways you can do this depending on your circumstances: Keep a diary. Make sure to mention any of the difficulties you experience due to your injury, including changes in mood, excessive pain, or trouble performing daily activities.  Visit a therapist. Seeing a mental health professional is a good way to document changes in your state of mind after the injury. Mention difficulties to your doctor. If your injury prevents you from getting sleep, performing basic tasks, or enjoying life, tell your doctor, so they make a note in your medical record. These are just a few ways of documenting your pain and suffering. If you have trouble writing it down on your own, try asking family members or friends to provide their own testimony. How Can an Indiana Personal Injury Lawyer Help? Instead of relying on an Indiana pain and suffering calculator, it’s best to go with a skilled personal injury attorney. They will calculate your potential settlement based on every detail of your case, including your bills, future medical costs, loss of quality of life, and...

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Personal Injury

Should I Hire a Construction Accident Lawyer?

Construction workers have one of the most dangerous jobs in the country. For that reason, the law takes the safety of construction workers very seriously. Under laws like OSHA, construction employers protect their employees by giving them personal protective equipment. Employers also work to adequately train their workers to handle dangerous equipment and work environments. Despite the law’s requirements, employers and contractors sometimes fail to protect their workers. When that happens, debilitating injuries and even deaths can result.  If you have been injured while working at a construction site, the disruptions to your quality of life can be serious. That’s why you should seriously consider hiring a construction accident lawyer today. Our experienced construction accident attorneys can help you defend your rights and provide you with the personal attention that your case requires.  Why Should I Get a Construction Site Accident Lawyer? Having an attorney provides you with several essential benefits. An Attorney Will Be Your Advocate After a construction accident, it’s almost guaranteed that you will have to deal with various third parties like contractors, insurance companies, and medical providers. None of these third parties are on your side or have any obligation to help defend your rights. Instead, these entities fight to save money for themselves or otherwise advance their own interests.  A construction accident lawyer knows how to stand up to these groups and negotiate effectively on your behalf. This will not only save you the trouble and stress of dealing with these groups, but will also help you get a better outcome for your case. An Attorney Can Help You Get the Compensation You Deserve Even relatively minor construction accidents frequently lead to lost wages, expensive medical bills, and permanent injuries. More serious accidents like falls, burns, and electric shocks can cause debilitating medical conditions like paralysis that change your life forever. No matter whether your injuries are crippling or relatively minor, an attorney will help you understand how much compensation you can receive. An Attorney Can Help You Understand Your Options and What Is at Stake You may be tempted to avoid hiring a construction site accident lawyer, especially if you don’t think your case is very serious. Yet the major reason you should consult an attorney is that their legal expertise allows them to see your case in a different light.  Even if the law requires your employer to respect your rights, there’s no guarantee that they will.  A construction site attorney is different. From the moment you attend your initial consultation, they will help you understand your rights under the law and your employer’s duties to you.  For example, what may seem like a trivial safety violation may be critical for helping you win your case. An attorney can also help you understand how to preserve your legal options and protect yourself from potential retaliation. Finally, an experienced construction accident lawyer knows the various kinds of construction accident claims and can give you guidance on what remedies you may have. An Attorney Can Obtain the Information You Need An experienced construction accident attorney is well-versed in state and federal laws concerning employers’ safety obligations and workers’ compensation. They know how to get the information you need to have the best chance of success. They will also investigate the circumstances of your case, collect helpful evidence, and interview witnesses. Once they’ve assembled all of this information, an attorney can persuasively present your case before a judge and jury if necessary.  How Do I Choose the Right Construction Accident Lawyer for My Claim? Maybe by now, you’ve decided to consult an attorney. However, it’s essential to pick the right attorney. So before you hire one, you need to consider several details. Does the attorney you want to hire have years or decades of experience, or did they just get out of law school? Do they have experience with construction accidents, or do they specialize in some other kind of law? How much do they charge? Do they charge their clients by the hour or only if they win your case? The ideal construction site attorney: Has many positive client reviews and testimonies; Has experience with your type of claim; Works on a contingency fee basis; Offers free initial consultations; and Has been successful at winning their clients’ cases.  A construction site attorney that meets these criteria can make all the difference between winning and losing your case.  Why Should I Choose Gerling Law? Gerling Law Injury Attorneys is not just any law firm. Our experienced construction accident lawyers know how difficult it is to put the pieces of your life together after being injured. As our client testimonials show, we’ll work with you to thoroughly investigate your case and ensure that you’re treated as a person rather than just a number. On top of that, we’ll draw upon our extensive experience to help you get the results you deserve in your case. And we won’t bill you for any legal fees unless and until we win your case. Even if you still aren’t sure your case needs an attorney, contact us today. Initial consultations are always free, so you have nothing to lose by reaching out. Go with Experience. Go with Gerling. ®

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| Read Time: 5 minutes | Personal Injury

Can I Get Compensation for Pain and Suffering?

If you were injured due to the careless or intentional acts of someone else, there is a good chance that you will be coping with more than just the financial pain of your injuries. You may be wondering if pain and suffering damages are available.  What Is Pain and Suffering? The term “pain and suffering” refers to the physical and emotional pain caused by the injury that you would not have had to endure had the negligent action not taken place. Injuries can be costly financially, but there can also be significant implications for your quality of life. Compensation for what you are going through is pain and suffering damages. This type of recovery falls under the umbrella of non-economic damages.  Economic vs Non-Economic Damages Both economic and non-economic damages are considered “compensatory” damages because you are being compensated for things that never should have been an issue in the first place.  Economic Damages Injuries can be costly to treat, and property can be costly to repair. Economic damages cover the actual expenses that result from the incident that injured you. The goal of economic damages is to restore you to the financial position you would have been in had the negligence not occurred. Some of the things that economic damages cover include: Medical costs; Physical therapy;  Rehabilitation equipment;  Lost wages;  Caregiver expenses;  Property damage; Transportation to distant doctor visits; and  Medications.  These costs can be compiled and proven using receipts, invoices, pay stubs, and the like. This makes them very easy to calculate. Non-Economic Damages Not all effects of your injuries will be this easy to quantify. Non-economic damages are those that impact your mental state and wellbeing. These are often things that cannot be changed with money. Nor can they be solved with a simple apology. And even though money cannot fix all wrongs, financial compensation is the only way the law has of compensating victims for these losses. Pain and suffering damages are included in non-economic damages, along with some of the following: Mental anguish,  Post-traumatic stress,  Depression,  Anxiety,  Embarrassment,  Loss of consortium, and Loss of quality of life.  Sometimes the mental aspect of what you have been through or the severity of your injuries can prevent you from living life as you once did. Therapy is often necessary after a traumatic accident. That alone is enough to constitute non-economic damages. If you are injured to the point that you are unable to do the things you love most in life, you are likely experiencing varying degrees of loss of quality of life and should be compensated accordingly.  Proving Pain and Suffering Damages Unlike economic damages that come with a price tag, pain and suffering damages are more complicated to prove but very relevant to your case. In order to prove pain and suffering damages, you will need to provide supportive evidence about the extent of your injury and the limitations it imposes on your normal day-to-day activities and lifestyle. Potential evidence may include:  Detailed police reports from the incident that caused the injury; Photos from the accident to demonstrate severity; Medical records from all treatment you have undergone; Testimonials from medical doctors; Testimonials from therapists; A list of long-term medications;  Visual proof of your previous lifestyle, which can include photos or video demonstrating the activities you did but can no longer take part in; Testimonials from friends or family members about the effects of your injury; Co-worker or supervisor testimonials regarding changes to your ability to do your job; and Expert analysis regarding limitations on earning capacity.  Gathering this type of evidence is an important part of achieving fair compensation and can be even more crucial if your case goes to trial. An experienced personal injury attorney will understand and make informed recommendations on the best way to present your case to get the pain and suffering damages you deserve. Calculating Pain and Suffering Damages There are a number of factors that go into determining the amount of damages a court should award for pain and suffering. Whether you are negotiating with an insurance company or presenting your case before a judge and jury, some things to be considered include the:  Severity of your injuries;  Required past and future medical treatment; Egregiousness of the behavior that caused the injury; Overall physical and mental pain suffered and reasonably expected into the future;   Impact on your quality of life;  Changes and limitations to employment; and Long-term prognosis of the injury.  Each injury is unique, so there are no set standards for how much compensation you will receive for pain and suffering. However, there are two different types of calculations commonly used to determine pain and suffering damages.  Pain and Suffering Per Diem Method This method of calculating pain and suffering damages assigns a specific monetary value to each day from the date of the injuries to the date of “maximum medical improvement” or MMI. A medical expert determines this date by asserting that the condition has improved as much as it possibly can and will not continue to heal. It can also be the date that the injury completely heals.  Pain and Suffering Multiplier Method  This is the more common of the two methods for calculating pain and suffering damages. Here are the general steps to using this calculation: Add up the total amount of your medical bills; Determine a number between 1.5 and 5, based on the severity of your injuries; and  Multiply your medical bills by this number.  It really takes an experienced attorney to arrive at a feasible multiplier number. The more severe the injuries, the higher your multiplier will be. The degree of negligence in the action that caused the injury can also be a determining factor. Complications with using this method arise when the multiplier number is in dispute or the treatment is not extremely costly, but the long-term impact is.  Pain and Suffering Settlement Examples There are a lot of potential situations where the injury results in long-term suffering. Here are some...

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Car Accident

Is a Passenger in a Car Accident Entitled to Compensation?

If you were injured as a passenger in a car accident, you deserve justice just as much as any other victim. In fact, passengers rarely have any fault in a motor vehicle collision, potentially making an even stronger case for you to recover compensation for your injuries and other damages. The process for pursuing a car accident settlement as a passenger can be confusing. An experienced personal injury lawyer can provide the answers and information you need with regard to car accident settlement payouts for passengers. In Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky, Gerling Law has more than five decades of experience fighting for the wrongfully injured. We have the  knowledge and experience you need on your side now. Typical Car Accident Settlement Amounts for Passengers Because every accident victim faces unique challenges and circumstances, it is impossible to estimate any average car accident compensation amount. To determine your claim’s value, your attorney will identify all your physical, emotional, and financial damages. After documenting all damages you suffered, your attorney will use that information to establish the value of your car crash claim. Although we cannot accurately estimate any average or typical claim value, it is safe to say that more serious injuries usually equate to higher car crash claim values. For example, the average settlement for car accident back and neck injury claims is generally higher than settlements for less serious injuries. It is important to note that even minor car accident settlement amounts can provide the financial resources you need to obtain medical treatment and get back on your feet. Talking to an experienced car accident lawyer is the best way to determine whether you have a valid injury accident claim and, if so, what the potential value of your claim might be. Who Should an Injured Passenger Sue for a Car Accident? Victims typically pursue an injury accident claim or lawsuit through the at-fault party’s insurance company. This may be the driver of the other vehicle or a third party, but it might be the driver of the car in which you were riding. If that person is a friend or family member, this could create a potentially uncomfortable situation. Nevertheless, you are entitled to recover compensation for your damages. Having an attorney to handle your claim can provide a helpful buffer between you and your loved one, should you have to pursue your claim through their insurer. Ideally, your attorney can negotiate a fair settlement so you can put this unfortunate situation behind you. What If a Passenger in Your Vehicle Is Injured? If you have an accident in which someone is injured, you should get them and yourself to a safe place, then call the police to report the crash. Make sure you and they seek medical attention as soon as possible. Do not admit fault or discuss the circumstances of the accident with your passengers or any other party, even if you believe you might have caused or contributed to the accident. Provide your passengers with your insurance information, but don’t discourage them from pursuing a claim. Instead, contact an attorney to learn what your legal rights and obligations might be to your passengers and anyone else who sustained injuries in the collision. How Much Can Someone Sue for a Car Accident Passenger Injury? Typically, injury accident victims are entitled to pursue compensation from the party or parties who were responsible for the crash. Victims may pursue compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. This might include medical treatment and care, lost wages, pain and suffering, etc. The nature and extent of a victim’s injuries can affect their potential claim value, as can their prognosis for recovery. Any long-term injuries or permanent damage could result in a higher claim value. The best way to determine how much you or another party might be able to sue for is to contact an experienced attorney. An attorney can review the details of your case and explain how they can help protect your legal rights. How Can a Car Accident Attorney Help? If you sustained injuries in a car crash that wasn’t your fault, talk to an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Investigating your case and documenting your damages should occur as quickly as possible. This enables your attorney to submit your claim to the insurance company and start negotiating your settlement. If the insurance company won’t make a reasonable settlement offer, your attorney may recommend filing a lawsuit in civil court. The experienced legal team of Gerling Law understands how important it is to get your case resolved as quickly as possible, so you can get the resources you need to recover. We offer a free case review, so you can explore your options and get started with the legal process. Contact us now to learn more about how our skilled and compassionate car accident attorneys can help you pursue your passenger car accident claim. Go with Experience. Go with Gerling. ®

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| Read Time: 4 minutes | Personal Injury

What’s the Average Settlement for Traumatic Brain Injury?

Our brain is one of the most important organs that we have in our bodies. Our self-awareness and ability to solve complex problems as humans stem entirely from our unique brains. Unfortunately, despite the fact that our skulls surround and protect our brains, they are highly susceptible to damage. If you or a loved one suffers in an accident and you plan on filing a brain injury lawsuit, you likely want a bit more information on post-concussion syndrome settlement values. In this piece, we will discuss the average settlement for traumatic brain injury, mild traumatic brain injury settlements, and how you can estimate concussion settlement values.  Traumatic Brain Injury Happens Every Day in America Most brain damage results from what we call “traumatic brain injuries” or “TBI” for short. A TBI is an injury that affects how the brain works. A number of different things can cause TBI. Most often, bumps, jolts, or blows to one’s head cause TBI. Less often, but equally serious, a gunshot wound, or any other object penetrating one’s head can cause TBI. Effects of TBI Generally, there are three levels of TBI: mild, moderate, and severe. Each level has many potential aftereffects that vary greatly. The aftereffects of a TBI can quickly dissipate, but they can also last one’s entire life. TBI’s aftereffects include things like: Dizziness, Fatigue, Vision impairment, Cognitive function impairment, Disruption of development, and Migraines. According to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), TBI is a major cause of death and disability in the US. In 2019 alone there were nearly 61,000 TBI related deaths in the US. There Is No Average Settlement Because every case of TBI is different and unique, it is difficult to pinpoint a precise average settlement for a concussion. On one hand, some concussion settlement values are $10 million or more. On the other hand, a different concussion’s settlement value may be a few thousand dollars. The value of brain injury compensation depends entirely on the facts and circumstances surrounding the TBI.   Figuring Out Your Settlement Value The best way to accurately estimate the value of your TBI settlement is by consulting with an experienced TBI attorney. TBI attorneys know the relative value of the various factors that go into a TBI settlement and can tell you the amount that they would seek if they were to represent you. Before consulting with a lawyer, however, you might want to make your own estimate. To make a relative estimate of the value of your TBI claim, go through our prepared list of factors that affect TBI settlement values. If you have more factors in the “increasing value” list, then you can expect a settlement that is relatively higher than average. If you have more factors in the “decreasing value” list, your settlement may be lower than average. Increasing Value Many of the factors that increase a settlement’s value have to do with the damages that you suffer. The more types of damages you suffer, the more your settlement is worth. In addition, the severity of the damages you suffer affects the settlement. The more severe those damages are, the greater your settlement value is. Other factors can increase your settlement’s value too, such as: Emergency medical transport; Surgery (or surgeries); Physical rehabilitation; Extended hospital stays; Medical costs of non-TBI injuries; Temporarily impaired cognitive function; Permanently impaired cognitive function; Migraines; Pain, emotional anguish, or loss of enjoyment of life; Lost wages; Vocational rehabilitation; In-home assistance (permanent or temporary); Death of a loved one; Loss of employment benefits; Property damage; Visual impairment; Loss of ability to drive; A clear liable party; Multiple liable parties; A liable party with significant financial resources; and Malice or intent on the part of the liable party (punitive damages). You may experience losses that our list does not cover. These factors may also increase your settlement value. The general rule is, the more damages, the greater the settlement value. If some of the damages you experience are particularly severe, then they will likely impact your settlement more. Consider permanent cognitive impairment vs temporary cognitive impairment, for example. You can seek damages for temporary cognitive impairment, but a claim that involves permanent cognitive impairment or even long-term cognitive impairment expected to last a year or more will result in greater compensation. Decreasing Value Just as some factors increase the value of your settlement relatively speaking, other factors have the opposite effect. The following factors will all, relatively speaking, decrease the value of your TBI, concussion, or post concussion syndrome’s settlement value: Negligence or shared fault of the injured party; Tenuous causal connection between liable party and injury; Liability unclear between multiple potentially liable parties; The liable party is lacking in financial resources (known as a “judgment proof defendant”); No permanent cognitive impairment; No temporary cognitive impairment; and Injury’s effects are mitigated by swift medical treatment. Generally speaking, the fewer aftereffects you suffer as a result of your TBI, the less your TBI settlement is worth. Factors that do not appear in this list may also decrease your settlement’s value, so make sure you consider those factors as well. Better yet, discuss your case with an experienced TBI attorney so you have a well-informed estimate from someone who deals with TBI litigation on a day-to-day basis. Seasoned Legal Representation for Tri-State Area TBI Using our lists to make a relative estimate is useful in predicting your TBI settlement’s value. Adding up the sum of your monetary damages to make a more precise estimate is similarly useful. To get the most accurate estimate, however, there is no substitute for an experienced TBI attorney. The TBI attorneys here at Gerling Law have considerable experience helping those affected by TBI in the tri-state area recover the entirety of the damages they deserve. Our attorneys know how to evaluate your claim to get the most out of it. You deserve nothing less. Tell us your story. Call us today for a free consultation! Go with experience. Go with Gerling. ®

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Personal Injury

Do I Need an Indiana Personal Injury Attorney?

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

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| Read Time: 4 minutes | Personal Injury

What Is the Average Personal Injury Settlement Amount?

If you or a loved one sustained injuries in a personal injury accident that wasn’t your fault, you deserve justice and fair compensation for your damages. You probably also are curious about what your case value might be worth. Getting a fair settlement is important for two primary reasons: You deserve justice for your injuries and other damages, and you need the financial resources to get comprehensive medical treatment and pay your bills. Clients often ask us how they can determine what a fair settlement might be for their case and what the average personal injury claim value is in the tri-state area. The experienced personal injury lawyers of Gerling Law assist wrongfully injured clients in Indiana, Kentucky, and Illinois. Our knowledgeable team provides compassionate assistance for our clients while fighting tirelessly to get you the outcome you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation. We can tell you more about what the average personal injury settlement amount includes—and how this might affect your claim. Is There an Average Personal Injury Accident Settlement Amount? You face a variety of unique challenges when you fall victim to a personal injury. Whether your injuries were minor or you face a long road back to recovery, you have many challenges ahead. The factors that make you and your injuries unique also make it virtually impossible to identify an average personal injury claim value. Our experienced attorneys help accident victims throughout the tri-state area. We know from experience that it is not realistic to even attempt to identify an average injury claim value in Illinois, Kentucky, or Indiana. We evaluate your claim based on the unique details and circumstances of your case. We provide you with individualized service and answers because we understand that no one-size-fits-all approach is ever practical or fair to you. Are Injury Accident Claim Value Calculators Helpful? Be wary of any online accident settlement calculators or any other resource that claims to provide an accurate estimate of your claim’s potential value. Even the most experienced injury accident lawyers need all the details of your case to determine its potential value. In many cases, online calculators are designed to gather your information so an attorney can reach out to you directly. You might be able to obtain general information about what may or may not be included in an injury claim. However, getting real answers will virtually always require a more detailed analysis of your case, conducted by a knowledgeable legal professional. How Will My Personal Injury Settlement Value Be Calculated? Personal injury attorneys calculate the value of any personal injury claim by first identifying all the economic and non-economic damages you suffered. Calculating economic damages—which might include the cost of your medical treatment, any lost wages, etc.—is a fairly straightforward process. Documenting these types of damages is also relatively simple, using copies of medical bills, income statements, and other documentation of this nature. Non-economic damages, which include emotional trauma, pain and suffering, etc. present more of a challenge. These types of damages are more subjective and not as easy to document. This is why it’s critical to have an experienced attorney on your side. If your injuries affect your ability to work or to resume your prior job duties, your attorney may recommend pursuing damages of lost income capacity as well as future lost income, benefits, and opportunities. If you suffered any permanent damage, scarring, etc., your attorney may also want to include those damages as a part of your overall claim value. As you can see, determining the value of your injury accident claim requires research and an in-depth knowledge of this complex area of the law. What Factors Could Affect the Value of My Personal Injury Settlement? One of the most important factors that attorneys consider in determining the value of a personal injury claim is the nature of the victim’s injuries and how those injuries will affect the victim in the future. Another factor that could affect your claim is how you sustained your injuries. If you were hit by a drunk driver, for example, or if you suffered injuries due to the wrongful actions of a semi-truck driver, your attorney may be able to gather a variety of evidence and build a persuasive case on your behalf. In most cases, personal injury lawyers can negotiate a fair settlement with the at-fault party’s insurance company. This provides several advantages over going to court. Your case gets resolved at the earliest possible time without the cost and hassle of a trial. Whether your attorney negotiates a settlement or prevails in court, you won’t have to pay any legal fees up front—so you don’t have to worry about out-of-pocket costs. If you do go to court, however, most attorneys have a higher fee percentage than they do for settling. This can also affect your ultimate award. Once you talk with an experienced attorney, you can get the details on all of these factors and more and get a realistic estimate of how much you could collect for your personal injury settlement amount. Contact the Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers at Gerling Law Now At Gerling Law, our experienced attorneys focus on the unique details of your case. When you choose us to assist you, you won’t have to face this challenging situation alone. Take a moment to browse our past case results, and you will see how committed we are to getting the job done for you. We do everything in our power to get the best possible outcome for your case. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you with injuries sustained in a car accident, truck accident, medical malpractice case, construction accident, or any other type of personal injury accident. We look forward to answering your questions and helping determine the possible value of your personal injury settlement. Go with experience. Go with Gerling. ®

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| Read Time: 5 minutes | Car Accident

Examples of Wrongful Death Cases

Losing a loved one is a difficult thing for anybody. Losing a loved one due to someone else’s negligence can be even harder. Lives are cut short every day for many reasons, but losing a loved one in an accident caused by someone else’s negligent actions is especially tragic. When such an event happens, the family of the person who died is entitled to compensation. Wrongful death suits occur when someone who has lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence files a claim against the individual responsible for the death. In 2019 more than 170,000 people lost their lives in the US from accidents or unintentional injuries. In fact, such accidents are the third leading cause of death in the US. While accidents happen in an almost infinite number of different ways, some wrongful death causes are more common than others. Here are some examples of wrongful death causes. Car Accidents There is no way to ignore the fact that driving a vehicle can be dangerous. While many of us may go years without getting into a car accident, others are not so lucky. Many wrongful death lawsuit cases happen each year after fatal car accidents. Generally, if a driver’s negligent actions cause a death on the road, they are liable for the wrongful death.  The number of car accident fatalities each year may surprise you. More than 38,000 people die in car accidents each year. In 2020, while there was less traffic volume than normal due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of vehicle fatalities rose. Some experts say that the increase in fatalities was due, in part, to increased rates of speeding in the US. If a loved one dies after a car accident that someone else negligently causes, you are entitled to compensation through a wrongful death claim. Some of the most common causes of death after car accidents stem from things like: Brain injuries, Neck injuries, and Internal bleeding. The two best things you and your loved ones can do to avoid suffering a fatal injury in a car accident are wearing your seatbelt and avoiding distractions while driving. Defective Products Defective products lead to numerous wrongful death claims each year. Most consumer products producers are responsible for ensuring consumer safety as long as their products are used as intended. Some products are inherently dangerous, but other times, a consumer product can have a fatal defect. For example, a cooking utensil that leaches deadly chemicals into food as it is used as intended can lead to a wrongful death claim against a manufacturer. Similarly, a safety feature in a vehicle that doesn’t work properly, like a seatbelt that comes unbuckled easily in an accident, can easily cause fatal injuries and leave the manufacturer liable for wrongful death claims. Even an inherently dangerous consumer product, such as a gun, comes with an assumption of safety with proper use. A defective part in a gun that causes a chambered round to go off without the user pulling the trigger can easily lead to a wrongful death claim.  When a manufacturer of goods is made aware of a dangerous defect in their product, they are responsible for notifying the public of that defect and recalling any defective products. They are also responsible for replacing those products free of charge. Boeing became responsible for numerous wrongful death claims after a design flaw caused some of their 737 Max commercial aircraft to crash in 2018. Since then, in addition to settling wrongful death claims, Boeing has recalled and replaced all of the affected 737 Max airplanes. If you want to keep track of any consumer product recalls to help ensure your safety, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is the best place to do so. The CPSC website contains a database of all consumer product recalls. You can even subscribe to the CPSC to get a newsletter of product recalls relevant to you. Workplace Accidents Unfortunately, many accidents happen in the workplace. While all employers must provide their employees with a safe workspace, some employers fail to do so. Even an employer who takes all necessary precautions can have a fatal accident occur at their workplace. In addition, some jobs and workspaces are more dangerous than others. For example, a construction site will typically be more dangerous than an average office.  While the vast majority of workplace injuries are nonfatal each year, the number of fatal injuries is still significant. Employers in the US reported 2.8 million nonfatal injuries in 2019. During the same period, however, a total of 5,333 workers died due to workplace injuries. If a loved one dies after a workplace accident, you can file a claim through their employer’s workers’ compensation program. Most employers in the US are required to maintain workers’ compensation insurance. However, if a loved one dies due to negligence by someone other than their employer or coworker, or if the employer did not carry workers’ compensation insurance, you may be able to seek additional compensation through a wrongful death claim. Medical Malpractice Medical malpractice commonly gives rise to wrongful death claims. Medical malpractice is estimated to take roughly 250,000 lives each year. Generally speaking, medical malpractice occurs when an error in medical treatment leads to injury. If the patient dies due to a medical error, their loved ones are entitled to compensation through a medical malpractice wrongful death claim. To file a successful wrongful death claim based on medical malpractice, one must prove that the death was caused by a medical provider’s mistake that amounts to a violation of the medical standard of care. Pedestrian Accidents Another common source of wrongful death claims is pedestrian accidents. Unlike when a car strikes another vehicle, when a car strikes a pedestrian, the pedestrian does not have the protection that a vehicle offers. Thus, a pedestrian receives the full force of impact when a car strikes them. As a result, it is not uncommon for injuries to a pedestrian after being struck by...

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