| 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.

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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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| Read Time: 6 minutes | Personal Injury

What Is Considered a Catastrophic Brain Injury

Any accident that causes trauma to the brain is problematic. Even a minor concussion can result in lasting damage. Traumatic brain injuries can vary in severity, with catastrophic brain injuries being the most devastating. It’s essential to get an answer to the question, what is a catastrophic brain injury? You need to understand the different types of brain injuries and what kinds of treatment and life changes will occur. If someone you love suffered a brain injury in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, you may have legal grounds to bring a personal injury claim. It’s crucial to speak with an experienced catastrophic brain injury attorney who can help you navigate the complicated personal injury claims process. At Gerling Law, we have over 50 years of experience helping thousands of injured clients collect the compensation they deserve. What Is Considered a Brain Injury? There are two main types of brain injuries—traumatic and non-traumatic. A traumatic brain injury is when an external force alters your brain’s function. It develops after some sort of trauma, like an auto accident. Not all blows to your head will cause a traumatic brain injury. Traumatic brain injuries fall under the umbrella term of acquired brain injuries. This term refers to brain injuries that are not hereditary, genetic, degenerative, or caused by birth trauma. In addition to trauma, encephalitis, tumors, stroke, infectious diseases, and aneurysms are a few causes of acquired brain injury.    According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), traumatic brain injuries are a significant cause of disability and death in the United States. From 2006 to 2014, TBI-related emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and deaths increased by 53%. Don’t ignore a brain injury—see a doctor right away and consider contacting a lawyer early on. What Are Common Symptoms of Brain Injuries? Recognizing the symptoms of mild and severe brain injuries is important. Catastrophic brain injury protocol differs from what you need to do if you have minor brain damage.  Minor traumatic brain injury symptoms include: Headache; Fatigue or drowsiness; No loss of consciousness, but being confused, dazed, or disoriented; Difficulty sleeping; Nausea or vomiting; Loss of balance; Dizziness; Speech problems; Sensitivity to sound or light; Sensory issues, including blurry vision, changes to your ability to smell, ringing in the ears, or a bad taste; Depression or anxiety; Mood swings or mood changes; and Concentration or memory problems. Symptoms of moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries include: Loss of consciousness lasting several minutes to hours; Seizures or convulsions; Repeated headaches or one that continues to worsen; Dilation of one or both pupils; Loss of coordination; Inability to wake from sleep; Continued nausea or vomiting; Slurred speech; Combativeness or agitation; Severe confusion; or Coma or another disorder of consciousness. Severe brain injuries can leave victims with noticeable problems, including cognitive issues, emotional and behavioral changes, language issues, and sensory problems. Some victims are at a higher risk of developing Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and other brain disorders later in life. What Causes Catastrophic Brain Damage? Numerous events and accidents can lead to catastrophic brain damage. Some of the most common causes of a major brain injury include the following. Falls Falling down from a ladder, off a bed, or down the stairs can easily result in catastrophic traumatic brain injury. The older you get, the more at risk you are for a devastating fall. Even tripping on an uneven sidewalk can result in falling and sustaining a head injury.  Vehicle Collisions Any type of vehicle-related collision—car, motorcycle, bicycle, pedestrian, or truck—can lead to a traumatic brain injury. You can develop a head injury from physically striking something or just the violent jolting motion. Sports Injuries Sports can be dangerous and leave participants with various injuries, including brain injuries. High-impact sports are the worst, including football, boxing, hockey, baseball, etc. Violence Violence can also lead to catastrophic brain injuries. Domestic violence, gunshot wounds, assaults, and child abuse are a few violent offenses that can leave someone with a brain injury. Shaken baby syndrome is also a concern in infants as any violent shaking can result in a brain injury. Combat Injuries Active duty military personnel are at a high risk for all types of injuries. Explosive blasts cause many traumatic brain injuries in military members. It’s not entirely understood, but experts believe the brain’s function is disrupted due to a pressure wave from the blast. Severe blows to the head from shrapnel or penetrating wounds can also result in brain injuries. What Are the Major Types of Head Injuries? It’s essential to understand the different types of head injuries that can lead to a traumatic brain injury. The following head injuries are the most common ones we see in personal injury matters. Concussion When your head makes an impact with something hard, it can result in a concussion. Concussions are common in auto accidents due to the sudden acceleration and deceleration of the vehicle or when your brain hits the inside of your skull. Concussions usually result in temporary injuries. However, some people sustain lasting injuries from concussions. In addition, someone like an athlete who has suffered multiple injuries could eventually have permanent damage. Hematoma A hematoma can occur in various parts of your body because it involves clotting or a collection of blood outside of your blood vessels. When you have a hematoma in your brain, it’s dire. You could lose consciousness or sustain permanent brain damage. Edema Edema is swelling and can happen anywhere in your body. When the swelling is in your brain, it’s even more dangerous. Your skull is not expandable and cannot accommodate the increased pressure from your brain hitting your skull. Hemorrhaging Hemorrhaging refers to bleeding that’s uncontrolled. Uncontrolled bleeding in your brain can be intracerebral, which is in your brain tissue, or subarachnoid, which is bleeding around your brain. You may have headaches and vomiting, and the increased blood can cause pressure to build up in your brain. Diffuse Axonal Injury A diffuse axonal injury is one that doesn’t involve bleeding,...

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| Read Time: 4 minutes | Personal Injury

Filing a Dog Bite Personal Injury Claim

Dog bites can happen quickly and without notice. They can leave you with injuries and mounting medical bills. You may not even be able to engage in normal daily activities. After suffering a dog bite injury, you have legal rights. A personal injury attorney can help you seek just compensation for your injuries. Is a Dog Bite Considered Personal Injury? Yes. Dog bites are considered personal injury and fall into the category of common personal injury claims, like car accidents and slip and falls. If you’ve suffered a dog bite, you can seek compensation for your injuries from the owner of the dog. What to Do After a Dog Bite If you’ve suffered injuries resulting from a dog bite, there are specific steps you should follow. Seek Medical Attention If your injuries are severe, call 911. If your injuries are less serious, it is still essential you seek medical care as soon as possible. Complications with dog bite injuries are common, including infection. Receiving medical attention soon after the incident can lessen your chances of any complications.  Gather Information If possible, collect information and evidence at the scene of the incident. This includes: Photos of the scene, Pictures of your injuries, and Witness information. Be sure to get the dog owner’s information. Also collect any information or documentation pertaining to your case, including medical bills and a record of lost wages. Report the Incident Many states require a victim report the dog bite to local authorities. Local agencies, like animal control, can gather important information, including whether the dog has its rabies vaccination. They can also decide how to handle the situation, depending on whether the dog remains a threat to others. What Is the Average Settlement for a Dog Bite? Settlements are agreed-upon resolutions to a case. After suffering dog bite injuries, you will want to engage in settlement negotiations with the dog owner to recover compensation. The dog owner or their insurance company will pay the settlement. You may seek compensation for a variety of things, including: Medical bills, Lost wages,  Pain and suffering, and Scarring. Your settlement will highly depend on the circumstances surrounding the incident. No two dog bite cases are alike. Therefore, there is no average settlement for dog bite injuries. Filing a Dog Bite Personal Injury Claim When looking to file a dog bite personal injury claim, follow these crucial steps. Determine Fault Typically, a dog owner will be liable if their dog caused someone harm, even if they were not negligent in restraining or supervising the animal. Most states operate under strict liability for dog bites, meaning that if you have a dog, you will be held responsible for their actions.  Certain states use a “one bite” rule. This rule states that after a dog bites someone once (or harms them in another way, such as knocking them over), an owner should be aware of their dog’s propensity to harm others. In states that follow the one bite rule, if you can’t show that the dog had previously caused harm to someone, you will need to prove that the caretaker’s or owner’s negligence caused your injury. Every state has different laws regarding dog bites. When meeting with your attorney, discuss your state’s dog bite laws and how they can affect your case. Documentation Documenting all aspects of your claim can have a significant impact on your case. Some of the most important information to gather includes: Medical records, Medical bills, Record of lost wages, Witness reports,  Scar evaluations, and Photo and videos. The more information and evidence you gather, the stronger your case. Every bit of information you have can help prove your case. Contact a Personal Injury Attorney If insurance is involved, the dog owner’s insurance company will likely want to speak with you. Do not talk to them without first consulting with an attorney. Insurance companies often try to get recorded statements and will utilize these statements to limit their liability. Aside from helping with the insurance company, a personal injury attorney will be your ally. Your attorney will handle all aspects of your claim, including: Dealing with the insurance company; Gathering relevant documentation; Investigating your case; and Engaging in settlement negotiations. Having a personal injury attorney will allow you to focus on your recovery while putting you at ease, knowing your claim is in good hands. Factors That Play a Major Role in Your Case Because every dog bite incident is different, many factors will affect your settlement. The following are the most prominent factors that will affect your dog bite case. Age Age can be an important factor in dog bite cases. The age of the victim matters. Often, minor children will have the ability to receive larger settlements than adults for a variety of reasons, including: Adults are more aware than children; Children are less likely to be able to defend themselves; and A dog bite will often cause permanent emotional damage. While adults can still recover fair compensation for their injuries, there is an added layer of complication when the victim is a child. Injuries The severity of the injuries incurred will undoubtedly affect your recovery. A surface injury that heals quickly will never be worth as much as a severe injury that requires surgery.  Dog bite injuries can vary greatly. Some of the most common include: Puncture wounds, Lacerations, Infections, Dismemberments, Nerve damage, and Scarring. The more serious the dog bite, the more you will be able to recover for your injuries.  Ongoing Issues Many dog bite injuries will eventually heal with medical treatment, and you will be able to go back to living your everyday life. However, in certain circumstances, serious injuries can leave you disabled and unable to resume your daily activities. In these cases, you can seek additional damages, including lost wages and pain and suffering. Status of Injured Person If you were lawfully on the dog owner’s property or on public property when the dog bite occurred, you should not have any...

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Personal Injury

Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?

Personal injury cases arise after someone has suffered injuries and another party might be legally responsible for the accident that caused the harm. If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, you may consider legal action. When pursuing compensation for your injuries, you might also consider hiring a personal injury attorney. While personal injury attorneys are not for everyone, they are valuable allies in your legal battle. Do I Really Need a 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 a 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 Lawyer Today Gerling Law has over 50 years of experience working with injured clients. 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

5 Types of Personal Injury

Personal injury. You have heard the term used many times. But what does it actually entail? A personal injury is typically some sort of harm that is caused by someone or something. Your mind might automatically think of a car accident, which is certainly a common type of personal injury. However, there are many other ways one can obtain an injury that may require legal assistance in the battle for justice. Let’s take a look at 5 different types of personal injury. Workman’s Compensation If you’ve ever had any type of job, you have surely heard of a workman’s compensation injury. These types of personal injuries occur in the workplace, as the name suggests. Many jobs have safety manuals or guidelines you must follow while on the clock. People who work in factories typically must wear protective eyewear and masks to prevent anything from harming their face. Other places might have rules such as requiring someone else to be present when you’re on a high ladder. If you’re a construction worker, you wear hard hats to protect your head from falling material or other harm. This is to prevent any accidents from happening and to protect yourself and other employees. If you become injured at work, it would be best to seek the legal assistance of a personal injury attorney. Having an attorney on your side during a workman’s compensation case is beneficial for many reasons. Firstly, they will handle all the paper work and communication with insurance companies. Secondly, your attorney will fight for a satisfying outcome when it comes to your settlement. Motor Vehicle Accident Like mentioned above, motor vehicle accidents are a huge type of personal injury. Accidents can cause any sort of injury, from concussions to paralyzation, and even death. Unfortunately, when it comes to vehicle accidents, there is usually a laundry list of expenses. The worse the injury, the longer the tab. Having an attorney on your side during a vehicle accident would be highly beneficial to you and your loved ones. Experienced attorneys know when insurance companies are not playing fair or may not be giving you their best offers. Injuries obtained in accidents require lots of proof, paperwork, and communication with medical facilities and insurance companies. Your attorney will handle this all so you can focus on recovering. Slip and Fall Another type of personal injury is a slip and fall. Slip and fall personal injuries are pretty much what they sound like. You slip and fall in an unsafe place, the fall is not your fault and obtain an injury. For some, this can happen in a public place such as a store. If the floor is wet and the store failed to warn customers with a caution sign, then they will most likely be held accountable for your fall. Slip and fall cases will typically become associated with the term “premises liability.” This just means that the property owner or company has failed to ensure safety where the accident occurred. Dog Bites Another common form of personal injuries are dog bites. This is one of the common types of personal injury. We’ve touched on this topic before, but it can never be said enough. Owning a pet, especially a dog, is a huge responsibility. However, it is also your responsibility as an individual to make sure you use safe practices around animals. Some safe practices include ensuring your own pet is on a leash. You don’t want to risk your dog attacking another dog or person. Even if your dog is normally well-behaved, their animal instincts can kick in at any moment. You do not want to be liable for your dog biting another human, so keeping them on a leash at all times is important. If you see a person approaching or reaching down to pet your dog, make sure you’re keeping an eye out. Also, never attempt to pet another dog without asking permission. Some dogs do not take well to people they do not know, which leads to attacks. Often when dogs attack young children, it is because the child has done something to upset the dog. Make sure you never leave your dog and young ones unsupervised together. Medical Malpractice Unfortunately, the medical field is no exception to mistakes. When negligence comes from a doctor or other medical professional, you may have a medical malpractice case. Some common forms of medical malpractice include being misdiagnosed or prescribed the wrong medicine. Sometimes these errors might seem small, but the long-term effects could be extremely dangerous. Imagine being told you have a common cold when actually it is a severe case of pneumonia. If you believe you have experienced medical malpractice, it is important you seek out an attorney to help you. Insurance companies and hospitals will want to be very thorough with all your medical records which can be very confusing when trying to tackle a lawsuit on your own. This is where a personal injury attorney can help. Gerling Law is a leading personal injury law firm dedicated to providing aggressive legal representation to individuals and their families.  With over 50 years of experience, Gerling Law has helped thousands of people in Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky recover hundreds of thousands of dollars in a wide variety of personal injury and consumer protection cases, including trucking accidents, wrongful death, medical malpractice, nursing home negligence and social security disability. Gerling Law takes pride in the fact that we have never represented insurance companies, hospitals or large corporations and that we fight against powerful companies for our clients. If you need an experienced, dedicated personal injury lawyer, Gerling Law is here to help.  You can always reach us at 888-GERLING (888-437-5464) or through our website at www.gerlinglaw.com.

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Personal Injury

What happens in a personal injury case?

When you think of a personal injury accident, your mind might automatically jump to car accidents. While that is a common one, personal injuries can happen in many types of accidents. For example, in 2017, the Center for Disease Control reports that 64,795 people died from accidental poisonings. Slip-and-fall accidents took 36,338 lives. The actual definition for a personal injury is “an injury to one’s body, mind, or emotions” that, though unintentional, is caused by negligence. An intentional injury would be self-inflicted or criminal. Your Next Steps So, you’ve experienced an injury caused by someone else’s negligence. Now what? You are probably aware of the financial stress that comes along with the many doctors appointments and medical treatment. We don’t want you worrying about all of that. Your number one concern should be healing, both physically and emotionally. An injury, no matter the severity, can be hard on you and your loved ones. An attorney will help keep the legal process running as smooth as possible so you can focus on what matters most: YOU. The Case Timeline Most people worry about the timeline of their claim. First, and most importantly, seek proper medical treatment. Consulting a PI attorney should be your next step. Once you meet with your attorney, they will then investigate the accident and examine your medical records. It is important you are 100 percent honest with your lawyer and don’t leave any information out. Don’t be surprised when gathering the medical records takes a few months. The attorneys office will have to communicate with your doctor’s office. Collecting all the necessary paperwork can take a while. Settlement Time. After getting a good read on the case, your attorney will most likely try to negotiate a settlement for you with the other party’s insurance. Sometimes, an attorney will wait until you have recovered as much as possible from your injury so they can fully asses what you case is worth. This enables your attorney to fight for as much compensation as possible. If your claim does not settle, the next step in the process is litigation. At this point, you and your attorney will file a lawsuit with the courts. At this time, each party involved will take time to review the information and claims from the opposing side. However, most personal injury cases do not go to trial and are settled during mediation. Either way, this process can take anywhere from a 6 months to a year, or more. Your attorney’s job In the end, an experienced personal injury attorney will know when to settle and when to go to trial. In addition, he or she will also answer your questions along the way. Finally, he or she will help you understand what will happen on the journey. That way, you’ll be able to make the decisions that are best for you. Gerling Law is a leading personal injury law firm dedicated to providing aggressive legal representation to individuals and their families.  With over 50 years of experience, Gerling Law has helped thousands of people in Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky recover hundreds of thousands of dollars in a wide variety of personal injury and consumer protection cases, including trucking accidents, wrongful death, medical malpractice, nursing home negligence and social security disability. Gerling Law takes pride in the fact that we have never represented insurance companies, hospitals or large corporations and that we fight against powerful companies for our clients. If you need an experienced, dedicated personal injury lawyer, Gerling Law is here to help.  You can always reach us at 888-GERLING (888-437-5464).

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| Read Time: 4 minutes | Personal Injury

Did a dog bite you?

Owning a dog is a great responsibility, but also a great joy. Many people are now choosing to adopt dogs in place of having children. We have coined phrases like “dog mom” or “fur baby” to describe a person who owns a dog. But with the joys of adopting a dog comes the responsibility of making sure the dog does not bite. Despite how well a dog might be trained, they still have animal instincts deep inside their DNA. All it takes is one bad moment for those instincts to be triggered and activated. Dog bites, no matter the level of severity, can be extremely dangerous. Any size of a dog bite can quickly become infected. Think about all the germs a dog can pick up in a day. From running around outside, being around other animals, etc. An infected bite can lead to so much more medically. Not only this, sometimes when a dog bites a human, it is deemed too aggressive and is put down. This can be devastating for the family who owned the dog. How often does this happen? The Centers for Disease Control reports an average 4.7 million dog bites annually in the United States. Of those 4.7 million, 17% of those bites result in medical attention needing to be sought. At first, that 17% may not seem like a large number. However, what if you were a part of that 17%? What if a dog bit your small child? That 17% then becomes a real statistic to you. Knowledge is the best way to avoid one of these harmful attacks, so let’s take a look at the reasons why dogs bite. Why do dogs bite? Most of the time, dogs will bite in response to stressful situations, or times when they feel threatened. Some dogs may bite in order to protect their puppies or owners. Even the most obedient dogs will growl if you come near them while eating, because dogs are wired to protect their food and what is theirs. Dogs can have bad days just like humans. Simply feeling unwell can give them a reason to bite. It is also common for dogs to bite playfully when roughhousing, therefore it is important to educate young children not to be rough with dogs. Dogs may not understand to be gentler with children. Being aware and knowledgeable about these situations will better protect you, your children and your dog, if you’re an owner. Take precautions. As an owner, you should ensure your dog is well-trained before heading out in public. Especially if it is a situation where small children may be present. Kids don’t always know that every dog is not a nice puppy. And unfortunately, parents aren’t watching their kids all the time. It would benefit you as an owner to train your dog well and keep them close by on a leash when out in public. A lot of times when a dog bites, it does not end well for the dog, even if it is the first time the dog has bitten. If you see someone approaching your dog, whether a child or adult, make sure you are watching your dog and observing their behavior. Any kind of unsettling environment could add an edge to your dog’s behavior, resulting in a dog bite. Prevention tips. Do not make loud noises Do not run away quickly in panic If attacked, try to get into the fetal position, protecting your neck and head Do not approach a dog with puppies Do not make direct eye contact with a dog you do not know Helpful Information While this may seem a bit overwhelming, there are plenty of great resources available for you and your family to better arm yourself with knowledge. One of these resources is FluentWoof, a website dedicated to giving dog moms and dads knowledge and guidance so they can better know their pups. This article written by Dr. Libby Guise has plenty of information regarding dog bites, including warning signs, what to do after a bite, infection risks, and much more. Having this abundance of information at hand could be beneficial to you and your family should the unfortunate accident of a dog bit ever happen. Following these tips as an owner or as a bystander can greatly increase your chance of safety and help you avoid dog bites. Gerling Law is a leading personal injury law firm dedicated to providing aggressive legal representation to individuals and their families.  With over 50 years of experience, Gerling Law has helped thousands of people in Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky recover hundreds of thousands of dollars in a wide variety of personal injury and consumer protection cases, including trucking accidents, wrongful death, medical malpractice, nursing home negligence and social security disability. Gerling Law takes pride in the fact that we have never represented insurance companies, hospitals or large corporations and that we fight against powerful companies for our clients. If you need an experienced, dedicated personal injury lawyer, Gerling Law is here to help.  You can always reach us at 888-GERLING (888-437-5464) or through our website at www.gerlinglaw.com.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Car Accident

A police report could be vital to your case

A fender bender. A side swipe in the parking lot. Even the smallest of vehicular accidents require a police report. Why? This could be a vital piece of evidence in your personal injury case. Even if you think you just have a small concussion from a fender bender, you need to call 9-1-1. Police reports are actually extremely important when it comes to a personal injury case. There are multiple reasons for this. First, an official police report will document exactly what happened for every party involved. This means that no one can report to their insurance company a false story. However, if the same report is submitted to everyone, no lies can be spread. Secondly, the report will give insurance companies a more realistic picture of the accident scene and what happened. This will help prove who is at fault for the accident. Police presence helps YOU Police are also well-trained in accident situations. As a result, they can do a lot for you if you are in an accident. The police will find and question any witnesses, which allows you to focus on your own injuries and seeking medical attention. The police will most likely be able to figure out who is at fault, too. And, if it is not you, this is good news. Police reports will help you avoid any kind of scam or losing more money than you already have. If you find yourself injured because of an accident, it is imperative you seek out the police to file a report. This will be extremely helpful for your attorney in your case. Gerling Law is a leading personal injury law firm dedicated to providing aggressive legal representation to individuals and their families.  With over 50 years of experience, Gerling Law has helped thousands of people in Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky recover hundreds of thousands of dollars in a wide variety of personal injury and consumer protection cases, including trucking accidents, wrongful death, medical malpractice, nursing home negligence and social security disability. Gerling Law takes pride in the fact that we have never represented insurance companies, hospitals or large corporations and that we fight against powerful companies for our clients. If you need an experienced, dedicated personal injury lawyer, Gerling Law is here to help.  You can always reach us at 888-GERLING (888-437-5464) or through our website at www.gerlinglaw.com.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Car Accident

Statutes of Limitations: How to beat the clock

You may have heard the term SOL or statutes of limitations. More importantly, if you haven’t, you could be literally SOL. Why? Because the statutes of limitation set a time limit for filing lawsuits. In other words, if your case isn’t filed by the SOL deadline, it can never be filed at all. Statutes of limitations are different for every state Time limits are different for every state Did you know that every state sets its own time limits for personal injury claims stemming from a vehicle collision? For instance, in communities like Evansville, Henderson, and Owensboro that are close to state borders, it’s important to know the statutes of limitations for Indiana and Kentucky, because you could be in an accident in either state. So, you need to arm yourself with the right information. When the statutes of limitations clock starts ticking Time limits for filing a personal injury suit depends on two factors. First, what kind of accident you were in. And, second, what state the accident happened in. In Indiana, the statute of limitation for bringing a personal injury suit for a car accident is two years. But to bring a fraud suit, Indiana gives you six years. Unlike Indiana, Kentucky only gives you one year for personal injury in a car accident, but five years for fraud. However, the proverbial clock starts ticking at the same time for both states: on the date that you had the accident. Additionally, there is a limit to how long you have to collect a favorable judgment. It is 20 years for Indiana. While Kentucky’s is just 15 years. By calling an experienced injury attorney right after your accident, you can know what your time limit is In conclusion, if you’ve been injured in a car or other kind of accident, you need to take action before the statutes of limitations run. Let an experienced injury attorney help you avoid making the costly mistake of missing your statutes of limitations. Gerling Law is a leading personal injury law firm dedicated to providing aggressive legal representation to individuals and their families.  With over 50 years of experience, Gerling Law has helped thousands of people in Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky recover hundreds of thousands of dollars in a wide variety of personal injury and consumer protection cases, including trucking accidents, wrongful death, medical malpractice, nursing home negligence and social security disability. Gerling Law takes pride in the fact that we have never represented insurance companies, hospitals or large corporations and that we fight against powerful companies for our clients. If you need an experienced, dedicated personal injury lawyer, Gerling Law is here to help.  You can always reach us at 888-GERLING (888-437-5464) or through our website at www.gerlinglaw.com.

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