At Doane Law Office, LLC, we represent clients who have been injured in personal injury accidents in Indiana and Kentucky. If you have suffered serious injuries due to the negligence of someone else, contact us for a free consultation at our Jeffersonville law office. See below for answers to frequently asked questions about personal injury law.
What is Personal Injury Law?
Personal Injury Law is defined as an injury to a person's body, mind or emotions. A personal injury claim occurs when someone is injured through another person's negligence. It also includes wrongful death claims which is when the injury is fatal. When negligence is proven, damages can be awarded for medical bills, lost wages as well as pain and suffering. An experienced personal injury can determine if you have a valid personal injury claim and discuss the damages you may be entitled to.
How Do I Choose A Good Personal Injury Attorney?
It is natural that everyone wants the best personal injury attorney for their claim and finding the 'right'attorney is not always easy. Advertising is enticing, but is it the best way to choose your attorney?
In most cases, you will not be represented by the lawyer you see on television and the large volume of cases are sometimes settled quickly or referred to another attorney when the hard work needs to be done. Larger firms also have a habit of spending money on expenses that may cut into your potential compensation by sending runners to your house or charging interest on case expenses.
Beware of law firms that send a runner to your house or contact you immediately following your car accident. They entice car accident victims by offering specific medical treatment with providers that they have a relationship with. The state of Kentucky has an 'Anti-Solicitation' statute (KRS21A.300) which states that is it illegal for law firms and law firm referral services to contact accident victims within 30 days of their car crash. In addition, no lawyer should direct your medical care and our office will never recommend that you seek medical attention if you are not injured.
Experience and reputation are important elements of a good personal injury lawyer. Firms may boast of 400 years combined experience, but will your case be handled by the most experienced lawyer? Depending on the claim, the claim could be passed to an attorney with less experience, who has only filed a handful of lawsuits, or another firm when a lawsuit needs to be filed.
Ken has over 20 years experience and has dedicated 100% of his practice to helping those injured in a car accidents, motorcycle & truck accidents, slips and falls and dog attacks. We will not refer your case to another firm when a lawsuit needs to be filed. If Ken believes in your case, he files it! Ken and his staff strive to give each client individualized attention. Our office returns calls promptly and we do not want any client to feel that their injury claim is just a number. Ken and his team work diligently to get youthe best result on your injury case.
Should I provide a statement to an insurance company without a lawyer's help?
It is in your best interests to only provide your contact information to an insurance company until you consult with a lawyer. The more significant your injuries, the more imperative it becomes to seek legal counsel before providing any statement or signing any papers. Things you say or sign can diminish the value of your case. Let our office help you decide if a recorded statement is in your best interest.
Will I have to go to trial to recover damages?
When a personal injury attorney files a lawsuit, your claim goes into a process called 'litigation.' During litigation the attorney deals with, not only the claims adjustor, but a defense attorney is hired for the at-fault party. The process is more adversarial and can take one to two years. Typically, before trial, the judge orders mediation, which is when the two parties sit down with an impartial person, called a mediator. In many instances, your case is settled at mediation. About 95 percent of personal injury cases filed settle prior to trial.
What is considered "pain and suffering"?
Pain and suffering includes harm caused by physical injury, mental anguish experienced through avoiding activities in which you engaged prior to your accident, and the potential of surgery.
What determines the amount I might recover?
Every case addresses three issues:
- Liability — establishing someone's negligence
- Damages — the amount that will fairly and adequately compensate you for your injuries
- Source of collection — insurance or other assets from which damages can be recovered
Is there a minimum or maximum amount that can be recovered in a personal injury settlement?
What is a typical settlement amount?
An experienced personal injury lawyer reviews and interprets your case information to determine the appropriate value for your claim:
The goal is fair and adequate compensation for your injury, and an experienced attorney will know what a reasonable jury would award. The strength of lay and expert witness testimony will likely influence the amount.
Dog Bite FAQs
A dog bit me. Whom do I tell?
Contact your local animal control agency or the police.
What is the "one free bite" rule?
Unless the dog is of a species with known dangerous propensities, in Indiana, the owner is not held liable for the first bite the dog inflicts. Once an animal has demonstrated vicious behavior — biting or otherwise displaying a "vicious propensity" — the owner can be held liable.
Which jurisdiction covers dog bites — state or local?
Both. In addition to Indiana laws, local communities might also have animal laws covering bites, leashing and vaccinations. Your local laws might ban ownership of certain breeds, too.
What do leash laws cover?
Most communities require dogs to be leashed unless they are confined to a house or fenced yard, even on the owner's property. Failing to adhere to the leash laws combined with dog biting may increase potential penalties.
Can posting a "Beware of Dog" sign help get me out of trouble if my dog bites someone?
While the sign may help to alert others to any potential hazard, specific facts surrounding the dog bite determine any liability.
Auto Accident FAQs
Can the insurance company refuse to pay my medical bills if my car was not damaged?
No, but you may have to file a lawsuit in order to obtain payment for your medical bills. While the insurance company might try to draw a direct correlation between damage done to your car and the severity of your personal injury, it is possible that the body sustains damage even if the car did not. The reverse may also be true; a car might experience major impact but the people might only suffer minor cuts and bruises.
Wrongful Death FAQs
What is wrongful death?
The idea behind a wrongful death lawsuit is the wrongful death, in addition to injuring the person who died, also brought harm to the people who depended on that individual for financial and/or emotional support. The wrongful act might be the following:
- A negligent or careless act (e.g., careless driving)
- A reckless act
- An intentional act such as deliberate murder
Indiana has a statute permitting a lawsuit to be brought by the decedent's relatives in the event of a wrongful act.
What is the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim?
Indiana law sets the time frame for filing. Time begins with the time of the incident/when the party became aware of or discovered the injury. The state will not honor a wrongful death claim filed after the legislated time frame, and the opportunity to recover damages for the family will be forever lost.
Who can sue for wrongful death?
Indiana defines the person(s) allowed to bring a wrongful death suit. In Indiana, a spouse and children may file. If you are a relative of the decedent other than the spouse or children, contact Doane Law Office to find out if you are eligible to file.
What is the difference between libel and slander?
The act of communicating a false statement about you to someone else with the intent of damaging your reputation or good name is called defamation. Defamation through the written word is libel. Defamation through the spoken word is slander.
What recourse do I have if someone libels or slanders me?
If you have been defamed by public media — e.g., a newspaper, television station or magazine — you should demand a retraction first so you can collect damages in court. If the defamation continues, you should write a "cease and desist" letter demanding the immediate cessation of defamation. You may want an attorney well-versed in defamation law to write the letter for you.
If you have been slandered, bear in mind that it is more difficult to prove damage through a verbal statement versus a written one. Keep a log of the statements, including when, where, what and who. Also note any witnesses and their contact information.
The statute of limitations applies to filing a lawsuit and may be less than one year, so immediate action is necessary. An experienced defamation law attorney can help you fully understand the best course of action and likely outcome. Once in court, you may receive punitive damages, that is, money intended to punish the person defaming you.
Products Liability FAQs
What if I know that a defective product harmed other people besides me?
When the same defective product injures a large number of people, they may join together in mass tort lawsuits to hold manufacturers and sellers liable for the injuries caused by their product.
What is a toxic tort?
A toxic tort is an injury or wrong committed to a person or property of another person caused by contact with a toxic substance — toxic mold, lead paint, a faulty medical device, dangerous medication, etc. The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) and other federal laws protect you and the environment from the effects of toxic substances.
Contact A Jeffersonville Personal Injury Attorney Today
For answers to your questions about personal injury law, please call us at 812-590-2213. Instead of placing multiple Google searches for the 'best personal injury lawyer' or 'questions on my personal injury claim,' schedule a no obligation FREE consultation so that we can answer all your questions on your injury claim in person. We are just one phone call away and we can take the stress of dealing with the insurance companies off your hands. There are no legal fees paid until the case is resolved. So, if you were injured in a truck or car accident, slip and fall, dog attack, motorcycle accident or fatality, call today. Personal Injury....It's All We Do!