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Indiana Personal Injury Law Blog

Dram Shop Act and accountability in drunk driving crashes

Accident victims and their loved ones often feel frustrated after a car crash, and they want answers. How the accident was caused and whether their life will ever be the same are just some of the questions that go through the minds of many car accident victims. Getting answers can be difficult, but obtaining accountability doesn't have to be. In Indiana, it is possible to hold not only a drunk driver accountable for his or her negligent act, but also the establishment or host that provided him or her with alcohol.

Known as a Dram Shop Act, this law allows an injured party to pursue a personal injury claim against a person or business that served a drunk driver. However, there are certain conditions that must be met before this law can be applicable to the situation at hand.

Cerebral spinal fluid leaks signal danger for patients

The skull is a bone much like others in the body. There's a potential for it to break or crack on impact, which could have further consequences. Head trauma doesn't always involve a broken skull, but when it does, it's of the utmost importance to do all you can to get an accurate diagnosis.

Cracks or breaks in the skull may or may not break the skin. You may be unaware that the bone has broken, since the surface shows only bruising. Skull fractures tend to present with bruising around the eyes, swelling, tenderness and deformities. In severe cases, fluid may leak from the nose or ear, indicating that brain fluid is escaping through the fracture.

Car accidents and automated vehicles: what's in the future?

As technology advances, companies have begun popularizing the concept of driverless cars, giving the assumption that a driver can sit behind a wheel, check out, perhaps catch a movie on their phone while the car steers itself safely down the road. Though this scenario may be possible at some point in the future, the partially autonomous systems currently available do not work this way. Despite this fact, many drivers still find themselves wrapped in a false sense of security.

Indiana residents may not be surprised to hear that, even though automakers have tried to warn drivers of the problems with zoning out while behind the wheel, drivers are trying to exploit the system by saying that a car was on autopilot when in fact their own negligence causes a car accident. Two recent motor vehicle accidents demonstrate the dangers of these vehicles. In one of those wrecks, a vehicle crashed into a stopped firetruck, resulting in the car crumpling into less than a third of its original length. The driver immediately claimed that the vehicle was on autopilot. Another crash took place when a drunk driver had passed out behind the wheel of his car after putting his car on autopilot.

Helping you qualify for SSD benefits

Living with a disability is nothing short of challenging. While individuals in Indiana may be able to alter their lives to better handle the difficulties that accompany his or her disability, it remains a tough situation with which to cope. In fact, a disability, whether born with or acquired later in life because of an injury or illness, could present many financial challenges due to necessary medical care and the inability to work.

When a disabled person is unable to maintain employment on account of his or her condition, it is possible to seek benefits through a Social Security Administration program. Social Security disability could help an individual obtain compensation that may help cover basic living needs. While thee benefits are often necessary for those living with disabilities, it is not always easy to recover them.

Assistance seeking compensation for your personal injuries

As discussed last week, though many people don't think the circumstances surrounding their injuries is important, in a legal context it determines the type of case one can pursue and the relevant procedural requirements. For example, getting injured in a car accident may be a personal injury claim while a workplace accident may lead to a workers' compensation claim.

Personal injury claims are designed to compensate accident victims and their family members, as the entire family often has to pull together to gather the financial resources required for medical treatment while wages are being lost due to the injuries. Compensation can be awardedfor different purposes, such as paying medical bills, easing pain and suffering, and compensating for loss of a normal life. What is important is that the accident victim be able to demonstrate a financial need that coincides with the incident that caused the injury.

How are personal injury and workers' compensation different?

When someone is hurt due to another person's negligence, the last thing on their mind might be holding the negligent party responsible. But as the medical bills pile up and wages are lost due to the injury, they might come to realize that compensation for the personal injury may be one way to gain financial stability. There are different legal options available to injured Indiana residents, depending on the injury.

Employers have a duty to keep their workplace safe from hazards or to warn their employees about potential hazards. If someone is injured in a workplace accident while performing his or her job duties, then he or she may be able to file a workers' compensation claim. By law, employers are obliged to pay money to an injured employee who was injured or became ill in connection with their work. Workers' compensation then is a system that does not depend on the determination of fault. In other words, for the most part it does not matter who was at fault for causing the injury.

How valuable is expert testimony in medical malpractice cases?

In order to succeed on a medical malpractice claim, a victim must prove four legal elements: the defendant owed a duty of care to the victim, the defendant was negligent while providing that care, the victim was injured, and the legal cause of the injury was the negligent care. These elements must be proved by a preponderance of evidence.

Failure to diagnose a medical condition that results in someone's death is perhaps the most compelling case of medical malpractice. Indiana residents may be surprised to hear that myocardial infarction and aortic dissection are examples of conditions that are far too often misdiagnosed or missed entirely. However, even if a doctor can show that they considered these options but then took steps to make a diagnosis, it may be enough for him to succeed even if the diagnosis was missed.

Hitting your head in an accident means you need to see a doctor

Getting into a motor vehicle crash is a stressful and even embarrassing experience. Even when it's clear that the other driver was at fault in the collision, you may worry about how many people will see you, especially on major highways or at busy intersections. Other drivers may heckle you while you wait for law enforcement, making you want to put the whole thing behind you. That might result in you overlooking a serious injury.

Many people simply feel grateful that they can walk away from a crash without any visible injuries. However, just because you didn't break any bones doesn't mean you avoided all injury. Some of the worst injuries commonly associated with car crashes aren't visible and may take time to show serious symptoms.

Family members lose a loved on in crash at start of the year

The New Year means a new start for many individuals, but unfortunately it can end up becoming a tragic one if a family member is lost in a car accident near the end of the year. With the emotional turmoil come frustration and a need to answer questions such as what happened and who is responsible for this crash. When it comes to light that the accident could have been completely avoided if the negligent driver had not gotten behind the driving wheel while impaired, family members often feel like they might never come to terms with their loss.

These are perhaps the issues running through the heads of family members who lost a 69-year-old man in an accident in Indiana between a pickup truck and a car. A speeding car hit the back of the truck, according to police officials. The impact sent the truck into a utility pole, causing the accident victim to die at the scene of the crash. The 24-year-old driver responsible for the crash is suspected of having been under the influence of alcohol at the time, but criminal charges are pending at the time.

Can I receive short-term disability?

Most Indiana residents are probably aware that Social Security Disability benefits are available to those individuals who have a medical condition that is expected to last at least 12 months and could even result in death. So, does this mean there is no such thing as 'temporary SSD benefits'?

The simple answer to this question is that there are no short-term SSD benefits. However, the longer answer to this question is that maybe they could be available. For example, when someone has begun receiving SSD benefits, there is nothing that prevents them from returning to work. For example, if the condition is expected to last for more than one year but is resolved within four years, there is nothing that prevents that individual from returning to the workforce. In fact, the Social Security Administration offers various incentives to people to return.

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