Harmed By Someone Else’s Carelessness? You May Be Able to File a Personal Injury Claim
Our Indianapolis law firm will fight for you
Unintended personal injuries are a leading cause of death in Indiana and across the U.S.
Deadly accidents can take place anywhere including a friend’s home in Fall Creek, a Downtown retail shop, skywalk, Mass Ave restaurant, a Riverside office, White River park, or theater, to name a few.
After more than 100 years serving the people of Indiana, Vaughan & Vaughan has learned that people who suffer personal injuries often don’t want to “complain.”
No one wants to look weak, and this encourages many accident victims to try and tough it out. Some seriously injured people also worry that if they seek money for their recovery, it will ruin the family or small business that owns a property.
This approach doesn’t help you heal and can make a bad situation worse.
It is important to remember that when you file a claim, you aren’t taking anything from an individual. You are asking the insurance companies to fulfill policy promises to pay for medical expenses and losses caused by accidents.
Types of injuries
If you are injured due to someone else’s failure to provide a reasonably safe environment, you are already physically paying for their negligence. Don’t pay for their recklessness with your hard-earned cash, too.
Premises liability and personal injury regulations say that people hurt due to the inattentiveness or recklessness of others deserve compensation for their pain and damages.
Medical treatment is expensive, no matter where you go in the city – IU Health, Eskenazi, Indiana – and you don’t want to pay out of pocket to repair injuries like:
- Broken leg
- Knee injury
- Back and shoulder pain
- Fractured wrist
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Slipped disc
- Nerve damage
About 40% of American adults of working age are in medical debt or are struggling to pay bills for necessary treatment. You can avoid financial struggle for you and your family by getting the maximum payout on your claim.
At Vaughan & Vaughan we help injured people get their lives back on track. We fight hard for the rights of accident victims. We are dedicated to getting justice for Indianapolis residents, students, and visitors alike.
If you’ve been injured, contact our firm right away to schedule a free case evaluation. We can answer your legal questions and help you weigh the best options going forward.
When can I file a personal injury claim?
Injuries are the leading cause of death for Hoosiers ages 1-44, according to state data. About 500,000 trips are made to Indiana emergency rooms every year. Unintentional falls killed more than 550 people in one year here.
Injury law covers a wide range of damages. Personal injury, for example, can include:
- Slip and falls
- Dog bites
- Assault (due to inadequate security)
- Amusement park injuries
- Wrongful death
- Premises liability
- Toxic exposure
In general, “premises liability” applies when you are injured due to negligence of the owners or operators of restaurants, university campuses, retailers, grocers, theaters, private homes, offices, sidewalks, etc.
However, a property owner’s responsibility to protect you varies depending on why you are visiting the premises.
Types of visitors
There are three types of visitors recognized in Indiana - invitee, licensee, and trespasser. Whichever one you are will impact your claim.
Invitee. Someone can be considered invited to a property if they are extended an invitation or are otherwise permitted to enter a location for the benefit of the owner. For example, someone shopping at a grocery store would be considered an invitee.
In Indiana, owners have a responsibility to locate and fix real and potential hazards to health and safety. At the very least, invitees must be warned about potential dangers on a property if the owner wants to avoid liability.
An invitee’s status can be revoked if the property owner or designee asks them to leave. If the person refuses, they are likely to then be considered trespassers.
Licensee. This type of visitor has permission to be on the property, but for their own benefit, not that of the owner. An example of a licensee would be someone who has permission to hike on private land.
Property owners don’t have as much responsibility for the safety of licensees as they do invitees. An owner must warn a licensee of hidden dangers known to the owner and refrain from willfully injuring or increasing the possibility of harm to the licensee.
Trespasser. This visitor does not have permission to be on the premises. Property owners cannot willfully injure or increase the possibility of harm to a trespasser and have no duty to warn them of or otherwise protect them from harm.
The exception to these rules is an “attractive nuisance.”
Indianapolis and attractive nuisances
Indiana subscribes to the attractive nuisance doctrine. This means that, under certain conditions, a property owner can be held liable for injuries sustained by a trespassing child.
The rule acknowledges that children do not have fully developed critical thinking skills and may act impulsively to ignore risks if tempted.
In many situations, if a property contains something that a reasonable person would understand is unique and irresistible to a child, the owner has the responsibility to prevent access.
In the early 2000s, Indianapolis was involved in a case that made it more difficult to apply the rule to swimming areas and pools.
Around 2000, the city was sued by a mother whose 7-year-old child had drowned in an Indy pond. The woman (Johnson) claimed that because Indianapolis positioned a sprinkler device for children close to a pond, officials should have done more to stop children from entering the water.
After a long court battle, the law sided with Indianapolis. In most circumstances, ponds, pools, lakes, and other swimmable bodies of water are not considered attractive nuisances in Indiana. The courts reasoned that because children are taught from a young age how to swim and are educated about the dangers of drowning, unprotected bodies of water are not irresistibly attractive to children.
Your claim can help you and the community
Too often, the victims of personal injury accidents blame themselves for what happened. They beat themselves up for getting hurt while slipping on ice, falling when a stair railing gave way, or being too close to an animal with a temper.
When someone else’s negligence leads to unsafe situations your injuries are not your fault. When you go out, the owners and operators of the places you go almost always have some degree of responsibility to provide you with a safe experience or, at the very least, warn you about the risks.
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident outside of your home, it is important that you seek justice, not only for yourself, but for others, too.
Very few reckless property owners make safety improvements because it’s the right thing to do. They often need to be forced into compliance by insurance companies and lawsuits.
When you file a personal injury claim you are taking strong steps toward rebuilding your life and possibly saving someone else from the pain you are feeling.
Recovering compensation for the injured
Vaughan & Vaughan takes personal injury claims seriously. We know you’re counting on us, and we will do everything we can to win for you.
Our personal injury lawyers often represent people who were hurt in accidents on contingency. This means that the insurance company pays our fee - not you. We only get paid when we win.