Indiana personal injury attorneys, Bill Winingham and Kelly Scanlan, gave a CLE presentation to members of the Indianapolis Bar Association on the topic of Do I Have a Case? Sizing up Potential Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice Cases.
The CLE happened on Wednesday, November 6, 2013 at The Alexander Hotel in Indianapolis, IN.
Some of the topics Bill and Kelly covered are:
- Initial Evaluation
- Assessing Liability
- Assessing Damages
- Assessing Collectability
- Assessing the Client
- Red Flag and Pitfalls
- When to Refer a Case
- How to Refer a Case
- Social Media Considerations
- Overview of Settlement Process
If you're an Indiana attorney and interested in receiving the handouts from the CLE presentation, click here to download the documents.
In the past month, on two separate occasions, I’ve been travelling in front of two emergency vehicles on the interstate. On both occasions, I moved into the right hand lane and prepared to stop. The motorists directly behind me zoomed by and honked their horn as they yelled obscenities towards my direction. Those vehicles didn't slow down, but moved to the right hand lane and let the emergency vehicle fly by them in the left lane. Was this a coincidence or are there different laws for yielding the right-of-way to emergency vehicles on the interstate?
In short, the answer is no. Here’s what Indiana Code 9-21-8-35 says about yielding the right-of-way to emergency vehicles:
1. If an emergency vehicle is approaching with lights and sirens on, you should:
Yield the right of way.
Immediately drive to a position parallel to and as close as possible to the right-hand edge or curb of the highway clear of any intersection.
Stop and remain in the position until the authorized emergency vehicle has passed.
2. If an emergency vehicle is parked with lights and sirens on, you should:
Proceed with caution; yield the right-of-way by making a lane change into a lane not adjacent to that of the authorized emergency vehicle.
Reduce your speed to at least 10 mph below posted speed limit and pass with caution, if changing lanes would be impossible or unsafe.
The same rules apply to a stationary recovery vehicle, utility service vehicle, or a stationary road, street, or highway maintenance vehicle, when the vehicle is displaying alternately flashing amber lights
To summarize, if there’s an emergency vehicle approaching or stopped in the roadway, slow down and move over. It’s the law. If you or a loved one has been injured by a vehicle who failed to yield the right-of-way, you should contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your options.
By: Chris Stevenson, Attorney, Pilot
The first airshow was held outside of Los Angeles, California in 1910. Aviation pioneers gathered to showcase their airplanes and in turn created a new kind of entertainment. This was the first of three airshows held in the same year. From that point on, airshows have gained popularity worldwide with pilots, aviation enthusiasts, and thrill seekers.
The airshow business has evolved into the ultimate platform to showcase airplanes, pilots, and world-class airmanship. If you've never attended an airshow, it's almost like a county fair. Most airshows have carnival rides, food, and games centered around timed performances by featured aviators, such as the Blue Angels.
Along with having fun, safety is always a primary concern of any airshow event. The International Council of Air Shows (ICAS) was founded in 1968 with the following mission: "To provide information to air show sponsors and pilots; to promote safety at all aviation events; and to work with government agencies to develop air show safety and standards."
Airshow safety protocols include thorough aircraft inspections. The aircraft performance area is also kept away from the crowd to minimize the danger to the audience in the event of an accident. While airshow stunt pilots accept certain known risks when participating, spectators expect to see the show without much consideration or concern for their safety. Unfortunately, airshow spectators are sometimes at risk for injury.
In 2010 alone, 84 people suffered personal injuries or were killed and 35 aircrafts were destroyed. Over the last 10 years, airshows have averaged 24 accidents per year. In 2010, there were 31 accidents.
Airshow Injuries: 2010
- Spectators injured: 48
- Spectators killed: 1
- Pilots injured: 10
- Pilots killed: 14
- Crew members either killed or injured: 9
If you're like me and enjoy aviation, generally, airshows are safe and fun events to attend. You're more likely to sustain injury on the way to the event than at the airshow itself. Nevertheless, airshows do offer a certain element of risk, especially if adequate safety precautions have not been taken to protect spectators. If you, or someone you know, has been injured at an airshow, it's best to speak with a personal injury attorney
who practices in the area of aviation injury law
Small towns all across America have seen an influx in golf carts on the roadways. With a top speed of 15 miles per hour, you don’t typically think of them being involved in serious accidents with injuries. However, according to the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), there are approximately 15,000 golf cart related injuries requiring emergency room treatments in the U.S. each year.
“Based on CPSC statistics, roughly 40% of golf cart accidents involve a person falling out of the cart, and many of these accidents involve young children. In addition to ejection accidents, approximately 10% of golf cart accidents involve a rollover and statistics indicate that such accidents are roughly twice as likely to lead to injuries requiring a hospital stay as non-rollover accidents.”
Not all that long ago golf carts were simply that: carts used for playing golf. Golf carts have become the new town cruiser. Many states don't have laws or restrictions governing their use. Golf carts weren't designed with seatbelts because they were intended to be used on the golf course, designed for players to easily enter and exit the cart several times during the course of a golf outing. When people took the carts off of the course and onto the roadways, the need for safety restraints became evident.
Golf cart standards require accessible handholds and restraints that prevent the passengers from sliding to the outside of the vehicle. Most golf carts have semicircle bars that rise up from each side of the bench seat and are designed to serve as handholds and restraints from sliding out of the cart. These bars don't provide enough restraint during a roll-over and wouldn't eliminate the possibility of being ejected during certain situations.
Children represent a large portion of all ejection accident victims. Consumer Products Safety Commission statistics indicate that approximately 40% of all golf cart accidents involve children and 50% of these involve a fall from a moving cart. The easiest way to reduce this number is to require seatbelts for golf carts that are used on the roadways.
Seemingly harmless behavior could result in an accident. The Consumer Products Safety Commission statistics tell us that golf cart accidents can result in serious injuries—including death. If you own and operate a golf cart, we urge you use caution on the roadways and be responsible when behind the wheel. When the cart is stopped, make sure the brake is in the locked position. If kids are operating the cart, make sure they’re aware of the dangers.
If you have been injured in a golf cart accident, you should contact a personal injury lawyer for guidance. Compensation may be available to the injured party.
Caffeine is the most consumed stimulant in the world. Look around and you'll notice a Starbucks coffee shop on virtually every corner of the city. You'll also notice convenience stores selling 44oz. sodas for less than $1.00. Sodas and coffees aren't the only drinks with mass amounts of caffeine. Energy drinks are under scrutiny because of the large amounts of caffeine per can. Energy drinks are considered a dietary supplement and therefore virtually unregulated by the FDA. The ingestion of concentrated sources of caffeine is the general cause of acute caffeine toxicity.
According to the FDA, about 80% of adults in the United States consume caffeine on a daily basis. A 2010 study published by the FDA reported the average adult consumes about 300 mg of caffeine per day, with teenagers consuming one third that amount. Average doses of caffeine (85-250mg) may result in feelings of alertness, decreased fatigue, and eased flow of thought. High doses (250-500mg) can result in restlessness, nervousness, insomnia, and termors. In high doses, caffeine can cause a hyperadrenergic syndrome resulting in seizures and cardiovascular instability.
The FDA said it was investigating reports that five people since 2009 had died after consuming Monster energy drinks. One 16oz Monster Energy Drinks contains 160mg of caffeine. For reference, one 8oz cup of brewed coffee contains roughly 57mg of caffeine.
In one of the latest claims against Monster Energy, 14-year-old Anais Fournier died from cardiac arrest in December of 2011 after drinking two 24-ounce cans of Monster energy drinks within 24 hours. Her family has sued the company, blaming the drinks for her death. Click here to read more.
If you suspect a product is to blame for the wrongful death of a loved one, I urge you to contact a wrongful death attorney to discuss your matter in detail.
According to the the Indianapolis Star, A Hendricks County woman has filed a lawsuit against Delta Air Lines for personal injury and damages, including burns to her legs, scarring, emotional distress, lost time, medical expenses, and anticipated future medical expenses. The lawsuit seeks almost $170,000 from the airline company.
The lawsuit was filed last week in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
This lawsuit reminds us of the infamous 1992 lawsuit against McDonald's when 79 year old Stella Liebeck of Alburquerque, New Mexico suffered third-degree burns over 6% of her body when hot coffee was spilled on her lap. Ms. Liebeck was hospitalized for 8 days, during which she underwent skin grafts. After McDonald's refused to pay the $20,000 in medical bills she seeked, a jury awarded Liebeck $200,000 in compensatory damages and $2.7 million in punitive damages.
We don't know the severity of the Indianapolis' woman's injuries, but we're assuming they're not as significant as Ms. Liebeck's.
The lawsuit claims the flight attendant was negligent in spilling the coffee. What is negligence? Negligence doesn't mean intentional conduct. Negligence is out of the ordinary or unreasonable and if that is the case, then the person who is injured can bring a claim against the person was was negligent.
If you've been injured due to the negligence of another person or company, it's best to speak with an attorney about your rights. If that's you, contact one of our personal injury attorneys for a free consultation.
By Kelly M. Scanlan
Hiring an attorney can seem like an overwhelming task. According to a recent article I read, Indiana has 15,512 lawyers. If you're in the need of a lawyer in Indiana, that's a large number from which to choose. So, how in the world do you start narrowing down this list?
First, rely on those around you. Ask your family, friends, neighbors and colleagues. Chances are, they know an attorney or have used an attorney in their lifetime.
Even if your neighbor's divorce lawyer can't help you with your personal injury claim, he or she may know a few attorneys who can. Although 15,000 sounds like a big number, the legal community can be a tight-knit group. Lawyers know other lawyers, so use them and their legal networks to help you find a quality referral.
If you don't want your close family and friends knowing your personal business, contact your local bar association. The bar association has a list of attorneys who are fully qualified to help you with your matter. The Indianapolis Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service makes referrals by telephone Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 317-269-2222 or you can visit their website to submit an online form.
Once you've taken the steps above, you should have a few recommendations. Next step: the Internet. You can find an incredible amount of information on an attorney's website. Most attorneys should have an online biography page that lists their education, practice areas, awards, bar affiliations, and professional memberships. Another option is to visit Martindale-Hubbell's website. Martindale is an online resource that rates lawyers. The Martindale Peer Review Ratings are completed by other lawyers, so they are often considered a credible resource.
Your research should prepare you to schedule an initial consultation with one or more attorney. Most lawyers offer free consultations. Take advantage of those. You can call the attorney's office and discuss your matter over the phone, or schedule a face-to-face meeting. Bring all of your records and prepare questions, both about your case and the attorneys track record. You can't be too prepared and there's no such thing as a dumb question.
Here's another bit of advice: Look at the scope of the attorneys practice. While some law firms provide legal assistance for every matter, some attorneys and law firms focus on specific types of law. As an attorney, I have chosen to represent people who have been injured due to the negligence or fault of another person or company. The majority of my cases deal with medical malpractice law, but I also handle personal injury and wrongful death cases. Although I am legally qualified to assist with a divorce, I have decided to focus entirely on personal injury claims.
In closing, always trust your gut. Pick an attorney you feel confident can handle your case and one that makes you feel comfortable. Ask plenty of questions. I can't stress enough the importance of asking any and all of your questions at the initial meeting. It will benefit you to be clear on what the next step will be once you leave the office.
By: Chris Stevenson
I recently wrote a blog article titled "Avoid Personal Injury with Motorcycle Accidents." I started thinking about common causes of motorcycle accidents and thought this would be an obvious choice for the next post.
Motorcycles offer very little protection when a collision occurs. Although helmets help save lives, motorcyclists have little protection should an accident occur. When in a car, you're protected with airbags, bumpers and the metal body of the car. Obviously, those things don't exist with motorcycles.
According to a 2009 Insurnace Institute for Highway Safety's Loss Data Institute report, more than 50% of motorcyclist deaths involved at least one other vehicle. 42% of the two-vehicle fatal motorcycle crashes involved a vehicle turning left in front of an oncoming motorcycle or a motorcycle passing a vehicle.
In 2009, of the 1,791 motorcyclist deaths that did not involve a collision with another vehicle, 48% were speeding and 42% had a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher.
In summary, motorcycle accidents typically involve cars not yielding the right-of-way to motorcycles, motorcycles speeding, and motorcyclists under the influence of alcohol.
Other possible causes of motorcycle accidents are:
Given the lack of protection motorcycles offer riders, it's no surprise that motorcycle accidents almost always result in serious injuries and extensive medical bills. If you were involved in a motorcycle accident you should consult with a personal injury attorney who can help you sort out what legal remedies you may have.
By: Kelly M. Scanlan, Attorney
Would you be surprised if I told you dietary supplements accounted for more than half of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Class I drug recalls between 2004 and 2012? If so, prepared to be surprised.
From 2004 to 2012, 465 drugs were subjected to a Class I recall in the United States. Of the 465 drugs recalled, 237 (51%) were dietary supplements. The “Class I” designation means the contained ingredients within the supplements had a reasonable probability of causing “serious adverse health consequences or death.” That’s scary.
The FDA does not require approval before supplements can be sold. The FDA defines a dietary supplement as a product taken by mouth that contains a “dietary ingredient” such as vitamins, minerals, herbs, botanicals, or amino acids.
The three categories with the highest recall rate were sexual enhancement, bodybuilding, and weigh loss supplements.
Supplement manufacturers are aware that their products do not have to earn FDA approval, but they are also aware of the severe penalties if they market their products containing certain ingredients or make an absolute assertion about what the supplement will do. You may be familiar with the Airborne lawsuit. Airborne advertised their product as a way to prevent and treat colds. Due to a $23.3 million class-action settlement for false advertising, Airborne now simply refers to their product as immune boosters.
Our firm receives FDA alerts about product recalls. If you’re interested in signing up for the FDA alerts, click here. If you’ve taken a supplement and you’ve experienced health problems, do your research. Research the product and the ingredients.
As a personal injury attorney, I feel compelled to give you (the reader) informative information about potentially harmful supplements. I am an Indiana injury lawyer at Wilson Kehoe Winingham. We are a personal injury law firm that focuses on cases where people have been seriously injured due to the negligence of another person or company. If you or a loved one has been injured due to a recalled supplement, I’d be more than happy to provide you with a free consultation and discuss your rights.
By: Chris Stevenson
Warm weather has finally arrived in Indiana and with that comes more motorcycles on the roadways. Motorcycle accidents can be avoided if drivers are more aware and alert while driving. I am a personal injury attorney who has handled motorcycle accident cases, so I feel compelled to share useful information about motorcycle safety.
You probably know this and it should be obvious, but wearing a helmet reduces the risk of head injury by 69%. If you're going to ride a motorcycle, wear a helmet! I cannot stress that enough! According to the CDC, motorcycle accidents account for almost 13% of all fatalities on the roadways, so make sure you're protected.
Indiana motorcycle law requires eye protection if under the age of 18. Also required is the use of a helmet if under the age of 18 or anyone who holds an Indiana motorcycle learner's permit. Motorcycles in the state of Indiana are also required to have turn signals, speedomoter and a rearview mirror.
I highly recommend all motorcycle riders take a motorcycle safety course. ABATE of Indiana offers training and safety courses. If you complete the course and don't already have an operator license, you will be given a waiver, which will allow you to skip the riding test to obtain your operator license. After you've completed the safety course, take your completion card and permit to the BMV to receive your motorcycle endorsement. The cost of the motorcycle safety course through ABATE of Indiana is $75, but it's highly recommend.
The CDC has provided safety tips when riding a motorcycle to stay safe:
- Always wear a DOT-approved helmet.
- Never ride your motorcycle after drinking.
- Don't let friends ride impaired.
- Wear protective clothing that provides some level of injury protection.
- Avoid tailgating.
- Maintain a safe speed and exercise caution when traveling over slippery surfaces or gravel.
- Know your motorcycle.
Motorcycle accidents are fairly common during the warm months in Indiana. Although common, take the safety precautions above to reduce your risk of being in an accident and sustaining an injury. Wilson Kehoe Winingham handles cases involving personal injury in Indianapolis and across Indiana. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a motorcycle, it's important to talk with a motorcycle accident attorney who's familiar with Indiana state law.