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Should Injury Victims Negotiate Directly with Insurance Companies?
November 28, 2022 / Personal Injury

Should Injury Victims Negotiate Directly with Insurance Companies?

A recent case handled by our law firm offers a good reminder how an insurance company’s claims adjuster’s job is to settle, even a clear liability injury case, for as little as possible and NOT for the real value of the injury. This case is a great example of what can happen when an injured victim tries to negotiate directly with a very experienced insurance claims adjuster. In this case, an insurance company initially offered only $1,374 for the injuries our client suffered in a car crash. After she hired Stephenson Rife, we were able to negotiate a $35,000 settlement. The facts in the case were simple, though tragic. Legal liability, or responsibility, was not in dispute. An elderly man was driving a vehicle and ran a stop sign. Hi[...]


How Are Wrongful Death Settlements Paid Out?
November 18, 2022 / Wrongful Death

How Are Wrongful Death Settlements Paid Out?

Dealing with the death of a loved one caused by someone else’s negligence can be devastating. You may receive some benefits through your loved one’s life insurance, but that might not alleviate the financial and emotional burden that you feel. You may be able to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit for additional compensation. Wrongful death lawsuits can be complicated and stressful, so it is important to consult with an experienced attorney who can represent your best interests. If you’ve decided to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit for additional compensation, you might be wondering how the money gets paid out. How to Obtain Settlement Before we discuss the ins and outs of the money, here’s a little background of how you get [...]


What is the average settlement for a car accident in Indiana?
September 23, 2022 / Car Accidents

What is the average settlement for a car accident in Indiana?

It would be great if there were an average settlement for a car accident in Indiana, but unfortunately, there isn’t.  That’s because each case is so different.  The dollar amount of a settlement depends on several factors, including the severity of injuries, number of defendants, amount of medical bills, impact on your future ability to earn a living, and many other variables.  Generally, as a rule of thumb, the more catastrophic the injury, the higher the payout. If you’re wondering “what is the average settlement for a car accident in Indiana?”, the best thing to do is talk to a skilled and experienced car accident lawyer who can assess the facts in your case and give you an estimate of what your case might be worth.  At [...]


What to Do if Your Motorcycle Is Hit by a Car from Behind
March 23, 2022 / Vehicle Accidents

What to Do if Your Motorcycle Is Hit by a Car from Behind

The average motorcycle weighs just 700 pounds, and when one collides with a much heavier truck or car, the consequences can be severe. Motorcycle accidents are often deadly. You may be asking what to do if your motorcycle is hit by a car from behind. Are there certain steps you should take to ensure your immediate safety? Let’s take a closer look at motorcycle crashes. There were 8,596,314 motorcycles registered in the U.S. in 2019, and they traveled more than 19 billion vehicle miles that year. There were 5,014 fatalities due to motorcycle crashes in 2019, and an additional 84,000 motorcyclists were injured. Fatality rates were roughly 58 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled among motorcyclists, compared to a much lower 9 per [...]


Can I Sue for a Concussion?
March 9, 2022 / Personal Injury

Can I Sue for a Concussion?

You've received a blow to the head that resulted in an injury and left you with medical bills you didn't expect to deal with. Now you're asking, "Can I sue for a concussion?" The answer to the question is yes, you can sue for damages provided you can show proof of injury and that the blow to your head was the result of negligence, even if the concussion was mild. A concussion is caused by a blow to the head that results in your head being whipped to one side in a sudden motion. The sudden motion causes your brain to crash into your skull and causes temporary or permanent injuries to your brain. You'll experience a change in your ability to process the world around you, along with difficulty speaking and other conditions related to brain [...]


How Often Do Car Accident Cases Go to Court?
February 26, 2022 / Car Accidents

How Often Do Car Accident Cases Go to Court?

About every 10 seconds someone is injured in a motor vehicle accident in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This means a lot of motorists are getting hurt every day. While there are no exact figures available, the majority of car accident lawsuits – an estimated 95% -- are settled before trial. So, if you’re asking how often do car accident cases go to court, the answer is about 5% of the time. Why do cases go to trial? Well, there are several reasons. The most common reason is that an insurance company refuses to negotiate in good faith when trying to agree on a settlement amount. If insurance representatives consistently low-ball their offers in the hopes of getting a v[...]


Can You Sue for Chemical Burns?
February 17, 2022 / Catastrophic Injuries

Can You Sue for Chemical Burns?

Chemical burns can leave lasting injuries. Whether you got injured at work, at home, or in a place of business, you have the right to receive compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses as a result of a chemical burn caused by someone else's negligence. While insurance might cover part of what you're owed, it's often the case that you need to sue for chemical burns to receive all of the compensation you're entitled to. If You Want to Bring a Lawsuit, Can You Sue for Chemical Burns? You have the right to receive full compensation any time the negligence of another person or business causes you chemical burns or other injuries. Some people would even say you have a duty to sue to prevent that[...]


How many fatalities on U.S. highways?
January 28, 2022 / Vehicle Accidents

How many fatalities on U.S. highways?

The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates total number of motor-vehicle deaths for the first six months of 2021 was 21,450, up 16% over the 18,480 deaths in 2020 and up 17% from the 18,384 fatalities in 2019. The estimated cost of motor-vehicle deaths, injuries, and property damage in the first half of 2021 was $241.9 billion. In the first half of 2020, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated that the fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) had risen year-over-year, from a rate of 1.06 in 2019 to a rate of 1.25 in 2020. What highway has the most deaths? Highway data showing how many people are killed on U.S. highways around the country. According to a recent 2019 report, th[...]


Can automatic emergency braking systems reduce accidents?
December 29, 2021 / Vehicle Accidents

Can automatic emergency braking systems reduce accidents?

Car accidents can have a devastating impact on the lives of crash victims and their families. Not only do they experience fear and uncertainty, but there can also be huge medical bills, time off work, and ongoing pain and suffering. That’s why government agencies and advocacy groups are always on the lookout for ways to make vehicles safer, often employing technology and autonomous, smart-vehicle innovations to enhance manufacturing methods. Automatic Emergency Braking systems (AEB) are one such measure. The installation of AEB systems is part of a voluntary commitment by 20 automakers globally to equip virtually all new passenger vehicles with low-speed AEB that includes forward collision warning (FCW). The National Highway Traffi[...]


Sunbeam Crock-Pot Recall
November 4, 2021 / Product Injury

Sunbeam Crock-Pot Recall

Burned by a Sunbeam Crock-Pot? – You May be Entitled to Compensation When you buy a product and use it as intended, you don’t expect it to injure you; too often, though, products we assume are safe fail and cause major injuries or even death. Victims may be left with high medical bills and physical and mental pain and suffering, and be unable to work. In cases like these, when someone has been harmed by using products that should have been safe, a product liability attorney can fight for compensation for the damages the defective product caused. An example of a defective product that has harmed consumers, is the Sunbeam Crock-Pot. On November 24, 2020, Sunbeam voluntarily recalled more than 900,000 Crock-Pot multi-cookers due to a[...]


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