Truck Accident Case

We took more than 60 depositions in five different states. Because of Stephenson’s tireless advocacy, shortly before the trial was to commence, the defendants settled the case for $48.5 million.

Our Personal Injury Lawyer Helps Recover Compensation

In the legal world, our Indianapolis personal injury lawyer understands that the term “personal injury” doesn’t just mean that an individual has been hurt. It means that the harm was caused by the negligence or carelessness of another. The key issue is whether or not they were negligent, and personal injury attorney Mike Stephenson can help sort out the facts.

If you or a loved one has been injured or someone has died due to the negligence or fault of another, you may be entitled to compensation for the damages you received through insurance or a personal injury lawsuit. However, Indianapolis personal injury laws are complicated, and insurance companies are out for profit and will try to deny claims or get you to settle for less than your case is worth. Fortunately, an experienced personal injury lawyer can help fight for the compensation you deserve.

Indianapolis personal injury attorneys Mike Stephenson and Brady Rife have been helping injured people in Indianapolis recover compensation for their medical bills, lost income, and other expenses incurred through no fault of their own for over 30 years, and can do the same for you. You can rely on our personal injury lawyers to be trusted advisors and proven advocates. Call us today to schedule a free consultation to determine the best way to move forward with your case.

Our Personal Injury Attorney Helps You

Why Choose Stephenson Rife

It can be overwhelming to be dealing with the aftermath of a severe personal injury, so it is important to find an attorney you not only feel comfortable with but who has the experience and resources to go up against insurance companies and their lawyers.  Here are some reasons why we believe that Stephenson Rife is your best choice:

  • We are experienced. We have been meeting the needs of people throughout Indianapolis since 1976. Mike Stephenson has 40 years of experience handling injuries, and Brady Rife handles serious personal injury matters and has successfully tried both jury and bench trials as lead counsel.
  • We get results, win large settlements, and have many satisfied clients. You can read their testimonials and about their cases.
  • We are recognized in our field. Attorneys Mike Stephenson and Brady Rife have both been named as Indiana Super Lawyers and have won distinguished legal awards.
  • We handle all legal paperwork, and court appearances required by Indianapolis law.
  • We deal and negotiate with insurance companies, so you won’t have to.
  • We are recognized for our expertise and are the law firm that other law firms consult.
  • We offer free initial consultations to get you started.
  • We are able to provide cost-effective legal services to keep fees low, and you pay us nothing unless we win and you get your money.

How Our Personal Injury Lawyer Works for You

It is important to start investigating your case while the evidence is fresh, and witnesses can be found. Once you retain Stephenson Rife, we will get to work on your behalf immediately. We will:

  • Meet with you to discuss how the accident occurred, who the at-fault parties may be, and determine if you have a valid lawsuit and what type of settlement to go after.
  • Make sure you get proper medical care, and that all symptoms and treatments are documented.
  • Conduct investigations to gather evidence, such as photographs and videos from the accident scene, and police, ambulance, hospital, and medical records and reports.
  • Interview witnesses and first responders.
  • Get expert opinions from accident reconstruction professionals as to how the accident occurred and who was at fault, and from medical professionals and therapists as to the care you will need, and the costs and effects of your injuries into the future.
  • Negotiate with insurance companies and opposition lawyers for a fair settlement.
  • Build your case and bring it to court and present it in front of a judge and jury if necessary.

We strive to give our clients the personalized service they deserve.  We want to help because we believe justice matters.

Damages Our Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyers May Recover

In a successful personal injury case, you may recover compensation for your injuries and financial losses, called damages. In Indiana, damages should cover both your economic or monetary losses resulting from the accident and your non-economic damages that do not have a specific dollar value but negatively impact your life.

Depending on the specifics of your case, you could be awarded some or all of the following:

  • Payment of past medical bills and future medical expenses
  • Lost wages and loss of future earning capacity
  • Property damage
  • Compensation for past and future pain and suffering — physical, mental, and emotional
  • Household services
  • Loss of consortium and quality of life.

In some rare cases, punitive damages may also be awarded to punish negligent parties for willful negligence or especially egregious behavior. Punitive damages are over and above actual economic and non-economic damages and serve to act as a deterrent for similar misconduct in the future.

Amounts of Damage Awards

There is a wide range of settlement amounts possible in a personal injury case, ranging from the thousands to millions of dollars.  The amount you may receive depends on the individual circumstances of your case and factors such as the actual costs of your damages, the severity, and permanence of the injuries, whether a wrongful death was involved, and whether you were partly at fault for the accident. The skill of your attorney in negotiating, building, and presenting your case is also a factor.

Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyers Must Prove Negligence

Proving another party’s negligence — the failure to exercise a reasonable standard of care for the safety of others — is essential to winning a personal injury case. Our attorneys would have to identify each party who contributed to causing your injuries (the defendants in the case), and prove they were negligent legally by showing the existence of the following elements:

  • Duty — The defendant owed you a duty of care not to cause harm
  • Breach — The defendant breached that duty by acting or failing to act
  • Cause – This breach caused your injuries
  • Damages — You suffered damages, monetary or otherwise, as a result.

Everyone has a duty of care to act responsibly to avoid harming others. Examples of breaching this duty and causing harm include:

  • A drunk driver ran a red light and crashed into your car
  • Your car’s brakes failed, resulting in a crash
  • A property owner failed to fix or warn of hazardous conditions which caused you to slip and fall.

In some cases, there may be multiple parties responsible for your injuries.  For example, if the drunk driving crash was caused by someone driving a truck, you may be able to hold both the driver and the trucking company, which has more assets, responsible. Our attorneys will investigate and hold all potentially negligent parties as defendants as they all may have insurance and assets that can go toward a settlement.

Indianapolis Personal Injury Attorney Answers FAQs

When dealing with a serious personal injury, it’s natural to have questions and concerns.  These are best addressed at your free consultation, but to get started, here are some answers to questions our attorneys are often asked:

Are there time limits to filing a lawsuit?

Yes, Indiana has a deadline called a statute of limitations, (Indiana statute §34-11-2-4) that is generally two years from the date of the injury to file a personal injury lawsuit, and, in case of death, two years to file a wrongful death claim from the day of the death. With some exceptions, if you fail to file on time, the courts will refuse to hear your case.

Should I talk to the insurance company?

No, the less you say to insurance companies the better. Insurance adjusters will use tactics to lessen or deny the payments, such as trying to get you to admit you were at fault for the accident, and anything you say to them can be used against you. Tell the insurance company to speak to your attorney, and let Stephenson Rife handle all communications and negotiations.

What if I did something to contribute to the accident?

If you did something that contributed to the accident that caused your injury, Indiana uses modified comparative negligence (Indiana Code Title 34, Section 51-2-5, et seq.), also known as the “51% fault” method. This means you may still collect damages if you are less than 51% at fault, but damages will be reduced according to the percentage of fault you bear. For example, if the damage award is $100,000, and you are found to be 20% at fault, you can still collect $80,000.

How long does a personal injury case take?

Each case is different depending on factors such as the extent of the injuries and whether the case settles or goes to trial. Often, a defendant will make an offer to settle the case so that they don’t have to go to trial, and this shortens the time involved. You can read about some of the results we were able to achieve for personal injury clients through settlement and mediation here.

How much does it cost to hire a personal injury lawyer?

The good news is that it doesn’t cost anything upfront to hire our personal injury lawyers. At Stephenson Rife, we work on a contingency basis, which means we take on all costs and expenses of your case, and you pay nothing unless and until we win. Fees and costs are then taken out of the settlement award.

When you have our Indianapolis personal injury lawyers on your side, you can rest assured that we will be there throughout the entire process to answer your questions and address your

Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawsuits We Handle

Stephenson Rife attorneys take on many types of personal injury cases, demonstrating excellence in handling many types of claims. Such cases can include vehicular collisions of all kinds:

At Stephenson Rife, our Indianapolis personal injury attorneys also handle the following types of personal injury cases:

We Deal with Grievous Bodily Harm

The attorneys of Stephenson Rife can also assist you with a personal injury case that involves serious physical damage, regardless of where the injury occurred:

  • Wheelchair

    Catastrophic injuries. Catastrophic injuries such as spinal cord or traumatic brain injuries either cause death or, at a minimum, a significant and permanent deterioration of the victim’s quality of life. While money cannot bring back health or a loved one, knowing that your financial future is not in calamitous jeopardy can ease the way forward into an uncertain future.

  • Brain

    Traumatic brain injuries. The impact of a traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is not to be underestimated. The victim can be left in a coma or permanently incapacitated. Sometimes injuries mean a changed personality (aggression or depression), memory loss, or an inability to perform at work or in school. There is no question that these cases are always difficult, but they are rewarding to win.

  • Spine

    Spinal injuries. The spine is one of the most vital—and, in some ways, one of the most vulnerable—parts of our bodies. Motor vehicle collisions, falls in the workplace, sports injuries, or even violence can leave the sufferer with life-altering circumstances. Medical expenses are usually staggeringly large. It’s only right that the negligent party assume those expenses.

  • Fire

    Burn injuries. No one wants to think about severe burns, but they can be a consequence of a workplace accident, a car crash, or a heating system malfunction. Burn injuries mean tremendous personal suffering and extremely high medical and rehabilitation costs. We can help you pursue a burn injury case where another party’s negligence caused the harm.

  • Hard hat worker

    Workplace injuries. State and federal agencies have strict guidelines and regulations to keep workers safe while they are on the job, but all too often employers ignore these regulations or fail to ensure they are properly followed. We bring the full weight of our 30 years’ experience and substantial resources to bear for each workplace injury case we handle.

  • Explosion

    Explosion injuries. Explosion injuries frequently occur in the workplace, but the truth is, a devastating blast can occur anywhere fuel, chemicals, or electricity are in use—everything from transformer explosions to gas grill mishaps. Whether your explosion injuries occurred at work or were caused by a faulty product, we can help you recover compensation.

  • Heart

    Wrongful death. A wrongful death can happen for a number of reasons, such as traffic accidents, workplace tragedies, and defective products. Because the loss was unexpected and caused by someone else’s negligence, wrongful death cases can be especially hard on the survivors, whose intense grief and anger can complicate the healing process. Because wrongful death cases are complex, we are committed to bringing together the most qualified experts available in order to uncover what happened.

Contact our personal injury lawyers at Stephenson Rife to discuss your injuries and find out if you have a case.

How We Have Helped Our Indianapolis Personal Injury Clients

With more than 30 years of experience working with families across Indiana, our Indianapolis personal injury lawyers have handled litigation in 18 states and served as lead trial counsel in more than 100 civil jury trials. As you look for information online, consider the results our attorneys were able to secure in each of these complex personal injury claims:

  • Read about our client, B.Z., involved in a truck accident where the driver had illegally altered his semi to routinely overload the vehicle. Truck Accident Case Details.
  • Read about our client, D.W., who was severely injured in a car accident. Before trial, the defendant’s company stated that a jury in a small southern county in Indiana would never return a verdict for $1 million in this case. The defendant was correct; the verdict was twice that amount. Car Accident Jury Verdict.
  • Read about the family (“C.W” [mother] and “Z.M.” [son]) whose motor home was struck by a tractor-trailer while Mom and Son were asleep in the back. Truck Accident Lawsuit Recovery.

Although no amount of settlement money can ever accomplish what damage awards were designed to do in the first place – put the victim back in the position he or she was in prior to the accident—you can be assured that the attorneys at Stephenson Rife have got your back when it comes to making you as financially whole as possible. We are also ready to answer any more questions you have on the settlement process.

Call us today for a free consultation at 317-680-2501.

Client Testimonial

”We recently had a situation where our daughter was injured in an unusual accident. My wife and I didn’t know how to proceed, so we called Brady Rife. It was the best decision we could have made. The process was long, but he helped guide us every step of the way. We needed someone we could trust in a vulnerable time, and Brady did an excellent job of easing our tension and took our burdens as his own. He gave us confidence at a very unstable time. It was such a relief to have someone who knew how to handle the situation. I wouldn’t hesitate to call Brady for any of our future legal needs.” – Justin Sawyer (Google Review)

Attorney Mike Stephenson

Indiana Attorney Mike StephensonMike Stephenson has 40 years of experience and is a trusted advisor to many individuals and companies. His current practice is dominated by civil litigation in state and federal courts. He focuses much of his time on handling catastrophic injuries caused by all types of accidents, including motor vehicle, trucking, workplace injuries, product liability, and fire, just to name a few. He also works extensively in construction accidents. [ Attorney Bio ]