$157 THOUSAND

Personal Injury Claim

JR was offered a settlement of $35,000. The jury returned a verdict in her favor for $157,000, a net verdict over two times the amount offered by the RTB’s insurance company.

our client results

Harm that befalls an innocent child is unfair and inexcusable. Any child who experiences significant injury will often carry psychological scars resulting from the trauma. An injured child in the family can make everyone hurt.

While some injuries are not always preventable, other injuries can arise from the negligent or reckless actions of others. In many cases, such injuries are legally actionable. Should that be the regrettable circumstances for you, we at McNeely Stephenson are ready to assist you.

Childhood Injury Statistics

Injuries are the leading cause of death for those aged 1 through 18. (Under one year of age, it is suffocation.) The top nonfatal causes of injury in children are:

  • For those aged 1 to 4, falls and poisoning were leading causes of injury.
  • For those aged 1 through 9, the next most frequent cause of nonfatal injuries after falls and poisoning was being struck against or by an object.
  • For those aged 15 to 19, motor vehicle accidents were the leading cause of injury, but falls and being struck against or by an object were also high on the list.

Common Childhood Injury Situations

Any number of circumstances can result in the injury of a vulnerable child. Here are some of the most common:

  • Traffic accidents of all types. Generally this means motor vehicle accidents; however, pedestrian accidents, bicycle accidents, and school bus accidents all cause injuries and deaths. Childrens’ bodies are not mature enough to absorb hard impacts without serious or fatal injury.
  • Accidental drownings. Drownings are a leading cause of death for children aged 1 through 4. Drownings are not limited to swimming pool and boating accidents—little children can drown in a very small amount of water, such as in bathtubs and toilets. Non-fatal drowning accidents can lead to permanent brain injury.
  • Accidental poisonings. Children are curious, so they taste the things they find. Some common items that can poison children and lead to significant and permanent injuries are: lead (in toys and house paint), prescription medications, common cleaning products, e-cigarettes, alcohol, and mercury.
  • Animal bites. Animals do not always understand our actions. Additionally, some persons intentionally keep vicious animals. In Indiana, dog owners are liable for unprovoked attacks.
  • Away-from-home situations, such as injuries at day care centers, camps, and other locations. When a child is out of our sight, the possibilities of negligent care and outright abusive treatment can occur. Sexual abuse and molestation can also take place in these situations, as can accidental poisonings and drownings.
  • Birth injuries. Children are vulnerable from the first instant of life, and they can suffer permanent injuries in the very act of being born.
  • Child product and toy injuries. A number of products, including toys, cribs, walkers, and other items meant to be used by children are not safe because they are defective in some way. There are instances of child furniture tipping over and causing severe injury.
  • Prescription drug error injuries and other medical malpractice situations. The most likely place for prescription drug errors to occur is in the Emergency Room. Medical malpractice can cause a wide range of childhood injuries.

Types of Childhood Injuries

Children can suffer from a variety of serious injuries. Some of the most damaging ones are:

  • Brain injury (TBI) and spinal damage, including those injuries that lead to seizures and paralysis. Brain injuries are among the most catastrophic types of harm that can happen to your child.
  • Broken bones, causing much pain and sometimes disability, depending on the severity.
  • Burns, including electrocutions and scalds. Premises liability, meaning that a landlord or other property owner might be considered negligent, can be a factor in burns.
  • Internal injuries from being struck by an object, whether in a motor vehicle accident, by another person, or another situation.
  • Open wound trauma (cuts, bites, and so forth).
  • Soft tissue damage, such as severe contusions, pulled ligaments, and other injuries not immediately visible.
  • After an insect sting, anaphylactic shock and the risk of suffocation can occur.

Emotional distress — whether from abuse, cyberbullying, or other causes — can be no less damaging than physical injury and often accompanies traumatic experiences such as severe injuries or abuse.

What Are My Rights When My Child is Harmed?

Under Indiana law, you have the right to seek compensation for certain damages if your child suffers serious injury due to another party’s recklessness or negligence. In order to be eligible for such compensation, it must be established that the other party did not exercise reasonable care, and that the lack of reasonable care led directly to your child’s injury or wrongful death.

You must also bring your case within the time limits specified by Indiana’s statutes of limitations. Sometimes exceptions apply, such as with car accidents that occurred when the child was under 18 at the time of the injury. In that case, the statute of limitations does not begin until the child turns 18. For medical malpractice claims in Indiana, the two-year statute of limitations begins to run when the child turns 8. In a product liability case, the statute of limitations is two years regardless of age.

You can seek both economic and non-economic damages. “Economic damages” are things such as past and future medical bills; the cost of rehabilitation; assistive devices and prostheses; and lost wages. Typical “non-economic” damages are compensation for pain and suffering and for mental anguish resulting from the injury.

real-life cases

“B.K.” was driving on a two-lane road one Sunday afternoon with his mother in the front seat and his brother and sister-in-law in the back seat when his life was forever changed. B.K. was struck head on by D.C.

D.C. had spent the day drinking with a friend and had stopped at a restaurant less than five miles from the point of the accident where D.C. had been served several drinks. D.C.’s blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit.

As a result of the terrible wreck, B.K. received devastating injuries, which included multiple broken bones, facial fractures, and loss of vision. B.K.’s mother, brother, and sister-in-law were all killed in the accident.

As one would anticipate, D.C. had virtually no insurance. Stephenson, through his thorough and detailed investigation, was able to prepare claims against the restaurant and those that provided the alcohol.

Stephenson pursued dram shop claims against those responsible CASE SUMMARY

D.H. was a competitive bicyclist who was riding in preparation for a cross-country fundraising ride. In the spring of 2010, D.H. was riding across an old steel-grated deck bridge in Shelby County when he hit a hole in the bridge and flipped over the handlebars of his bike. The impact to the bridge decking caused severe injuries to his face, teeth, tongue, and elbow.

Through the investigation, they were able to learn as early as 1998, the bridge inspection reports showed the bridge in question needed to be replaced. The county never authorized additional inspections. The county obtained $844,000 in funding for the replacement of the bridge in 2000, but the Historical Society and adjacent property owners wanted the bridge repaired rather than replaced.

This crash could have been avoided if the inspectors and county had done their jobs. CASE SUMMARY

Our client (“D.W.”) was a front-seat passenger in a vehicle that was struck by a UDF truck making deliveries. D.W. received broken arms and legs, as well as internal injuries. Stephenson was retained by D.W.’s personal counsel to prepare and try the case. Discovery determined that the UDF driver had multiple driving violations. Stephenson retained numerous experts to show the jury the devastating effects of the injuries. 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. CASE SUMMARY

At McNeely Stephenson, we believe justice matters.

If someone’s negligent or reckless actions have caused injury or death to your child, it is your right to seek compensation in a personal injury lawsuit, but it is critical to have a knowledgeable and trustworthy legal professional representing you.

Indiana lawyer Mike Stephenson is a Martindale-Hubbell AV-rated attorney, the highest possible attorney peer rating. When you call Mike, you can have complete confidence that you are talking with an attorney who has more than 30 years’ experience offering compassionate and successful representation for his clients.

Let our Indianapolis child injury lawyers fight for you. The experience of Mike Stephenson and the resources of McNeely Stephenson can be your means of achieving justice when your child is the victim of someone’s negligence or recklessness. What is your next step? You can start now by calling 1-317-825-5200, or you can use our online contact form for a free evaluation of your claim.

Updates
Personal Injury Lawyer
June 18, 2018 / Personal Injury, Vehicle Accidents, Wrongful Death
What Are the Real Reasons for Motor Vehicle Crashes?

Sometimes, establishing the reasons for a car crash is complicated. One factor that can make determinations even more imprecise is that state crash report forms used at the scene often lack the appropriate fields or places to enter codes that would explain the precise reason for the collision. Because each state uses its own form, no consistency exists. Compiling accurate national statistics becomes difficult, producing results that are just plai...

AWARDED. CREDENTIALED. PROVEN.

Mike Stephenson is a Super Lawyer in Indiana along with many of his peers at McNeely Stephenson. This is one of the highest honors an attorney can achieve

AWARDED. CREDENTIALED. PROVEN.

The AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale Hubbell is the HIGHEST RATING and considered a significant accomplishment. It is a peer-reviewed process reflecting that other attorneys rank Mike Stephenson at the highest possible level of professional excellence.

AWARDED. CREDENTIALED. PROVEN.

Attorney Mike Stephenson is a proud member of The Litigation Counsel of America’s Honorary Society. A close-knit, peer-selected, and aggressively diverse honorary society of 3,500 of the “best trial lawyers” in the country. Less than one-half of one percent of American lawyers, vigorously vetted for skills, expertise, and service; an invitation-only collegial network.

AWARDED. CREDENTIALED. PROVEN.

The American Board of Trial Advocates is an invitation-only organization for attorneys of “high personal character and honorable reputation.” ABOTA works for the preservation of the civil jury trial, “Justice by the People,” and supports the right of a jury trial.

AWARDED. CREDENTIALED. PROVEN.

Our attorneys are proven advocates and trial attorneys. They have served as lead trial counsel in more than 100 civil jury trials, and have handled litigation in 18 states