$1.75 MILLION

Workplace Injury

$1.75 million settlement for N.T.'s injuries at a work site.

our client results

Despite strict workplace safety regulations put in place by the state and federal governments, employees in Indianapolis and throughout Indiana often incur serious and sometimes fatal injuries on construction sites, in office buildings and at other locations of employment. According to the United States Department of Labor, 2014 incident rates in Indiana for nonfatal injuries occurred in just about every industry, including manufacturing, health care, construction, education and utilities. Fatal occupational injuries occurred mostly in the mining industry, oil extraction and construction industry.

OSHA’s Fatal Four – Danger in the Construction Workplace

The OSHA Fatal Four report revealed the top four causes of construction worker fatalities. It is these four scenarios that are responsible for more than half of worker fatalities:

  • 35 percent of construction worker deaths were from falls.
  • 10 percent of deaths occur when the worker was struck by an object.
  • 9 percent of victims were electrocuted
  • 3 percent of deaths happen when the worker was caught-in or between objects.

Construction sites are dangerous places to work, often containing heavy equipment, cranes, concrete pump trucks, 18-wheelers and more. Fatalities are bound to occur.

Workplace Wrongful Death Suit

In Indianapolis, IN, wrongful death is determined by whether or not the fatality was caused by an action or inaction on the part of an individual or company. A wrongful death claim is akin to a personal injury lawsuit in which the injured party has died. “The estate of the deceased person steps in to establish liability on the part of the defendant whose negligence caused the fatality and to seek money damages. Damages may be awarded to the deceased person’s spouse, children or other dependents. If more than one person is eligible for damages, the court will determine how to split up the award. It’s a civil lawsuit.” In Indiana, a wrongful death suit must be filed within two years of the date of the fatality.

Civil Damages in a Wrongful Death Suit

Damages are intended to compensate the estate and surviving family members. The state of Indiana has specific rules with regard to what amounts are available and what types of damages may be obtained. If liability is established, the deceased person’s estate, spouse and children can recover funeral expenses, medical expenses, lost wages the deceased would have earned, and the cost of pursuing the lawsuit. The state does not allow damages based on “grief,” and Indiana’s wrongful death cases are capped at $300,000.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

By law, businesses in Indianapolis, IN are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Injured workers who meet requirements under Indianapolis workers’ compensation laws may be eligible for coverage for medical expenses as well as up to 2/3 of their average salary. There may also be specific monetary awards for permanent or partial disability. Whether an employer purchases workers’ comp insurance via a third party or operates under a self-insured policy, filing a claim in Indianapolis can be difficult. In some workers’ comp cases, employers and insurance companies try to avoid their responsibilities by arguing that the injury was not work-related. Even flaws or inconsistencies in an employee’s account of the incident can result in a denial. Many injured workers fall into an unseen trap by agreeing to unfair settlements or by signing forms. An experienced Indianapolis workers’ comp attorney can help you avoid the common pitfalls of filing a claim, help you wade through the bureaucratic red tape and see that you obtain the workers’ comp benefits you are entitled to.

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

When You Need a Workers’ Comp Attorney in Indianapolis

Generally, if you’ve incurred just a minor workplace injury and your employer accepts your claim, there’s no need to get an attorney. However, if your situation is complicated, you should hire a lawyer. If your employer denies your claim or fails to pay your workers’ comp benefits in a timely fashion, you should contact a lawyer. If your employer’s settlement is unacceptable, an attorney can help you get a fair deal. It’s also smart to get an attorney if your medical problems prevent you from returning to your prior position or from performing any work at all. Permanent or partial disabilities may entitle you to a single lump sum or lifetime weekly payments. And if you receive Social Security benefits, an attorney can help you draft your workers’ comp settlement agreement to limit what Social Security can take. Finally, if you have a potential third-party claim, an attorney can handle litigation against the third party, in addition to ensuring that you receive the workers’ comp benefits you are entitled to.

All around, an experienced workers’ comp attorney can tilt the scales in your favor.

Updates
Personal Injury Lawyer
May 21, 2018 / Vehicle Accidents
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