When people think of civil lawsuits, they likely think of things they see on television like slip-and-falls, car accidents, or medical malpractice. However, there are many more reasons why a person would want to file a lawsuit. Personal injury lawsuits encompass a vast number of different claims, all of which involve a plaintiff who suffered harm at a defendant’s hands. A personal injury case does not necessarily involve criminal acts by the defendant, but it does involve some kind of negligent or careless actions or inaction that caused the victim’s harm or suffering.
There are so many types of claims that fall under the umbrella of personal injury that it is unlikely any one attorney practices in every single area. Different claims may require different legal procedures and follow different rules. For example, a slip-and-fall case will proceed quite differently than a car accident case, although both are personal injury cases. If you suffered some sort of loss, like a physical injury or a financial expense, and you believe someone else should be held accountable, you might have a personal injury case on your hands.
If you were hurt because of someone else’s negligence or recklessness, they should pay to cover your expenses. Personal injury cases do not necessarily involve criminal actions, but that does not mean the person responsible for your harm should not be held accountable. Our Indianapolis personal injury lawyers could help. Contact our team at Wruck Paupore PC to set up a free, private legal consultation. Call our offices at (219) 322-1166.
While personal injury cases cover a wide variety of legal actions, there are many common types of injury cases that could match your situation. For help handling any kind of personal injury case, call our Indianapolis personal injury lawyers today.
Many personal injury cases involve accidents. Perhaps the most common are car accidents, although any kind of accident could give rise to a personal injury lawsuit. An accident could happen on the road, at work, or even in the home. Accidents are frequently tried as cases of negligence. A negligence case requires us to prove that the defendant owed a legal duty of care, the defendant breached that duty, and the breach was the proximate cause of your damages.
Other personal injury lawsuits stem from intentional acts committed by the defendant. For example, if you were injured in a car crash, but the other driver intentionally hit your car with theirs, that is a case of intentional injury instead of negligence. “Tort” is merely a technical name for a wrongful act and covers things like assault and battery. In this kind of case, you have to prove that the other driver intended to cause you harm. This is sometimes harder than proving a mere breach of duty.
Products are means to be safe for customer consumption. When products are designed or manufactured improperly, they could cause injuries to customers. When that happens, you can often sue the company that manufactured the product. For example, if your car accident happened because your brakes failed, you can usually sue the car manufacturer or the brake manufacturer for the faulty brakes.
There are many other possible kinds of personal injury lawsuits. To determine what kind of case you have, speak with our Indianapolis personal injury attorneys right away.
A personal injury case could involve almost any kind of harm or injury. Most personal injury cases involve some negligence on the part of the defendant, although sometimes cases involve intentional actions. If you know you have suffered harm but are unsure about how to proceed, talk to our Indianapolis personal injury attorneys. Our team can help you determine what kind of case you have and what your next step should be. Our team handles a wide variety of cases:
When you file a claim, you must show that you suffered damages. “Damages” is a legal term that refers to any losses you suffered because of the defendant’s actions or behavior. Damages can include physical injuries, damage to property, and financial expenses. It can also include non-tangible losses like pain and suffering. The extent of your damages may vary depending on how you were injured and the type of claim you wish to bring. Our Indianapolis personal injury lawyers can help you identify all your damages so you get the most compensation possible.
When filing a personal injury lawsuit, one of the first things you must do is identify your defendant. The defendant is the person or company you want to hold responsible for your injuries. For many cases, the defendant’s identity is so obvious that it should not even be questioned. Plaintiffs often know the identity of their defendant before they even begin filing a lawsuit, but sometimes more research is necessary.
There are numerous circumstances where a plaintiff can be unsure who to name as their defendant. Sometimes there are numerous parties involved, and deciding which one to hold responsible might be challenging. Other times, defendants run away before they can be identified, like in hit-and-run car accident cases. Still other times, the defendant might not be a person at all, but rather a business or organization behind the accident.
When determining who your defendant is, remember that you have very few limits when who you can sue. You can sue a single person, multiple people, or a business or other entity. You can name as many defendants as you want to, as long as you believe they are all legally responsible for your injuries. You should consult with an attorney about your case to get help determining whom to sue. Our Indianapolis personal injury attorneys can help you identify possible defendants you might not have previously thought about.
In some cases, you may have been injured because of the defendant’s criminal activity. Perhaps you were in a car accident with a reckless driver, but that driver was fleeing the scene of a robbery. You could have also been the victim of the crime in question, such as in cases of assault. In either case, you can usually sue the defendant for injuries caused by their crimes.
In these cases, the defendant may be facing criminal charges separate from your civil lawsuit. It may be best to put your case on hold while the criminal case plays out in court. Depending on the nature of the case, the criminal proceeding may take priority over your personal injury lawsuit. If the defendant is convicted or pleads guilty, we can use their conviction or the evidence from that case to support your personal injury claim.
Even if they are not convicted, your civil case could still succeed. The burden of proof is in civil cases is lower than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard in criminal cases, helping victims get compensation. Talk to an attorney about your case if you were the victim of a crime. Our Indianapolis personal injury attorneys can help you strategize effectively while waiting for the related criminal case to resolve.
Not everybody realizes they have a valid personal injury claim right away. The law can be very complicated, and the average person might not be aware of their rights when they are injured. It is not uncommon for people, for whatever reason, to wait to bring their personal injury lawsuit until much later. However, you must be careful with how long you wait because there is a time limit on personal injury lawsuits.
According to Indiana Code § 34-11-2-4, personal injury lawsuits must be brought within 2 years of the accident or event that caused your injuries. If you attempt to file a case after this time limit, you might be barred from doing so.
The purpose of statutes of limitations is to prevent people from filing lawsuits for old issues. It would be very difficult, if not impossible, to have a trial for a car accident that happened 10 years ago. Remember, most personal injury cases follow a 2-year time limit, but certain types of claims may warrant more time. For example, cases involving sexual abuse of children may be brought up to 7 years after the event.
If you find yourself outside your applicable time limit, all hope may not be lost. If certain conditions are met, you can toll the statute of limitations. Tolling a statute is like stopping the clock for certain periods. For example, because children cannot file lawsuits on their own behalf, statutes of limitations do not typically begin to run for child plaintiffs until they are 18. If a plaintiff was disabled and unable to file, they could toll the statute for the duration of their disability.
If you believe you might be nearing the end of your time limit to file a personal injury lawsuit, call our team for help now. Our Indianapolis personal injury attorneys can help you file your case on time or find a valid reason why the statute of limitations should be tolled.
Indiana follows a rule of "comparative negligence" when determining fault in personal injury cases. According to Indiana Code § 34-51-2-5, the amount of blame shared by the plaintiff will diminish their possible damages. This means that if you are partially at fault for your injuries, your total damages and the money you could win will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you claim $100,000 in damages, but you are found to be 25% at fault, only $75,000 in damages be paid.
Indiana also limits just how much responsibility you can share with the defendant before you can no longer recover anything. According to Indiana Code § 34-51-2-6, you cannot be responsible for a greater share of fault than the defendant and still recover. This means once your own fault outweighs the defendant’s fault, you no longer have a valid claim and may recover nothing.
Your defendant will likely argue that you caused your injuries or accident and that they should not be held liable. Our Indianapolis personal injury lawyers will help you prove that that is not the case.
For help with your personal injury lawsuit, contact our Indianapolis personal injury lawyers. Our dedicated team of professionals can help you get the compensation you need to cover the costs of your damages. Schedule a free consultation at the offices of Wruck Paupore by calling (219) 322-1166.
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Don is a founding partner and one of the nation’s top-ranked personal injury litigators. He is a member of the Multi-million Dollar Advocates Forum, which includes less than 1% of the nation’s trial lawyers, and awarded the highest ranking given by Martindale Hubbel and AVVO.
More importantly, Don understands representing personal injury victims is about more than recovering the best settlement: it’s about helping clients get back on their feet and supporting them in every aspect of their recovery.
In nearly all cases, our clients seek compensation from the wrongdoer’s insurance company. Before forming Wruck Paupore, Jason worked for a prominent law firm representing some of the world’s largest insurers. This experience gives Jason a deep understanding of the insurance industry and the strategies it uses to pay injury victims as little as possible.
Jason -- and our entire team -- put this inside knowledge to work to force insurance companies to pay what is actually owed. Often, we use the insurance company’s own tactics against them as we fight for the full compensation our client deserves.
For more than four decades, Keith has been fighting for injury victims. During that time, he’s watched the insurance industry change, with insurers now more interested in protecting their stock price than treating injury victims fairly.
Since the beginning, Keith has put people first. From his childhood in Gary, Indiana during the 1960’s and working his way through law school, Keith has risen to become one of the Midwest’s most respected trial lawyers. He has never forgotten that being a lawyer is about helping people -- and seeing injury victims through struggles in a way that could change their lives forever.
Over the decades, Keith, Don and Jason have fought relentlessly for clients, even when other lawyers have said the case was impossible to win.
Advertising Materials / Legal Advertising. Any testimonials or stories set forth on this website are by actual clients and their families. Such testimonials or stories are provided for informational purposes only and are not to be considered as a promise or guarantee as to the outcome of your specific case and may not be typical. Every case presents unique facts and circumstances. You case and expected outcome will likely differ from the facts of the cases listed. The only way to properly evaluate your case is to consult with a qualified personal injury attorney.