Retaining a personal injury attorney after an accident can be intimidating – especially if you've never needed a lawyer up until this point. At Boughter Sinak, LLC we are here for you every step of the way from the free case evaluation all the way through a case settlement. Fighting for your rights is our highest priority and we deal with the insurance companies so you can focus on your recovery. 

If you have questions, browse our FAQs or learn more about the process of retaining personal injury attorneys

Attorney Fees

How can I pay an attorney to represent me when I have been injured and am unable to work?

If you’re hurt and off work, you do not have the money to hire an attorney. Fortunately, our law firm works strictly on a contingency fee basis, meaning we do not get paid until you receive a settlement. Also, attorney fees in work comp cases are set by law and are lower than other types of personal injury matters. The attorney fee is generally 20% of the first $50,000 in work comp benefits, and 15% of any amount recovered over $50,000.

How much do I have to pay up front for you to represent me?

Zero. Unlike many firms, we do not charge up-front fees or retainers.

How will I afford to pay you?

There is no fee unless we make a recovery for you.  During our initial meeting, we will go over the contingent fee agreement in detail with you and fully answer any questions you have.  We pride ourselves on straight forward representation.

What if I have already hired another personal injury attorney?

If you already hired another attorney to handle your personal injury or wrongful death case and you are not happy with their services, the first thing you should do is try to work through the problems with that attorney. Lack of communication, disagreement over the amount of a potential settlement, and lack of attention to your case are the reasons we most frequently hear as to why clients are unhappy with their current attorneys. It is very important to be comfortable and confident with your attorney, however. If you have tried, but failed, to work things out, you have the right to switch attorneys. Your prior attorney may assert a “lien” for attorney fees and expenses incurred on your case, but our firm policy is to pay that lien out of our attorney fee if you switch attorneys. In other words, you have the right to switch attorneys and it will not cost you anything to do so.

Will I be billed monthly for any costs?

No.  At our discretion, we advance all costs during our representation of you and do not send monthly bills.  At the end of our representation, all costs advanced will be clearly itemized for you so you know exactly where every dollar is going. 

Will I be charged a fee for a consultation?

Absolutely not.  There is never a fee for a consultation.

Workers’ Compensation

Are all on the job injuries covered by workers’ compensation even if the injury was my fault?

If you are injured on the job and your injuries arose from the course and scope of your employment then you will be entitled to certain workers’ compensation benefits. There are a few exceptions to this rule that may provide the employer a defense, such as intentional misconduct and consuming illicit drugs or drinking alcohol, which proximately caused your work injury. Every case is different and you should contact the lawyer to review the facts of your particular case.

Are there time limits to file a work comp claim?

Yes. Generally, you have two years from the date of the work accident to file an Application for Adjustment of Claim with the Workers’ Compensation Board or two years after you last receive TTD benefits. Keep in mind that the law is fluid and you should contact a lawyer to make sure your claim is timely filed.

Can I be treated by my own doctor for a work related injury?

In Indiana, the employer has the right to direct medical treatment, and this includes the right to pick the doctor. There are exceptions, such as seeking emergency treatment or seeking treatment after the employer or work comp insurer refuses to provide care. However, generally speaking, if you choose to go to your own doctor, you will be expected to pay for those bills.

Can I get a settlement for my workers’ compensation claim?

If you are injured on the job and suffer some kind of permanent disability, you are absolutely entitled to a settlement, usually paid in a lump sum. If you simply suffer a strain injury and are back to 100% after treatment or therapy, you may not be entitled to a settlement.

Can my employer fire me while I am receiving workers’ compensation benefits?

Indiana is an “at-will employment” state. This means your employer can fire you and, unfortunately, sometimes that happens. However, if your employer fires you while you are still receiving medical treatment and before you have been released to full duty work by the treating physician, you will likely be entitled to disability benefits.

How can I pay an attorney to represent me when I have been injured and am unable to work?

If you’re hurt and off work, you do not have the money to hire an attorney. Fortunately, our law firm works strictly on a contingency fee basis, meaning we do not get paid until you receive a settlement. Also, attorney fees in work comp cases are set by law and are lower than other types of personal injury matters. The attorney fee is generally 20% of the first $50,000 in work comp benefits, and 15% of any amount recovered over $50,000.

Specific Injury Concerns

Are there parties other than the at-fault driver against whom I can take legal action?

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, there may be parties other than the at-fault driver who share responsibility for what happened. If the accident occurred because the other driver was drunk, and a business served alcohol to the visibly intoxicated driver before the accident, your state’s dram shop law may allow you to hold the business liable; this varies from state to state. If a defect in one of the autos caused or worsened the accident, the vehicle manufacturer may be responsible for the injuries that resulted. Or a third party may have left debris in the road or caused one of the drivers involved in the accident to undertake a risky driving maneuver to avoid collision. Finally, if the owner of the car driven by the at-fault driver negligently allowed the driver to use the car, the owner may be liable, too.

Do I have to go to court if I want to recover monetary damages?

Maybe. Your case may settle even before your attorney files a lawsuit; on the other hand, it may go all the way to a trial and a jury verdict. The majority of lawsuits are settled before they get to trial, but what happens in your case depends on the facts, the law and the parties involved.

Do you offer home or hospital visits?

Yes.  We will gladly meet you at your home, hospital or other convenient location at no extra charge.

How do you prove the existence of a brain injury?

There are several ways in which medical and psychological professionals diagnose brain injuries. The method will depend on the nature and extent of the injury. Some examples of diagnostic tools are MRIs, CT scans, PET scans and EEGs. In addition, professionals may study a person's behaviors, movements and personality.

How soon do I need to bring my legal claim against the other driver?

It is best to speak with an attorney right away. In serious injury cases, it is important to preserve evidence and possibly retain an accident reconstructionist to determine what caused the crash and take witness statements, photographs, aerial footage, and inspect the vehicles. Under Indiana law, you have two years from the date of accident to file a lawsuit unless you are a minor—then you have two years from the date you turn 18 to file a lawsuit. Failure to timely file a lawsuit and your claim will be time barred. 

How soon do I need to bring my legal claim against the truck driver?

It is best to speak with an attorney right away. The time limits for taking legal action vary state by state, and they may also be affected by the language in your own insurance policy if you need to bring an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim. The nature of your injuries may even change the amount of time you have to bring a claim. However, as a general rule, in Indiana you have two years from the accident to file a lawsuit.

I have been in a motor vehicle accident. Should I go to a doctor?

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you should see a doctor right away. First, you should see a doctor for your own well-being. You may not be able to discern the extent of your injuries yourself; a small ache could be something significant, or it could be nothing at all. Only a doctor can tell you for sure. Secondly, you should see a doctor because if you decide to bring a legal claim against the at-fault driver or another party, you will need documentation of your injuries and what you did to fix them.

I have been in a truck accident. What should I do?

Make a police report no matter how small the property damage, and even if you do not believe you have been hurt. Obtain the name, address and phone of the truck driver. Write down the ICC number from the tractor; it is usually located on the door of the cab. If you have a Smartphone with a camera, take a few photos of the scene, your vehicle, and the truck, before the vehicles are moved. If you have been injured in the truck accident, you should see a doctor right away. First, you should see a doctor for your own well-being. You may not be able to discern the extent of your injuries yourself; a small ache could be something significant, or it could be nothing at all. Only a doctor can tell you for sure. Second, you should see a doctor because if you decide to bring a legal claim against the truck driver, you will need documentation of your injuries and what you did to fix them.

If my surgery doesn’t go as planned, is it medical malpractice?

It is very important to understand that some surgical errors and medical mistakes are caused by negligence and carelessness, while others are simply unpreventable complications that occur in a certain percentage of cases. If you or a loved one suffered from serious surgical complications, it is vital for you to determine why the complications took place and whether or not a doctor, nurse, or hospital was to blame for the issue. Medical procedures, medical malpractice law, and medical errors can be difficult to understand – speaking to our office about the details of your case can help you determine whether or not you should pursue damages.

Is misdiagnosis considered medical malpractice?

If an Indiana doctor has misdiagnosed an illness or condition – and that misdiagnosis harmed your health – you may very well have a medical malpractice case. A misdiagnosis can lead to the wrong treatment for your ailment as well as a delay in receiving the right treatment – two medical mistakes that can prove to be extremely harmful or even deadly. In some cases, a misdiagnosis may take place because of doctor negligence, misread medical tests, mixed up medical tests, or the failure to order the correct medical tests. Common misdiagnoses include cancer misdiagnosis, clogged artery misdiagnosis, heart attack misdiagnosis, heart disease misdiagnosis, tumor misdiagnosis, and infection misdiagnosis.

Should I speak with the at-fault driver’s insurance company if I’ve been injured in an accident?

If the at-fault driver’s insurance company contacts you, do not speak with them except to obtain the claim number and adjuster’s contact information. Insurance companies do not have your interests and often seek to obtain recorded statements from you to use them against you at a later date if the case goes into litigation. If you’ve been injured, contact Boughter Sinak, LLC for a free consultation prior to speaking with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. 

What are common symptoms of concussion?

The common early symptoms of concussion are headache, vertigo, nausea and dizziness. Common later symptoms are anxiety, depression, chronic headaches, poor sleep, personality changes, depression and intolerance to loud noises or bright lights.

What are possible effects of a severe brain injury?

Depending on the location and severity of the injury, there may be physical and/or behavioral effects. A severe head injury may affect a person's ability to work, learn and live with his or her family. Possible physical effects include difficulty with mobility and coordination, difficulty talking and communicating, severe headaches and difficulty with sensation. Possible behavioral effects include personality changes, depression, short attention span, learning difficulties and memory difficulties.

What are the main parts of the brain and their respective functions?

The main parts of the brain are the cerebrum, cerebellum, brain stem and diencephalon. The cerebrum is the largest section of the brain. Different parts of the cerebrum are related to the control of cognitive abilities, memory, motor function, learning and speech. The cerebellum is a part of the hindbrain. It coordinates voluntary and involuntary muscle movements. The brain stem is the lower extension of the brain. It acts as a relay station between incoming stimulus and the rest of the brain. The diencephalon is made up of the thalamus, which relays sensory stimuli, and the hypothalamus, which controls appetite, body temperature, pituitary secretions, emotions and sleep cycles.

What defines wrongful death in Indiana?

Wrongful death refers to the loss of a loved one caused by negligence. When another party’s careless conduct causes a fatal accident, the legal right to relief does not die with the victim. Instead, a wrongful death action allows family members to recover compensation from negligent parties. In Indiana, third party wrongful death claims are unique. Indiana has three categories of wrongful death decedents with three separate and distinct statutes. The statutes are generally referred to as the General Wrongful Death Statute, Adult Wrongful Death Statute and Child Wrongful Death Statute. Who can file a claim, what harms and losses are recoverable, what limitations exist regarding harms and losses, and when/if an estate is required depend exclusively upon which category the decedent falls within. Each statute is independent and mutually exclusive. Each of Indiana’s wrongful death statutes contains slightly differing procedural requirements and limitation periods. In addition, each statute affords varying types of relief to different classes of beneficiaries. To complicate matters, Indiana’s wrongful death statutes often interact with other areas of tort law.

What disabilities are associated with a brain injury?

There is a wide range of possible effects of a brain injury depending on the location and severity of the injury. For example, a person may have altered muscle coordination, altered sensation, memory problems or even major personality changes.

What happens if the brain loses its blood and oxygen supply?

Brain cells die when the brain is deprived of blood and oxygen. This can cause major brain injury. The brain may lose blood and oxygen supplies as a result of a near drowning, choking, heart-stopping electrical shock or respiratory problems. When the brain is deprived of oxygen, it is known as an anoxic brain injury. This type of injury is different from a traumatic brain injury (TBI), which generally results in swelling or bruising of the brain.

What is a closed head injury?

A closed head injury is damage to the brain as a result of external force to the head that does not penetrate the skull.

What is brain swelling and what causes it?

Brain swelling and bruising may occur following a violent force to the skull. The brain will "bounce" off the inside of the skull. This can cause nerve shearing as well as the swelling and bruising of nerve tissue. The swelling can create pressure inside of the head, which may in turn lead to compression of vital blood vessels.

What is medical malpractice?

Medical malpractice is a negligent act by a professional health care provider or medical practitioner. Usually occurring during the treatment of a medical condition of a patient, medical malpractice is due to the professional not conforming to accepted standard of care. Some examples of these include:

  • Misdiagnosis of an illness, disease, or any other medical condition
  • Not giving the proper treatment for an illness, disease, or any other medical condition
  • Not treating a diagnosed medical condition in a timely matter
What kind of compensation is possible in a legal claim for a brain injury?

The compensation depends on the state, the injury and the severity and extent of the permanent effects. Medical costs, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of earnings, mental anguish, rehabilitation costs and future medical expenses may be possible.

What’s meant by statute of limitations?

Statute of limitations refers to the need to file a lawsuit within a time limit. In Indiana, most injury cases, such as auto accidents or slip-and-fall claims, have a two-year statute of limitations, but not all. Some lawsuits, such as lawsuits against the government require a notice within a shorter period of time. The time begins to run when a cause of action accrues. A good example is someone negligently running into your car. The statute of limitation begins on the day of the accident. This issue can become more complicated, however. Sometimes, you have no way of knowing that you have a cause of action for years, such as discovering ill effects from taking a medication or being exposed to chemicals. It is important to seek the advice of an attorney and doctor if you suspect that you are having problems but don't know for sure if it relates to the negligence of another or an unreasonably dangerous product.

Who can sue for wrongful death in Indiana?

A personal representative of a deceased person may sue for wrongful death under the following conditions:

  • The person died because someone else acted in a negligent, reckless or deliberate manner
  • Had the person merely been injured, the circumstances would have supported a personal injury claim
  • The decedent left a surviving dependent or beneficiary
  • The death caused economic losses

Indiana law determines which surviving family members are eligible to recover for wrongful death. Beneficiaries of a wrongful death suit may include:

  • A surviving spouse
  • Dependent children
  • Dependent next of kin

In addition, damages for the loss of the person’s love and companionship are available to nondependent parents or nondependent children who can prove a genuine, substantial, and ongoing relationship.

Why do I need an attorney for my truck accident claim?

Truck accident claims are more complicated than other motor vehicle accident claims. An experienced truck accident lawyer will conduct a prompt investigation, including researching the safety record of the truck company and driver, reviewing the driver’s logbook to make sure the driver was not exceeding the allowable driving hours (driver fatigue is a leading cause of truck accidents), interviewing witnesses, and hiring an accident reconstruction expert if needed.

How Much is My Case Worth?

How much is my truck accident case worth?

The value of every case is different because each case has its own set of unique facts, injuries, and damages. Many factors including the circumstances of the accident, the extent of the injuries and amount of medical bills, the amount of lost wages, and the permanency of your injuries influence the outcome. In most instances, an attorney will not be able to determine the value of your claim until you are done treating or have a better handle on the extent of your injuries and damages. Any attorney that tells you “up front” what your case is worth, is likely not being honest with you.

In some cases, we may determine that you have a “limits” case early on, which means that your case is likely the value of the at-fault driver’s insurance. Most limits cases are complicated because of high medical bills and health insurance liens that will need to be negotiated, which we will handle on your behalf to maximize your recovery. Rest assured, we will give you a complete and honest evaluation of your case as soon as possible and will fight to obtain you the fair monetary value you deserve for your injuries.    

How much money is my auto accident case worth?

Your case is worth either what you agree with the insurance company it's worth or the amount of a cash award by a jury following a trial. We examine all of the conditions surrounding your case in order to arrive at a figure that we believe the insurance company should pay for your injuries. Generally, the dollar value is dependent upon (1) how strong liability is in your case, and (2) the nature and extent of your injuries. Other factors influencing the dollar value of your case are the amount of medical bills, length of treatment, frequency of treatment, future medical bills, permanent disabilities, and whether you had any pre-existing medical conditions similar to your current injury. We study every detail so that we can get you the money you deserve for your injuries.

If the accident was my fault, can I still recover compensation?

Every state has different laws as to what you can and cannot recover, so speak with an attorney today to make sure your rights are protected. Under Indiana law, if the accident was solely your fault, then you are limited to medical payments coverage for your medical expenses incurred. The law does not require you to carry medical payments coverage so you have to elect that coverage when you obtain insurance. If you do not, then you will not be entitled to the coverage. Medical payments coverage is normally offered in amounts of $1,000, $5,000, $10,000, $25,000, and $100,000. Speak with your insurance agent for a quote to find out the difference in cost. You might be surprised to learn that carrying higher medical payments coverage may come at a nominal cost. 

What am I entitled to recover after an accident?

You may be entitled to a number of different types of damages under Indiana law. Some of the more common types of damages in accident cases are: reasonable and necessary medical expenses, lost earnings, reduced future earning capacity, future medical expenses and prescriptions, pain and suffering, and permanent impairment.

What kind of compensation is possible in a legal claim for a brain injury?

The compensation depends on the state, the injury and the severity and extent of the permanent effects. Medical costs, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of earnings, mental anguish, rehabilitation costs and future medical expenses may be possible.

Insurance Questions

How can I pay an attorney to represent me when I have been injured and am unable to work?

If you’re hurt and off work, you do not have the money to hire an attorney. Fortunately, our law firm works strictly on a contingency fee basis, meaning we do not get paid until you receive a settlement. Also, attorney fees in work comp cases are set by law and are lower than other types of personal injury matters. The attorney fee is generally 20% of the first $50,000 in work comp benefits, and 15% of any amount recovered over $50,000.

If the accident was my fault, can I still recover compensation?

Every state has different laws as to what you can and cannot recover, so speak with an attorney today to make sure your rights are protected. Under Indiana law, if the accident was solely your fault, then you are limited to medical payments coverage for your medical expenses incurred. The law does not require you to carry medical payments coverage so you have to elect that coverage when you obtain insurance. If you do not, then you will not be entitled to the coverage. Medical payments coverage is normally offered in amounts of $1,000, $5,000, $10,000, $25,000, and $100,000. Speak with your insurance agent for a quote to find out the difference in cost. You might be surprised to learn that carrying higher medical payments coverage may come at a nominal cost. 

What if the insurance company offers me a check right away for a trucking accident?

Before you accept anything — or sign anything — from an insurance company for a truck company, be sure that you are aware of your legal rights and options. Accepting a check may mean that you are giving up your right to sue later on if you need extra medical care or you have to miss a lot of work. Consult an attorney before you negotiate with the insurance company for the truck company.

What if the insurance company offers me a check right away?

Before you accept anything — or sign anything — from an insurance company, be sure that you are aware of your legal rights and options. Accepting a check may mean that you are giving up your right to sue later on if you need extra medical care or you have to miss a lot of work. Consult an attorney before you negotiate with the insurance company.

What if the other driver, who caused the accident, has no insurance?

Even though your state may require all drivers to carry a certain level of auto insurance, that doesn't mean that everyone follows the law. This is why some states require insurance companies to offer drivers uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. If your insurance policy has this feature, then it may compensate you for some of your losses.

What is UIM and PIP coverage on my car insurance and should I pay for this coverage?

In some states, there are “no fault” laws in place. In those states, if you're hurt in an accident, no matter who is at fault, personal injury protection (PIP) will pay your medical bills, expenses and loss of income. Indiana is not a “no fault” state, so PIP coverage does not apply to accidents in Indiana. However, if an Indiana resident is injured in an accident occurring in a no-fault state, PIP may apply. Uninsured Motorist (UM) or underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage is an optional coverage you may have under your auto policy which protects you if the driver who caused your accident was uninsured or did not have enough insurance—underinsured—to pay your claim. UIM coverage helps make up the difference in a negligent driver's insurance policy limits and the damages you suffered from your injuries. This is important because the emergency room bill alone could easily be many times higher than the $25,000 minimum liability coverage Indiana drivers are required to carry. When buying car insurance, think seriously about getting UM and UIM coverage. Hopefully you'll never need it, but if you do, it could make the difference in keeping your family afloat while you're recovering.

Who will pay the doctor bills and fix my car if the other person has no insurance?

Even if the other driver doesn't have any insurance, you may still be covered. Check with our office. We can look at your auto insurance policy and advise you whether there is coverage for your property damages and medical bills. Optional coverage for medical payments and uninsured motorist coverage, for example, may provide coverage to compensate you if you are involved in an auto accident with someone who has no insurance.