General We Get You Back on Your Feet. When You Need the Law, Better Call Shaw.

Crime Victims Frequently Asked Questions: General

WHAT SHOULD I DO AFTER I AM INJURED BY A CRIME ON BUSINESS PROPERTY

  1. What should I do after I’ve been attacked by a person while on business property?

Try to get to safety if the crime is still occurring. Call the police. Report the crime. Remain calm. Get medical help right away if needed.

Once in a safe place, try to write down or remember all people, places and things involved.

Later, see if you can get the names of witnesses or take cell phone photos.

When you need help, there are many organizations and support groups that provide assistance to crime victims such as yourself. We have provided some of those contacts in our links section herein.

Call us to help.

  1. Can I sue a business landowner if I am assaulted or shot on the business property by another customer or stranger?

Yes, if the assault or shooting occurred on business property and if the landowner unreasonably under the circumstances with foreseeability knowledge a crime or harm was imminent.

These cases can be difficult to win. But, we have won them before and depending upon the foreseeability of the event, we believe we will be successful again.

HIRING MY OWN ATTORNEY

  1. Should I hire an attorney to seek monetary damages against the business landowner where the crime occurred?

Yes, you should hire an attorney to file a civil lawsuit against the business landowner where the crime took place.

You should hire your own attorney if you believe the business landowner had reason to know the crime was likely to occur. This type of claim is for “negligence” of the business landowner which means their lack of adequate security or supervision caused your injury.

The remedy for this type of claim is monetary payment for your damages and injuries. We are here to help you recover complete monetary damages for your injuries and losses.

We are here to make sure you get “full justice.”

  1. Won’t the criminal court help me get money instead, why do I need you?

No, the criminal court cannot get you “full justice” and complete damages for your pain and suffering.

There are two major types of cases in the United States:

  • “Criminal” cases against people alleged to have committed a crime
  • “Civil” cases against businesses or people who were “at fault” for causing your injuries

The two courts operate under different laws with different remedies. A criminal prosecution alleges a violation of a written Indiana criminal code statute was committed by some person. IN a civil case, there is no written violation committed by the business landowner, but rather a cause of action exists in favor of the injured person for failure to act reasonably and safely under the circumstances of what happened.

In a criminal court case, the remedy is the imprisonment of the criminal.

In a civil court case for negligence, the remedy is a money award.

The criminal court cannot adequately compensate you or order you to be compensated like a civil court can. That’s where we help.

The criminal court cannot order you to be compensated for things like your pain and suffering or your permanent injuries, including both physical and mental. A criminal court can only order the defendant – not the business landowner where it occurred – to pay your medical bills and some other expenses. Most criminals do not have that amount of money to pay your bills and it rarely gets paid.

But, in your civil negligence case against the business landowner (who probably has insurance coverage) Indiana law is clear – you are entitled to more than just your medical bills and lost wages. This, of course, is conditioned upon the landowner owing the duty to you to prevent the crime if it was determined to be “foreseeable” under the circumstances.

The money damages can include such other factors (in addition to medical bills) as lost wages, loss of future wages, disfigurement/scars, permanent injury, mental anguish (often called pain and suffering) and loss of inability to function as a whole person would.

There are no strict calculations necessary under Indiana law for those factors such as pain/suffering, disfigurement, mental anguish, permanency and loss of ability to function as a whole person.

A jury decides the amounts for each of those losses.

We help the jury decide those amounts and provide guidance for them.

  1. Can I participate in both the criminal and civil court cases at the same time?

Yes, you can do both things simultaneously because the relief you are looking for is different in both cases.

In a criminal court case, the remedy is the imprisonment of the criminal.

In a civil court case for negligence, the remedy is a money award.

You have the legal right to seek monetary damages for your mental and physical injuries in a civil court of law, no matter what happens to the alleged criminal in the criminal court.

  1. What happens to my civil lawsuit against the business landowner if the alleged criminal is found “not guilty” in the criminal court or charges are dropped?

Nothing happens to your civil lawsuit if the alleged criminal is found not guilty or charges are dropped by the State of Indiana. It happens occasionally.

While the two cases involve the same facts, they are different cases in different courts proceeding under different laws.

There is NO requirement the alleged criminal must be found guilty or plead guilty in order for you to win monetary damages in your civil case.

In a civil claim against the business landowner, punishment of the alleged criminal is not the goal, but rather compensating you for your injuries and losses is the goal.

The ONLY remedy that a Judge or jury can order in your civil case is the award of money. The civil court Judge will have no power to do anything in the criminal court case and vice-versa.

  1. Will my civil court action against the business landowner hurt prosecution chances against the criminal?

No, it will not hurt the chances of a guilty verdict for the alleged criminal defendant. In fact, you suing the business landowner is probably is not admissible in that criminal court case anyway unless your credibility is at issue.

  1. I don’t know the identity of the person who attacked/shot me, can I still sue the business landowner?

Yes, the identify or capture of the criminal is not a pre-requisite to bringing a lawsuit against the business landowner.

The issue in your case is whether the crime was foreseeable to a degree that a duty is imposed on the business landowner and whether that duty was breached which directly led to your injuries.

  1. Who am I making a claim against -- the criminal or the business landowner?

You are seeking monetary damages from the business landowner (and probably its insurance company) for allowing the foreseeable crime to occur.

Your civil lawsuit seeks monetary damages from the business landowner where the crime took place. We are here to help you get “full justice” by complete damages for ALL of your injuries. This includes mental pain and suffering. A criminal court cannot order a defendant to pay for your mental pain and suffering. It is doubtful the criminal in most cases has the money to pay your medical bills either.

Sometimes, under rare circumstances, the alleged criminal might be added to the lawsuit if he has enough assets to cover a monetary award or the crime happened on his land.

An example of this would be the infamous OJ Simpson civil trial. He was found not guilty by the criminal court of murder, but the civil court found him responsible for causing injuries to the victims.

No, you are only suing the business landowner seeking monetary damages for your injuries.

  1. What if I was injured by an employee of the business landowner like a bouncer at a tavern or a worker assaulted me on business property?

We sue both the business owner and worker if you were injured by an employee which resulted in a crime being filed against that person.

Usually, the business has insurance to cover these types of actions and will provide both coverage and attorneys for the worker and business in our case.

  1. Can I get more money than just my medical bills paid?

Yes, you can get much more than just medical bills paid in any settlement or verdict.

Indiana law is clear – you are entitled to more than just your medical bills and lost wages. This, of course, is conditioned upon the landowner was at fault and that fault caused your injuries.

The money damages can include such other factors (in addition to medical bills) as lost wages, loss of future wages, disfigurement/scars, permanent injury, mental anguish (often called pain and suffering) and loss of inability to function as a whole person would.

There are no strict calculations necessary under Indiana law for those factors such as pain/suffering, disfigurement, mental anguish, permanency and loss of ability to function as a whole person. A jury simply must use its common sense and come to a reasonable figure.

So, when we try to get you a settlement, we attempt to predict what a jury would do if the case were to proceed to a jury trial. In theory, the other side also attempts to make this same prediction and offer somewhat less to minimize its risks.

  1. What if I didn’t have any medical bills, but rather just mental pain and anguish?

There is no requirement that you must have medical bills before you bring a civil lawsuit against the business landowner where the crime occurred that hurt you.

Medical bills are just one factor to consider when determining the value of your injuries to be compensated.

  1. What if I didn’t have any treatment specifically for my mental anguish, can I still recove money?

There is no requirement that you must have medical treatment for mental anguish in order to prove pain and real suffering.

We have many ways of proving your mental anguish was real. Testimony from friends, family, clergymen or others can establish what you went through after the horrific event.

Medical bills for mental treatments or psychological injuries are just one factor to consider when determining the value of your injuries to be compensated.

Our goal is to get you full justice – not half justice and not ignoring your injury – but full justice which requires complete damages.

  1. Why should I hire you to help me?

You should hire Shaw Law to help you because we have helped many others in similar situations recover full justice in the past.

  1. Do I get less money from any settlement because I must pay you attorney fees?

No. Hiring an attorney almost always ends up putting more money in your pocket.

Our own personal statistics show that you make back significantly more than if you had not hired an attorney. National statistics seem to agree with our own. Furthermore, all settlements are voluntary. So, we would never agree to a settlement that did not include attorney fees as part of the settlement offered (unless your case had severe chances of not recovering anything).

Finally, if nothing was being offered and responsibility was denied, only an attorney can usually change that determination.

We have over 30+ years of experience helping victims of crime get full justice for their injuries against the business landowners where foreseeable crimes took place for inadequate security measures.

  1. Are we involved in the criminal court case at all? What is the difference between a civil lawsuit and a criminal lawsuit?

No, we are not involved in the case of the alleged criminal. We are bringing a different separate lawsuit against the business landowner where the crime occurred.

There are two major types of cases in the United States:

  • “Criminal” cases against people alleged to have committed a crime
  • “Civil” cases against businesses or people who were “at fault” for causing your injuries

The two courts operate under different laws with different remedies. A criminal prosecution alleges a violation of a written Indiana criminal code statute was committed by some person. IN a civil case, there is no written violation committed by the business landowner, but rather a cause of action exists in favor of the injured person for failure to act reasonably and safely under the circumstances of what happened.

In a criminal court case, the remedy is the imprisonment of the criminal.

In a civil court case for negligence, the remedy is a money award.

The criminal court cannot adequately compensate you or order you to be compensated like a civil court can.

A civil lawsuit is a claim for damages based upon the idea the business landowner was “negligent” or at “fault” for allowing the crime to happen to you in the first place.

The only thing a civil lawsuit can do is award money damages. It cannot sentence the criminal, it cannot order you to counseling or anything like that. Money is the only thing a civil lawsuit deals with.

A criminal court, on the other hand, can order the criminal defendant to jail, order restitution to be paid and sentence in lieu of jail time.

We are NOT involved in the criminal court case against the alleged criminal. We do NOT represent those accused of crimes.

We ONLY represent victims of crime get full justice.

We only help get “full justice” which is complete damages paid for your injuries.

  1. I don’t want to be reminded about what happened to me, so why should I sue the business where it happened?

You should sue the business landowner where the crime occurred for two main reasons:

  • to get full justice and complete damages for your injuries (which a criminal court can never do); and
  • to prevent future crimes from happening again and making your community safer by highlighting what occurred, thus helping this business and others to improve its security in the future.

We realize this is not an easy decision for you.

It is a very personal choice whether to proceed or not. But, remember, your lawsuit could save lives in the future. Businesses in the community will recognize a verdict or settlement and attempt to improve security to avoid it from happening to them.

  1. What happened to me was sexual in nature and I am embarrassed, can I keep my identify private?

We will try our best to protect your identity.

The trial court Judge will decide whether your identity can be shielded depending upon the nature of the alleged crime and your circumstances. We will certainly try to keep your identity private upon request.

Additionally, if you are a minor or the parents of a minor, we will keep identity private.

  1. Will I have to face my assailant in court?

No, there is no requirement that you must face your assailant in court in a civil action for damages.

In fact, in most cases, we do not sue the assailant but rather the business landowner. Many of these cases do not have the criminal testify at all or appear in any manner. In our experience, most alleged criminal refuse to be questioned or testify, especially if they are imprisoned or their criminal cases are under appeal.

In some cases where testimony is given, usually by videotape, we have found the alleged criminals to be relatively honest about what occurred with no agenda to protect the business landowner in any fashion.

Remember, your case is against the business landowner for allowing a foreseeable act of imminent harm to occur on its land – not against the criminal.

Over 98% of our criminal victim premises liability cases have settled without a jury trial or the need to go to court.

  1. How is it possible to hold the business landowner responsible for crimes that hurt others on its property?

It is possible to hold business landowners responsible for foreseeable acts of imminent harm to visitors on its property.

Business landowners are responsible to pay money damages if they acted unreasonably under the circumstances with knowledge a crime or harm was imminent.

These cases are difficult to win and we admit that to be true. But, we have won them before and depending upon the foreseeability of the event, we believe we will be successful again.

  1. How do I prove the business landowner “knew” beforehand that a crime would occur and hurt me? What does “foreseeable” mean?

Foreseeable is a legal definition that means there was reason for the business landowner to believe harm to you was imminent, yet failed to act or acted unreasonably.

We try to prove knowledge by performing a full investigation both before we file the lawsuit and afterwards. We have private investigators who are former police officers at our call, who have performed investigations for us in the past of a thorough nature. They will scour the area and find all witnesses.

If we decide to file your action, further investigation occurs.

We can submit written questions or take statements under oath (depositions) of witnesses, the alleged criminal and the business landowner, too.

We can inspect the scene and check records of prior crimes at the same location through requests to governmental bodies.

We will exhaust every effort to see the extent of the knowledge of the defendant business landowner in your case.

  1. What types of crime victims do you represent?

Some of the types of victims of crimes we represent include those injured by:

  • Shootings on Business Property like Gas Stations, Convenience Stores or Apartment Complexes
  • Shootings at Schools or Work
  • Shootings at Events or on Public Grounds
  • Persons Injured by Business Delivery Vehicles such as Amazon, Wal-Mart, FedEx, USPS or UPS
  • Persons Injured by Semi-Truck Crashes or Box Trucks
  • Persons Injured by Uber or Lyft Drivers
  • Persons Injured by Drunk Drivers
  • Assaults at Taverns, Parking Lots or Adjoining Land
  • Assaults at Apartment Complexes, Hotels or Rented Homes
  • Assaults at Work
  • Sexual Assaults on Business Property
  • Sexual Assaults on Caretakers Property
  • Sexual Assaults at Schools or Work
  • Molestations at School, Work or Caretakers Property
  • Repressed Memory Victims
  1. I was molested many years ago, is it still possible to hold the business responsible where this occurred?

You can attempt to hold the business organization responsible for molestations that occurred many years ago due to repressed memories or concealment of the crime.

We can assist in this regard and we have professionals at our call who can determine if you suffer from repressed memory.

Contact us for details.

  1. I was molested by a priest/teacher/adult caretaker, why would anyone believe me?

Somebody will believe you, if you tell your story honestly.

You might be comforted to know that most civil actions are not witnessed (car crashes, falls in stores, etc.) and depend heavily upon the veracity of the injured person with little more evidence than just her testimony. We have won numerous unwitnessed personal injury cases with just the testimony of the injured person to establish the violation.

  1. Can I bring a claim against my landlord if I am attacked at my apartment complex?

Yes, you can sue your landlord for crimes that injure you on the property and it depends whether it was foreseeable or not to determine if there was a duty in the first place. If a duty exists, then the next inquiry depends upon whether the measures taken by the apartment owner or manager were reasonable under those circumstances which directly led to the injuries.

  1. Can I bring a claim against a tavern or bar if I am hit by a drunk driver?

Yes, you can sue a tavern or bar (or restaurant or any other establishment that serves alcohol including a private party) if they served alcohol knowingly to a visibly intoxicated person and let them leave in a vehicle.

This type of case happens with alarming frequency and we have handled many cases like this to a successful resolution.

  1. How can you prove the bartender/waitress “knew” the customer was drunk at the time of being served alcohol if they deny it?

There are ways to prove the bartender, staff, manager or waitress knew the customer was intoxicated at the time of being served a drink.

Remember, it is only necessary to prove one drink was served after becoming intoxicated. It is NOT necessary to prove the drunk driver became fully drunk at the establishment before finding the tavern responsible for your injuries (many drunk drivers drink at multiple places).

One method we use to prove intoxication (in addition to the blood alcohol test) is to hire a toxicologist expert witness who will testify about the effects of drinking upon all human behavior, including that of the drunk driver in your case. The effects of alcohol – depending upon the amount imbibed – result in a general pattern of behavior which exhibits obvious signs of intoxication in all individuals.

With that expert testimony, we can then attempt to prove the tavern and its staff knew about the intoxication of their customer before he was unleashed on the public in that condition.

  1. Can I bring a claim against a semi-truck driver who was speeding at the time of the crash but did not receive a ticket?

Yes, you can sue the semi-truck driver and his company for speeding and being reckless, even if no official ticket was given by the investigating officer at the scene.

Acts of negligence while driving do not always require the offending driver is ticketed – in fact, the majority of civil cases for wrongful acts performed while driving involve no tickets of any kind.

Additionally, almost every semi-truck is equipped with an electronic “black box” which reveals things like speed, location, and braking while driving. Many black boxes can be written over or discarded if you do not act promptly in preserving it through your attorney’s efforts.

We can help secure the black box and win your semi-truck negligence case – even if no ticket was issued by the investigating officer.

  1. Can I bring a claim against the landowner, employer or business where I was sexually assaulted? Even if it happened in a private house or residence?

Yes, you might be able to bring a claim against the landowner where you were sexually assaulted. This can include a private house or residence owner depending upon the circumstances of your case.

Once again, the initial inquiry pertains to foreseeability of the event by the landowner, employer, business or caretaker. This is a determination made by the trial court Judge that determines if a duty existed you to avoid this type of tragic event.

We can perform a full investigation that can help with this determination, if we decide to take your case.

  1. Can I sue my employer if I am assaulted by a co-worker at work?

Most cases against employers, even assaults by co-workers, are limited to worker’s compensation claims and are not subject to a lawsuit in civil court. There could be exceptions and you should call us to discuss if your case falls within one of those.

  1. Can I sue the police if they were slow to respond to a crime and I was injured or they assaulted me??

Claims against the police are handled in a much different fashion that typical negligence cases against business landowners. Advance notice of your claim is probably necessary to be done in writing. Additionally, your claim might be subject to federal law and brought in a federal court rather than state court. These types of cases should be handled by attorneys with experience in civil rights violations.

  1. Will collecting my monetary award be difficult in a case like this?

No, collection is not a problem usually in cases where your injury occurred on business property as most businesses have an insurance company providing coverage for claims of negligence.

There are some exceptions if written into the policy. In those situations, we will attempt to perform an investigation to see if the business is solvent or has sufficient assets to cover a settlement or verdict before we accept your case. In rare situations where we learn of the lack of insurance coverage during your case, we will discuss our options with you in a straightforward and simple manner.

  1. How long do I have to decide before whether I bring a lawsuit against the criminal or business landowner for negligence in Indiana?

Two years. The statute of limitations for negligence cases in Indiana is two years.

Failure to file a lawsuit within that period of time will result in your case being forever barred and no recovery is possible.

There are certain exceptions if the crime was concealed or your memory was repressed. Call us today for details.

  1. Doesn’t the fact I got attacked and injured on their land entitle me to a settlement automatically?

No. Indiana premises law (law when somebody is hurt on another’s land) does NOT assume the landowner/business was responsible for your injuries without proving “negligence” or “fault.”

That’s why you need to hire us – we can prove your claim of negligence by the business landowner.

Your negligence claim is a “civil” action under the laws of the State of Indiana. In order to recover ANY money, you must “prove” the business landowner was at fault or responsible for your injuries. Fault means the business landowner did something wrong (unreasonable) or failed to do something right (reasonable) that would have prevented your imminent harm by another person.

Simply being a crime victim is not enough. It must be proven the landowner knew about the potential for imminent harm to you and failed to act reasonably to prevent your fall.

Nobody is found responsible before being proven to be “at fault” or responsible in some way for the injuries. Just like the alleged criminal is presumed to be innocent in a criminal court of law, a landowner is presumed to not be responsible for anything – including medical bill payments – until your case is proven.

  1. Isn’t the business landowner automatically obligated to pay my medical bills?

No. Indiana premises law (law when somebody is hurt on another’s land) does NOT require any business or landowner to pay your medical bills while your case is pending or still going on.

A business landowner is not required to pay medical bills of anybody injured on their property until it is proven in a civil case they were “at fault” or responsible in some way for the injuries caused by their unreasonable conduct.

But we can possibly still help the bills to get paid through various other methods.

There are five different to get your medical bills paid: (1) a settlement (2) a jury verdict (3) a promise to pay from our law firm to the medical treaters, or (4) money borrowed by your case while it is pending, or (5) alternative insurance coverage known as “MedPay.”

Obviously, a settlement includes some compensation for medical bills. A jury verdict does the same thing.

Additionally, we can also send Letters of Protection to your medical treaters to stop collection procedures or to secure new or additional medical treatment (a written promise to pay the medical treaters from the settlement proceeds when the case settles). This requires the consent of the medical treaters who must approve our offer.

Another way is to borrow money now while your case is pending. We know many litigation lenders who extend funds to pay medical bills while your case is pending. Your collateral is your case (in other words, if you do not recover any money, you do not owe them back).

Finally, some business landowners might have a separate insurance policy covering medical payments for bills of people injured on its land regardless of fault. It is rare, but it does exist. We ask whether this coverage exists in every single claim or case we handle for you. If it exists, we can get SOME bills paid up to the amount of the policy limits owned by the landowner/business quickly.

  1. Won’t Wal-Mart or the business where I was attacked and injured by a crime just settle to avoid bad publicity?

No. Wal-Mart (and insurance companies in general) does not care about publicity – it cares about minimizing your settlement money.

Wal-Mart has thousands and thousands of people seeking compensation per year for injuries that occurred on its land. It is a big business. It does not care about publicity in that regard. Ask yourself how civil cases for injury you personally know about with Wal-Mart being the defendant. We bet it isn’t many off the top of your head without researching the internet.

Your case is no different – it is a business decision Wal-Mart and other businesses will make. It is not personal and bad publicity does not play a role in its decision-making when deciding if a settlement will occur.

  1. My friend told me she got a big settlement right away, yet you are telling me to hire you and be patient? Why should I trust you and not my friend?

If you want a large settlement, it takes a little time.

But, it does not take as much time as you might think. Time is going to pass regardless, you might as well be patient and see if you can acquire a big settlement with our help.

Additionally, we have learned through the years that almost all stories about friends or family are probably mistaken or the truth was stretched. Many people like to exaggerate their successes to impress you. We will not do that. We simply tell you the honest truth. All the time. Every time.

And the truth is that big settlements take time; small settlements can happen quickly, but not fairly. Would you rather listen to your friend or our law firm which has never lost a jury trial for premises liability and has over 30+ years of experience?

  1. I can’t afford medical treatment and I have no health insurance, so what do I do?

Sometimes, we can help you get the medical treatment you need even when you don’t have the money.

See us for more help. Many medical treaters will treat you based upon a promise to pay by our law firm for their medical services if you win your case. That method is called a “Letter of Protection” and our office has knowledge of many medical treaters who will accept that method of payment for medical services.

  1. Who pays my medical bills in the meantime?

There are many ways to get your medical bills paid or treatment secured.

Your medical bills can be handled in a variety of ways. We can help you with all the various ways to get your medical bills paid, slowed or stopped.

Sometimes, medical treaters have already rendered treatment to you and issued a bill. If you do not have the money to pay the bill, there are various alternatives to collections or bankruptcy. We can contact the medical treaters and see if they would be willing to be paid upon a promise to pay if a settlement or verdict is reached. Additionally, there are some financial institutions that will lend you money (with your case as collateral) to pay your medical bills and personal obligations while your case is pending. We know of many of these types of institutions and have relationships with them. Our goal is to keep you afloat until a settlement or verdict can be reached.

  1. If the business is not obligated to pay my medical bills while I wait for a settlement, then what happens if they go unpaid?

If your bills go to collections, we will contact those creditors for you.

We will help you slow or stop collections or get your bills paid while you wait.

See our previous answer above, but simply put, we can try to stall the medical treaters or reach an agreement to pay them later. Sometimes, we can get institutions to lend you money in the meantime to pay your medical and personal bills while the case remains pending. There are options and we have good relationships with many to help you in this regard.

  1. It was not my fault I was attacked, so why should I use my health insurance to pay my medical bills?

You should use your own health insurance for three reasons.

First, you bought health insurance for a reason – to pay your medical bills when you get hurt. You should use what you paid for.

Second, the goal is to get all medical bills paid by any source to avoid collections. Collections is no fun. It does not help your credit report. If your own health insurance can help you avoid collections, then it is a worthwhile goal to use it.

Finally, there might be a financial benefit to you for using your health insurance to pay your medical bills. Indiana law says that repayment to the health insurance company from the settlement can be reduced for attorney fees and expenses (there are some exceptions to this reduction such as federal ERISA health insurance plans and a few others).

So, using your own health insurance can result in more money in your pocket after a settlement is reached.

  1. Can I borrow money and use my claim/case as collateral in the meantime to pay my bills?

Yes, you can borrow money using your case as your security. And we know many lenders.

There are many financial groups out there who are willing to lend money to litigants who have cases pending where the lawsuit is the only collateral. In other words, if the lawsuit is lost or not settled, then no repayment is necessary.

We have relationships with many of these groups and can put you in touch with them. They will then contact us for further information and we can help secure your loan while your case is pending.

  1. If the biggest part of my settlement is for pain and suffering, how do you prove that?

Yes, pain and suffering is often the largest part of any settlement.

We have handled many cases like yours in the past and we have the experience to get it done.

As stated above, the largest part of any settlement or verdict is NOT the medical bills – but rather some money to compensate for mental anguish (pain and suffering) or inability to function as a whole person.

There are many ways to prove these damages. We can talk to your doctors or family and friends who can provide us with stories and explanations about your injuries and recovery process.

We can submit health records that display your pain during the course of your treatments.

Sometimes, we are able to hire an expert witness who can give opinions about your pain and suffering. We have multiple ways we attempt to maximize your recovery and over 30+ years of experience in doing so.

  1. The insurance company wants my recorded statement over the phone, they said it was necessary in order to pay my medical bills, is that true?

No, payment of medical bills has NOTHING to do with giving a recorded statement to the insurance adjuster.

Insurance adjusters will lie to you. They will insist a recorded statement is necessary and then medical bills will be paid. This is simply not true.

Payment of medical bills depends upon whether: (1) there is separate MedPay coverage; or (2) whether we can prove fault.

Statements have nothing to do with payments. Ever.

  1. I had a friend who got a settlement right away when she fell, won’t I get a settlement quickly, too, instead of hiring you?

No. Not if you want a significant monetary recovery.

Here’s the honest truth – small settlements can be done rather quickly.

But, if you want a large settlement this is usually done slowly. Insurance companies do NOT hand out money quickly or without a full and complete investigation of your current and prior medical conditions.

Many people are offered $500 plus medical bills payments to settle their case quickly. This is foolhardy in most circumstances and you could be throwing away tens of thousands of dollars or more with just a little patience.

  1. Does hiring an attorney mean I am required to go to court?

No.

Almost 98% of all our cases never see the inside of a court room at any time. All investigation is done outside the court room, including your statement, if one is given.

  1. Does hiring an attorney delay my settlement?

No, hiring an attorney when you are a crime victim is usually the only way to get a settlement or verdict. It might take some time, but it can be worth it.

While it is true that court cases and litigation take more time, this is due to a more extensive investigation done by the other side.

We also do a thorough investigation of why this incident occurred. This can include written questions to each side and oral statements given under oath to a court reporter (depositions). While that might take a little longer, the settlement is usually much, much higher due to the increased risk for the insurance company of going to a verdict.

Remember, verdicts are decided by a jury. A jury is 6 people off the street that neither side knows prior to the morning of trial. Insurance companies hate risk and losing money unnecessarily. The ONLY reason an insurance company will pay a settlement is to avoid losing more in the future. Consequently, we do our best to make them aware of the risk and be very, very afraid of us.

  1. Will anybody go to jail if this goes to trial?

No, your civil lawsuit is not a criminal case. Nobody will be ordered to go to jail.

The only remedy in a civil court is the award of money.

HOW DO I HIRE YOU

  1. If hiring an attorney gets me a bigger settlement, then how do I hire you?

Hiring us is simple. You never need to leave your computer or smart phone. Simply call us or Zoom with us. We decide to most of our cases over the cell phone.

If we decide to take your case, we need your written permission to act on your behalf. So, we send you a written agreement by email. You simply “click” on your signature and we can get started on your case within 10 minutes every single time.

  1. How often will you contact me?

As often as you like. I am available to answer emails and texts 24/7. I will answer any question you have and I usually respond to 95% of my texts within 10 minutes. I also attempt to send out emails once or twice a month to keep you up to date on your case.

  1. How do you contact me? Do you text?

We do it all – texts, Zoom, IMs, FaceBook, emails (preferred method), cell phone or any other method you let me know is best for you.

  1. I already have another attorney, can I still hire you? Won’t I be required to pay two sets of attorney fees then?

Yes, you can change attorneys quickly and easily in Indiana and be required to pay ONLY ONE set of attorney fees. It’s the law. If we accept your case, we work out the details with your prior attorneys to compensate them for their time. You never have to be involved or speak to them again. We simply ask you send them an email informing them you intend to switch attorneys to us.

  • American Association for Justice
  • Indiana Trial Lawyers Association
  • Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • Avvo 10.0 Rating
  • AVVO Client's Choice Award 2017
  • I Told Him He Now Felt Like a Member of Our Family More Than Our Attorney.

    “Mr. Shaw told me from the beginning that he would be willing to help me and my husband get justice. Through every step of the way, he explained what was happening and why.”

    - Stephanie B.
  • Your Law Firm Is Number One in Indiana. You Receive an A+ in My Book.

    “I was very satisfied with the outcome. Your law firm is number one in Indiana. You have a very kind, professional attitude that's full of compassion. You receive an A+ in my book. Thanks again for all your help.”

    - April H.
  • Mr. Shaw Was Incredibly Helpful and More Than Willing to Explain

    “Mr. Shaw was incredibly helpful and more than willing to explain how he was thinking each step of the way. His diligence in returning my communications and exploring my legal options was greatly appreciated.”

    - Michael R.
  • Wonderful, So Very Helpful and Thoughtful

    “Thank you so much for all your expertise concerning my fall. I really do not know how I could have settled matters without you. I really appreciate the check. You have been wonderful and so very helpful and thoughtful. Again, my sincerest thanks.”

    - Dominique P.
  • Mr. Shaw Was a Complete Professional

    “We were clients of Shaw Law Offices with Mr. JJ Shaw as our lawyer. We would like to take this opportunity to tell you what a thoroughly outstanding job that he did for us in our personal injury case.”

    - Chappie H.
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  • $5,000,000 Verdict in Indianapolis, IN

    Bicyclist Struck by Indianapolis School Bus (independent contractor) Awarded $5M by Indianapolis Jury (Upheld by Verdict, $4.4M Paid)

  • $3,040,000 Verdict in Gary, IN

    Blackjack Dealer Awarded for Slip and Fall on Ice in Trump Casino Parking Lot

  • $1,750,000 Verdict in Hammond, IN

    Child Dies in Fire, Landlord Failed to Provide Adequate Smoke Detectors

  • $1,460,000 Verdict Near the Ozarks of Missouri

    Sheriff's Deputy who Collides With Improperly Transported Manufactured Home Convoy

  • $750,000 $750,000 Verdict in Delphi, IN

    $750,000 Verdict for Lady in Golf Cart Struck by Drunk Driver Awarded by Jury in Carroll County

  • $750,000 Settlement for Paralyzed Man Shot at Indy Gas Station

    Man Shot and Paralyzed at Gas Station by Unknown Assailant from Unruly Crowd That Gathered After Murder of Person the Night Before at Same Site

  • $750,000 Settlement in Indianapolis, IN

    $750,000 Settlement Slip and Fall Indianapolis Woman Falls on Water in Produce Section of Indianapolis Grocery Store Breaking Leg.

  • $605,000 $605,000 Verdict in Valparaiso, IN

    $605,000 Verdict - Child Awarded for Facial Scarring When Landlord Failed to Cover Exposed Hot Water Pipe in Living Room

  • $500,000 $500,000 Settlement in Bluffton, IN

    $500,000 Wrongful Death Settlement in Bluffton, Indiana for Woman Killed When She Crossed Center-Line Into Path of Oncoming Speeding Semi-Truck

  • $500,000 $500,000 Verdict in Kokomo

    $500,000 Verdict for Woman Slip and Fall in Domino's Pizza Restaurant on Water (Reduced to $375,000)

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Why CALL sHAW lAW?

  • Work Directly With Your Attorney

    When you call or text us you will get to work directly with our experienced and dedicated personal injury lawyer.

  • We Maximize Your Recovery

    Our firm has obtained millions of dollars in compensation for our clients and we work to get you your maximum results.

  • We Get You Back On Your Feet

    When you have been injured it can seem like your world is falling apart beneath you. Our team dedicates our life to help you get back on your feet and recover.

  • Fully Transparent

    We make sure that you and your family are constantly up to date with the status of your case. We even developed an app that you can use to track your case's status.

Let's get you back on your feet

Free & Confidential Consultations
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