Frequently Asked Questions

Paul Rossi Law
Frequently Asked Questions

Injury Claim FAQs

What should I do immediately after an accident in Indiana?

If you are involved in an accident in Indiana, it is essential to take several steps to protect your legal rights. First, make sure that you and any loved ones involved in the accident receive appropriate medical attention. Then, contact the police to report the accident. Make sure that you exchange information with the other driver, including names, contact information, and insurance details. Be sure to take photos of the accident scene if possible. Finally, contact our personal injury attorneys to help you understand your legal options.

How long do I have to file a personal injury claim in Indiana?

In Indiana, the time limit for filing a personal injury claim is two years from the date of the accident. This is known as the statute of limitations. If you do not file your claim within this time frame, you may lose your legal right to seek compensation for your injuries. In some cases, you may only have six (6) months to file a claim.

What types of cases do you represent?

Personal injury law can apply to a wide variety of accidents and incidents, such as car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, slip and fall accidents, premises liability incidents, defective products, dog bites, and more. Essentially, any situation where someone’s negligence or wrongdoing causes you harm can form the basis of a personal injury claim.

How much is my personal injury case worth?

The value of your personal injury case depends on several factors, including the severity of your injuries, the circumstances of the accident, and the amount of insurance coverage available. At our law firm, we will work with you to evaluate the true value of your case and help you seek the maximum compensation available.

Should I accept a settlement offer from the insurance company?

It is essential to be cautious when dealing with insurance companies after an accident. Insurance companies are motivated to settle claims quickly and may make low initial settlement offers. Before accepting any settlement offer, it is important to consult with our personal injury attorney to understand your legal rights and ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries.

What types of damages can I recover in a personal injury case?

If you have been injured in an accident in Indiana, you may be entitled to recover several types of damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage. Our experienced personal injury attorneys can help you understand the damages available in your case and work to maximize your recovery.

How can an attorney help me with my personal injury claim?

An experienced personal injury attorney can provide guidance, support, and representation throughout every stage of your case. They can handle communications with insurance adjusters, gather evidence, negotiate with the other party, provide medical referrals, calculate damages, and file necessary legal documents on your behalf.
Additionally, an attorney can help ensure that you receive fair compensation for all of your losses, including future medical treatment and lost income, and can provide guidance and support as you navigate the often complex and stressful world of personal injury law. Ultimately, hiring a knowledgeable attorney can maximize your chances of success and help you recover the correct amount of compensation you deserve.

Criminal Law FAQs

Can an attorney successfully challenge a DUI/OWI charge?

There are many ways to have a DUI / OWI charge reduced or eliminated, but the success of each potential defense will depend on the facts in your case. In some instances, for example, first-time offenders can get the charge reduced to reckless driving.

Our experienced attorneys will scrutinize every step taken by the police and every piece of evidence gathered against you, whether that was an illegal traffic stop, you weren’t advised of your rights when you should have been, or you were the victim of another potential violation.

What are the penalties for a OWI/DUI conviction in Indiana?

Every case is different when it comes to DUI / OWIs; sentencing often depends upon the specific circumstances of what happened, your past traffic and/or criminal record, and whether you are a first-time or subsequent offender. Thus, having an experienced criminal defense attorney who has defended others accused of DUI / OWIs in local courts can be tremendously helpful, especially if you want to negotiate a lesser charge.

If my license is suspended, can I still drive to work?

If your license has been suspended or revoked, you are barred from driving on public roadways for any purpose. However, you may be able to request Specialized Driving Privileges, which allow a person with a pending case and a suspended driver’s license to operate a vehicle for specific and limited purposes, such as driving to work or childcare. Our experienced attorneys can help you immediately petition the court for these driving privileges.

Is it worth it to hire a lawyer for a traffic violation?

Most traffic violations in Indiana are civil infractions that carry administrative penalties and fines. However, some violations are considered criminal, such as DUI / OWI, or driving while suspended charge. A skilled defense attorney may be able to help you reduce penalties and consequences, even for a minor infraction. Consulting with our attorneys about your case can help you determine the best options.

Which charges are eligible for expungement in Indiana?

Indiana’s expungement laws were updated in 2013 to make it easier for people with old convictions to seek relief. Most convictions for misdemeanors and Level 6 or Class D felonies are eligible for expungement after a certain amount of time has passed since the date of conviction. Many factors will determine eligibility, so you should consult with our attorney to learn if you qualify.

What are the consequences of committing assault and battery in Indiana?

In Indiana, assault and battery are two separate charges. Assault is the threat of physical harm, while battery is the physical act of causing bodily harm. Assault and battery charges carry serious consequences, including fines, imprisonment, and a permanent criminal record. The penalties depend on the severity of the crime committed and the prior criminal record of the accused. It is important to consult with our experienced criminal defense attorneys to build a strong defense and protect your legal rights.

What are the drug charges and penalties in Indiana?

Indiana has strict drug laws that prohibit the possession, manufacturing, and distribution of illicit drugs, such as heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana. The severity of the drug charges and penalties depend on various factors, such as the type and amount of drug involved, the purpose of possession or distribution, and the age and criminal history of the offender. A drug conviction can result in hefty fines, imprisonment, probation, and a criminal record.

What are the weapons charges and penalties in Indiana?

Indiana has specific laws that regulate the possession, sale, and use of firearms and other weapons. The penalties for weapons charges depend on the type of weapon, the manner and purpose of possession, and the prior criminal record of the offender. For instance, if someone has a pending felony charge or a prior felony conviction, it is illegal to carry a firearm in Indiana, and this offense can result in a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances. Similarly, the possession of a deadly weapon, such as a knife or brass knuckles, without intent to harm can lead to criminal charges. Weapons charges can carry severe consequences, such as imprisonment and fines, and can also impact your ability to own or possess firearms in the future.

Wills & Estates FAQs

What happens if someone dies without a will in Indiana?

When a person passes away without leaving a will or any instructions, the law steps in to ensure their estate is handled appropriately. These default procedures involve two crucial elements: appointing an administrator to oversee the estate and establishing a clear set of rules for distributing the property. Creating a will or other estate planning documents gives a person greater control over how their assets are handled after they die.

What is probate?

When a person passes, their possessions and assets are involved in a settlement and distribution process as stipulated in the person’s will, which is managed by the probate courts that have jurisdiction over the area where the assets are physically located. This is called probate.

How does the probate process begin?

The initial steps of the probate process are largely logistical. It must be determined if the deceased has an existing estate plan with a will or other instructions to be followed. Next, their assets must be analyzed and located, first to determine the status of their assets and second to see if anything additional to what is listed in the will or estate plan can be found. It is not uncommon for someone drafting a will to forget about smaller or older assets, and it is important that everything is accounted for ahead of time.

Once the will has been located and assets analyzed, the executor of the estate will be able to determine if the estate is sufficiently large enough to require going through a formal probate with the courts or if an informal probate can be used instead. This is typically determined by a value threshold on the deceased’s assets: if there are no or few assets, or if the estate planning was put together in such a way as to avoid probate, the process can be greatly simplified and expedited.

What is the role of a personal representative during probate?

The personal representative essentially manages the estate during the probate process. In cases where there is a will, the executor of the estate will often take up this duty. Otherwise, the court will typically assign the next of kin to the task. If neither are competent nor available, the court may assign one of the deceased’s creditors instead.

The personal representative will initially publish a notice of administration and notify any heirs and creditors that can be located, informing them of the probate and instructing them on how they may file claims against the estate. There will also be various court filings that the personal representative must make.

How are property and assets distributed after a person’s death?

After a person passes, courts appoint a personal representative to close out the deceased person’s estate. The personal representative will collect claims against the estate and determine their validity and determine who any heirs are as well as what share of the estate they are entitled to. Once that has been settled, they must distribute payment to parties that are entitled to compensation for debts per the state probate code, after which the probate court will give permission for the remainder of the estate to be distributed amongst the heirs based on the will or probate code depending on the situation.

What is a trust?

While many people’s estate plans can be created with nothing more than a will, these plans usually require probate. An alternative to a will is a trust. A trust can be an option any time a will can be used, but often a trust is used when a more complex plan may require the introduction of a trust. Trusts are legal instruments that involve three separate roles: settlor, trustee, and beneficiary. The settlor is the person who creates the trust, and they do so by providing some set of property to the trustee. The trustee then manages the trust’s property in accordance with the settlor’s instructions for the benefit of the beneficiary. A trust plan is anticipated to avoid the need for probate.

What is the role of a trustee?

Trustees are responsible for the management of a trust’s assets. This responsibility comes with certain duties to act carefully and to manage the trust in the interests of the beneficiary.

As the name suggests, the trustee is a position that requires a great deal of trust and honesty. It is their job to take care of the property for some third party, and they have a considerable amount of access to that property. While everyone chooses their trustee, expecting them to be able to handle these duties, beneficiaries may have legal options in the case of bad behavior by the trustee.


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