Posted: June 28, 2019

Personal injury claims can vary widely in terms of their causes, liable parties, and resolution. If you have suffered an injury due to another party’s negligence, the last thing you want to think about is preparing to fight for fair compensation. You likely have pain, medical appointments, financial concerns, high emotional stress, and uncertainty about your future.

At Gardner & Rans, our attorneys can help you pursue justice for personal injury, wrongful death, and premises liability claims in Indiana. We believe that manufacturers, companies, and property owners should be held liable for negligence that results in harm to a member of the public. Call us for a complimentary case review at 574-233-6035.

Types of Personal Injury Claims

Personal injury claims are warranted under a range of conditions. Motor vehicle accidents, construction site accidents, and dog bites are some instances where a personal injury claim may apply. Premises liability and wrongful death are two specific types of personal injury claims.

Premises Liability

Premises liability cases arise when a property owner or landlord fails to maintain safe conditions and a guest to the premises suffers an injury. A property owner or business may be liable for injuries caused to guests by:

  • Water leaks or spills
  • Building collapse
  • Poor lighting
  • Building or housing code violations
  • Inadequate security
  • Failure to repair or secure hazardous conditions
  • Icy or slippery walkways
  • Chemical exposure
  • Uneven walkways

If an injury due to a hazardous condition results in the death of the victim, a wrongful death claim may be filed.

Wrongful Death Claims

Wrongful death claims apply when a personal injury victim dies of his or her injuries. Representatives of the deceased victim, such as a spouse or parent, file these claims.

Wrongful death claims can result from a premises liability issue such as those discussed above, or may be the result of other personal injury, such as a dog attack or automobile accident. Some examples include:

  • A victim of an accident caused by a drunk driver dies of the injuries incurred in the accident.
  • A doctor mistreats or misdiagnoses a patient, and the patient dies of related complications.
  • A child suffers fatal injuries after a dog attack.

How to Determine if you Have a Personal Injury Claim

Not every injury entitles you to compensation, and not every personal injury case is worth filing. At Gardner & Rans, we carefully deliberate if a case is worth pursuing based on the details you provide in your consultation. Two necessary components of a strong case are negligence of a third party and a resulting serious, life-altering injury.


One factor to consider is if the negligence of another party caused your injury. Negligence comes in many forms but ultimately describes the failure of a responsible party to take reasonable action to prevent injuries to visitors to an establishment or premises. Some examples of negligence that could entitle you to compensation.

  • Failure to repair dangerous conditions
  • Building code violations
  • Failure to warn visitors of hazards
  • Drunk or distracted driving
  • Poorly maintained equipment
  • Defective manufacturing

If you were negligent and put yourself in a dangerous position, the property or establishment owner may not be liable. For example, if you are texting while walking and don’t see a sign that indicates the floor is wet or slippery.

Severity of your Injury

doctors reviewing brain scanThe nature of your injury and how serious it is will factor in to determining if you should file a claim. An experienced personal injury lawyer can assess your unique situation and whether you have grounds for a claim that is worth pursuing.

At Gardner & Rans, we focus on resolving high-value, complicated cases involving catastrophic injuries. The following are some types of injuries that may indicate a strong case.

How to File a Personal Injury, Premises Liability, or Wrongful Death Claim

If we conclude that you were a victim of negligence and the extent of your injuries is severe, we will move forward with the claim by filing a complaint. Some claims can be filed against the responsible party’s insurance, and some may need to be filed in court.

Insurance claims - In some cases, we start by seeking a settlement outside of court, through direct negotiation with the insurance carrier. After obtaining the insured’s insurance information, including the name of the carrier and the policy number, we send a notice of claim. This lets the company know that you were injured and are pursuing a claim.

Some personal injury victims choose to take this step without an attorney. While it is possible to negotiate a settlement without an attorney, the odds of a satisfactory resolution are not in your favor.

Insurance companies often use intimidation and confusing questioning. If you are not prepared for their tactics, you can end up with a much smaller settlement than you deserve or with no settlement at all. Our lawyers have years of experience negotiating these types of cases, and we push back whenever needed to advocate for our clients.

gavelLawsuit – When an insurance company fails to act in a reasonable amount of time or refuses to offer a fair settlement amount, we may take the claim to court. Our lawyers are meticulous and aggressive about trial preparation.

During preparation for trial, our team gathers as much evidence as possible. This part of the pre-trial period is called the discovery process. Upon seeing the evidence we have gathered against them during this period, a defendant may realize that they do not have a case they can win in court. At this point, they may choose to offer you a fair settlement to avoid the costs and demands of going to trial.

A Free Case Evaluation is the Best First Step

Filing and fighting a personal injury case is no small undertaking. If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury or wrongful death, you are going through an extremely difficult time. Let an experienced and caring lawyer at Gardner & Rans relieve some of the burden by reviewing your case at no cost, with no risk or obligation to you.

We serve clients in South Bend, Elkhart, Mishawaka, La Porte, Granger, and surrounding areas of Indiana. Call 574-233-6035 today. Se habla español.