Articles Tagged with Highland injury lawyer

Undocumented immigrants who are injured on the job in Indiana are entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits under state law. They are also entitled to pursue third-party compensation from any other liable parties. However, should they be paid in U.S. dollars or in the currency of their native country? That’s the question before the Indiana Supreme Court in Escamilla v. Shiel Sexton Co.

While the question of currency may seem a trivial one, it actually may have a significant impact on how much companies pay workers hurt on the job. Those who argue all workers injured in the U.S. need to be paid in U.S. dollars say that to do otherwise would allow companies that flout the law by hiring undocumented workers to receive an incentive by giving them a means to pay less in compensation in the event of an injury.

Those who are arguing in favor of being allowed to pay in the injured worker’s native currency say it’s not fair that a worker should be allowed to recover damages for lost wages that they can’t legally earn. Furthermore, if those wages were to be paid in the future, they should be based on what the worker might earn in their own country, rather than what they make in the U.S.

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Most Indiana personal injury lawsuits involve a claim for reimbursement of medical expenses – past and future. Thus, a central point of contention for some litigants is “what is the reasonable cost of medical care?”

Many courts have accepted that the amount billed for services can be taken at face value as “reasonable” for services rendered. However, defendants are increasingly challenging these amounts, saying they should not be taken at face value as “reasonable.” One thing that constrains this rebuttal, however, is the collateral source rule. Jurisdictions vary greatly on the collateral source rule application and scope, and the law is constantly evolving. Indiana is no exception, as shown in the recent case of Patchett v. Lee, before the Indiana Supreme Court.

In general, American case law prevents the admission of evidence that a plaintiff or victim in a personal injury lawsuit received compensation from a source other than damages sought by the defendant. Thus, for example, if you are injured but had private health insurance that covered a substantial portion of your medical costs, that information would not be subject to review by the jury. The idea is that this could unfairly affect the jurors’ perception of the compensation to which a plaintiff is entitled.

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