Bird and Lime scooters are applying to return to Indianapolis. They are effecient and cost-effective, but who is liable when scooter accidents result in injury?

Electric scooters from companies like Bird and Lime are now commonplace in cities all over the country. While they only made a brief appearance in Indianapolis earlier this summer, both companies have submitted applications to return to Indy with even more scooters than before. These e-scooters are an efficient and cost-effective way to get around the city, but they also put riders and non-riders alike at the risk of injury.

Operating agreements from both companies require riders to wear helmets and always follow traffic laws, but even with these requirements, emergency rooms are seeing severe injuries caused by scooter accidents. In addition to scooter riders being at risk of injuring themselves, scooters also put pedestrians at risk. Pedestrians can be injured when they are struck by a scooter or by tripping over a scooter that has been discarded on the sidewalk.

So who pays for medical treatments and other damages following an electric scooter accident? There are many different scenarios to consider:

·      Scooter rider is injured due to a defective or malfunctioning scooter;

·      Scooter rider is injured due to negligently maintained street, pothole, etc.;

·      Driver of another vehicle is injured due to illegal or dangerous maneuvers by scooter rider;

·      Pedestrian is injured when struck by a scooter; and/or

·      Pedestrian is injured after tripping over a scooter left on the sidewalk or in an entryway.

As we see the return of Bird and Lime scooters to Indianapolis, we will no doubt also see accidents and the resulting injuries to scooter riders and pedestrians. If you have been involved in an accident, call the Indianapolis injury attorneys at Pavlack Law at 317-251-1100 for a free consultation.

 

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It is back to school time! Safety tips for children and motorists.

It is back to school time, and that means the buses will be out in force. Here are some school bus safety reminders offered by the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. Stay safe out there, kids!

School Bus Safety Tips for Children

• Help your child find the safest route to the bus stop. Review with your child the bus safety rules, stressing why they are necessary.

• Make sure that your child’s clothing and book bag do not have loose strings or straps that can be caught on the bus handrail, door, or seats.

• School bus discipline is a cooperative effort among student, parent, bus driver and principal to ensure the safety of all students. Misbehavior on a school bus is highly distracting to a driver and creates an unsafe condition.

• The bus driver merits the respect and courtesy due all school personnel. Please teach your child to obey the bus driver.

• When your children are very young, accompany them to the bus stop and meet them on their return, if possible.

• If children will be unaccompanied when they get off the bus in the afternoon, teach them the safest route to get home. Stress that they should go directly home, or to their regular after-school location, and check in with you or their other caregiver, before going anywhere else.

School Bus Safety Tips for Motorist

• As children throughout Indiana return to school, drivers will notice more school buses on the road.

• State law requires motorists to stop when a school bus is picking up or dropping off children. Watch for school buses with their stop arm extended and red lights flashing which means STOP, not “proceed with caution”.

• This law applies to all roadways except those that are divided by a physical barrier or a median.

• On a divided roadway, only vehicles traveling in the same direction as the school bus are required to stop. Extra awareness is also required in rural areas where distracted or impatient drivers often ignore school buses when children are getting on or off the bus.

• Disregarding a school bus stop signal is serious, and you can receive a traffic ticket for doing so.

• Drivers should also be aware of increased pedestrian traffic, particularly around bus stops and schools. Please remember, if your child was boarding a school bus, you would want motorists to use caution and stop.

IMPD Traffic Enforcement: 3821 Industrial Boulevard Indianapolis, Indiana 46254 Phone: (317) 327-6525 IMPD Traffic Enforcement Website: http://www.indy.gov/eGov/City/DPS/IMPD/Enforcement/Traffic/Pages/home.aspx

 

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Inmate found dead at Marion County Jail

Sadly, an investigation is underway after another Marion County Jail inmate, Brian Wickelhaus, was found unresponsive in his cell and later declared dead.

Pavlack Law has had the privilege of representing numerous families whose loved ones have died as the result of negligence while incarcerated. If you or a loved one have been injured or died as a result of jail neglect, contact the lawyers at Pavlack Law at 317-251-1100 for a free consultation to see if you have a claim.

https://fox59.com/2018/08/01/marion-county-jail-inmate-declared-dead-after-being-found-unresponsive-in-cell/

Eric Pavlack named 2018 Super Lawyer

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Pavlack Law LLC is proud to announce that Eric Pavlack has been named to the 2018 class of Super Lawyers. Super Lawyers utilizes a patented selection process based on peer review and professional achievement to annually recognize the top 5% of attorneys in each state. Eric has consistently been selected as a Super Lawyer in the state of Indiana for personal injury. Please join us in congratulating Eric for this achievement.

 

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Pavlack Law Attorney Honored at Indiana State Bar Association's Awards Luncheon

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Pavlack Law attorney Colin E. Flora was honored at the Indiana State Bar Association's Awards Luncheon held at the Conrad in Indianapolis on August 30, 2017. Colin received two awards, the Harrison Legal Writing Award (First Place) and the Donald R. Lundberg Writing Award, for his articles When, Where, and How of Piercing the Corporate Veil in Indiana and Citing Unpublished Cases in Indiana: Rules & Caselaw, respectively. The Harrison Legal Writing Award, named for the founding president of the state bar and former President of the United States, Benjamin Harrison, is presented to the top article published in Res Gestae (the journal of the ISBA) from December 2015 through May 2017. Colin previously received the Harrison Legal Writing Award (Third Place) in October 2015. The Donald R. Lundberg award commemorates the top article for the YLS Network publication.

In addition to receiving the Harrison Legal Writing Award, Colin has been invited to speak on behalf of the Business Section at the ISBA's annual meeting on the topic of piercing the corporate veil in Indiana.

Colin, who is a prolific legal writer, also has two forthcoming articles accepted for publication, one of which will be presented at the Seventeenth Annual Symposium on Legal Malpractice & Ethics in San Antonio, Texas in January.

Another Marion County Inmate Dead From Apparent Cardiac Arrest

In what is becoming a much too frequent statistic, another Marion County inmate, George Davis, passed away due to an apparent cardiac arrest. Mr. Davis was taken into custody at 2:45 p.m. on Wednesday, August 9th. Around 11:35 p.m. that evening, staff at the Arrestee Processing Center determined that Mr. Davis needed medical attention and summoned EMS. Mr. Davis was dead less than 2 hours later. 

Pavlack Law currently represents the family of a man who died at the Marion County Jail from a cardiac emergency that went untreated, in addition to several other inmates who died after failing to receive proper medical and or psychiatric care. Inmates have a constitutional right to receive the appropriate medical care while they are in custody. When law enforcement officials deny individuals this right, they can be held liable for the consequences of their actions or inactions. We must keep jails and prisons accountable for keeping inmates safe. Contact a jail wrongful death attorney at Pavlack Law now for a free and confidential consultation: 317-251-1100.

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Carmel Roundabouts Have Greatly Reduced Injury Accidents at Intersections

            Carmel, Indiana is well known for consistently showing up on lists of best places to live in small town America, but over the last decade, Carmel has also become internationally known for its expansive network of roundabouts. The main reason Carmel gravitated toward replacing traffic signals and stop signs with roundabouts is for safety purposes.  Unlike traditional traffic signals, roundabouts require drivers to reduce their speed when approaching the intersection therefore reducing the likelihood of a collision. Should a collision occur, the severity of the collision and the risk of personal injury are greatly reduced due to the lack of head-on and right angle collisions. In fact, Carmel reports that the number of injury accidents has been reduced by about 80 percent, and the number of overall accidents has been reduced by approximately 40 percent.

            On Monday, March 6, a proposed ordinance to further enhance the safety of roundabouts was submitted to the Carmel City Council. The ordinance would require drivers to use their turn signal when exiting the roundabout. Drivers not signaling their exit could face a $100 fine if the ordinance is enacted. In addition to promoting public safety, Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard said the use of turn signals would increase the efficiency of the roundabouts. The ordinance was sent to the Finance, Utilities, and Rules Committee for further analysis.

Read more about roundabout procedures and safety here:

http://www.carmel.in.gov/index.aspx?page=123

Indiana State Police and Local Law Enforcement Tip Off March Madness With Increased Patrols and Checkpoints

           In an effort to reduce automobile crashes related to dangerous or impaired driving, local law enforcement and the Indiana State Police have announced they will be increasing patrols and setting up sobriety check points in random locations throughout the month of March. Between St. Patrick’s Day festivities and the NCAA basketball tournaments, many Hoosiers will be out celebrating. According to the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI), in March 2016 there were 495 alcohol-related crashes. Sadly, eleven of those crashes resulted in fatalities.

            Crashes from impaired and dangerous driving are easily preventable. Make sure you have a plan prior to enjoying the festivities:

·      Designate a driver

·      Get an Uber or Lyft (tip: download the app well in advance of when you may need it) or take a taxi

·      If you see an impaired driver or someone driving dangerously, call 911.

Read more from the Indiana State Police regarding the March 2017 Enforcement Campaign:

http://www.in.gov/activecalendar/EventList.aspx?fromdate=2/24/2017&todate=3/9/2017&display=&type=public&eventidn=259014&view=EventDetails&information_id=259428&print=print


Eric Pavlack named 2017 Super Lawyer

Pavlack Law LLC is proud to announce that Thomson Reuters' Super Lawyers has designated Eric Pavlack as a Super Lawyer for the third consecutive year. Super Lawyers utilizes a patented selection process based on peer recognition and professional achievement to annually recognize the top 5% of attorneys in each state. Congratulations, Eric!

Indiana Supreme Court Grants Transfer In HHGregg Class Action Lawsuit

On January 19, the Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer in the matter of Dwain Underwood, et al. v. Gregg Appliances, et al. Underwood filed the case in March 2013 on behalf of himself and others similarly situated, claiming that the incentive plans received by hhgregg's managers required bonuses to be paid based on hhgregg’s annual EBITDA, which happened to include $40 million in insurance proceeds received from a key man insurance policy. hhgregg failed to pay those bonuses, claiming that the insurance proceeds should not be included when calculating bonuses, which was contrary to the express terms of the incentive plans. 

In July 2015, Marion County Superior court Judge Robert Altice, who has since been appointed to the Indiana Court of Appeals, granted summary judgment in favor of Underwood. HHGregg appealed to the Indiana Court of Appeals, which reversed Justice Altice's decision and granted summary judgment in favor of HHGregg. Pavlack Law requested that the Indiana Supreme Court grant transfer of this matter. The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer, and an oral argument is scheduled to occur on February 23rd.

Pavlack Law has been successful pursuing claims on behalf of employees in various forms of wage disputes: claims of underpayment or nonpayment of wages, failure to pay commissions, and withholding of money owed to an employee. We make the process as smooth and seamless as possible, while aggressively fighting for due compensation. To meet with an attorney who is knowledgable on wage cases, contact our Indianapolis, Indiana law firm today.

Dave Stafford, Justices take appeal from HHGregg managers denied bonus proceeds, IndianaLawyer.com (Jan. 24, 2017)

Federal Judge Grants Preliminary Injunction Against Overtime Pay Law

     On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant upheld a challenge to the new overtime pay rule announced earlier this year by the Department of Labor as part of an update to the Fair Standards Labor Act. Currently, employers do not have to pay overtime to any employees who are considered “salaried” and make more than $23,660 per year. The new law, which was set to take effect on December 1st, would have raised the threshold salary to $47,500. Twenty-one states, including Indiana, joined a lawsuit to challenge the law. The preliminary injunction granted on Tuesday by Judge Mazzant prohibits the law from taking effect nationwide. The Labor Department estimated that the new law would impact the wages of 4.2 million workers in the United States.

     Overtime wages, as well as minimum wage requirements, are regulated by the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA). The FLSA was enacted to ensure that workers in the United States are fairly and adequately compensated for their work. If you feel you have not been properly compensated for your time at work, contact the Indiana employment attorneys at Pavlack Law. Through individual cases and class action lawsuits, Eric Pavlack has successfully represented employees with claims against their employers. Call Pavlack Law today, 317-251-1100. The consultation is always free, and there are no fees or expenses unless we win your claim.

Judge blocks Obama rule extending overtime pay to 4.2 million U.S. workers (Nov. 23, 2016)

The Northwest Indiana Times Reports on Lead Poisoning Tort Claims Filed by Pavlack Law and Alvarez Law

As reported yesterday in the The Northwest Indiana Times, Pavlack Law and Alvarez Law have filed 251 tort claims on behalf of West Calumet residents who have been living in a housing complex built on the site of a former lead smelting plant. 

Lauren Cross, 250 residents plan lawsuits against East Chicago officials, Northwest Indiana Times (Nov. 16, 2016)

For more information on the West Calumet Lead Poisoning Lawsuit, visit WestCalumetLead.com or call Pavlack Law at 317-251-1100.

 

Chicago Tribune Reports on Lead Poisoning Tort Claim Notices Filed by Pavlack Law and Alvarez Law Office

As reported by the Chicago Tribune, Pavlack Law LLC and Alvarez Law Office recently filed tort claim notices on behalf of over 250 residents of the West Calumet Housing Complex who were exposed to the lead contamination from nearby factories.

Pavlack Law and Alvarez Law Office have set up a website, www.westcalumetlead.com, that provides information for those who may have been exposed to lead at the West Calumet Housing Complex. If you have any questions regarding lead exposure and your rights, please contact the experienced team of attorneys at Pavlack Law 317-251-1100 or Alvarez Law Office 219-662-6400 for a free consultation.

Pavlack Law and Alvarez Law Office File East Chicago Lead Poisoning Tort Claim Notices

Despite the growing awareness of the potentially devastating health effects of lead exposure in children, lead poisoning continues to be one of the most common health problems impacting children today. Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) notified over 1,000 residents of a West Calumet Housing Complex in East Chicago, Indiana that the lead levels found in and surrounding their homes were dangerously high.

As reported by the Chicago Tribune, Pavlack Law LLC and Alvarez Law Office recently filed tort claims on behalf of hundreds of residents who were exposed to the lead contamination at the West Calumet Housing Complex.

Pavlack Law and Alvarez Law Office have set up a website, www.westcalumetlead.com, for those who may have been exposed to lead at the West Calumet Housing Complex. If you have any questions regarding lead exposure and your rights, please contact the experienced team of attorneys at Pavlack Law 317-251-1100 or Alvarez Law Office 219-662-6400 for a free consultation.

Rumors of Drugs, Weapons, and Other Contraband Prompt Marion County Jail Shakedown

Following rumors of a massive drug problem and potential weapons inside the Marion County Jail II facility, Sheriff John Layton ordered 40 sheriff’s deputies to conduct a search on the facility this past weekend. The Jail II facility is located at 730 E. Washington Street, and is run by the private jail operator Corrections Corporation of America. Sadly, 27 year-old inmate Nicholas Grant passed away from a fatal overdose on Friday night following the search. A follow-up death investigation is underway, but it is suspected that Grant swallowed a balloon of heroin during the search, which ultimately resulted in his death.

Sheriff Layton will hold a press conference later this week to discuss the findings of the search and to outline possible solutions to protect inmates’ safety while the county awaits further criminal justice reform. The Marion County Jail has been operating in “crisis mode” since earlier this year, with all jail facilities operating at maximum capacity. Currently, other Indiana county jails are handling the Marion County overflow of inmates, and Mayor Hogsett has appointed a task force to analyze the situation. The task force is expected to present their findings in December.

Read more from Fox 59’s Russ McQuaid here:
http://fox59.com/2016/10/16/sheriffs-deputies-lead-shakedown-at-privately-run-jail-in-marion-county/

Another Apparent Suicide At Marion County Jail

Another Marion County Jail inmate, Joshua Bellamy, was found dead in his cell at the Marion County Jail yesterday afternoon. The death is now being investigated as an apparent suicide. According to Sheriff John Layton, inmate jail deaths reached ‘epidemic proportions’ in 2015 with 3 inmate suicides, and 2016 is proving to be an even worse year for inmates with 4 probable suicides thus far. Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett has appointed a task force to study the jail and present its findings in December 2016. However, Hogsett’s 2017 public safety budget proposal did not earmark any funds for a new jail. Instead, the 2017 budget sets aside funds to pay other counties to handle overflow. Sheriff Layton has said a new jail is needed.

http://www.theindychannel.com/news/local-news/inmate-dies-at-marion-co-jail-1

http://www.indystar.com/story/news/crime/2016/08/17/more-police-officers-hogsetts-proposed-public-safety-budget/88836398/

Is ITT Tech the Canary in the Coal Mine? For-Profit Colleges and the Student Loan Crisis

With the recent publicity surrounding the closure of the massive for-profit college ITT Technical Institute, many may be wondering why the business practices of ITT and other high profile for-profit colleges (FPCs) have come under such scrutiny in recent years. Being a consummate advocate for consumers, FPC abuses have long been of serious concern to Eric Pavlack. Just this past summer, Eric presented to the Sagamore American Inn of Court on the dramatic negative effect of student loan abuses by FPCs. So what are FPCs and why should students and taxpayers be concerned about their business practices?

Everyone has seen the endless FPC ads on television—ITT Tech, DeVry, University of Phoenix, and even Trump University, just to name a few— offering potential students an easy degree that will result in a lucrative job placement. Sadly, this promising scenario is a far cry from what many students at FPCs are left with: no degree and a crushing amount of student loan debt.

FPCs predominantly market to and prey on low-income people, minorities, and veterans who are struggling to make ends meet and looking to better their standard of living. Once a potential student is identified, FPCs utilize high-pressure sales tactics leading the student to believe they need to immediately enroll and acquire student loans or they may not qualify for the loans in the future. A U.S. Senate Committee report released in 2012 highlighted some of these unethical techniques recruiters were using to secure commitments and federal student loan money from students. These tactics included trolling for potential students at hair salons and Wal-Mart or “any stores that may have people that need to get an education,” asking probing questions that “slowly peel away pain layers,” and the “quick close” in which recruiters were instructed to create a sense of urgency and make candidates feel they would not be accepted unless they signed up that very moment.

In a whistleblowing case filed in 2007, it was found that admissions recruiters for Education Management Corporation were actually paid bonuses for enrolling students, an illegal and unethical strategy. The lawsuit alleged that because of these illegal incentives, recruiters were signing up students they knew would not succeed or finish the program despite incurring massive amounts of federal loan debt.

Unlike Private Non-Profit colleges, who receive most of their funding from student tuition and endowments and operate under the supervision of a board of trustees, FPCs may receive up to 90% of their revenue from federal student aid and are run by larger companies who answer to shareholders and investors. Simply put, FPCs exist largely in part to make profits for the shareholders and investors, and therefore driving revenues through obtaining federal student loans is more important than individual outcomes.

A 2015 report published by the Brookings Institute demonstrates how students attending FPCs disproportionately burden the student loan system and are overwhelmingly contributing to a “student loan crisis” that many believe is akin to the housing bubble that created the Great Recession of 2008. The amount of debt owed by those attending FPCs has grown from $39 billion in 2000 to $229 billion in 2014. Although FPC students represent only about 13% of all college enrollment, they make up over 30% of borrowing and approximately 50% of the defaults on student loans.

Additionally concerning are the tuition rates at FPCs. It is typical for an associate degree at a FPC to cost up to four times as much as the same degree from a comparable public college, while a bachelor’s degree may cost twice as much. So, while FPCs are charging top-dollar, the students are receiving an abysmal education and are unable to find jobs upon matriculation. Even worse, only 49% of those enrolling will actually complete their programs. The remaining 51% are much worse off than when they started: still no degree and substantial student loan debt. It is not difficult to see why the likelihood of a student at a FPC defaulting on their loans is four times greater than a student at a community college and three times greater than at a four-year public or non-profit college.

The Education Department tried to increase regulation of these colleges in 2009 by beefing up standards for an existing requirement know as the “gainful employment rule.” This rule would require colleges that receive federally subsidized loans to be able to demonstrate statistically that students receiving degrees were able to achieve gainful employment in their chosen field following matriculation. Unfortunately, like other big businesses desperate to protect their profits, a conglomeration of FPCs employed aggressive lobbying tactics in attempt to defeat the new requirements, and they were successful in watering down the regulations to the point of being meaningless.

For nearly 20 years, Indianapolis attorney Eric Pavlack has been a fierce advocate for consumers whose rights have been violated. Pavlack Law has extensive experience in representing consumers in class action cases who have been damaged by fraudulent sales tactics and statutory violations. If you feel you have been a victim of fraudulent sales tactics, contact an attorney at Pavlack Law now. The consultation is free, and there is never a fee until we are successful for you!

https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/ConferenceDraft_LooneyYannelis_StudentLoanDefaults.pdf

Lawsuit: Marion County Deputies Ignored Dying Inmate

As reported by the Indianapolis Star, Pavlack Law has brought suit in federal court on behalf of the estate of the late Marshall Carman. Carman died while confined at the Marion County Jail. As detailed in the Complaint, Carman was naked, facedown on the floor of his cell for over an hour with guards passing by on patrol. The guards took no action for at least an hour. Eventually, the guards entered Carman’s cell and picked him up and laid him naked atop the sheets of his bed. The guards then closed the cell. Carman never moved from his bed. More than an hour later, different guards noticed him unresponsive. A short while later, Carman was pronounced dead.

Pavlack Law: Utilizing Paperless Technology To Maximize Efficiency

As the owner of a fast-paced litigation law firm, Indianapolis attorney Eric Pavlack knows efficiency, flexibility, and preparedness are a must. Dave Stafford of the Indiana Lawyer recently stopped by Pavlack Law to find out how Pavlack uses paperless technology to maximize the firm’s efficiency and productivity.

Read Stafford’s full article here at TheIndianaLawyer.com

Another Marion County Jail Suicide and Attempted Suicide Despite New Zero Tolerance Initiative

Amidst a growing overcrowding crisis, Marion County Jail suicides and deaths continue to rise. Sadly, another Marion County inmate committed suicide last night, and another inmate attempted suicide but was rescued by deputies. This despite a new zero tolerance initiative announced in June by Sheriff John Layton in response to suicides reaching “epidemic proportions” at the Marion County Jail.

Read more on TheIndyChannel.com