What We Do
Injuries and deaths that are someone else’s fault
At Manges Law Firm, we don’t like the word “accident.” An “accident” is something that is no one’s fault. But many injuries and deaths are caused by the carelessness of a person or business. These are preventable. If a preventable injury or death happened, there may be a legal right to recover money. These claims are usually covered by insurance. By making a claim, you can also help prevent this from happening to someone else. Injuries and deaths happen in more ways than can be listed. If a preventable injury or death happened, contact us. Our Firm can help.
Tom regularly speaks and writes about diverse personal injury topics. A partial list of those articles and lectures can be found under About.
Whether a death happens due to a car crash, fall, or medical malpractice, Indiana law usually allows a “wrongful death” claim to be made against the person or business at fault (or their insurance company). But Indiana has three different wrongful death statutes. Knowing your rights can be confusing. There are often more questions than answers.
Who has the right to make a claim?
Who has the right to hire a lawyer to pursue the case?
What can be claimed?
Does an estate need to be opened?
How much time do you have to make a claim or file a lawsuit?
Manges Law Firm has the experience and knowledge to handle these claims in a sensitive, professional, and competent manner.
Cars: Even in “clear liability” cases, insurance companies will often use any excuse they can to reduce settlement offers. This includes arguments that the victim is partly at fault. Manges Law Firm uses professional investigation and legal knowledge to combat these insurance tactics.
Trucks: Big-rig trucks have the power to cause big damages in a crash. Both Indiana and Federal rules may have been violated. Was the driver properly trained? Was the truck maintained correctly? Did the driver get enough sleep? Manges Law Firm can help find which “rules of the road” apply to each case.
Motorcycles: The rules of the road are the same for "bikers", but they are less protected in crashes, so they are more likely to be hurt. Insurance companies often unfairly blame bikers for crashes. Manges Law Firm can work to make sure that this doesn’t happen.
Pedestrians hit by vehicle(s): When motor vehicles hit pedestrians, joggers, bicyclists, or skateboarders, a claim can usually be made, even in a “hit & run”. The injured person may be too hurt to give his/her side of the story. The at-fault driver will often claim that the pedestrian "came out of nowhere." Manges Law Firm has the investigative resources to protect the rights of pedestrians.
Studies show that thousands of patients die each year from medical malpractice (medical mistakes). Deaths due to preventable medical malpractice are higher than all deaths attributable to motor vehicle collisions. Doctors must be held accountable for their mistakes, just like drivers who cause car crashes. And most doctors are insured. But Indiana law makes these “med mal” claims far more complicated than most other personal injury cases. Doctors and their insurance companies seldom admit fault. Many times people don’t even realize that malpractice has occurred. Indiana has a special statute (law) that must be strictly followed in order to make a successful claim. This law was created mainly to protect negligent doctors and their insurance companies. Many people lose their right to make a claim by waiting too long to hire a qualified lawyer to investigate. If you think an injury or death has occurred due to medical malpractice, we can help. Manges Law Firm is one of the few firms in Northeast Indiana willing to tackle these cases.
Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse
People who need rehabilitation and long term care, usually the elderly, often suffer from preventable injuries and death. Just because someone is old or infirm doesn't mean they don't deserve dignity and respect. Most facilities are owned by “for-profit” corporations that put profits over safety. Often, facilities don’t hire enough staff to safely care for their patients. This can lead to nursing errors, and preventable injuries and deaths. Falls, painful bed sores, infections, malnourishment, and dehydration commonly occur, but are usually preventable.
Manges Law Firm has the know-how to investigate and pursue a claim.
Many birth injuries, including "stillborn" births, are the result of preventable medical errors. The doctors and nurses may be unwilling or unable to tell the whole story. Manges Law Firm can gather the necessary records, have them reviewed by independent medical experts, and help give you answers.
Slip and Fall Injuries and Deaths
The National Safety Council estimates that over 16,000 Americans die from falls every year. Most businesses and their insurance companies know that falls by visitors are foreseeable and preventable if certain basic safety rules are followed. Unfortunately, basic, common sense steps aren’t taken to prevent this. When someone is injured or killed due to a fall, it is often due to a violation of safety rules. Making a claim can provide financial compensation, but also cause the defect to be fixed by the business, preventing future injuries to others. Whether the fall is due to the failure to salt or clear ice outside, or to maintain a safe walking surface inside, Manges Law Firm has the experience and knowledge to investigate and pursue these often serious cases.
Dog attacks can cause serious injuries and death. Such attacks are often preventable. Dog owners usually know if their pet has bitten someone before, but are often reluctant to chain or confine the animal when visitors come. An Indiana dog owner has a duty to prevent a dangerous dog from attacking someone. When an attack occurs, a claim can be made against the dog owner. This is usually covered by the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance. Special rules apply to Indiana dog bite cases, and must be followed for a claim to be successful. Manges Law Firm knows the rules, and can use them to find you compensation.
Construction Site Injuries
Construction work is one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States. Thousands of preventable injuries and deaths occur at construction projects. Construction companies often ignore basic safety rules. People commonly assume that the only remedy in these cases is worker’s compensation benefits, which usually does not give a recovery of “full” damages. Manges Law Firm knows that there are other ways to fully compensate injured workers and families.
Defective Products ("Product Liability")
Safety should never be an option. But many manufacturers put their profits ahead of safety. We assume that any product we buy is safe if used properly. Surprisingly, there often aren’t “government standards” that can guarantee the safety of products. Badly designed or made fireworks, toys, cribs, tools, and other products kill and injure many people. The involvement of foreign manufacturers can make it hard to get compensation. Manges Law Firm knows the law, and can help you.
Insurance Coverage Litigation
Insurance companies are quick to demand your premium payment, but are often slow to pay a claim. That’s because they usually look out for their own interests, not yours. If you’ve been injured by an uninsured motorist, are not sure how to pay medical bills after a car wreck, or can’t get a straight answer from the insurance companies, we can help. Even your own insurance agent may not understand when a policy should or should not pay. Manges Law Firm has the knowledge and experience to help you find coverage, and make the insurance carrier pay what it owes.
Subrogation and Lien Resolution
Most cases can’t be finalized until all “subrogation claims” and liens against the case are finalized. The insurance company for the person or business at fault does not usually pay any money until the very end of the case. That can take a long time. The victim’s own insurance (like a health plan, auto medical payments coverage, or worker’s compensation) often pays the doctors and hospitals before a settlement. That’s good, but it also creates a “lien” against the case. There are many types of “lienholders” that have the right to get reimbursement from your settlement. When they get paid, your share of the settlement shrinks. What if the liens or medical balances are higher than the settlement amount? (Perhaps due to a low policy limit). What if the lienholder wants too much of your settlement money? Manges Law Firm knows how to shrink or eliminate these liens, which allows you to keep as much of the settlement “pie” as possible.