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Areas of Practice


Wrongful Death

A wrongful death occurs when a person is killed due to the negligence or misconduct of another individual, company or organization. A legal action for wrongful death belongs to the decedent's immediate family members, usually a surviving spouse and children, and sometimes parents. Under certain circumstances, unrelated minor children living with and supported by the decedent may also bring a claim for wrongful death. In order to bring a successful wrongful death cause of action in Indiana, the following elements must be present:

  • The death of a human being
  • Caused by another's negligent or intentional conduct
  • The survival of family members who are suffering the loss of financial support, love, care, comfort, supervision, guidance, household assistance and general society previously provided by the deceased

The general rule in Indiana in wrongful death cases is that one is entitled to recover both economic and non-economic damages which are suffered as a result of the loss of a loved one. Economic damages in a wrongful death case include an award for the financial contributions which the decedent would have made to his wife, children and/or parents had he or she survived. It also includes the recovery for funeral services in memory of the decedent and for burial costs. Non-economic damages include loss of love, companionship, comfort, affection, society, solace or moral support.

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Motor Vehicle Accidents

Legal claims that arise from vehicle accidents are typically governed by the law of negligence. Any individual who negligently operates a motor vehicle may be required to pay damages to an injured victim. A personal injury case involving a vehicle accident may become formalized through civil court proceedings, or may be resolved through an informal settlement before a lawsuit is filed. Personal injury cases can also involve: aviation accidents, bicycle accidents, boating accidents, motorcycle accidents, semi tractor trailer accidents, school bus accidents, train accidents and truck accidents, to name a few. Anyone injured by a drunk driver in a traffic accident, or surviving family members of a fatally injured accident victim, may be able to bring wrongful death charges against the defendant.

Since 1996, the Indianapolis, Indiana personal injury law firm of Benkie & Crawford has represented clients who have suffered significant injuries in motor vehicle accidents of all kinds. The Firm works closely with doctors and other health care providers to discuss the short and long-term medical consequences of an injury. The Wrongful Death Attorneys of Benkie & Crawford are familiar with Indiana's automobile insurance and liability laws and understand the different sources of recovery available to car accident victims and their families.

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Truck/Motorcycle Accidents

Semi trucks cause the most tragic traffic accidents. The sheer size of a truck can make a collision deadly; sometimes they are not properly maintained, making serious injuries even more likely. Everything from broken bones to wrongful death can result from a tractor trailer accident.

Even more so than other types of auto accidents, motorcycle accidents can cause very serious injuries. These injuries can be anything from road rash and broken bones to head injury and brain damage. Fatal motorcycle accidents are also common.
Most motorcycle riders understand the dangers, and expect that if they drive reasonably they will be fine. But too many accidents happen because people driving cars "just didn't see" them and end up plowing into motorbike riders. Other times, a defective bike, defective equipment, or even a roadway can cause a wreck.

The Indianapolis, Indiana personal injury law firm of Benkie & Crawford has years of practice and a successful track record representing clients who have suffered significant injuries in motor vehicle accidents of all kinds. The Firm works closely with doctors and other health care providers to discuss the short and long-term medical consequences of an injury. The Wrongful Death Attorneys of Benkie & Crawford possess a detailed understanding of Indiana's automobile insurance and liability laws and understand the different sources of recovery available to car accident victims and their families.

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Environmental Cases



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Construction jobs are one of the most three dangerous occupations in the United States today. Each year the construction industry produces thousands of debilitating injuries and wrongful deaths. Factors that contribute to construction accidents include workers lifting loads with worn and weathered cables, working on elevated platforms without fall protection or wearing defective safety harnesses and lanyards, and/or working in trenches with improper benching and using outdated tools and equipment, forklift or even moving vehicle accidents.


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Product liability refers to a manufacturer or seller being held liable for placing a defective product into the hands of a consumer.

A person injured by a defective or dangerous product may be eligible to file a lawsuit for product liability, and recover damages under one of the following categories: strict product liability, negligence or breach of warranty.

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Nursing Home Abuse And Neglect


Americans are living longer than ever before. The fastest growing segment in the United States is the elderly population. As a result of this demographic shift, many elderly Americans have become residents of nursing homes during their final years. As many of these nursing homes are under-funded and understaffed, a disturbing incidence of neglect and abuse is being reported.

Injuries sustained by nursing home residents due to neglect and abuse often involve the inappropriate use of physical restraints, joint contractors, overuse of sedatives, unnecessary use of urinary catheters, loss of mobility, pressure sores and lack of nutrition with weight loss.

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As patients, we trust that our doctors, nurses, surgeons, and pharmacists are ethical, properly trained, and trustworthy. However, despite their extensive experience, sometimes these medical professionals make mistakes because they use poor judgment, are overworked or under-assisted, are negligent, or are simply under-qualified. But whatever the reasons for these mistakes, they are always unacceptable - in fact, they are oftentimes punishable by law.

This highly sensitive area of law, called medical malpractice (or medical negligence ), is a division of personal injury. If you believe you have been a victim of medical malpractice, fill out the form on the right side of this page and have one of our person injury lawyers review your case.

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Slip and Fall/Premises Liability

Slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere and can cause serious personal injury. Most slip and falls happen in commercial settings, including grocery stores, drug stores, office buildings, construction sites, and even gas stations and malls. These accidents may also happen on private property. Either way, there exist duties on the part of the property owners to maintain the property responsibly and avoid the existence of dangerous conditions.

Dangerous or defective conditions may be large or small, temporary or permanent. Therefore, investigation of the claim is essential to a successful case. Temporary conditions such as water on the floor of a grocery store or snow and ice on the stairs of a restaurant need to be investigated quickly. If a claim is against a Town or the State of Indiana, time sensitive notices are required to pursue these claims. For more information, please contact the Personal Injury Attorneys of the Indianapolis, Indiana Law Office of Benkie & Crawford.

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We represent business clients in a myriad of disputes including contract, shareholder, and real estate issues. We also provide business with support in terms of drafting required corporate documents and contracts.

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Our firm represents individuals in their estate planning and probate matters including litigation.

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We represent employees in a variety of employment-related disputes, including:

  • Age Discrimination Claims
  • Race Discrimination Claims
  • Gender Discrimination Claims'
  • Religious Discrimination Claims
  • Wrongful Discharge Claims
  • Whistle blower Claims
  • Claims for Breach of Employment Contracts
  • Claims Involving Restrictive Covenants, Non-Compete Provisions and Trade Secrets
  • Claims for Violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act

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The Civil Rights Act of 1871 was passed to enforce the rights guaranteed by the Civil Rights Amendments, the 13th, 14th, and 15th. These laws provide civil remedies to protect civil rights including:

  • Freedom of Speech
  • Freedom of Religion
  • Freedom from Unreasonable Search and Seizure
  • Freedom of the Press
  • Equal Protection of the Laws
  • Protection against Race Discrimination in the Formation and Performance of Contracts

Your civil rights are contained not only in the Constitution of the United States, but in various laws that have been passed over the years as well.

From time to time, various infringements on civil rights have received publicity. Police misconduct cases had the largest share in the last decade. However, these laws can be applied to protect rights in other ways as well. We have used these laws against schools attempting to expel students without a proper hearing as well as for race discrimination and sexual harassment.

If you have been subjected to such violations, or had any of your other civil rights violated, contact us. We can help.

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Should you need assistance with criminal cases, our firm can refer you to some of our most trusted resources to assist you with your case in the following areas:

  • Overall Criminal Defense
  • Operating While Intoxicated (DUI / DWI / OWI)
  • Misdemeanor Charges
  • Felony Charges


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Facing divorce is typically one of life’s most emotional and devastating experiences. The decision to end a marriage involves many considerations and demands much thought. Divorce often is charged with negative feelings and questions about the legal process.

Both Scott Benkie and Doug Crawford are Registered Family Law Mediators in the State of Indiana and are prepared to assist you in navigating a very difficult divorce experience.


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