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State Bar, ILS team up to offer legal help to storm victims

May 17, 2018

Victims of recent severe storms and flooding in southeast and northwest Indiana can get legal help from a toll-free hotline thanks to a joint effort between the Indiana State Bar Association and Indiana Legal Services.

The ISBA announced the initiative this week and invited lawyers who would like to volunteer to provide a free consultation to sign up. Storm victims facing legal issues can call Indiana Legal Services at 844-243-8570 to get legal help. The toll-free number will operate Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (EDT). Victims can also submit an online application here.

People submitting an application online should indicate that they were affected by the recent storms. Victims not eligible for assistance through ILS will be fast-tracked to the Indiana State Bar Association to be matched with a lawyer. Local lawyer volunteers will help by providing free legal consultations on matters such as insurance claims, home repair contracts, landlord issues and replacing legal documents.

President Donald Trump declared a major disaster for Carroll, Clark, Elkhart, Floyd, Harrison, Jefferson, Lake, Marshall and St. Joseph counties earlier this month. The declaration was in response to storms and flooding in those areas from Feb. 14-March 4, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“Providing service and advocacy for storm victims is a meaningful way the legal community can help those in need as they rebuild and recover,” said ISBA President Andi M. Metzel. “Our association is uniquely positioned to mobilize throughout the entire state and we have the compassion and expertise of lawyers who are ready to help those in need as they face disaster-related legal challenges.”

“When you experience a natural disaster like this flooding, it can be hard to know where to turn for help,” said ILS executive director Jon Laramore. “Indiana Legal Services is proud to partner with the Indiana State Bar Association on the recovery.”

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