Lawyer (Law)
Evansville, IN

Gayle Gerling Pettinga

Owner & Managing Attorney | Gerling Law Injury Attorneys

Gayle Gerling Pettinga has been recognized as a Distinguished Professional.

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Gayle Gerling Pettinga is a leading plaintiffs personal injury lawyer with thirty years of experience based in Evansville, Indiana. A Martindale-Hubbell® AV® Preeminent™ rated attorney, Gayle is the owner and managing attorney of Gerling Law Injury Attorneys, with offices in Owensboro and Evansville and additional locations in Louisville and Indianapolis. There, she leads an experienced group of results-oriented attorneys as they help clients with a full range of personal injury matters, including medical malpractice, wrongful death, brain injuries, paralysis, product liability, and more.

Born and raised in Evansville, Gayle notes the influence her father, the eminent personal injury attorney Gary Gerling, had on her decision to become a lawyer:

My father was very forward-thinking for the age. From the time I was a little girl, he made sure I knew I could be an attorney as well. He would take me to night court with him when I was little, and was always telling people I’d be an attorney. So it’s just always been a part of me, a part of how I thought of myself.

After graduating cum laude from Smith College, Gayle obtained her Juris Doctorate magna cum laude from Indiana University’s prestigious Maurer School of Law. She then spent eight years practicing law with one of the largest firms in Indianapolis as well as one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. When her father decided that it was time to step down from his firm—which had become a community fixture since its founding in 1963—he looked to Gayle to ensure that his clients would be left in good hands.

Gayle’s wealth of experience gives her insight into how big law firms and big companies think and operate. Today, she puts that knowledge to good use while fighting aggressively to protect Gerling Law clients’ legal rights, both inside and outside of the courtroom. Over the course of her career, she has helped clients recover multiple millions of dollars for their injuries.

What truly sets Gayle apart from her peers is that she couples her impressive legal acumen and courtroom prowess with a gift for listening to and empathizing with her clients. This combination allows her to connect with them on a personal level and ensures that she is by their sides, prepared, and ready to fight every step of the way.

Gayle’s unique combination of fierceness and familiarity have cemented her position as a local leader, and have earned her inclusion among the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys’ 10 Best Attorneys in Indiana for Exceptional and Outstanding Client Service. She has also been recognized as one of the American Trial Lawyers’ Top 100 Trial Lawyers for the last ten years running, among numerous other prestigious honors.

Gayle’s dedication to the Evansville community and compassion for those in need extends well beyond her personal injury clients at Gerling Law.  In addition to being a prominent member of her legal community’s many professional groups, she also dedicates a substantial portion of her time and resources to charitable activities and organizations. Gayle and her colleagues at Gerling Law launched their own annual “Gerling Law Great Helmet Give-Away” in 2006 and have contributed to more than 100 organizations.

Looking to the future, Gayle hopes to continue to expand her contributions to both her community and her clients. In particular, she is looking forward to fleshing out her Louisville and Indianapolis offices, while continuing to provide superlative service to her returning clients. In her words:

We have a longstanding reputation for excellence within the community. Since this is my father’s firm, I want to be sure that his legacy and values are carried on through my generation and into the next generation of attorneys. That they know how important the work we do is—not just for our clients, but for the whole community.

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Detailed Career Information | Expand All ⌵

Areas of Practice

  • Medical Malpractice
  • Wrongful Death
  • Brain Injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Product Liability
  • Personal Injuries

Professional Memberships & Associations

  • National Trial Lawyers Association
  • American Association for Justice
  • Indiana Trial Lawyer Association – Board Member (2002-Present)
  • Indiana Trial Lawyer Association – Past Member of LAW PAC, Amicus Curiae and Paralegal Training Committees
  • Evansville Bar Association – Past Member of the Court Action Committee
  • Evansville Bar Association – Past Chair of the Law Day Committee
  • Indianapolis Bar Association – Past Board Member
  • Indianapolis Bar Association – Past Chair of the Women and the Law Division
  • Brain Injury Association of Indiana
  • Smith College Alumnae Association – Past Member Board of Trustees (1984-Present)
  • Crossroads Christian Church
  • Evansville Chamber of Commerce
  • Owensboro Chamber of Commerce
  • Better Business Bureau


  • Indiana (1987)
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Indiana

Awards & Honors

  • Martindale-Hubbell® – AV® Preeminent™ Rated
  • Avvo – 10.0/10.0 “Superb” Rated
  • Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • American Trial Lawyers – Top 100 Trial Lawyers (2007-Present)
  • American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys – 10 Best Attorneys in Indiana for Exceptional and Outstanding Client Service
  • Marquis Who’s Who in American Law
  • YWCA Evansville – 100 Years, 100 Women Honoree (2011)
  • Finalist, Vanderburgh Community Foundation – Spirit of Giving Award (2010)
  • Finalist, Vanderburgh Community Foundation – Spirit of Giving Award (2009)
  • Finalist, Leadership of Evansville – Celebration of Leadership Award (2009)

Community Involvement

  • Gerling Law Great Helmet Giveaway – Founder and Organizer
  • Gerling Law Recycle Bag Initiative – Founder and Organizer
  • Holly’s House – Past Board Member
  • Women’s Fund of Vanderburgh County – Past Co-Chair, Past Vice Co-Chair and Past Board Member; Past Member of Grants Committee
  • Gilda’s Club of Evansville – Past Board Member, Past Chair of Building Committee and Past Finance Committee Member
  • Juvenile Guidance Foundation – Board Member; Founding Member; Past President
  • Culver Academies Parent Board – Past Board Member
  • Children’s Museum of Evansville – Advisory Board Member; Past Member of Capital Campaign Committee
  • Indiana University Maurer School of Law Alumni Advisory Board – Past Board Member
  • Evansville Day School – Past Board President; Past Board Member; Past Chair of Strategic Planning Committee; Past Member of Headmaster Selection Committee
  • Habitat for Humanity – Past Member Project Committee for Law Build
  • Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra – Past Board Member
  • Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra – Past Board Member
  • Indiana Governor’s Art Awards – Past Chair of Corporate Solicitation
  • Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce – Past Member of Partners in Education Committee
  • Race for the Cure – Past Team Organizer
  • Indiana Repertory Theatre Velodrama – Past Team Organizer
  • Acros Gymnastics Booster Club – Past President and Board Member
  • Evansville Christian Life Center – Volunteer
  • United Way of Indianapolis – Past Panelist for Allocations


  • Indiana University at Bloomington School of Law, Bloomington, Indiana, J.D., magna cum laude (1987)
    • Honors: Indiana Law Journal Editorial Board – Senior Note Editor
  • Smith College, A.B., cum laude (1984)
    • Honors: Congressional Internship, Jean Picker Program, Hon. Albert Gore, Jr.
  • Brookings Institution, Washington, District of Columbia Fall Semester (1982)

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