A car accident might be the most stressful experience of your life. That split second before crashing into another vehicle, hearing the glass breaking, and not knowing what’s going to happen next is a devastating feeling. Soon after that, the reality of your injuries and mounting medical bills add a burden to your life. At Custy Law Firm | Accident & Injury Lawyers, we understand what you’re going through, and our Indiana car accident lawyers can help you pursue the financial compensation you need for your injuries.
The insurance company will probably try to rush your claim and get you to settle for less than you deserve. They might even try to blame the accident on you. The decisions you make after a car wreck can impact the outcome of your case. Contacting an Indiana car accident lawyer could play a significant role in the value of your claim.
The Indiana injury attorneys at Custy Law Firm | Accident & Injury Lawyers work on cases just like yours every day. We have the skills and resources to take on the big insurance companies and fight aggressively for the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (219) 286-7361.
Car Accident Claims We Handle
At Custy Law Firm | Accident & Injury Lawyers, we handle many types of car accident cases in Indiana, including but not limited to:
Unfortunately, drunk driving is an all-too-common cause of car accidents in Indiana. If a driver is intoxicated, their mind is impaired, and therefore their ability to drive becomes impaired. Drunk driving accidents can have a devastating impact on victims and their families.
Illegal substances, as well as prescription drugs, can impair a driver. These substances can significantly affect a driver’s judgment and reaction time. In Indiana, it is illegal to drive while impaired by drugs. If you have been injured in a drugged driver accident, the attorneys at Custy Law Firm | Accident & Injury Lawyers can help.
Distracted driving is defined as any activity that takes a driver’s mind away from driving or their eyes from the road. Common distractions include texting, talking on the phone, eating, and fiddling with a GPS or radio.
A hit-and-run accident happens when you are hit by a driver who does not stop to exchange information. It’s illegal to hit and run in Indiana. If you were injured in a hit-and-run accident and the driver cannot be found, Custy Law Firm | Accident & Injury Lawyers will help you file an uninsured motorist claim.
Among the most common types of car accidents, rear-end collisions involve the impact of your car’s front side into another car’s backside. These can range in severity and potential for injury, depending on the circumstances.
When a driver exceeds the posted speed limit or travels at a speed that is too fast for the weather or road conditions, that person puts everyone else on the road in danger. If you were injured in a car accident with a driver who was speeding, the speeding driver should be held liable for the injuries they’ve caused.
An uninsured motorist is someone who does not hold any car insurance. Indiana law requires that all motorists hold minimum liability coverage. If you were injured in an accident that was caused by an underinsured or uninsured driver, the car accident lawyers at Custy Law Firm | Accident & Injury Lawyers understands the right evidence to submit in a car accident claim and how to negotiate aggressively for a full and fair settlement.
It would be best if you also were wary of any forms an insurance adjuster sends you. Many of them will send you documents to sign without adequately explaining what they are. You might feel like you’re obligated to sign them, but you’re not. If you sign them without understanding what they are, you could accidentally sign away your rights to the maximum compensation available. That’s why it’s essential to always speak with a lawyer before moving forward with an insurance claim.
The Statute of Limitations is a Deadline You Must Follow
A statute of limitations dictates the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit after an auto accident. Every state has statutes of limitations for various types of accidents and injuries. When you’re deciding whether or not you want to pursue legal action, you should always keep the statute of limitations in mind. Missing the deadline can prevent you from winning a financial award for the damages you incurred.
Indiana law requires you to sue the responsible driver within two years from the date of the crash. If two years pass and you haven’t filed suit, you will likely lose your right to pursue compensation for that particular situation. Two years may seem like plenty of time, but it goes by quickly, especially if you decide to file an insurance claim first.
The insurance claim process could take months or even years. If the adjuster ultimately decides to deny your claim or offer less money than you need to pay for your expenses, the next step would be to sue. However, if you spent two years working on your claim, you won’t be able to file a lawsuit because the statute of limitations passed.
Compensatory Damages vs. Punitive Damages
Compensatory damages are the losses you suffered because of someone else’s negligence that caused your car accident. Compensatory damages include both economic and non-economic losses. When you file an insurance claim, you’re entitled to collect compensation for your damages.
If you got injured in a crash and the insurance adjuster determines the other driver was at fault, you can claim past and future damages. Depending on the insurance coverage available, you could potentially receive a monetary award for the expenses you paid for, as well as any future losses resulting from your injury and treatment.
The compensatory damages you could collect from an auto accident include the following:
- Lost wages and benefits
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Medical expenses
- Disfigurement or permanent disability
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Medical devices and rehabilitation
- Property damage
Instead of compensating the injured individual, punitive damages punish the liable driver for willful malice, negligence, fraud, or egregious actions. It also aims to prevent similar behavior from happening in the future.
Insurance claims don’t take punitive damages into account, and most lawsuits don’t justify them either. However, if circumstances existed that were so reckless that the motorist should face financial punishment, a judge might allow you to pursue them. As an example, if you suffered injuries because the other person was driving drunk, you may be able to seek punitive damages.
Frequently Asked Questions about Car Accident Claims
We routinely answer similar questions from clients and prospective clients about their personal injury claim. Below are a just few that routinely arise:
Q: Should I Contact the Police After an Auto Accident?
A: Yes. Generally speaking, if you’ve been involved in an automobile accident in which you were hurt by another driver, it’s a good idea to let the police know. You can do this by contacting the police department directly, or by dialing 911.
Why is it so important to get the police involved? The responding officer will use the information gathered at the accident scene to fill out an official document known as a police accident report. The police report will contain valuable information such as: the date, time, and exact location of the accident, the identities of the parties involved, detailed information regarding all vehicles involved in the collision, a summary of any and all injuries claimed to have been sustained, a description of any alleged property damage, weather and road conditions at the time of the incident, names and/or contact information for any witnesses (as well as any statements those witnesses may have provided at the scene), and a subjective account from the officer himself detailing what appears to have transpired and why/how it happened (including who may have been at fault).
The police report is a crucial tool relied upon to help prove a defendant was legally responsible for an accident and the resulting injuries to their client. Even if it is not clear immediately following an accident whether you’ve suffered injuries that are serious, your best bet is to request that the police respond to the scene anyway so that the responding officer ends up generating a police report.
Q: The Insurance Company Told Me I Don’t Need to Hire a Lawyer. Is that True?
A: Likely not. Once an accident has taken place, the interests of an injured person can be very different from the interests of the offending party’s insurance company. The at-fault driver’s insurance company has an interest in protecting its driver or insured and resolving a claim as cheaply as possible.
We typically hear from clients after they have tried to work things out with the insurance companies involved and become frustrated and don’t think they are being treated fairly.
Speak to a personal injury lawyer directly and early to get an accurate assessment regarding your case and your rights and allow the attorney to protect your interests and deal with the insurance company.
Q: Should I Go to the Doctor After a Car Accident
A: Yes. If you believe you’ve been injured following a car crash, your best bet is to seek medical attention right away. Always err on the side of caution unless you’re absolutely sure you’re okay. This is a rule that has already been learned firsthand by anyone who’s ever suffered delayed injuries after a collision which is common. A latent onset of symptoms (i.e. a situation where you don’t “feel” your injury until several days or weeks following the underlying trauma that prompted it) may sometimes lead you to believe that you’re not hurt when you actually are.
From a litigation perspective, your failure to seek medical attention immediately following your accident may end up having a negative impact on a future personal injury case. For one, the initial delay may raise questions of credibility concerning the seriousness of your injuries. How badly could you have been hurt if you didn’t even need to go to the hospital or see a doctor right away?
Secondly, the delay may raise questions as to the true cause of your injuries. For example, if a period of three months elapsed from the time of the accident until the time you first sought treatment, a jury might find that it was possible your injuries could have resulted from a different accident occurring somewhere during that three-month period.
Third, the delay might give rise to an inference that you only pursued medical treatment after being persuaded to do so by your lawyer.
Finally, the delay may be viewed as a failure to mitigate damages on your part because you could have acted sooner to begin the healing and recovery process for your injuries.
Q: Will The Information I Share With You Remain Private?
A: Yes. Lawyers are obligated to keep your information private in accordance with rules governing confidentiality and privilege. These rules exist to foster candid conversations between a client and their attorney. We have a “shoot straight” policy where we encourage our clients to give it to us straight and we strive to do the same in return.
These are just a handful of questions we routinely field from clients. If you or a loved one have been injured at the hands of another, feel free to reach out with any question you may have.
Discuss Your Case with an Indiana Car Accident Lawyer
Were you the victim of a car accident in Indiana? Contact Custy Law Firm | Accident & Injury Lawyers to discuss the details and receive legal advice. We’ll provide you with a free consultation to review your case and determine if it’s something we can move forward with and represent you.
We understand the devastation of getting hurt and trying to recover while also dealing with the legal aspect of a personal injury case. When you hire us, we will be sure to make this process as simple for you as possible. You can depend on us to handle the complicated stuff so you can focus on healing.
To find out how Custy Law Firm | Accident & Injury Lawyers can help you recover compensation after a car wreck, speak to one of our Indiana car accident lawyers. Call us at (219) 286-7361 today.