Indiana Car Accident Lawyers
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, 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 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.
Your Top Priority After an Accident Should Be to Seek Medical Treatment
When you get injured in an auto accident, even if the injury is minor, you should seek medical care. It’s the most important thing you should do. Some injuries seem like no big deal at first, but over time they can develop into something more severe or produce new symptoms.
One of the factors that could contribute to a denied claim is what’s called a “gap in treatment.” When you sustain an injury from an accident and wait to see a doctor or skip an appointment, that’s a gap in treatment and can negatively affect your case. Without medical records showing your injuries and a history of consistent treatment, you won’t have enough evidence to prove your claim.
After a car crash, you should go to the emergency room for a full medical evaluation. The attending physician will examine you and perform imaging testing, if necessary. They will diagnose your injury and refer you for further treatment so you can recover.
Throughout your care, your doctors will note your progress. They will continue seeing you until you heal completely or heal as much as they believe you can. Once they release you from care, you’ll be able to move forward with seeking compensation from an insurance claim or a lawsuit against the at-fault party.
Witnesses Can Strengthen Your Claim
Even if there’s clear liability on the part of the other motorist, you should still try to find witnesses to the accident. Having accounts of the accident outside of your own can ensure the insurance adjuster doesn’t try to blame you for the crash.
Before leaving the accident scene, you should write down the names and phone numbers of everyone who saw what happened, including other drivers involved in the collision and any bystanders. If your injury is severe and you can’t spend time speaking to the witnesses, don’t worry. Your Indiana car accident lawyer will track them down by referencing the traffic crash report that the investigating officer wrote.
A witness can support the details you remember and build a stronger case for you. When it’s not just your word but multiple people providing the same information, it will be difficult for the insurance adjuster reviewing your claim to deny your compensation or place some of the fault on you.
The Police Report Will Provide Crucial Details
When you get into a car accident, you should call 911. Make sure an officer comes out to the scene to investigate what happened. They will speak to you and the other driver, bystanders, and anyone else involved in the crash.
Based on their findings, they will write in their report about how the accident happened and who caused it. In some situations, they will issue a citation to the at-fault driver. For example, if the other person who caused your injuries ran a red light, the officer will notate that on the report and write that person a citation.
A police report also contains the contact information for witnesses, so you or your Indiana car accident lawyer can get in touch with them. If there were multiple drivers involved in the collision, their contact information will also be in the report. You can also find insurance information for each motorist. That will be helpful when you need to file an insurance claim with the negligent driver’s insurance carrier.
The facts of the accident written on the crash report can become an essential piece of evidence in an auto accident case. When there’s documentation showing someone else caused your injuries, it will be impossible for anyone to question the validity of your claim.
The Insurance Company Is Not On Your Side
The goal of any auto insurance company is to save money. They want to pay you the smallest settlement possible to settle your case. Insurance adjusters will use every trick in the book to settle your claim quickly so they can close out your file and move on to the next one.
Victims of auto accidents feel pressure to settle for less than they deserve because they might be unfamiliar with how the process works. Most people don’t realize there’s room for negotiation. Just because you say no to the first offer doesn’t mean you don’t have a chance to receive another offer.
If you’re unhappy with the initial settlement offer, you can turn it down and negotiate for something higher based on the evidence you can provide. Having an Indiana car accident lawyer by your side could benefit you. Custy Law Firm 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.
Discuss Your Case with an Indiana Car Accident Lawyer
Were you the victim of a car accident in Indiana? Contact Custy Law Firm 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 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.