Driving-related accidents are relatively common in every state, with Indiana reporting more than 200,000 collision incidents in 2018, according to data in the Indiana University Public Policy Institute’s report. Among these, nearly 15% resulted in injuries. If you were among the injured, you might have incurred medical expenses, vehicle repair costs, and lost earnings as a result.
Fortunately, the Indiana car accident lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help ease the financial burden. With more than 30 years of experience, they will provide sound legal advice when seeking just compensation from those liable. Reach out at (800) 794-0444 today to speak to one of their representatives.
What to Do After a Car Accident
Following a vehicle accident, you must take a few steps to prevent repercussions on your future claim.
Collect Evidence from the Scene
A car accident becomes a hit-and-run when one of the parties prematurely leaves the scene. If someone was hurt, the other driver might face criminal charges. If possible, gather any pictures you or someone else may have taken of the scene and the damage. If you left without taking pictures, your lawyer might be able to take them after the fact to gather information about the scene. If you collected a police report, eyewitness contact information, or insurance details from the other driver involved in the accident, pass these on to your lawyer as evidence.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if you do not feel any pain or have any visible injuries, it is best to visit a doctor after the accident. Moreover, the insurance company can deny your claim, especially if they can prove that the injuries came from an existing medical condition.
Never Accept Early Settlement Offers
Refrain from discussing the incident with anyone other than your Indiana car accident lawyer, your insurance company, and the authorities. Also, avoid posting anything on your social media accounts, as doing so could impact your claim. If the other party’s insurance carrier approaches you first, refer them to your attorney, and refuse to accept their initial offer. Early settlements may not include the total cost of treatments and other expenses, and you may be getting a lower amount than you deserve.
You Have Three Legal Options for Car Accident-Related Injuries
Indiana drivers should know that the state implements a fault-based system in determining liability for accident-related damages. It means that those who caused the incident should pay the injured party for the resulting harm. If you are suffering from injuries, any of the following three is your legal recourse:
File a Claim with Your Insurance Carrier
You can submit a claim to your insurance company, which only applies if you have additional coverage for injuries and vehicle damages. It is often an optional rider in most policies and only applicable where no party can cover the losses. Afterward, your carrier will pursue a subrogation claim or reimbursement from the at-fault party’s insurance.
File a Third-Party Claim
Instead of claiming from your insurance, you can collect damages directly from the at-fault driver’s carrier. Even if you are partly responsible for the accident, you may still be able to hold the other party liable for your injuries.
File a Lawsuit
Should the other party dispute your claim, your last recourse is to sue them for personal injury in civil courts. This scenario can go two ways—settle out of court or proceed to trial. If you are interested in getting an attorney, you can consult an Indiana car accident lawyer to discuss your chances of recovering against the other party.
Indiana Is a Comparative Fault State
Negligence is the typical legal basis in most auto accidents—one party was negligent and failed to exercise reasonable care while driving. Because of it, they are responsible for causing the incident. Once proven, they must shoulder the damages stemming from the accident.
However, determining liability is not a hard and fast rule. Indiana uses a modified comparative fault system when multiple parties are at fault for the accident. The state outlines compensatory damages for comparative fault in Indiana Code § 34-51-2. For instance, you suffer injuries when a car crashes into yours. If the reason is the other vehicle collided with yours as you were attempting to beat the red light, you are partly responsible for the accident. Your share of the fault will impact the amount of money you receive in damages.
Insurance companies may try to assign more fault to you to reduce or deny your claim altogether, so you may find it helpful to consult with an attorney first. Let the Indiana car accident lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm help you figure out your contribution to the incident. Get in touch to speak with one of their team members today.
Working with an Accident Lawyer Can Help Your Case
Whether you pursue a claim or lawsuit, a vehicle accident lawyer can help you consider your next steps. In seeking compensation, the burden of proving the other party’s liability lies with you, which is not always an easy task. Your lawyer will do the legwork by collecting and examining all the evidence to establish fault and keep it low if you were partly responsible.
Moreover, they can calculate a fair settlement for you. If you file a claim, many insurance companies will offer a measly amount, arguing that you were also at fault for the accident. A lawyer that understands personal injury law can help you negotiate for higher compensation and justify it. Should you remain unsatisfied with the offer, you can proceed with pursuing litigation.
Turn to Us for Legal Support for your Car Accident
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, our team of Indiana car accident lawyers will fight for the rights of victims like you. We will guide you every step of the way, and work towards financial compensation for your injuries and suffering. If your case goes to trial, we also will provide legal representation in court.
Call us today at (800) 794-0444 to discuss details and possible legal options.