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What are your rights if you’re injured in an Indiana auto accident?

On Behalf of | Mar 25, 2022 | Car Accidents

If you are injured in an Indiana automobile accident, after you have been examined and/or treated by a medical professional, schedule a consultation as quickly as you can to discuss your right to compensation with an Indiana car accident attorney.

It is far too easy to sustain serious injuries in a car accident. In 2021, over 200,000 Indiana vehicle crashes were reported. More than 30,000 of those accidents resulted in injuries, including more than 900 fatalities. If a negligent motorist injures you in Indiana, what are your rights?

What steps can you take to recover compensation for your pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical expenses? When should you contact an Indiana car accident lawyer? If you will continue reading this brief introduction to auto accidents in Indiana, those questions are about to be answered.

What Should You Do If You Are Involved in a Traffic Collision?

If you are involved in a car accident, no attorney will be at the scene to provide you with legal advice. However, taking these steps at the accident scene will protect you both medically and legally:

  •  Summon medical attention immediately if you believe you are injured or if anyone else is injured.
  •  Then summon the police. Ask the officers how you can acquire a copy of the accident report.
  •  Exchange contact details with the other motorist: name, address, driver’s license, phone numbers, and details for contacting that driver’s auto insurance company.
  •  If you are able to, take photos of the license plates, the damage to the vehicles, your injuries, and the general accident scene. If there are eyewitnesses, ask for their names and contact details.

Why Is It So Important to Have a Medical Exam?

If you are not treated at the scene of the accident or rushed to the hospital – and even if you feel okay – have a medical examination immediately, within 24 hours if possible, for several reasons:

  • You may have sustained a latent injury. If it is not detected immediately, a latent injury could quickly – or in some cases, slowly – develop into a dangerous medical condition.
  •  Without an immediate exam, if you need to recover damages for pain and suffering, medical bills, and lost wages, you may not be able to tie your injuries directly to that specific accident, and an insurance company might claim that you were injured elsewhere and in some other way.

When Should You Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer?

If a negligent driver has injured you in an Indiana car accident, contact an Indiana car accident attorney to discuss your legal rights as soon as you have been examined and/or treated by a medical professional. There is no reason to wait.

Your personal injury attorney will outline your legal options, explain your rights, and provide the detailed, personalized advice you need. Your attorney will investigate the accident and negotiate on your behalf for the monetary compensation that you are entitled to by Indiana law.

If you have been injured, do not try to act as your own attorney or negotiate directly with the insurance company. Do not answer any questions, make any statements, sign any documents, or accept any settlement offers from the insurance company.

Do not speak to the insurance company until you have consulted an attorney. Refer all of their inquiries to your attorney. You may be contacted by the other driver’s insurance company just a few days after the accident, or sooner, so it is essential to retain an attorney as quickly as possible.

How Will Your Personal Injury Claim Be Handled?

Personal injury attorneys negotiate routinely with insurance companies. They know the negotiating tactics used by the insurance companies, and they know how to negotiate for the compensation – and for the justice – that an injured victim of negligence will need.

Most injury claims are resolved through out-of-court negotiations, so most injury victims do not even have to appear in court. However, if your injury claim is disputed, or if no reasonable settlement offer is forthcoming, your Indiana car accident lawyer can take your case to trial.

If a courtroom trial is necessary, your personal injury attorney will explain to the jurors how the other driver was negligent, how you were injured, and the full extent of your injuries. Your attorney will then ask that jury to order the payment of your compensation.

How Is Fault Determined in an Indiana Car Accident?

Every Indiana driver should know how “comparative fault” and liability are determined after a car accident in this state.

When a personal injury case arising from a car accident goes to trial, the jury hears testimony from both sides, and the jurors are then asked to determine which motorist was responsible – or if both motorists were at-fault, by how much.

Under Indiana law, no motorist who is more than fifty percent at-fault for a car accident may recover damages after the accident. Your injury attorney will explain to you how this state’s complicated comparative fault and negligence laws apply to your own situation.

What Will It Cost to Take Legal Action?

If you’re injured, you may be unable to work, and your monthly obligations will be piling up alongside your unexpected medical expenses. You could be out of work for weeks, months, or in the worst-case scenario, permanently. How can you possibly afford to hire an attorney?

Personal injury lawyers offer initial consultations at no cost. When a personal injury lawyer goes to work on your behalf, you will pay no lawyer’s fee unless – and until – that lawyer obtains a negotiated settlement or a trial verdict on your behalf.

If You’ve Been Injured, What’s Important to Remember?

Again, this cannot be stressed strongly enough, and it is the most important thing to remember after a car accident: Contact an attorney as soon as possible after you’ve been injured by a negligent driver. Let a good personal injury attorney put the law to work for you.

The statute of limitations in Indiana – the deadline for taking legal action – is two years in most cases, but do not wait to schedule a legal consultation. Your lawyer will need to examine the evidence while it’s fresh and speak to any eyewitnesses before their memories begin to fade.

If you have been injured in Indiana in a car accident that was not your fault, and if you and your personal injury attorney can prove it, you will be compensated at the end of the personal injury process, and the law will be on your side.