ACCIDENT LAWYER CARING FOR YOU AFTER A CAR WRECK IN HIGHLAND
Being involved in a car accident is a situation with potentially life-changing consequences. From fatalities to serious injuries, loss of income, exorbitant medical bills, to the need to recover costs, there are several issues that can arise, and these can come alongside hefty financial responsibilities.
Indiana allows for the possibility that the victim of such an incident could recover any costs and financial losses from the driver deemed to be at fault. Winning such a case could take a weight off your shoulders after an accident.
What Should I Do If I’m Involved in A Car Accident?
The process of bringing a car accident lawsuit to fruition occurs as soon as the incident has occurred. Indiana law states that:
“ if a car accident results in the injury or death of another person, or in damage to an unattended vehicle or other property whose owner can’t be located or notified, the driver (s) involved in the crash must ‘as soon as possible, immediately give notice of the accident, or ensure that another person gives notice of the accident, by the quickest means of communication’ to
- The local police department, if the accident occurs in a municipality
- The office of the county sheriff, or the nearest state police post, if the accident occurs outside a municipality,
- A 911 operator”
We recommend that you do not admit fault at the scene, and do not give any statements to anyone other than the police (and even do that cautiously) without first speaking to an attorney. Prioritize the safety of yourself and those around you, and make sure you do not talk about your accident to anyone until you reach a qualified attorney.
What Information Do I Need?
If you have been in a car accident, write down the following:
- The full name, address, phone number, driver’s license number, and insurance information for all drivers.
- The full names, addresses, and phone numbers for all passengers, pedestrians, witnesses, and vehicle owners.
- Location, date, and time of the accident.
- A detailed description of the accident, including which direction the vehicles were going, weather conditions, time of day, what happened, any injuries and what was damaged.
- Any problems with vehicles not caused by the accident, such as broken lights or worn-down tires.
Any visible or known conditions of any drivers or passengers such as drugs, alcohol, disabilities, eyeglasses, cell phone use, seat belt use, etc
Should I contact an attorney?
Yes. Contact Hilbrich Law Firm to discuss your case. We provide free consultations and take these cases on contingency fee cases, which means if there is no recovery, there is no attorney fee.
Should I contact my insurance company?
Yes. Failure to contact or cooperate with your insurance company may reduce or eliminate your coverage. Also, you may have rights and benefits under your policy that you may not know of. However, we recommend you contact us first.
Should I talk to the other driver’s insurance company? What if they call me?
No, not without an attorney. You have no obligation to do so. Contact Hilbrich Law Firm before you speak to any insurance company representatives.
What should I bring to my attorney?
Items you should bring include:
- Pictures of the vehicles involved;
- Pictures of the scene of the accident;
- A copy of your vehicle’s repair estimate;
- A copy of the accident report;
- Information about the person who caused the accident and his/her insurance claim information;
- Names and contact information of any witnesses;
- Your medical records and bills;
- Pictures of your injuries;
- Your insurance policy and claim information; and
- A list of healthcare providers you treated with for your injuries.
What Is an “At-Fault State?”
Indiana is an “at-fault” state, meaning that anyone who is injured or suffers damages in a vehicular accident must prove a driver was negligent and file a claim with the liable driver’s insurance policy or his own company if the driver or vehicle was not insured.In the event that a claimant’s damages are expensive or medical bills exceed the compensation limits set by the liable driver’s policy, he may be entitled to file a claim with his own insurance company, for the remaining amount. They can also personally sue the other party involved.
What Is “No Pay, No Play?”
In addition to being an “at-fault” state, Indiana also abides by the “no pay, no play” principle. Essentially, if an uninsured motorist is injured or suffers damages in a car accident and an insured driver is at fault, the uninsured driver will not be permitted to claim any financial compensation for physical injury, pain, suffering, or mental anguish. It should be noted that this is only applicable to a motorist who was uninsured at the time of the accident and who has received a prior violation in the state.
Liability insurance can cover the driver of the insured vehicle in question, even if they are not the registered owner. This can allow family and friends to be protected, as well as neighbors, coworkers, and anyone else with permission to drive the car. The policy will typically cover damages, injuries, and medical bills for passengers, pedestrians, and any other drivers.
Motorists are also suggested to attain uninsured/underinsured motor coverage, to allow extra compensation and protection if the driver is involved in an accident where the liable party is uninsured or underinsured.
What Can I Claim For?
There are a range of damages and items which can be claimed if you are successful, but you must prove they were caused by the negligence of the driver. These include:
- Physical injuries, disability, and impairment
- Pain and suffering
- Vehicle repairs and damage
- Lost income and earning capacity
- Healthcare and hospital bills
- Physical therapy costs and expenses
- Medication co-pays
- Emotional distress
- Loss of use of vehicle
- Diminished value of vehicle
How Long Do I Have To File A Claim?
The statute of limitations gives adult claimants a maximum of two years to file a lawsuit, starting from the day the accident occurred. If you attempt to file a claim after this period, it is likely your case will not be considered.
What Are My Next Steps?
If you feel you have a claim for a case involving a car accident, get in touch today. Call us at (219) 924-2427. Here at Hilbrich Law Firm, our team of personal injury attorneys has the knowledge you need to move forward and the commitment to work with you every step of the way.