Injured in a Car Accident in Indiana?
Injuries sustained from a car accident in Indiana have the potential to cause more than just immediate distress; they could lead to life-long disability and considerable financial hardship. Thankfully, in Indiana, when another person or entity is responsible for the accident, you have the right to seek compensation for the injuries and damage you’ve sustained. However, maximizing your Indiana personal injury settlement will require the assistance of an experienced Indiana auto accident lawyer.
The attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP have years of experience in personal injury litigation. We’ve protected the rights of dozens of Hoosiers who have been injured in a car accident in Indiana and stand ready to build a strong case on your behalf. If you need a fierce advocate in your fight to receive the compensation you deserve, call the Keffer Hirschauer LLP at (317) 857-0160 or schedule a free consultation.
Common Types of Car Accidents in Indiana
While every car accident in Indiana is unique to its own circumstances, there are several types of accidents that tend to happen more often and/or cause more serious personal injuries. These include head-on collisions, rear-end crashes, right-angle collisions, sideswipes and run-off-road collisions.
- Head-on Collision: This type of collision occurs when the front portion of two cars collide with one another. In 2020*, head-on collisions were responsible for nearly 5% of all non-fatal collisions in Indiana.
- Rear-End Collision: When the front end of a vehicle collides with the rear end of another vehicle, it’s considered a rear-end collision. This is one of the most common types of car accidents in Indiana, making up a total of 22% of all non-fatal collisions in 2020*.
- Right-Angle Collision: These types of collisions, commonly known as getting “t-boned,” often occur at intersections, when two cars crash into each other while traveling on perpendicular roads. In 2020*, right angle collisions were the most common type of non-fatal car accident in Indiana, accounting for 23% of all non-fatal collisions.
- Run-Off-Road Collision: Based on most recent data*, run-off-road collisions make up about 21% of non-fatal collisions in Indiana and are responsible for the most fatal car accidents. Although run-off-road collisions are often single-car accidents, some incidents are caused by drivers swerving to avoid another road user. In these situations, the injured driver may be able to seek compensation for their injuries and property damage.
- Sideswipe Accidents: When a vehicle scrapes along the side of another, it’s considered to be a sideswipe accident. Although these types of accidents do not always result in injury, they do tend to cause significant property damage. They’re also quite common in Indiana, accounting for 5% of all non-fatal collisions in 2020*.
* Source: Indiana Crash Facts 2020; a publication of the Indiana University Public Policy Institute in partnership with the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute
Five Steps to Take Following a Car Accident in Indiana
Being injured in a car accident can be an incredibly traumatic and confusing experience, and many people are often left wondering: “what am I supposed to do?” Below we’ve outlined some of the initial steps you should take following a car accident in Indiana that resulted in injury. However, as soon as you feel comfortable doing so, you should contact Indiana auto accident lawyer to ensure that your questions are being answered appropriately and that your case is being evaluated by an experienced professional who understand the process of recovering damages for injuries sustained in a car accident in Indiana. If you’d like to speak with one of our Keffer Hirschauer LLP today, feel free to contact us at (317) 857-0160 or schedule a free consultation.
#1 – Report the Car Accident in Indiana to the Police
If possible, the first thing that you should do following an injury sustained in a car accident in Indiana is to report the accident to the police. Upon speaking with you, the police will document the details of the accident on an Indiana crash report. This report should include:
- the type of car accident that occurred
- the parties involved
- vehicle makes and models
- location of accident/collision
- directions of travel
- insurance companies of those involved
Reporting the situation to the police is the first step in creating an official record of your accident, damages and injury. This will prove to be useful later in the process when filing a personal injury claim in Indiana.
#2 – Seek Medical Treatment
If you’ve sustained an injury from a car accident in Indiana, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Obviously, this is vital to ensuring your own health and well-being, but it’s also an important step in creating documentation and evidence of your injuries. When receiving medical care, your medical provider will create a record of certain elements of your injury, including your account of the accident, the date and time of your visit, and most importantly, their professional assessment regarding the extent of your injuries.
When you receive medical treatment, it’s recommended that you also ask the attending medical professional to provide a written or typed document outlining the treatments or procedures you will require in the near and distant future. Some questions that you may want them to address in this document include:
- Is rehab or surgery required?
- What long-term disabilities might arise from your injury?
- What medications will you need and for how long?
- How long will you need to recover?
- What sort of assistance will you need at home?
- When can you return to work?
#3 – Contact an Indiana Personal Injury Attorney
After seeking medical attention and filing a report with the police, you should promptly contact a personal injury attorney in Indiana. Why? Following an injury, memories tend to fade quickly and important evidence supporting your injury claim can be lost, unless it’s promptly identified and preserved. Furthermore, you’ll need to file a personal injury claim with your insurance company and it’s best to do so with the help of the best Indianapolis personal injury attorney you can find. If you don’t already have an attorney, The Keffer Hirschauer LLP at Keffer Hirschauer LLP would be glad to speak with the insurance companies on your behalf, and work alongside you as we gather evidence supporting your claim.
#4 – File a Personal Injury Claim
If you’re seeking compensation for the injuries you’ve sustained in a car accident in Indiana, you’ll need to submit an insurance claim to both your insurance and the insurance company of those responsible for your injury. Once submitted, the insurance companies will then collect some information regarding the incident. However, your lawyer is often the person who will do most of the investigative work. A good personal injury lawyer will collect accident reports, medical records, and statements from all of the parties involved.
If the responsible party’s insurance company believes that you have a valid personal injury claim, they may offer you a small amount of money as a settlement. However, these settlement offers are often far below the fair value of your injuries. The insurance company’s goal here is to entice you with a dollar amount that would make you happy in the moment and prevent you from filing a lawsuit.
In situations like these, it’s best to have an experienced injury lawyer speaking with the insurance company on your behalf. They would better understand the circumstances of the settlement offer and would be able to provide you with sound advice about whether to take the settlement offer or move forward with filing a personal injury lawsuit.
#5 – Collect and Preserve Evidence of the Car Accident in Indiana
Once you’ve filed your claim, you should work on collecting and preserving as much evidence as possible regarding both the accident and the injury. If you don’t feel up to doing this kind of work, you can ask a loved one to help you or depend on the services of your Indiana personal injury attorney.
Example Evidence to Collect and Preserve:
- Photographs from the scene of the accident
- Eyewitness testimony
- Police records of the accident
- Photographs of your injuries
- Medical records
- Medical receipts for expenses
- Proof of lost wages
- Testimony from family/friends about changes to daily life
- Testimony from counselors or psychological professionals
Establishing Fault or Negligence in Indiana
To recover damages following a car accident in Indiana, you must establish that (a) the defendant (the other driver) was at fault in causing the injuries you sustained from the car accident in Indiana; and (b) prove the damages that you have sustained from their misconduct. When it comes to establishing fault, your personal injury attorney will aim to demonstrate that the defendant’s intentional actions caused your injuries, as well as any other losses, such as damage to your vehicle.
Most personal injury lawsuits, however, don’t involve intentional, harmful actions. Instead, they are often the product careless—or negligent—actions. If this is the case, your attorney may attempt to demonstrate that the other party’s actions qualify as negligence, and that those negligent actions were responsible for your injury. In Indiana, there are four rules for establishing negligence: (1) The person or entity owed you a duty; (2) the person or entity breached that duty; (3) the breach of duty caused your injury; (4) the actions caused damages.
Comparative Fault in Indiana Personal Injury Law
Sometimes, when two parties are involved in a car accident in Indiana, both bear some fault for the collision. In situations like this, Indiana personal injury law applies the comparative fault rule set out in Indiana Code 34-51-2 to determine who is responsible for an injury.
Using the Indiana comparative fault rule, each party is assigned a percentage of fault for the incident, and if the injured person is determined to be less than 50% at fault, he or she has the right to a personal injury claim. Conversely, when an injured person is deemed to be more than 50% at fault, they may not be entitled to full damages. The percentage of fault is significant because, if you are awarded damages in your case, your award will be reduced by the percentage you are determined to be at fault.
Injured in a Car Accident in Indiana? Call the Keffer Hirschauer LLP Today.
Personal injury litigation can be emotionally challenging and exceedingly difficult to handle on your own. To recover damages and receive the compensation you truly deserve, you’ll have to hire an Indiana auto accident lawyer with a strong track record of success. If you’re ready to start working on your case, call the contact Keffer Hirschauer LLP at (317) 857-0160 or schedule a free consultation with our team today. We can help you understand your case, navigate litigation, and ultimately, pursue the maximum compensation you deserve for your injuries stemming from a car accident in Indiana.