How to Find the Right Indiana Injury Attorneys
What is a personal injury attorney and when do you need one? Indiana injury attorneys are key to prevailing in a personal injury case. They represent an injured party during the insurance claims process, settlement negotiations, and litigation. With the right attorney at the helm, you can successfully navigate the claims process and any necessary legal procedures to maximize the compensation recovered for your injuries and losses.
The Indiana personal injury lawyers at Keffer Hirschauer LLP give you the confidence to know that your case is in the capable hands of an attorney with the drive and experience to lighten your burden and get you the compensation you deserve.
What to Look for in Indiana Injury Attorneys
Indiana personal injury lawyers fill several roles during litigation—building your case, communicating with the defense attorney and the court, dealing with the insurance company, and negotiating a settlement. Due to the important role your Indiana injury attorney has in the outcome of your case, it is essential to find a person and law firm you can trust.
When hiring Indiana injury attorneys, knowing what you are looking for is helpful before meeting with a prospective lawyer. While courtroom skills and experience with insurance companies are important, you should also seek an attorney you trust who is a good fit for you personally. A lawsuit can be very challenging, so having a skilled Indiana injury attorney with whom you work well is important.
Knowing how to find a personal injury lawyer requires understanding the role your Indiana injury attorney will play in negotiation and litigation as well as locating an attorney who handles the kind of personal injury case you have. This general overview of what Indiana personal injury lawyers do and the elements involved in personal injury cases will help you find the best lawyer to handle your case.
Indiana Personal Injury Lawyers Need Experience with Insurance Companies
While the named defendant is the person who causes your injury, the insurance company and its attorneys generally will manage the defense against your claim or lawsuit. The role of the defendant’s insurance company starts when you make an insurance claim and they investigate your injury. Throughout the investigation, the defendant’s insurance company will contact you for information on your injury, medical treatment, and the cause and consequences of your injury.
Dealing with insurance companies can be intimidating and overwhelming, particularly for someone without experience doing so. When you hire an Indiana personal injury lawyer, your attorney will inform the insurance to direct all communications through the lawyer, so you no longer have to carry that burden.
With your help, your attorney will also collect the evidence needed to best present a persuasive and documented claim to the insurance company. In addition, your Indiana injury attorney can be present during your interview with the insurance company to advise and protect you.
Your Attorney Should Have Personal Injury Litigation Experience
Personal injury litigation is technical and procedural, with characteristics and pitfalls that differ from cases in other practice areas. Experienced Indiana personal injury lawyers understand this and can ensure the proper handling of your lawsuit. However, litigation is more than following rules; you also need an attorney who understands how to build a strong case and utilize the evidence to your advantage.
An Indiana injury attorney can help you from the beginning by ensuring you file your lawsuit within the timeframe required by Indiana law. Indiana Code § 34-11-2-4 requires any lawsuit for damages arising from a personal injury to be filed within two years of the injury.
Once the lawsuit begins, your attorney handles all communication with the insurance company and the defendant’s lawyers. The communication is not limited to the opposing parties, though, as you must also communicate with the court. Communicating with the court goes beyond hearings and a trial as your attorney will attend case management meetings with the court to discuss the progress of your case. An attorney with litigation experience understands how to effectively communicate with the court overseeing your case and will know how that court prefers to operate.
Indiana Injury Attorneys Need Experience in the Courtroom
An attorney with experience handling formal hearings and trials can give your lawsuit an advantage. Should your case go to trial, you want someone who has been in the courtroom fighting for their clients, not someone handling a trial for the first time. Working with an attorney with trial experience can also provide an advantage in negotiating a settlement. Defense attorneys and insurance companies are more likely to settle if they know of the plaintiff’s attorney reputation as a highly effective trial attorney.
Indiana Personal Injury Lawyers Must Have Excellent Negotiation Skills
Most lawsuits do not go to trial but, instead, reach an agreement to settle the claim. Your attorney’s negotiation abilities are important when working toward a settlement with the defense attorney or insurance company. Negotiating skills go further than communicating offers and rejections as attorneys must use the facts and law on their side to build an argument that leverages the strong points of their case into a settlement that best meets the needs and goals of their client.
Attorneys generally develop negotiating abilities through handling many lawsuits and spending time in the courtroom, sharpening their argument and case-building skills. Without these skills, the defense attorney may not take the negotiations seriously, knowing the other attorney does not represent a challenge in court. However, a seasoned litigation attorney brings to your case the skills earned through previous trial and settlement negotiations and through working with an accomplished team of fellow injury attorneys, all of which gives you a distinct advantage.
You Need an Indiana Injury Attorney You Can Trust
If you are struggling with how to find Indiana personal injury lawyers that fit your needs, one of the most important things to measure is your trust and comfort level with the person who will represent you. A personal injury lawsuit is likely to be one of the most difficult challenges you will face, and you may feel overwhelmed. As a result, attorneys are often the first person you will turn to for help processing your emotions about the lawsuit, making it essential that you trust and have a good relationship with your attorney.
During a lawsuit, you will work very closely with your attorney and share personal details about your life, including past medical history and how your life has changed due to your injury. Having an attorney that you trust is essential for you to be able to communicate regarding difficult personal issues comfortably, clearly, and completely.
The Role of Indiana Injury Attorneys during Litigation
Litigation is a broad term that includes the filing and management (prosecution or defense) of a lawsuit. It entails all actions from the beginning of a case through to the end. During a lawsuit, the plaintiff files a complaint, engages in discovery (locating and gathering evidence), and pursues the lawsuit through its resolution through settlement, trial, or alternative dispute resolution. At every stage, the actions taken in the case must follow the Indiana Rules of Trial Procedure.
Beginning the Lawsuit and Discovery
To begin a lawsuit, the plaintiff must file a complaint that lays out the claims against the defendant. Indiana injury attorneys can ensure your claim is complete, timely filed, and properly presented. The filing of the complaint formally initiates the lawsuit, after which the parties participate in discovery.
During discovery, the plaintiff must respond to written questions from the defendant and provide records pertaining to their injuries and the accident. An attorney can help the plaintiff prepare their responses and collect all the evidence they must turn over to the defendant. Significantly, the discovery process in Indiana requires both parties to exchange all information obtained through their investigation.
Additionally, the defendant has the right to request a formal statement from the plaintiff to be recorded in a deposition. During a deposition, the defendant’s attorney will ask questions about the accident, your injuries, your medical treatment, and any lingering effects from your injuries. Your Indiana injury attorney will attend the deposition with you and protect you from unreasonable or harassing questions.
Resolving the Lawsuit
Good attorneys separate themselves from the pack when it comes time to resolve the lawsuit, whether by trial or alternative dispute resolution. Here, the attorney’s role includes preparing your case strategy and argument, preparing and interviewing witnesses, and presenting the plaintiff’s case in front of a jury or judge. Your attorney’s job is to convince the jury or judge of your right to compensation—formally known as damages—because of the injuries arising from the defendant’s actions.
Similarly, the parties can choose to use alternative dispute resolution, such as arbitration or mediation, to resolve the issues raised in your lawsuit. Mediation uses a neutral third party as a go-between for the two parties. The mediator works with both sides to settle the case for an amount agreed to by both parties, while an arbitrator hears the evidence and awards the damages he or she deems appropriate.
In both situations, an attorney must present your case in the best light to convince the mediator or arbitrator that you are entitled to recover damages under Indiana law. An attorney should prepare for the mediation or arbitration similarly to a trial and work to prepare the plaintiff’s best argument supported by strong evidence. Regardless of the type of case, it is important to have an attorney who is ready and willing to fight for the damages you deserve.
Common Cases Indiana Injury Attorneys Handle
While each case is unique and has its own set of facts, experienced Indiana injury attorneys know how to take what they learn from one case and successfully use it in another type of personal injury case. The litigation process is very similar for all cases, but each lawsuit has its own facts and applicable laws that attorneys must be aware of and understand. Common cases Indiana injury attorneys handle include:
- Car accident
- Truck accident
- Motorcycle accident
- Dog bite injuries
- Insurance claims
- Premises liability
- Slip and fall injuries
- Nursing home abuse
- Wrongful death
Regardless of the type of case, it is important to know that your attorney has experience handling similar cases. In addition to understanding the most effective arguments to make, an experienced attorney will know how to best argue your case and the best strategies for maximizing compensation to be recovered for your injuries and type of case.
Damages an Injury Attorney Can Help You Recover
Generally, the more severe the injury, the more you can recover from the defendant. In most cases, plaintiffs may recover economic and non-economic damages for their injuries. Indiana injury attorneys can explain the damages you can anticipate recovering for your injuries so you know what to expect.
Non-economic damages compensate plaintiffs for pain and suffering caused by their injuries, as well as any loss of quality of life after the accident. Economic damages compensate plaintiffs for financial losses arising from their injuries. Financial losses can include:
- Medical expenses
- Past and future lost wages
- Diminished earning capacity
- Property damages or loss
Your case may also involve a loss of consortium case for your spouse.
Regardless of your injuries, a strong attorney can help you recover damages necessary to compensate you for your injuries. The severity of injuries dictating the recovery. As a result, certain causes of injuries generally lead to higher recovery of damages. These high recovery cases often include:
- Truck accidents
- Wrongful death cases
- Motorcycle accidents
When you suffer an injury due to another person’s actions, an attorney can help you maximize the compensation you recover. An attorney with litigation experience, including in trial and negotiating and a similarly experienced team of colleagues and support staff, can provide the best opportunity of recovering the damages you deserve.
Work with the Right Indiana Injury Attorneys
Litigation is a complex and emotionally challenging time that can be hard to handle on your own. Experienced and knowledgeable Indiana injury attorneys can help you navigate litigation and lessen its impact on your life while ensuring you get the maximum compensation. For help with a personal injury lawsuit, contact Keffer Hirschauer LLP at (317) 857-0160 or send us a message to schedule a free consultation.