Car accidents happen every single day and bring with them plenty of stress and anxiety. Along with the property damage accidents cause, you may also be treating for your injuries, dealing with insurance issues, and experiencing financial worries. If you are involved in a car accident, know you have legal rights.
The Indiana car accident attorneys at Gerling Law are ready to help you fight for your rights and compensation.
What to Do Immediately Following a Car Accident
The steps you take after your car accident can significantly affect you and your case. You should be sure to take the following steps, if possible.
Call 911 and request police assistance. If there are injuries, also ask for medical attention. Police will take a police report, and paramedics will treat any injuries. If there is an ambulance on the scene, do not refuse medical attention. You may have injuries you are unaware of at the moment.
If possible, try to collect any information and evidence from the scene. Take photos of the vehicles and the surrounding area and speak to witnesses. Also, be sure to speak to the other driver and get their information. Information to collect should include:
- Name and address,
- Driver license information,
- Vehicle description, and
- Insurance information.
Anything collected from the scene of the accident can help you in the future.
File a Claim
Whether or not you are at fault for the accident, you will need to notify your insurance carrier. You should contact the insurance company as soon as you can. They will ask details about the accident, and you can provide any information you may have. The insurance company will also assign an adjuster who will take care of every aspect of your claim, including vehicle inspections and settlement offers.
Getting Treatment After the Crash
After all of the above steps, the next important step is getting medical treatment. Even if you don’t believe you have any injuries after your accident, you should still see your primary care physician. Tell them about any ache or pain you may be having. Some injuries are not evident right away and take a few days to appear.
If your doctor suggests any medical treatment, be sure to take their advice. Getting medical treatment not only aids in your recovery but also strengthens your case. Be sure you attend all treatment sessions and that every session is well documented.
Damages to Consider in Indiana Car Accidents
Car accidents can mean financial hardship, whether it be for medical reasons or property damage. Seeking damages in your case will help you receive compensation for your losses. The two kinds of damages available for car accidents are economic and non-economic damages.
It is possible to calculate economic damages and assign a dollar amount. They include:
- Medical bills,
- Other medical expenses, and
- Lost income.
Proper documentation supports the calculation of economic damages.
Unlike economic damages, it is not as easy to calculate non-economic damages. They include:
- Pain and suffering,
- Emotional and mental anguish, and
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
Along with documentation, testimony from witnesses or experts can help support non-economic damages.
Your accident attorney will know how to calculate your damages accurately.
Indiana follows a “modified comparative negligence” rule. This rule may affect the amount of compensation you are able to recover. Your damages will ultimately be reduced by the percentage of fault for your share of liability. For example, if you are seeking $100,000 in damages after a car accident but are 20% at fault, your compensation will be reduced to $80,000. However, if you are more than 50% at fault, you will not be able to recover any damages.
Statute of Limitations for Indiana Car Accident Lawsuits
A statute of limitations is a legal time restriction that dictates how long you have to file your lawsuit. This time restriction varies depending on the type of case. In Indiana, the statute of limitations to file your lawsuit is two years after the date of the accident.
If you fail to file your claim within the two-year time limit, you will be unlikely to recover any damages. It is always a good idea to speak to a car accident attorney as soon as possible to get started with your case and avoid going over the statute of limitations.
Hire a Car Accident Lawyer
After a car accident, our team at Gerling Law is ready to help you. We have over 50 years of experience helping clients seek the justice and compensation they deserve. We advocate for your rights while showing care and compassion during a challenging time.
If you have been involved in a car accident, do not hesitate to contact us. During your free case evaluation, we will review your situation and give you candid legal advice.