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Anyone who has been in a minor car collision in Indiana probably knows the drill. The crash happens. You and the others involved exchange essential data. Insurance company name and policy number, vehicle registration material, and personal contact information. However, sometimes conditions warrant police to the scene. In most cases a settlement becomes a matter of negotiation with the insurance companies.

After investigating, adjusters could conclude you share fault for the crash. This means the settlement offer could be less than what it will take to fully compensate you. Even for the total damage to your vehicle. If you were injured in the crash, you could be blamed for shared fault. It’s important to consult a skilled attorney to be sure that you understand your rights and how to exercise them.

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Having an Attorney Can Make a Difference

In the event of a dispute over fault, a skilled attorney can advocate for you from beginning to end. In addition to being able to marshal resources for accident investigation and reconstruction, the attorney has depth of experience in framing matters in the context of any possible medical care or long-term financial needs that you might face to obtain optimal results with insurers.

After an appropriate settlement is agreed upon, if the insurer or other driver fails to deliver, civil action might be called for. And once again, having an attorney at your side will be crucial. You will want to be sure that you bring your case within the two-year statute of limitations set by state law in most cases. If the at-fault party is the state or local government, the window for action is restricted to just 270 or 180 days, respectively.

Should it happen that you win your case and obtain a court order for compensation, you still must collect. And if the defendant still refuses to pay, further legal action might be required. This could include garnishing wages or funds in bank accounts. And again, an attorney can help.

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Gayle Gerling Pettinga

Born and raised in Evansville, Gayle is a respected, experienced lawyer and a valued community leader. She graduated near the top of her class at Indiana University’s prestigious Maurer School of Law. She’s practiced law with one of the largest firms in Indianapolis as well as one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. And that means she knows how big law firms and big companies think and how they operate – and she will put that knowledge to work for you.

Gayle has received numerous awards and honors including Martindale-Hubbell — Peer Review Rated: AV®, American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys 10 Best Attorneys in Indiana for Exceptional and Outstanding Client Service, and YWCA Evansville 100 Years, 100 Women Honoree, 2011.

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