There’s settling a car accident claim, and collecting

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. If conditions warrant, someone calls the police to the scene, but in most cases settling becomes a matter of negotiation with the insurance companies.

If after investigating, adjusters conclude you share fault for the crash, 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, the implications of shared fault could be even greater. To be sure that you understand your rights and how to exercise them, consult a skilled attorney who will go to the mat on your behalf.

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 balks at paying, further legal action might be required, such as garnishing wages or funds in bank accounts. And again, an attorney can help.

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