When you’re in a car accident, it can throw you for a loop. Not only do you have the shock of the accident, but you may also be dealing with trauma, injuries, and property damages. Every state law differs in how liability is determined. It’s a good idea to understand your state’s laws.
A car accident lawyer in Indianapolis can help you understand what your options are if you’ve been in a car accident. Check out these three important things to know if you or a loved one has experienced a car accident in Indiana.
- Indiana is an At-Fault State
Indiana, and therefore Indianapolis, takes an at-fault approach to car accidents. When someone is determined to be at fault, they will be responsible for the damages of the other driver(s) involved in the crash.
The person, or people, not at fault would receive the damages from the other driver determined to be at fault. It is possible for more than one person to be considered at fault. In this case, there would be a split of damages, depending on how the fault is allocated.
When more than one person is determined to be at fault, you typically cannot recover damages exceeding 50%, or the allocated portion, of your fault. This can get pretty complicated sometimes, which is why contacting an Indianapolis car accident lawyer can be helpful.
The damages that can be considered for compensation include the following:
- Medical expenses for any injuries related to the car accident
- Property damage expenses (vehicles, personal items, structures, etc.)
- Lost wages due to missed work or inability to work
- Pain and suffering
- Car Insurance Requirements
Every state can set its own requirements for car insurance, just as it can for fault and liability purposes. Indiana has specific requirements for carrying car insurance. You can be cited and fined if you fail to be insured properly.
These are Indiana’s minimum requirements:
- Minimum of $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident for bodily injury liability
- Minimum of $25,000 per accident for property damage liability
- Minimum of $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident for uninsured motorist bodily injury
- Minimum of $25,000 per accident for uninsured motorist property damage
- Minimum of $50,000 per person/$50,000 per accident for underinsured motorist bodily injury
In some cases, an individual can decline uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, but this is required to be in writing.
More on Insurance Coverage
Understanding these terms can get confusing when it comes to insurance coverage. They use distinct terminology and if you aren’t familiar with it, you may not immediately know what certain things mean.
Here’s a quick rundown:
- Comprehensive: covers physical damage based on external events, such as hail damage.
- Collision: covers physical damage from a collision, or physical contact with another vehicle or object.
- Liability: covers damages to another party when you are at fault. Includes medical bills, wages, property damage, etc. This is not for your damages, only other parties.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist: covers damages caused by an underinsured or uninsured driver to you.
- What to Do After an Accident
Following a car accident, how you respond can make a difference in what happens in terms of a settlement. It’s important to take action immediately to avoid any issues caused by a delay. The sooner you take action, the smoother the process will usually be.
Never accept or admit fault at the scene or to anyone around you. Even if you know you are at fault, you never want to speak those words as this could have a negative effect on your claim.
Follow these steps if you experience a car accident:
- Move off the road if possible and safe to do so.
- If you have even minor injuries, seek medical treatment right away.
- Be sure to exchange insurance and contact information with all involved parties.
- Get a copy of any police report.
- Take pictures, document the scene, and consider other possible sources of reliable testimony. Are there nearby cameras? Were there witnesses?
- Get in touch quickly with an experienced car accident lawyer in Indianapolis.
Insurance Companies Take the Cheapest Way Out
Your insurance company will do a great job making you feel like they care and are on your side. The person you speak to likely does care. However, when it comes down to the claims processing, your insurance company will always try to settle for as little money as possible.
Chances are what they offer you won’t even be close to what you could get. Watch for these tactics and don’t agree to anything without an attorney:
- Statements like “this is the highest amount you can receive”
- “We require a recorded statement from you”
- “You can’t have your attorney present when you speak with us”
These are lies. You have the right to an attorney as well as to negotiation. Don’t speak to the insurance company alone.
Get Experienced Support After a Car Accident
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, you need to hire an experienced car accident attorney in Indianapolis. They are the best resource to ensure you get the care that you need and deserve. Using an attorney is the most effective way to receive maximum compensation following an injury accident.
Don’t face this alone.