Car accidents happen every day in Indiana. These accidents can result in serious injuries to the parties involved, damage to vehicles, and in the worst cases, death for one or more of the drivers and passengers.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Highway Loss Data Institute (IIHS HLDI), 32,719 people died in car accidents in the United States in a single recent year. In Indiana, 783 people died in fatal car crashes that year.
These are just a few of the facts about car accidents in Indiana. These and other vital facts about car accidents, their causes, and the correct way to proceed after you are involved in a car accident are often obscured by pervasive myths.
Familiarize yourself with the common car accident myths that circulate as well as the facts about car accidents. By understanding car accident myths and facts, you can fare much better after an accident has occurred.
1. The laws governing car accident lawsuits and compensation are the same in every state. Wrong!
The laws about these issues actually vary greatly from state to state. One of the main differences between states is fault versus no-fault laws. Indiana is a fault state. This means that when an individual is injured in a car accident, he or she may seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance provider to cover his or her damages, rather than going through his or her own insurance provider.
How fault for a car accident is determined also varies from state to state. For example, Indiana has what is known as a “modified comparative fault” law in place. This means that multiple parties may be found negligent in a car accident, and a party whose negligence contributed to the accident may still receive compensation for his or her damages. However, the amount of money he or she may receive will be reduced in accordance with the level of fault he or she holds for the accident.
For example, an individual who is found to be 20 percent responsible for an accident may recover only 80 percent of the compensation he or she would have been entitled to receive had he or she not been partially at fault.
Another component of this law is the requirement that a driver be less than 51 percent responsible for the accident in order to recover damages. Drivers who are found to bear more than half the fault for the accident may not recover compensation.
Finally, it is important to know the statute of limitations for personal injury claims in your state. This is the period of time following an accident that a victim has to file his or her claim for compensation. In Indiana, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years.
2. Receiving monetary compensation is an automatic process. Wrong!
In order to receive a settlement or a favorable verdict, you need to prove the following:
- That the negligent party’s actions caused the accident to occur.
- This accident directly caused your injury.
- You have accumulated expenses due to injuries caused by the negligent party.
An experienced Indianapolis car accident lawyer can help you obtain the evidence you need to prove these three conditions. Evidence may include photographs of the scene, testimony from witnesses, videos of the accident, and documentation of your medical treatment, as well as other types of evidence. Your lawyer can also work with the negligent party’s insurance provider to negotiate an appropriate settlement amount for you.
3. The Insurance company is working for you. Wrong!
Insurance companies are for-profit businesses. It is in their best interest to pay out as little as possible on a claim. This means that the negligent party’s insurance provider will look for every reason to lower the amount of compensation it pays out to you. This will likely result in a low initial settlement offer. Do not accept this initial offer without first discussing it with your attorney and do not, under any circumstances, discuss the details of your accident or your injury with a representative of the insurance provider without the advice of your attorney. There are many ways a victim can inadvertently say something to an insurance provider that could harm a claim. If you say the wrong thing, you can risk having your settlement amount lowered or your claim rejected.
4. You can easily handle your claim on your own. Wrong!
The overwhelming majority of car accident victims are best served by working with an experienced car accident attorney. In addition to the reasons discussed above, an experienced car accident attorney can aid your claim by:
- Ensuring that all deadlines are met.
- Ensuring that the claim complies with your state’s laws.
- Determining whether a case needs to be handled in court.
- Negotiating insurance providers on your behalf to help you get an adequate settlement amount.
Get Help Now from an Indianapolis Personal Injury Law Firm
If you have been involved in a car accident and suffered an injury, it is important that you seek medical attention for your injury as soon as possible. Once you have done this, contact an experienced Indianapolis car accident attorney at Sevenish Law Firm to schedule a free initial legal consultation.
The legal team at Sevenish Law Firm is here to guide you through each step of the personal injury claim process by providing you with quality legal advice and representation. We can answer the questions you have about the personal injury claim process and help you seek the monetary compensation you deserve.
Call us today at 800.278.9200 to schedule your free, no obligation consultation.