Yes, you can contact a lawyer while at the accident scene and ask them for advice. Dealing with the immediate aftermath of an auto collision can be stressful for anyone, and you might not be in the right state of mind to handle things yourself.
Let’s take a look at how a car accident lawyer can help ensure that you take the proper steps after a collision.
What Is the Required Procedure for Drivers Involved in Car Accidents?
Indiana’s vehicle accident laws include specific instructions on what to do if you are ever involved in a car crash. All drivers are required to:
- Stay at the crash scene or as close to it as possible
- Share names, addresses, contact details, and insurance information
- Provide medical assistance to injured parties
- Notify 911, the county sheriff, or the local police department of the incident
There are also special requirements for accidents that involve unattended vehicles or other property, including notifying the vehicle or property owner of the accident. If you have already taken reasonable steps to no avail, you must contact a local law enforcement agency. They will make the report and notify the owner on your behalf.
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How Can a Car Accident Lawyer Help Me While at the Accident Scene?
As mentioned above, a collision can cause enough stress to make drivers forget or ignore the proper procedure for handling accidents. By calling a lawyer, you can have someone who is familiar with Indiana’s accident laws there to guide you through each step.
For instance, a lawyer could help you take photos and videos of the crash scene for documentation purposes. They could also advise you on how to respond when you are speaking with other involved parties. For example, apologizing to the other driver, even when you are less liable than them, could be used against you later when determining fault.
The other driver may immediately try to compensate you at the accident scene, perhaps to avoid dealing with their insurance company or a potential lawsuit. You may be tempted to accept it, but it would be best to consult with a car accident lawyer first. Your injuries and vehicle damage expenses may end up being much costlier than the driver’s offer.
What If I Cannot Call a Lawyer Right Away?
If you cannot call an attorney while at the accident scene, contact one as soon as possible afterward. They can check if you followed the steps listed above and speak with the other driver’s insurance company for you.
Here are some other ways that a lawyer can help you, even if you could not call them at the accident scene:
Gather Evidence of Your Expenses
A car accident lawyer can help collect evidence for your insurance claim, such as vehicle crash reports, dashcam videos, and eyewitness testimonies. They can also begin compiling your accident-related expenses, such as medical treatments and auto repairs. Doing this now can help when calculating your total damages later on.
Confirm Any Laws That Impact Your Accident
An accident attorney can confirm if there are relevant laws that might support your side. For example, the other driver may have been driving under the influence (DUI). Because driving while intoxicated endangers others on the road, you could use the violation as further proof of their negligence in the accident.
Advise You Whether to File a Claim or Lawsuit
A lawyer can review the liable driver’s insurance policy to see if it might sufficiently cover your accident-related expenses. This will help them recommend if you should proceed with an insurance claim or an accident lawsuit. If the other driver hurt you on purpose, the lawyer will likely suggest that you file a lawsuit – insurance providers typically do not cover intentional acts by policyholders.
Determine the Statute of Limitations
An attorney can determine the filing deadline for your accident case based on the applicable statute of limitations. While the standard time limit in Indiana is two years, you may have tolling exceptions that could move your due date. For instance, when filing a case for a minor, the statute timer begins when they turn 18 years old.
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Get in Touch with an Indiana Car Accident Lawyer Now
If you did not contact a lawyer whilst at the accident scene, do not hesitate to contact one now. An Indiana car accident lawyer from the office of Sevenish Law Firm, P.C. is ready to help you pursue compensation from the responsible driver or other parties. We can also help you better understand the laws and procedures for your settlement.
Since 1985, our law firm has worked with clients on auto collisions and other injury cases throughout Indiana. To learn more, call us or fill out the contact form on our website to schedule a free case review.