Yes, you legally have to report an accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. In addition to notifying them, you have to immediately report a car accident to the police if it results in death, injury, or property damage, as IC § 9-26-1-1.1, affirms. Failing to do so can result in a suspended license.
Reporting a Car Accident to Your Insurance Company
Once you and your passengers are safe and have received medical treatment for your injuries, you should report the accident to your insurance company.
Is Reporting Your Accident the Same as Filing a Claim?
Reporting to the insurance company does not necessarily mean that you are filing a claim; however, it can protect your options to file a claim later on if you so choose. Either way, by reporting the accident to your insurer, you are doing your legal duty.
What does Your Insurance Company Do after You Report Your Accident?
Your insurance company will submit an operator’s proof of insurance form on your behalf. According to the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV), this form shows that you have met Indiana’s mandatory insurance requirements.
Without this form, your license may be suspended, so you should report your accident to your insurer even if you are not filing a claim.
For a free legal consultation, call 317-636-7777
Pursuing Compensation for Your Injuries through a Claim or Lawsuit
If you purchased additional coverage, then you can file a claim with your own insurance company. They can take care of your medical bills, lost wages, or property damage expenses, which is especially helpful if the other party didn’t have liability insurance.
However, you still have options if you don’t have this additional insurance. Typically, you would file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company for compensation. Remember that they are not necessarily looking out for your best interests; as a business, the company is looking out for its own bottom line.
Instead of accepting the insurance company’s initial offer, you might want to consider consulting a personal injury lawyer. Your lawyer works for you, not for the insurance company. With that in mind, you can trust them to pursue compensation on your behalf to fight for a favorable outcome in your case.
We Will Investigate Your Accident to Build Your Case
Since Indiana is a fault state, your ability to recover damages is dependent on proving that the other driver was more responsible for the accident than you were.
Using evidence and other resources, our car accident lawyers can demonstrate that the driver owed you a duty to drive safely but violated that duty and ultimately caused your injuries. Forms of evidence include:
- Photos of the accident
- Photos of your injuries
- Video footage
- Eyewitness statements
- Expert witness testimony (e.g., economists, accident reconstruction specialists, your medical team)
- Medical records
- Cell phone records
- The crash report
We Can Quantify Your Damages
There are two main types of damages you can recover through a car accident case: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are compensation for your financial losses, both past and future. That is, if your accident caused injuries that require ongoing care or that limit your ability to work, you can recover these costs. Some economic damages include the following:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Future loss of earning potential
- Transportation and vehicle repair costs
- In-home care assistance
You can also potentially recover non-economic damages that compensate you for your physical pain and mental suffering.
If you lost your loved one to a car accident, you can recover damages for their funeral and burial costs, pain and suffering, medical bills, as well as your loss of inheritance, companionship, and affection.
We Will Negotiate and Advocate on Your Behalf
Once we have built your case, we will fight for what you are owed. We will negotiate with the insurance company for the money you deserve. If negotiation does not work, we will advocate for you through a lawsuit.
We Can Abide By Indiana’s Statute of Limitations
According to IC § 34-11-2-4, you typically have two years in which to file a lawsuit after you are hurt in a car accident. There may be exceptions that impact this time limit, such as if a minor was involved in the accident.
Still, we advise you to contact our firm as soon as you can so we can get started on your case. If you wait past the deadline to file, you might forfeit your right to pursue compensation.
Call Sevenish Law Firm, P.C. to Protect Your Rights
After you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident in Indianapolis, you can count on personal injury attorney Randall Sevenish to fight for your best interests and protect your rights.