- Do you need to hire a lawyer?
- Carmel Car Accident FAQs
- What to do after an accident
- Statute of limitations
- Comparative fault
- Common car crash causes
- The pain of wrongful death
- Getting legal help
An auto accident is one of the most frightening experiences that can occur in a person’s life, and the trauma often does not end with the accident itself. Many victims suffer serious injuries that permanently affect their quality of life, leaving them with expensive medical bills and rehabilitative care expenses, and increased dependence on family and friends. Fatal car accidents can destroy the lives of the deceased victim’s family and friends, both emotionally and financially.
Are you wondering what to do after a car accident? If you or a loved one has been involved in an automobile accident caused by the negligence of another motorist, you have a right to injury compensation. At the law firm of Doehrman Buba Ring, we will protect your rights and fight for justice on your behalf. Our Carmel car accident lawyers have helped countless individuals obtain the financial compensation they need and deserve, and we will fight for you.
Do You Need a Carmel Car Accident Lawyer?
In some instances, car accident claims can be resolved without the assistance of a lawyer. When an accident causes serious injury or extensive property damage, however, an attorney’s assistance can be crucial to obtaining just compensation from car accident settlements.
Often, insurance companies attempt to under-represent the value of car accident claims and offer smaller settlements than victims may be rightfully entitled to. Many times, victims who try to handle their own legal affairs after a car wreck are left bearing the majority of the expenses from an accident that was not their fault. Further, if the at-fault driver is underinsured or has no insurance, you could end up fighting against your own insurance company.
Our experienced Carmel personal injury attorneys can determine the true value of your traffic accident claim and the amount of compensation to which you are entitled. Throughout our firm’s history, we have obtained multiple million-dollar verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients.
Carmel Car Accident FAQs
How long does a car accident case take to settle?
The amount of time it takes to settle a car accident case is highly variable and can range from a few months to several years. Complex cases, particularly involving serious injuries, often take longer to resolve. Also, when the facts of the case, such as the cause of the accident or who is to blame, are disputed, it often takes longer to reach a resolution.
What can I be compensated for after a car accident?
In a car accident case, the injured victim usually gets reimbursed for all medical costs related to the accident. They can also get reimbursed for lost wages and reduced earning capacity due to the injury, and they may get additional compensation for their pain and suffering.
What type of evidence is useful in a car accident case?
Anything that documents what happened in the accident and the extent of the victim’s injuries should be preserved as evidence. This could include pictures of the road conditions and cars involved in the accident, information about witnesses at the scene, and the police report, as well as all records of medical treatment and diagnosis.
What if the other driver’s insurance company denies my claim?
Insurance companies don’t want to pay out claims, so they will use any excuse to deny your claim if they can. If the other driver was at fault but their insurance company refuses to accept responsibility, it’s a good time to hire an attorney to go to bat for you.
What To Do After an Accident
There are several things you’ll want to do at the scene of the accident. First, check to make sure no one is injured. If you or anyone else involved in the accident has sustained injuries, or if there is property damage of at least $1,000, call the police immediately.
When you get in a car accident in Indiana, you’re legally required to share your name, your address, and your registration number with the other people involved in the accident. If you damage a vehicle that is unoccupied, such as a parked car, you must try and find the vehicle owner. If the owner is nowhere in sight, you are required to leave a note with your name, address, and registration number in an obvious location on the damaged vehicle. Similarly, if you cause an accident that damages someone’s property (not a vehicle), you must try and find the property owner. Failing that, you must call law enforcement officials and give them your name, your address, and your registration number, as well as your driver’s license number if requested.
There is additional information that you are not required to give or obtain, but which can help your case move more smoothly. It’s a good idea to write down the contact information of all the involved parties in the accident, as well as the contact information of any witnesses. Specifically, you should record everyone’s phone numbers, license plates numbers, driver’s license numbers, and insurance information. It’s also a good idea to record descriptions of all vehicles involved, along with the make and model.
You should also write down the names and badge numbers of any police who show up at the accident scene. Ask the police officer at the scene for a copy of the police report.
As soon as possible after the accident, call your insurance provider to file a Certificate of Compliance (COC), which should cover the accident date and all the involved vehicles. If you fail to do this after an accident, you may have your driving privileges suspended.
Statute of Limitations
After an accident, car accident victims have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit, starting on the date of the accident, (Indiana Code section 34-11-2-4). However, if you’re suing for property damage alone (because a car hit your house, for example), you usually have six years from the time of the accident. On the other hand, if you were involved in an accident with a government entity (such as an accident with a city bus or an accident that occurred on government property), you may have less than two years to file a claim.
The statue of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim is slightly different. This claim must be filed within two years of the deceased person’s death, which may have occurred after the date of the accident, (Indiana Code section 34-23-1-1).\
Carmel Injury Statistics
The number of personal injuries in Carmel remained relatively constant from 1996 to 2005. After an increase in 2006, personal injuries each year fell substantially till about 2009. From 2009 to 2016, the amount of personal injuries each year leveled off roughly at the same amount observed form 1996 to 2005.
Since 1996, the amount of accident fatalities has stayed between 0 and 3 for any given year. However, in 2007, there were 5 accident fatalities.
Although the amount of personal injuries in Carmel has been increasing each year, it has not been increasing at the same rate as road growth. In other words, roads are being built at a faster rate, meaning that there are less personal injuries per road mile in Carmel.
The amount of accident fatalities in Carmel per road mile has decreased slightly since 1996 with a few upward spikes in 1999, 2001, 2003, and 2007.
In Indiana, car accident cases are decided based on comparative fault, as outlined in the Indiana Comparative Fault Act. Under the comparative fault system, the fault is assigned to three different parties: the plaintiff (the person bringing the case), the defendant (the person the plaintiff is bringing the case against) and a non-party. A non-party refers to a third party who may be partly at fault in the case but who is not involved in the lawsuit because the plaintiff has declined to sue them. In some cases, there may not be a third party involved in the case, so the fault will be divided only between the plaintiff and the defendant.
The jury in a car accident case decides who was at fault in the accident and to what extent. For example, the jury may decide the plaintiff was 30% at fault and the defendant was 70% at fault. Or the jury may decide the plaintiff was 30% at fault, the defendant 50% at fault, and the non-party 20% at fault.
As long as the plaintiff’s share of the fault is 50% or below, the plaintiff can recover money for damages from the defendant’s insurance. But if the jury finds the plaintiff 51% or more at fault, the plaintiff cannot recover any damages. (This is sometimes called the 51% Rule.) The plaintiff recovers damages based on his or her percentage of the fault. So a plaintiff may be awarded $100,000 in damages, but if the plaintiff is 30% at fault, he or she will recover only $70,000.
Fault is usually determined based on witness statements, police reports, medical records, photos of the accident scene, and photos of damage to the vehicles or property. In other cases, fault may be presumed because a driver has hit a parked car or rear-ended someone.
Common Injuries in Indiana Accidents
The list of injuries that can occur as a result of an accident is extensive. In an effort to help accident victims, we’ve compiled information on some of the most common accident injuries that our office assists clients with below.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries often occur when an accident causes a jolt, blow, or penetrating injury to the head. However, a traumatic brain injury can also occur because of a lack of oxygen, or from the swelling that results from an illness. Some of the most common symptoms of traumatic brain injury include:
- Memory loss
- Balance issues
- Impaired concentration
- Vision problems
- Impaired language skills
Treatment for a brain injury can include rest, medication, cognitive rehabilitation, speech, and occupational therapy, and in life-threatening situations, surgery.
Spinal Cord Injuries
People who suffer spinal cord injuries may find themselves dealing with one or more of the following long-term symptoms and effects:
Like traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries may be treated with rehab and physical therapy. However, if the damage is too severe, it may not be possible to regain certain bodily functions.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Many accidents result in soft tissue injuries. In the case of car crashes, these injuries usually take the form of whiplash. In other accidents, sprains to ankles, knees, shoulders, and wrists are more common.
For individuals who suffer a soft tissue injury, the following symptoms are quite common:
- Limited mobility
- Muscle cramping
The specific treatment plan for a soft tissue injury will depend on the nature of the damage. Generally speaking, however, rest, ice, compression, and elevation will help a great deal. In more severe cases, doctors may order medication and surgical procedures.
In accidents that involve a building or vehicle catching fire, burn injuries are very common. Burns also often result from exposure to toxic chemicals, or from accidental electrocutions. In some cases, these burns can be relatively minor. In others, they can be quite serious.
People who suffer a burn injury are likely to face many of the following symptoms and health concerns:
- Peeling skin
- Severe pain
Treatment for burn injuries generally depends on the severity of the injury. In most cases, however, some combination of ointment, painkillers, and antibiotics will likely be recommended by the prescribing physician. Severe burns may require multiple painful skin graft surgeries, and may leave the victim permanently disabled and disfigured.
Internal injuries can happen in just about any kind of accident. These injuries can have a sizeable impact on the impacted individual’s ability to breathe, digest food, and carry out regular bodily functions.
Unfortunately, internal injuries can be quite difficult to spot in the immediate aftermath of an accident without the help of a doctor. When this occurs, the eventual consequences of the injury are likely to worsen.
What to Do if You Are Injured in an Accident Caused By Someone Else’s Negligence
If you sustained an injury due to someone else’s careless or reckless behavior, there are two things that you should do as soon as possible:
Seek Medical Attention
Without question, your first concern should always be your health and wellbeing. As soon as possible, visit a physician for a thorough examination. Not only does seeing a doctor put you in the best position to heal from your injuries, but it also creates important records of your treatment that will serve as important evidence in proving your right to receive compensation.
Hire an Experienced Lawyer
After addressing your immediate medical needs, contact a skilled personal injury attorney. Hiring a lawyer is undoubtedly the best way to protect and enforce your legal rights to receive payment from the party who harmed you.
Common Car Crash Causes
Unfortunately, it takes only a moment of inattention, distraction, or poor judgment on the part of another driver to cause an injury that can change lives forever. In many cases, motor vehicle accidents (MVA) are the result of:
- Distracted drivers, including cell phone use and texting while driving
- Reckless driving
- Drunk driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs
- Defective auto products
- Poor vehicle crash worthiness
Among the most devastating, yet tragically common, injuries caused by automobile accidents are traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury. These severe injuries can require millions of dollars in medical treatments over a lifetime. Too often, the tragic end to a car crash is the wrongful death of the accident victim. Our experienced Carmel auto accident lawyers review car accident reports for you and are prepared to stand up for victims and their families and hold accountable those whose negligent disregard for the safety of others has created pain and hardship. We’ll see your injury claim through to insure you get what you deserve. You can also view our TBI Resource Guide for advice on dealing with the pain of living with a brain injury.
The Pain of Wrongful Death
The death of a beloved family member in a fatal car accident not only causes grief and financial loss; it also raises a two painful questions: Why did this accident happen? Who is at fault? We will do everything we can to get the facts about the accident, including the car accident reports, so you can hopefully get answers as well as financial relief.
Our national board certified civil trial lawyers work with accident reconstructionists and other experts who help investigate car accident scenes and build compelling cases for our clients.
We will work diligently to determine the full extent of the financial hardship your family is facing due to your loss. We may be able to secure compensation for lost earnings, emotional pain and suffering, lost companionship, and other damages. We will handle all of the legal details.
Contact Our Carmel Auto Accident Attorneys Now
If you or someone close to you has been injured in a car crash, it is in your best interest to understand your legal rights by scheduling a free case evaluation with an experienced car accident lawyer. You can contact our Carmel personal injury lawyers today online or by telephone at (317) 844-9999 for a free consultation.
Other Motor Vehicle Cases We Handle
- Car Accident and Coronavirus, Don’t Wait to Get Medical Treatment
- Getting Medical Care After a Car Accident
- How Do I Recover Lost Wages After an Accident?
- How to Report a Car Accident in Indiana
- The Average Settlement for a Car Accident in Indiana
- Hit-and-Run Accidents Are on the Rise in Indianapolis
- Ranking Indiana’s Most Dangerous Counties for Drunk Driving
- Why You Should NEVER Sign a Release After an Indiana Accident
- Is Indiana a No Fault or At Fault Accident State?
- In an Accident Not At Fault but No Insurance. Can You Still File a Claim?