What Auto Accidents Are Eligible for Personal Injury Cases?

auto accidents

After experiencing an auto accident, you will want to know if you have a personal injury case on your hands. Not every motor vehicle accident requires you to involve a personal injury law firm. Sometimes accidents happen. Maybe your vehicle slid on the ice and crashed into a fence, or you hit a deer.

In those situations, you don’t have anyone to take financial responsibility besides yourself or your insurer, depending on your coverage. Additionally, a minor accident with minimal expenses might not warrant an insurance claim or legal action.

However, many car accidents do deserve the attention of an auto accident lawyer. Significant financial damages, negligence, or bad faith insurance could very well make an accident eligible for a personal injury action.

You Suffered Significant Damages
The cost of your damages directly relates to the likelihood of starting a personal injury case. The whole point of personal injury law is to enable accident victims to collect compensation to cover their losses. Although the pain and potential disability of your injuries cannot be undone, you may be able to recover compensation for your damages.

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If you’re facing big bills and other losses after a car accident, you should investigate your rights under personal injury law. Most accidents that require you to file an insurance claim would benefit from the advice of a personal injury lawyer in Indiana. A lawyer can supply information about what expenses you can claim and assist with the accident investigation.

Indiana has adopted a modified comparative fault system, commonly referred to as the 51% Rule. If the Court determines that your actions contributed 51% or more to the accident, then you will not be entitled to compensation from the other driver and that person’s insurer. Many factors play into determining fault, therefore it’s important to consult a personal injury attorney to assess your case.

In some situations, you may need to file a claim on your own policy. For example, being hit by an uninsured driver, even if it was not your fault, forces you to look at your own uninsured driver coverage. Either way, you need to document what happened and the financial impact of the accident to receive a settlement.

Car accident injuries that can produce high damages:

  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Spinal cord and back injuries
  • Burns
  • Internal organ damage
  • Broken bones
  • Facial disfigurement
  • Amputation
  • Whiplash
  • Soft-tissue injuries
  • Lacerations
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

People never fully recover from some of these injuries, which means they need to collect substantial insurance settlements. Even if you do recover, your financial damages can escalate quickly, especially if you lose income for weeks or months.

auto accidents

You Are the Victim of Negligence
As an at-fault state, Indiana car accident cases focus on negligence. Whoever acted negligently has the legal responsibility to pay. Sometimes the evidence shows that you and the other party both were at fault. As long as your actions were less than 50% of the cause of the crash, you still have a legal right to partial compensation.

A thorough investigation is likely needed to pinpoint exactly who acted negligently. A police report from the accident scene might support your case or be somewhat inconclusive. Typically, a police report only serves as a starting point for an investigation led by your injury attorney. A legal team can take photos of the accident scene, organize your medical records, interview witnesses, and consult independent experts when their testimony is needed.

Negligence can occur in almost limitless ways. In the arena of car accidents, negligence takes the form of:

  • Drunk or drugged driving
  • Speeding
  • Failure to yield
  • Drowsy driving
  • Distracted driving

Accidents that can inflict terrible injuries and may involve negligence include:

  • T-bone collisions
  • Head-on collisions
  • Rear-end collisions
  • Hit-and-run accidents
  • Intersection accidents
  • Multi-vehicle pileups
  • Commercial truck accidents
  • Rollovers

An Insurer Acts in Bad Faith
Many companies operate in the insurance sector. Although all insurers take steps to limit what they pay on claims, some companies go too far with their tactics against claimants and enter the legal territory known as bad faith.
Bad faith insurance occurs when:

Your claim is denied without a legitimate reason.
The insurer takes too long to respond to your claim.

Bad faith actions are meant to get an accident victim to give up or accept an unreasonably low settlement. When insurers drag their feet, they may be hoping to run out the clock on the statute of limitations.

auto accidents

In Indiana, you generally have two years from the date of a car accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. Exceeding the statute of limitations eliminates your legal ability to recover damages. The two-year period conceivably gives you time to negotiate a settlement without going to court. If you run into problems, you could initiate a court case before the deadline. The timeline is even tighter if the responsible party is a government agency. You may be required to file a Tort Claims Notice to a governing entity within 180 days of the incident or your claims may be barred.

If you have become frustrated with how an insurer handles your car accident case, you can ask an injury attorney for an independent opinion. An insurer does not necessarily have the final word on whether you receive compensation, and communications from your lawyer may prompt an insurer to recognize your losses. If necessary, your lawsuit might go all the way to trial, where a jury would decide the outcome.

When you approach an insurer without legal representation, the insurance adjuster may perceive your position as weak. You might also make mistakes when speaking with an adjuster that gives the insurer a reason to devalue your claim for damages. For this reason, a consultation with an auto accident lawyer is recommended as soon as you think that you have a personal injury case.

A Personal Injury Law Firm That Fights for Victims
At Webster & Garino LLC, we will evaluate the circumstances of your motor vehicle accident to see if you have a viable personal injury claim. Many people hurt in accidents are uncertain about their rights and what an insurance policy might pay for. As your personal injury lawyer in Indiana, we are fully prepared to engage in tough negotiations with an insurer or take the company to court, especially when you have experienced costly and life-changing injuries.

Our legal support will help you focus on healing and recovery while we deal with the complex details of negotiating an insurance settlement. To schedule a free consultation, call 317-565-1818 or email us today.

auto accidents