Your case is worth either what you agree with the insurance company it’s worth or the amount of a cash award by a jury following a trial. We examine all of the conditions surrounding your case in order to arrive at a figure that we believe the insurance company should pay for your injuries. Generally, the dollar value is dependent upon (1) how strong liability is in your case, and (2) the nature and extent of your injuries. Other factors influencing the dollar value of your case are the amount of medical bills, length of treatment, frequency of treatment, future medical bills, permanent disabilities, and whether you had any preexisting medical conditions similar to your current injury. We study every detail so that we can get you the money you deserve for your injuries.
Even if the other driver doesn’t have any insurance, you may still be covered. Check with our office. We can look at your auto insurance policy and advise you whether there is coverage for your property damages and medical bills. Optional coverage for medical payments and uninsured motorist coverage, for example, may provide coverage to compensate you if you are involved in an auto accident with someone who has no insurance.
In some states, there are “no fault” laws in place. In those states, if you’re hurt in an accident, no matter who is at fault, personal injury protection (PIP) will pay your medical bills, expenses and loss of income. Indiana is not a “no fault” state, so PIP coverage does not apply to accidents in Indiana. However, if an Indiana resident is injured in an accident occurring in a no-fault state, PIP may apply. Uninsured Motorist (UM) or underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage is an optional coverage you may have under your auto policy which protects you if the driver who caused your accident was uninsured or did not have enough insurance—underinsured—to pay your claim. UIM coverage helps make up the difference in a negligent driver’s insurance policy limits and the damages you suffered from your injuries. This is important because the emergency room bill alone could easily be many times higher than the $25,000 minimum liability coverage Indiana drivers are required to carry. When buying car insurance, think seriously about getting UM and UIM coverage. Hopefully you’ll never need it, but if you do, it could make the difference in keeping your family afloat while you’re recovering.
You may be entitled to a number of different types of damages under Indiana law. Some of the more common types of damages in accident cases are: reasonable and necessary medical expenses, lost earnings, reduced earning capacity in the future, future medical expenses and prescriptions, pain and suffering, and permanent impairment.
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you should see a doctor right away. Firstly, you should see a doctor for your own well-being. You may not be able to discern the extent of your injuries yourself; a small ache could be something significant, or it could be nothing at all. Only a doctor can tell you for sure. Secondly, you should see a doctor because if you decide to bring a legal claim against the at-fault driver or another party, you will need documentation of your injuries and what you did to fix them.
Some states have no-fault insurance laws. This means that you may be able to make some recovery of economic damages from your own insurance company. In other states, if your fault is found to be over a certain level, it is more difficult to recover compensation. An attorney in your state can advise you on the rules in your area.
Before you accept anything — or sign anything — from an insurance company, be sure that you are aware of your legal rights and options. Accepting a check may mean that you are giving up your right to sue later on if you need extra medical care or you have to miss a lot of work. Consult an attorney before you negotiate with the insurance company.
Even though your state may require all drivers to carry a certain level of auto insurance, that doesn’t mean that everyone follows the law. This is why some states require insurance companies to offer drivers uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. If your insurance policy has this feature, then it may compensate you for some of your losses.
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, there may be parties other than the at-fault driver who share responsibility for what happened. If the accident occurred because the other driver was drunk, and a business served alcohol to the visibly intoxicated driver before the accident, your state’s dram shop law may allow you to hold the business liable; this varies from state to state. If a defect in one of the autos caused or worsened the accident, the vehicle manufacturer may be responsible for the injuries that resulted. Or a third party may have left debris in the road or caused one of the drivers involved in the accident to undertake a risky driving maneuver to avoid collision. Finally, if the owner of the car driven by the at-fault driver negligently allowed the driver to use the car, the owner may be liable, too.
DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.
About the Lawyers
Stephen Wagner and Jason Reese can handle your motor vehicle accident claim with years of experience and proven results. Call the law firm of Wagner Reese today 888-710-9377 for your FREE consultation!