An auto accident can leave you or your loved ones with serious injuries and property damage. Auto accidents can even cause death. Although the pain and suffering cannot be reversed, Indiana laws allow you to receive compensation for physical injuries, pain and suffering, and recovery of all expenses incurred as a result of the car accident. The law, however, does not work automatically. Plaintiffs require the services of auto injury attorneys to help them navigate the complexity of the personal injury claim process.
How Can Auto Injury Attorneys in Indianapolis Help?
You are entitled to compensation when the negligence of another driver leads to an accident that leaves you with serious injuries. However, you are still entitled to compensation even when the accident left you with only minor injuries. While most insurance companies are aware of the compensation requirement, they will work to ensure you receive the least amount of compensation. Auto injury attorneys in Indianapolis, in contrast, offer their experience in auto accidents to fight for maximum compensation for your injuries.
The insurance companies are in business and are always inclined to their bottom line. To increase their profits, insurance companies convince victims of auto accidents to accept compensation proposals without their attorneys. Plaintiffs seeking compensation from insurance companies should never accept proposals in the absence of their attorneys. From experience, the auto injury lawyer can estimate the amount of compensation to be issued to the plaintiff.
The events that follow an auto accident also determine the amount of compensation to be awarded to the plaintiff. Victims of auto accidents are, therefore, advised to contact an auto injury attorney after seeking medical attention for injuries sustained during the accident. If possible, contacting an attorney should happen immediately after the victim is safe. The attorney will help in:
- Collection of evidence from the accident scene and police reports
- Preparation of documentation to form the foundation of a compensation claim
- Collection of evidence for medical expense reimbursement and calculation of pain and suffering compensation amounts
Indianapolis auto injury attorneys also help the plaintiff to understand the complexity of auto accident compensation claims as explained below.
Is Indiana a No-Fault State?
Laws relating to auto injury compensation vary from state to state. Some states use the no-fault principle while others use the at-fault principle. Indiana is an at-fault state. An at-fault state means the state laws compel the party at fault to compensate victims of their negligent acts. That means a victim of an auto accident in an at-fault state is entitled to compensation from the insurance company that covers the driver who caused the accident.
In a no-fault state, each driver receives medical expense reimbursements from their insurance companies. That means a no-fault state does not apportion liability to the driver that caused the accident.
Some at-fault states also have the comparative fault clause. The comparative fault clause seeks to apportion liability to all the parties involved in an auto accident. In the comparative fault principle, a driver who is partly responsible for the accident is not entitled to full compensation. The jury deducts part of the compensation if it establishes the victim was partly responsible for the accident.
Does Indiana Have Personal Injury Protection Requirements?
Indiana does not mandate drivers to have personal injury protection (PIP). Some Indiana insurance companies do not offer PIP services. Instead, some insurance companies in Indiana cover medical expenses arising from the treatment of injuries sustained in auto accidents.
PIP is common in no-fault states, but remember we mentioned earlier that Indiana is an at-fault state. That means the insurance company of the at-fault driver pays for medical expenses for all victims of their negligent acts. In the no-fault states, PIP covers medical expenses regardless of who was at fault.
How Do Drivers in Indianapolis Secure Insurance for Personal Injuries Suffered in an Automobile Accident?
Since Indiana is a tort state, drivers are not legally required to have a PIP. However, truck drivers or any other motorists are required to have insurance to cover their personal injury in an automobile accident. Each driver is required by law to have a minimum insurance cover of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident to cover bodily injury.
How Are Pain and Suffering Calculated in Indiana?
Medical expenses, lost wages, and other economic damages are easy to assign a dollar value. However, non-economic damages like pain and suffering are not easy to quantify. Different states have come up with various methods of calculating the value of pain and suffering. In Indiana, the amount of compensation for pain and suffering depends on;
- Type of injury
- Permanency of the injury
- Cost of treating the injury
- And the evidence available
To calculate the amount of compensation, Indiana uses a multiplier of 1-5 to assign a dollar value to a pain and suffering claim. Minor injuries use lower multipliers while serious injuries are assigned the highest multiplier. If the medical expenses amount to $300,000 for instance, compensation for pain and suffering could be $600,000 when a multiplier of two is used.
Next Steps for Legal Help from Auto Injury Attorneys in Indianapolis
As seen above, auto injuries are more complex than they appear to be. Sometimes it may not be easy to navigate the complexities without the help of auto injury attorneys. In fact, plaintiffs who chose to pursue their compensation claims alone make costly mistakes along the way that reduce the amount of compensation they would have received.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an auto accident, getting professional help from Indiana auto injury attorneys should be a priority. At Wagner Reese, we understand that accidents can sometimes leave you confused, especially when the injuries are severe. That’s why we offer free consultation and guidance on what to do after you have been involved in an auto accident. Our staff offers their services with compassion and care that relieves some of the burdens from your shoulders. Contact us today at (866) 957-6614 to schedule a free consultation.