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Car Accident FAQs

How much money is my auto accident case worth?

Your case is worth either what you agree with the insurance company it is 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, the frequency of treatment, future medical bills, permanent disabilities, and whether you had any pre-existing medical conditions similar to your current injury. We study every detail so that we can get you the money you deserve for your injuries.

How long will my car accident claim take to settle?

The answer to this question truly depends on you and if you are willing to fight for what you deserve. If you are looking for a quick and easy settlement, you will be happy to know insurance companies toss out low-ball offers almost immediately following an accident in hopes of settling quickly and with the minimum payout as possible.

But, if you want to recover the maximum amount of compensation for the car accident, it will require more time to settle your claim. The primary factor impacting the length of time it takes to settle a claim is the seriousness of injuries sustained in the car accident and how long the healing process is for those wanting to recover compensation.

As experienced car accident attorneys in Indianapolis, we know how quickly debt can accrue when you have been involved in a car accident. But it is important to understand that if you settle with the insurance company prior to being fully released by your medical provider for treatment of injuries sustained in the car accident, you will become financially responsible for any future medical cost related to those injuries. No further compensation will be granted.

Who will pay the doctor bills and fix my car if the other person has no insurance?

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.

What am I entitled to recover after an accident?

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 include reasonable and necessary medical expenses, lost earnings, reduced earning capacity in the future, future medical expenses and prescriptions, pain and suffering, and permanent impairment.

What if the insurance company refuses to pay for damages to my vehicle?

Contact your insurance company to start the process of getting your car repaired. Let your company request compensation from the other insurance company. If you don’t have collision coverage, contact an experienced attorney to help guide your next steps.

If the car accident was my fault, can I still recover compensation?

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.

What is UIM and PIP coverage on my car insurance and should I pay for it?

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.

I have been in a motor vehicle accident. Should I go to a doctor?

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.

Will I receive three times my medical bills?

The idea that someone will receive three times the costs of medical bills related to the car accident is a theory that has been going around for some time. The answer to this question goes back to the same concepts discussed in the previous question “How much is my car accident injury claim worth?” In short, the answer is probably not. You are more likely to receive more or less, as compensation will be determined by taking several factors into consideration.

Some of those factors can include, but are also not limited to:

  • Lost wages or loss of earning capacity
  • Medical bills related to injuries sustained in a car accident
  • Pain, suffering, disfigurement, and disability

What if the insurance company offers me a check right away?

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 a car accident attorney in Indianapolis before you negotiate with the insurance company.

What if the other driver, who caused the accident, has no insurance?

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.

Are there parties other than the at-fault driver against whom I can take legal action?

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 a 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.

How do policy limits affect my compensation and what if my expenses are greater than the policy limits?

People who are seriously injured in car accidents may require long-term or lifetime care. In these types of cases, it is possible that the maximum amount available through a policy will be less than the total expenses. However, it is also possible that multiple policies exist, and other avenues to recover compensation can be pursued.

The best way to ensure you receive maximum compensation for your injuries is to hire a personal injury law firm to review your case.

How are personal injury claims and property damage claims different, and why are they handled separately?

Most property damage claims are easy to file and typically offer a fixed amount. Therefore, these types of claims are best handled yourself. If the other insurance company denies the claim, you can request repairs through your own insurance company and let your insurance company seek retribution from the other company.

Indiana law requires drivers to carry a minimum of $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident in personal injury coverage, and a minimum of $10,000 in property damage coverage. Just as there are separate claim allowances, these claims are also handled separately and paid out separately by the insurance company. A majority of the settlement will come out of the personal injury coverage; however, any property damage claims are paid out of the required minimum $10,000 in property damage coverage. It is best to handle property damage claims on your own. Attorney fees would absorb most of the settlement awarded in a property damage claim.

What can I claim in property compensation?

The insurance adjuster will determine the value of your vehicle prior to the accident, as well as the vehicle’s value after the accident. In most cases, you are entitled to recover the difference in value.

What if the repair costs more than the vehicle is worth? Can I still keep my car?

If estimated repairs cost more than 75% the Kelley Blue Book Value of the vehicle, it will be totaled by the insurance company, and they will pay you the value.

In most cases, you can still keep your car, even if it is declared totaled by the insurance company. However, the payout for the vehicle tends to be less. Also, future resale of the vehicle is typically affected and the title must be sent to the DMV for proper notation of salvage.

If you owe more than the car is worth, the first step is to contact the lender. Discuss alternate forms of collateral. Once an agreement is reached, you can use the insurance money towards the purchase of a replacement and use the new vehicle as security in the loan.

How many repair estimates should I get?

The insurance adjuster will come out first and estimate the cost of repairs and determine the value of the vehicle. If the insurance company decides to repair the vehicle, you can make arrangements with the body shop of your choice to get the vehicle fixed.

Will the insurance company pay for a rental car?

Typically, yes. You usually have to make your own arrangements and provide documentation to recover compensation for the rental cost.

Can I receive additional compensation if I’ve installed extras on the car?

You can be compensated for new stereos and other non-stock items installed. The amount of compensation determined is the difference in the values of the non-stock and stock items.

Do I need an Indianapolis car accident attorney?

Our Indianapolis car accident lawyers have recovered millions in compensation for victims injured in auto-related accidents. Handling a claim professionally will take time, but it could be worth thousands you may not have received otherwise. Your case will almost always be worth more when presented by legal counsel.

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