Vehicular Accidents FAQ

//Vehicular Accidents FAQ
When the Stakes Are the Highest. Fighting for Maximum Recovery for Your Loss.
Vehicular Accidents FAQ 2018-06-12T18:09:29+00:00

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.

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 personal injury attorneys, we know how quickly debt can accrue when you have been involved in a car accident. But, it is important to understand 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.

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.

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.

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 experience attorney to help guide your next steps.

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.

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.

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.

The idea that someone will receive 3 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 car accident
  • Pain, suffering, disfigurement, and disability

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.

Those seriously injured in a car accident may require long-term or life-time care. In these types of cases, it is possible the maximum amount available through a policy will be less than 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.

Most property damage claims are easy to file and typically 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.

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

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

In most cases you can still keep your car, even if 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 purchase of a replacement and use the new vehicle as security in the loan.

The insurance adjuster will come out first and estimate cost of repairs and determine value of 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.

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

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.

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 most always be worth more when presented by legal counsel.

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.

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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!

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