Archive for October, 2019

31
Oct

What Should I Do If I Get Into a Truck Accident in Indiana?

October 31, 2019

In the United States, accidents involving commercial vehicles typically cause more damage and injury than a routine car accident. Because of the many risks associated with large trucks on the road, Indiana traffic law takes truck accidents very seriously. If you are involved in a truck accident in Indiana, you should take the following steps.

Call the Police

Regardless of the extent of damage or injuries, you should call the police. They can file an official report holding responsible parties accountable. This report is an important aspect of a personal injury claim.

Request an Ambulance If There Are Injuries

The law requires that non-injured parties in a vehicle accident immediately tend to the care of injured parties. If someone has been injured, make sure to request an ambulance while on the phone with 911.

If possible, move those who are injured from the scene to a safe place. However, if it appears that the injured party has suffered a head or spine injury, do not attempt to move them. Once the emergency response team arrives, they will handle the patient in a way that will not further aggravate the injuries.

Collect Names and Contact Info from Involved Parties

If you are able, get names and contact information from all who witnessed the accident. Should you file a personal injury claim, your attorney will need to speak with them.

Make sure to note if anyone noticed any unusual behavior in the other drivers involved. Anyone exhibiting signs of sleep deprivation or drunkenness should be reported to the responding police officers at the scene.

Collect Insurance, Driver’s License Info, and UDOT Numbers from the Involved Parties

In order for you and the other drivers to receive compensation for damages or injuries caused by the accident, you will need one another’s information. This includes information proving that the drivers involved have a valid driver’s license and insurance coverage for the state of Indiana. If truck drivers were involved, make sure to get their UDOT numbers.

Take Pictures of the Scene

If you can, take photos of the scene of the accident. Focus on the damage to your car, as well as damage to property around the scene where the accident took place. Additionally, take pictures of license plate numbers. Make sure to also take pictures of any injuries once the injured parties have been tended to.

Contact Your Insurance Company

As soon as you are able, contact your car insurance provider to file a claim. In the days following the accident, you may be contacted by insurance adjusters from the other drivers’ insurance companies. Decline to speak with them. Simply deal directly with your insurance company and your attorney.

Talk to a Truck Accident Attorney

The aftermath of an accident involving a commercial truck can be complex. Because several companies may be liable for the accident, they will all try to make the case that the other drivers (namely you) were at fault for the accident. Therefore, you should talk to a truck accident attorney right away. They will be able to advise you on your next steps.

Additionally, if you or someone you love was injured in an accident, you may be eligible for compensation. These damages include medical expenses, cost of ongoing treatment, damage to property, and even emotional losses sustained as a result of the accident.

For more information about how an Indiana attorney can help you with your truck accident case, contact Stewart & Stewart Attorneys at 800-333-3529 or visit our website.

25
Oct

Is There a Statute of Limitations for a Motor Vehicle Accident Claim?

October 25, 2019

In the state of Indiana, personal injury claims for motor vehicle accidents have a two-year statute of limitations from the date of the accident. 

What Is a Statute of Limitations?

In personal injury law, a statute of limitations is the time limit in which the plaintiff (the individual suing for damages) may file a claim for a personal injury lawsuit. Individuals suing the responsible party for damages must do so within the statute of limitations, or else they risk losing an opportunity to seek compensation.

Those injured in a car accident must seek medical assistance as soon as possible to determine the extent of the injuries. Waiting too long could result in Indiana courts dismissing the claim since it is more likely that any injuries were caused by events after the car accident.

What Are Some Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations?

There are some exceptions to the standard two-year statute of limitations. However, most exceptions actually shorten the time frame rather than extend it. Here are a few examples:

  • Individuals who seek to hold an Indiana government organization responsible for injuries and property damage are allowed a nine-month statute of limitations from the date of the car accident.
  • Individuals who seek to hold an Indiana city or county responsible for damages in a car accident case are allowed only a six-month statute of limitations.
  • Minors are not allowed to file a personal injury claim for themselves. Therefore, they are allowed a two-year statute of limitations from the date of their 18th birthday.

While there have been rare exceptions granted to plaintiffs seeking damages after the standard statute of limitations, most people who attempt to file a personal injury claim late often see their case dismissed by Indiana courts.

What Is Involved with Filing a Personal Injury Claim?

When filing a personal injury claim after a car accident, Indiana courts grant the defendant (the individual or organization you claim to be at fault for the accident) an opportunity to respond to the claim.

If the defendant does not admit guilt, then your attorney will begin building your case. Both sides proceed to gather evidence through the discovery phase before taking your personal injury case to court.

Most personal injury lawsuits take anywhere from six months to three years in the state of Indiana. Because of the length of time it may take to defend their case, as well as court costs, many defendants make a settlement offer to the plaintiff early on in the process. 

Is It a Good Idea to Accept a Settlement Offer?

Not all settlement offers are fair. That’s why you should allow a personal injury attorney to guide you through the process. They will be able to advise you whether it is in your best interest to take the settlement or to settle your case in the courtroom.

Your entire personal injury case doesn’t need to be resolved within the two-year statute of limitations. It is only required that you file your intent to sue (known as your complaint) within the statute of limitations.

For more information about how an Indiana car accident attorney can help you with your case, contact Stewart & Stewart Attorneys at 800-333-3529, or visit our website.