Were you hurt in a car accident in Carmel, IN? We can help you seek compensation. Our personal injury attorneys in Carmel, Indiana, are experts in navigating car accident cases and can provide the legal support you need.
No one anticipates being involved in a serious car accident, yet these accidents are all too common in Carmel, IN, and the surrounding areas. Indiana’s traffic fatalities seem to be rising, with an increase of 19 fatalities between 2021 and 2022.
While you may have never anticipated being a car accident victim, it’s now a reality you must face. Seeking compensation can help you move forward from this devastating event, and our car accident attorneys in Carmel, IN, are here to help you through the process.
We’ll take the stress of your accident case off your shoulders while you focus on recovery. Contact Stewart & Stewart Attorneys today for your free consultation.
Read our client reviews to learn how we have helped dozens of car accident victims across Carmel and the surrounding areas.
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Common Causes of Car Accidents in Carmel, IN
Car accidents can happen in the blink of an eye. A serious accident can occur if a driver makes even one wrong move on the road, producing devastating injuries and physical damages.
Some accident causes are more common than others, including the following:
- Distracted driving: When drivers take their focus off the road for even a few seconds, they can make serious mistakes that lead to catastrophic accidents.
- Driving under the influence: Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is extremely dangerous and is one of the leading causes of car accident fatalities.
- Failure to yield: Whether when merging onto the highway, proceeding through a four-way stop, or approaching a crosswalk, failure to yield is another major cause of accidents.
- Drowsy driving: Driving while fatigued is just as dangerous as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It impairs one’s ability to react quickly and make sound decisions.
- Speeding: Speed limits are set for a reason: they indicate the fastest speed drivers can safely maintain in that area. Speeding can leave drivers without enough time to slow or stop when necessary, striking other vehicles.
Whether your accident happened for one of these reasons or a completely different cause, we can help you seek compensation from the at-fault driver.
Establishing Liability in a Car Accident Case
If another party was responsible for the car accident that caused your injuries, you shouldn’t need to pay for your medical bills and property damages out of pocket. Instead, the liable party is responsible for these expenses.
But how do you establish liability in a car accident? First, understand the four elements of liability that pertain to any personal injury case:
- Another party owed you a duty of care
- The party breached that duty of care
- An accident resulted from the breach of duty
- You suffered injuries or other damages from the accident
The first tenet is almost always automatically true in a car accident case. Drivers who share the road with you owe you and all other drivers a duty of care to prevent accidents.
When a driver does something directly or indirectly to cause an accident, they breach their duty of care to you. This could be breaking a traffic law, striking your vehicle, or any other action leading to the accident. But you’ll need plenty of evidence showing that the driver’s actions led to the accident, such as:
- Photos of the accident scene
- Videos or dash cam footage
- Witness testimonies
- Crash damage analyses
- Accident reconstructionist testimonies
Proving the third tenet — that an accident occurred — is relatively easy. A police officer likely created a report at the accident scene, and you can use this document as proof. However, you’ll need extensive evidence to support the fourth element: that you suffered damages from the accident.
You’ll need medical documentation that directly ties your injuries to the accident. You’ll also need reports from a collision center detailing the damage to your vehicle.
Proving negligence in a car accident can be complicated, but our car accident attorneys in Carmel, IN, are here to assist. We’ll secure evidence from all available sources to show that the other driver caused the accident and owes you financial compensation.
Indiana’s Comparative Negligence Policy
Indiana follows a modified comparative negligence policy for car accidents, which is one of the key factors that affect your car accident settlement. This means the insurance company can assign partial percentages of fault to all parties involved in the accident.
Your percentage of fault will impact the compensation you can seek. If you were more than 50% responsible for the accident, under modified comparative negligence, you cannot seek any damages from the other party.
Let’s say the insurance company finds you 30% responsible for the accident and the other driver 70% responsible. If your case is worth $100,000, you would only be able to seek $70,000 through an insurance claim or lawsuit.
Our Carmel car accident lawyers can help support that you were 0% responsible for the accident and maximize your compensation.
Seeking Compensation: Insurance Claim vs. Lawsuit
Once you have established that another party was negligent in your accident, you may proceed with an insurance claim or lawsuit to seek compensation from that party.
The first step is to file an insurance claim with the at-fault party’s insurance provider. Liability insurance is mandatory for all drivers in Indiana.
The insurer will ask you about the details of the accident and invite you to submit receipts and medical bills showing the expenses you incurred from the accident. Then, they will present you with a compensation amount.
If the driver only carried the minimum amount of liability insurance — $50,000 per accident — their policy limits may not be high enough to cover all your expenses. There’s also a chance the insurance company will deny your claim or present an offer that isn’t sufficient.
In this case, your attorney may advise you to take legal action against the at-fault driver or their insurance company. Rest assured that your car accident attorneys in Carmel, IN, will guide you through every step of the legal process to improve your chances of success.
What Damages Can You Seek After a Car Accident?
Through an insurance claim, you may seek compensation for the direct economic expenses you incurred from the accident. These include:
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- Time off work
- Loss of earning capacity
- Future medical treatments
- Medical equipment
Some insurance policies will also allow you to claim non-economic expenses from the accident; other times, you must claim these through a lawsuit. Non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of companionship (in wrongful death cases)
- Emotional distress
If the at-fault driver was acting recklessly when they caused the accident, you may qualify for punitive damages as well. These damages would come from the driver’s bank account to punish them for their wrongful behavior. They’re common in accident claims involving drunk driving.
Indiana’s Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Cases
Indiana has a statute of limitations of two years for car accident cases. This means you have two years from the accident date to take legal action. Missing this deadline may lead the judge to dismiss your case, thwarting your opportunities for further compensation.
While two years may seem like a long time, it can pass quickly, especially when focused on recovery. Some accident victims miss the statute of limitations because they only intend to seek compensation through an insurance claim, yet decide to take legal action at the last second.
If you’re nearing the two-year deadline, now is the time to contact car accident attorneys in Carmel, IN.
How Can a Car Accident Attorney Assist You?
You may be wondering: Do you really need a car accident attorney, or can you handle your claim yourself?
Car accident attorneys are extremely helpful in complicated, expensive car accident cases. You may benefit from an attorney if any of the following are true:
- You experienced severe injuries from the accident.
- The at-fault party refuses to cooperate.
- The insurance company has lowballed you or denied your claim.
- You seek legal action to increase your payout.
- You need help navigating your case.
Your car accident attorney is your personal, experienced guide through your car accident case. They have extensive experience navigating similar cases for Carmel, IN, accident victims and will use their knowledge to improve your case outcomes.
These are just a few of the services a car accident law firm can help you with:
- Gathering evidence to support your case
- Communicating with all parties on your behalf
- Helping you file all relevant documentation with your claim or lawsuit
- Filing a lawsuit with the local civil court
- Representing you in court
Learn more about our team and how we can assist your case.
Stewart & Stewart Attorneys: Your Experienced Car Accident Attorneys in Carmel, IN
Car accident cases can be overwhelming, but the Stewart & Stewart Attorneys team is here to give you peace of mind. Our car accident attorneys in Carmel, IN, are dedicated to seeking the maximum compensation on your behalf. Fill out our online form or call (866) 925-3011 for your free consultation.
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If you have been involved in an Indiana personal injury accident, contact us at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys. Our Indiana personal injury lawyers represent victims throughout the state, including Carmel and Anderson. We have also successfully advocated for clients throughout the area, including Fort Wayne, Gary, Indianapolis, South Bend. Complete a free online consultation form or call us at (800) 33-33-LAW!
Stewart & Stewart Attorneys have the knowledge and experience to defend your rights in the following areas of Indiana injury law: auto accident, brain injury, drug injury, defective product, fire and burn injury, insurance dispute, medical malpractice, motorcycle accident, nursing home abuse, slip and fall, truck accident, workers’ compensation and wrongful death.