After an Indiana auto accident, victims can feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next. The steps that you take do matter and getting in touch with an attorney early can help you protect your ability to sue if you need to.
We’ll explain signs that it’s time to contact an attorney and everything you need to know about dealing with the legal side of a car accident.
Signs It’s Time to Call an Indiana Attorney After an Accident
At the scene of an accident, your top priority is to assess yourself, get medical care if needed, document the scene as best you can, and cooperate with law enforcement.
Once things have calmed down and you’ve made it through the aftermath of the accident, you can begin to assess whether you need a car accident attorney.
Here are some signs it’s time to contact an Indiana attorney:
- You’ve suffered an injury due to the accident
- The insurance company is refusing to pay your medical bills and missed work
- The insurance company paid your bills, but you have long-term impacts from your injuries that require added care or involve a reduction in your ability to work
- The insurance company refuses to accept fault for the accident and recommends you talk to your insurance provider
- The insurance company is requiring that you sign off on the accident or is forcing a settlement
- You would like advice about your ability to sue the at-fault driver
There are no downsides to talking to an attorney after an accident. Attorneys provide a free consultation to help you protect your rights and ensure a speedy recovery after an accident. Even if you don’t fit into one of these criteria, it’s a good idea to seek legal counsel after a car accident to avoid long-term financial impacts.
Should I Just Settle My Car Accident Claim?
Car accident victims should be very cautious when it comes to car accident settlements. Insurance companies work hard to get victims to accept low settlements to manage their expenses. But that doesn’t mean that a settlement is always in your best interest.
Before accepting a settlement, you should have an Indiana car accident attorney review it thoroughly. The settlement should cover all the expenses you’ve incurred. But really, that’s just the minimum requirement. You should also consider the long-term impacts that your injuries could have on you.
Before signing a settlement, the very least you should do is discuss your injuries with your doctor. Ask about what long-term effects you might experience or the ongoing care you might need.
You have two years to settle a car accident claim or file a lawsuit in the state of Indiana. Do not rush this process just to get it done and over with and avoid settling just to get the money right now.
Damages You May Pursue
Before you accept a settlement or sign off on your car accident insurance claim, you should evaluate whether the payments you’ve received compensate you for the misfortunes you’ve experienced due to the car accident.
Damages you can pursue with a car accident lawsuit include the following:
- Medical bills
- Future medical bills or expenses related to ongoing care
- Lost income
- Reduced capacity to work
- Mental health ailments, such as depression or anxiety due to the accident
- Pain and suffering
To file a claim against the other driver, you’ll need to prove that they were at fault for the accident due to negligence. Negligence in car accidents can be speeding, reckless driving, failing to obey posted traffic signals, and any other mistakes behind the wheel.
Proving fault in car accident cases can be complicated and requires clear evidence. For assistance collecting this evidence and proving your case, contact Stewart & Stewart. We’re an experienced team of attorneys helping Indiana residents get the compensation they deserve after an injury.