The first thing you should do after an Indiana car accident is to ensure your wellbeing. Adrenaline might make it so that you don’t feel the full effects of your injuries immediately. But as you calm down from the initial shock, you’ll be able to evaluate how you feel.
Take a few moments to breathe in deeply and clear your head. You want to proceed with a level mind. Then, follow these steps after an Indiana car accident.
Steps to Take After an Indiana Car Accident
After you’ve taken a moment to assess your wellbeing and clear your head, follow these steps.
1. Call 911
Explain the situation and whether you’ll need an ambulance in addition to law enforcement to come out and document the accident scene. Request a police report to ensure you have documented proof of the accident to aid in your claim.
2. Seek Medical Attention
Even if you feel fine after a car accident, you should seek medical attention. An appointment with your primary care doctor can ensure you aren’t dealing with a hidden injury that you aren’t currently aware of. Follow all your doctor’s recommendations carefully and save all receipts and invoices for medical bills.
3. Document the Scene
Take photos and document witness contact information. You want to collect as much evidence at the scene as you can. Also, write down information about the attending law enforcement officer so you know how to get access to the police report if you need it.
4. Talk to a Car Accident Attorney
Protecting your rights means having an expert on your side to aid you in working with the insurance company and collecting evidence. If nothing else, you should at least schedule a free consultation with an attorney to learn some things to look out for while navigating your case.
What You Need to Know About Indiana Car Accident Claims
Indiana is an at-fault state for car insurance. That means that the claim to get your property repaired and your medical bills paid will be against the driver who caused the accident.
Additionally, Indiana operates under a modified comparative negligence rule. That means that you can’t pursue a claim against the other driver if you are 51 percent or more at fault for the accident.
Under the modified comparative negligence rule, your total compensation will be reduced by the percent you’re found at fault for the accident.
For example, if you’re found to be 20 percent at fault for an accident that resulted in $50,000 in damages, you’ll only be able to recover $40,000 from the other party.
What Is Negligence?
Because Indiana is an at-fault state, the courts will evaluate which party was negligent in their duties to the other driver, thereby causing the accident.
There are four main elements in evaluating negligence.
- The defendant had a duty of care toward the accident victim. In the case of a car accident, the answer is always yes because all drivers have a responsibility to look out for others on the roadway.
- The defendant breached that duty of care. This might have been due to speeding, breaking a posted law, or otherwise reckless driving.
- The breached duty of care directly caused the other motorist’s injuries.
- The victim suffered damages as a result of the plaintiff’s breached duty of care.
Thankfully, you are not responsible for determining negligence after a car accident. Your attorney will work to prove that the other driver was negligent and that you acted accordingly to avoid decreasing your total settlement due to comparative negligence.
Schedule a free consultation with Stewart & Stewart to learn more about how to proceed after an Indiana car accident.