You may want to maximize your insurance settlement, but what you don’t realize is the fact that you are not powerless. The insurance company is indeed the one that offers the settlement, but you don’t have to accept the first offer. Furthermore, it’s important to know that there are several things you can do (and not do) that will help your case.
The most important act you can take after an injury accident in Indiana that wasn’t your fault is to hire an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. This way, you will not have to deal with the insurance company on your own.
If you have been injured, you will be dealing with the expenses of your medical treatment, possible rehabilitation, and a lack of income because of work days missed. You may also be dealing with all of these logistics while you are still in pain and unable to get around easily.
Seek medical care:
- You may not realize that you have been injured until hours or even days after the accident because some injuries are not immediately apparent. Don’t take chances. You may have a concussion, internal bleeding, or a spinal injury. Pain often doesn’t set in until the immediate shock of the crash has worn off and the adrenaline has left your system.
- Follow your doctor’s advice, attend all appointments, and keep all medical records. If you miss an appointment, the insurance company could twist that to suggest that you are not actually injured or in pain.
- Tell the truth about your injuries. Neither exaggerate nor minimize.
Seek legal advice:
- Your car accident attorney can investigate your accident and help prove the other party’s fault.
- An attorney can also help determine the amount of money that would fairly compensate you for the damage that has been done to you.
- Your attorney can deftly handle all communication with the insurance companies and negotiate in your best interests.
- Finally, your attorney can represent you in court if a just settlement is not reached.
Get a copy of the police report:
The Indiana government website will send you to this site to obtain an accident report.
After your accident, do not do this:
- Make a statement to the other driver’s insurance company. Insurance companies are notorious for using your words against you. It is far wiser to leave this type of communication to your attorney.
- Accept a quick settlement. It is normal to want to put the accident behind you and wish for closure. You may even be worried about how you will pay your bills. Unfortunately, insurance companies often take advantage of the fact that people are under pressure. This is why they are inclined to lowball their settlement offers at first.
- Post about your accident on social media. It is best if you don’t post on social media at all. The last thing you want is for the one moment you happened to smile in the background of a photo to be used as proof that you weren’t actually in pain. Many personal injury cases have been ruined because of careless posts on Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok. Yes, insurance companies really do look for things like this.
It isn’t possible to provide an average auto accident settlement in Indiana. There is no public list of settlement amounts. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Many settlements include the proviso that the terms of the settlement must not be disclosed by either party.
However, Crossen Law Firm does have a Personal Injury Case Settlement Calculator. You can use the auto accident settlement formula on this page to make a rough estimate of how much your case is worth. Just keep in mind the fact that no two cases are exactly alike.
In Indiana, the minimum policy limits are:
- $25,000 for bodily injury to or the death of one (1) individual
- $50,000 for bodily injury to or the death of two (2) or more individuals in any one (1) accident
- $25,000 for damage to or the destruction of property in one (1) accident.
This means that if the at-fault driver carries minimum insurance, the highest settlement you will receive from his or her insurance company for your injuries will be $25,000.
If the person who caused the accident was employed by a company, they may have an umbrella policy with much higher than the minimum limits.
If multiple parties were at fault for your accident (for example, the negligent driver who was speeding plus the company that made your faulty airbag plus the entity responsible for a compounding road hazard), you can pursue a settlement from all of them.
What happens if there are no extra policies and your medical expenses add up to more than $25,000?
- This is when your own insurance company should step in. (Again, an auto accident attorney will explain this to you and communicate with your insurance company.) Unless you rejected uninsured/underinsured insurance in writing at the time you took out your policy, you have uninsured and underinsured motorists coverage.
Indiana UM and UIM Minimum Coverage Amounts:
- Uninsured Motorists: Bodily Injury: $25,000/$50,000
- Property Damage: $25,000
- Underinsured Motorists: Bodily Injury: $50,000
What if both insurance companies pay out the maximum amount on their policies and it still isn’t enough? In other words, what if your medical bills and accident expenses total more than $75,000 (supposing that both drivers have minimum coverage and both insurance companies have paid the full policy limit)?
At this point, you and your attorney may decide to file a court case making a claim against the at-fault driver personally.
If you have been injured after a car crash caused by a negligent driver, let the experienced Indiana car accident lawyers at Crossen Law Firm fight for you. Filing injury claims for car accidents in Indianapolis can be a complex and confusing process. We have the skills and knowledge necessary to negotiate with insurance companies to obtain maximum compensation effectively.