Indianapolis Car Accident Lawyer
Our Auto Accident Attorney Gets Results
A car crash can drastically change a person’s life in an instant. If you or a loved one has been injured in an automobile accident, our skilled attorney can help you file a personal injury claim or a lawsuit to recover the damages you are owed.
At Crossen Law Firm, we have decades of experience helping car crash victims get the compensation they deserve after they have suffered injuries at the hands of a negligent driver. Our Indianapolis car accident attorney is a dedicated advocate for seriously injured people. Our aim is to effectively and completely handle the legal process for you, as you focus on recovering from your injuries.
Indianapolis Car Accident Statistics
According to accident data released by the Indiana University Public Policy Institute in partnership with the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute:
- 31,251 car accidents were recorded in Indianapolis in 2017.
- 2,283 (7.3%) of these crashes were speed-related, while 437 (1.4%) involved an alcohol-impaired driver.
- Fatal collisions in Marion County are on the rise, increasing from 80 in 2013 to 102 in 2017.
- 1,196 auto accidents in Marion County resulted in incapacitating injury in 2017.
- Drivers aged 15 to 20 have the highest number of accidents per 10K licensed drivers at 1,728.5.
Reporting Car Accidents in Indianapolis
Reporting a car crash to the local police or county sheriff is one of the most essential steps to take following an auto accident. In fact, Indiana law requires that motorists notify the authorities when involved in certain car accidents.
A driver must report an automobile crash when the accident:
- Traps someone in a vehicle
- Causes injuries or death
- Results in at least $1,000 in property damage
- Involves unoccupied or unattended property, and the owner cannot be found
Reporting a car accident also ensures that there is an official record related to the accident, which can be used as evidence when filing a claim for compensation. When submitting a car accident report, be sure never to admit fault, accept blame, or apologize for the crash.
It is also important to not make any statements about the extent or severity of your injuries. You will want to seek medical attention to have an accurate diagnosis made concerning your injuries to ensure you receive maximum compensation.
Is Indiana a No-Fault State?
While many states use no-fault systems, Indiana is not one of them. Indiana is an at-fault state and follows a traditional tort system for car accidents, meaning that at-fault drivers will be financially responsible for their share of blame a car accident. With that being said, it is important to understand what "fault" means in this context.
In states with no-fault systems, injured drivers must first turn to their own insurance companies after a wreck for compensation up to the limits of their policies. If these limits are exceeded, they may then sue the at-fault driver in pursuit of additional coverage. Indiana drivers do not have to do this and may instead use the at-fault driver's insurance policy to collect compensation for their medical bills, lost income, and vehicle damage. A driver may turn to their own insurer for compensation if they are hit by a driver without insurance or without adequate coverage if they have purchased uninsured motorist coverage (UIM).
How is Fault Determined in an Indianapolis Car Accident?
As mentioned above, financial responsibility for a crash will be determined based on the proportion of each driver's level of fault. While seemingly straightforward, determining fault can be a complex process requiring lengthy investigations and in-depth analysis of the evidence pertaining to your crash – some of which may be difficult to obtain without the assistance of a skilled attorney.
Fault may be determined by:
- Inspecting the scene: Examining the final resting places of all involved vehicles can help with accident reconstruction techniques and determine which driver may have made a critical error, leading to the collision. Documentation of physical, environmental, and traffic conditions can all help your attorney understand what happened and why.
- Inspecting the damage: Examining crush profiles, the performance or non-performance of safety systems, and vehicle black-box data can all be key information in determining fault.
- Interviewing witnesses: Testimonies of both eyewitnesses and individuals involved in the crash can help to paint a picture of what happened as well as validate or disprove any found evidence of fault.
- Reviewing police reports: The responding police officer will often include an assessment of who they believe to be at fault for a collision in their incident report.
What to Do After a Car Accident in Indianapolis
Being involved in a car accident can be a frightening experience, especially if you or a loved one has been injured. While you may be shaken up, your actions immediately following a collision can have a tremendous impact on your ability to recover compensation.
After a crash, follow these steps:
- Stay calm, pull over, and attend to anyone that has been injured. Never leave the scene of an accident!
- Call the police and report the crash. Report any injuries to the police and tell them exactly what happened.
- Avoid making any uncertain statements and do not admit fault for the collision.
- Exchange contact and insurance information with all involved drivers.
- Take photos of all vehicle damage, injuries, road conditions, and any other details for later reference.
- Speak to any witnesses and get their contact information.
- See a doctor as soon as possible for a full medical evaluation, even if you feel fine.
- Call your insurance company and report the collision.
- Contact an attorney to review your legal options.
Is There a Time Limit on Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit?
Yes. Like other states, Indiana has a statute of limitations which places a strict deadline on how long an injured person has to take legal action against a responsible party. Under Indiana Code section 34-11-2-4, you have two years from the date of your car accident to file a personal injury lawsuit against an at-fault driver. Property damage claims are also subject to this same deadline. Relatives of a person killed in a collision also have two years to file a wrongful death claim, though this time span begins on the day of the victim's death rather than the date of the collision.
It is always a good idea from a strategic standpoint to begin your car accident lawsuit as soon as possible. If the statute of limitations passes, your case will likely be dismissed and you will be unable to pursue compensation. Filing early also gives you a better chance of winning your case as it gives you more time to collect evidence before it is lost, damaged, or forgotten by key witnesses.
Explore Your Legal Options with Us
Filing injury claims for a car accident in Indianapolis can be a complex and confusing process. We have the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively negotiate with insurance companies to obtain maximum compensation.
With a multi-million dollar track record, we are confident that we will adequately handle your case. We also provide solid representation for victims of drunk driving accidents.
To discuss your situation with an Indianapolis car accident lawyer, call (317) 401-8626 now.
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