Car accidents cause significant economic losses to people who sustain physical injuries, lose time at work, and suffer property damage because of the accident.
When another driver is responsible for an accident you were involved in, you could hold them liable for your losses with help from a Lawrence car accident lawyer.
A local personal injury attorney could investigate the accident scene to gather proof of another party’s negligence. Armed with evidence, they could then negotiate a favorable settlement with the at-fault driver’s insurer, or pursue damages in court if negotiations do not produce a reasonable offer.
Indiana adheres to the traditional rule that makes the driver who caused an accident responsible for the losses of other people involved in the incident. One of the most critical tasks after an accident is gathering evidence demonstrating another driver was primarily responsible for a crash and liable to pay the other involved parties’ damages.
The driver is negligent per se if the police issued them a citation related to the accident, meaning that the fact of the citation is sufficient proof of negligence. However, proving the other driver is liable is possible even if the police did not issue a citation; or if both drivers received tickets.
A Lawrence motor vehicle accident attorney could review video footage from local traffic cams, surveillance cameras, dashcams, and witnesses’ cell phones. Witness reports often indicate that one driver had primary responsibility for an accident. If necessary, an accident reconstruction expert could prepare an opinion about the cause of the car crash.
Anyone registering a vehicle in Lawrence must present proof of insurance. The minimum coverage requirements are $25,000 for bodily injury to one person, $50,000 for bodily injury to multiple people, and $25,000 for property damage.
When a vehicle accident causes substantial losses or injuries, the insurance company for the at-fault driver often approaches the injured victims soon after the incident, offering a check to “cover” the injured person’s losses in return for a promise not to sue. An injured person should never accept such an offer without first discussing it with an attorney.
An injured person’s true losses are often many times the amount the insurance company offers initially. A legal professional understands the true value of a claim and could pressure the insurer to pay a settlement that provides adequate compensation for the losses.
The negligent party is responsible for compensating other parties’ losses related to the accident. The damages should be enough to place the injured person in the same position they would have been if the accident never happened.
Damages include compensation for any missed time at work and could include the injured person’s reduced future earning potential if they suffered a permanent injury, such as a severe TBI or paralysis. Damages cover all past and future injury-related medical treatment including mental health care. An injured person also could receive compensation for their inconvenience, disability, pain, lost enjoyment of life, emotional suffering, and other factors that temporarily or permanently diminished their quality of life.
An injured person could collect damages even if they are partially responsible for the crash. According to Indiana Code § 34-51-2-6, anyone less than 51 percent responsible for an incident could collect reduced damages from another party with more liability. However, a court will discount their damages by a percentage that equals their percentage of fault.
You might be tempted to handle your car accident claim yourself or even accept an insurer’s initial offer. However, working with a legal professional almost always results in a bigger payout.
Contact a Lawrence car accident lawyer as soon as possible after the crash. With their help, you could receive a fair settlement for all your injury-related losses.