A car accident is a frightening experience, but when you’re unsure what to do about your injuries, then you should speak to a personal injury lawyer about your rights under the law and the types of compensation that you’re eligible for.
Your health is always your first priority, so you should go to the nearest emergency room or your doctor to be treated immediately for your bodily injuries. A physician will be able to assess you, diagnose your injuries, create a treatment plan and even refer you to a specialist if needed. Diagnostic testing and doctors’ visits can be expensive, so if you want to be compensated for those expenses, you should keep copies of all of your medical bills to provide them to your personal injury attorney.
You can also request a copy of your medical records to provide to your attorney, or your attorney can request them on your behalf. If you had any scans, diagnostic testing, or examinations conducted by a specialist, then those documents will be used to prove the extent of your injuries and suffering.
Many people delay seeking medical treatment out of fear of being stuck with a bill that they can’t pay. However, the job of the personal injury attorney is to fight for you to get the compensation you deserve for the healthcare you need. Don’t delay seeking care for your injuries. Not only will it strengthen your case if you go within two weeks of the incident, but you will get relief much sooner.
Most personal injury attorneys offer a free consultation with potential new clients to see how many their cases are worth and what the next steps are. You are advised to bring any related documents to your consultation, such as photos or videos that you took at the accident scene, medical records and bills, contact information for the other driver and witnesses, the police report, and any other relevant documents. The initial consultation is a great opportunity for you to share your narrative of what happened during the accident and its aftermath. It’s also a great opportunity for you to ask questions such as:
- How do you charge for legal services? What percentage of my settlement is taken to cover legal fees?
- How long have you been practicing law?
- What is my bodily injury case worth?
- How long will it take to settle my claim?
- How much time can your law firm devote to my claim?
- Do you have testimonials from former clients that I can review?
- How will you communicate with me about the progress of my claim?
- What challenges do you see with my claim?
- Have you handled any other bodily injury claims like mine in the past? What were the results of those claims?
You do not have to go through the process of filing your personal injury claim alone. Your attorney will file your claim for you and launch a thorough investigation to build the strongest case possible to present to the insurance company. The average individual does not have the resources that a law firm has to interview witnesses, gather evidence from the accident scene, and consult with experts who can testify on your behalf. However, when you work with a reputable law firm, they leave no stone unturned when fighting for you and building your case.
Insurance companies are not your advocates, but your personal injury attorney is. The insurance company is always looking for ways to reduce payment by arguing that victims are partially at fault for the accident or that a medical procedure was not necessary and therefore shouldn’t be compensated.
A skilled and experienced personal injury attorney anticipates the arguments the insurance company will make and fights back hard so that victims get every penny they deserve. Your personal injury attorney knows just how much this accident has affected your life and your family’s life. It’s not uncommon for the insurance companies to give a lowball offer, which is why you need an attorney countering that offer until they can agree on a settlement that you deserve.
Bodily injury refers to the harm done to the physical body as a result of an accident, including but not limited to:
- Cuts and lacerations
- Fractures in broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Nerve damage
- Head, neck, and spine injuries
The simplest way to explain the difference between bodily liability insurance and personal injury protection (PIP) insurance is that bodily injury coverage pays for the injury sustained by the other person. In contrast, a personal injury protection plan pays for the injuries sustained by the policyholder. If you have been injured in an accident caused by another driver, then their bodily injury plan will cover your injury expenses.
Indiana follows a modified comparative negligence rule when determining fault in a car accident. In order to file an injury claim in Indiana, the plaintiff must be less than 51% at fault for the accident. Under this legal theory, the courts can reduce your settlement in proportion to your contribution to the accident. For example, if a driver is speeding and runs a red light, then they have clearly broken the law and contributed to the accident, but if the driver they hit was texting at the time of the accident, which is also illegal, then that other driver’s negligence will be considered when determining a settlement.
If you want to file a bodily injury claim, you should speak to an attorney right away. The statute of limitations limits how long you can file a lawsuit from the date of the accident or injury, but you should speak to an attorney today to get started on the process.