It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Minivans like Santa’s sleigh plow through slush and snow to bring home gifts that will soon sprawl out all over the living room.
We all know by now that the holiday season is also one of the most dangerous times of the year. Bad weather, clogged highways and parking lots, and many people making cross-country treks to get home for the holidays make for treacherous driving conditions. It’s no surprise car accidents spike during the days leading up to Christmas Day as stressed shoppers scramble for last-minute deals.
With the number of minor accidents occurring in and around Indianapolis, it’s helpful to know your rights and protections under the law if you’re hurt or experience property damage during what should be a stress-free holiday season.
What If My Gifts Are Damaged in a Car Accident?
Though your first priority after getting into an accident during the holidays should be your health and the health of your passengers, you’re likely also worried about the gifts now crumpled and smashed in the trunk.
First, if you’re injured, see a doctor right away after a car accident. Not only will you identify common injuries like whiplash and seat belt burns, but this information will also aid you should you decide to pursue a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver.
Second, consider filing a property damage claim. If you weren’t injured, you can file a property damage claim yourself with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. They should provide you with instructions for calculating the dollar amount of the items damaged and also appraise the damage to your vehicle as well. It’s just one more reason to keep the receipts after going on holiday shopping sprees.
Though you don’t need an attorney to receive money for property damage, if you were also injured in the accident, you should not talk to the insurance company directly. You can hire a car accident attorney to represent you and prevent the insurance company from giving you too small of a settlement for your injuries.
How Will I Get Home Without a Working Car?
Another reason the end of the year is so full of accidents is because millions of friends and family members hit the highway to visit their loved ones. Unfortunately, if your car is damaged on the way or just before you start your trip, you may be stranded unless you can afford a rental car for the week.
Many people wonder if the at-fault driver’s car insurance will automatically provide roadside assistance or a complimentary rental car. Unfortunately, receiving a complimentary rental car typically takes time as the at-fault driver’s insurance company determines whether or not their driver was actually at fault. For roadside assistance or an immediate rental car, you must specify in your own car insurance whether you want to pay for rental reimbursement and roadside assistance or skip this coverage. In dire circumstances, the increased premium may be worth it.
Help from Indiana Car Accident Attorneys
Though we pretend it isn’t so, the holidays often bring an increased level of stress to party planners’ lives, and having to deal with the aftermath of a car accident in the middle of an already busy season can prove too much for many.
That’s why Hensley Legal Group’s car accident attorneys are here for you. We’ll help you file a personal injury claim and get the right amount from the insurance company for your injuries and property damage. Call us or contact us online to start a free conversation with us about your case.