If you’ve been injured in a car crash in Indiana, your immediate concerns may be: How long will I take to recover before I can return to work? How will I afford my medical expenses and replace my damaged property? Will I be able to take care of my family? In order to address these issues, there are 8 important points you should consider when handling your Indiana personal injury claim.
1. The Facts of Your Case Will Make or Break Your Claim
Insurance companies need all the information about an accident in order to assess the value of your claim. For example, if you’re injured in a car crash in Indiana, you need to provide the insurance company with the names of the drivers, the official police report, a list of witnesses, medical expenses, car repair/replacement expenses, lost wages, and so on. Insufficient documentation can affect the value or even acceptance of your claim.
2. Know the Law
Laws surrounding personal injury accidents vary by state. It’s important to know how laws concerning negligence, liability, and fault will affect the outcome of your Indiana personal injury claim.
3. Ongoing Medical Treatment
Insurance companies will often rush to offer a settlement as soon as possible in hopes that a plaintiff will accept what may initially seem like generous compensation for their expenses. But in the early days following a personal injury accident, it can be impossible to know how extensive your medical treatment might be. Remember, once you agree to a settlement, you cannot ask for further compensation should you need additional medical care.
4. Tax Time
Insurance benefits and lawsuit settlements can be considered taxable income in certain instances. Knowing what you could potentially owe Uncle Sam on April 15 is essential to determining a fair injury settlement.
5. Stay Calm
Suffering personal injury in an accident will no doubt evoke powerful emotions. There are appropriate outlets for these emotions, but a meeting with insurance adjusters isn’t one of them. Remember that an insurance company’s objective is to save money – theirs, not yours – so expect their first offer to be low. Resist the urge to show disappointment. Insurance claims are settled with facts, figures, and proper documentation. Your Indiana car accident lawyer can help guide you through this potentially long and arduous process.
6. Know What a Fair Settlement Looks Like
You need to decide the lowest settlement figure you can accept versus taking your case to trial. Weigh the costs – both monetary and opportunity – of going to trial against the additional settlement you could potentially receive.
7. Legal Fees
Your legal fees will be deducted from your settlement. These fees can include lawyer’s fees, court costs, litigation costs, travel expenses, and so on. Understanding the difference between hourly rates and contingency fees can help you estimate your costs. Hourly rates are, of course, calculated based on the amount of time your lawyer spends on your case. Contingency fees are a percentage of the total settlement. In the case of a large settlement, this means that a contingency fee could be substantially larger than an hourly rate. However, contingency means that a lawyer’s fee is due only if you win the case. Be sure to discuss the issue of payment with your attorneys before you agree to hire them.
8. The Benefits of Hiring an Indiana Car Accident Attorney
When you hire a lawyer to defend your Indiana personal injury claim, you know that you’ll have someone to help you navigate the law, estimate the value of your claim, and fight for your right to a fair settlement. Call Hensley Legal Group today for a free case review, and be sure to download our free eBook, Consumer’s Guide for Injured Victims.