As one of the oldest towns in Indiana, Fort Wayne has been a thriving community for centuries. Officially founded and named Fort Wayne in 1794, it was later incorporated as a city in 1840. However, the area was first marked by a French outpost called Fort Miami as early as 1697. Before that, the Miami tribe established their settlement of Kekionga in the region, marking it as the capital of the Miami nation.
Its long history of settlements made Fort Wayne the perfect place for trade and transportation. The Maumee, St. Marys, and St. Joseph Rivers made it easily accessible, and the completion of the Wabash and Erie Canal in 1835 brought even more people to the area. Today, roadways like I-69, US-27, and IN-930 bring more and more people to what is now the second largest city in Indiana.
The one downside to all of this growth, unfortunately, is an increase in the number of Fort Wayne car accidents each year. If you’ve been injured in a Fort Wayne car accident, you may be wondering who can help. An Indiana car accident attorney can get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries and damages.
Why might you consider hiring an Indiana car accident attorney? Here are a few reasons.
1. Fort Wayne Car Accidents Are Complicated
Although most car accident claims are complicated, Fort Wayne car accidents are especially so. Fort Wayne’s proximity to Ohio and Michigan make fault even more confusing that it already is.
First, it’s important to understand how fault works in Indiana car accidents in general. Indiana is a fault state, which means that the percentage a person is at fault for causing the accident correlates to the percentage of damages they’ll be financially responsible for. Since Indiana requires all drivers to demonstrate “financial responsibility” in the event of a car accident, most Indiana drivers have car insurance. That means a driver injured in a car accident may be able to recover compensation from either their own insurance company or the other driver’s if the other driver is more at fault than they are.
For example, let’s say that you’re in a car accident and you have $20,000 in damages. You’re determined to be 25 percent at fault for the accident. Because of this, you could potentially recover up to 75 percent of your damages from the at-fault driver’s insurance company, or $15,000. For the remaining $5,000, you’d have to seek compensation from your own insurance company. As long as you are less than 51 percent at fault for the accident, you should be able to recover some (if not all) of your damages from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
This rule is easy enough to apply in most of the state, but not in cities like Fort Wayne that are close to two other states that have different rules regarding fault. Fort Wayne is only half an hour from Ohio and less than an hour from Michigan. Interstates frequently bring out-of-state drivers to the city, and many Fort Wayne residents take the occasional day trip out of the Hoosier state. So how do Ohio and Michigan rules on fault differ from Indiana?
Ohio is a fault state like Indiana, but Michigan is not. Michigan is a no-fault state, which means that each driver has to seek compensation from their own insurance company, regardless of who is at fault. In the previous example, you’d have to go to your insurance company to recover the entire $20,000 in damages, even though you weren’t at fault for most of the accident.
How does this work? What if you’re in a car accident in Fort Wayne with a Michigan driver? Or what if you take a day trip to Michigan and get into an accident with an Ohio driver?
What matters is where the car accident occurs, not who you’re in the car accident with. If you get into a car accident in Fort Wayne, Indiana’s fault rules apply. If you travel to Michigan, Michigan’s no-fault policy applies, no matter if you and the other driver are from Indiana or Ohio or anywhere else.
Because of this, Fort Wayne car accidents can be complicated. Out-of-state drivers may be unaware of Indiana’s fault rules, and Fort Wayne residents may be unsure of how to proceed if they’re hit by an out-of-state driver. An Indiana car accident attorney can help you navigate the different fault rules and make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
2. You Get Local Attention and Statewide Influence
Hensley Legal Group is based in Indianapolis, but that doesn’t mean we reduce our clients to mere case numbers. We value our clients and want to treat them the way we would want to be treated if we were in their situation. That’s one of the reasons we promise every client quality service with our 12-Part Client Services Guarantee.
We’ve successfully represented people throughout the state of Indiana, from bigger cities like Indianapolis and Fort Wayne to smaller communities like Nineveh and Fortville. Our Indianapolis location keeps us at the heart of the Indiana court system and allows us to travel across the state to represent those in need.
3. It’s Risk-Free
Many people assume that even if they wanted a lawyer, they couldn’t afford one. That’s not true. At Hensley Legal Group, we work on contingency.
A contingency fee means that if we don’t secure a settlement or award for you, we don’t get paid. There are no hourly fees. We can work on your case for months or years, but if you don’t receive compensation, neither do we.
Our fee is a third of your settlement: 33.3 percent. That may seem like a lot, but keep in mind that we’ll do months or years of work without seeing a dime until you get the money you deserve. If we have to file a lawsuit and prepare your case for trial, our fee increases to 40 percent.
We can’t promise our fees will always be low, but we can promise that they’ll always be fair. If you don’t recover the compensation you deserve, you won’t owe us a single penny.
Help from an Indiana Car Accident Lawyer
The attorneys at Hensley Legal Group have been serving Hoosiers all over the state since 1998. If you are hurt in a Fort Wayne car crash and need an Indiana car accident attorney, don’t hesitate to call us today or contact us online for a free consultation. In the meantime, be sure to download our free eBook, Consumer’s Guide for Injured Victims, for more information on what to do after a Fort Wayne car accident.