June 28, 2017
June 28 is National Insurance Awareness Day. Although you’re probably fairly aware of insurance already (how can you not be when you pay for it every month?), this day gives us an opportunity to discuss something you may not be aware of: the various insurance policies you may be able to recover from in the event of an Indiana auto accident.
If you’re injured in an Indiana car accident, what matters is who was responsible for causing the accident, also known as who was at fault. Indiana is a fault state, which means that the person responsible for causing the accident will be responsible for paying for any damages suffered by the other driver.
It’s not that easy, though—fault can be allocated by percentage, too. For example, maybe the other driver is found to be 80 percent at fault because they were texting while driving and made an illegal turn, but you’re found to be 20 percent at fault because you were going 10 miles over the speed limit.
As long as you’re less than 51 percent at fault in an accident, you can go to the other driver’s insurance company and ask them to cover your damages. The amount they will cover will typically be reduced by the percentage you were found to be at fault—so in the previous example, you can expect to have 80 percent of your damages covered by the other driver’s insurance company.
But sometimes the other driver’s insurance company drags their feet to give you the compensation you deserve. After all, you’re not their client—why should they care that your medical bills are piling up, or that you need a new car so you can get back to work? Even though the other driver’s insurance company should be responsible for your damages, you can go through your own insurance company first and let them ask to be repaid by the other driver’s insurance company later.
If the other driver is uninsured or you’re at fault for the accident, you can always recover from your own insurance company. However, this may cause your premiums to go up temporarily.
If you’re injured in an Indiana motorcycle accident, your options for recovery are pretty much the same as they would be if you were injured in a car accident. Fault still applies, so your ability to recover fully may be diminished if you’re found to be partially at fault.
The biggest difference between a car accident and a motorcycle accident is the severity of the injuries. On a motorcycle, you are much more likely to sustain serious injuries in an accident than you would be if you were in a car. If a motorcyclist is riding at highway speeds without proper gear and gets into an accident, they may suffer severe injuries or even death.
If your injuries are more severe, you will have more damages for which to seek compensation. This may include things like lost wages or loss of earning capacity. It may entail future medical expenses as a result of a life-changing injury. Know what damages you may be entitled to so you can seek fair compensation from either the insurance company of the at-fault driver or your own insurance company.
Semi Truck Accident
If you are injured in an accident with a semi truck, you can seek to recover from more than just your insurance company or the insurance company of the driver. Depending on what caused the accident, the parties that may be held responsible for the accident include the:
- Truck driver
- Trucking company
- Truck manufacturer
- Company that loads the truck
- Company that maintains the truck
It’s important to determine whether or not the truck driver is an employee of the company or an independent contractor. If the truck driver is an independent contractor and is responsible for causing the accident, you will likely not be able to seek recovery from the insurance company that represents the truck company. Instead, you’ll only be able to seek compensation from the insurance company of the independently contracted truck driver.
However, if the truck driver is an employee of the trucking company and is responsible for causing the accident, you may be able hold the trucking company accountable for the negligent act of its employee.
Whether or not the driver is an employee of the company doesn’t really matter as much if the accident was caused due to a problem with the truck itself. That’s where, depending on the nature of the accident, you may be able to seek compensation from the insurance policy of the company that manufactures, loads, and/or maintains the truck.
Keep in mind that semi truck accidents typically result in massive, tragic injuries, even death. Because your injuries will likely be incredibly severe, you should expect more compensation for your damages than you would in a regular car accident.
Be Aware of the Insurance Company
In the spirit of National Insurance Awareness Day, you should also be aware that the insurance company will likely try to get you to settle for less than what you deserve after an accident. It’s the job of insurance adjusters to get you to settle your case quickly for as little as possible.
Don’t accept a settlement without consulting with an Indiana personal injury attorney first. A personal injury attorney will be able to evaluate your claim and know how much you should expect to be compensated for. Once you accept a settlement, that’s it—there’s no going back. You can’t ask for more if other injuries or complications crop up. That’s why you should always consult with an attorney first before accepting any settlement offer made by the insurance company.
If you’ve been injured in an accident, Hensley Legal Group can help. Call us today or contact us online for a free consultation. No matter if you’ve been injured in an accident with a car, motorcycle, or semi truck, our personal injury attorneys have the strength to make a difference in your Indiana auto accident claim.