PERSONAL INJURY AUTO ACCIDENTS IN INDIANA – WHEN AND WHOM TO CALL
A car accident may be over in an instant, FindLaw.com cautions, but the paperwork and calls can take weeks.
Indiana Code Title 9 lists things the operator of a motor vehicle must do after being involved in an accident:
- Immediately stop the vehicle either at the scene of the accident, or as close as possible in a manner that does not obstruct traffic more than necessary
- Remain at the scene, giving his/her name, address, and vehicle registration number to any other person involved in the accident
- If anyone else was hurt or entrapped, the driver must provide reasonable assistance to that person.
- Either give notice (or ensure that another person gives notice) of the accidents to one of the following: 911, local police department, office of the county sheriff, or the nearest state police post.
If you or a passenger in your car has been injured in the accident, should you call on a personal injury attorney for assistance? If so, when?
If the accident happened because of a mechanical failure or through the fault of the other driver, an insurance company is going to be offering you a settlement. It’s natural for you to want to settle as soon as possible and get help paying your bills and getting your life back on track. Truth is, however, rushing to settle is not a good idea. Talking to a personal injury attorney is, on the other hand. In fact, that should be done as soon as possible after the accident. Remember, once you’ve accepted a settlement from an insurance company, you give up your right to sue.
This is not a comfortable concept for drivers to accept, but it’s the truth – as an injured party, you will have become the adversary of the insurance company (even of your own insurance company, certainly that of the other driver). Logically, the company is trying to give you an award that is as low as they can reasonably get you to accept.
“You will want an attorney who knows the laws and regulations of the state where the incident occurred, cautions uslegal.com. Indiana, for example, follows what is called the 51% Rule: If someone is found to be 51% or more at fault in an accident, that person is barred from recovering money from other parties at fault in that accident. In fact, one of the most important tasks our attorneys at Ramey & Hailey perform following the accident is gathering evidence and interviewing witnesses to help prepare your personal injury case.
If you have been injured due to the incompetent driving of another person, our mission becomes helping you recover lost wages and benefits you’ve forfeited while you were being treated for your injuries. Without expert help, we have learned after forty-plus years of defending auto accident injury lawsuits is this – the most devastating effect of having been in an accident might be financial rather than physical.