Since 1913, Vaughan & Vaughan has been fighting for the injured in Indiana. We hold negligent drivers accountable for their actions and fight for fair compensation for our clients. If you’ve been in a car accident in Avon, Indiana, we’re ready to help you.
For over a century, we’ve listened to the stories of people dealing with the costs of car accidents and shouldering the burden of losing a loved one in fatal accidents. Put our compassionate and aggressive personal injury lawyers in Avon to work for you. When you need justice, contact Vaughan & Vaughan.
When do I Need to Contact a Lawyer?
An insurer may claim that you do not need a lawyer to accept a settlement offer. This is true, but you’ll leave a lot of money on the table if you do. You need to protect your rights and ensure you’re getting a fair amount of compensation for your car accident.
There are four parties you need to contact after a car accident. They are:
- The police to give an accident report and document what happened
- Your doctor to document your injuries and start getting treatment
- Your own insurer so they’ll cover any claims made by the other parties
- A car accident lawyer in Avon who can protect your legal rights
Before agreeing to anything an insurer says about your accident, talk to us for a free consultation. We can answer your questions, explain your legal options, and advise you on the best way forward to complete financial recovery.
Do I Really Need to See a Doctor First?
It’s in your best interest to schedule a medical exam as soon as you can after your accident, preferably within 24 hours. Why is it important? First, you could prevent hidden injuries from getting worse. If you wait too long, these injuries may worsen and require more expensive and extensive treatment.
Second, seeing a doctor will create a medical record of your injuries. We can use these records to detail how you were harmed and how much you should receive to cover your medical bills and other damages. The record will show if you suffered whiplash, TBI, internal injuries, and more.
Finally, you’ll protect yourself against insurers. Putting off a doctor’s visit gives them room to claim that your injuries aren’t so bad or that some other cause harmed you. With a medical record, and even testimony from your doctor as an expert witness, we can shut those claims down.
Proving Negligence in a Car Accident Case
Many car accidents happen because of someone else’s negligence, like through speeding or driving drunk. Yet many of these other drivers will try to deny they were at fault. Therefore, we have to prove it by showing they committed negligence.
There are four things needed to prove negligence: duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages. Here’s a brief overview of these:
Duty of Care
All drivers have an obligation to drive safely to keep those around them safe. This is called a duty of care. Showing that the defendant you’re suing was driving during the accident will be enough to prove this.
Breach of Duty
Breach of duty is any unreasonable action that puts others at risk and breaks the duty of care. Breaking a traffic law is an easy way to prove a breach of duty, but not every car accident is caused by a driver’s breach. It could be a mechanic’s fault or a manufacturer defect, for example.
All drivers do something dangerous while driving sometimes, but a dangerous act alone isn’t enough for a victim to get compensation. The dangerous act has to cause an accident as well. One example is proving someone’s texting and driving was happening just before the crash.
Finally, you must have suffered some kind of loss covered in the law. These are called damages. While the previous three things show negligence, this one is used to show what you need compensation for and how much it needs to be.
You don’t have to prove these yourself. By hiring our Avon car accident lawyers, you can focus on recovery while we get to work proving negligence in your case. Without a lawyer, you’re at the mercy of the insurance companies.
The Value of Your Car Accident Claim
Every accident has a unique constellation of circumstances and costs, so it’s impossible to predict how much your case is worth until we gather the evidence for your claim. Part of a car accident lawyer’s job is to calculate the value of economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are the actual financial losses you’ve suffered because of your accident, like your medical bills, lost wages, lost future earning capacity, property damage, and similar costs that have a price tag.
You can also get compensation for non-economic damages like pain and suffering or emotional distress. These don’t have a price tag. Instead, their value is negotiated between your lawyer and the insurer based on past cases and what you’ve suffered.
In rare cases, you may also qualify for punitive damages. A court awards these when someone’s actions are so grossly negligent that the court gives a punishment for what happened.
Statute of Limitations on Car Accident Claims in Avon, IN
Indiana allows car accident victims two years to file a lawsuit after their accident. After that, the courts can deny your claim under a rule called the statute of limitations. This rule preserves everyone’s right to a speedy trial while evidence is still fresh.
However, this does not leave you much time to start your case. If you’re in the hospital and wondering if you can reach out to a lawyer before you’re released or recovered, you absolutely can. If you can hold a conversation or have a loved one speak on your behalf, Vaughan & Vaughan can consult with you.
Contact Vaughan & Vaughan’s Car Accident Lawyers
Get an Indiana board-certified trial lawyer on your side to fight for you in your car accident case. Fewer than 20 lawyers in Indiana hold this certification, and it’s only awarded to lawyers with demonstrated skill and expertise in the courtroom.
To speak with our attorneys in a free consultation, call our offices or contact us through our website to schedule an appointment. All consultations are free and without obligation to use our services. Our firm works on contingency, so you will owe us nothing for our services unless you win your case.