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Auto Accident FAQ

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If you've been hurt in a car accident, you may not be sure what to do next. That's normal. Many people aren't sure what to do following a crash, and the process for seeking financial compensation can be very confusing. You have a lot of questions. You want answers. The car accident attorneys at Vaughan & Vaughan can help.

Since our founding in 1913, we've been working with the injured throughout Indiana. Our attorneys know the impact an injury can have on people and their families. And our goals remain the same more than a century later. We help people injured in a crash get answers to their questions and justice for what happened to them.

Our attorneys know how to build strong cases that the insurance companies have to take seriously. We will investigate what happened ourselves to get the facts. We will gather evidence and review all documentation. We will interview witnesses who saw what happened. And if needed, we will consult with accident reconstruction experts.

We will also determine the true amount of damages you have suffered. Then we will fight to help you get the best possible outcome in your case. Many times, we are able to help you recover compensation through a negotiated settlement. But if the insurance company won't agree to a fair settlement, we can fight for you in court.

Talk to the Indiana law firm with a long history of getting results. Call 765-742-0056 for a free consultation with a car accident attorney. We'll review the details of your case and go over your options to help you decide which one is best for you. We'll also answer any questions that you have.

Here are common questions people often ask after being hurt in a crash:

Don't see your question here? Contact us to learn more. Remember, these questions and answers are general information, not specific legal advice. That's why we highly recommend that you come in for a free consultation at our law firm. You can come to one of our office locations, or we can come to you. Call 765-742-0056.

Do I need a car accident lawyer?

You may be told that you don't need a lawyer to file a claim for financial compensation after a car accident. Technically, that is true. But by having an experienced attorney on your side, you can be sure your rights are being protected and that you are being treated fairly.

Remember, insurance companies will likely try to pay you as little as possible. They may offer you a lowball settlement that does not come close to covering the damages you have suffered. We can determine the amount of compensation you deserve. And we have the resources to investigate to prove that another's negligence led to your injuries.

We encourage you to consult with an attorney before making any decisions about your claim. Our law firm offers a free consultation. We can review the details of your case, answer all your questions and explain your options so you can make an informed decision about what to do.

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Should I see a doctor if I feel OK?

Yes. If the collision was relatively minor, you may feel fine. But you should get a medical exam anyway for two reasons. First and most important, you need to make sure that you really are OK. Some injuries have delayed symptoms. For example, you may have suffered a brain injury or an internal injury. A doctor can make a diagnosis and begin treatment before your condition gets worse.

Second, a doctor can document your injuries. This documentation can help you prove you were injured if you are filing a claim for financial compensation. It can also help us determine the medical expenses for treating your injury. If the insurance company disputes the extent of your injuries, this documentation can help us build a stronger case.

It may seem like an inconvenience, but getting a medical exam after an accident helps keep you safe and protects your rights.

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Should I tell my insurance company I've been in a crash?

Yes. You need to notify your insurance company in a timely manner. We suggest notifying your insurance company as soon as possible. Failing to do so may result in a denial of benefits.

But it's also important to keep your notification brief and to the point. Stick to the facts about what happened and don't volunteer any additional information. If the insurance company asks you any questions, tell them you will be getting legal advice first. Then contact an experienced attorney.

The insurance company may contact you and request that you make a recorded statement. We advise against this, as anything you say can be taken out of context and used as evidence to deny your claim. We can help you write a formal statement that gives an accurate account of what happened and helps protect your rights.

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Can I recover financial compensation for my injuries?

Yes. If the negligence of another driver caused the crash that left you injured, you should be eligible for financial compensation. But recovering compensation can be a complicated process. Drivers often deny responsibility and insurance companies may try to pay you as little as possible. That's why it's important to have an experienced car accident attorney on your side.

There are different types of compensation. One is economic damages, which represent an actual monetary loss. Examples include medical expenses for treating your injury, both past and future. It also includes lost income while you are unable to work, and loss of future earning capacity if you can't work again. Other examples include any needed modification to your home or vehicle, as well as property damage.

There is also compensation for non-economic damages - losses that have had an impact on your life but don't represent an actual monetary loss. Examples include pain and suffering, emotional distress, disability, loss of enjoyment of life and loss of consortium.

In some cases, we may also be able to seek punitive damages. Learn more about the type of compensation you can seek by calling us for a free consultation.

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What should I do if the insurance company offers me a settlement?

Soon after your crash, the insurance company may contact you with a settlement offer. They may even tell you that it's the best that they can do. It might seem tempting to accept this offer and get some money sooner rather than later. But there's a lot to think about first.

Insurance companies typically make lowball settlement offers following a crash. That means their offer falls far short of covering your actual damages. They are hoping you will accept the offer and just go away, saving them money. And if you take their offer, often that's it. You can't ask for more later.

That's why it's so important to talk to an experienced car accident attorney before accepting any offer from the insurance company. We can determine the true amount of damages you have suffered and build a strong case that the insurance company has to take seriously. Call us for a free consultation to learn more.

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What are my options if the other driver doesn't have car insurance?

It all depends on whether or not your auto insurance policy includes uninsured motorist protection (UM). Your insurance company is required to offer you this coverage, which many people decline. But we strongly urge everyone to add this coverage to their policy. It allows you to file a claim for compensation with your own insurance company if the other driver is uninsured.

If you do not have this coverage and get into an accident with an uninsured driver, your options are more limited. We can help you take legal action against the driver. But that person may have limited resources, and you may not be able to recover compensation. We can also help you explore other options.

A related situation is when the at-fault driver has insurance, but not enough coverage to pay for your losses. If you have underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) on your policy, you can file a claim with your own insurance policy. We can help you file this claim and explore other options as well.

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