Experienced Indiana car accident lawyers explain crash victims’ rights
Life moves fast after an Indianapolis car accident. One moment you’re commuting on I-465, going to dinner on Massachusetts Avenue, or visiting a friend on Georgetown Road when suddenly a negligent driver changes the course of your life.
You’ve been hit by a car. There’s a lot of pain. Many accident victims are unable to work right away or do many normal tasks and activities. Meanwhile, medical bills stack up alongside monthly expenses.
There is a lot of pressure on seriously injured victims and grieving families in fatal crashes to swiftly make the right legal moves in the days and weeks after the accident. Yet, for many people, this is their first time filing a claim or negotiating with a veteran insurance adjuster. The stakes are high. We can help.
When your health and stability are on the line, legal experience matters.
An experienced Indianapolis car accident lawyer at Vaughan & Vaughan can be by your side, every step of the way, guiding you through the complex legal process. We can take on the insurance company so you can focus on healing, confident your claim is moving forward.
Vaughan & Vaughan offers free case consultations to Indianapolis car accident victims and the families of loved ones killed in car crashes. At no cost to you, we can answer your accident-related legal questions, estimate the value of your claim, and help weigh your options.
Indianapolis Car Accident Dos and Don’ts
If you’ve been in an Indianapolis car accident, knowing what to do in the aftermath can help protect your right to compensation. The most important step after a crash – once you have sought medical attention – is to call an experienced lawyer with a lengthy track record of success in Marion County.
Our Indianapolis car accident law firm will spend our own time and resources investigating your crash, collecting evidence, building a strong case, and relentlessly pursuing compensation on your behalf.
Even so, there are some things that you can do – and not do – after a car accident to put yourself in the best position to recover full compensation.
Be safe. Call the police.
After an accident, your health and safety are top priorities. Get to a safe location at the crash site and call 911. In Indiana, unless you’re going to get emergency medical care, it is illegal to leave the scene of an accident that results in injuries, death, or significant property damage. So, wait at the scene until law enforcement arrives, usually the Indianapolis Metro Police Department (IMPD) or Indiana State Police (ISP). Once the officer arrives, get their name, badge number, and agency. This will help locate a critical piece of evidence, the Indiana crash report, once it is ready.
Get checked out by emergency medical responders even if you feel okay. Often, accident victims sustain serious injuries – like a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), concussion, fractured bones, spinal cord injury, or internal damage – that do not show immediate symptoms. Delayed pain is frequently experienced by car accident victims. An EMT may be able to detect severe damage before you do.
Say as little as possible.
There are a lot of people asking questions after a crash. However, you should say as little as possible at the crash site. Be polite and if you talk to the police, stick to the facts: name, driver’s license, insurance information, time of crash, etc. Do not go into detail about the actions leading up to the crash or comment on fault. Never say “I’m sorry” at a crash site. This polite phrase can be twisted around by an insurance adjuster and interpreted as an admission of fault. Do not talk to the other driver’s insurance agent.
When one wrong word can chop thousands of dollars off your settlement, it is a good idea to have a lawyer with your best interests in mind helping you make the right moves. The sooner you contact a lawyer, the sooner they can handle police and insurance adjuster questions and requests for you.
There is a lot of strong evidence to support your claim at the crash site that will only be available for a short while. Wrecked vehicles will be moved out of the road, tire marks will get washed away, and witnesses’ memories will fade. So, if your health and safety allow, start collecting evidence at the crash site. Take photos and video of the wreck including vehicle position, road conditions, physical evidence like skid marks and broken glass, injuries, people involved, and property damage. Talk to witnesses and get their names and contact information. That way, your lawyer can follow up with them later.
See a doctor.
Always take car accident injuries seriously and get the expert medical attention you need to fully understand the extent of your damage. Even if you saw an EMT at the crash site, you need to get a thorough examination by a doctor who has more time, training, and resources to evaluate your injuries.
Ideally, you will see a doctor on the same day as the crash. In Indianapolis, emergency trauma care is available at places like IU Health Methodist Hospital, Ascension St. Vincent Indianapolis, and Riverview Health Emergency Room & Urgent Care in Zionsville. If you weren’t checked out by a doctor after the crash, now is the time to do so. Seeing a doctor helps protect your health and creates another critical piece of evidence to support your claim: an official medical report of your crash injuries.
Keep a private record of the crash.
As soon as you are able, write down the details that you can remember from the crash like time of day, location, road and weather conditions, actions taken by yourself or the other driver prior to the crash, injuries, and any other details you can think of. Then, maintain a daily account of your crash injuries and treatment. Include descriptions of how the injuries are affecting your daily life. Your own record could become important evidence to support your case and will help you recall details throughout the claims process.
Call your insurance company.
This is a tricky step. Most car insurance policies require you to inform them about an accident soon after it occurs. Skipping this step could have a negative impact on your claim. When you contact your insurance company, stick to the facts and say as little as possible: time, date, location, names of those involved, etc. Do not go into detail about what happened, fault, or your injuries. It is enough at this time to say that you are being medically treated and leave it at that. Assume you are being recorded, but do not agree to make an informal or formal statement about the crash.
If you have a lawyer, they can handle notifying your insurance company for you. You can also refer any future questions or requests the insurance company has about your claim to your lawyer.
Contact an experienced car accident lawyer.
To get the settlement you deserve after a crash, you need to collect evidence, file technical forms and legal documents, and ultimately, beat an experienced insurance adjuster in a high stakes negotiation that determines whether your settlement will cover your losses or run out before you get better. In short, the deck is stacked against you. The only way forward is to get someone who knows the system on your side.
Take control of the situation. Contact Vaughan & Vaughan after an Indianapolis car accident for a free case consultation. At no cost to you, we can answer your crash-related legal questions, estimate the value of your claim, and help weigh your legal options.
Don’t take on the insurance company alone. An insurance adjuster’s job is to save the insurance company money, and that means reducing or rejecting your claim. That’s why you should never accept a financial offer from an insurance company without at least taking a free consultation with a lawyer first.
When you need results, experience matters.
The Indianapolis car accident lawyers at Vaughan & Vaughan never settle for less than your case is worth. Since 1913, our law firm has been committed to getting maximum compensation for our clients. Our team has recovered millions of dollars in damages for Indiana accident victims.
If you were in an Indianapolis car accident, you should know that there is no upfront or out-of-pocket expense for our service. Our law firm represents injured accident victims for a contingency fee. That means our payment is an agreed-upon percentage of the settlement or verdict. If we don’t get you a favorable decision, you don’t pay us.
Don’t delay. A statute of limitations does apply to your accident. Get answers to your questions. Pursue justice and compensation. Contact Vaughan & Vaughan. A member of our team is available to hear from you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Schedule your free case consultation today.