Indianapolis Car Accident Attorneys
Motor Vehicle Accidents in Indiana
If you have been injured or have suffered the loss of a loved one due to a car accident, you may be worried about how you are going to pay for your medical bills or funeral costs. The other party may be held responsible for your expenses if their negligence caused your injury or your loved one’s death.
At Hovde Dassow + Deets, we have provided clients with personalized, one-on-one legal support for more than five decades. We offer caring and compassionate counsel for our clients throughout their personal injury cases. Our Indianapolis car accident attorneys fight tirelessly to help our clients secure the full and fair compensation they deserve—to date, we have recovered more than $300 million in settlements and verdicts.
Determining Liability After a Car Accident
Indiana is one of many states to follow a traditional, fault-based car accident and insurance system. This means that, after an accident, you must prove that the other party was at fault to bring a claim against their insurance company. You could also be entitled to compensation from your own auto insurance provider, depending on the type of insurance coverage you have.
To determine who is liable for your injuries and damages, you must establish fault. This typically involves demonstrating how the accident occurred and who was to blame. The at-fault party is usually the one liable for the injured party’s damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
In some cases, determining fault for an accident is relatively simple. For example, if you were hit by a drunk driver, and you were not breaking any laws or acting negligently yourself, you have a pretty clear case against the drunk driver. However, more often than not, fault is shared between multiple parties. If you are found to be partly at fault for the accident, you may still be able to file a claim against the other driver’s insurance company, but the amount you can receive in compensation could be affected.
Under Indiana’s modified comparative negligence rule, you can only recover financial compensation after an injury-causing accident if your degree of fault does not exceed that of the other driver(s) involved. In other words, you must be no more than 50 percent to blame for the accident. Additionally, even if you are eligible to file a claim for compensation under the modified comparative negligence rule, the amount you can recover will be directly affected by your percentage of fault. For example, if you are found to be 30 percent to blame for the crash, your recovery will be reduced by 30 percent. In other words, you would only be able to recover up to 70 percent of the total amount you are seeking in compensation.
Because insurance adjusters are the ones who initially assign fault after an accident, it is important that you work with an attorney who can protect your rights and seek the full compensation you are owed. Often, these insurance adjusters will attempt to limit payouts by assigning a greater degree of fault to injured victims. An experienced Indianapolis car accident attorney at our firm can review your claim and fight back against unjust insurance company practices.
How Different Types of Insurance Affect Your Protection
Car accidents are the cause of death for nearly 1.3 million people each year, as well as 20 - 50 million injuries or disabilities. All but two states require drivers to have car insurance. Each state has different mandatory minimum requirements for each type of coverage, but there are also other options available for drivers.
Some of these options include:
- Liability coverage
- Property damage coverage
- Medical payments coverage
- Comprehensive coverage
In the state of Indiana, if you own a motor vehicle and choose liability coverage, you must purchase a policy that provides at least $25,000/$50,000 in coverage, which means that the policy must cover $25,000 worth of expenses per person per accident and $50,000 for all persons injured in any one accident. You can choose to add medical payment (MedPay) coverage to your liability insurance, which will pay you or any passenger injured in the accident the selected amount of coverage.
If the at-fault party does not have insurance and you do not have uninsured motorist coverage, you may still be able to seek compensation. Consult an attorney at Hovde Dassow + Deets to learn more about your options.
What Is the Number One Cause of Car Accidents?
Most car accidents are the result of negligence. Examples include:
- Distracted driving
- Texting/using a handheld cellphone or device
- Driving too fast for current conditions
- Driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs
- Unsafe or illegal turns
- Unlawful passing
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Failure to check vehicle blind spots before merging
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Reckless and aggressive driving, including road rage
- Fatigued driving
These and other forms of negligent driving can lead to serious accidents, which may result in catastrophic injuries and/or death. Victims often experience blunt force trauma, broken bones, accident amputation, head and neck injuries, back injuries, whiplash, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and internal bleeding. This can lead to permanent disabilities, as well as lasting physical and mental impairments.
At Hovde Dassow + Deets, we believe that negligent drivers should be held accountable for the devastating harm they cause. If you were injured or if someone you love died due to a careless, reckless, or aggressive driver, contact our firm today for a free consultation with one of our car accident lawyers in Indianapolis.
What to Do After a Car Accident
The first thing you should do after a car accident is to seek medical attention from a doctor or physician. Even if you believe your injuries are minor, or that they will heal on their own, you should always see a medical provider after an accident. A medical provider can diagnose your injuries and recommend treatment, as well as identify any underlying injuries or trauma you may have experienced. When you see a doctor after an accident, you also establish proof of your injuries through documented medical records. This can be extremely useful in proving your car accident case.
You should also report the accident to the police as soon as possible. By law, you are required to report any accident in Indiana that results in bodily injury, death, or property damage of more than $1,000. You may also need to report an accident based on the city in which it occurs, as well as your insurance requirements, regardless of whether one of the first three requirements was met. Note that if a law enforcement officer came to the scene of the crash, they will have filed an accident report on your behalf.
After your doctor’s visit and after reporting the accident to the police, you will want to consult a lawyer to begin an investigative review of your accident and personal injury case. An attorney will be able to gather applicable evidence and communicate with the insurance company on your behalf. It is important that you provide your attorney with any information or evidence you have regarding the crash, such as the other driver’s name and insurance information, copies of the police report, copies of your medical records, pictures of the accident scene/your injuries, and more.
When you consult a lawyer, you will want to seek compensation for medical expenses and any loss you may suffer due to your personal injury. If you have lost a loved one in an accident, you will want to seek compensation for funeral expenses and other related losses.
Why Choose Hovde Dassow + Deets?
At Hovde Dassow + Deets, we have been representing injured individuals and the families of those wrongfully killed throughout Indiana since 1967. Our attorneys have more than a century of combined experience, including extensive trial and litigation experience. We know how to maximize our clients’ claims and fight for the full, fair compensation they are owed.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one due to a careless, negligent, or reckless driver, turn to our Indianapolis car accident attorneys today for the compassionate, personalized, and attentive legal service you deserve. We are available 24/7 and only collect legal fees if/when we recover compensation for you.
Car Accident FAQs
Is Indiana a no-fault state?
Indiana is not a no-fault state. Instead, the state follows a traditional fault-based system for car accidents and insurance claims. This means that you will need to prove that the other person or party was at least partially at fault for the crash if you wish to recover compensation from their insurance company. You will also need to establish the other party’s fault if you wish to file a lawsuit.
How long do I have to sue a negligent driver after an accident?
In Indiana, the statute of limitations on car accident lawsuits is two years from the date of the accident, injury, or death. If the statute of limitations expires, meaning more than two years have passed since the accident or the date of your loved one’s death, your case will almost certainly be dismissed.
When should I hire a car accident lawyer?
If you were injured or your loved one was killed, you should consult with an attorney. Even a relatively minor accident can quickly become a nightmare as the insurance company disputes your injuries or pushes back on your claim. An attorney at Hovde Dassow + Deets can stand up for you and your rights, working to recover the maximum settlement you are owed. Our attorneys will handle all communication with the insurance company so that you can focus on healing. If necessary, we are prepared to represent you at trial.
We wanted to say thanks to Nick and the staff of Hovde Dassow + Deets for the excellent work you did as our attorney.- Dennis F.
They care deeply about their clients and work hard for the best results.- Taylor F.
I can’t thank Nick Deets and his staff enough for assisting me with my personal injury case.- Beth R.