Chaos is the most common word used to describe the scene of most car accidents. There are damaged vehicles, injured passengers and drivers, and traffic jams in many cases. Understanding what steps you should take in the immediate aftermath of a wreck can prevent you from making potentially costly mistakes.
At Wade Law, we believe the more information you have before being involved in an accident on Indiana roadways, the better equipped you will be to know how to protect your rights.
Car Accident Scene Documentation and Information
One of the most important things you can do at the scene of an accident is to get to safety. Once you are safe, you should begin to gather information. Obtaining the name, address, and contact information as well as insurance information from other drivers is the initial action you should be taking.
Photographs, witness information, and anything else you may think could be useful including notes regarding road signage, weather conditions, and nearby surveillance cameras could be helpful.
For a free legal consultation, call (815) WADE-LAW
Your Next Steps Are Crucial Following a Car Wreck
While you are waiting for the police to arrive at the scene of a car accident, make sure you do not give any indication you could be at fault, even partially, for the wreck. Avoid making statements such as I did not see anyone coming, I am sorry, or I only looked away for a second. Any statement like this could put you at risk of losing the ability to get compensation for the damages and injuries you suffered.
Never refuse medical attention. This is critical. If you do not have medically documented proof of your injuries, there is no way to hold the responsible party accountable. Even if you believe your injuries are minor, or you think you may not have suffered any injury, a thorough medical evaluation is necessary. Remember, internal injuries, head injuries, and even a bone fracture may be masked by the adrenaline which will flood your system following a car wreck.
What You Should Do Before Notifying Your Insurance Company of a Car Accident
Make sure you know your rights. Before you speak with your insurance company, talk to an Indianapolis car accident attorney at Wade Law. This could be very important because your insurance company may ask you to make a statement which you do not have to do immediately. Generally, it is a good idea to wait until a police report is available.
At Wade Law, an Indianapolis car accident attorney will provide you with a free Indiana crash report if you request we do so. This can be helpful because it will give us the information we need to help you make an informed decision about what legal steps are available to you following an accident.
Insurance Company and Accident Claims
You should always be aware an insurance company is going to take any steps they can legally take to minimize your insurance claim. Indiana insurance requirements include minimum liability coverage stated as 25/50/25. This means the coverage includes $25,000 for bodily injury to one person involved.
However, in some cases, your injuries and other losses could be significantly higher. Remember, your accident claim can include some of the following:
- Lost wages – while you are out of work
- Medical expenses – those expenses which are not covered by your existing healthcare plan
- Pain and suffering – this includes mental anguish, physical pain, and more
- Punitive damages – when the driver was negligent, such as in drunk driving cases, punitive damages are sometimes awarded
A Wade Law Indianapolis car accident attorney can help you determine what your claim should include. Remember, the insurance company will likely push back, but having an attorney to help you successfully negotiate a settlement is important.
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Why You May Need a Car Accident Lawyer
We know that most people find it frustrating to deal with insurance companies. When you are hurt and trying to focus on recovering from an injury, the last thing you need is additional stress. Some people think they do not need a car accident lawyer, but you should know when to consider hiring a lawyer to represent your interests.
Victims who have suffered a serious injury, are going to be out of work for an indeterminate amount of time, or when the insurance company is trying to place all or part of the blame for the car accident on them should always seek legal help.
Remember, a car accident lawyer works for you. One thing you can count on is the insurance company will have an attorney advising them every step of the way. Wade Law likes to level the playing field, so the insurer does not have the upper hand in negotiations. Our goal is to protect the interests of the victim and help them get the best possible settlement for their injury.
Indiana Car Accident Statistics
In one recent year, there were more than 37,000 car accidents across Marion County. As a result, 101 people lost their lives and an additional 1,660 suffered severe injury. Unfortunately, two of the causes which impacted these numbers were drivers who were under the influence and drivers who were speeding.
These negligent drivers can be held accountable for the injuries they cause on Indianapolis roadways. At Wade Law, we are committed to helping victims recover financially after an accident that was not their fault. However, this also means that you, as a potential victim must know what to do and avoid doing at the scene and following an accident.
Contact Wade Law Today and Get the Help You Need
If you or someone you love was involved in a car accident on Indianapolis roadways, contact a Wade Law car accident attorney immediately and schedule a confidential, no strings attached consultation. We will be happy to review the circumstances of your accident and advise you as to whether you have the grounds to pursue more compensation than what is being offered by the insurance company.