Information About Personal Injury Structured Settlements

When you are in the middle of a personal injury lawsuit, your mind is in constant motion with questions about all the possible outcomes of your case. Although you might have an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side who is fighting for your rights to compensation, it can be tough putting your mind at ease until the case is completely settled.

Many people are worried about their settlements and wonder how they will receive their payment in the end. Questions like, “Will I get all my money at once?” and “Is it possible that my compensation will be awarded as a structured payment?” are all common concerns by most personal injury plaintiffs.

Injury Lawyers Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700
Injury Lawyers Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700

The Benefits of Structured Accident Settlements

A structured settlement is an agreed periodic payment plan in which the recipient receives a set amount of money over a specified period. Structured payments are a fairly common method of dispersing personal injury settlements and verdicts. Whether a structured settlement is a good result or a bad one really hangs on the recipient. There are both advantages and disadvantages of structured payments, depending on personal perspective.

The number one benefit of a structured settlement is that you usually receive more money overall. In a lump sum payment, the amount is usually negotiated lower. Another major benefit is personal financial management. When a large sum of money is paid out overtime, it is typically easier to manage your finances, pay bills, save money, and maintain a positive financial portfolio. It may be especially beneficial in terms of tax liabilities as well.

Additional Advantages of Structured Payments:

☑ Simpler Tax Planning
☑ Possible Income Tax Advantages
☑ Additional Annual Income
☑ Broader Subsidy Opportunities
☑ Budget Protection

Disadvantages of Personal Injury Structured Settlements

One of the common downfalls to structure pay is limitation. For those consider themselves financially savvy, not receiving your full compensation can be a huge restriction since you cannot use the money to make any lucrative investments. In other cases, a personal injury victim has already paid all of their hospital bills, medical expenses, and other related expenses, out of pocket. They have also already incurred lost wages from work. So, by not receiving a full payment can be frustrating since victims in this type of situation is simply trying to put the money back where it was before their accident.

Timeline for Receiving a Structured Settlement

If you win your claim and an insurance company agrees to give you a structured settlement, you will not be given a paycheck right away. Instead, you will be paid a set amount over a set period of time. The terms of structured settlement agreements vary from case to case, and payment amounts, and schedules can be set in many different ways. These payments generally begin as soon as all the paperwork is processed; however, this time period can vary, and sometimes can take up to one year to begin receiving payments.

Lastly, a settlement can also be a portion paid out up front in cash and a portion in a structured settlement.

Are you looking for a seasoned personal injury law firm to obtain the maximum settlement for your Indiana accident claim? Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a free personal injury case evaluation. You can speak directly with a trusted and experienced Indianapolis personal injury lawyer over the phone, via online video, or in person at our office. We represent clients throughout the state of Indiana.

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Tips for Documenting Your Personal Injury Expenses

There are many elements involved in pursuing a personal injury claim, but the most important one is proof of damages. Not only do personal injury claimants hold the burden of proving more likely than not that the opposing party was negligent, but they also must prove more likely than not their damages and losses. After all, if a personal injury plaintiff cannot show how much their accident and subsequent losses have cost them, they cannot possibly win their claim, let alone obtain a fair settlement or verdict.

The best method for ensuring that all personal injury expenses are collected, organized, and preserved for the sake of proving a claim is documentation. Continue below to learn some critical tips for keeping track of your personal injury costs, plus how to find trusted and experienced personal injury representation near you.

Personal Injury Attorneys  Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700
Personal Injury Attorneys Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700

Personal Injury Record Keeping

In order to guarantee good organization of your personal injury expenses, it is important to record them right away. Your records should be gathered and preserved with care so that they can easily be handed over to your Indiana accident attorney and aptly applied to your case.  It is important to keep a list of all medical providers so you can provide that list to your attorney so they can make sure all medical records and medical bills have been obtained.

Medical Treatment

After being involved in a wrongful accident, it is necessary to begin the record-keeping almost immediately, starting with medical care. You have a few options depending on the circumstances of your accident. You will need to either seek treatment at the scene by EMT’s, have an ambulance or someone else take you to the emergency room, or make an appointment with your doctor.

In all cases, it is critical to see a doctor or medical professional as soon as possible after noticing signs of injury. Although nobody wants to go to a doctor, it is important to make sure nothing is being missed when it comes to your health. Keep all records and paperwork you receive from your medical treatment, including all bills and invoices and provide them to your attorney.

Lists

Before and after seeking medical treatment, it is strongly encouraged for personal injury victims to keep a list about their accident, injuries, expenses, missed events [work, vacation, etc…]

Additional Document Requests

In addition to requesting and retaining copies of your medical records, receipts, and billing invoices, it is also important that you and your attorney obtain a copy of the police report for your accident. Making a police report at the scene of an accident is important for many reasons, whether the law mandates it for your incident or not. This is especially true for car accidents that result in bodily injury. In such cases, injuries may not appear until days or weeks later. These are known as late-appearing car accident injuries or an onset of symptoms. If you are employed, it is necessary to retain copies of past paystubs, plus proof of missed wages from time off work.

Are you unsure what to do after your recent accident or injury? Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a free initial case evaluation with a skilled Indianapolis IN personal injury lawyer. We represent injured persons throughout the state and Indiana residents injured in other states.

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What You Need to Know About Car Accident Claim Demand Letters

After sustaining serious injuries in a wrongful auto accident, you may be entitled to pursue legal action against the negligent party to obtain compensation for medical bills and similar economic damages.  If you obtain a settlement or judgment against the negligent party, their insurance carrier will pay the settlement of judgment, up to the negligent party’s liability insurance limits. 

The best strategy for obtaining a full and fair car accident injury settlement is to hire a licensed and experienced personal injury attorney who specializes in motor vehicle accident claims. From there, they may implement an effective strategy to support the full value of your claim that involves creating a solid letter of demand to the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier. A demand letter is a formally written document that becomes the basis for negotiating compensation for your resulting damages and losses.

Continue below to learn what you need to know about car accident claim demand letters, including what they entail, why most cases require one, and why you should never attempt to write your own.

Personal Injury Claim Help Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700
Personal Injury Claim Help Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700

The General Template for a Demand Letter

Demand letters are written with a strict focus on facts first, followed by opinions. Facts that are generally included in a demand letter are as follows:

Description of why the claimant believes the other party is to blame. Did they run a red traffic light? Or maybe they neglected to stop at a stop sign?  Whatever the violation or cause may be, it should be included in the demand letter.

Description of ALL injuries sustained by the claimant, how they were sustained, how they are being treated, and how the injury or wound is healing or is healed.

A breakdown of all medical-related financial losses associated with the accident, including hospital bills, medical expenses, and any other evidence and documents showing missed time at work, physical therapy, counseling, medical equipment and supplies, fuel costs traveling to and from medical appointments, and similar losses.

Information about an IUM claim, if applicable.  This is when the other person does not have insurance, or their insurance wasn’t enough to cover the medical expenses and other damages and losses.

This typically completes the introduction of a demand letter. Next is the actual demand section. The demand segment of the letter requires a different set of guidelines that should be followed by the claimant and their legal team. In this section, claimant’s demand compensation for:

Medical Expenses – The hospital can provide documents proving a claimant’s injuries and the treatments that followed.  Claimants can also provide bank statements, invoices, and other forms of billing evidence that shows the dollar amount associated with the medical treatment.

Liability – Description of how the accident happened and why the other driver was at fault.  This should include police reports, photos and witness statements to support the allegations.

Lost Income – All information on the total amount of lost wages incurred because of the injury.  Description of how the injury affected the victim’s ability to work and make money, plus proof on how much time they had to take off from work.

Comparative Negligence – If the defendant’s insurance company attempts to argue comparative fault on the party of the plaintiff/claimant, the plaintiff/claimant’s attorney can argue the facts to the insurance adjuster on why such an argument is without merit.

Emotional Distress and Pain and Suffering – Description of injuries sustained and how they have affected the victim’s everyday life, including pain and suffering and relationships, and more.  Also, a detailed description of the injuries and accident and how they have caused the victim suffering and trauma. 

What to Keep in Mind as You Proceed With Your Auto Accident Claim

Demand letters are important ways to begin the negotiation process of a car accident claim.  They can be complicated and could possibly make or break your compensation claim all together.  It is strongly encouraged to hire a seasoned Indiana personal injury law firm to navigate all elements of your claim, including writing your demand letter.

Are you looking for a qualified Indiana auto accident lawyer who can represent your best interests in a car accident claim? Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a free consultation with a seasoned car accident attorney in Indianapolis, Indiana who knows how to obtain the maximum settlement or verdict for your claim. We represent victims all throughout the state and Indiana residents injured in other states.

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Do I Still Have Options if the Insurance Adjuster Denies My Injury Claim?

If an adjuster denies your personal injury claim, you still have legal recourse. An experienced Indiana personal injury lawyer will fight the insurance company and ultimately recover the settlement or verdict you deserve. Continue reading to learn what to do if an insurance adjuster denies your injury claim, plus who to trust in Indianapolis for seasoned personal injury representation.

Indiana Accident Claim Lawyers 317-881-2700
Indiana Accident Claim Lawyers 317-881-2700

Coverage for Personal Injury Damages and Losses

When a person is wrongly injured, the at-fault party’s insurance company is held liable for the victim’s subsequent economic damages and losses, and sometimes, non-economic damages like prolonged physical therapy, pain-and-suffering, loss of companionship, and more if the at-fault party had liability coverage. Examples of common economic damages include hospital bills, medical expenses, lost wages from missing work, future compensatory losses, and much more.

Personal injury damages and losses generally depend on the severity of the accident and resulting injuries, as well as local jurisdiction. On the other hand, there are times when the faulted party’s insurance company denies liability after a victim submits their claim, stating that the law says the victim is responsible for the accident, and ultimately, any damages that may have been incurred as a result.

What Does an Insurance Adjuster Do?

In these cases, it is important to know more about adjusters and what their job entails to better understand what they tell injured victims. Furthermore, it is important to know that there are still viable options for personal injury victims whose claims are denied by the opposing party’s insurance adjuster.

An adjuster is usually not a lawyer or legal professional; they are regular insurance company employees. This means that they may have a broad idea on the law regarding their particular job role and the cases they oversee, but they do not have detailed knowledge of the law or the facts. They cannot possibly know whether you are liable for the accident that caused your injuries and losses. For this reason, it is vital to hire an experienced Indianapolis IN personal injury lawyer to navigate your claim and fight for fair compensation on your behalf.

Although insurance companies do not want you to hire or even speak with an attorney, they have their own in-house attorneys to assist their adjusters from day one, defending an injured party’s claim from the at-fault party’s perspective. Overall, insurance companies want to pay out the lowest settlement possible for every claim as they are in the business of making money, and the tactics they use are designed to pay out as little or nothing if possible.  Insurance carriers have attorneys from day one and so should you.

What To Do if Your Claim is Denied

You should hire an attorney from day one following your collision and prior to talking with anyone else about the collision. Talk to a personal injury attorney in Indianapolis to learn your rights from day one. You should not try to be your own attorney.

Are you looking for qualified and trustworthy personal injury guidance in Indiana? Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a free personal injury case evaluation. Our seasoned accident attorneys can meet with you over the phone or computer, or in-person at our Indianapolis law office. We represent injured persons throughout the state of Indiana and Indiana residents injured in other states.

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The Importance of Documentation in a Personal Injury Case

Documentation makes all the difference when it comes to adjudicating legal matters. As for personal injury cases, having all the proper paperwork in order is key to enhancing the quality of your claim, and ultimately supporting a more successful outcome. Continue below to learn more about the importance of documentation in a personal injury case, including the types of paperwork and files you should keep, as well as how to ensure you are getting started on the right foot with your Indiana injury claim.

Accident Attorneys Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700
Accident Attorneys Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700

Why Personal Injury Evidence is So Valuable

Without the proper evidence, it is possible for a personal injury claim to get thrown out before it can even begin. Under tort law, the claimant (victim or victim’s family) holds the burden of proving that the defendant (alleged at-fault party) was negligent and that their negligence was a responsible cause of their accident and subsequent damages. In order to prove anything in life, especially negligence in a personal injury case, you need evidence to back up your assertions. And it is vital to note that quality of evidence, documentation specifically, is more impactful than quantity of evidence.

Types of Evidence Supported in a Personal Injury Claim

There are several types of documented pieces of evidence that can be used to support a claimant’s personal injury case. The most common personal injury documents and paperwork include police reports, medical records, pay stubs, hospital records, witness statements, expert testimonies, accident reconstruction reports, depositions, interrogatories, and even photos and videos of the scene of the accident or injuries. Other forms of personal injury evidence may include receipts for property repairs and medical expenses.

Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer

Not only is it critical to have the right type of evidence in a personal injury claim, but it is equally critical to submit it all within the required deadlines and formats, and to the proper authorities, which may be judges, courts, lawyers, clerks’ offices, or other legal departments.

For this reason and more, it is necessary to hire an Indianapolis personal injury lawyer to navigate your case and document a strong and impactful argument on your behalf. They can ensure that all pieces of evidence, including all documentation and paperwork, are sorted, organized, investigated, and submitted as evidence in accordance with court procedures and rules.

Are you looking for personal injury lawyer to represent you in a current accident case? Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a free initial case evaluation for your personal injury claim in Indianapolis, Indiana. We represent injured persons and the loved ones following the wrongful death of a relative throughout the State of Indiana and Indiana residents injured or killed in other states.

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To Sue or Not to Sue for a Personal Injury?

To sue or not to sue? Well, that is certainly an important question after sustaining serious injuries in an accident that was someone else’s fault. When wrongly injured by another party, it is natural to assume you will be fairly compensated for your injuries and subsequent damages. And although most personal injury lawsuits settle before ever reaching trial, this is not always the case. Sometimes, it takes a lawsuit to get the financial justice you deserve. But do you know if you need to sue?

Continue reading to learn how to determine if your personal injury accident is grounds for a lawsuit or if your case is a good candidate for settling out of court.

Accident Lawyer Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700
Accident Lawyer Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700

Considerations For Personal Injury Lawsuits

Whether a person, business, manufacturer, insurance company, or even a branch of government, an at-fault party should be held liable for your resulting personal injury damages and losses, including but not limited to lost wages, medical expenses, hospital bills, prolonged rehabilitation, pain, suffering, and more. But before your jump straight into a personal injury lawsuit, there are several considerations that need your attention first. You see, there may be no question that a person who’s been wrongly and negligently injured is a victim but being a victim doesn’t always mean there are valid grounds for a lawsuit, or that a lawsuit would be the best route to take.

Certain dynamics of a case largely determine whether a person can or should sue another for their injuries. For example, the seriousness of an injury must be examined and assessed, the opposing party’s actual level of fault or negligence, and the limits of the at-fault person’s insurance. All these factors and more are considerations that will reveal whether a lawsuit is an advisable action or not.

Can the At-Fault Party Pay?

Aside from all of the relevant factors to consider, one of the most important and deal-breaking is whether or not an at-fault party is capable of providing remuneration. Sometimes, an at-fault party does not have the means to pay for another’s damages because they are not insured; so even if they are sued and lose, a victim might not be able to be awarded any funds if there are none to give in the first place. This is especially true if the at-fault party doesn’t have liability insurance either.  This is why every person should purchase uninsured and underinsured insurance coverage to protect themselves and other persons in their vehicle.

In this case, a victim will only waste their own time and money pursuing a lawsuit that can’t render recompense. The same goes for anyone intentionally or maliciously injured. A liability insurance policy will not cover intentional tort or wrongdoings, so if someone wants to recover compensation for an intentional injury, they must pursue it in court; but if the individual does not have the means to even pay for a victim’s damages, a lawsuit will also be unsuccessful in some situations in providing actual recompense.

If you are struggling with the decision to move forward with filing an injury claim for compensation, your best option is to consult with a seasoned personal injury lawyer in Indianapolis for personalized advice regarding your case. They will know if your case is valid, and whether you should pursue legal action against the at-fault party and they can look to determine any and all potential applicable insurance policies.

Are you asking yourself, “Where can I find the best accident lawyers near me?” Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Indianapolis, Indiana. We do not get paid until we obtain a settlement or verdict for you, which means we strive to recover a settlement or verdict as quickly as possible for our clients, but always with the understanding that the settlement must be the full-and-fair based on all the evidence for the case. We represent injured persons throughout the state of Indiana.

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Understanding Onset of Injuries After a Car Accident

Even as low as 5 or 10 miles per hour, vehicles are essentially multi-ton missiles on the road. So, when drivers are involved in a collision, the event is usually traumatic. The force produced by a car wreck can cause a wide range of injuries to both passengers and drivers, especially soft tissue injuries, back injuries, neck injuries, and concussions; injuries that are not always present right away.  It does not take a big collision for a person to be injured in even a “minor” automobile collision because the force of the collision between the two vehicles involved in the collision flows through your flesh and body.

A common phenomenon surrounding car accidents is known as an onset of injury, which describes a car accident victim who does not show signs of injury until hours, days, or even weeks following the collision. Such car accident victims often feel concerned that they are no longer eligible to claim payments through an accident claim or lawsuit because their injuries were not apparent at the scene of the accident. But those who are wrongly injured in a car wreck deserve justice no matter how many days later their injuries appear, and the law tends to agree.  Moreover, medical doctors agree that a delayed onset of injuries for a person involved in an automobile collision is very common.

Continue reading to learn more about experiencing an onset of injury after a car accident, including what you should do if you were hurt in an auto collision that was not your fault.

Auto Accident Attorneys Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700
Auto Accident Attorneys Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700

Do Not Mistake a Minor Accident for Minor Injuries

Even a seemingly minor car accident can cause bodily injury that does not appear at or directly after the scene of the collision. And if a minor car accident can pose the risk of late-appearing bodily harm, you can safely presume that a more serious auto accident can lead to an onset of injuries as well. An auto accident victim might feel fine, even unharmed, after the event, especially with their adrenaline pumping, but then days, weeks or even months later, begin experiencing signs and symptoms of serious injury. The most common types of late-appearing car accident injuries include neck injuries, back injuries, soft tissue injuries, whiplash, and concussions.

Because onset of injury is a real possibility among car accident victims, it is crucial to monitor your daily health following the wreck and to seek medical attention at the first sign of any evolving injuries. Such records will protect your rights to claiming payments through an accident claim or lawsuit, down the line, especially when the defendant’s insurance adjuster starts arguing you were not injured.

What To Do After a Car Accident

After being involved in a car accident that was not your fault, it is important to protect yourself by filing a police report at the scene and receiving medical attention from responding EMT’s. Also at the scene, gather as much video and photo evidence of the surroundings, including car damages, street signs, traffic signs, skid marks, intersections, any visible injuries on you, and more. You should also try to gather contact information from any witnesses. All of this evidence can help support your rights to being compensated.

After you leave the scene of the accident, it is critical to see a doctor right away. If you do not want to go to the emergency room, make a doctor’s appointment for the next day or as soon as possible. It is important to see a doctor after a car accident whether you feel injured or not. Not only will a doctor be able to check you out and give you instructions on how to self-monitor for later-appearing car accident injuries, and these medical records will help support your case as well.

During this process, it is vital that you do not speak with any insurance adjusters or representatives. Instead, work fast to hire a personal injury law firm in Indiana that specializes in car accident injury claims. They have the knowledge and resources to represent your case and obtain the maximum settlement or verdict you deserve. Just be sure to choose the best car accident attorneys in Indianapolis!

Insurance companies for defendants have attorneys and insurance adjusters working on the case for the defendant from the moment the at-fault driver informs them of the automobile collision.  You should have immediate attorney representation as well to make sure you get treated fairly and so the other side does not entice you to doing things that will only help their side.

Are you looking for a qualified and experienced civil litigation law firm that can meet these expectations and more? Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a free personal injury case evaluation with a seasoned car accident lawyer in Indianapolis. We represent clients throughout the state of Indiana and Indiana residents injured in other states.

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Facts About Confirming Fault in a Motorcycle Accident

When it comes to determining who is at-fault for your motorcycle accident, the first factor that matters is the state in which the accident took place. There are both “at-fault” and “no-fault” states, so depending on which state your accident was in will influence who is held accountable for the losses and damages incurred because of the accident. Some states hold no one accountable, some states put the responsibility on one person or the other, and some states use a formula that considers how much each individual contributed to the accident.

If you are a recent victim of a motorcycle accident that caused you serious injury, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer for help understanding your state’s laws surrounding tort law, liability, and more. In the meantime, continue reading to learn some additional information about motorcycle accident claims and liability.

Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700
Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700

Motorcycle Accidents in No-Fault States

If you were involved in motorcycle accident in no-fault state, such as Florida, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, or Pennsylvania, it is likely that your damages and losses will be compensated for by your own insurance company. If the compensation is not enough, you can file a claim to recover more. For this reason, it is important to obtain sufficient insurance if you live in such a state. Your policy should cover injuries, medical expenses, and bike damage.

Motorcycle Accidents in At-Fault States

The process is different in at-fault states because motorcycle victims file accident claims with the at-fault person’s insurance company, rather than their own. Although, if the at-fault person does not have enough insurance coverage, you can make an underinsured claim through your own motorcycle insurance carrier.  The degree of fault is taken into consideration when deciding how much compensation will be awarded to the victim. This is called comparative fault.  Indiana is an “at-fault” state where the injured person can recover for their damages so long as they are not more than 50% at-fault.  For example, if the jury says the defendant is 60% at fault and the plaintiff is 40% at fault, the plaintiff wins but their total verdict is reduced by their own percentage of fault which was 40%.

What You Should Do as a Motorbike Accident Victim in Indiana

Speak with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney in Indianapolis to decide the best strategy for filing a personal injury claim in the state your accident took place.  If you are a resident of Indiana and you are injured in another state, contact our law office and we will work with another attorney in the state you were injured in to help you receive full and fair compensation.  You will not pay higher attorney fees for having attorneys in two different states. Even if the accident was not recent, you may still be able to file a claim against an at-fault party if the statutes of limitations has not yet run out.

Are you looking for skilled personal injury attorney to represent your recent bike accident case in Indiana? Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to meet with a seasoned motorcycle accident attorney in Indianapolis, Indiana who can recover the settlement you deserve. We represent victims all throughout the state of Indiana and Indiana residents injured in other states.

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What You Can Expect From the Personal Injury Lawsuit Process

No personal injury case is alike. They each have their own unique set of circumstances. However, most personal injury lawsuits will involve a similar legal progression, from the initial step of filing a lawsuit to the final phase of receiving a verdict or settlement. Continue reading to learn which steps will likely fill in the blanks between the start and finish of a personal injury case, plus where to obtain skilled accident representation for your claim in Indiana.

Personal Injury Law Firm Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700
Personal Injury Law Firm Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700

Litigation Milestones in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Although your personal injury case will not look like the next person’s, you can count on a few standard litigation milestones after deciding to move forward with a lawsuit, such as hiring an Indianapolis accident attorney and filing a complaint, as well as exploratory investigations, pretrial and discovery, depositions, and more.

Obtaining Legal Representation

The first step after making the decision to sue is to hire a personal injury law firm to represent you. An accident attorney has the proper knowledge, experience, and resources to build a strong and impactful case on your behalf to obtain the maximum settlement possible for your lawsuit.

It is not recommended to represent yourself in a personal injury lawsuit. Not only is the law complex, but the filing and deadline requirements are stringent. Furthermore, representing yourself places you at a much higher risk of losing money. You would be required to pay for all upfront costs and legal expenses, and in the end, likely receive a much lower settlement than you would without legal representation. 

The personal injury lawyer might choose to initiate an exploratory investigation before taking you on as a client. An exploratory investigation primarily involves researching and confirming the defendant’s insurance coverage and your own underinsured coverage. If the lawyer decides you have a viable case, they will commence all the necessary paperwork, making the client-attorney relationship official. Next comes attempting to resolve your case with the defendant’s insurance carrier after you have finished your medical care and if the insurance company does not wish to resolve your case for a full and fair settlement,  next comes filing the lawsuit.

Filing a Complaint With the Court

After establishing the client-attorney relationship, your accident lawyer will take the necessary steps to file a personal injury complaint, which will be physically served on the defendant. From there, the defendant is given time to hire their own legal team and prepare for the first court appearance. The personal injury complaint is the first official legal document in the lawsuit process. It contains the circumstances of the accident, including how the defendant was negligent and the damages you’ve suffered as a result.

Pretrial and Trial

The next major stage in the personal injury lawsuit process is pretrial, which is followed by mediation or a trial. During the pretrial process, the “discovery” phase takes place, which involves both sides exchanging evidence and information, including depositions from both parties, witness statements, expert witness testimonies, and more.

Also, during the pretrial process both sides will appear in front of a judge to agree to or reject mediation. The pretrial phase can take several months due to the intermittent court hearings and scope of evidence collection. Most personal injury cases settle out of court, but some do go to trial.

If your case goes to trial, lawyers will begin to select a jury, set mandatory settlement conferences, debate which pieces of evidence will be allowed at trial, and so forth. Once the trial begins, the process only takes a matter of days. Within a weeks’ time, give or take a few days, the court and jury will decide if and how much the defendant should pay the plaintiff for damages. If the defendant is found liable and ordered to pay, they can choose to appeal, which continues the process for several more months.  The defendant’s insurance company will pay any verdict entered against the defendant, up to the insurance policy limits.

Receiving a Settlement

Both parties can agree to a settlement and close the case at any point in the process, even before a complaint is ever filed. There are many factors used to calculate a personal injury settlement.

The attorneys are responsible for preparing and agreeing upon the release document, which sets forth all the terms of the settlement.

Are you looking for skilled personal injury law firm to represent you in your negligence case in Indiana? Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a free consultation with our personal injury attorneys in Indianapolis, Indiana. We also represent injured victims all across the state.

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Are Personal Injury Lawyers Expensive?
Pros and Cons of Insurance Company Structured Settlements
Top 3 Things You Can Do to Maximize Your Accident Settlement

4 Reasons Why You Should Not Represent Yourself in a Personal Injury Case

There is an old English proverb that is particularly relevant to this topic:  “A man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client.”

Although you certainly have the law-given right to represent yourself in a personal injury lawsuit, it is not the encouraged option for claimants. Continue below to learn 4 critical reasons why, plus what legal recourse you should take to ensure you are awarded the maximum settlement for your damages and losses.

Personal Injury Lawyers Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700
Personal Injury Lawyers Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700

Personal Injury Self-Representation is Not a Good Idea

It is understandable that some accident victims ponder the idea of self-representation since civil litigants do not have a constitutional right to legal representation like criminal defendants do. But most personal injury law firms work on contingency, which means accident victims needn’t worry about affording a lawyer. Under a contingency-fee arrangement, clients do not pay any upfront costs or fees. They only pay after the law firm has obtained a settlement or verdict for them. If the law firm is unable to obtain a settlement for a client, the client owes nothing.

Some people consider representing themselves because they think they can be successful. However, there are many elements and aspects of a personal injury case that require astute and knowledgeable understanding of the law in order to maximize an accident settlement. In fact, this is the first reason why you should not choose to represent yourself in a personal injury lawsuit.

4 Risks You Take When You Choose to Represent Yourself

Complexities of the Legal System

If you plan to represent yourself, understand that the courts will strictly hold you to all related duties. You will be expected to know and understand all rules regarding evidence and civil procedures, plus identify the principal legal matter and raise all arguments. They will also expect you to know about and file all necessary paperwork within their differentiating deadlines. Failure to do so can end a case.

These legal processes are complicated, even for someone with a basic understanding of the court system. A personal injury lawyer is the best resource for obtaining the most money possible for your damages because they are specialized in tort law and have an acute knowledge of the law and courts.

Instant Legal Expenses

As soon as you begin on your personal injury case, the legal expenses will immediately begin to accrue. Clients of personal injury lawyers who operate on contingency are often covered by the law firm in terms of any required upfront legal costs. Clients pay for all legal expenses when their attorneys obtain a settlement for them. Oppositely, anyone representing themselves will be forced to pay their own legal costs from start to finish, which may include court costs, filing fees, copying fees, serving pleadings, depositions, hearing transcribing, expert testimony costs, investigatory costs, and more.

Less Compensation

It is very difficult for the average personal injury claimant to gain the full value of their case when representing themselves. Attempting to do so would certainly pose all sorts of challenges. Not only do personal injury lawyers know how to negotiate with insurance companies, especially since they are acutely trained to dodge the common tactics used by insurance companies to lower the value of a claimant’s case, but they know how to accurately evaluate your claim’s full worth.

Complicated Lien Resolution

For most personal injury cases, an awarded settlement means that at least one healthcare lien must be resolved with a government healthcare program or private insurer, typically Medicaid or Medicare, but sometimes the Veterans’ Administration. This process of lien resolution for personal injury settlements requires seasoned legal knowledge and training. Self-representing personal injury claimants often find themselves stuck in regulatory traps and red-tape mazes. 

Do you still need more convincing that a personal injury law firm is the right choice for your accident case in Indiana? Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a free personal injury case evaluation. You can speak directly with a trusted and experienced Indianapolis IN accident attorney over the phone, via online video, or in person at our office. We represent clients throughout the state of Indiana.

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