The General Steps of a Car Accident Injury Trial

In the vast majority of cases of car accident lawsuits, both parties usually avoid trial by settling the case with the assistance from their respective attorneys. This happens when the claimant party, or injured victim, agrees to a settlement offered by the opposing party’s insurance carrier. However, if both parties cannot come to a settlement agreement, the case will go to trial. Trials are serious matters, which is why it is vital to always have private personal injury representation as a wrongfully injured victim in Indiana. They can navigate your car accident case every step of the way.

For a better understanding of what this might involve, continue below to review the general steps of car accident injury trial.

Car Accident Attorney Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700
Car Accident Attorney Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700

Car Accident Liability Disputes

In the case of a car accident liability dispute, a claimant has two options for resolution: they can settle with the insurance company or file a personal injury lawsuit. Settling with the insurance company would involve out-of-court settlement negotiations that would take place between the claimant party (injured victim and their legal team) and the insurance carrier.

If the insurance carrier offers a full and fair settlement for the injured victim’s damages and losses, the injured victim might agree to the settlement, and the case can be completed and closed. If the injured victim and their legal team reject the settlement offer by the insurance carrier, they can bring the case to court. At trial, a car accident injury dispute will be heard and decided normally by a jury and rarely by a judge.

Car accident injury cases tend to go to trial because they are high-value, or because they involve complicated factors surrounding liability and causation. It is important to have an experienced Indianapolis car accident lawyer working your case for the best possible chance at recovering the maximum settlement for your damages and losses.

What To Expect at a Car Accident Injury Trial

Your personal injury car accident lawyer will handle every aspect of your case, from start to finish. On your behalf, they will attend every hearing and pretrial meeting representing your best interests. The general phases of a car accident injury trial include discovery, mediation, jury selection, opening statements, presentation of evidence, closing arguments, jury deliberation, and verdict delivery.

Discovery Phase

The discovery phase is a type of pretrial meeting that takes place between the legal team of the claimant party (injured victim) and the legal team of the plaintiff party (insurance company). During this phase, the lawyers will exchange information relevant to the case by means of depositions, interrogatories, or other requests for evidence.

Jury Selection

Following the discovery phase, both the plaintiff and claimant legal teams will interview a panel of potential jurors by asking them several questions. They will need six qualified jurors and one alternate in Indiana.

Opening Statements

Once the trial begins, both sides will make opening statements to the court and jury. These statements outline what the lawyer intends on proving throughout the proceedings.

Presentation of Evidence

During this stage of a car accident injury trial, both legal teams for each side will present the evidence they have that proves their case. Such evidence might include documents, records, witness testimonies, expert testimonies, photographs, videos, receipts, and relevant evaluations.

Closing Arguments

Towards the end of the trial, after all evidence has been presented and argued, the claimant’s lawyer and the plaintiff’s lawyer will make closing arguments. These are similar to opening statements in that they summarize all facts and testimony presented and proved throughout the trial.

Jury Deliberations

During this phase of a car accident trial, the jury will deliberate and ultimately decide whether the claimant met their burden of proof or not.


After the jury and judge decide that the claimant party did meet their burden of proof and therefore the opposing party’s liability in the case, they will be award financial compensation. If the judge and jury decide that the claimant party failed at meeting this burden, the case will be closed, and they would receive no compensation.

Are you ready to discuss the legal options you have surrounding your recent and wrongful car accident in Indiana? Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a free initial case evaluation for your car accident injury lawsuit in Indianapolis, Indiana. We represent injured persons and the loved ones following the wrongful death of a relative throughout the State of Indiana. We also represent Hoosiers who were injured and the Estates of persons wrongly killed in other states.

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Auto Insurance Terms You Need to Know as a Car Accident Victim

All drivers should have a basic understanding of their auto insurance policy. This is especially true for anyone injured in a car accident. This awareness can also help victims if you have to make a personal injury claim. A good place to start is by learning the common auto insurance terms used in the industry.

Continue reading to review some basic terminology surrounding automotive insurance claims and policies, as well as where to get started with your car accident claim.

Indianapolis Car Accident Attorneys 317-881-2700

Indianapolis Car Accident Attorneys 317-881-2700

The terms and definitions listed below are likely to vary from state to state. Be sure to check with your insurance provider to confirm the details of your state’s particular auto insurance laws and policy limitations. If you have questions about making an accident claim, it is vital that you speak with a seasoned Indianapolis personal injury lawyer for professional advice and assistance you can trust.

Here are some common auto insurance terms you may come across:

Accident Forgiveness – While most providers will increase a policy holder’s premium after causing an accident, policies with accident forgiveness will not add a surcharge after a car accident.

Adverse Carrier – The insurance carrier of the other party involved in a car accident.

Appraisal – The estimation of the property damage and the cost to have it repaired.

At-Fault – The party who is legally responsible for damages resulting from an accident.

Binder – A provisional insurance contract that provides proof of insurance coverage until a permanent policy can be allotted.

Bodily Injury – Injuries sustained by individuals involved in an accident.

Claim – The formal request to an insurance company for compensation following a car accident.

Comparative Negligence – Victims who are partially at-fault can collect a partial amount of compensation for their damages and losses based on the percentage of their contribution to negligence. See our article on The Difference Between Comparative and Contributory Negligence.

Coverage – The overall protection and benefits provided by an insurance policy contract.

Covered Person – Those who are insured under a car insurance policy.

Damage – Harm or loss to a person or property.

Deductible – The fee the insured party must pay in order for their insurance company to pay their claim.

Proof of Financial Responsibility – A law mandating that all drivers must retain the state’s minimum amount of liability insurance coverage to legally operate each vehicle they own (Indiana’s requirement is 25/50/25 minimum liability insurance).

Indemnification – Compensating an injured party for the purpose of restoring their estimated financial position and quality of life back to what it was before an accident.

Liability – A legal and imposable obligation for the losses and damages suffered by an accident victim.

Liability Insurance – Car insurance coverage that defends against claims that a driver’s negligence cause a victim bodily harm or property damage.

Limits – The maximum benefits an insurance company will pay for losses and damages covered in an insurance policy.

Loss – The amount of money assigned to a claim.

Negligence – Failure to possess or demonstrate a level of care, expected by all persons under law, which protects another person, reputation, or property from harm or foreseeable and unreasonable risks.

No-Fault Insurance – A policy that covers medical treatment, lost wages, and other accident-related expenses, regardless of who is at-fault for an accident.

Per Occurrence Limit – The maximum benefits paid by an insurance company for all claims stemming from a single incident.

Per Person Limit – The maximum benefits paid by an insurance company for a single person’s injuries arising from a single incident.

Personal Auto Policy (PAP) – A simple, rudimentary automotive insurance policy that provides coverage for liability, medical payments, uninsured and underinsured motorists, and physical damage protection.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) – A type of medical payments coverage in which all or a portion of medical expenses and hospital bills (driver and passengers) are paid for, no matter who is to blame for an auto accident. See our blog on Discussing Personal Injury Protection (PIP).

Policyholder – The individual who owns the policy. It may also include anyone covered under the policy.

Premium – The amount paid for an automotive insurance policy.

Property Damage Liability Coverage – This covers any property damage done to another person’s property in the case that a driver is at-fault for their accident.

Replacement Cost – The total cost to replace damaged property, with the exclusion of depreciation reductions.

Split Limits – An imbursement strategy used by the insurance company to pay for individual components of a car accident.

Underinsured – A policyholder who does not retain enough insurance coverage to cover all related damages in a car accident.

Unsatisfied Judgment Fund – A state fund intended to compensate individuals for any losses sustained from an automobile accident caused by an uninsured/underinsured motorist, or person without money.

Get Started on Your Car Accident Claim Today

Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700

Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700

Call Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a free consultation with a licensed Indianapolis car accident attorney who can determine the best strategies for your case. Not only does our law firm offer free consultations, we never collect lawyer fees unless we prevail for you! Call 317-881-2700 to get started on your financial recovery, today.

Legal Disclaimer: Although every effort is taken to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice. Individual cases differ and should be discussed with a lawyer.

Eye-Opening Drunk Driving Facts and Statistics

Drunk driving is a dangerous behavior. When a person drives under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they are essentially operating a 5,000 pound missile. Vehicles can quickly turn into weapons when operated by someone who is intoxicated.

So the next time you consider driving after having a few drinks, you need to remember the drunk driving and motor vehicle accident facts listed below. If you were hurt by a drunk or negligent driver, contact our Indianapolis personal injury lawyers for help recovering the full and fair compensation you deserve.

Car Accident Lawyers 317-881-2700

Car Accident Lawyers 317-881-2700

Don’t Wait to Learn From Your Mistake. Never Drive Drunk AGAIN.

According the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), these are the most recent statistics and facts regarding intoxicated driving accidents and fatalities:

In the United States, 28 people die in an alcohol/impaired driving accident, EVERYDAY. That equates to 1 death every hour.

In 2015, 29% of all motor vehicle crashes that resulted in fatalities were caused by drunk driving. That means that than 10,000 people died that year in an alcohol-impaired car crash.

In 2015, there were 1,100,132 traffic deaths among minors. From these traffic fatalities, 209 were alcohol-related.

More than 1 million drivers were arrested in 2015 for impaired driving.

Separate from alcohol, 16% of all motor vehicle accidents are caused by legal and illegal drugs.

Individuals More at Risk of Impaired Driving Accidents

It is suggested that younger individuals (under 24 years old) are more likely to be involved in a serious motor vehicle accident as a result of intoxicated driving.

In 2015, 8% of the drunk drivers involved in a fatal crash were between the ages of 21 and 24 years old. 27% were between the ages of 25 and 34, and 23% were between the ages of 35 and 44.

Drug users are 25% more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle accident compared to non-drug users.

In 2015, 27% of all motorcycle accident fatalities were alcohol impaired related.

The highest percentage of deaths (37%) among motorcyclist accidents are between the ages of 35 and 39.

Drunk drivers involved in fatal car crashes are more than 4 times as likely to have a prior conviction for DUI compared to drivers involved in fatal car crashes with no alcohol in their system.


Indianapolis Car Accident Lawyers

Personal Injury Law Firm 317-881-2700

Personal Injury Law Firm

Call Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to speak with a licensed car accident lawyer in Indianapolis, Indiana. We never collect attorney fees unless we obtain compensation for you, and we also offer free initial consultations. Get started on your physical, emotional, and financial recovery today!

Advice on Driving Safe in Winter Weather

Harsh winter weather can be both intimidating and dangerous at the same time. Now that we are sure snow and ice will be on the roads soon, it is important to review some safe winter driving tips. This is especially important for new drivers and adolescents. A little knowledge can save lives and prevent accidents on the road. As a seasoned driver, you should know how to drive safely in hazardous weather, and what to do in the case of winter roadside emergencies. Continue reading for helpful and imperative winter driving safety tips and more.

Car Accident Attorney 317-881-2700

Car Accident Attorney 317-881-2700

Tips for Winter Driving

As for daily driving, it is important to make sure you do not drive when tired or sleepy. If you are not capable of being one hundred percent alert behind the wheel of a car, especially one with passengers in tow, then you are not in a position to drive responsibly. Before starting your vehicle, be sure your gas tank is at least halfway full in order to avoid your gas lines from freezing up. Also be sure to check your tires and see if they are fully inflated. Low-inflation tires are a big concern on the road, as are over-inflated tires. When tires are too low, traction is lost and can lead to car accidents and collisions; while over-inflated tires can pop on the road, causing vehicles to potentially spin out of control and collide into objects or oncoming traffic.

Other areas to think about before driving in poor weather is the vehicle’s brake lights, headlights, and fluids. All of these parts and components need to be serviced and up-to-date in order for a vehicle to operate safely in any condition. Check your brake lights and be sure they are functional before pulling out of the driveway. Hazard lights should also be checked in the case of a roadside emergency. If snow is falling hard, other cars might have trouble seeing a vehicle on the side of the road unless their flashers are on and bright. In these same cases, it is actually not recommended to use parking brakes or cruise control for reasons regarding driver and passenger safety.

The most important part of safe driving, whether in snow or sunshine, is to always wear a seat-belt. Seat belts are designed to prevent driver or passenger ejection in the case of a collision. Not only is it important to wear a seat-belt for this reason, it is also important because they are designed to work in conjunction with a vehicle’s airbag system. When a car is involved in a collision, the crash sensors within the vehicle relay a message to the airbags to deploy; but these airbags can only service their purpose properly is the driver or passenger is wearing their safety restraints.

Indianapolis Car Accident Lawyers

If you do experience a car accident or collision, be sure to seek medical attention right away. If you were seriously injured, contact a local persona injury law firm to learn your rights to full and fair compensation for your losses.

Personal Injury Law Firm 317-881-2700

Personal Injury Law Firm

Call The Law office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to file a personal injury claim in Indianapolis, Indiana. Our seasoned car accident lawyers are eager to recover the full and fair compensation you deserve. We offer free initial consultations and never collect attorney fees unless we recover for you.

Which Mistakes Cause the Most Car Accidents?

Driving a car is a big responsibility. And once you turn the ignition, you are taking on a risk. This is because you cannot trust the other drivers around, so accidents can happen at any given moment in time. Most car accidents are caused by some form of distracted driving, and since you cannot control what others around you do, it is critical to stay alert and focused when operating a motor vehicle. This even includes motorcycles, mopeds, scooters, and bikes. For this reason, it is important to always pay attention and drive defensively on the road. Accidents can happen for a number of reasons, but the most common causes of car accidents all have to do with irresponsible driving. Continue reading to see what they are!

Drunk Driving Injury Lawyer 317-881-2700

Drunk Driving Injury Lawyer 317-881-2700

Distracted Driving

The “umbrella” cause for car accidents is general distracted driving. This includes any behaviors or stimuli that can cause a person to lose focus of the road and their surroundings. Behaviors like texting, talking on the phone, smoking, searching for items, digging in purses, changing the radio station, and even sight-seeing are all examples of distracted driving. Stimuli that commonly distracts drivers include passengers, ride-along pets, emergency vehicle lights, loud music, and children. Some of these behaviors and stimuli should be avoided at all costs, like texting and driving. Most of the others mentioned can always be put off until you come to a stop. You may not be able to control other drivers, but you have the power to control your own driving!

Drunk Driving

Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal for a reason. It is one of the most dangerous behaviors a driver can partake in, and one of the most common reasons for car accident fatalities in the United States. According to a recent MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) poll, an average of 28 people die EVERYDAY from drunk driving accidents. Not only can you get in a heap of legal trouble, you can potentially harm or kill another innocent person. And what if that person is a child? Drinking and driving is never worth it, for this reason and more. Call a cab or designate a sober driver. It is also important to never get into a car with a drunk driver. Your life is not worth the risk!

Speeding and Reckless Driving

Speeding can fall into the category of irresponsible driving. A vast number of car accidents involve speeding. According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), nearly 14,000 fatalities a year are caused by speeding. No matter how “good” of a driver you claim to be, driving at high speeds makes it impossible to be entirely alert and safely react to obstacles in the road. So next time you are in a hurry, remember that driving faster will never get you there in time. It will only risk your life and the lives of others on the road.

Aggressive or Angry Driving

Colloquially referred to as “road rage”, aggressive or angry driving is a common cause of traffic accidents in the United States. Drivers who experience intense anger towards traffic, road workers, or other drivers, and choose to release that anger with aggressive driving, can risk causing a serious accident involving other vehicles. It is recommended to avoid intense anger behind the wheel by listening to music or audiobooks. It can help a person to remain calm and reduce their anxiety until they reach their destination.

Fatigued Driving

Whether coming home late from work, or nearing the end of an all-day road trip, fatigued driving is a common occurrence among drivers, and a common cause for car accidents. The NHTSA reports that an average of 100,000 collisions are caused by sleepy driving, over 1,500 of which are fatal. It is critical to be fully-energized and alert when operating a motor vehicle. Feeling the slightest bit drowsy can be a dangerous condition to drive in. Not only can you hurt yourself, you can hurt innocent strangers around you.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured by a distracted driver, it is vital to contact an experienced Indianapolis car accident lawyer to protect your future and your rights. Hurry to file your car accident injury claim before the statutes of limitations runs out in your state!

Indianapolis Car Accident Injury Lawyers

Personal Injury Law Firm 317-881-2700

Personal Injury Law Firm

Call The Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 for seasoned car accident injury lawyers in Indianapolis, Indiana. Attorneys Daniel Craven, Ralph Hoover, and Keith Blazek are eager to help you recover the full and fair compensation you deserve after being injured in a car accident. We offer free initial consultations and never collect lawyer fees unless we prevail for you. Call 317-881-2700 to learn your rights after a car accident, today.

Am I Liable for a Car Accident if Someone Else was Driving My Vehicle

It’s important to know whether or not you are covered under your automotive insurance policy if another person wrecks your car while driving. However; what about liability? Can you be sued if someone else was driving your vehicle and caused and accident that resulted in another person’s injury or death? Knowing the difference between liability and accountability in a driver-vehicle owner accident case can protect you from making a mistake down the road. Let’s take a closer look at this subject and discuss the various aspects of driver-car owner liability and the law.

Car Accident Lawyer 317-881-2700

Car Accident Lawyer 317-881-2700

Motor Vehicle Accident Liability

Sadly, there are thousands of motor vehicle accidents on the road every day. At the scenes of these car collisions, the principle intention of law enforcement and insurers is to determine who is at fault. In order to configure liability and compensation, everyone is eager to know who caused the accident and which party is ultimately responsible for the damages. In most cases, the person who acted negligently, and whose reckless driving caused them to wreck, veer, or collide with other vehicles, is the accountable and liable party. This is standard procedure and general knowledge in regards to car accidents and collisions, including pedestrian and motor vehicle accidents. If you are driving and cause an accident, it is lawful for you to be held accountable for the damages to all involved vehicles and parties.

But What If YOU Weren’t Driving Your Car?

What if you lent your vehicle to a friend or relative and THEY caused a serious accident on the road? Who is liable for the accident? You as the car owner? Or your friend that was driving?

These are a lot of questions, but that’s the reality when it comes to driver-vehicle owner liability. There are many laws and obligations drivers and car owners are unaware of, which can cost them down the road if they never ask these important questions. It is a fact that you CAN be held liable under certain circumstances in the case that someone else is driving your vehicle and wrecks it, even if you are not in the car at all and they are legally licensed to drive.

Vicarious Liability

This idea is supported under the Vicarious Liability law; a secondary liability doctrine explaining that an owner of a vehicle that has chosen to loan their vehicle to another person, who then commits negligence, is vicariously liable for the damages. This can also be referred to as principle’s liability or imputed negligence. The owner of a vehicle is the chief principle, while anyone who drives it for them is their “agent”, making them the “principle” party and responsible for all damages caused by any person driving their vehicle. Learn more about this topic in our article, “What is Vicarious Liability?

If a parent entrusts their minor to driver their vehicle, and an accident occurs, the parent or person who signed the minor’s driving application, is held responsible for the damages. The term “negligent entrustment” refers to a situation in which a parent or guardian allows their minor to drive their vehicle, even though they have full knowledge that the minor is reckless, inexperienced, or unlicensed to drive.

The Family Purpose Doctrine holds the owner of the vehicle, usually the parent or guardian, accountable for any damages caused by another driving their vehicle, with or without permission. This doctrine varies state to state, but uses the underlying principle of vicarious liability. The same principles applies to employer-employee relationships and scenarios. It is important to know where you are protected when it comes to liability and the law. When a person is held liable, an opposing party can sue them for compensation, for an accident they didn’t even cause.

Indianapolis Car Accident Lawyers

It can certainly be difficult comprehending the law and all areas of law can be confusing. This is why it is highly recommended to contact an Indianapolis Car Accident Lawyer for answers to your legal questions. A licensed personal injury lawyer is the professional that can clearly define and explain vicarious liability, motor vehicle accidents and liability, compensation for damages, and more.

Personal Injury Law Firm 317-881-2700

Personal Injury Law Firm

Call Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to speak with a licensed car accident lawyer in Indianapolis, Indiana. We never collect attorney fees unless we obtain compensation for you, and we also offer free initial consultations. Get started on your physical, emotional, and financial recovery today!

Do I Need Personal Injury Protection Insurance?

The reality of life is that humans are prone to making mistakes, which means accidents are bound to happen. For this reason, it is important to have plans in place that provide yourself and your family with a certain level of protection. One of the most common methods of protection in our country is insurance. Insurance policies exist for homes, vehicles, businesses, and of course, people. Men, women, and children commonly have insurance coverage for medical care, dental care, life insurance, and more. Another type of insurance that exists for an individual is called personal injury protection, or PIP. However, this type of coverage is not necessary for everyone. It depends on a variety of factors. Continue reading to learn more about PIP and whether or not you should be considering this is a type of insurance coverage.

Personal Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700

Personal Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700


Personal injury protection insurance is intended to provide coverage for you or your passengers’ hospital bills and medical expenses that result from a serious accident or injury. These policies are optional in most cases, however, there are some states that make it mandatory. If your state requires this type of personal insurance coverage, then it is the law to have it. States that require PIP are referred to as “no fault” states. This means that when an accident happens, each person’s insurance company pays for their own damages and losses regardless of who is at-fault for the accident. PIP can come with medical, disability, and death benefits, but coverage and limits vary from state to state.

If you live in a state that does not require personal injury protection, you should check with your primary insurance provider before purchasing a plan. Your current medical policy may already provide coverage for damages and losses incurred in an accident. However, if your current medical coverage is not adequate, your provide may suggest adding additional medical coverage to your plan in the case that you or your passengers are ever seriously injured in an accident. It is important for individuals to understand that PIP is not a replacement for medical insurance.

If you or someone you love was recently injured in a car accident, consult with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. They have the knowledge and resources necessary to professionally navigate your case and recover the full and fair compensation you deserve after suffering serious injuries from a car accident.

Indianapolis Car Accident Lawyers

Personal Injury Attorney Indianapolis

Personal Injury Attorneys 317-881-2700

Call Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 if you are looking for experienced Indianapolis car accident lawyers you can trust. Seasoned attorneys, Daniel Craven, Ralph Hoover, and Keith Blazek are eager to get you the money you deserve after a car accident in Indianapolis. We offer free initial consultations and never collect lawyer fees unless we win your case. Call our office today at 317-881-2700 to schedule an appointment with a licensed personal injury attorney in Indianapolis, IN.