A Guide to Personal Injury Settlement Values: What’s Your Claim Worth?

Sustaining a personal injury can disrupt your life in ways that are not just physical but also financial and emotional. One of the most important aspects of recovering from an accident is securing a fair and just settlement for the damages you have incurred. Although the notion of what’s ‘fair’ can be subjective, the legal system provides structured guidelines for valuing personal injury claims, which can help in understanding what injured individuals can reasonably expect as compensation.

Navigating the labyrinth of personal injury claims and the multitude of factors affecting settlement values can seem daunting. This guide breaks down the intricate process of calculating personal injury settlements, aimed at empowering victims to understand their rights and work towards the compensation they deserve.

Call 317-881-2700 to Speak With Our Personal Injury Settlement Lawyers in Indianapolis
Call 317-881-2700 to Speak With Our Personal Injury Settlement Lawyers in Indianapolis

Why Understanding Personal Injury Settlement Values Matters

Before diving into the specifics of calculation, it’s essential to grasp the significance of settlement values. Many personal injury victims accept the first or second settlement offer presented to them by insurance companies without realizing the true worth of their claim.

Understanding the calculation breakdown helps in:

1) Ensuring fair compensation for all tangible and intangible losses
2) Empowering victims and their attorneys to negotiate from an informed position
3) Gaining the financial means to cope with present/future challenges resulting from the injury

By gauging settlement values accurately, claimants can transition from being mere accident statistics to individuals advocating for their own justice.

Factors Affecting Personal Injury Compensation

Personal injury settlement values are not essentially arbitrary; they’re grounded in measurable and subjective factors. The primary elements influencing these values include:

Severity of Injuries – The extent of physical harm directly correlates with the settlement value. More severe injuries that require extensive medical treatment and have a lasting impact on an individual’s life warrant higher compensation.

Medical Expenses – Calculating medical costs incurred due to the injury is relatively straightforward. It includes past, current, and estimated future medical bills related to injuries sustained in the accident.

Lost Wages – Monetary losses from missed work also play a vital role in settlement calculations. This includes lost wages from time off work for recovery and any decrease in future earning capacity due to the injury.

Pain and Suffering – This is a factor that varies greatly from case to case, as it encompasses the physical discomfort and pain, emotional trauma, and mental distress caused by the injury and its aftermath.

Future Medical Needs – Some injuries require ongoing care or may necessitate adjustments in lifestyle, leading to substantial future medical costs, which should be accounted for in a settlement.

Comparative Negligence – If the injured party is found partially at fault for the accident, their settlement may be reduced proportionally. Understanding contributory negligence and comparative fault laws is crucial in assessing potential impact on the settlement value.

Economic Damages

Economic damages refer to the measurable financial losses incurred as a direct result of the injury and cover areas like:

Medical Expenses – The cost of treatment can be determined by adding up all related medical bills including hospital stays, surgeries, prescription medications, and necessary medical equipment.

Lost Wages – Documenting the wages lost due to the inability to work provides a clear number to calculate this portion of economic damages.

Property Damage – In cases involving vehicle accidents or property-related injuries, the cost to repair or replace damaged property is an additional economic damage that contributes to the overall settlement value.

Through meticulous assessment and documentation of these economic damages, a more comprehensive understanding of the financial burden endured by the victim is revealed.

Non-Economic Damages

Unlike economic damages, non-economic damages are more subjective and can be challenging to quantify. This category includes pain-and-suffering, such as emotional distress and loss of enjoyment of life.

Pain and Suffering – Although intangible, pain and suffering are an important component in valuing personal injury claims. Multiplying the tangible costs by a “pain multiplier” is a commonly used method though not the only one.

Emotional Distress – This covers side effects such as anxiety, depression, sleep disturbances, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These effects may often require testimony from mental health professionals to be taken into account.

Loss of Enjoyment of Life – Injuries can rob individuals of the ability to partake in activities they once enjoyed. Factoring this into the calculation acknowledges the intangible losses suffered.

Accounting for these non-economic damages is often more nuanced and requires a balanced approach that accounts for the victim’s unique circumstances.

Additional Considerations

Beyond the direct calculation of damages, several other considerations can significantly impact the ultimate settlement value, such as statute of limitations, insurance coverage caps, and even negotiation tactics.

Statute of Limitations – Each state has its own statute of limitations— the time within which a lawsuit must be filed. Missing this deadline can bar a claimant from any recovery, no matter how severe the injury.

Insurance Coverage Limits – Understanding the insurance policies involved and their coverage limits is vital as it can cap the maximum settlement, even if the calculated value is higher.

Negotiation Strategies – A nuanced approach to negotiation, involving the help of a skilled personal injury attorney, can often lead to higher settlements by leveraging strong arguments and evidence.

A broad understanding of these considerations ensures that personal injury victims approach the settlement process with a strategic mindset, enhancing their outcomes.

Seeking Legal Advice

Navigating the complex world of personal injury settlements can be challenging, especially for those unaccustomed to the legal intricacies involved. Seeking the counsel of an experienced personal injury lawyer is the best course of action. These professionals specialize in valuing claims and negotiating with insurance companies to obtain the best possible outcome for their clients. By equipping themselves with knowledge and legal representation, claimants can confidently pursue the compensation they deserve. This aids in their path to recovery and offers some sense of closure after experiencing the trauma of an injury.

Conclusion

The road to a personal injury settlement is rarely straightforward. From determining the severity of injuries to understanding the complexities of non-economic damages, the process is rife with nuances that can dramatically impact the final compensation amount. By delving into this guide, victims can better equip themselves with the understanding necessary to advocate their case effectively and ensure that the settlement they receive does justice to the physical, emotional, and financial hardships they’ve endured. Remember, the more informed you are, the stronger position you will hold in the quest for fair recompense for your injury.

Are you ready to pursue the personal injury settlement you and your loved ones deserve? Contact the law office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 today. Our Indianapolis civil litigators provide free initial consultations and never collect lawyer fees unless we recover a settlement or verdict for you. We represent victims all throughout the state, plus Indiana residents injured in other states.

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Do I Need to File a Lawsuit After Being Hurt in an Accident?

After being injured in an accident by the carelessness of another, many victims are legally entitled to some degree of reimbursement or compensation for their losses. These losses include damages like lost wages, medical expenses, hospital bills, prolonged rehabilitation, mental trauma, pain, suffering, property damages, and more. In extreme cases where the wrong doer demonstrated egregious misconduct or caused such trauma that compensation is not a sufficient means of amends, punitive damages may also be awarded by a court or jury.

Although a victim of a negligent act or accident is truly a victim and should be compensated for their damages, pursuing a lawsuit for such restitution may not always be in the victim’s best interest. Most often, a personal injury lawsuit is the path wrongly injured victims should take, but in some instances, it may not be the best option for a number of reasons. For this reason, it is wise to consider whether a lawsuit is a worthwhile endeavor.

Continue reading to learn a few considerations that can help a personal injury victim decide if a lawsuit is the productive course of action to take after being hurt in an accident.

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Accident Lawsuit Lawyers Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700

Examining the Details of the Accident

After being injured in an accident at the expense of another person or entity, it is important to indicate three aspects of the incident. First, it is critical to consider the actual level of fault of the opposing party.

What was their role in the incident?

Did they have a legal duty of care to prevent such accidents from happening to the same class of people as the victim?

Would a reasonable person have foreseen the possibility of the accident happening?

Did they take reasonable action to prevent such accidents?

There is much more involved in determining fault in a personal injury case, but these are a few inquiries that come into play when assessing liability. Sometimes, it can seem like an accident was the other person or company’s fault, when in fact, they are cleared of such liability for several other reasons. If a person does not have a strong enough claim against an opposing party, or if the opposing party is not the majority at-fault, there may be no point to a personal injury lawsuit.

Comparative Fault Analysis

It is also important to consider the victim’s own liability in the accident. This is referred to as comparative fault analysis. According to USLEGAL.com, Comparative Fault Analysis is defined as, “…a doctrine of tort law which permits plaintiff and defendant to compare their liability for the accident. It allows proportionate recovery if both the plaintiff and defendant were negligent and thereby contributed to the cause of an injury.” So, one must ask themselves what was their level of fault might be? Could they have prevented their injuries? Should they have reasonably foreseen that such an accident could happen?  Was what they were doing at the time of the incident reasonable?

For example, consider a winter blizzard. On a snowy and icy day, a young man visits a grocery store wearing roller skates. Although there are wet floor signs posted everywhere and the store attempted reasonable clean up, he ignores them and continues to skate his way through the store, eventually wiping out and injuring himself badly. Since a reasonable person would not wear roller skates to a grocery store in those conditions because they know that floors will be wet and slippery, and since the grocery store took reasonable action to try to clean and to post “wet floor” signs as a warning to customers, the level of fault might fall onto the man. In this case, the store would not be held liable or fully liable for his injuries.  A personal injury lawsuit might be futile in this example.

Extent of Damages

And the third aspect to consider is the severity of the victim’s injury and the extent of damages incurred because of the accident. If the injury is not so serious that it caused the victim to suffer calculable financial losses like medical bills, lost wages, and loss of ability to work.

For instance, let’s say a person is wrongly rear-ended by another driver and the collision causes the airbag to deploy. As a result, the person who was rear-ended incurred minor airbag burns on their forearm but no other injuries. Because these burns are minor, they only required one doctor’s visit in which the physician orders the patient to use OTC topical ointment to soothe the burns as they heal. Because the accident did not cause them to suffer serious damages and losses, a personal injury lawsuit would be useless, although if a settlement were not reached with the at-fault party’s insurance carrier, a lawsuit in small claims court might be sufficient but again, the pros and cons of your time and effort in obtaining a small claims judgement would need to be weighed.

Had the car accident resulted in a head injury, orthopedic injury, or similar serious injuries that require extensive medical treatment and ongoing rehabilitation, the circumstance would change, and a personal injury claim and possible lawsuit would be worthwhile filing.

Prospect of Compensation

Aside from the three aspects of the accident, it is important to think about the possibility of compensation. Although a court can rule that a victim is owed compensation, the court is not the one to pay it, and neither is the government unless the claim was brought against the government. All compensation that is court- ordered to the victim or their families has to come from, in almost all cases, the defendant’s insurance company. If a defendant has no insurance, and has very little assets, income, or savings, there is little chance to get the compensation. They usually cannot pay a judgment if they could not afford to carry liability insurance. For this reason, pursuing a lawsuit is most often not worthwhile, but every case needs to be looked at individually.

Would you like to learn more about your opportunity to obtain compensation through an Indiana personal injury claim or lawsuit? Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a no-risk, no-fee personal injury evaluation to explore your eligibility, today. We represent clients all throughout the state of Indiana and Indiana residents injured in other states.

Related Posts:

The First Questions You Should Be Asking About Your Personal Injury
What You Need to Know About Car Accident Insurance and Injury Claims
Can I Recover Compensation For My Injuries if an Accident Was My Fault?

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.

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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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How Much Does a Personal Injury Lawsuit Cost?
Reasons Why Some Personal Injury Claims Take Longer to Settle than Others
Top 4 Questions to Ask a Personal Injury Attorney After a Serious Accident

Common Types of Expert Witnesses in an Accident Lawsuit

Continue below to learn which kinds of expert witnesses you might outsource for your personal injury lawsuit.

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Indiana Personal Injury Accident Lawsuit Attorneys 317-881-2700

Personal Injury Expert Witness Testimonies

When it comes to predicting the outcome of a client’s accident lawsuit, it all depends on what can be proven. As an injured victim, you and your team of personal injury lawyers are the plaintiff party, which means your side holds the burden of proving your damages, even if the case is obvious. Not only must you prove your past, current, and future damages, but as the plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit, you must also prove that your accident and subsequent injuries were a proximate result of the defendant’s negligence or carelessness.  The plaintiff must prove their case on a more likely than not standard.

One effective strategy that accident lawyers rely on to prove their client’s damages is expert witness testimony. By calling on certified professionals and specialists, an accident attorney can strengthen their case by supporting their arguments with cold hard facts and empirical evidence given by qualified and reputable witness testimonies. This step is an important part of most personal injury lawsuits.

Your Accident Lawyer Will Choose Your Expert Witnesses

As a recent victim of an accident that was not your fault, you may not know if your personal injury case will require expert witness testimony, nor are you expected to know which experts to choose if you do. Instead, trust your seasoned Indiana personal injury attorneys to navigate these aspects of your claim for you, and choose the proper expert witnesses to recover the full and fair settlement you deserve. The expert witnesses they choose for your case will depend on the type of accident and injuries you’ve suffered, as well as the various details surrounding the accident and negligence itself. They will also consider the potential arguments the defense will likely raise.

Expert Witnesses Often Used in Accident Lawsuits

► Medical Experts – Doctors, nurses, counselors, therapists, and similar medical professionals are often called upon in personal injury cases. They are used to confirm the validity of the injured victim’s diagnosis, explain the details and necessity of their treatment, and to help prove the extent of injury. They will give their professional opinions and diagnoses on the severity of the injuries, and whether or not they are temporary, long-term, or permanent. Sometimes, multiple medical experts are called to the stand to testify in personal injury lawsuits.

Mental Health Experts – Along with licensed medical professionals, often times a personal injury legal team will outsource expert witness testimony from mental health professionals, some of which are actually licensed doctors, such as psychiatrists. Other mental health experts used in such cases include psychologists, therapists, grief counselors, family counselors, and psychoanalysis experts.

Accident Re-constructionists – Accident reconstruction specialists reconstruct the setting and circumstances of the accident to reveal certain facts, usually about who’s at fault. These expert witnesses are sometimes used on motor vehicle accident and pedestrian accident cases, as well as bicycle accident cases, workplace accidents, and slip and fall accidents.

Industry and Occupational Experts – In some cases, a personal injury lawsuit will include witness testimony from certain industry or occupational experts. These professionals will testify regarding the safety standards surrounding the accident, as well as municipal factors, architecture, building codes, fire codes, OSHA, and more.

Financial Experts – When it comes to proving the calculable losses suffered by the plaintiff party in a personal injury lawsuit, finance and economic experts are sometimes used. This is fairly common in accident cases that involve severe disability and extensive financial devastation, such as wrongful deaths and catastrophic accidents.

Do you need help with your personal injury case in Indianapolis, Indiana? Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to learn your rights to being compensated for your damages and losses after being wrongfully injured.  We represent the families in wrongful death cases and injured persons throughout the state of Indiana.

You Should Also Read:

Does an Injured Victim Need a Witness to Prove a Car Accident Case?
The Importance of Witness Statements After a Car Accident
Can I Settle a Personal Injury Claim if I Cannot Prove Fault?

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How Social Media Posts Can Reduce Your Accident Lawsuit Settlement

If you are an injured victim preparing to file a lawsuit for damages against the party who caused your accident or getting ready to file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company, beware what you post on social media. Whether you are tweeting, Facebooking, Instagramming, or posting on any other social media forum, what you post can and will affect the overall value of your claim, and ultimately, the settlement you are awarded by the jury.

Continue below to learn of an example of how social media posts can reduce accident lawsuit settlements, as well as how to ensure you recover the full and fair settlement for your damages and losses as a wrongfully injured victim in Indiana.

Don’t Make Social Media Mistakes After an Accident

Be Careful What You Post After Being Injured in an Accident

One of the most vivid examples of how social media posts can impact an accident settlement negatively involves an injured victim by the name Omiesha Daniels. Injured in a car wreck in Georgia, Daniels pursued a lawsuit for $1.1 million in damages. She claimed that the injuries she sustained in the auto accident made it impossible for her to continue her job as a hairstylist.

Unfortunately, the defense on the case was keen to her social media accounts, which painted a different kind of story regarding her injuries.

Here is Where the Mistake Was Made:

Omiesha Daniels tweeted posts and pictures of herself during her Spring Break vacation in New Orleans, some posts talking about partying on Bourbon Street, others showing pictures of her enjoying a sunny beach day, and one photo showing her holding her purse with her formally broken arm. Although Daniels was suing for $1.1 million in damages, the jury awarded her $237,000 in damages. But, after the defense used her Twitter account as evidence to disprove the severity of her damages, the jury lowered the value of her damages to $142,000.

The Fundamentals of a Personal Injury Lawsuit

In a car accident personal injury lawsuit, the injured party holds the burden of proof to a more likely than not standard. At trial, it is up to the plaintiff to prove the extent and severity of their damages and losses, while it is the job of the defense to prove that the plaintiff’s damages are not as bad as they claim them to be. This tug of war fueled by evidence is an important part of the trial because whoever has the strongest evidence will prevail.

Defense attorneys and defense adjusters will review you social media accounts.  They will use what you post on these accounts in an attempt to diminish your claim for damages, usually by arguing and stretching the truth as to what the posts or photos allegedly show.  You are better off not posting anything so this does not occur.

Are you looking for a skilled personal injury law firm in Indianapolis, Indiana to represent your accident claim? Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a free case evaluation, today! We represent injured persons and wrongful death claims throughout the state of Indiana.

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The Most Common Types of Damages Awarded in Personal Injury Lawsuits

Those who are injured wrongfully by a reckless or negligent party should not be financially liable for their damages and losses. Wrongfully injured victims deserve justice, and that justice by law comes in the form of full and fair compensation for everything from medical expenses and hospital bills, to lost wages, pain, suffering, disability, and much more. These types of losses all fit under one of two categories of damages, economic and non-economic. Within these two umbrella categories lies several other types of damages that are and should be awarded in personal injury cases. As an injured victim hurt in an accident that was not your fault, you deserve to know which types of damages you are entitled to under the law.

Continue reading to review the most common types of damages in personal injury lawsuits, and where to get trusted advice on your claim.

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

Economic and Non-Economic Personal Injury Damages

Economic damages represent quantifiable losses that are documented, and therefore, can be more precisely calculated. Examples of such damages include hospital bills, medical expenses, gas money spent traveling to and from doctor’s visits, lost wages from missing time at work, and similar out-of-pocket costs. Non-economic damages are the opposite, as they are more difficult to put a figure to. However, these types of damages are even more impactful and deserving of compensation, such as pain and suffering, emotional trauma, mental anguish, loss of consortium, loss of ability to work, permanent disfigurement or disability, and similar losses experienced by a personal injury victim.

Compensatory Damages – Economic damages, like hospital bills and medical treatment, are types of compensatory damages, or actual damages. They can be traced and calculated.

General Damages – General damages are also known as hedonic damages, and they represent non-economic damages like pain and suffering or reduced quality of life.  These are the damages that injured persons are entitled to under the law and any settlement or award for these types of damages should be substantial if the injury was substantial.

Special Damages – There is also another category known as special damages, which are awarded for things like property damage, legal fees, and even incidental and future damages, if eligible.

Punitive Damages

Courts may also award additional punishable damages in special cases of extreme offensive conduct including gross negligence. These are called punitive damages, or exemplary damages, and are more intended to reprimand the wrong-doer rather than award the victim (although the victim still receives a percentage of the monetary compensation awarded). Punitive damages are awarded in cases where victims suffered losses as a result of another’s maliciousness, brazenness, or gross negligence. They are intended to set an example, as well as reform the wrong-doer and deter others from similar immoral behaviors.

Aggravated Damages

Aggravated damages are not a separate category of damages, but rather an extension of general damages that fall under compensatory damages. Aggravated damages are essentially the same as punitive damages, since they are awarded for cases of egregious invidious conduct, however, they are directly compensatory in nature. Punitive damages are meant to punish, whereas aggravated damages are meant to monetarily compensate a victim for aggravated injuries sustained by a defendant’s extreme malevolent conduct.

To learn more details about the common damages awarded in a personal injury claim, speak with a licensed Indiana accident lawyer who has the knowledge and experienced necessary to obtain the full and fair compensation you deserve as a wrongfully injured victim.

Learn More About Making a Personal Injury Claim in Indianapolis, Indiana

Call the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to learn your rights to being compensated for your damages and losses after being wrongfully injured in Indianapolis, Indiana. Our seasoned personal injury lawyers retain extensive trial and litigation experience, and never collect attorney fees unless we obtain a settlement or verdict for you. Contact us today to schedule a free initial case evaluation, and explore your claim’s strength with a skilled injury lawyer. We serve clients in and around Indianapolis, and all throughout the state of Indiana. Act now before evidence is lost and time runs out on your claim!

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The General Stages of a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Most personal injury claims do not end up in court. However, when a personal injury claim does turn into a lawsuit, the legal climate changes. Although not all personal injury lawsuits are alike, once the courts are involved, most tend to take on the same succession of steps. Whether you are preparing to enter into personal injury lawsuit, or you are a recent victim of a personal injury and wish to move forward with an accident claim, it would be wise for you to familiarize yourself with what might take place.

Continue reading to learn the general stages of a personal injury lawsuit, and how to get started on your accident claim in Indiana.

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When a Personal Injury Claim Goes to Trial

Even though personal injury lawsuits are all different, when they end up in trial, they usually have the same litigation milestones. These milestones lay the foundation of what you can expect the general succession of steps in a personal injury lawsuit to look like. If you have already decided to file a personal injury lawsuit, you have hopefully already hired professional legal representation from a law firm who specializes in personal injury law.

This is the first stage of the process.

Stage 1

The first step to addressing any legal matter is to retain qualified legal representation. However, you do not want to hire just any attorney. It is vital that you seek legal assistance from a law firm that specializes in the type of claim you need to file. In this case, you would hire an Indiana personal injury lawyer. Most personal injury law firms provide free initial case evaluations for you to learn your legal rights to being compensated for your damages and losses.

Additionally, most personal injury attorneys work on contingency, meaning they do not collect any lawyer fees unless they recover settlement or verdict for you. If they are unsuccessful at obtaining a settlement for you, there is no obligation to pay them for their services. Be sure to also choose a law firm that has extensive trial and litigation experience.

Stage 2

The next stage of a personal injury lawsuit mostly involves your hired legal team. To determine if you have a valid case, your personal injury lawyer will likely begin an exploratory investigation, starting with a liability investigation and confirming the adequacy of the opposing party’s insurance coverage. Sometimes, this step is done prior to making the client-attorney relationship official.

In the event that your accident lawyer believes your case is valid, they will move forward by filing a personal injury complaint against the defendant in the appropriate civil court. This personal injury complaint is the very first official document of an accident lawsuit. From this time, your personal injury lawyer will have to locate and serve the defendant a copy of the complaint.

Stage 3

After a defendant is served a lawsuit, the defendant will provide a copy of the lawsuit to their insurance carrier and the insurance carrier will hire a defense attorney for the defendant to answer the complaint and defend the case. Under any insurance policy a defendant has with their insurance company, the insurance company chooses the defense attorney and the insurance company pays the defense attorney.

Stage 4

At this stage of the personal injury lawsuit process, the lawyers hired to represent both parties will begin the pretrial process. This is known as discovery, and involves several steps in itself. During this time, both lawyers will exchange all evidence with one another, including witness information. They will also go before the proceeding judge to let them know how the case is proceeding. Also in the presence of the judge, they will decide on all deadlines for filings in the case, a mediation deadline, a final pre-trial conference date and a trial date.

As the discovery stage continues, both lawyers will also schedule depositions and other necessary interviews and statements. This stage of the personal injury lawsuit process can take several months and involve a few court appearances. The amount of time it takes to complete the pretrial stage will depends on various factors, such as the current traffic of the court, the amount of investigation required, court delays, rescheduled court dates, and so forth.

The Final Stage is Trial

The last stage of the personal injury lawsuit process is the actual trial, which can last for several days. The judge will be the ultimate decider, unless it is a jury trial, in which a jury will decide who is at fault for the accident and which damages the plaintiff is entitled to. Most personal injury cases are jury trials.  After the trial, either side can choose to file an appeal. Once all appeals are extinguished, the defendant [ie. defendant’s insurance company] must pay the plaintiff their verdict if they received one.

Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyers That Will Fight For Your Rights

Call Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 if you need an experienced personal injury lawyer in Indianapolis, Indiana. Our seasoned personal injury lawyers are ready and able to recover the full and fair amount of compensation you deserve after being seriously injured by another’s negligence. You should recover for damages and losses, including medical expenses, hospital bills, pain, suffering, lost wages, and more if the damages were caused by another person’s negligence.  We represent injured persons throughout the State of Indiana. Get started with a free consultation, today.

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Do I Need a Lawyer for My Personal Injury?

There are several different personal injury practice areas, from slip, trip, and falls, to car accidents, workers’ compensation, medical malpractice, defective product liability, elder abuse, trucking accidents, wrongful death, and more. No matter which type of personal injury or accident you’ve recently suffered, when deciding whether or not to hire a lawyer to represent your claim, the answer is always yes. Even if it to just get a review or your case and the relevant issues. 

Continue reading to learn why it is essential to hire a skilled accident attorney, and where to get a free case evaluation to determine if you are eligible to pursue legal action against a negligent party in Indiana.

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Indiana Personal Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700

What a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Do for You

The law is complex, so managing your own personal injury case is not something you want to attempt. Furthermore, after suffering injuries and damages after an accident, you need to be focused on your physical and mental recovery, and not on complicated legal matters. A personal injury lawyer is more than just a legal advocate for their clients; they manage all aspects of their client’s claim, including investigations, initial demands, settlement negotiations, case development, complaint filing, litigation, and everything in between.

Professional legal representation by a specialized personal injury attorney is the key to obtaining the maximum settlement or verdict for a claim. The insurance company for the defendant will act like you do not need an attorney and will even sometimes advise you that, but during that time period, evidence is being lost. It is vital to your case that the evidence be obtained and preserved.

How to Get Started With Your Personal Injury Claim in Indiana

If you have been involved in a personal injury, your first step is to obtain medical care and then hire an attorney immediately. Not only are there statutes of limitations that limit how long a claimant can file a claim, evidence can be lost forever if not obtained quickly. To find out the answers to your eligibility to make a claim, contact an Indiana personal injury law firm and schedule a consultation with a certified accident attorney. We provide initial consultations for free, which allows you to learn your legal options with no obligations.

Choosing the Right Indiana Personal Injury Lawyer for Your Case

There are several Indiana law firms to choose from, but be sure your selection is based on reputation and successful case results. Look for a personal injury lawyer who can offer a free consultation and works on contingency.

Trust the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. for Indiana Personal Injury Representation

Call the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 for trusted personal injury representation in Indiana. Our seasoned accident attorneys work tirelessly to ensure our clients’ rights to full and fair compensation. We offer free initial consultations to access your case, and never collect attorney fees unless we obtain a settlement or verdict for you! Call 317-881-2700 to schedule your free initial consultation with an Indiana personal injury lawyer, today.

Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700
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Statute of Limitations for Common Personal Injury Claims

When an accident happens as a result of another person or entity’s negligence, injured victims typically wish to pursue a claim against the negligent party in attempt to recover compensation for their damages. This is referred to as a personal injury lawsuit. One of the most important steps to pursuing an accident claim is taking immediate action and hiring a personal injury lawyer. Although there are many reasons why retaining professional legal counsel is so vital to the outcome of your case, one reason has to do with the amount of time Indiana allows personal injury victims to make claims against negligent parties.

Continue reading to learn the statute of limitations for some of the most common personal injury claims filed in Indiana, as well as, where to get professional personal injury representation you can trust.

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

Legal Time Limits for Accident Claims

In all cases of filing a civil claim against another person or entity, there is a legal time limit to do so. The statute of limitations are the laws that set these time limits; either for a state to prosecute a person for a crime, or for a person to file a claim against another person or corporation. These time limits differ from state to state and from case to case.

The statute of limitations generally begins the day and time of an accident or crime, and once the time limit has expired, so have the chances of prosecuting or pursuing a claim. For example, if a person commits a crime as a young adult, the state cannot prosecute them for the crime of the statute of limitations has run out. The same applies for a personal injury claim.

Civil Statute of Limitations

In Indiana, you can find details regarding civil statute of limitations in Title 34, Article 11, Chapter 2 of the Indiana Code book. Below are some common injury and accident cases, as well as the legal time limits assigned to each.

✢ Personal Injury Claim = 2 Years

✢ Medical Malpractice = 2 Years

✢ Product Liability = 2 Years

✢ Assault and Battery = 2 Years

✢ Wrongful Death = 2 Years

✢ Libel = 2 Years

✢ Defamation of Character = 2 Years

✢ Slander = 2 Years

Take note that criminal statutes of limitations are generally longer, as much as five years or more, depending on the crime and state. Most personal injury claims retain a statute of limitations equally out to two years or less, depending on the variables of the case. If you need information regarding Indiana statute of limitations, or wish to learn more about filing an accident claim for a recent personal injury, contact a licensed accident lawyer for effective legal counsel.

In addition, some states, like Indiana, require what is called a torts claim notice to be sent to the at-fault party if the at-fault party is a governmental entity as a prerequisite to bringing a claim against the governmental entity.  Depending on the governmental entity, some of these time limits are set at 150 days so obtaining an attorney as quickly as you can is vital for this and evidence gathering purposes. Also, time limitations can vary in cases involving minors and cases where the injuries were not discovered within two years from the date of the wrongdoing. 

Your Accomplished and Compassionate Indianapolis Personal Injury Law Firm

Call The Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 for trusted personal injury representation in Indianapolis, Indiana. Our seasoned accident attorneys work tirelessly to ensure our clients’ rights to compensation. We offer free initial consultations to access your case and determine your eligibility for remuneration; and we never collect attorney fees unless we prevail for you! Call 317-881-2700 to schedule your free initial consultation with an Indianapolis personal injury lawyer, today.

Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700
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The Benefit of Settling a Personal Injury Claim Out of Court

It is a fact that the vast majority of personal injury cases settle outside of the courtroom. Continue reading to learn the various benefits of settling out of court, and what you can do to ensure you recover the full and fair compensation you deserve for your damages and losses.

Indiana Personal Injury Litigators 317-881-2700
Indiana Personal Injury Litigators 317-881-2700

Out-of-Court Personal Injury Settlements

For most personal injury claims, litigation is resolved well before the case can go to trial, let alone turn into a lawsuit. There are many good reasons why. The top advantage of settling a personal injury claim outside of court is the time and money saved. Although many accident law firms work on contingency, meaning they do not collect lawyer fees unless they recover a settlement for their client, a long, on-going case can add up in other types of pre-litigation expenses, such as filing fees, legal research fees, expert witness and testimony fees, and more. See our blogs, “What are Contingency Fees?” and “The Costs of a Personal Injury Lawsuit” to learn more about associated costs and fees in a personal injury case.

As for defendants in a personal injury case, there is no contingency-fee basis. In a personal injury case, nearly every defendant has insurance which will pay for any judgment against them. Their insurance carriers hire a lawyer who gets paid by the hour. And on top of lawyer fees, defendants’ insurance companies are also obligated to pay court costs, filing fees, and more. Defendant’s insurance companies also pay expert witnesses if need be. By avoiding court, a defendant’s insurance company can benefit greatly in terms of overall out-of-pocket costs.

Additional Benefits of Settling Outside of Court:

☑ It Eases Stress

Trial can be stressful for a person and their loved ones. The plaintiff can be subjected to invasive examination and cross-examinations, and even have their character called into question on a public platform. Being prepared by your attorney for this is vital to lowering that stress.

☑ It Allows for More Control

Although today’s legal system is set up in a way that takes most surprises out of the trial process, they can still pose a long list of potential unexpected occurrences that influence the final outcome of a settlement. For instance, key evidence may be excluded from trial by the judge, new testimony can come out on the witness stand, key witnesses may sound unreliable or more reliable, and more.

Aside from all these potential unpredictable possibilities, the amount of compensation recovered is up to the jury. This means a plaintiff can be awarded much more or much less than expected. Out of court, the plaintiff party and the defendant’s insurance company have control over the negotiation of recompense. It is the defendant’s insurance company that decides if an offer will be made and not the actual negligent party themselves.

☑ It Avoids Timely Appeals

The appeals process in a personal injury lawsuit can take several months, or even years. In fact, once a lawsuit it filed, it will not likely see trial for at least 12 months. This puts a massive delay on a victim’s full and fair compensation, causing them to continue paying out of pocket for all of their losses and damages, such as medical expenses and hospital bills if they do not have health insurance coverage, lost wages from time off work, and more. Even the most basic and obvious personal injury cases can get stuck in this deferred legal timeline because a defendant’s insurance carrier refuses to make a fair offer on the case of an injured plaintiff.

☑ It Protects a Victim’s Privacy

If a personal injury case is settled out of court, everything except actual court filings are kept entirely private between the two parties. However, cases that go to trial in a court room are open to the public, recorded in public records and occur in front of six jurors in Indiana. It is possible for a judge to order a case to be sealed, but it does not happen often.

Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyers That Will Fight For Your Rights

Call Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 if you need an experienced personal injury lawyer in Indianapolis, Indiana. Our seasoned personal injury lawyers are ready and able to recover the full and fair amount of compensation you deserve after being seriously injured by another’s negligence. Recover for damages and losses, including medical expenses, hospital bills, pain, suffering, lost wages, and more should occur if the damages were caused by another person’s negligence.  We represent injured persons throughout the State of Indiana. Get started with a free consultation, today.

Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700
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