Seeking Justice: Suing for Damages After an Indiana Motor Vehicle Accident

Auto accidents are an unfortunate reality on roads everywhere, including Indiana. Every year, thousands of Hoosiers find themselves grappling with the aftermath of motor vehicle collisions. Amidst the emotional and physical turmoil, victims must navigate the complex landscape of personal injury claims to seek justice and compensation for their losses. This blog post aims to shed light on the process of suing for damages after a motor vehicle accident in Indiana, offering valuable insights and practical advice for those wrongly injured.

Call 317-881-2700 When You Need a Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer in Indianapolis
Call 317-881-2700 When You Need a Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer in Indianapolis

The Role of Comparative Fault in Indiana Motor Vehicle Accident Claims

Indiana operates under a comparative fault system, interchangeably known as contributory fault, which can significantly impact the outcome of personal injury claims. Under this rule, each party involved in an accident is assigned a percentage of fault, which influences the amount of compensation they can receive.

How It Works:

Shared Responsibility – If multiple parties are responsible for an accident, each party’s level of fault is determined. For example, if you are deemed 20% at fault for an accident, your compensation will be reduced by 20%.

Threshold for Recovery – In Indiana, you can only recover damages if you are less than 51% at fault. If your fault exceeds this threshold, you may be barred from receiving any compensation.

Understanding how comparative fault analysis works is crucial, as it influences both settlement negotiations and courtroom verdicts. Legal representation becomes even more essential to navigate these waters effectively.

Steps to Take After an Auto Accident:

  1. Ensure Safety – Check for injuries and move to a safe location if possible. Call 911 to report the accident and seek medical attention.
  2. Document the Scene – Use your phone to take photos or video of the accident scene, vehicle damages, and any visible injuries. Collect contact information from witnesses.
  3. Exchange Information – Exchange insurance and contact details with the other driver(s) involved.
  4. File a Police Report – A police report serves as an official record of the accident and can be critical evidence in your claim.
  5. Seek Medical Attention – Even if injuries seem minor, get a medical evaluation. Some injuries may not manifest immediately.
  6. Notify Your Insurance Company – Report the accident to your insurer but avoid giving detailed statements until you consult with an attorney.

Taking the right steps immediately following an accident can make a significant difference in the outcome of your personal injury claim. Benefits include helping preserve evidence, establishing a clear record of events, and protecting your rights.

The Importance of Seeking Legal Counsel

Navigating a motor vehicle injury claim without legal guidance can be overwhelming. Consulting with an experienced car accident injury attorney can significantly increase the likelihood of a successful claim. They can provide invaluable assistance in such ways as:

  1. Understanding Legal Rights: An auto accident lawyer will explain your rights and options, ensuring you are fully informed throughout the process.
  2. Gathering Evidence: Legal counsel can help gather and preserve crucial evidence, such as witness statements, medical records, and expert testimony.
  3. Negotiating with Insurers: Car accident lawyers are skilled negotiators who can handle discussions with insurance companies to seek fair settlements.
  4. Representation in Court: If a fair settlement cannot be reached, an attorney will represent you in court to pursue the compensation you deserve.

The Process of Suing for Damages in Indiana

Types of Damages

When it comes to suing for damages after a car accident in Indiana, understanding the legal process is essential. Victims of car accidents can seek various types of damages, including:

  1. Economic Damages: These cover quantifiable financial losses such as medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage.
  2. Non-Economic Damages: These include compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.

Statute of Limitations

In Indiana, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit after a motor vehicle accident is typically two years from the date of the accident, excluding some governmental defendants which require a tort claims notice to be mailed and can have a time limitation of as little as 6 months. Failing to file within this time frame can result in losing your right to seek compensation.

Lawsuit Filing Process

  1. Consult with an Auto Accident Injury Attorney: Discuss your case with a qualified car accident lawyer to evaluate your claim and determine the best course of action.
  2. Commence an Investigation: Your personal injury lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation, gathering evidence to document a strong case.
  3. Filing the Complaint: Your personal injury lawyer will file a formal complaint with the court, presenting the details of your claim and the damages sought.
  4. Discovery Process: Both parties exchange information and evidence through depositions, interrogatories, and document requests.
  5. Negotiation/Settlement: Most cases are resolved through negotiated settlements before reaching trial.
  6. Trial: If a settlement cannot be reached, your case will proceed to trial, where a judge or jury will determine the outcome.

Final Thoughts

Motor vehicle accidents can lead to devastating consequences, but understanding your rights and the legal process can empower you to seek justice and compensation. By taking the appropriate steps after an accident, seeking legal counsel, and comprehending the intricacies of suing for damages in Indiana, you can navigate this challenging journey with confidence.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, don’t hesitate to seek legal advice. Consult with an experienced car accident attorney to explore your options and secure the compensation you deserve. Remember, taking timely action is crucial to protecting your rights and achieving a favorable outcome.

Are you a motor vehicle accident victim or claimant? Take the first step towards justice and recovery, today. Contact The Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. During this meeting, our experienced Indianapolis car accident attorneys will discuss the specifics of your auto accident case, answer your questions, and outline the best course of action for your claim.

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Understanding Indiana’s Personal Injury Laws: A Comprehensive Guide

Navigating the complex terrain of personal injury laws can often be a daunting task, especially when you’re already overwhelmed with an injury. However, understanding these laws is crucial to ensure you receive the compensation you rightfully deserve. This blog post strives to provide a fairly comprehensive guide to Indiana’s personal injury laws, shedding light on key aspects such as the intricacies of tort law, the process of filing a personal injury lawsuit, and the specifics that are unique to Indiana.

Whether you’re a professional seeking a refresher or someone embarking on a personal journey for justice, this guide aims to assist you in comprehending the nuances of Indiana’s personal injury laws.

Call 317-881-2700 to Speak With Our Indianapolis Personal Injury Attorneys
Call 317-881-2700 to Speak With Our Indianapolis Personal Injury Attorneys

What are Personal Injury Laws in Indiana?

Personal injury laws are a set of legal statutes that cover any harm or damage caused to an individual due to the negligent, reckless, or intentional actions of another person or entity. These laws fall under the umbrella of tort law, which deals with civil wrongdoings and provides remedies for those who have suffered harm or losses as a result. In Indiana, such laws are designed to protect individuals from physical, emotional, and financial harm caused by the actions of others. Understanding these laws can help you seek justice and obtain compensation for any injuries or losses incurred due to someone else’s negligence.

Types of Personal Injury Cases

Personal injury cases in Indiana can range from slip and fall accidents to medical malpractice, with each case having its unique set of legal requirements and complexities. Some common types of personal injury cases in Indiana include:

Car and Semi-Truck Accidents: Auto accidents are one of the most common types of personal injury cases in Indiana, with thousands of accidents occurring every year due to negligent driving.

Premises Liability: If you’ve suffered an injury on someone else’s property due to their negligence, you may have a premises liability case.

Medical Malpractice: Medical malpractice claims involve injury or harm caused by medical professionals due to negligence, errors, or omissions in their treatment.

Product Liability: If you’ve been injured by a defective product, you can hold the manufacturer or seller responsible for any damages under Indiana’s product liability laws.

Dog Bites: Indiana has strict laws regarding dog owner liability, and if you’ve been bitten by a dog, you may be entitled to compensation.

Wrongful Death: In the unfortunate event of someone’s death due to another person’s negligence, their loved ones can file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Head and Brain Injuries: Head and brain injuries can occur due to various accidents, and they often have long-term consequences that require extensive medical treatment.

Filing an Accident Claim or Lawsuit

If you’ve suffered an injury due to someone else’s actions, you have the right to file a personal injury claim. However, it’s essential to understand the process and requirements before initiating legal action. In Indiana, personal injury lawsuits must be filed within two years from the date of the injury under the state’s statute of limitations.  If the defendant is a governmental entity or agency, you must file a tort claims notice before being able to file a lawsuit and the time requirements to file are as little as 6 months.

The first step is to retain counsel. It is vital to hire a qualified personal injury lawyer to represent your case. They will assist you in gathering evidence, negotiating with the other party’s insurance company, and presenting your case in court if necessary. They will notify the person or entity you intend to sue by sending them written notice of your claim. If they refuse to settle, you can then file a legal complaint with the court and begin the litigation process.

Unique Aspects of Indiana’s Personal Injury Laws

Indiana has specific laws that may differ from other states when it comes to personal injury cases. One such aspect is the comparative fault rule, which states that if an injured person is partially at fault for their injury, their compensation will be reduced by a percentage equal to their share of fault.

Conclusion

Injuries caused by someone else’s negligence can lead to physical, emotional, and financial hardships. However, personal injury laws provide a way for individuals to seek justice and receive compensation for their losses. This guide has aimed to provide a comprehensive understanding of these laws, but it’s always best to consult with a qualified Indiana personal injury attorney for specific legal advice. With this knowledge in hand, you can confidently navigate the legal system and fight for your rights in the event of a serious accident or injury. Remember, justice may take time, but understanding Indiana tort law is the first step toward achieving it. 

Are you ready to move forward with a personal injury complaint in Indiana? Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a free initial consultation with our personal injury attorneys in Indianapolis, Indiana. We represent injured victims all across the state, Indiana residents injured in other states and residents of other states injured in Indiana. In addition, we offer the option to hold meetings either by phone, at your residence, online, or at the hospital if necessary.

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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.

File Accident Lawsuit Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700
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.

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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.

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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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.

Indiana Personal Injury Accident Lawsuit Attorneys
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.

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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!

You Might Also Like:

The Difference Between General Damages and Punitive Damages
Legal Facts About Pain and Suffering Damages in Indiana
How to Get the Maximum Settlement for Your Indiana Accident Lawsuit

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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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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.

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