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Indiana Trial Lawyers Association

The ATLA
Best Personal Injury Law Firm Indianapolis

FAQS About Personal Injury Lawsuits and Accident Claims

Below you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions we hear at Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. For more information about tort law and personal injury cases, visit our BLOG page for new posts every week.

Personal Injury Claims

What are My Rights as an Injured Victim in Indiana?

If you have been seriously injured or involved in an accident that was not your fault, some of your rights include, but are not limited to the following:

YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO ASK A POLICE OFFICER TO FILE A POLICE REPORT.
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO TAKE PICTURES AT THE SCENE OF THE ACCIDENT, INCLUDING OF PERSONS, WHAT CAUSED YOU TO FALL, OR THE VEHICLES INVOLVED.
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO DENY INSURANCE ADJUSTERS’ REQUESTS FOR A RECORDED STATEMENT WITHOUT CONSULTING A LAWYER FIRST (WHETHER IT’S YOUR INSURANCE CARRIER OR ANOTHER).
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO LEGAL COUNSEL.
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO COLLECT COMPENSATION FOR YOUR DAMAGES AND LOSSES IF WRONGFULLY INJURED.

At the Law Office of Craven, Hoover and Blazek, P.C., our fully licensed Indiana injury lawyers will tenaciously defend your rights and ensure you recover the full and fair compensation you deserve. Contact us at 317-881-2700 to set up your free consultation today.

How Should I Deal With Insurance Adjusters After an Accident?

You may think that anything you say or sign after an accident is confidential, but it's important to remember this information can be used against you in court. Do not talk to any insurance company without talking to your attorney first. Insurance adjusters are specially trained to ask questions of claimants so the ambiguous responses can be used as evidence for their insured’s defense when claiming damages and losses. So, what does this mean for you as an accident victim?

Well, the most important thing to remember after a personal injury is that you should not sign any papers, talk to an insurance adjuster or agree to anything without consulting one of our licensed attorneys first. You are not required to sign anything or answer questions without legal representation. In fact, after obtaining medical care your first phone call should be to Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C.

Nonsensical phrases like " waiver" and documents, which seem too good be true (they usually aren't), and interviews can lead people into signing away their rights when they don’t know what's happening. Insurance companies for at fault parties can and do try to blame the victim. At the Law Office of Craven, Hoover and Blazek, P.C, we review documents line by line and sit through and prepare clients for interviews so that we can do everything possible to protect our clients.

Do I Still Have Options if Insurance Denies My Claim?

If your personal injury claim is denied by an adjuster because you have no attorney, you can still take legal action. When you're injured in an accident and without legal representation, the insurance company will try to lowball you on your settlement. An experienced Indiana personal injury lawyer at Craven, Hoover and Blazek, P.C. will fight for the compensation you deserve. If you have been injured and your claim was denied or lowballed, contact one of our knowledgeable injury attorneys in Indianapolis as soon as possible, especially before you discuss your accident with anyone else. Most importantly, do not try to represent yourself.

What is “Pain and Suffering” in a Personal Injury Case?

When dealing with personal injury cases, many people wonder about how the law defines pain-and-suffering. In legal terms, pain-and-suffering is the physical and emotional anguish that a person experiences as a result of an injury. It can include both mental and physical suffering, such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, and physical pain. Why is it important to prove pain and suffering? In order to recover damages for pain and suffering, you must be able to prove that the injuries you suffered caused you significant pain and suffering. This can be difficult to do, which is why it is important to have an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side.

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

To sue or not to sue? Though most personal injury lawsuits are settled before going to court, this is not always the resolution. If you were wrongfully injured by another party, you have a right to seek compensation for your injuries through the legal system. There are many factors that determine whether a person can or should sue another for their injuries. All of the following must be taken into consideration when evaluating whether or not to file a lawsuit: the severity of injuries, how much fault can be attributed to the other party, and what limitations are placed on the at-fault person's insurance coverage. If you've been injured, the best option is to speak with one of our skilled injury attorneys in Indianapolis. With years of experience, we can offer tailored advice for your specific case.

Do I Have a Valid Personal Injury Case?

When it comes to whether or not you have a personal injury case, there are a few key things to keep in mind. Here are 3 questions to ask yourself to help you determine if you have a civil cause of action after being hurt in an accident:

1. Did someone else’s negligence cause your injury? In order to have a successful personal injury claim, you will need to be able to show that your injury was caused by someone else’s negligence. This could be something like a car accident where the other driver was at fault, or a slip and fall accident where the property owner was negligent in maintaining safe conditions.

2. Are you suffering from physical and/or emotional injuries? In order to have a successful personal injury claim, you will need to be able to show that you are suffering from physical and/or emotional injuries as a result of the accident. These could include things like broken bones, soft tissue damage, or even PTSD.

3. Have you incurred financial damages? In order to have a successful personal injury claim, you will need to be able to show that you have incurred financial damages as a result of the accident in most cases. This could include things like medical bills, lost wages, or even property damage.

If you can answer yes to all of these questions, then you may have a personal injury case on your hands. However, it’s always best to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to be sure. They will be able to review the specifics of your case and let you know for sure if you have a strong claim.

Do I Still Have Time to File a Personal Injury Claim?

In the United States, there are statutes of limitations governing how long a person has to file a personal injury claim. These time limits vary from state to state, but typically range from one to four years. After that time has passed, the injured person can no longer bring a lawsuit against the party responsible for their injuries. Here in Indiana, most personal injury cases have a 2-year filing deadline. So, if you are wondering if there is still time to file a claim in Indiana, the answer might be yes. Contact us to learn how long your case’s statute of limitations lasts in Indiana. We also represent Indiana residents injured in other states and residents of other states injured in Indiana.

Will My Case Go to Trial?

Most personal injury cases are settled out of court. Insurance companies are often willing to settle out of court if you have an attorney because they understand that if you have an attorney you can go to trial if necessary. Insurance companies are generally unwilling to go through the trouble of going to trial if you have an attorney because they know that your Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. attorney will be ready and able to present you case to the jury in a professional and persuasive manner. In plain language:

The insurance companies are often willing to agree on a settlement without going through with trial. They have the financial means and want to avoid any risk that could arise from their liability claim being tried in court. So, they will settle most of these cases out-of-court if there is an involved party like yourself who has requested compensation for damages or injuries caused by another person's negligence and you have great legal representation.

How Long Do Personal Injury Cases Last?

Personal injury cases can take a long time to resolve because you need to wait until the client is done treating or a doctor tells a client no further medical care will fix their injuries. The average personal injury case takes between one and three years to resolve. However, some cases can take longer or shorter. This is often due to the fact that insurance companies will do everything in their power to drag out the process and pay out as little as possible. Other factors that can affect the length of time it takes to resolve a personal injury case include the severity of the injuries, the number of parties involved, the amount of insurance coverage, and the jurisdiction in which the case is filed. In some cases, personal injury cases are resolved through mediation or arbitration, which can take less time than a trial. If you have been injured in an accident, talk to an attorney as soon as you can for good advice.

Accident Lawyers

Should I Hire a Lawyer for My Personal Injury Case?

Yes. There are many reasons why you should hire a personal injury attorney if you have been hurt in an accident that was not your fault. First and foremost, a personal injury lawyer can help ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. They can also help to negotiate with the other party's insurance company on your behalf and protect your rights throughout the legal process.

A personal injury lawyer can also help to take some of the stress and anxiety out of the situation by dealing with the paperwork and legal proceedings for you. This can allow you to focus on your recovery and get back to your life as soon as possible. If you have been involved in an accident, it is important to speak to an Indianapolis personal injury lawyer at Craven, Hoover and Blazek, P.C. as soon as possible to discuss your case and find out what your legal options are.

How Much Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Charge?

Personal injury attorneys generally charge a percentage of the total damages recovered in a case. This fee is called a contingency fee and it allows the attorney to be paid only if he or she wins the case. If the attorney does not win, he or she will usually not receive any payment at all for his or her services. Initial case evaluations and consultations are also free of charge. This means there is no out-of-pocket obligation to learn more about your case, including your right to being compensated for your damages and losses. Outside of personal injury lawyer fees, you can expect to incur additional legal expenses. These expenses may include costs for filing, postage, expert witness fees, depositions, and copying fees. The attorney fronts these expenses for the client and then recoups them at the time a settlement or verdict is obtained.

Why Should I Choose Craven, Hoover and Blazek, P.C. For My Claim?

The Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. is a seasoned Indianapolis personal injury law firm. Each and every attorney has more than 25 years of experience helping clients throughout Indiana. We have a solid reputation for providing aggressive and comprehensive legal advocacy for our clients, and we work on contingency, which means we do not get paid unless we recover an award for you. We also offer Spanish speaking lawyer services and free case evaluations. These are just the start of all the reasons why you should choose us to represent you. Contact us at 317-881-2700 to schedule a consultation today. We can meet over the phone, via online video conference (Zoom, Skype, etc.), or in-person at our Indianapolis office or at your own home.

How Do I Prepare for a Personal Injury Consultation?

When you've been injured in an accident, the thought of meeting with a personal injury attorney can be a little daunting. Do not stress about it. If you take a little time to prepare for your initial consultation, it can be a helpful and productive experience. It will be the first step in getting the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Here are some helpful tips on how to prepare for your first meeting with one of our personal injury attorneys:

Gather all the relevant information about your accident. This includes any photos or videos, police reports (if you do not have this your attorney will get it), insurance information, medical bills, and witness information.
Make a list of questions that you want to ask the lawyer.
Be prepared to discuss the incident and your injuries and how they have impacted your life.
Again, do not stress. You will feel more at ease after hiring your own professional.
Keep an open mind and be willing to listen to the lawyer's advice.

Awards & Settlements

How Much is My Personal Injury Claim Worth?

While it is difficult to estimate the value of a personal injury claim before conducting an investigation, you can get a rough idea by looking at the common damages in these types of cases. The law recognizes several different types of personal injury damages, but the two main categories are economic damages and punitive damages. Economic damages, also called compensatory damages, are losses that can be calculated by an actual dollar amount and redeemed through financial compensation. Punitive damages, also called exemplary damages, are a type of financial award given in civil cases where the defendant’s actions were egregious or especially harmful. They are not meant to make up for what the plaintiff lost, but rather to act as a form of punishment for the defendant, and to warn others against similar behavior. It is important to document your personal injury expenses in as much detail as possible.

Do Personal Injury Claims Take a Long Time to Settle?

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, you may be wondering how long it will take to settle your personal injury case. The answer to this question depends on a number of factors, including the severity of your injuries and how long you treat, the insurance coverage of the at-fault party, and fault issues, if any. Most personal injury cases are settled out of court, but some do go to trial. If your case goes to trial, it could take months or even years to reach a verdict. The best way to ensure a timely and fair settlement of your personal injury case is to hire an experienced Indianapolis accident attorney. At Craven, Hoover and Blazek, P.C., each attorney has over 25 years of experience handling personal injury cases. We will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Can I Settle My Personal Injury Case Through Arbitration?

Arbitration is a process of settling disputes between two parties without going to court. It is used in personal injury cases because it can be faster and cheaper than going to trial. However, not all arbitration is binding, which means that either party can walk away from the agreement if they are not happy with the outcome. There are some benefits to arbitration, but it is not right for most cases. If you are considering whether or not to arbitrate your personal injury case, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney at Craven, Hoover and Blazek, P.C. to learn more about the pros and cons. Contact us at 317-881-2700 today.

How Can Social Media Activity Jeopardize My Claim?

Social media has the potential to destroy a personal injury lawsuit in several ways. With the recent popularity of social media networks and websites, their effect on our everyday lives is still largely unknown. However, one thing we do know is that social media can be used as evidence against individuals in court and skewed.

Here is an example of how it happens:

Jane Doe 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 formerly broken arm. Although the photo showed Doe on a good day and not her bad days, the jury lowered her verdict amount after the defense used her Twitter account as evidence to disprove the severity of her damages. The problem with social media is most people only post about good days. Read more about social media advice for accident victims.

Will My Settlement Be Less if I am Partly to Blame for My Accident?

In a personal injury case, comparative fault is when the injured person is partially responsible for their own injury. This can be due to things like speeding, if relevant to how the incident occurred. If the injured person is found to be comparatively at fault, their damages will be reduced or eliminated altogether. Indiana is a comparative fault state. Comparative fault is a legal doctrine that assigns fault to each party in a personal injury case based on their percentage of responsibility for the accident. This doctrine can be used to reduce the amount of damages that a plaintiff can recover. In order to determine the percentage of responsibility, the jury will consider the parties' conduct leading up to the accident.

Should I Accept a Structured Settlement?

A structured settlement is an agreed upon payment plan in which the recipient gets a set amount of money over time. Structured settlements offer tax advantages and a guarantee of regular income, but they can also be inflexible and may not provide all the money you need. For most cases, structured settlements are disfavored. Weigh these top 3 pros and cons of structured settlements to decide if they're right for you:

PROS:
1. Structured settlements offer tax advantages.
2. They provide a guaranteed income stream.
3. They may offer more money than lump-sum settlements.

CONS:
1. Inflexible – you can't access all the money at once if you need it.
2. You may not receive all the money you need.
3. The payments may not keep up with inflation.

How Long Do I Have to Wait to Receive My Compensation?

It can take a while for a personal injury settlement check to arrive after a case is won or settlement reached. In most cases though, it is less than 30 days. The parties have to agree on the language for a Release of All Claims and the language to be used for the documents dismissing the lawsuit if a lawsuit was filed but almost always it is just a few short weeks.

Personal Injury Glossary

Tort Law

Tort law is a body of law that governs civil wrongs, or torts. Torts can be intentional, like assault and battery, or unintentional, like car accidents. Tort law is designed to provide a remedy for victims of wrongful conduct, whether that be through monetary damages or an injunction ordering the wrongdoer to stop their behavior.

Personal Injury Lawyer

A personal injury lawyer is a type of lawyer who helps people who have been injured through no or minimal fault of their own. This could be anything from a car accident to a slip and fall. Personal injury lawyers can help you file a lawsuit against the person or company who caused your injury, and they can help you get the compensation you deserve through a settlement or jury verdict.

Personal Injury Claim

A personal injury claim is a legal action taken by an individual who has been injured as a result of the negligence or recklessness of another person or company. The claim is usually brought against the party responsible for the injury in an effort to recover damages, such as medical expenses and lost wages.

Negligence

Negligence is the failure to use reasonable care, which results in harm or injury to another. In a personal injury case, negligence may be grounds for a lawsuit if the injured person can prove that the defendant's actions caused them harm. To win a negligence case, the plaintiff must show that the defendant owed them a duty of care, that the defendant breached that duty, and that the breach resulted in damages.

Duty of Care

In a personal injury case, duty of care means that the defendant has a legal obligation to avoid causing harm to the plaintiff. This includes taking reasonable steps to ensure the safety of the plaintiff. If the defendant fails to meet their duty of care, they may be held liable for any injuries suffered by the plaintiff.

First Party Lawsuit

A first party lawsuit is a legal proceeding filed by the person who was directly harmed by the actions of another. This type of lawsuit is often used to seek compensation for damages, such as property damage or personal injury. First party lawsuits can also be used to seek an injunction, or a court order preventing the other party from continuing with their harmful actions as well.

Third-Party Lawsuit

Third party lawsuits are civil lawsuits filed by someone who is not a party to the original lawsuit. These lawsuits are often filed in order to enforce or protect the rights of the third party. For example, if two people are engaged in a legal battle, a third party might file a lawsuit in order to ensure that their rights are protected. These are common in workers’ compensation cases.

Full Liability Release

A Full Liability Release is a document that releases an individual or organization from any and all legal liability for any injuries or damages that may have occurred as a result of their actions. This document can be used to protect the individual or organization from any further legal action that may be taken as a result of an accident or injury.

Personal Injury Damages

When you are injured as a result of another person or party's negligence, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries in the form of personal injury damages. There are various types of personal injury damages, including general damages, economic damages, compensatory damages, non-economic damages, punitive damages, future damages, and special damages, some of which are synonyms for one another. These damages can cover a wide range of losses, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Economic Damages: Economic damages are also referred to as compensatory, actual, or general damages. These describe the calculable financial losses that can be defined by an actual dollar amount and redeemed through financial compensation.
Non-Economic Damages: Non-economic damages are more difficult to assign a dollar amount to because they are not direct and tangible monetary losses, like medical bills and lost wages. Instead, they are damages awarded for emotional or mental losses and tribulations.
Punitive Damages: Punitive damages, or exemplary damages, are types of damages that are awarded in civil lawsuits to punish the defendant for particularly egregious or malicious behavior. They are not intended to compensate the plaintiff for any losses suffered, but rather to send a message to the defendant and to deter others from engaging in similar bad behavior.
Future Damages: Future damages in a personal injury case refer to the estimated losses that will occur in the future as a result of the injuries sustained in the accident. These damages can be economic, such as lost wages, or non-economic, such as pain and suffering. Estimating future damages can be challenging, as it requires predicting how the injured person's life will be affected in the future. In some cases, experts may be consulted to help determine these damages.

Contingency Fees

Contingency fees are an agreement between a client and their lawyer where the lawyer will only be paid if they win the case. This type of fee arrangement is common in personal injury, employment law, and civil rights cases.

Structured Settlement

A structured settlement is an agreement between a plaintiff and a defendant in a personal injury lawsuit that specifies the periodic payments to be made to the plaintiff. Such payments are usually made over a period of time, often for the rest of the plaintiff's life.

Schedule a Case Evaluation Today
The Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. is available to answer your accident claim questions and assist you with your legal concerns. To schedule a no-fee consultation with an experienced Indianapolis personal injury attorney, contact our office at 317-881-2700 during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 9AM to 5PM. Or simply email us below and tell us about your case. All fields are required.


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