Providing Winning Resolutions For Car Accident Victims Throughout Indiana
“A crash can change the course of your life. We’re here to get it back on track for you and your loved ones.”
What To Expect From Your Case
- We’ll actually go to the accident site, right away, to understand all the dynamics
- Car accident cases rely on proof, and our team knows how to collect it. We find video at ATMs, gas stations — anywhere.
- Your case needs to be jumpstarted immediately, and we’ll start talking to all witnesses right away.
- You’re dealing with injury and loss. We’ll handle the case in all aspects, and answer all your questions.
- You don’t need to deal with a lot of phone calls. We’ll talk to your insurance companies, your workers comp rep — anyone. Don’t worry about paperwork.
- If you’re getting bothered by their insurance company, we shut that down. We get everyone off your back.
Car Accident Attorney
Hiring a car accident attorney is a life-altering decision, just like a car accident itself. When you are injured, experiencing pain, stress, and coping with new circumstances, the last thing you need is to worry about whether you have hired the right car accident lawyer. You deserve an attorney who will make the best case possible for you under the law and keep you informed at every stage of the process.
But if you’ve never hired a lawyer before, how do you tell a good one from a bad one? How do you know if you even need a lawyer? And what information should you expect to share with them and collect as you work together to achieve a successful outcome? We want to answer some common FAQs about hiring a car accident attorney, as well as address some of the specifics about Indiana personal injury settlements.
Is It Worth Getting a Lawyer for a Car Accident?
It is often worth the investment to retain the services of an attorney after a car accident, but not always. If the accident was minor with no long-term injuries or property damage, a car accident attorney might not be needed. Attorneys can help with everything from filing and negotiating insurance claims to holding negligible parties responsible for medical bills and other expenses. If you want to be confident you have recovered as many damages as possible after your car accident, it is certainly worth hiring an attorney.
Should I Get a Lawyer for a Car Accident That Was My Fault?
Even if you are told at the scene of an accident that you are mostly at fault, attorneys can uncover additional evidence that might not be available at the scene. Local video surveillance, eyewitness testimony, and accident reconstructions can all be valuable sources of information that support and add to the narrative of the incident. This is why even if an officer at the scene told you that you were at fault for the accident, it may be worth it to get an attorney to represent you.
This is especially true in Indiana, which is a comparative fault state. That means a person is only prevented from making a recovery if their fault outweighs the fault of all the other parties combined.
Getting an Indiana auto accident lawyer to help prove you were not at fault can make all the difference and empower you to manage the costs of injuries and other damages. Indiana accident attorneys might focus on the other driver’s negligence in the accident, or elements of the environment like lighting, roadway design, and obstructions to view that could have contributed to the collision.
What Can You Sue for After a Car Accident?
After a car accident, you can sue for the following:
- Property Damage: Even when an injury does not occur, repairing a damaged vehicle can be expensive. You can hold the responsible party accountable for the cost to repair damage or replace your property, including both the vehicle and its contents.
- Medical Bills: According to a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Americans spend over $23 billion a year on the medical costs to treat non-fatal car accident injuries. Survivors who are critically injured pay an average of $5 million each in comprehensive costs, including lost quality-of-life. This is why Broadwing Legal is specifically committed to serving those injured in car accidents and helping them seek justice—because no one should have to face these challenges alone.
- Lost Wages: You can also hold the at-fault individual or their insurer responsible for lost wages if time off work is required to recover from injury. This can even extend to cover loss of employment.
- Other Harms and Losses: Other harms and losses can also be included in the lawsuit, like loss of companionship, projected costs of future medical treatment, and the loss of wages you would have earned in the future. A spouse can also have a claim for the loss of love, companionship, and assistance in the case of a car accident wrongful death.
- Punitive Damages: In cases of deliberately reckless or malicious behavior, Indiana also allows you to sue for punitive damages, at most $50,000. This part of the lawsuit is not meant to give funds to the hurt person, but rather to punish the person responsible and deter them from behaving the same way in the future. As a result, if you sue for punitive damages in Indiana and win, you will only receive 25% of that amount, with the other 75% contributed to the Violent Crime Victims Compensation Fund, which provides funding to assist other victims and/or their dependents with medical expenses, funeral expenses, lost wages, and counseling.
- Wrongful Death: The US has the highest car accident fatality rate among high-income countries, with an average of 90 people dying in car accidents each day. When these deaths are the result of another driver’s negligence, the surviving loved ones have a right to recover compensation. While this cannot restore their life-altering loss, these funds can cover necessary expenses like therapy and end of life expenses.
Is it worth it to sue after a car accident? In many cases yes, especially when the expenses and the emotional toll of coping with the incident start adding up.
Including both economic impacts like lost productivity and social impacts like reduced quality-of-life, car accidents cost Americans over $830 billion a year. 30% of this is economic damages, while 70% is social. The lost quality-of-life that results from even minor car accidents is one of the largest public health issues today. We want to help you make sure your story is heard and support you to face the future with confidence.
What are the Most Common Car Accident Injuries?
The NHTSA reports that in 2019, 2,740,000 Americans were injured in a vehicle accident, and an additional 36,096 were killed. Here is a list of some common injuries people experience in car accidents, according to the National Law Review:
- Bruising: Bruising is common in a majority of car accidents, especially due to seatbelts. During the accident the seatbelt locks to keep you safely in place, which can lead to bruising in the shoulder, belly, or other parts of the body. While bruises usually heal within a few weeks, in cases of severe bruising or pain it’s still a good idea to get checked out by a doctor to eliminate the possibility of more critical injuries.
- Whiplash and Soft Tissue Injuries: Whiplash is a strain to the muscles and ligaments of the neck and back that results from the harsh impact and force of a collision. Though people might imagine whiplash only comes from getting rear-ended by another vehicle, these injuries can result from any kind of accident. Soft tissue strains and injuries to muscles can occur in other parts of the body as well, depending on the speed, force, and direction of the accident.
- Neck and Back Injury: Outside of whiplash, other neck and back injuries like herniated disks, fractured vertebrae, and spinal cord trauma can occur during a car accident. When these injuries are moderate to severe, physical therapy or surgery may be necessary to help you recover. If you are experiencing neck or back pain of any kind after a car accident, seek medical attention as soon as possible.
- Concussions: A concussion during a car accident can be caused by hitting your head on the steering wheel or other parts of the car, or even by a deploying airbag. Though we talk about them differently, a concussion is a brain injury, causing bruising and swelling within the skull that can take months or longer to resolve. These injuries can have profound effects on mobility, balance, and even personality.
- Traumatic Brain Injury: Car accidents are the cause of 14% of the traumatic brain injuries in the US, and the leading cause of death from brain injury, especially in children and young adults. Severe traumatic brain injuries usually involve loss of consciousness and may involve penetration of the skull by materials like glass or metal.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a life-altering psychological injury that occurs in response to the trauma of a car accident. Effects include but are not limited to fear of driving, anxiety when you hear or see things you associate with the accident, and even nightmares or insomnia. If you believe you have PTSD due to a car accident, an attorney can consult with you about the documentation and evidence necessary to get you the compensation to cover costs like therapy, lost wages, and lost opportunity.
- Broken Bones: There are many ways that any bone in the human body could possibly be broken during a car accident. The most common fractures in a car accident are the spine and neck, the collarbone (clavicle), the pelvis, the leg (femur and/or fibula), and the skull. Fractures of the face bones and ribs are also common and may not be as noticeable right away. That’s why it is so important to be checked out by a doctor after even a minor collision.
- Internal Bleeding: The force of a car accident and the pressure of the seatbelt can also cause damage to internal organs. These injuries are life-threatening and must be treated immediately but aren’t always visible or apparent right after the collision. After any accident, but especially a high-speed collision, all parties involved should be checked for internal bleeding at a hospital.
When Should I Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?
The Indiana car accident statute of limitations is two years from the date of the accident. This might seem like a long time, but if you have been in a car accident you know that sometimes it isn’t obvious right away how bad the injuries are. Or you might try to negotiate with one or more insurance companies for a while only to find you aren’t getting the help that is needed. That is when it is time to hire a car accident lawyer. We can help you file your car accident lawsuit and get the process moving.
Though the statute of limitations is two years, hiring an attorney as soon as you know you need one is the best advice. The more time an Indiana personal injury lawyer has to collect evidence, talk with experts, and negotiate with the other parties, the more opportunity we have to help clients win their car accident cases through fact-finding and due diligence.
How Do I Choose an Attorney for my Car Accident?
Starting off your search for an attorney by looking for “car accident lawyer near me” will reveal the options in your area, but then you have to choose between them. it might be tempting to go with a firm you see on commercials and billboards, but often, these firms just see your case as one among many. You need to understand going in how much engagement, communication, and support to expect from your attorney. Here are some questions that will help you find the best attorney for your car accident:
Do you specialize in car accident cases?
First and foremost, you should establish that the attorney specializes in injury cases and negligence. Some attorneys try to cover multiple specialties at once, like family law, estate law, and injury law. Attorneys who specialize in personal injuries and car accidents have unique experience in the storytelling and fact-finding necessary to build a strong case.
How have you handled cases like mine before?
Once you know the attorney has the general experience you need, asking how they would handle your case is a way to see if you think you and the attorney would work well together. While they may need time to explore the details of your situation to form a full strategy that is unique to you, this question will still give you insight into their processes and approach to their work.
Do you see any challenges in my case?
A free consultation with an Indiana car accident attorney is also a chance to learn about the current strength of your case. Asking this question will give you a chance to hear the lawyer’s opinion about whether your case is likely to be successful. If they identify questions they still need to resolve or challenges that might arise, this is also a great chance to learn how they might adapt and continue to represent you under pressure.
How often do you take cases to trial?
Lastly, it’s important to make sure the car accident attorney you are considering hiring has trial experience, especially taking cases before a jury. While almost all injury cases settle before going to court, sometimes the different parties involved are just not able to reach a satisfactory agreement. In those circumstances, you want to feel confident your attorney will have the skills and experience to fight for you in court.
How Much Should I Settle for After a Car Accident?
The settlement amount that is right for each person will vary case-by-case. However, we believe it’s important to settle for an amount that covers present and future needs for medical treatment, in-home care, missing future wages, counseling, and more. If an injured person accepts a settlement too early, then finds out their injuries are more severe and require long-term treatment, they will not be able to pursue additional funds from the responsible parties.
The amount you are offered in the settlement is partially based on how severe your injuries are, and how long you will suffer with them. But the other driver’s negligence and behavior are also points to consider. In cases of distracted driving or impaired driving, the settlement may be higher, but each case is unique.
If you know the cost to cover your injuries is greater than the payout limits on your policy or the other driver’s insurance policy, do not accept a settlement from the insurance company without talking to an attorney. Broadwing Legal offers free car accident consultations for this exact reason. You deserve an advocate who will tell your story and explore the options under the law for you to get a settlement that is on-par with your injuries and needs.
Typical Attorney Fees for Personal Injury in Car Accident
Attorneys are required under the law to fully disclose the extent of their fees from the beginning of the relationship. Most car accident lawyers work on a contingency fee, meaning they take a certain percentage of any amounts that are won in the case. These fees typically range anywhere from 25-40% of the final amount. So, if you win $100,000 in your case and your attorney has a 40% contingency fee, they will receive $40,000. At Broadwing Legal, we charge a flat 32% fee in any cases we represent, including car accident injury cases.
However, these are not the only costs that can reduce the amount of your settlement in the end. Expenses like expert witness testimony, cost of filings or obtaining certain documents like medical records, and accident reconstruction can also come up throughout the life of your case. An attorney is also ethically obligated to make all these costs apparent before they make the decision to spend the money. You should always be in clear communication with the attorney about the strategy being used in your case and the possible expenses that could result. Remember, even though the attorney is the legal expert, it is still your case and you deserve to be active in the conversation, including choosing whether to proceed with the case under certain circumstances.
Broadwing Legal: A Car Accident Lawyer Indianapolis Can Trust
Working with a car accident attorney is proven to help injured parties win their cases more often and get larger settlements. One survey found that 74% of people who hire a car accident attorney get at least some compensation in their cases, compared to 54% of those who handle their own claims. The same survey found that the average car accident settlement is over $30,000 higher when you hire an attorney ($44,600 versus $13,900).
The attorneys of Broadwing Legal have been representing people injured in car accidents for over a decade. Whether you were the driver, a passenger, a cyclist, or a pedestrian, we have the expertise, passion, and compassion to represent you to the full extent of the law. We respect that every case is unique and tailor our strategies to your circumstances, seeking out evidence that supports your side of the story. We are always available for a free consultation to discuss your experiences and legal options. Contact us today to get to know our team and let us get to know how we can help you.