A car crash can change your life forever. It can leave you with debilitating injuries, expensive medical bills, loss of your job or career and possibly even long-term psychological impacts. In addition to taking a physical and emotional toll, the financial toll an individual or family experiences following a serious car accident can be devastating.
As fierce and tireless advocates for injured car accident victims, our Fort Wayne attorneys are committed to helping auto wreck survivors secure their financial recovery. We have more than 25 years of experience representing injury victims across the state of Indiana, including families who have lost loved ones to deadly collisions.
Our lawyers are standing by to review your case and explain your best options for compensation. We are also ready to relieve your concerns and anxieties about pursuing a claim—and to help bring your claim to the best possible resolution.
What to Do After a Car Accident
Taking the right steps immediately after an auto wreck is crucial to protecting your well-being and your legal rights regarding a potential claim. In general, here are the most important steps to take after a car crash in Indiana:
Dial 911 if the crash was serious or if anyone was seriously injured in the wreck. If the accident was minor and doesn’t appear to have caused any injuries, you can either call 911 or contact a local non-emergency line. If the crash happened in or around Fort Wayne, you can dial (260) 427-1222 to reach the police desk or (260) 449-7535 for the Allen County Sheriff’s Office.
Indiana accident reporting requirements
When do you have to report a car accident in Indiana?
State law says that you are required to report any car crash that involves the injury, death or entrapment of any person involved in the wreck. In addition, you must report any car accident that results in property damage (not counting the vehicles involved).
However, even if you are involved in a minor collision with no injuries and little to no damage, it’s in your best interest to report the accident anyways. If you later decide to pursue compensation from another driver or insurance company, the police report will be a key piece of evidence to obtain damages.
If you feel pain, don’t move. Wait for emergency responders and paramedics to arrive and check you out at the accident scene. Even if an ambulance isn’t needed and you feel okay, be sure to get checked out by a doctor as soon as possible after the accident. This is an important step for getting an accurate assessment of your injuries (and for receiving the treatment necessary to prevent additional health complications).
If possible, leave your vehicle (and any other wreckage) where it sits until photos are taken and/or police have a chance to investigate the crash scene. If the accident occurs in the path of traffic, move to the shoulder (or a safe area nearby) and wait at the scene until the police arrive. Don’t leave until they give you the all-clear. Leaving the scene of an accident you’re involved in is considered a “hit-and-run,” which is a criminal offense in Indiana.
After you leave the crash scene, file an accident report with your auto insurance provider — even if you weren’t responsible for the wreck. Don’t wait too long to do this because your policy may have strict deadlines for reporting crashes.
As you wait for the police to arrive or for them to finish their investigation, take as many pictures of the damages as possible, from various angles. Don’t forget to exchange insurance and contact information with the other involved motorist/s. Be sure to get their full name, address, phone number, name of their insurance company, policy number, driver’s license number and license plate number. If there were bystanders or other drivers who witnessed the crash, try to take down their names and contact information as well.
What NOT to do after a motor vehicle accident
Do NOT apologize or admit fault for the accident. When discussing the accident with anyone at the scene (or after), only discuss the facts of the crash. Never admit blame or apologize for the crash. Though it’s a natural habit for some people to apologize in such an uncomfortable and stressful environment, these seemingly harmless admissions can actually be used against you later to try and pin the fault for the accident on you (even if another party may have caused the wreck).
Retain any and all information or evidence you gather or receive related to the crash. This can include your crash photos, police reports, letters from insurers, doctors’ bills, car repair bills, etc. You may even want to make copies or create electronic backups of this evidence (in case anything gets misplaced later). Also, it’s a good idea to keep all of this in a central place (like a file folder) so that you and your attorney can readily access it at any point moving forward.
Your attorney is an important ally in the aftermath of a car wreck. Their job is to represent you and you alone. A lawyer can explain the law, your rights and the available legal remedies.
Of course, serious car accidents and severe injuries may prevent you from doing anything but getting medical care after the wreck happens. In these situations, the best thing to do—once your immediate health is no longer in danger—is to contact a personal injury lawyer in your area who specializes in accident cases like yours.
How Our Fort Wayne Attorneys Can Help You with a Car Accident Claim
An experienced attorney can be extremely helpful when it’s time to seek financial recovery from a car crash. In fact, as you focus on getting medical care and healing, our experienced and knowledgeable lawyers at Finderson Law can oversee all of the time-consuming and difficult work necessary to build a strong claim on your behalf. This can include:
- Determining who is liable for the accident
- Obtaining the various pieces of evidence that are essential to establish liability
- Monitoring the insurance company to ensure that your claim isn’t compromised
- Aggressively asserting each victim’s rights to recovery throughout the case
- Bringing a car accident claim to the best possible outcome
Common Types of Car Accidents
No 2 collisions are precisely the same. At Finderson Law, our Fort Wayne lawyers are experienced at resolving a wide array of car accident cases, including (but not limited to) those that involve:
- Impaired driving (including drunk driving or drugged driving)
- Distracted driving
- Reckless or aggressive driving
- Uninsured or underinsured motorists
- Faulty vehicle equipment
- Head-on collisions
- Rear-end accidents
- T-bone (side impact) collisions
- Pileup (multiple vehicle ) car accidents
- Fatal auto accidents
Car Crash Compensation: Financial Recovery for Your Damages
Immediately following a serious collision, the top thing on your mind is probably your physical health and well-being, as it should be. However, shortly after, you may start receiving bills in the mail from doctors, hospitals, drug companies and insurers demanding payment. At this point, you and your family’s financial health becomes a major concern. You may be wondering how you’ll ever be able to pay for these expenses.
By filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver, you can recover most (if not all) of the compensatory damages you suffered in an auto accident, including:
- Medical bills (past and future)
- Prescription costs
- Lost wages and income (past and future)
- Pain and suffering
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Vehicle and property damage
- Loss of companionship or consortium
- Funeral and burial expenses
Every case is different. For instance, crashes involving a government vehicle have lower damage caps and a shorter statute of limitations (deadline for filing a claim). In addition, punitive damages may be awarded in certain cases where a person’s conduct was particularly egregious and malicious, but there are special rules and requirements for those damage claims too.
If you have questions about what damages you may be entitled to for your auto accident, it’s in your best interest to talk to a knowledgeable attorney in your area who has experience handling cases like yours. At Finderson Law, we can help you calculate the full value of your claim.
How much time do I have to file a car accident claim in Indiana?
In most personal injury cases (including car crash lawsuits) you have 2 years from the date of an accident to file a claim against the negligent party. This deadline, known as the “statute of limitations,” is strictly enforced and there are few exceptions. The sooner you talk to one of our attorneys, the more time we have to determine if you have a claim and build a strong case.
Indiana Car Accident Injury Guide
Car accidents are stressful. If you were involved in a crash or you lost a loved one in a fatal collision, you probably have a lot of questions right now about who’s going to pay for the medical bills and other expenses. You may be wondering what the statute of limitations is for your case, and if you can get compensated for pain and suffering.
Each state’s laws apply differently to auto wreck cases, which is why it’s important to consult with an experienced car accident lawyer near you for advice and answers. For straightforward answers to the most frequently asked questions about Indiana car accidents, we invite you to browse the resources listed below—or contact us at Finderson Law to talk about your individual case.
Our Experienced Fort Wayne Car Accident Attorneys are Ready to Help
If you or someone you love has been hurt in an auto crash, contact our Fort Wayne car accident lawyers today to get answers about your potential claim. Our attorneys are diligent, dedicated problem solvers who are skilled at partnering with clients to understand their specific legal needs and help them achieve their legal objectives. With us in your corner, you can count on receiving superior representation and effective advocacy at every phase of your claim.
You can also count on us to work tirelessly to relieve your stress, build the strongest possible case and fight for the maximum financial recovery possible. Don’t hesitate to contact us to find out more about your legal options and how our representation can make all the difference in your claim. You won’t be charged any fees unless we obtain a recovery for you. This means that you have nothing to lose and potentially a lot to gain by meeting with us to find out more about your legal options.
We’ve helped and satisfied hundreds of clients. Our history of providing the highest quality legal services —and delivering exceptional results—has earned us 5-star ratings on Facebook and Google. From offices in Fort Wayne, we are proud to represent clients throughout Allen County and the state of Indiana.
REVIEWS FROM OUR CLIENTS
Great to work with. Went above and beyond to help us. Very professional and personable. They cared about me and getting done what was needed. Would highly recommend this firm. – D.P.
Always on top of the process and keeps in contact. Communication to me is key regardless if they are making progress or not and they were always answering the phone or returning calls promptly and answering any questions along the way. Top notch and while I hope to never use them again, I highly recommend them. Excellent and phenomenal! – H.H.
Roger went above and beyond for me and got me the results I needed. I’m extremely satisfied with how things turned out! Hopefully, I will not have to visit the office again; but, if I do need a lawyer, I know where to go! – T.