Car Accidents
Contact Us Now, Absolutely No Obligation
Free Case Evaluation

6 Important Steps to Take After an Auto Accident in Indiana

Front-end Car AccidentAt Keller & Keller, we have been representing injured people and their families since 1936. We understand the pain, stress, and frustration that can come after an auto accident. The decisions you make right after the accident are critically important in determining the value of your personal injury claim. If you are involved in a car accident, we suggest you follow six important steps.

Protect Yourself With This Post-Accident Checklist

  1. If the accident resulted in serious bodily injury, seek medical attention immediately. If you do not need immediate medical attention, proceed to the following steps.
  2. Call the police. Sometimes after an accident, the vehicles involved may be safe to drive and parties may seemingly only have minor injuries; however, it is still important to call 911 and obtain a detailed police report. A police report provides an unbiased documentation of the accident and can be very beneficial in settling your claim. While waiting for the police to arrive, proceed with steps 3 and 4.
  3. Exchange information. Make sure you obtain the name and phone number of all persons involved, including witnesses. Be sure to get insurance information from the other driver or drivers involved.
  4. Take photographs. Today, almost everyone has a smartphone or a cell phone that takes pictures. It is important to take photographs of the damage to all vehicles involved and to take pictures of the scene. It is also beneficial to take photos of your injuries including cuts and bruises.
  5. Seek medical attention. Not all injuries are felt right away or are physically obvious. Sometimes, pain from an auto accident doesn’t arise until days later. Seeking proper medical treatment will help you get on the path to 100% recovery.
  6. Seek legal advice. Before giving a statement to the other driver’s insurance company, or signing any documents, speak with an experienced injury attorney.

Our Attorneys Are Standing by to Help You!

We’ve been helping injured victims just like you defend their rights for over 75 years. We have offices in Indianapolis and Granger, and proudly serve the entire state of Indiana. If you’ve been in an accident and would like a free, no-obligation analysis of your potential claim from an experienced personal injury attorney, contact us today.

1 Comments
Amanda Boggess was awesome and went above and beyond to help me.
by Adam Beaty June 9, 2016 at 07:44 AM
Post a Comment

Request Free Consultation

Complete the short form next and we'll be in touch within 12 hours.

Free Report

Library

FAQ

Free Car Accident Injury Evaluation

Hurt in a car accident that wasn't your fault? We can help!

  • You deserve an AV-Rated law firm.
  • Zero Fee Guarantee: Pay us nothing until you recover!
  • We're there every step of the way.

Find out how much your case is worth

lock We Respect Your Privacy. Privacy Policy. BBB

Check the strength of your car accident case

Check the boxes that apply to you to see how strong your case is.

How Much Is My Car Accident Injury Claim Worth?

Before we look at the factors that determine the value of your car accident claim, know this: NO ONE can initially tell you what your car accident claim is worth; not until you tell your version of the story, liability is nailed down, your medical treatment is finished, and an experienced personal injury law firm has reviewed your case.

And it's ok not to have an immediate dollar amount thrown at you. After all, if your accident had a "price tag," then there would be no opportunity for you to present your particular case, meaning you'd potentially risk shorting yourself thousands of dollars, or the entire claim!

(Having settled thousands of personal injury cases, we are certain of one fact: No two clients are alike, no two car accidents are alike, no matter how similar they seem.)

Our firm's #1 goal is likely similar to your own at the moment: recover the maximum amount of compensation for the accident. The way to ensure you receive a fair settlement is to present a professional and persuasive case that is supported by medical documentation and measurable course(s) of treatment, e.g., physical therapy.

WHAT FACTORS CAN INCREASE MY CASE VALUE?

You're likely worried about hospital bills, property damage, lost wages, and a possible change in lifestyle, so a quick settlement may seem attractive. However, as time passes, most clients are thankful they took the time to consult with someone who could advise them of future factors that could potentially increase their case value.

Scenarios that can increase the value of a car accident case might include:

  • The client's injuries worsened over time, leading to unforeseen treatments and costly procedures.
  • The client didn't predict the type and/or duration of treatment their injuries required.
  • The client didn't anticipate the strain the accident would place on their personal life.
  • The client didn't account for the long-term psychological effects.

These points are common after-effects accident victims are unable to predict immediately following their accident, and the insurance company is going to try and settle with you before any of these scenarios occur.

Ultimately, your damages are likely to have additional value if presented to an insurance company by way of experienced legal representation. Having an attorney allows you to take the time you need to ultimately see the full picture of your claim, and remember, once you sign a release of all claims, you're essentially telling the insurance company they're "off the hook."

ARE SIMILAR ACCIDENT TYPES WORTH THE SAME AMOUNT OF MONEY?

Each person is unique, each accident is unique, every case has unique value, and there are no exceptions to this rule. Let's look at an example:

  • Driver A is a young pregnant female with no pre-existing medical conditions. She has been involved in a rear-end car accident collision. She was taken by ambulance to the hospital for examination of back and neck pain. The doctors diagnose her with whiplash and prescribe her a course of treatment that is consistent with the needs of her pregnancy. She completes treatment and is released soon after.
  • Driver B is a middle-aged male with prior back surgery. He has also been involved in a rear-end style car accident collision and is experiencing neck and back pain. He was not able to visit a doctor until two weeks after the crash due to fear of missing work and losing his job. When he is able to visit the doctor, he is diagnosed with whiplash and is prescribed a course of physical therapy. He is released soon after.

Let's also assume that Driver A and Driver B were rear-ended at the same spot on the same highway on the same day. Additionally, the vehicles that struck A & B were traveling at the same speed at the time of impact. Weather conditions were the same for both accidents, and both A & B and the adverse drivers have the same insurance companies, etc.

What does all this mean?

Despite everything we know about driver's A & B accident details, their claims will have different values!

Even with all the listed similarities, it's very unlikely that driver A & B will undergo the similar medical treatment for their injuries; respond to treatment in the same manner; or experience the same types of aggravation and frustration in the days and months after their accident.

IS IT TRUE THAT I'LL GET THREE TIMES THE MEDICAL BILLS FOR MY ACCIDENT CLAIM?

This "formula" is an estimate that has often been thought of by many as a way to value car accident claims. And though it is true that you may receive three times your medical bills, it's also just as likely that you'll receive more or less.

In short, never assume the value of your car accident claim is simply "3 x's your medical bills."

WHAT THINGS CAN I RECOVER FOR IN MY CAR ACCIDENT CLAIM?

There are typically 3 components we look to recover for in a personal injury case that arises from a car accident:

  1. Past and future medical bills
  2. Past and future lost wages, or loss of earning capacity
  3. Past and future pain, suffering, disfigurement, and disability

Again, the numbered factors above don't apply to every case, and you should always have an experienced injury lawyer evaluate your specific claim.

IS THERE EVER AN INSTANCE IN WHICH I CAN IMMEDIATELY KNOW MY CASE VALUE?

Accidents that leave a person with traumatic injuries; broken bones; the need for surgery; permanent hardware; and/or cause death, may constitute what is known as a "policy limits demand."

In these instances, our personal injury attorneys will immediately notify the adverse insurance company of our representation of a client and ask that they send us what is known as a "certified declarations (DEC) sheet." This document will reveal the total amount of available dollars under the liable party's policy.

Once we receive the DEC sheet we will be able to tell you how much money is available, and whether or not your injuries justify asking for the entire amount. However, it will still be very difficult to predict the value of your car accident claim, because other factors will almost certainly play a role.

For instance, we may be able to reduce certain medical bills on your behalf so that you're not required to pay back the full amount, thus increasing your settlement. We may also be able to secure Underinsured Motorists Coverage (UIM) from your policy in the event that the adverse policy limits are inadequate.

ASK AN ATTORNEY TO REVIEW THE INSURANCE POLICY.

Asking an experienced personal injury attorney to examine an insurance policy ensures you aren't leaving money on the table. Policies can be confusing, full of difficult-to-understand contract language, some of which is applicable to your case, and some that isn't.

If your everyday job doesn't require you to review insurance policies, then your chance of fully understanding available coverage will be challenging. Fortunately, we have more than 75 years of locating and examining insurance polices for car accident victims, so we can help guide you and youir family in the right direction at no cost.

Ultimately, speaking with an experienced injury law firm about your case is an excellent step toward determining what your car accident case is worth.