Personal Injury Attorney in Indianapolis117 East Washington Street, Suite 201
Indianapolis, IN 46204
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Indianapolis Personal Injuries
An Indianapolis personal injury attorney can advise you when you have suffered in a serious accident. If you or a loved one is struggling to move on with your life and to get the help that you need after someone else was reckless or negligent, an Indianapolis personal injury attorney can help.
A lawyer plays a crucial role in protecting your rights. The right lawyer can help support you in each stage of your legal claim and can sit down with you before you file to give you a better understanding of the entire legal process, which can be very helpful if you’ve never had to file an Indiana personal injury suit before.
Our team of dedicated Indianapolis personal injury attorneys knows that a serious accident can turn your entire world upside down. It can be additionally confusing as you attempt to navigate the legal and insurance process for recovering compensation for your injuries. Knowing that you can turn to an Indianapolis personal injury lawyer, who will take your claim seriously and who will guide you through each step, is priceless peace of mind for an accident victim. If your life has been forever changed as a result of someone else’s actions, you may have the right to hold them accountable in court. You don’t have to do it alone, and filing a claim can help put you and your family on the path to a better future.
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How Long Do I Have to File an Injury Claim in Indiana?
Every state has specific rules that allow victims to file personal injury claims when someone else causes an accident that leaves them with damages. However, there are strict time limitations for filing these lawsuits known as the statute of limitations. This is one leading reason why Indiana car accident victims are regularly encouraged to speak with a dedicated personal injury lawyer in Indianapolis.
If you or somebody you know has already been seriously injured in an Indianapolis accident, you need to take action quickly to protect your right to file. The statute of limitations firmly limits the time frame for when a victim is eligible to pursue a lawsuit for injuries and other losses. In Indiana, the statute of limitations for a personal injury lawsuit is two years. This means that within two years from the date of the accident or injury you need to file a legal claim, or you risk having your case dismissed without ever being heard.
There are a few rare exceptions available to the statute of limitations, including one known as the discovery rule. For example, in a case when a victim would not immediately be aware of their injury, the clock on that statute of limitations time period only begins running when the victim reasonably should have discovered or did discover the injury in question. Furthermore, for any victims who are mentally incompetent, or victims who are minors, the statute of limitations can pause that time period. If you have questions about whether or not this applies in your case, contact a personal injury attorney. The statute of limitations is only one aspect of filing a personal injury claim. It is important to educate yourself about the entire process of recovering compensation to put yourself in the best possible position.
What if the Other Insurance Company Says I'm Possibly to Blame in Causing the Accident?
There are some states that have comparative negligence rules that will reduce the amount of damages you're entitled to based on your alleged responsibility for the accident. Personal injury claims in the state of Indiana are bound by the comparative negligence/comparative fault rule, meaning that if you are determined to be partially at fault, your compensation will be reduced in accordance with your percentage of responsibility in the accident. If you are determined to be any greater than 50% at fault for causing the accident, you are ineligible to recover any funds at all.
This is a common tactic used by the insurance companies when you bring forward a legal claim in an effort to reduce their responsibility to have a payout. If this question will ultimately be decided by a jury, it is imperative to have dedicated personal injury representation to help you. You want a lawyer who is very experienced in preparing these kinds of stories for court.
Can I Get Punitive Damages?
Discuss your case with your Indianapolis personal injury lawyer to learn whether or not you can get punitive damages.
Punitive damages are available in the state of Indiana which go beyond the regular non-economic and economic damages. These are limited to whichever of these two numbers is higher:
- Three times the amount of compensatory damages awarded.
Punitive damages in Indiana also only give 25% of that final award to the victim directly, and the rest goes into the Indiana Violent Crime Victim Compensation Fund. It is vital to work directly with a personal injury attorney to prepare your case if you believe you have punitive damages, because this is a higher standard that must be met in the legal case by showing clear and convincing evidence.
What if I Cannot Afford to Hire a Lawyer?
Many personal injury law firms in Indianapolis take personal injury cases on what is known as the contingency fee basis. This means that you are only charged a percentage of your final settlement or verdict if your attorney is successful. This is why it is so important to work directly with a law firm who has a strong track record in personal injury cases in Indianapolis.
Working with a law firm that has the appropriate resources to advance all litigation costs, including expert witness fees, filing fees, and court costs, is extremely important because these still must be paid when starting a lawsuit. And a law firm who has the right experience will be able to recoup these from the settlement amount.
Will I Have to Go to Court?
Many people do not realize that most personal injury cases are resolved outside of court. However, this does not mean that you're obligated to accept a settlement offer presented by the other side. Your attorney is responsible for bringing any settlement offers to you for a personal review, but you can still decide that a settlement offer does not fully compensate you for your injuries. This frequently happens when the insurance company presents an initial offer that is far too low to help pay for all of the damages you have sustained.
In many cases, this comes down to presenting compelling arguments about issues, such as the extent of your injuries and what they're likely to cost in the future. It is critical to hire a law firm who is experienced in trying cases, both so that they can be prepared to go into settlement negotiations and so that they are prepared to go to trial if and when that becomes necessary. This approach will help you to get the highest possible settlement for your injuries.
Do I Really Need an Attorney?
One common question for many people who have suffered substantial damages in an accident is whether or not they need legal representation at all. Some symptoms including very serious internal injuries may not be readily apparent to you at the scene of the accident or in the hours afterwards. If you accept a settlement offer from an insurance company in these early stages, you may be barring yourself from forever pursuing a legal claim for the remainder of your damages. There are other mistakes like this that can be made when you're attempting to handle your lawsuit on your own. Getting a free initial consultation from an experienced Indianapolis personal injury lawyer can be a great way to ensure you understand all of the legal issues involved in your case and to learn more about the important role that an attorney plays.
How Do I Begin Finding the Right Personal Injury Lawyer?
One of the first things that you should do is some online research to learn more about the personal injury attorney you are considering in Indianapolis. Online resources can help give you a window into the experience of the firm. You want a law firm that has extensive experience in the world of personal injury, and one that has a strong reputation for fighting hard on behalf of victims. Finding the right lawyer for you isn't just about doing online research, however.
You can learn a great deal about these law firms by looking at their websites, social media profiles, and reviews on places like Google My Business and legal directories. However, those law firms that impress you should be targeted for an initial consultation. It is in the initial consultation where you will learn more about the attorney's perception of your case and the strategy they would use to begin pursuing this case. You can use this initial meeting to get a good sense of whether or not this is the right law firm to help you.
How Much Is My Indiana Injury Case Worth?
It is true that all personal injury cases are different and that there is no one true formula that you can use to determine the value of your personal injury case. You may already have started to receive medical bills and other damages associated with the accident, and these are always a good starting point to learn more about what might go into a computation of your damages. However, the only way to know for sure what your injury case is worth is to meet with a dedicated personal injury lawyer.
A personal injury lawyer who has represented many other victims like you can tell you more about what to expect and can also help you project long term costs, such as rehabilitation, surgery, medications, and other impacts on your daily life as a result of the accident. These numbers are extremely important when you begin to receive settlement offers from the other side because you will have to use this information to decide whether or not a settlement offer is fair and whether or not to accept that settlement offer as a result.
Once you accept a settlement offer, you are no longer legally able to pursue a claim against the responsible party, so you need to be confident in the numbers that you have selected and understand that in rejecting a settlement offer your case will go to court. Your lawyer may not be able to tell you exactly how much your personal injury case is worth, but they should be able to give you a good idea of the range based on the specifics of your accident and the injuries that you have sustained. It is important to keep your personal injury lawyer up to date with any developments in your medical case as well, including a new diagnosis. This information can all help them make informed decisions about representing you.
In general, many of the cases with high settlement or verdict values involve significant or long-term injuries. When you know what it will take for you to reach maximum recovery, you can work backwards from that amount to learn more about an amount you’d need in terms of an award or settlement.
For example, imagine that you now have permanent disabilities and need to hire someone to help you around the house. You might also need to invest in improvements around your house for your medical equipment, such as a special bed or making your home wheelchair accessible. These would involve the significant costs of not just addressing the medical bills you’ve already accumulated but also making sure that your case award or settlement fully compensates you for all those future expenses.
Morgan & Morgan Can Fight for You
As you can imagine, it involves being able to tell the full story of your injuries to accomplish these kinds of goals. Hiring a lawyer who has helped others do this can make a big impact on your own chances of full and fair recovery. No one should have to work through this situation on their own.
If you’re ready to take your first steps toward justice, contact the experts at Morgan & Morgan for a free, no-obligation case evaluation to learn how you can get the compensation you deserve to move on with your life.