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The aftermath of a car accident can be both overwhelming and devastating. You are likely reeling from a possibly life-altering event that happened in a flash. You may have medical bills piling up. And depending on the extent of your injuries, you might not be able to work, adding to your financial stress.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, you likely have grounds to sue for a financial settlement. But navigating these waters alone can be challenging and intimidating. That’s where the experienced Lafayette car accident lawyers at Wilson Kehoe Winingham can help. For decades, we’ve helped Lafayette accident victims through each step of the process to get the full and fair compensation they deserve.
Lafayette is a city in and the county seat of Tippecanoe County, located in central Indiana between Indianapolis and Chicago, Illinois. West Lafayette sits on the opposite side of the Wabash River and is home to Purdue University, which contributes significantly to both communities.
The combined population of Lafayette and West Lafayette is nearly 200,000 and the residents enjoy a diverse community and high quality of life. The area is known for its strong public schools, desirable neighborhoods for families, and an extensive park and trail system. Due in part to being home to Purdue University, many well-known high-tech corporations call the area home, providing good local jobs.
You will likely feel overwhelmed following a car accident. Maybe your car is damaged to the point that you need to get a rental and insurance adjusters are calling. You may have medical bills piling up or need to take care of a loved one who’s been injured. But there’s no need to go it alone. Having an experienced WKW car accident attorney on your team will help take the pressure off and provide the guidance you need so you can focus on healing and getting your life back on track.
This is likely the top area where an experienced Lafayette, IN car accident attorney from WKW can have the most impact. Insurance company adjusters will start calling soon after the accident is reported and come across as wanting to help. But they’ve been trained to tease out information that could later be turned against you. They will also throw out a lowball settlement figure that, to the inexperienced, may seem like a fair amount, but that an attorney would know to reject. Without an experienced attorney, you will likely end up frustrated and walking away with a percentage of what a lawyer may have been able to secure on your behalf. Our attorneys have dealt with insurance companies for decades and are not intimidated by their tactics.
When a car accident involves more serious injuries, it is all the more important to work with a car accident lawyer. Aside from the more immediate needs related to your injuries, there may be long-term repercussions from the accident. These may include an inability to work and earn wages, as well as long-term care. You will want an attorney who understands the full scope of your situation and how it could impact the value of your settlement.
Being involved in a car crash can be scary. Depending on the circumstances, you may have obvious physical injuries that show up right away, while other ailments may take a while to surface. That is one reason why working with an experienced car accident attorney is so important.
Injuries that commonly result from a car accident include:
In addition to the typically more obvious physical ailments, there is a mental component of recovering from an auto accident. It is not uncommon to suffer from mental anguish or fear following an accident. This can have a significant impact on your life and could qualify you for compensation. You may also be lacking the same quality of life as before the accident, or in the worst of cases, suffer from the loss of a companion. An experienced Lafayette car accident attorney will know to consider all types of suffering or damage while pursuing your case.
You are likely not quite yourself in the immediate aftermath of a car accident, even if it was just a minor fender bender. But the steps you take right after the accident could help your case considerably down the road.
First, get yourself and any passengers to safety, out of the flow of traffic. If your vehicle can be moved, pull it off to the side of the road as a safety precaution for others.
Next, depending on the severity of the accident, either call 911 or local police. You’ll want to make sure an official police report is filed.
It’s important to seek medical attention following a car accident. Car accidents are stress-inducing, and oftentimes after an accident, your body produces adrenaline that can mask any pain you may be feeling.
It is common for anything from aches and pains to severe injuries to show up later. That’s why it’s important to have a report following the accident in case symptoms appear or worsen later.
Document the accident scene with photos and/or videos. Include not only property damage but also the surrounding area, any road signage or road damage, signals, etc.
Be sure to get contact information from others involved in the accident, including insurance details.
If there happen to be witnesses to the accident, be sure to gather their contact information as well. They could help build your case.
It’s important to obtain a copy of the police report from your accident. This will have been submitted by the investigating officer who responded to the scene. It tells what happened at the scene and may contain valuable information to help you secure a settlement. You can contact the local police department or state police as appropriate for the report, or your car accident lawyer from WKW can help you obtain it.
You will be at a disadvantage if you communicate with, or even worse, begin negotiations with an insurance company on your own without the guidance of an experienced attorney. We encourage our clients to not speak directly with an insurance adjuster without an attorney present. It is the adjuster’s job to minimize costs for their employer. Insurance companies will try to lowball you, and an experienced attorney will have an idea of what’s at stake and know how to negotiate for a higher settlement amount.
It’s impossible to estimate the amount your case would settle for until an attorney spends some time looking into the specifics of your case. There are two main types of compensation you may be entitled to following a car accident: economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages, also known as special damages, are typically more straightforward as they have a quantifiable dollar amount associated with them. Examples include medical expenses, property damage, lost income or wages, car rental fees, and any therapy or rehab.
Non-economic damages, also known as general damages, do not have a dollar amount directly associated with them. Types of non-economic damages include trauma—including fear and anger—loss of companionship, lower quality of life due to injuries, and pain and suffering.
From a legal standpoint, there is nothing stopping you from representing yourself in a car accident case in Indiana. However, it is strongly recommended that you hire a lawyer to help you through this process. While this is likely to be the first time you encounter filing a claim, an experienced car accident attorney at WKW will have years of experience. This not only allows you to focus on your health, it also will likely mean a larger settlement.
In the state of Indiana, the law recognizes that people can be found negligent or otherwise responsible for harm or injury sustained in an accident. If you are the victim of a party’s negligence, working with a car accident attorney at Wilson Kehoe Winingham in Lafayette can help you get your rightful compensation. Accidents can happen in an instant, but may have long-term or even lifelong repercussions. You may find yourself unable to work, or even walk. Spending time doing the things you love may now come with constant pain. You should not suffer in silence if the responsible party did not take the necessary care to prevent your injury from happening and possibly changing your life.
Statute of limitations is the set of laws that dictates the timing for when you may file lawsuits in court. These differ from state to state and also vary with the type of claim. For a car accident in Indiana, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the accident. While there are exceptions to this rule, such as if a government vehicle is involved, we recommend you start working with a Lafayette car accident attorney as soon as possible to give you the most time to ascertain future medical troubles or financial losses.
While a car accident may seem straightforward with regards to who is at fault, in reality, each situation usually has its own complexities. Both parties involved will have their perspectives, and witnesses may be questioned. Perhaps there were traffic cameras in the area that documented the crash. But the parties must come to an agreement as to who is at fault, or the case will move from settlement to the courtroom.
Indiana is what’s known as an at-fault state. This means you can seek damages from the at-fault driver’s insurance, as opposed to filing on your own policy. In some accidents, both parties may be found partially at fault, which would affect the settlement. If you are found to be 20% responsible, then you are only eligible to receive 80% of the settlement. Any driver that’s determined to be 51% or more at fault is not eligible to receive compensation for the accident.
No matter your own personal experience, reach out to the experienced car accident attorneys at WKW to get help navigating the road ahead following your accident. Accidents happen in all sorts of ways, and while some are more serious than others, you should pursue compensation if another party was negligible. Some of the most common types of car accidents that we handle in the Lafayette area include:
Car accidents of all types can lead to severe injuries, significant property damage, and even fatalities. Get the help you need today with an experienced car accident lawyer from WKW.
The Lafayette, Indiana car accident attorneys at Wilson Kehoe Winingham are experienced and here to support you or a loved one through the stress that follows a car accident. We limit the number of cases we take on so each and every client gets the attention they deserve. We’ll put our firm’s experience and resources to work for you, allowing you to focus on healing. Partner with an experienced firm you can trust for optimal results.
There’s no reason to go it alone when the experienced car accident lawyers at WKW are here in Lafayette and ready to help. Our attorneys will be there with you each step of the way. Reach out to us today at (317) 920-6425 or go online to set up a no-obligation, free consultation.
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