Don't see your question here? Contact us to learn more. Remember, these questions and answers are general information on car accidents, not specific legal advice. That's why we highly recommend that you come in for a free consultation at our law firm. You can come to our offices in Fort Wayne or South Bend, or we can come to you. Call 1-877-962-4373.
I was in a car accident but I feel fine. Do I really need to see a doctor?
Absolutely. Many car accidents result in injuries with delayed-onset symptoms, such as brain injuries and internal injuries. Seeing a doctor right away is the best option for your health. We strongly recommend that you go to an emergency room or urgent care clinic as soon as possible after an accident and follow up with your primary care doctor in a timely manner as well. Follow your doctor's instructions and keep a journal to track your recovery.
In addition to protecting your health, seeking medical attention right away helps to protect your legal rights. If you wait to see a doctor, an insurance company may argue that your injuries weren't actually sustained in the accident. Getting immediate medical attention - and making sure you get copies of all of your medical records from those appointments - makes your case for compensation much stronger.
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Should I talk to my insurance company after a car accident?
You do need to contact your insurance company in a timely manner and let them know that you were involved in an accident; otherwise, they may deny your claim. During that initial notification, keep your comments brief and stick to the facts of what happened. Don't say anything that could be construed as admitting fault for the accident. Refer any further questions to your attorney.
If your insurance company asks you to provide a formal statement, we strongly advise against giving a recorded statement. A recording can be altered or taken out of context to hurt your claim for compensation. Instead, sit down with an attorney at our firm to craft a written statement, which we can make sure accurately reflects what happened in the accident and protects your rights.
If an insurance company representing the other driver contacts you, politely decline to speak with them. Anything you say to an insurance company can be used to reduce or deny your claim. Again, the best option is to work with an experienced attorney at our firm who will deal with the insurance company on your behalf.
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What types of compensation can I receive after a car accident?
In general, you can seek compensation for any financial loss that results directly from the injuries you sustained in a car accident. These are called economic damages. Some common examples of economic damages include:
- Medical expenses, both past and future
- Lost wages, if you are unable to work during your recovery
- Loss of future earning capacity, if you are permanently disabled or the injury otherwise affects your career prospects
- Modifications to your home or vehicle to accommodate a disability
- Property damage to your vehicle or other personal property
In addition, we can seek compensation for other losses called non-economic damages. These are losses that have a real, demonstrable impact on your life but are not tied to a specific monetary loss. Examples of non-economic damages include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of society and companionship, loss of quality or enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium.
In a few cases, we can seek punitive damages. Rather than compensating directly for your losses, punitive damages are intended to punish particularly reckless or malicious behavior on the part of the person who injured you. For example, if you were injured by a drunk driver, we may be able to pursue punitive damages.
One of the most important reasons to retain an experienced attorney from our firm is that we can review the entire impact that the accident has had on your life and seek the full amount of compensation you need and deserve. We will explore every possible source of compensation and justify every dollar we seek on your behalf.
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Should I accept a settlement offer from the insurance company?
It's quite common for insurance companies to offer "lowball" settlements that do not cover all of your accident-related expenses. They're hoping that you will take that offer and go away. Remember, once you've accepted the insurance company's money, that's often it. In most cases, you can't go back and ask for more money.
What the insurance company doesn't want you to know is that you can negotiate up front for more money - and an attorney can help. That's why we strongly recommend reviewing any settlement offer with an attorney from our firm before you accept it. We may be able to help you get significantly more.
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What if the driver who hit me doesn't have insurance?
If the driver who caused your accident doesn't have insurance, you can file an uninsured motorist claim with your own insurance company if your policy includes uninsured motorist protection (UM). In Indiana, your insurance company is required to offer you this coverage, although you can opt out in writing. We strongly recommend making sure you carry uninsured motorist coverage; it's fairly inexpensive, and it can make a huge difference in the event of an accident with an uninsured driver. Uninsured motorist protection also protects you if you are hit by a hit-and-run driver who cannot be found.
In cases where the driver who hits you has insurance, but not enough insurance to pay the full value of your claim, you are protected by underinsured motorist coverage. Again, your insurance company is required to offer you this coverage. We strongly recommend making sure you have enough underinsured motorist protection on your policy. The minimum liability limits in Indiana are just $25,000 for bodily injury to a single person, $50,000 for bodily injuries per accident and $25,000 for property damage. Many accidents exceed this minimum coverage.
Depending on the circumstances of your accident, there may be other types of coverage available as well. An attorney from our firm can investigate all available sources of coverage and fight for the best possible recovery for you.
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Why should I hire Boughter Sinak, LLC to represent me after a car accident?
Remember, after an accident, the insurance company's goal is to resolve your claim for as little money as possible. That may mean paying you less than your claim is worth or even denying your claim altogether. They have teams of attorneys working to protect their interests, and you need your own advocate on your side.
At Boughter Sinak, LLC, we have a proven record of results for car accident victims. We know how to thoroughly investigate your accident, deal with the insurance companies and fight for the full amount of compensation you deserve. That's why we strongly recommend meeting with us for a free consultation to discuss your case. There's no cost and no obligation, just honest answers about your legal rights and options.
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