If you were in a car accident where the other driver obviously erred, you may feel like you don't need to hire an attorney. While you don't have to, not retaining a lawyer could leave you vulnerable to the other driver's lawyer or your own insurance company.
At Gardner & Rans, our lawyers don't want you to be taken advantage of because you lacked legal representation. If you were injured because of the actions of another driver, we can help you recover the compensation you deserve. This blog breaks down how a car accident attorney can help you, even if you weren't at fault.
Comparative Negligence in Indiana
When determining fault and damages in car accidents, Indiana is a "modified comparative negligence" state. This means that multiple parties can share liability for a car accident, and damages are reduced by an amount that corresponds to a person's responsibility.
For example, let's say you're driving 8 MPH over the speed limit when another car runs a red light and hits you. The other driver is found to be 90 percent at fault because they ran a red light, but you were assigned 10 percent of the blame because you were speeding. If you would typically get a $15,000 award or settlement from this accident, your damages would be reduced by 10 percent, or $1,500. If you're more than 50 percent at fault, you can't recover anything.
Because of Indiana's laws, it's critical to hire an attorney who has your back. The other driver's insurance company will use its high-powered lawyers to find any possible way to assign you a portion of the blame and reduce your compensation. Our attorneys will construct arguments to minimize the amount of responsibility you're assigned.
Ensuring You're Compensated Fairly for Your Damages
Do you know what your case is worth? The quantifiable damages you suffered, such as medical expenses and vehicle repairs, are easy to value. However, you may also be owed damages that don't come on a clean, itemized bill. These may include:
- Pain and suffering: If the accident rendered you unable to live your previous lifestyle, you might be owed compensation for that. For example, if you are an avid mountain climber, and you can't do that as you recover from your injuries, you may be eligible for pain and suffering damages.
- Lost wages: If you have to miss work during your recovery, our lawyers can estimate the value of your lost wages to ensure you're compensated.
- Diminished future earning capacity: If you're unable to return to work or have to find employment that doesn't pay what your previous job did, you may be eligible to be compensated for this.
- Future medical expenses: We can estimate the cost of your future treatments and ensure you're compensated for them.
Remember that insurance companies, even your own, are never on your side. Their goal is to settle your claim for as little money as possible. They may attempt to use underhanded tactics to get you to accept less than you deserve. Our lawyers will not let that happen. When we have your back, insurance companies can't bully you. They have to deal with us.
Contact Our South Bend Car Accident Lawyers Today
At Gardner & Rans, we will do everything in our ability to maximize the compensation you receive for your injuries. We serve South Bend, Granger, Mishawaka, Elkhart, La Porte, and surrounding areas of Indiana. Call (574) 233-6035 today to schedule a consultation.