Car accidents can have a profound impact on every aspect of a person’s life. Even seemingly minor car accidents can result in medical expenses, an inability to work, and other financial damages. Insurance may, at times, cover a majority of these, but insurance companies are for-profit corporations primarily interested in the bottom line and are not typically fast to offer significant settlements. This is where having an attorney comes in.
After any serious car accident, motorcycle accident, collision with a commercial truck, or other roadway accident, the best way to protect your rights is to speak with a qualified personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. At Gardner & Rans, our attorneys and our engaging, professional staff will prioritize your needs and work tirelessly to recover every dollar of compensation you deserve.
If you are in need of a car accident lawyer in or around South Bend, Indiana, please call Gardner & Rans, P.C. at 574-233-6035 to schedule a complimentary case review with one of our attorneys right away.
- What to do After a Car Accident
- Common Car Accident Injuries
- Leading Causes of Car Accidets
- Seeking Fair Compensation
- Why Choose Gardner & Rans, P.C.
- Contact Our South Bend Car Accident Lawyers
What to do After a Car Accident
What you do after your accident can have a direct impact on your ability to seek fair and full compensation. This makes steps you take on the scene very important.
Collecting information on the scene of the accident can help improve your chances of recovering your damages.
From involved drivers, collect:
- Full legal name and driver’s license number
- Phone number, current address, mailing address, and email
- Insurance information
- Vehicle VIN number
- License plate number
From witness, collect:
- Full legal name
- Phone number and email address
In addition to these things, you will want to document the scene by taking pictures from multiple angles of the damage and the surrounding environment. These things can help our car accident lawyers during the investigative process.
Cooperate with emergency personnel:
- Make a report to the police
- Allow EMTs to evaluate you
During your interactions with other drivers, witnesses, emergency personnel, and insurance representatives, do not even suggest you are to blame. You cannot know who is to blame without a full investigation.
It is a good idea to call your insurance company while still on the scene of the accident. They may want to send an adjuster. Be careful not give the adjustor, police, or anyone else you talk with the impression that you are to blame for the accident. Myriad factors go into even the most “simple” car accidents and without a full investigation, it is difficult to assess the extent to which you contributed to a collision.
Once you are released from the scene of the accident, make an appointment with your doctor. You may not think you are injured, but some types of brain injury and certain spinal cord injuries can take days, weeks, or even months to show symptoms. These injuries can be treated more effectively when caught early on.
Do not overlook the importance of a medical evaluation - even if you do not believe you are injured.
Depending on your diagnosis following the medical exam, it may be appropriate to begin speaking with a lawyer. If your injury will have lasting consequences, you may need to seek compensation beyond the offers of insurance. Meeting with one of our car accident lawyers to discuss your accident and your injury will allow us to provide you with honest information about your options. Your initial consultation is free of both cost and obligation and, if we decide to work together, our attorneys do not collect any payment unless we are able to secure a settlement first.
Common Car Accident Injuries
Common car accident injuries include:
- Head trauma and brain injury
- Whiplash and neck injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Back injury
- Broken or pulverized bones
- Lacerations and deep wounds
- Internal damages
At low speeds, can accidents may produce only minor damages, but even these can have profound and lasting consequences. Take whiplash, for example. While common and fairly routine to treat, whiplash may be recurrent, result in difficulties meeting daily work and family obligations, and cause chronic physical pain. A lump-sum insurance settlement may cover initial medical expenses, but long-term damages will likely be overlooked. To ensure full compensation that takes into account how an injury has and will continue to impact your life typically requires legal action - which is something best done with the guidance of a qualified and experienced car accident attorney.
Leading Causes of Car Accidents
Some of the top causes of car accidents in Indiana are:
- Aggressive Maneuvering. Speeding, erratic lane changes, tailgating, and road-rage all fall under this category
- Distraction. Cell Phone use, eating and drinking, applying makeup, and using onboard electronics are all examples of distracted driving
- Intoxication. Alcohol, marijuana, street drugs, and prescription opiates increase risks for an accident significantly. Fatigue is the equivalent of driving drunk
- Inclement Weather. Snow and ice, rain, fog and low-visibility will increase risks for a car accident
- Roadway Design. Bad city planning, poorly timed lights, obscured traffic signs and signals, and inadequate maintenance can increase risks for an accident
- Vehicle Failure. Defective or improperly maintained vehicles pose risks for everyone on the road
Comparative negligence allows victims of serious injury to seek compensation even when they have contributed to an accident.
Some car accidents are caused by a single driver. Others will involve multiple parties. Indiana negligence laws follow the “comparative negligence” rule which holds that a victim of a serious injury is entitled to compensation even if he or she played a role in the accident. The amount of compensation, however, will be diminished accordingly if liability is shared. Before you try to determine where liability should rest, call our office for a free review of your claim.
Seeking Fair Compensation
Fair compensation should cover all financial damages resulting from a car accident. These may include:
- Current and ongoing medical expenses
- Physical, rehabilitative, and occupational therapy
- Home modifications and adaptive technologies necessitated by your injury
- Current and projected future lost wages
- Future financial consequences such as diminished IRA following inability to work
Compensation needs to take into account all of these things to be considered fair. To be considered full, it must also take into account emotional suffering and physical pain.
At Gardner & Rans, we seek fair and full compensation for all of our clients, building strong cases to help ensure both current and future needs will be met. If you are not certain what your case should be worth, call us for a free consultation. We will review your claim, provide you with honest information about your options, and help you determine the most effective path forward.
Why Choose Us?
Applying many decades of experience gained on both sides of complex auto accident injury litigation, our attorneys have knowledge across the spectrum of accidents caused by drunk driving, texting while driving, all types of traffic violations, and other negligence. We attack every case with rigor, emphasizing steps such as:
- Engaging top-notch experts in accident reconstruction, medicine, safety training, job site safety, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) violations, construction, and economics as needed to bring forth credible evidence in your case
- Tracking your medical condition, treatment, and prognosis diligently to ensure that all of your costs and needs are accounted for
- Exploring all potential sources of financial recovery and explaining concerns associated with medical payment coverage, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, and other issues in clear language
- Gathering and preparing all necessary evidence and documentation so that the insurance company fully understands your case and claim for damages
- Aggressively negotiating with insurance companies to maximize your recovery
- Negotiating all medical or other liens so as to maximize your settlement dollars
- Skillfully preparing for a possible trial while striving to achieve a just settlement as promptly as possible through negotiations or mediation
Contact Us for a Complimentary Consultation
Are you ready to schedule your free consultation with one of our car accident attorneys? Call 574-233-6035 today. Located in South Bend, we serve all surrounding areas of Indiana, including Georgetown, Ardmore, and Gulviore Park.
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