In the moments and minutes immediately after a car accident, you might not realize the severity of your injuries. An auto accident is a tremendously jarring experience, and when shock sets in, you might not experience the pain and trauma from an injury until that shock wears off. In these first moments, it is vital that you assess your situation, the injuries to you and any passengers, and your orientation on the road or an adjacent area to determine whether that position presents an immediate hazard. You should call 911 as soon as possible to dispatch the police and emergency services to your location while you attend to the pressing needs of anyone injured. For injury and damage claims, it is essential that, if you are able, to document as much of the accident as you can.

How can I document an accident?

Most drivers have smartphones these days, which come in handy not only for calling emergency services and pinpointing your exact location but for taking photos and video of the aftermath of a car accident, including damages and injuries. In addition to pictures and videos, you should make note of any other scene or witness information. The responding officer’s police report is also incredibly important to establish the circumstances of the accident. 

If I don’t feel injured, should I go to the hospital?

You usually need to seek medical attention immediately after an accident. This hospital visit will highlight any injuries present, as well as those that might arise in the days and weeks following the accident. Some severe injuries, like some forms of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and muscular injuries, may not present themselves for some time. Your medical records are an integral piece of evidence in establishing the severity of your injuries and the kind of compensation you’ll need for future treatment.

Who is at fault in an auto accident?

Indiana is one of the few at-fault states when it comes to insurance claims and compensation for damages. This distinction means that after an accident, you can seek compensation with the other driver’s insurance company. The at-fault party can be sued for damages, and liability can be allocated as a percentage of both driver’s share of fault.

What compensation can I claim after an accident?

The injured party can claim damages to their vehicle, property inside that vehicle, medical expenses, projections for future treatment (of injuries they incurred in the accident), lost wages (from the time spent recovering and any disabilities that may prevent a person from returning to work), and certain ‘pain and suffering’ compensation.

Who evaluates my degree of compensation?

An insurance adjuster for the at-fault party will assess the amount of damages to your vehicle as well as any medical expenses and other damages that should be covered. The other driver’s insurance adjuster has an incentive to make the lowest reasonable estimate possible, which is why an attorney advocating your interest is most often necessary to make sure your compensation is fair and accounts for the damages you’re entitled to. In some car accidents, fault is obvious and will be reflected as such in a police report, though in many cases, the variables involved are not so visible. If you received injuries and damages that could affect your livelihood, health and personal life, you’ll need an attorney with experience in personal injury law to explore the options available to you. Feel free to call our office to discuss your concerns.