Advice for Accident Victims: How to Navigate Your Personal Injury Lawsuit in Indiana
What Is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
A personal injury claim is a civil lawsuit where a person who has suffered injuries in an accident or incident that was not their fault sues the at-fault party for damages. It can be anything from a car accident to medical malpractice- as long as there is clear fault and evidence to support it.
It is important to note that this is not a criminal lawsuit. If there was criminal activity involved in what caused the accident, the liable party can be tried separately in a criminal court case.
The purpose of a personal injury lawsuit is to compensate victims for their injuries and the pain and suffering they caused. Settlements may all cover other damages and expenses relating to the injury.
How Do Personal Injury Lawsuits Work in Indiana?
A personal injury case involves discovery, settlement negotiations, and a court trial if necessary. Find a full run-through of the steps involved- and how to navigate them- below.
Navigating a Personal Injury Claim: Where to Begin?
The very first thing a person should do before embarking on a personal injury claim is contact a lawyer. Facing a legal battle alone while recovering from an accident or incident is overwhelming- and unadvisable for anyone who wants to secure the best possible outcome.
Indianapolis injury attorneys know exactly how to navigate the legal system in a personal injury case- and are more likely to win full and fair compensation for clients.
Other than securing legal counsel, here are the steps involved in navigating personal injury cases in Indiana.
Make Sure the Statute of Limitations has Not Expired
Indiana personal injury cases must be filed within two years from the date of the accident. Failure to submit a claim before the deadline passes could leave victims unable to recover any damages or hold the responsible party accountable. Shuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can answer questions like, "What is the statute of limitations in Indiana for personal injury?"
Determine Who Is At Fault
Speaking of responsibility, one of the first things personal injury victims must do is establish who is liable. Proving liability can be difficult in some cases- but a personal injury lawyer can help.
The at-fault party is whoever had a duty of care to the victim- and in breaching that duty directly caused or contributed to the injury. In a slip and fall case, it could be the property owner; in a car accident, it is often another driver who has broken a rule; medical malpractice cases are generally against a nurse, doctor, or practitioner.
In short, if somebody else's negligence is the reason an accident occurred, they are liable- but it has to be provable with solid evidence.
Workers Compensation Claim or Personal Injury Lawsuit: What Route to Take?
An important consideration in personal injury claims is whether or not to pursue workers' compensation. Indiana law requires employers to have workers' comp cover- which pays out if employees are injured at work. If an injury occurred at the victim's workplace or was related to their job, this could be the route to take.
Accidents and incidents that do not directly link to a person's employment are not covered by workers' compensation- so it is not relevant in all cases.
Even if a victim is pursuing workers' comp, they can still sue for further damages- such as pain and suffering- through the at-fault party's insurance company. A personal injury attorney can help victims determine what they can claim and from where.
Consider the Compensation and Damages
They must also think about how much can be claimed. Depending on the circumstances of the case, the following damages may be involved:
Pain and suffering compensation
Medical bills and other expenses relating to the injury
A serious injury is likely to involve a larger potential settlement- since medical treatment tends to be more expensive, and the long-term impact of the injury is usually greater. All injured people, regardless of severity, can make a formal claim, but what they can claim for varies.
The ins and outs of compensatory damages and personal injury awards are complex- but an attorney can help determine exactly what the opposing party is liable for- and what value is attached.
Settlement or Trial: Know the Difference
Some personal injury cases settle without the need for a trial, and some do not. It all comes down to the at-fault insurance company and the plaintiff's legal team agreeing on a figure for the total comp payable.
Before going to trial, the plaintiff will try to collect damages from the insurance company through negotiations- with the help of an experienced lawyer. If they cannot come to an agreement, the case goes to court, and the decision is passed to the judge.
The Benefits of Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney
Moving forward with a claim without the help of a personal injury attorney is extremely difficult. The law surrounding personal injuries is complex- and the battle to secure fair compensation is often hard-fought.
The benefits of hiring an Indiana personal injury lawyer include:
Reduced stress and responsibility for the victim and their family
Help with managing and tracking the vast amount of paperwork involved in a personal injury case
A better understanding of legal systems and how to secure the maximum settlement
More effective interrogatories during the discovery phase- leading to more substantial and weighty evidence
A stronger defense if the case goes to court
Easier and more effective communication between all the parties involved
Support through negotiations- reducing the risk of victims being pushed into accepting sub-par offers
Experience, expertise, and professional resources
Why Shuerger Shunnarah?
Shuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys are elite legal professionals in Indiana- specializing in personal injury law. They go to war for clients- using their unrivaled legal prowess and dedication to win the justice and compensation they deserve. They can advise on questions like, "Are there damage caps for personal injury cases In Indiana?"
Summary: How to Navigate Indiana Personal Injury Claims
In short, the best way to navigate an Indiana personal injury lawsuit is to seek legal counsel as soon as possible- and have a trained and trusted attorney walk through the next steps. Assessing the circumstances and legal options before filing helps to map out the attack- and goes a long way to being better prepared for the road ahead.
Contact Shuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys today to arrange a free consultation and case evaluation for an Indiana personal injury lawsuit. Let them go to war for you!