The Car Accident Settlement Process in Indiana

Worried senior driver talking to his insurance agent.

When pursuing car accident claims in Indiana, the lawyers of Truitt Law Offices explore all options for recovering maximum compensation for clients.

Most car accident claims are settled outside of court by negotiating with insurance companies. As your attorneys, we will determine liability for the accident, calculate your losses, and present a settlement demand to insurers.

If insurers refuse to do the right thing in your car accident case, we will file a lawsuit and be ready for trial. Our Fort Wayne car accident lawyers will bring their combined decades of negotiating and courtroom experience to bear in our fight for full compensation for you.

The attorneys at Truitt Law Offices of Fort Wayne, IN, will guide your claim through the process required to seek all of the compensation you are due. Contact our law firm by phone or through our online form to set up a free consultation with one of our auto accident lawyers.

What Steps Do We Follow in Determining Liability in a Car Accident Case?

After you engage Truitt Law Offices as your attorneys, we will handle all of the work necessary to pursue your car accident insurance settlement. Our first task is to investigate the accident and gather evidence that shows who is responsible for your injuries.

There are many types of evidence to review in a car accident case, ranging from police reports to traffic tickets to statements from victims and witnesses and accident reconstruction reports. Other evidence that may be useful in your case includes:

  • Crash scene evidence, such as skid marks, pavement gouges, and roadside damage, which can indicate how the accident occurred.
  • Vehicle damage, which indicates the severity of the crash and may help determine whether mechanical failure contributed to the crash.
  • Cell phone records may indicate the other driver’s activity prior to the crash, including being on the phone at the moment of the accident.
  • Surveillance camera footage may have captured the crash or the other driver prior to the crash.
  • Black Box Event Data Recorder information, which records the vehicle’s operations at the moment of impact, including speed upon impact, acceleration, braking, steering, and the number of impacts.

There may be other individuals or organizations responsible for the accident in addition to the drivers involved. Examples include:

  • The other driver’s employer if the driver was driving as part of their job at the time of the crash.
  • A bar, store, restaurant, or social host that provided alcohol to someone who was visibly intoxicated or underage and later caused the accident.
  • A mechanic whose faulty repairs to a vehicle contributed to the crash.
  • A government agency or contractor responsible for road design or construction or a highway construction zone that was improperly designed and contributed to the accident.

We will identify the liable party’s insurance company in preparation for submitting our demands for compensation on your behalf.

Driver feeling neck pain from rear-end collision.

How Do We Calculate the Compensation You Are Due in a Car Accident?

As we investigate responsibility for the car accident, we will track your costs and losses from the accident. We will do this by obtaining copies of your medical bills, lost work confirmation from your employer, and all future medical expenses anticipated as part of your recovery from the accident.

The types of compensation that we seek for you may include payments for:

  • All accident-related medical expenses
  • Wages lost during your recovery
  • Diminished earning capacity due to permanent injuries
  • Physical and emotional pain and suffering
  • Permanent scarring
  • Loss of companionship and funeral expenses in the event of the wrongful death of a loved one

In cases of disabling injury, we work with life-care planners to determine the projected cost of your future medical and personal care needs, as well as the impact of your injuries on your life. Our goal will be to determine the full extent of your losses and the maximum value of your car accident claim.

How Will We Demand Full Compensation for Your Car Accident Losses?

Once we have evidence of liability for the car accident and determine your losses, we will present a demand letter to the car insurance company representing the at-fault driver. We will make sure any insurance you hold pays as it should, too.

An insurance company may respond to a demand letter by:

  • Paying our demands up to the limit of coverage they have extended to the liable party.
  • Rejecting our demands and denying the claim.
  • Rejecting our demands and offering a lower settlement amount.

Typically, insurers make a counteroffer to settle the claim. If the amount is reasonable and acceptable to you, we can agree to it and conclude the case. In many cases, the insurance company’s initial offer is not acceptable. We would try to negotiate with the insurance company toward an acceptable settlement.

We will advise you about any settlement offer we receive. Ultimately, whether to accept a settlement offer is your decision.

What is the Process for Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit After a Car Accident?

Most car accident cases are settled without a trial. If an insurance company refuses to agree to an appropriate settlement for your losses, we can file a personal injury lawsuit asking the court to compel payment.

There are many steps to a lawsuit before it is heard in court. The process includes discovery, in which each side shares its evidence with the other, and opposing attorneys question parties involved in the lawsuit under oath. We will prepare you for your role in discovery.

It is not unusual for a claim to be settled during discovery as the strength of our case becomes evident. A settlement may be offered and accepted at any time before a jury renders its verdict.

If your case goes to trial, we will brief you about what to expect and be at your side throughout the process.

At trial, we will present your case, and the insurance company will present its rebuttal. Each side will be allowed to present and cross-examine witnesses. After hearing both sides, the jury will consider the evidence and render its verdict, including the amount of compensation you are to be paid.

Contact Our Fort Wayne Car Accident Attorneys

If you have been significantly injured or lost a loved one in a car accident in Fort Wayne, contact Truitt Law Offices as soon as you can. In Indiana, you generally have two years from the date of a car accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. As we discussed above, there are many steps to a car accident claim which can be time-consuming to investigate and prepare. It is best to contact an attorney as soon as possible after an accident.

Attorney Richard Truitt has helped car accident victims and their families in Fort Wayne, Huntington, and across Northeastern Indiana for more than 40 years. Make your first call your only call. Connect with us now for a free consultation.

Visit Our Car Accident Injury Law Offices

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About the Author

Phil Truitt joined Truitt Law Offices in 2018 after he earned his J.D. from Ohio Northern University Ohio Northern Pettit College of Law. However, his association with the law firm dates all the way back to childhood. His father, Richard, established the firm over 40 years ago. Growing up, Phil…