A car accident is stressful enough, with injuries to recover from, bills to pay, and potentially the loss of use of your vehicle. When that accident occurs on private property, your situation may be even more difficult due to differences between public and private roadway auto accidents.
In accidents occurring on public roadways, the police will respond. This can be very helpful for you if you need to later pursue a personal injury claim to cover your expenses, since the responding officers will investigate the accident and document their findings. If the officers find that the other driver was at fault, you can use this finding to support your personal injury claim.
However, you may not have the same benefits if the accident occurs on private property, since police are not required to respond to accidents unless they result in death, injury, or property damage exceeding $1,000 in value. Although officers will generally respond if possible, because private property accidents do not generally cause traffic jams or endanger other motorists, police may opt not to respond if your accident does not meet the legal requirements for responding.
What Do I Do In Case of an Auto Accident?
If you are involved in a car accident on private property resulting in injury, death, or damage to an unattended vehicle, Indiana law requires that you contact the authorities. However, because the police do not have jurisdiction on private property, you will need to be prepared to carefully document the accident yourself. Your documentation should include:
- Name and contact information of other drivers involved
- Insurance information for the other drivers
- Names and contact information for any witnesses
- Photographs or video of the accident scene
- Photographs of damage caused to vehicles
- Photographs of visible injuries
- Your written account of events leading to the accident
Even if police do respond, you would be wise to document the accident yourself to ensure that there are no errors in the police report. Additionally, this documentation will help your Indianapolis Car Accident Lawyer to build the strongest possible case for compensation as well as helping you respond to your insurance company’s requests for information.
How Do You Collect Compensation for Private Property Auto Accidents?
After the accident, you may choose to pursue a personal injury claim to help you collect compensation to cover your accident-related expenses. Indiana’s contributory fault law means that you can collect compensation even if you were partially at fault for the accident, as long as you were not more at fault than the defendant.
You will be required to prove that the defendant was at fault for the accident and that the accident directly caused your injuries. Depending on the cause of the accident, you may file suit against another driver or against the property owner, if dangerous conditions on the property caused the accident. In either situation, your documentation will be essential to your case.
Contact a Private Property Auto Accident Attorney
If you’ve been involved in an accident on private property, contact an experienced Indianapolis Car Accident Attorney at Truitt Law Offices right away. We will help you to determine who was at fault and to collect the compensation you need.