The questions below are some that we hear the most often in our personal injury practice. Clients like you are seeking answers from our team of professionals. We hope the answers help you understand more about your unique case and set your mind at ease about your concerns, but of course, we’ll be here to answer any additional questions you have during your free and confidential consultation.
It happened in a flash – you have been involved in an accident. How you handle those first, adrenaline-fueled moments after the collision go a long way toward determining the outcome. Here are a few tips to help you be ready to take the right steps toward recovery
For many years, the law firm of Blackburn & Green served injured clients across Indiana and beyond. As of December 31, 2021, the firm was officially dissolved as the partners parted ways. The new law firm of Team Green Law was established by R.T. Green in 2022 alongside his son and fellow personal injury attorney Collin Green, and personal injury attorney Letha Maier. Read more on the dissolution here.
A number of factors affect the amount of recovery you may be eligible to receive, including the degree to which the defendant is found liable, the types of insurance policies in play, and the extent of your injuries. In addition to seeking financial compensation to cover for medical expenses, you may also be eligible for damages to cover pain and suffering or personal property damage. Every case is unique, so we encourage you to take advantage of our free consultation to learn more about your potential for recovery.
Your personal injury lawyer will be able to tell you specific documents needed to pursue your case at your free consultation. However, some of the documents we need most frequently include:
- Medical records
- Medical bills
- Police reports
- Statements you’ve already provided to an insurance company, if applicable
If you do not yet have these documents collected at your consultation, we recommend that you make notes of everything you can recall about the accident. We’ll work with you to determine what is needed from there.
No. As soon as you experience pain following an accident of any kind, you should be evaluated by a medical professional. Sometimes the shock or adrenaline of an accident can mask pain or other symptoms. Other times, there’s more going on in your body than you can see yourself. Imaging such as an MRI or x-ray could show serious problems like brain injuries or broken bones that you wouldn’t know about without medical care. Your health should be your first concern, regardless of the status of your case.
Another reason to seek prompt medical care is that insurance companies and others investigating your case will look at the whole timeline following your accident. If there is a period of time where you did not receive any treatment, they may use that fact to argue that you should not receive as much compensation as you believe you’re entitled to. Proper, continuous medical care can be used to demonstrate the extent of your injuries and may strengthen your case.
Is compensation for my injuries still a possibility if the accident is determined to be partly my fault?
In the state of Indiana, it is still possible to pursue compensation for your injuries even if you are found to be partly at fault for an accident. What matters is the percentage of fault you are deemed to be responsible for, comparative fault statutes. If your portion of responsibility is 50% or less, you may still be entitled to compensation. If your portion is 51% or more, you will not be entitled to compensation.
Are there any details of my health history I should not tell my doctor, like existing medical conditions, prior accidents or injuries?
No. Omitting details about your previous or existing medical conditions, medical history, or prior accidents is a common mistake made in personal injury cases. Leaving out these important details may leave room for the insurance company to argue that you misled the court or lied about your injuries.
It’s worth noting that even if you have had past medical issues, you could still be entitled to compensation for your injuries. The best way to determine your best course of action is to discuss your situation with a seasoned personal injury lawyer.
Crafting a strong personal injury case in Indiana can involve a variety of types of evidence. Depending on your case, documentation such as an accident report (if you were injured on property owned by another person on business), eyewitness reports, police reports, photos of the accident scene, and photos of your injuries could all be used to develop your case.
In a winning personal injury case, there are several different types of compensation you could receive. “Economic damages” refer to items that have a defined financial value associated with them. Economic damages may include hospital bills, ambulance rides, surgeries, or prescription drugs, or non-medical damages like work hours missed or personal property damage.
“Non-economic damages” refer to items that do not have a defined monetary value, such as physical pain, emotional or mental suffering, or the loss of companionship or the ability to participate in life’s enjoyments, that are a direct result of your injuries.
Personal injury claims can take a few months to a year or more from start to resolution. How long it will take to resolve your claim depends on various factors such as whether or not the case goes to trial and your recovery time.
Your attorney may advise you to delay settling your claim until you reach what is called “maximum medical improvement.” Maximum medical improvement is the point at which your doctors and care providers determine that it is unlikely you’ll make any more improvement in your medical condition. If at this point you don’t consider yourself to be fully recovered, it is wise to speak with your personal injury lawyer to determine next steps.
In short, yes. If you’ve been injured in an accident, it was not your fault, it is common for your insurance company to request that you receive an independent medical examination. It is important for you to complete this step.
However, there are precautions you should take before you go. We suggest that you take notes on your conversation at your appointment and share them with your personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. This is because insurance companies are looking to their own best interests. You need someone equipped with all relevant information and ready to fight for you.
I’m still considering whether to file a personal injury claim. Is there a limit to how long I have to get started?
Yes. In Indiana, the statute of limitations states that a claim must be settled or filed within two years after the incident occurred. Even if you don’t know yet whether you’ll want to file a personal injury claim, it’s in your best interest to speak with a seasoned Indiana personal injury attorney as soon as you are able.
It depends. In general, you need to cooperate with your own insurance company. However, it is not in your best interest to give or sign a statement for the other party’s insurance company. In either situation, it’s wise to consult with your personal injury lawyer first because it’s important to be sure that any information you give to either insurance company tells an accurate story of what happened.
This is what the under-insured and uninsured motorist portions of your insurance are for — to protect you in the event another party in your accident does not have adequate insurance. The driver and passengers in your car may have coverage that extends to the driver and passengers in the other vehicle. If you have this coverage, your insurance company would be responsible to pay damages via settlement up to the coverage limits. It may be possible for an experienced personal injury lawyer to get resolution to your case through a lump sum from your insurance company.
I fell on someone else’s property. Are they automatically responsible to pay any medical bills I incur?
Not necessarily. Before they would be responsible for your medical bills, the property owner must first be shown to be negligent in a way that directly or indirectly resulted in your injury. The first step for you would be to contact a competent personal injury lawyer so they can get started on a prompt and thorough investigation.