What is the Average Settlement for a Car Accident Claim in Indiana?
Posted On behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak on Dec 31, 2019 in Car Accidents
There are many factors that impact the overall value of a car accident case, from the severity of injuries to liability and the limits of insurance policies.
Our knowledgeable South Bend car accident lawyers at Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak explain some of these factors, why they may impact the value of a lawsuit and how an attorney may be able to help strengthen a case.
If you were injured in a car crash and are considering whether you may be eligible to pursue compensation for your injuries, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with our experienced legal team. We are prepared to provide a free legal review of your accident to determine whether you may have a valid claim.
Factors that Contribute to the Value of a Claim
Here are some factors that insurance companies and your attorney consider when assessing the value of a claim:
- Whether you sought medical attention – Getting a medical examination immediately after an accident is an important step to protect your health and potential claim. If you do not see a doctor, it is difficult to link your injuries to the accident, and the insurance company may argue that your injuries were caused by something else. If you cannot prove your injuries are caused by the accident, you may not be able to obtain compensation for those damages.
- Extent of your injuries – The seriousness of your injuries, the estimated length of time to achieve maximum recovery, whether you missed work during that time, and whether you will be able to go back to work are all important elements of a personal injury claim.
- Determining whether you share liability – Liability is another important factor that can significantly impact your overall settlement award – or determine whether you may be able to pursue any compensation for your injuries. First responders, the insurance providers and attorneys will all investigate the accident to determine who was to blame. Determining fault is often based on witness and driver statements, police reports, vehicle damage and other available evidence.
- Property value – Accurately assessing your property damage depends on the age and value of your car at the time of the accident as well as the extent of actual damage sustained.
- Calculating your non-economic damages – This process requires an experienced attorney who understands how to calculate the value of your pain and suffering and other harder-to-quantify damages.
How Insurance Limits of the Involved Parties May Affect a Settlement Outcome
Indiana requires each driver in the state to maintain at least the minimum amount of insurance coverage.
However, if you are hit by a motorist with the minimum amount of insurance and you do not carry underinsured motorist coverage, the insurance company would only pay up to the state-required minimum, or $25,000 for your bodily injury. This amount may not be enough to cover your medical expenses.
Other options for pursuing compensation in this scenario could include:
- Filing a civil lawsuit against the at-fault party. However, people with minimum insurance will often not have sizable assets.
- Filing a claim against your own insurance company for your medical expenses If you carry PIP coverage (not required in Indiana), up to your purchased coverage amounts.
- If you have underinsured motorist coverage, you may also be able to obtain compensation up to limits of your coverage.
The Impact of Indiana’s Comparative Fault Law
Indiana’s comparative fault system can also affect the potential value of your claim if you were partially at fault for the accident. Under this system, if you were 50 percent or less at fault for the accident, you can still pursue a claim against the other negligent party.
However, your total compensatory award is reduced by your assigned degree of fault. For example, if the court found you suffered $100,000 in damages but you were 25 percent at fault for the accident, your award would be reduced to $75,000. If your degree of fault is 51 percent or greater, however, Indiana does not allow you to pursue any compensation for your damages.
Contact Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak for a Free Consultation
The dedicated attorneys at Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak work diligently to obtain fair compensation for the car accident victims we represent in Indiana.
If you suffered injuries from a car accident caused by another’s negligence, we may be able to help. Call today to take advantage of our free legal consultation.
If we represent you, there is no money for you to pay upfront. We take car accident claims on contingency and do not collect any money unless we first achieve compensation on your behalf.
Schedule your Free consultation today: (844) 678-1800.