Every year, car crashes kill or seriously injure millions of Americans. For the most part, these incidents are not “accidents.” Things like lightning strikes and tire blowouts cause a handful of wrecks, but human error causes about 95% of all vehicle collisions. If that human error involved a lack of ordinary care or the violation of a safety statute, and it usually does, car crash victims may be entitled to substantial compensation.
At Holland & Holland, our Indianapolis auto injury lawyers work hard to resolve these cases as quickly as possible, and on the best possible terms. So, we act quickly to collect and preserve evidence in the case. Then, we research the law, so you have the strongest possible claim. All the while, we keep you proactively informed about important developments in the case, so you have additional peace of mind.
The evidence in car crash claims includes things like medical records, the police accident report, and the victim’s own testimony. Indianapolis auto injury lawyers use this evidence to establish negligence by a preponderance of the evidence, a legal term which means “more likely than not.”
Ordinary negligence is essentially a lack of care. Most non-commercial drivers have a duty of reasonable care. They must drive defensively and obey all the rules of the road. Most commercial operators, like Uber drivers and truck drivers, have a higher duty of care.
Negligence per se, or the violation of a safety statute, usually involves a traffic ticket or other driving infraction. Common examples include:
Tortfeasors (negligent drivers) who violate these laws and cause car crashes may be liable for damages as a matter of law. These damages typically include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills and lost wages and noneconomic losses like pain and suffering. Punitive damages may be available, depending on the circumstances of your case.
Your claim for damages begins when you call an Indianapolis auto injury lawyer. As mentioned, attorneys must act quickly to preserve physical evidence in the case, such as the vehicles Event Data Recorder. Additionally, an attorney ensures that victims get the medical treatment they need. That is important for both health reasons and legal reasons.
Indianapolis auto injury lawyers do these things because they are committed to maximum compensation for victims. Insurance company lawyers, on the other hand, are committed to minimum compensation for victims. They will use every legal loophole in the book to accomplish that end.
Contributory negligence is probably the most common insurance company defense. This legal doctrine shifts blame for the accident from the tortfeasor to the victim. For example, the insurance company might admit that the tortfeasor ran a red light, but argue that the victim’s excessive speed substantially caused the crash.
Attorneys can respond to this defense in a number of ways. One of the most effective ones is to accentuate the positive and highlight all the things the victim did right. Additionally, if the victim’s contributory negligence was minimal (e.g., driving two or three miles per hour over the limit), a Marion County judge may refuse to allow the defense.
Indiana is a modified comparative fault state with a 51% bar. So, as long as the tortfeasor was at least 51% responsible for the crash, the victim is entitled to a proportional share of damages.
Car crash victims may be entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced auto injury lawyer in Indianapolis, contact Holland & Holland. You have a limited amount of time to act.
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