Being involved in a car accident can be terrifying. If you’ve never been injured in an accident before, you’re probably going to frantically try to figure out what the next steps are. Fortunately, the attorneys at Hurst Limontes LLC are experienced in handling all matters related to auto accidents and personal injuries within the state of Indiana.
Our attorneys have more than 70 years of combined experience handling car crash cases. Thousands of clients have come into our office not knowing what to do or how to go about making their claims. Our goal has always been to make sure they are able to recover from their injuries without having to worry about the associated costs related to their accident. We take care of ordering medical records and bills, negotiating with insurance companies, litigating cases, and if necessary, preparing to take a case to trial, all while making sure client stress levels are as low as possible.
The individuals we represent are happy because we know how to win cases, but it’s about a lot more than simply winning. It’s about a commitment to doing things the right way, which is why we’ve been recognized by US News, Best Lawyers in America, and Super Lawyers for our work in personal injury litigation. We’ve also earned an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale Hubbell.
When it comes to car accident cases, know that when you hire Hurst Limontes, you’re dealing with a law firm that has the respect and admiration of other Indiana lawyers and you can be assured that our legal team will properly handle your case.
HOW WE CAN HELP
The attorneys in our office look forward to helping you with your claim in any way we can. Properly handling a personal injury claim is difficult and takes experience, which our attorneys have plenty of.
What is it exactly that we do?
We’ve prepared a brief synopsis of what happens during the time your claim is being handled from the day you meet with us for the first time to the day your claim is settled or a verdict is rendered:
PRE-LITIGATION (BEFORE YOUR CASE IS FILED)
• Ensuring you’re getting the treatment you need. We often have clients who aren’t sure about how to go about getting the treatment they need. Who pays for it? First, if you have medical payments coverage on your auto policy, your auto insurer should be paying your medical bills until your coverage is exhausted. That amount of medical payment coverage provided, however, is often fairly low, so you’ll have to pay additional treatment some other way. But, how? If you have health insurance that’s an easy answer, your health insurer should pay for your treatment. They may send you a questionnaire asking if your injuries are related to your accident and request to recoup the amounts they pay once your case has settled, but they will pay the bills. If you don’t have health insurance many providers will work with our office to ensure you receive the treatment needed and they receive payment when your case is finalized. The most important thing is that you receive the treatment you need so you can get better. Our office will do everything we can to make sure that happens.
• Ordering your medical records and bills. Once you’ve finished your treatment we’ll order all the medical bills and records related to injuries you sustained in the crash. We’ll sift though all the records and bills, organizing everything so that we’re able to relay the extent of your injuries to the insurance company in a concise and detailed manner.
• Negotiating with the insurance companies. After we’ve organized your medical records and bills, we’ll send the insurance company a demand stating what we believe your case is worth based on the injuries involved, medical bills, treatment, and any ongoing issues. Once they’re responded with their initial offer we’ll enter into negotiations. Most cases fail to settle at this point because the insurance companies under value claims. That’s why it’s important to have an injury attorney. We’re able to advise you as to the actual value of the claim and if the insurance companies aren’t willing to pay it, we can file suit and proceed towards trial.
FILING YOUR CAR ACCIDENT CASE
• Drafting and filing the car accident complaint. Drafting a complaint requires the legal knowledge and experience only a seasoned auto accident attorney possesses. This document lays out the events that occurred, the parties responsible, the claims your making, and the compensation being sought.
• Drafting and filing summons. The complaint has to be served on the parties responsible for your injuries. In order to be properly served a summons outlining the rights of the parties and appropriately putting them on notice of the claim must be prepared and sent to the correct recipients. Sometimes that’s an individual. Other times it’s a registered agent of a large company.
• Filing an appearance. Essentially an appearance tells the other side who they’re dealing with. You’ll want them to know they’re dealing with experienced car accident attorneys.
AUTO ACCIDENT LITIGATION
• Sending and answering written discovery. The first step in litigation is ensuring the basic facts and claims of each party are properly understood. In order for both sides to better understand the other’s claim interrogatories and requests for production are exchanged. Asking the right questions and requesting the correct documents is essential to making a successful personal injury claim. In the same light, answering interrogatories and responding to requests for production in the correct manner can go a long way toward helping your case.
• Depositions. Once paper discovery is complete and all sides have a basic understanding of the claims being made depositions will be completed. In a deposition each side has the chance to sit down with the other and verbally ask questions. Having an attorney who knows what questions to ask is important as is being properly prepared to answer to other side’s questions. That’s why you hire us.
• Hiring experts. If your case requires it, we’ll hire experts to explain some of the complexities involved to the jury. These experts might include an Independent Medical Examiner, vocational expert, life care planner, or biomedical/biomechanical engineer. The end game of any personal injury suit is trial, so your case needs to be properly prepared as if you’re going to trial in order for the other side to take you seriously.
• Mediation. Mediation is where most cases resolve. Your case will be nearly prepared to go to trial and both sides sit down to see if they can agree to a settlement. Going to trial involves significant risks for both sides due to the unpredictable nature of juries. As a result, both sides are motivated to resolve the case at this stage.
• Trial preparation. If mediation fails, your case has to be prepared for trial. That means witness need to be prepared, including the most important witness, you. Exhibits have to be organized, legal arguments must be made, and a plan of attack must be finalized. A good trial lawyer knows preparation is key to having a successful result.
• Trial. Any trial lawyer will tell you that you win and lose cases before the trial even begins. Jury selection is an art that only experienced trial attorneys will truly understand. Properly questioning and striking potential jurors is key to making sure you have the best chance of obtaining a successful verdict. Once the jury has been selected your case will be presented via the questioning of witnesses and the introduction of exhibits. Having a great trial lawyers on your side is imperative.
POST-SETTLEMENT OR VERDICT
• Repayment of Liens/Subrogation Claims. Once you’ve obtained a settlement or verdict there’s a good chance you’ll owe some of that money to someone else. Whether that be your health insurance company who paid your bills or a provider who treated you with the understanding that they’d be paid once you were compensated it’s important to make sure these people are paid back in order to avoid future issues.
• Releases. Depending on where your case comes to a close you may need to sign a release. You’ll want an experienced car accident lawyer to look over the release and advise you of what it says. Some may contain a confidentiality agreement that allows to party paying to recoup the money if you speak of the settlement. Others may attempt to bar additional claims that aren’t within the scope of the settlement. Once you’ve signed a release it’s final, so you’ll want to be sure your not signing something you don’t understand.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT IN INDIANA?
Step 1: Get To Safety:
Your first priority when involved in an auto accident should be to get to safety. If you are able to move your vehicle out of the road and get everyone out of harms way you should do so immediately.
Step 2: Call for Help: Once everyone is safe, call the police or 9-1-1.
The police will be able to control the accident site and make an official report. This will save you from getting into an argument later about what occurred and who caused the accident.
Step 3: Stay On The Scene Until The Police Tell You to Leave:
Unless told otherwise by the police, stay there. Put on your hazard lights on and get to a safe area. Leaving the scene could result in you being cited for a hit and run or fleeing the scene of an accident. You must wait for the police to arrive and let the process play out.
Step 4: Write Down The Contact Information Of Everyone Involved In the Collision And Those Who Witnessed It:
Write down the contact information of those involved and if possible obtain the names of witnesses. Witnesses can be crucial to making your claim. If the defendant tries to make up a story later, a neutral witness will be necessary to combat the fabricated testimony.
Step 5: Take Pictures of The Vehicle Damage And Surrounding Area:
Use a camera or take photos of the damage to your vehicle and the surrounding area on your cell phone. Pictures are often important if you end up making a claim. If there is extensive damage to the vehicles involved it’s very difficult for insurance companies to debate whether the crash could have caused the injuries you’re complaining of.
Step 6: Remove All Valuables And Personal Items From Your Vehicle:
If your vehicle is being “towed” this may be your only opportunity to do so. You should find out exactly where it will be taken so you can pick it up later.
Step 7: Get Treatment for Your Injuries:
If you are seriously injured then this is obvious, but at the time of the accident many people believe it unnecessary to seek medical attention because their discomfort is minor. Even if you don’t believe you need treatment it is wise to see a doctor. Many injuries and aches and pains can worsen over time and you’ll want to have medical documentation of the original symptoms in order to link the accident to the injuries.
Step 8: Call Your Insurance Company To Report The Collision:
Report that you have been in an accident as soon as possible. Answer all necessary questions, but do not volunteer any more information than necessary. If they are recording your statement, be concise and directly respond to the question without volunteering any extra information. Providing more information than necessary could hurt your claim.
Step 9: Get A Motor Vehicle Repair Estimate:
Go to a reputable body shop or dealer and have them give you a quote for how much repairs will cost. Repair estimates, much like pictures of the damage, can be used to show the collision was severe enough to cause the injuries you are complaining of. You will also want to find out what your insurance covers for expenses related to an auto collision so you can have your vehicle repaired.
Step 10: Do Not Accept A Settlement Offer From An Insurance Company:
Insurance companies are not on your side. They are looking out for their best interests, which means they will attempt to get you to settle quickly and for far less than you deserve. Before settling talk with an experience Indianapolis car accident lawyer who can let you know whether the settlement offer you have received is fair.
Step 11: Do Not Give A Statement To Any Claims Adjusters:
Claims adjusters will attempt to get you to provide a statement. Do not give them one. These types of statements can only hurt your case. They will reappear months or sometimes years later and impact your ability to testify.
Step 12: Contact An Experienced Indianapolis Car Accident Lawyer
If you ever find yourself in that distressing situation and have incurred property or personal injury damages, you need the help of an experienced motor vehicle accident lawyer right away. To schedule a free case evaluation with an Indianapolis personal injury attorney, call the Law Office of Hurst Limontes LLC at (317) 636-0808 or contact us online.
If you ever find yourself in that distressing situation and have incurred property or personal injury damages, you need the help of an experienced motor vehicle accident lawyer right away. To schedule a free case evaluation with an Indianapolis personal injury attorney, call the Law Office of Hurst Limontes LLC at 317-636-0808 or contact us online.
The Law Office of Hurst Limontes LLC
50 S. Meridian St.,
Suite 600, Indianapolis, IN 46204