Why Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?

In a recent study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more people have been driving on our roads in recent years, especially after the height of the COVID-19 pandemic (NHTSA). With the traffic increase, comes more opportunities for serious accidents to occur. If you were involved in an auto accident, it’s important to speak to a lawyer who handles these cases.

There are important details that you should consider after suffering an injury in an automotive collision. For example, do I need a lawyer for a car accident? If you’ve been in an Indiana car crash, it may be difficult for you to handle gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and filing the proper paperwork for your claim.

There are a lot of things that go into an injury case that you might not realize but a trusted, respected injury attorney will. So it’s important for you early on in the process to get an attorney that you trust.

These are just a few of the tasks required if you wish to pursue financial compensation for your injuries. A lawyer can help by taking on many of these duties for you.

Here are just a few of the other benefits of working with an Indianapolis auto accident attorney:

  • Experienced legal counsel in your corner when dealing with insurance companies and other parties.
  • Knowledgeable representation if your case goes to court.
  • Guidance as to whether or not you have grounds for filing a lawsuit against another liable party involved in the crash.
  • Professional advice regarding when it is best to settle out of court.

We understand that being injured in an Indiana highway accident can be stressful and overwhelming. That is why we do our best to make sure that you understand all the legal terms, processes, and requirements related to your claim.

How Our Indianapolis Car Accident Attorneys Can Help 

After you’ve been in a motor vehicle accident in the busy city of Indianapolis, you have so much to handle that a car accident lawyer is probably the last thing on your mind. There’s your insurance company to talk with and perhaps other drivers, too.

The stress related to an injury caused by an auto accident is a large burden to bear. We know how to make sure the negligent party is held accountable. You should not have to pay for injuries caused by negligent drivers. Common injuries after a car crash can include, but are not limited to, brain injury, bodily injury, emotional distress, spinal cord damage, internal organ injuries, emotional trauma, soft tissue injuries, neck injuries, traumatic brain injury, and other physical injuries. We know how serious these injures can be and why we want to help you get justice!

Car accident attorney, Lee Christie, explains that there are certain elements of damages that you’re entitled to, that a jury is allowed to consider, and how this accident has totally affected you in all different kinds of ways. Those types of damages include medical bills, wage loss, and income loss. You’re also entitled to pain and suffering and mental anguish. Because of that, we will fight to make sure that you receive compensation for each and every element of damages that you’re entitled to.

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We thoroughly enjoy working with and helping our clients achieve great outcomes from their accident cases and honored to help them through the legal process.

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We Want to Get You Maximum Compensation

You don’t pay unless your case is won:
That’s right, there are no fees for our car accident legal services until we win your case. You only pay us a small portion of the verdict or settlement that we win for you. That’s how we get paid and why we’re on your side when it comes to getting justice and the maximum compensation. You can see some of our featured personal injury case results from previous clients totaling millions of dollars in victory.

We are here to protect your rights and get justice:
Our goal at Christie Farrell Lee & Bell is to protect your rights as a citizen and educate you on the aspects of personal injury, car accident claims, and what trial litigation means. Ultimately, getting you a fair settlement from the insurance carrier for your injuries is part of why our clients are satisfied with our outcomes.

Common Types of Auto Accidents

Every year, over 1.35 million people are killed in car accidents globally, and 6 million car accidents happen annually in the United States alone as a result of careless and dangerous drivers. Christie, Farrell, Lee and Bell understand what you go through after an accident. We understand that car wrecks can have devastating effects on your physical and mental health. The injuries sustained may leave you unable to work, or even function normally on a daily basis. If so, let us do all the legal work, and the legwork, for you and your family to get back on track as soon as possible.

Below we’re outlining a few common types of auto accidents in Indianapolis because these are cases we’ve handled and discussed with clients in the past.

Poor Roadway Design Injury

The design of the roadways you trust to carry you safely can be the cause of a car accident. Every roadway has several elements that must all be designed and maintained properly to work in harmony to keep drivers safe. Accidents can occur with increased frequency when those elements aren’t designed properly, including:

  • Banking
  • Barriers and guardrails
  • Exit and entry freeway ramps
  • Lane and edge markings
  • Road signs
  • Intersections

Distracted Driving Accidents

Drivers in Indiana are required to keep their eyes and attention on the road. However, there are many reasons that may cause an Indiana driver to lose focus and potentially cause an Indiana car accident. One of the biggest culprits for distracted driving that we typically see from our clients comes from texting and cell phone usage.

The state of Indiana has laws on the books against texting or calling on phones while operating a motor vehicle. According to Indiana code, drivers are prohibited from:

  • Composing, sending, or reading texts while behind the wheel.
  • Phone calls may only be made if a hand-free tool is used or in case of a 911 emergency.
  • If an auto accident occurs due to the use of cell phones, the driver may be found at fault.

Road Rage Accidents

It’s one thing to find yourself annoyed by traffic or another driver cutting you off. However, when drivers begin driving aggressively or dangerously, the situation becomes far more worrisome. Road rage in Indiana is a real problem. Fox59 News reported that Indiana had the most road rage accidents in the U.S. from 2017 – 2021, which is alarming. Our state has also lead the U.S. with the most fatalities caused by road rage than anywhere else in some years.

When Indiana road rage plays a part in a car accident, police take the matter seriously. Indiana driving laws define aggressive driving as:

  • Passing in the right lane
  • Excessive speeding
  • Dangerous stopping or slowing
  • Unnecessary use of the car horn
  • Excessive flashing of headlights
  • Refusal to yield
  • Not observing traffic signals
  • “Tailgating” or following other cars too closely

If road rage causes an accident, the aggressive driver may be found accountable.

Driving Under the Influence of Prescribed Medication

DUIs are normally issued when a driver is intoxicated while under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs. However, it is still possible for a motorist to be arrested for a DUI even when taking medication prescribed legally by their doctor. If medication might lead to impaired driving, the prescription bottle will have a warning for patients to avoid operating heavy machinery, including driving a car. Anyone taking medication should speak with their physician or pharmacist to find out whether they might be at risk when getting behind the wheel.

Teen Driving Accidents

Though many Indiana teens are excited to hit the open road and cruise around with friends once they receive their license, the fact is that inexperienced teen drivers may be more susceptible to crashes and accidents.

Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for 16–19-year-olds in the U.S. With those frightening statistics in mind, Indiana has instituted the Graduated Driver Licensing Law (GDL). Intended to slowly introduce teen drivers to the road, the legislation prohibits those under the age of 16 from driving with any passengers for 180 days after receiving their license. The only exceptions are family members or driving instructors. The hours, days, and weeks following a car accident can be a difficult and frightening time. Not only is there a psychological toll, but bills for medical expenses and repairs can pile up quickly.

No matter what type of car crash you have been involved in, let our Indianapolis accident law firm protect your rights and best interests. Call 317-488-5500 or fill out our online contact form today to schedule a free consultation.

What Strategy Will You Use for My Auto Accident Lawsuit?

When it comes to auto accident injury lawsuits, the devil is in the details. To begin establishing negligence, injury attorneys will need to review every aspect of the case, beginning with the crash itself and following through to every injury, diagnosis, repair, and final bill.

Though they probably can’t lay out their entire approach in a preliminary meeting, a seasoned attorney should easily explain the steps they take to determine the best defense.

This strategy preview is a great question for evaluation because it gives a glimpse into what level of critical thinking and ingenuity of the lawyer. Injury attorneys work best when they have access to a large number of resources, as any of these can prove vital to the success of a case.

Yes, basic information like accident reports, victim testimonials, police records, and insurance claims are obviously a great place to start. But beyond that, an auto injury attorney may get a bit more creative and ask for some additional items.

These could include:

  • Medical reports to detail the extent of injuries
  • Psychological evaluations for post-traumatic stress
  • Photographs or videos of the accident scene
  • Auto repair bill
  • Additional testimonials from family or friends related to the accident

You may have many more questions, and that’s okay! These are only meant to be a good place to start when evaluating any auto accident attorney. By choosing an Indiana lawyer with experience and know-how, recovering from a car accident can be a lot less stressful.

How Long Do You Have to Report a Car Accident in Indiana?

In the state of Indiana, the timeline for reporting a car accident is governed by both legal requirements and insurance policy stipulations. Legally, if a car accident results in injury, wrongful death, or property damage exceeding $1,000, it must be reported to the police immediately. This report is crucial, not only for legal documentation but also as a key piece of evidence in any subsequent claims or litigation.

Also, drivers have a 10-day window to file an accident report with the Indiana BMV after the occurrence.

From an insurance perspective, most policies require that accidents be reported as soon as possible. While this term can vary, it generally means within a few days of the incident. Prompt reporting is vital for the efficiency of the claims process and to ensure that you remain within the bounds of your insurance policy’s requirements.

How Is Fault Determined in an Indianapolis Car Accident?

The attribution of responsibility in a vehicular accident is based on the modified comparative fault system, a subtle procedure that justly assesses each participant’s role in the incident. Under this system, an injured party can still receive compensation for damages even if they are found to be partially at fault for the accident. However, the compensation awarded is adjusted based on their percentage of fault. For instance, if you are found to be 30% responsible for the accident, your compensation will be reduced by 30%.

Still, If someone is assigned 51% or more of the responsibility for the accident, they’re disqualified from seeking any damages.

The determination of fault is typically made through a combination of police reports, witness statements, evidence from the scene, and, when necessary, expert testimony. In complex cases, the court or insurance adjusters will weigh these factors to ascertain the degrees of fault applicable to each party involved.

Compensation for Indianapolis Auto Accident Victims

Car accident victims may be able to pursue compensation for a wide range of economic and non-economic damages. You can trust our attorneys to review your case and help you seek full and fair compensation to cover your present and future losses related to:

  • Medical bills, including surgery, hospital stays, ambulance rides, and physical rehabilitation
  • Lost wages and other income
  • Reduced earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Permanent disfigurement
  • Burial and funeral expenses if a loved one was killed

after a car wreck

What to Do After a Car Accident in Indianapolis

The statute of limitations in Indiana (Code §34-11-2-4) states that you have two years to file a civil lawsuit from the date of the accident. It is possible to have the time extended, but your actions in the moments, hours, and days after a car accident can have a profound impact on your health and your legal rights.

If you have been involved in a car accident in the Indianapolis area, it is important you follow these key steps.

Step 1: Get To SafetyYour first priority after being in a crash should be to get to a safe place. If you are able to move your vehicle out of harm’s way, do so. If you can, try to get a photograph of your vehicle’s initial position before being moved.

Step 2: Call for Help

If you or anyone has been seriously hurt in the crash, call 9-1-1 and get emergency medical help. After that, call the police. The police will help to control the scene and create an official report of the accident. This report will be a key piece of evidence later when determining the fault for the collision. Be sure to request a copy of this report for your records.

Step 3: Stay at the Scene

Never leave the scene of an accident until you are cleared by police to do so. Fleeing the scene of an accident is considered a “hit and run” and can expose you to serious civil and criminal penalties.

Step 4: Exchange Information

Get the contact and insurance information of all involved drivers, including their names, addresses, phone numbers, driver’s license numbers, license plates, auto insurance companies, and insurance policy numbers. If there were any witnesses to the crash, ask for their contact information as well. Do not discuss the crash during this time.

steps you can take after a car accident in Indiana

Step 5: Collect Evidence

If you have access to a camera or smartphone, use it to capture photographic or video evidence of the accident scene. This includes damage to all vehicles and property, traffic patterns, road conditions, and any other details that help show what happened. This will play a key role if you end up filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit later.

Step 6: Get Medical Treatment

If you are fortunate enough to “walk away” from the accident scene, seek medical treatment for your injuries as soon as you are cleared to leave the accident scene. See a doctor promptly even if you feel fine. It is possible that you have suffered serious injuries but are unaware of the symptoms due to your body’s “fight or flight” response. Follow your doctor’s treatment instructions closely and keep records of all expenses you incur as a result of your treatment.

Step 7: Call Your Insurance Company

You have a responsibility to inform your insurance company of your involvement in a collision as soon as possible. Stick to the basic facts and provide enough information to open a claim, but do not volunteer any more information than necessary. Do not consent to any written or recorded statements. If they press you for more information, direct them to speak with your attorney.

Step 8: Stay Off Social Media

Anything you post online in the aftermath of a car accident can potentially be used to damage or destroy your personal injury case. This includes posting details of the accident, your activities in the days after the crash injury, or your personal account of the collision. In most cases, it is best to stay off social media entirely until your case is resolved.

Step 9: Hire an Experienced Indianapolis Accident Lawyer

It is in your best interests to hire an attorney after being involved in a serious collision. Insurance companies are not on your side and will do everything within their power to reduce, delay, or even outright deny your claim. An experienced lawyer who understands the process can explain your car accident legal options, protect you against unfair treatment, and help you seek maximum compensation for your losses.

Contact Our Indianapolis Car Accident Lawyers Today

When you’re involved in an accident, it’s difficult to know what to do first and how to handle it. What is the right car accident procedure? How do you navigate your insurance policy? What do I say to the insurance company? How much time do I have to file a claim or lawsuit? Car accidents bring with them no shortage of stress and headaches. Insurance claims and police reports alone can be tough to deal with. Serious injury and death add another layer of grief, pain, and financial burden.

There are many confusing stages in a personal injury claim. That’s why an experienced car accident lawyer in Indianapolis at Christie Farrell Lee & Bell can be with you every step of the way and help you understand all the Indiana rules of the road. From insurance claims to lawsuits and all the way to court if necessary, Christie Farrell Lee & Bell has helped our clients fight for what’s fair for 40 years.

FAQs About Car Accidents in Indianapolis

How Long Does It Take to Get an Accident Report in Indiana?

In Indiana, an accident report is typically available in 7-10 business days, depending on the details of the crash

Do You Need a Police Report to File an Insurance Claim in Indianapolis?

The law in Indiana mandates the immediate reporting of accidents causing injury, death, or entrapment to the police or local sheriff’s department. You can file an insurance claim in Indiana without a police report, but if you’re filing a claim against another party’s insurance, the report can be instrumental in providing evidence and documenting any property damage or injuries.

How Much Can Someone Sue for a Car Accident in Indianapolis?

The amount someone can sue for a car accident in Indiana depends on various factors, such as the severity of the injuries, the extent of property damage, and the insurance coverage of the at-fault driver. However, an Indianapolis car accident attorney at Christie Farrell & Lee Bell can help determine the factors that affect a settlement and provide insight into what a specific claim might be worth.

For an Indianapolis car accident lawyer near you, call us for your free consultation at 317-488-5500.

Indianapolis Office

951 N Delaware St Indianapolis, IN 46202
Phone: 317-593-9202

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