No Fee Guarantee
Hablamos Español

Indianapolis Car Accident Attorney

Car Accident Attorney

Being involved in a car accident can be terrifying. If you’ve never been injured in an accident before you’re probably frantically trying to figure our what the necessary steps are. Well, lucky for you the attorneys at are office are experienced in handling matters related to auto accidents and related injuries. We’ve even prepared a nice checklist for you below, but before you take a look at the checklist you should know that if you’re injured you likely need to hire an attorney.

The Law Office of William W. Hurst, LLC was founded in 1981 and based in Indianapolis, IN. Our attorneys have more than 70 years of combined experience handling car crashes. Thousands of clients have come into our office not knowing what to do or how to go about making their claim and left happily, being fully compensated for their injuries. Our goal has always been to make sure our clients are able to recover from their injuries without having to worry about their injury claim. We take care of ordering medical records and bills, negotiating with the insurance companies, litigating cases, and if necessary, preparing to take your case to trial while making sure your stress level is as low as possible.

Our clients leave happy because we know how to win cases, but it’s about a lot more than simply winning cases. It’s about a commitment to doing it the right way. We’ve been doing it the right way since our founding, which is why we’ve been recognized in Best Law Firms in America by US News, Best Lawyers in America, and Super Lawyers for our work in personal injury litigation. We also earned an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale Hubbell, which only confers that designation on attorneys with the highest of ethical standards and professional abilities.

When it comes to car accident cases, you know when you hire The Law Office of William W. Hurst, LLC that you’re dealing with a law firm that has the respect and admiration of other Indiana attorneys, the dedicated attorneys to properly handle your claim, and a commitment to doing it the right way.

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? Well, 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 Case

  • Drafting and filing the 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 injury attorneys.

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 attorney 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 Being in a Car Accident?

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 13: Contact An Experienced Indianapolis Car Accident Attorney

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 William W. Hurst at (317) 636-0808 or contact us online.

(back to top)


Car accident FAQs

Do I have a case?
Whether you have a case or not is a complex question. You’ll need to talk to a personal injury lawyer in order to determine whether you have a case for sure or not. Some things to consider are who was at fault for the crash, whether you were injured, and how long ago the crash occurred.

How much is my car accident case worth? 
Valuing a personal injury case is complex and requires the expertise of an experienced attorney. Several things will be considered including the apportionment of fault, total of the medical bills, severity of the injuries, and any lasting impacts of the injuries involved.

How is fault determined in an Indianapolis Car accident?
Fault is generally determined based on the “Rules of the Road” or a basic understanding of how a person is supposed to drive. There are some circumstances, such as left-hand turn cases where statute dictates how fault is determined. In complex cases, such as a multiple vehicle accident, a more intricate evaluation of the facts is required.

Who pays my medical bills?
The answer is it depends. If you have medical payments coverage under your automobile policy, they’ll pay first, but this coverage is limited. Once your medical payments coverage is exhausted your health insurance should cover any additional costs, but both will need to be paid back once the case is resolved. If you don’t have health insurance some providers will work under a letter of protection, which is an agreement with your attorney that they’ll be paid back out of the settlement.


Car Accident Statistics

Indiana Statistics

Unfortunately Indiana’s statistics aren’t quite as up to date, with the most recent published statistics being mostly from 2017. According to the most recent Indiana Crash Report there were 219,112 traffic collisions occurred, a 2.1% decrease from 2016. There were 834 fatal crashes resulting in 911 fatalities, a 7.5% increase from 2016. Additionally, 34,219 additional crashes resulted in injury, a 3.2% decrease from 2016.0

Indiana Fatal Traffic Accident Statistics


Source: https://www.in.gov/cji/files/Highway_Safety_Fact_Book_2017.pdf

Of those killed crashes in Indiana, 45% in urban areas were wearing seat belts, 51% in suburban areas, and 53% in rural areas. Additionally, 22.1% of fatal crashes were speed related and 11% involved an impaired driver. The economic costs of these accidents was immense, however, number pales in comparison to the emotional costs of seeing our loved ones severely injured or even killed. We urge you to wear your seat belts, slow down, and if you are intoxicated, call a cab or even and UBER/LYFT.

Everyone should know that a car accident can strike anytime you are on the road. Most people believe that if they drive safely and follow the law, they will arrive at their destinations safely. For too many people, however, this is not true, and they end up in a crash and face serious, lasting injuries.

United States Statistics

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the following took place in the United States:

  • 34,439 fatal motor vehicle crashes
  • 37,461 deaths from motor vehicle crashes
  • 11.6 deaths per 100,000 people
  • 1.16 deaths per 100 million miles traveled

In Indiana, 768 fatal crashes took place with 821 deaths reported. This translates to 12.4 deaths per 100,000 persons, while there were 0.99 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled.

With so many crashes and deaths, drivers must understand the damages that can result from a car accident—and their rights to compensation when one takes place.


What Can I Be Compensated For After An Auto Accident?

Compensation from a car accident will depend on the nature and severity of your injuries. Common damages from a car accident include:
Medical expenses – any medical expenses that come as a result of bodily injury to the driver from the accident

  • Lost Wages – any loss of income because the injured party cannot work due to the accident. This includes any vacation time or paid time off you were forced to take because of the accident. You should be able to use that time as you please, not be forced to take it due to an accident.
    Property loss – any personal property, such as a vehicle, that is damaged or destroyed as a result of the accident. You may even be able to recover for the diminished value of your vehicle.
  • Pain and suffering – compensation is given for the inconvenience of the accident to the injured party. The extent of your pain and suffering depends on how long it has taken or will take for the pain and suffering to subside. If your injuries are permanent then your pain and suffering value may be quite high.
  • Emotional distress – compensation is given for any anxiety or distress to the injured party due to the accident. There are also claims available for loved ones who witnessed horrific accidents involving their loved ones.
  • Lost enjoyment – compensation is given due to a decreased quality of life for the injured party. This encompasses things such as you no longer being able to run or garden.
  • Lost companionship – compensation is given due to the inability of the injured party to engage in a normal marital relationship with a spouse.
    Compensation can run from a couple thousand dollars into the millions in cases of disabling or fatal injuries. If another driver caused your crash, you likely have the right to seek financial recovery for all of your monetary and intangible losses.

Indiana Laws

Statute of limitations

  • Generally: In most cases the applicable statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Indiana is 2 years. This means you have two years from the date of your accident to file a case against the responsible party or your claim is barred. In some instances cases are able to be settled before a case has to be filed, but it’s important that if the case isn’t settled you’ve filed suit before the limitation date. There are exceptions to this general rule, however, which you can read about below.
  • Exceptions:
    • Suing State Governmental Entities. In order to sustain a negligence action against an Indiana governmental entity a Tort Claims Notice must be filed within 180 days of the accident. This is a result of the Indiana Tort Claims Act, which also gives us a different standard of liability called Contributory negligence, which will be discussed as an exception the general rule under the liability section below.

    • Suing Federal Governmental Entities. In order to sustain a negligence claim against a federal governmental entity the claim must be sent to the correct agency in writing within two years of the accident. If the claim is denied then suit may be filed anytime within six months of the denial.

Liability:

  • Generally: The majority of claims are governed by the Indiana Comparative Fault Act. The Indiana Comparative Fault Act establishes a modified comparative fault model for determining liability and damages in personal injury suits. To understand what a modified comparative fault model is, it’s important to understand a pure comparative fault model. In a pure comparative fault model you simply recover whatever amount the jury decides your damages are multiplied by the percentage of fault not apportioned to you. For instance if a jury determines the damages are $100,000.00 and you are 75% at fault you’d recover $25,000.00. In Indiana, however, we have a modified comparative fault rule that says if you’re found to be more than 50% at fault you’re barred from any recovery. So, in Indiana if the damages were $100,000.00 and you were found 25% at fault you’d recover $75,000.00. If you’re found 50% at fault you’d recover $50,000.00. If, however, you’re found 51% at fault you can’t recover anything.
  • Exceptions: If you’re suing a governmental entity the tort claims acts apply and you’re only able to recover if it’s determined you were not in any way at fault. If you are found even 1% at fault you’re barred from any recovery.

Car Accident Specific Laws

Left Hand Turn Statute

  • The Indiana left-hand turn statute provides that a person making a left-hand turn has a duty to yield to oncoming traffic. Generally, this means that when an accident occurs between a vehicle turning left and an oncoming vehicle the turning vehicle is at fault. There are exceptions to this general rule, however. For instance if the oncoming vehicle is speeding or has a red light then it would be their fault.

(back to top)


Dealing with Insurance Companies

Dealing with insurance companies can be and often is difficult. Insurance companies are for-profit companies and any money they pay out to an injury victim decreases their profits. So they’ve come up with several ways to minimize payouts including denying and delaying claims. Once a claim is denied many people give up, but you shouldn’t give up so easily. Most of the time making a simple call to our office and letting us fight for you is all that has to be done to change that denial of liability.

Even after the insurance company has accepted that their insured is liable for the injuries, however, they haven’t given up decreasing the value of your case quite yet. They’ll delay paying out your claim by any means possible. First, they’ll give you a “low-ball” offer and see if they can get you to accept it. Next they’ll begin to pick your claim apart by minimizing the medical bills, injuries, and effects the accident has had on your life. We know how to fight them off and make sure you receive fair compensation for your injuries. Don’t fight them alone, let us help.

How Insurance Companies Reduce Their Liability

  1. Settling Quickly for Less Than Your Claim Is Worth. Insurance companies may pretend to care about a victim’s best interests to prevent the victim from ever filing a lawsuit. Insurers will send claims adjusters to visit car crash victims while they’re still in the hospital, at which point they may not even have legal representation. The companies may take statements from victims while they’re on pain-relieving medications, and the companies may attempt to convince victims to sign agreements that limit their ability to ever seek additional compensation. People can lose financial awards they’re entitled to from the insurer, which could have helped them pay off bills after a crash.

    Insurance companies often teach claims adjusters to be nice to accident victims, and this friendly demeanor helps the adjusters secure people’s trust. These professionals may pretend that they care about a survivor’s best interests, while they actually are gathering evidence from these conversations to use against the victim in court. They also may ask for records to undermine a victim’s claim.

  2. Delaying Your Claim. Adjusters may attempt to delay a victim from filing a formal lawsuit until the state’s two-year statute of limitations has run, unbeknownst to the victim. Indiana car crash victims have only two years to file a claim, after which they can no longer seek compensation for their injuries. Even after you’ve filed a lawsuit they will delay the entire process in order to try to get you to give up. We won’t let that happen.
  3. Undermining Your Credibility. Insurance companies ask for accident statements that undermine the victim’s credibility. Most insurers will ask survivors to offer written statements regarding their accidents. The companies may also have victims list all of the injuries and damages that they believe may be involved in their claim. The companies may claim that these statements help speed up the claims process, but they are usually just attempting to gather evidence to discredit accident victims. These statements can help insurance companies place blame on the victim, and to limit their own liability.
  4. Using Your Life Against You. Insurance companies scour social media for evidence to reduce their liability. Insurers will also search popular social media accounts in an attempt to limit their liability. These companies often use evidence of victims engaging in dangerous activities, such as posting on social media while driving, to prove that the victims are liable for their own injuries. Companies may also find photos of a victim engaging in physical activity, which they may argue shows that the victim is not actually injured.

Common Injuries

The most common types of injuries from car accidents are soft-tissue injuries such as whiplash. Of course we often see cases involving spinal issues such as a bulging disc, broken bones, brain injuries, and several other types of injuries. The attorneys at our office are experienced and well versed in handling any type of injury related to a motor vehicle accident.


Common Causes of Car Accidents

The most common car accident is a rear-end accident. Someone isn’t paying attention and the next thing you know they’ve struck the rear of your vehicle. Other common causes of car accidents include failure to yield the right of way, unsafe backing, and unsafe lane movement. Other less frequent causes of accidents include disregarding a signal/sign, improper turning, travelling at a speed unsafe for weather conditions, improper lane usage, travelling left of center, improper passing, and going the wrong way on a one way street. We’ve handled thousands of these cases and have the know-how to properly investigate and prove your claim.


How Can I Hire An Attorney?

The Law Office of William W. Hurst works on a contingency basis which means we collect our attorney’s fees from any settlements or judgments that you receive. Your success is our success!

Schedule a Free Consultation with the Law Office of William W. Hurst
Have you or a loved one sustained serious injuries in an Indiana car accident? If so, you should contact the Law Office of William W. Hurst immediately to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. We provide free consultations, meaning one of our attorneys will review your case and assess the validity of your claim at no cost to you. Call us at (317) 636-0808 or contact us online.


Contact Us

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 William W. Hurst at (317) 636-0808 or contact us online.

Indianapolis Office

The Law Office of Bill Hurst
50 S. Meridian St.,
Suite 600, Indianapolis, IN 46204

Contact Us For a Free Consultation Fill out the form below to receive a free and confidential initial consultation.

FAQs
Our Fees

It cost $0 up front to hire our office. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you only pay us if we settle your case or obtain a verdict on your behalf.

If we’re unable to obtain a settlement of verdict for you we eat the costs we’ve advanced to litigate your case, which includes costs for ordering medical records, filing your case, hiring experts, deposing witnesses, and many other things.

If we do settle your case or obtain a verdict for you our standard rate is 33% of the settlement or verdict, plus reimbursement for the expense we’ve previously advanced. Our fee never increases like some personal injury attorneys, even if we have to take your case to trial.

Our Fees

It cost $0 up front to hire our office. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you only pay us if we settle your case or obtain a verdict on your behalf.

If we’re unable to obtain a settlement of verdict for you we eat the costs we’ve advanced to litigate your case, which includes costs for ordering medical records, filing your case, hiring experts, deposing witnesses, and many other things.

If we do settle your case or obtain a verdict for you our standard rate is 33% of the settlement or verdict, plus reimbursement for the expense we’ve previously advanced. Our fee never increases like some personal injury attorneys, even if we have to take your case to trial.

Case Worth

As a victim, establishing damages, negotiating with the insurance company, or filing a lawsuit can be daunting and next to impossible without the assistance of an experienced lawyer. As a result, if you have been hurt in an accident, it is important that you contact an attorney as soon as possible to help you recover the compensation to which you are entitled under Indiana law.

Why Hire?

Choosing an attorney that has experience dealing with personal injury law is important to protect your legal rights. If you are trying to recover damages from a business or other type of organization, you can bet that they are going to have a legal team on their side.

Medical Bills

If you were injured by an accident you may be struggling to determine who is responsible for paying your medical bills and holding them accountable. Speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer at The Law Office of William W. Hurst and learn if we may be able to help.

Recovery

After you have been injured, you are entitled to compensation. The type and amount of compensation depends on the injury, bills, the cause of the injury, negligence/bad faith of the defendant, etc. The attorney you retain can also heavy influence your recovery through knowledge, experience, and dedication. Legal terms and phrases can be confusing even after you retain an attorney. If you have been injured, you may wonder how much your case is worth or what your “damages” are. The worse the injuries, the higher the value of the case and the greater need for an experienced attorney