Being injured on vacation or during a trip can be incredibly stressful. Not only are you left dealing with medical bills and other effects of the accident, but you may be unfamiliar with the laws of the state where your accident happened
If you were hurt in a car accident in Indiana but you live in another state, you should contact an Indiana car accident lawyer right away. While insurance claims might be filed over the phone or online, any injury lawsuit will need to be filed in the state where you were injured. This means that your case will be governed by Indiana law, and you will likely need to file your lawsuit in Indiana to get the damages you deserve.
For help with a car accident case in Indiana, call Wruck Paupore’s Indiana car accident lawyers today for a free case review. We can handle the entire recovery process, from beginning to end, remotely. Our phone number is (219) 322-1166.
When you are injured in any type of accident, you will typically file a claim for that accident in the state where the accident happened. More specifically, most injury cases are ultimately filed in the courthouse for the county in which the accident happened. When you file your car accident case, you should always do so with the help of a car accident lawyer from that state.
When filing a claim for injuries in an Indiana car accident, the process typically begins with a car insurance claim. Some states use no-fault insurance, which would normally require you to file an insurance claim with your own insurance company after a crash. Other states use an at-fault or “tort” system where you file your claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance. Indiana uses at-fault rules, so you should be able to file an insurance claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance even if you have no-fault insurance back home (subject, of course, to the terms and restrictions of your insurance policy). If you do have no-fault coverage from your own state, you may be able to have the best of both worlds, obtaining no-fault coverage through your own insurer without any restrictions on also being able to recover from an at-fault driver.
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Pursuing an insurance claim can typically be done by phone and online, and we resolve most of these claims without our client ever having to travel to Indiana. If we are unable to resolve a claim through the insurance claims process, our attorneys will typically pursue your case as a personal injury lawsuit in court. Your home state might have laws restricting lawsuits for car accidents if you come from a state with a no-fault system, but these laws will not apply in Indiana, and you are not usually restricted from filing an injury lawsuit in Indiana for your car accident.
Again, we are usually able to handle all of the work involving your case remotely without your having to travel back to Indiana. Even things like depositions (recorded testimony) that once required that you travel to a law office or courthouse can now be done remotely through Zoom or other methods. We have had many clients give their testimony from their own living room over the Internet.
If a lawsuit is filed, it must be filed a court that has “jurisdiction” over the accident. This typically means the court for the geographical area where the accident happened. Typically, you cannot file your case back home in a court in your state because they have no jurisdiction over the drive that caused your accident. Check with our Indianapolis car accident lawyers for more details about where precisely your case can be filed.
If you were injured in a car accident in Indiana, there are some steps you should take to gather information about the accident. Having this information will help you file an injury claim later. Some of the following steps are especially helpful if you live out of state.
Your first move after being involved in a car crash should be to get to safety. Indiana Code § 9-26-1-1.1 requires you to stop at the scene of the accident (or as close to the scene as you can), but it doesn’t allow you to block traffic. You might need to move your car to the side of the road or pull off onto the shoulder next to the scene of the accident.
If there are injuries involved in the accident, § 9-26-1-1.1 also requires you to call 911 and report the accident. You may also have to follow the 911 operator’s instructions to render aid or report injuries so that other injured parties can get medical attention.
When police arrive at the scene of the accident, they will begin making a police report. Getting a copy of this police report later will be essential, as it will contain a lot of the information you need to file your claim.
The process of retrieving a police report is different in every state and might even vary from police department to police department. For help getting a police report in Indiana, call our South Bend car accident lawyers. We can obtain and go over the report with you as part of our legal services.
The same code section also requires any driver involved in an accident to stay at the scene of the accident and give their name and address to the other driver. You must also show your driver’s license.
Make sure to write down each driver’s name and contact info (or take a picture of their license and contact info). Also get other details, such as their insurance information. Without this information, you might not be able to locate the other person to file a claim against them or their insurance policy later. Especially if you live out of state, it is important to get their full contact info and the correct spellings. If you are from out of town, you might not be familiar with the proper spelling of town names or which zip codes match which areas, so you might be unable to fill in missing contact information on your own.
If you were injured in any way, follow all instructions from EMTs and hospital personnel to get the care you need. If the ambulance crew thinks you need to go to the hospital, do so.
It can be scary going to an unfamiliar hospital in an unfamiliar city, but it is important to get the care you need. Failing to do so could make it harder to prove your injuries later.
Additional Reading: Can You Sue After a Taxi Accident in Indiana?
You may also be given a recommended course of follow-up care, but you may be able to receive this care back home rather than here in Indiana.
As mentioned, you will likely need help from a Hammond, IN car accident lawyer to pursue damages in your case. Contact our attorneys as soon as you can after a crash to start collecting other information and evidence and to schedule any meetings or consultations you need before you leave Indiana and return home.
For help with a car accident in Indiana, call the Milwaukee car accident lawyers at Wruck Paupore today at (219) 322-1166. We offer free case reviews.
Additional Reading: What Should You Do if Your Insurance Company Delays Your Claim?
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Don is a founding partner and one of the nation’s top-ranked personal injury litigators. He is a member of the Multi-million Dollar Advocates Forum, which includes less than 1% of the nation’s trial lawyers, and awarded the highest ranking given by Martindale Hubbel and AVVO.
More importantly, Don understands representing personal injury victims is about more than recovering the best settlement: it’s about helping clients get back on their feet and supporting them in every aspect of their recovery.
In nearly all cases, our clients seek compensation from the wrongdoer’s insurance company. Before forming Wruck Paupore, Jason worked for a prominent law firm representing some of the world’s largest insurers. This experience gives Jason a deep understanding of the insurance industry and the strategies it uses to pay injury victims as little as possible.
Jason -- and our entire team -- put this inside knowledge to work to force insurance companies to pay what is actually owed. Often, we use the insurance company’s own tactics against them as we fight for the full compensation our client deserves.
For more than four decades, Keith has been fighting for injury victims. During that time, he’s watched the insurance industry change, with insurers now more interested in protecting their stock price than treating injury victims fairly.
Since the beginning, Keith has put people first. From his childhood in Gary, Indiana during the 1960’s and working his way through law school, Keith has risen to become one of the Midwest’s most respected trial lawyers. He has never forgotten that being a lawyer is about helping people -- and seeing injury victims through struggles in a way that could change their lives forever.
Over the decades, Keith, Don and Jason have fought relentlessly for clients, even when other lawyers have said the case was impossible to win.