If you know anyone who’s ever had an Indiana car accident lawsuit, then you’ve probably heard them talk about how much money their lawyer got them. Most of them will exaggerate. Nobody wants to hear a story about how someone got just enough to pay off their medical bills. People like to hear a good story.
In the real world, things aren’t as glamorous as they are on television and in the movies. People don’t walk into the courtroom wearing a neckbrace and walk out with a few million dollars. First of all, almost any neck injury you suffered in the crash will have healed by the time trial rolls around. Second, more than 90% of all car accident cases in Indiana settle long before trial. Finally, very few people walk out away from any accident claim with millions of dollars.
When you meet with your Indianapolis car accident attorney for the first time, they’ll review your case. They’ll give you an idea of what your case may be worth. They won’t give you an exact figure and they’ll make no guarantees. Any attorney who promises to get you a certain amount of money is making false promises. There’s no way to know what will happen in any accident case. It depends on the facts of the case. It also depends on how things unfold throughout the course of your Indiana car accident lawsuit.
That doesn’t mean you won’t be compensated for your injuries. Your Indianapolis car accident lawyer is going to work hard to get you the compensation you deserve. But you have to be realistic about how much you’re entitled to. Call and speak with an experienced car accident lawyer today to discuss your case.
You Can Only Recover Damages That You’ve Actually Suffered
The reason that few people ever recover millions of dollars for their car accident is because very few people suffer millions in damages. Your Indianapolis car accident lawyer can only get you compensation for damages you’ve actually suffered.
Let’s consider the following example:
You are hit from behind by someone who was texting and driving. They were going about 25 mph when the hit your car. You suffered about $3,000 in damage to your car. You also ended up with whiplash and a broken wrist. You were out of work for about three weeks. Your medical bills were covered by your primary healthcare provider. You paid a total of $200 in copays for doctor’s visits and prescriptions.
The only damages you can claim in a car accident are:
- $3,000 in auto repairs
- $210 in copays
- Lost wages for up to three (3) weeks (less any time paid by sick time, vacation time or PTO)
The medical bills will be reimbursed but since your insurance company paid them, they’ll be the ones reimbursed. So, in this example, we’re looking at about $3,200 in damages plus whatever you lose in wages. Even if you made about $1,000 a week, you’re looking at a total of $3,000 in lost wages. This claim is worth, at most, $10,000 when you account for pain and suffering.
Your Indianapolis car accident attorney can’t demand more than that. Even if they exaggerate your pain and suffering to $20,000, you’re still at about $25,0000-$30,000. That’s a far cry from a million dollars.
Your Indianapolis Car Accident Lawyer Has to Prove Your Damages
Regardless of how much your damages are, your car accident attorney in Indianapolis still has to prove them. Since the other driver’s lawyer will claim you were partially at fault, your total award will probably be reduced to account for your comparative fault. Your Indianapolis car accident lawyer will have to prove that the defendant was more than 50% at fault for the crash. That isn’t a guarantee.
Thankfully, Indiana is a comparative fault state. This means that, even if you’re found to be partially at fault, you can still recover damages. However, your damages will be reduced by your percentage of fault. So, if you’re found to be 20% at fault, your settlement will be reduced by 20%. The same is true if you go to trial. Even if you win, your judgment for damages will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
Contact a Lawyer For Your Indiana Car Accident Lawsuit Right Away
If you’re involved in a car wreck in Indianapolis, call Rowe & Hamilton and speak with one of our experienced car accident lawyers now. They can review your case and let you know what it may be worth. The initial consultation is free and you pay nothing until you settle your case.