Accidents can happen when you least expect them, and they often prove traumatic and life-changing. If you’ve suffered emotional, mental, or physical injury after an accident in Hammond, Indiana, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure of where to turn.
You may wonder how you can pay for your mounting medical bills and unpaid time off of work. You want to ensure that you receive the full and fair compensation you’re owed, but you wonder if consulting a lawyer is worth the investment.
If you’ve suffered injury, Indiana due to the actions or negligence of another party, a Hammond personal injury lawyer can help you navigate through the legal claims process. We stand up to the insurance companies to make sure you have the compensation you need to move forward.
When should I file a personal injury claim?
Every year in the U.S., thousands of car accidents and workplace accidents occur, and many lead to personal injury. Annually, 2.35 million people are injured in car accidents and over 4.2 million people report workplace injuries.
Accidents can also occur anywhere. For example, a fall on an unmarked wet restaurant floor or a broken staircase in a privately-owned business may leave you with a fractured limb or a head injury. As a result of any of these circumstances, you may suffer injuries that require medical attention and undue financial burden.
The Legal Information Institute defines the legal validity of personal injury as “every variety of injury to a person’s body, emotions, or reputation, as contradistinguished from injury to property rights.” In order to file a personal injury claim, what you’ve experienced must fall under this definition.
If you’re injured in an accident, it’s vital that you seek immediate medical attention. A diagnosis and documentation from a medical professional can help ease the claims process.
Even if you haven’t finished your medical treatment, it’s important to file a claim with the insurer before the allotted time limit elapses. This time limitation varies from company to company, but it typically ends within 60 days of the onset of your injury.
Remember, giant insurance corporations might look for reasons to deny or lowball your claim. Don’t sign anything or agree to any communications without consulting your Hammond personal injury lawyer first.
Personal Injury Statute of Limitations
Indiana state law IC § 34-11-2-4 provides a statute of limitations for personal injury claims. Although there are exceptions for claimants who were minors or mentally incapacitated at the time of injury, the law states that you must file your claim within two years of the date of your accident.
Causes for a Hammond personal injury claim
Your significant injuries may stem from a number of causes. However, not all injuries incurred on another party’s property will lead to a valid legal claim. For example, if you run through a store while intoxicated, and you fall and suffer a brain injury, you may not have merit in a lawsuit against the store owners.
Some of the most common accidents that lead to personal injury claims include:
- Slip and fall accidents: Any private business owner should ensure their properties are safe for customers and guests. If you have a slip and fall accident on their premises due to their negligence, you may be able to hold them liable.
- Medical malpractice: Medical malpractice can range from a misdiagnosis to an incorrect prescription to a botched surgery. In the U.S., an average of 85,000 medical malpractice cases are filed each year.
- Construction site accidents: Construction sites often include hazardous materials and dangerous equipment. If the company in charge of a construction site isn’t diligent in following safety measures, you may get hurt. Accidents can happen on extremely safe sites as well. If your company has accident reports, it’s important to begin the documentation of your claim by immediately filling one out.
- Dog bites: Dogs make for amazing companions. However, if a negligent pet owner allows their dog to run off-leash, or if a dog escapes their owner’s yard and bites you, you may have a valid legal personal injury claim.
- Vehicle accidents: Car accidents are the most common cause of personal injury claims. If you were injured as a result of your Hammond car accident, and are less than 50% at fault, you may have a legal claim to compensation.
Common personal injury claims
You’ve been hurt due to another party’s negligence, and you want to pursue legal avenues to receive just compensation. It’s important to know what personal injury claims could exceed normal coverage payout from an insurance company, and to understand the merits of your case.
The most common injuries for a legal claim can include (but are not limited to):
- Traumatic brain injuries: Traumatic brain injuries (or TBIs) often lead to personal injury claims. These injuries can range from mild concussions to lost brain function.
- Bone fractures, sprains, torn ligaments: An insurance company’s basic liability coverage may cover your medical treatment for these injuries. However, if they’ve caused you to lose wages, suffer emotional duress, or negatively impacted your quality of life, you may have grounds to pursue further compensation.
- Loss of limb or paralysis: In a severe case, your injuries may lead to limb amputation or paralysis. The insurance company may offer you a quick settlement that seems like a significant amount. Nonetheless, you should consult a personal injury lawyer to ensure the compensation you receive accounts for your life-changing injuries.
What are the common factors that influence a personal injury case?
In Hammond, IN, there are many factors to consider in whether or not you’ll receive the compensation you seek. If an insurance company refuses to financially negotiate with you, a judge or a jury will determine the outcome of your claim.
Your personal injury case could be decided by factors such as the severity of your injuries, the way your injuries have altered your quality of life, or the amount of lost wages you’ve suffered. Other factors to weigh include the level of liability and negligence of the at-fault party, your forensic evidence and injury documentation, and any expert testimony recorded.
How long do most personal injury cases take to settle?
It’s a good idea to remember that in most instances, the insurer of the at-fault party in your personal injury case is liable for any compensation. Thus, you’re suing a company rather than an individual. Most personal injury claims are settled long before they go to court.
However, if you fail to reach a settlement with an insurance company, you should be prepared for a longer wait before you receive compensation. Most insurance settlements are paid within 45 days, while a personal injury lawsuit could take anywhere from several months to several years.
How a Hammond Personal Injury Lawyer can help
Although you may be tempted to journey the legal path on your own, an Indiana personal injury lawyer can provide the needed legal expertise to help strengthen your case. Before you hire a personal injury lawyer, you should research their practice. Look for a proven track record, positive client testimonials and reviews, and ensure that you’re consulting a personal injury law expert.
Our team of personal injury law attorneys in Hammond can:
- File your legal paperwork
- Negotiate on your behalf in any mediation meetings
- Gather important documentation and forensic evidence pertaining to your case
- Retain expert witnesses for your case
- Assist with your specific concerns regarding your case
In the aftermath of your accident, you shouldn’t have to deal with your pain and suffering on your own. Contact Yosha Law to set up your free consultation today.