In this article, you can find out:
- What information you should gather from the other driver at the scene of an accident.
- Who determines the fault of an accident in the state of Indiana.
- How not wearing a seatbelt could impact your settlement if you are involved in an accident.
Am I Required To Call The Police After A Car Accident In Indiana?
Indiana law requires that the police be contacted when property damage claims are estimated to be in excess of $750. The police may or may not show up or complete a report, especially if the accident occurred on private property, such as in the parking lot of a business.
The general rule is that if an accident meets a certain minimum estimated property damage amount, you are required to contact the police.
What Information Should I Retrieve From The Other Driver At The Scene Of The Accident?
A car accident imposes a significant amount of stress on those involved. Even if there are no severe injuries, it can be scary and traumatic, and it is difficult to know what to do afterward.
If possible, you should obtain the other driver’s legal name, phone number, and current address. We recommend that you actually look at their driver’s license or identification to collect and verify their information. You should also obtain their insurance company name and contact information so that you can file a claim.
Who Determines Which Person Was At Fault In An Indiana Car Accident?
A common misconception is that the police officer determines the fault of a car accident in Indiana. Although the standard crash report completed by an officer does allow the primary fault or contributing factors of the collision to be entered, the officer’s report is not necessarily determinative.
Legally, fault is agreed upon by the insurance companies. They decide who will pay whom, and sometimes both parties end up paying equally. Other times, the parties might both pay, but in different amounts, such as sixty-forty.
If neither the insurance companies nor the parties involved can agree, and no one agrees with the police officer, then the final binding authority is a court of law. The court process can be completed through a bench trial where the judge decides, or a jury trial where a jury determines the outcome.
Do I Need A Copy Of The Police Report From My Indiana Car Accident? How Can I Obtain One?
Until recently, you could go to your local police station to get a copy of the police report. However, most agencies now will refer you to an online service called buycrash.com, which allows you to pay for the police report.
If you have been involved in an accident, we strongly recommend that you obtain a copy of the crash report. If a report has been completed and is available, you should bring it to your first meeting with your attorney.
Can I Still File A Personal Injury Claim If I Was Not Wearing A Seatbelt? How Could This Impact My Settlement?
You can still file a personal injury claim, even if you were not wearing a seatbelt during the accident. While the mandatory seatbelt requirement was passed in Indiana in the 1980s, the failure to wear a seatbelt is not admissible evidence at trial.
It is possible that not wearing a seatbelt could affect your settlement in an indirect way. Insurance adjusters are only human, and they could consider this information in their assessment of your claim, even if subconsciously. However, if the case moves to trial and this fact is not admitted into evidence, then it will not be considered.
With the guidance of a skilled attorney for Personal Injury Cases, you can have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that we’ll make it look easy.