Have you recently been involved in a car accident in or around Gary, Indiana? The aftermath of such an incident can be overwhelming — dealing with insurance companies, medical bills, vehicle repairs, and even recovery from injuries can turn your life upside down. Navigating this problematic time often requires knowledgeable and empathetic support. That’s where a dedicated Gary car accident lawyer comes in.
With it’s dense network of highways and roads, serving a vast amount of vehicular traffic daily, we know the risk of getting into a car crash in Gary is significant. Extremely busy interstates like the I-90, I-80, I-94, and I-65 and U.S. Highways 6, 12, and 20 facilitate an impressive stream of commuters, including those crossing from Chicago into Indiana for work and Indiana residents heading to other cities. While these highways are vital arteries, they also present a heightened risk for vehicular accidents due to heavy usage.
Our legal team at SLG Accident Attorneys specializes in providing comprehensive legal representation to victims of car accidents. With our robust knowledge of Indiana’s traffic laws and regulations, we can assist you in understanding your rights, your potential entitlements, and the best course of action. Whether you are a resident of Gary, are a commuter from Chicago, or just happened to be passing through on any of our busy highways, our Gary car accident attorneys are here to help.
Car Accidents on I-90, I-80, and I-94 in Indiana
Lake County, in which Gary is the largest city, sees a substantial amount of traffic, particularly on the I-90, I-80, and I-94 highways. These roads, due to their critical role in connecting various key regions, unfortunately become the sites of many car accidents every year. An examination of recent crash statistics reveals some alarming trends that require the attention of drivers in the area.
According to the 2020 County Profile Book by the Indiana University Public Policy Institute, Lake County reported 15,178 collisions in 2020. While this was a sharp decline from the prior two years, there were also 314 alcohol-impaired collisions.
Of all the municipalities in Lake County, Gary had the unfortunate distinction of having the highest number of collisions in 2020, with 3,183, quickly followed by Hammond with 2,964 accidents. This is likely due to its unique geographical position, several major highways intersecting, and the sheer volume of traffic that goes through the city daily, both from residents and commuters crossing into Indiana from Chicago.
The data underscores the importance of attentive and responsible driving in this area, particularly given the high traffic volume and the sometimes challenging conditions on these roads.
These statistics also highlight the vital role that a knowledgeable Gary car accident lawyer can play in advocating for accident victims. As local experts with a deep understanding of Indiana’s traffic laws, the unique characteristics of these roads, and out-of-state car accident jurisdiction, our team is well-positioned to assist accident victims in seeking fair compensation for their injuries, damage, and loss.
Common Causes for Lake County Car Crashes
Car accidents occur for various reasons, and understanding these causes can help drivers stay alert and potentially prevent such incidents. In a city like Gary, Indiana, where the heavy commuter traffic from Chicago and the surrounding areas frequently congest the major highways, drivers should be aware of several common causes of accidents.
Traffic is one of the main factors contributing to accidents in the Gary region. The primary highways, such as I-90, I-80, and I-94, can get incredibly busy, particularly during rush hour. This influx often leads to aggressive driving behaviors, including tailgating, frequent lane changes, and drivers cutting across lanes to avoid missing their exits. These behaviors significantly increase the risk of collisions.
Speeding is another leading cause of accidents. Drivers in a hurry often exceed the posted speed limits, reducing their reaction times and increasing the severity of any collision that might occur. Distractions also play a significant role in accidents on Gary’s roads. These can range from mobile phone use to eating or even talking to passengers, leading to a lack of focus on the road and an increased likelihood of an accident.
Rear-end collisions are pretty common, often resulting from tailgating or distracted driving. On the other hand, head-on collisions, although less frequent, tend to be more severe and potentially fatal. These typically occur when a driver crosses into oncoming traffic, often due to distraction, fatigue, or impairment.
Alcohol and drugs also contribute to a significant number of accidents. Impaired drivers have reduced reaction times and poor judgment, making them a hazard to themselves and others on the road. Despite strict laws against driving under the influence, it remains a persistent problem on our streets.
Do I Need a Lawyer for an Accident That Wasn’t My Fault?
If you’ve been in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you might wonder if you need a car accident lawyer in Gary, particularly if the accident was minor. While it’s true that not every car accident requires the services of a lawyer, situations involving injuries, significant property damage, or disputes about fault can significantly benefit from professional legal advice.
In cases where the accident is minor and there are no injuries, handling the situation yourself could be possible. You might feel confident in dealing directly with the insurance companies involved to resolve any issues related to vehicle damage.
However, when injuries are involved, the situation becomes more complex. Medical bills, potential long-term health impacts, lost wages, and pain and suffering all come into play. In such cases, having a lawyer can provide numerous benefits:
- Understanding your rights. A Gary car accident lawyer can help you understand your rights and navigate the complexities of personal injury laws. This includes helping you understand what compensation you may be entitled to and ensuring they protect your rights.
- Dealing with insurance companies. Insurance companies often try to minimize payouts. An attorney can negotiate on your behalf, using their expertise to challenge any lowball offers and strive for a settlement that adequately covers your expenses and suffering.
- Determining fault. Even if you believe the accident wasn’t your fault, the other party’s insurance company may dispute this. A lawyer can gather evidence to support your claim, helping to establish the other party’s liability.
- Estimating damages. Determining the full extent of your injuries isn’t always straightforward. Beyond immediate medical bills and vehicle repair costs, you may also get compensation for long-term medical treatment, loss of earnings, and pain and suffering. An attorney can help you calculate these amounts.
- Legal representation. If your case goes to court, a lawyer will represent you, ensuring they present your case effectively and adequately prepare you for any questions or challenges.
How Are Settlements Calculated?
Indiana operates under the modified comparative negligence rule, meaning that you can only recover damages if you are less than 51% responsible for the accident. So, if you deem yourself less at fault than the other party involved, it’s advisable to file a claim with either your insurance company or the other driver. A claims adjuster will then step in, collect the necessary information, and establish the fault in the accident.
Following this, the insurance company will decide to either reject your claim or propose a settlement to cover your damages. If you find yourself faced with an unjust claim denial or an unfair settlement offer, you have the right to complain to the Indiana Department of Insurance.
While the majority of car accident cases are settled through insurance companies or via negotiations between the involved parties, there are instances where pursuing a court case is necessary for appropriate compensation. In such scenarios, in Indiana, you can present your civil claims to a superior or a circuit court in your locality.
How to Handle the Insurance Companies After an Accident
Dealing with insurance companies after a car accident can be challenging, especially when recovering from injuries. Here are some critical steps to take to handle this situation effectively:
- Report the accident promptly. It’s crucial to report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Delays can lead to potential complications with your claim.
- Be cautious in your communications. While it’s essential to cooperate with the insurance company, remember that they are not necessarily on your side. Be mindful of what you say; they can use anything to minimize your claim. Stick to the facts of the accident and avoid speculating about fault or the extent of your injuries.
- Don’t accept the first offer. Insurance companies often offer a low initial settlement in hopes that you’ll accept and they can close the case quickly. It’s usually best to consult a car accident lawyer in Gary before taking any offers to ensure it adequately covers your damages.
- Keep detailed records. Maintain records of everything related to the accident, including medical bills, repair costs, and any correspondence with the insurance company. This documentation will be crucial in supporting your claim.
- Hire an attorney. A Gary car accident attorney can provide invaluable assistance when dealing with insurance companies. They can handle all communications, negotiate on your behalf, and help ensure you receive fair compensation for your damages.
Out-of-State Car Accident Claims in Indiana
Being involved in a car accident can be a stressful experience, and this stress can worsen if the accident occurs out of state. This is a common occurrence for individuals commuting from Illinois or Michigan who get into a crash in Indiana. In these scenarios, the assistance of an experienced car accident lawyer in Gary can be invaluable.
Generally, the jurisdiction for an insurance claim typically lies in the state where the accident occurred. Therefore, if you’re an Illinois or Michigan resident involved in a car accident in Indiana, your case will likely fall under Indiana law, and any legal proceedings will occur in Indiana. This applies even if you have out-of-state insurance.
Handling an out-of-state car accident claim can present unique challenges due to differing state laws and regulations. For instance, as previously mentioned, Indiana operates under the modified comparative negligence rule, which may differ from the laws in your home state.
This is where the expertise of a local Indiana car accident lawyer becomes crucial. They’ll deeply understand Indiana’s specific laws and regulations and can guide you through the complex process of filing a claim in Indiana. Their local knowledge and experience can make a significant difference in the effectiveness of your representation and your ability to secure fair compensation.
In the bustling hub of the Midwest, where Indiana and Illinois meet and the borders of Michigan aren’t too far off, lies the dynamic city of Gary, IN. Home to approximately 75,000 residents as per the last census, Gary’s unique position makes it a vital connection point and transit hub between several key locations. Known as the City of Steel, Gary is nestled on the southern tip of Lake Michigan, just a stone’s throw from the thriving metropolis of Chicago.
One characteristic of Gary that sets it apart is its dense network of highways and roads, serving a vast amount of vehicular traffic daily. Interstates like the I-90, I-80, I-94, and I-65 and U.S. Highways 6, 12, and 20 facilitate an impressive stream of commuters, including those crossing from Chicago into Indiana for work and Indiana residents heading to other cities. While these highways are vital arteries, they also present a heightened risk for vehicular accidents due to heavy usage.
After a car accident, it is crucial to have access to different services that can assist in managing the situation. Whether you need vehicle repairs, legal advice, or financial assistance, Gary, Indiana, has various resources available.
Terry’s Auto Repair is a reliable local business specializing in various auto repair services. Their team of trained mechanics is committed to ensuring your vehicle is back on the road in optimal condition. Simon’s Complete Auto Service is another excellent comprehensive auto maintenance and repair service resource. Their experienced team is equipped to handle various automotive needs, ensuring your vehicle is safe and reliable.
For collision repairs, Gerber Collision & Glass offers professional auto body and windshield repair services. Their team is dedicated to restoring your vehicle to pre-accident condition, helping you confidently get back on the road.
Suppose you’re facing financial difficulties as a result of your accident. In that case, OG Auto Finance provides auto financing solutions to help you manage the unexpected costs arising from a car accident.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in Gary Today
We understand the unique characteristics of Gary and its strategic location. With a heavy inflow and outflow of traffic, especially from commuters crossing the state line, the risk of accidents is unfortunate. It is crucial to have representation from an attorney licensed in Indiana to advocate for you and ensure your rights are protected. Regarding legal representation following a car accident, local knowledge and experience matter, and that’s what you get with a Gary car accident attorney.
When navigating the aftermath of a car accident, it’s essential to have a committed advocate on your side. At SLG Accident Attorneys, we specialize in helping accident victims in Gary, Indiana, and beyond and we’re committed to fighting for your rights and securing the compensation you deserve.
We understand the complexities of auto accident cases. We are ready to guide you through every step of the process, from filing a claim to representing you in court, if necessary. Don’t face this challenging time alone; contact SLG Accident Attorneys today for the dedicated and experienced legal representation you need.
In addition to Gary, some of the locations our attorneys serve includes Highland, Munster, East Chicago, Hammond, Fishers, Carmel, Noblesville, Greenwood, Indianapolis, Crown Point, Hobart, Merrillville, Portage, and more.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR CAR CRASH VICTIMS