Car accidents are – unfortunately – more common in Mishawaka, Indiana, than you may expect, and knowing what to do immediately afterwards isn’t always easy. Whether you simply need legal advice following a fender bender, or you are struggling with medical bills and car repair costs, a Mishawaka car accident lawyer can be a great help after a crash.
Crashes in Mishawaka, Indiana, can happen quickly and in unexpected ways. Picture the scene. Think about your teenage child driving home from Mishawaka High School. They’re driving responsibly, but another motorist speeds through a red light and T-bones their car on Lincoln Way East, injuring them.
Or maybe it’s you behind the wheel. You’re driving home from a shopping trip to Harbor Freight Tools. An aggressive driver tailgates you the whole way and they are following you so closely they don’t have time to stop when you slow down at the corner of Logan St. and West McKinley Ave. to turn and they rear-end you. You’re jolted forward and hurt your neck.
In both scenarios, another driver’s negligence, or carelessness, caused injury. And the injured party deserves compensation for the harm sustained. That’s where our car accident attorneys in Mishawaka can help. SLG Accident Attorneys fights for the rights of car accident victims across Indiana – contact us to learn how we can help you today.
Why Hire a Car Accident Lawyer in Mishawaka, Indiana?
The main reason why you should hire an attorney is this: you have legal rights. And you should have every opportunity to enforce those rights.
Victims of car accidents in Mishawaka, Indiana, face two challenges:
- Knowing whether they have a claim
- How much that claim may be worth
To answer these questions, it’s necessary to gather evidence, apply Indiana rules of negligence, and perform careful calculations to value a victim’s losses. An attorney is best placed to perform these duties. They will ensure that you have the chance to pursue the maximum amount of damages available in your situation.
What’s more, you deserve the chance to focus on your recovery right now. You should be resting and healing rather than dealing with the stress of a legal claims process. A car accident lawyer in Mishawaka handles the procedural matters for you so you can move forward with your life.
Do Car Collisions Occur Often in Mishawaka?
Yes. In fact, St. Joseph County has the third highest number of accidents in Indiana. According to statistics, in 2020 alone:
- 95 crashes involved an alcohol-impaired driver.
- There were 6 fatalities and 12 non-fatal incidents caused by drunk drivers.
- Speeding accounted for 566 crashes, causing 8 fatalities and 93 non-fatal injuries.
- High traffic on I-90, I-80, U.S. Route 20, and Indiana State Roads 23, 331, and 933 can cause accidents.
- The close proximity to South Bend, the fourth largest city in Indiana, also causes congestion and increases the chance of crashes.
Car accidents don’t always involve injuries. They include any incident where a car makes contact with another object, such as a vehicle or property. Even if you don’t have physical injuries, you may have a claim for property damage. Contact our Mishawaka car accident attorneys to learn more.
What Is Contributing to the Frequency of These Collisions?
Driver negligence is a significant reason why car accidents occur so frequently in Mishawaka. This is clear from the statistics – speeding and drunk driving are the leading causes of crashes in the city. However, they’re not the only reasons why drivers crash.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), failing to drive according to road conditions – such as ice or rain – is a leading cause of collisions. This is because it’s harder to react or stop in time when road conditions are poor. Crossing at intersections is also hazardous. The research shows that out of the incidents studied, 36% of crashes involved crossing or turning at an intersection. Drivers may neglect to check the path is safe before emerging or making a turn.
Other common causes of collisions include:
- Distracted driving, e.g., texting or eating behind the wheel
- Running stop signs or red lights
- Tailgating or driving too close to the vehicle in front
- Driver inexperience
Teen Crash Risks in Mishawaka, Indiana
As mentioned, distracted driving is a common reason why drivers crash. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), teens aged between 16 and 19 are more likely than any other age group to be involved in a car crash. What could be the reason? Driver inexperience is certainly a key factor. However, other reasons for teen crashes include:
- Failing to wear a seatbelt
- Driving distracted
- Drinking alcohol or taking drugs
Parents can help by enforcing good driving habits. If your teen is involved in a car crash in Mishawaka, don’t hesitate to call us.
The Indiana Comparative Fault Act and ‘Contributory Negligence’ in Car Crash Claims
To determine whether you have a compensation claim, a Mishawaka car accident lawyer will factor in how negligence laws in Indiana may impact your case.
Indiana is a “fault” state. This means that you can sue another driver for your injuries – and losses – if they’re at fault for the crash. However, there are nuances to this. What if you were also partly to blame? While you can often still claim damages, your degree of fault will impact your compensation claim. This is because Indiana is also what we consider a “contributory negligence” state.
Under the rules of contributory negligence, you can claim compensation if you were less than 51% to blame for the crash. Meaning, you were not the main cause of the crash. If you were the party most responsible for the accident, you may be unable to claim damages. However, say you’re only 25% responsible for the crash. You can claim damages for expenses such as medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. But your total award is reduced based on your degree of fault, i.e., you will lose 25% of your award.
How do we determine the degree of fault? This is where a car accident attorney in Mishawaka can help. Our team will do everything possible to reduce your responsibility, based on the evidence available, to help you pursue damages. We can explain the strengths and weaknesses of your case, as well as any issues you might encounter when apportioning blame.
Alarming Trend of Hit-and-Run Incidents in Mishawaka, Indiana
A hit-and-run incident is when a driver either leaves the scene of a crash without reporting the accident or fails to stop. There are many reasons why drivers may choose to flee the scene rather than take responsibility for their actions. Common reasons for fleeing the scene include:
- Drunk driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs
- Failing to have insurance or enough insurance
- Driving with a license
- Driving while disqualified
Hit-and-run accidents in Mishawaka, Indiana, can result in serious harm or death. And there’s always the chance that, had the driver aided the victim rather than left the scene, they may have survived. This is especially traumatic for loved ones left behind. As car accident lawyers in Mishawaka, we are acutely aware of how significant these accidents can be.
What’s especially worrying is how common hit-and-run incidents are in Mishawaka. Did you know that St. Joseph County has the second highest rate of hit-and-run accidents in Indiana? All drivers must understand the legal obligations to stop and exchange certain details at the scene of a crash. Otherwise, they risk being charged with a criminal offense.
In Indiana, the law requires you to exchange insurance and personal information with others involved in the crash. You are legally obliged to stop. If there’s injury or significant property damage, you must report the accident to law enforcement, even if the injuries are minor.
What Does a Mishawaka Car Accident Attorney Do?
Are you still unsure whether you need a car accident lawyer in Mishawaka, Indiana? This is understandable. After all, hiring an attorney can seem a daunting process. However, retaining legal advice is a crucial step in protecting your rights and ensuring you have the best chance at securing a settlement. Here are just some of the key ways that a car accident attorney in Mishawaka can help you.
- Explanation of your legal rights: You have legal rights as an accident victim. Your attorney will ensure that you understand these rights and how you can enforce them.
- Accurate case valuation: Without legal knowledge, you might undervalue your claim. An attorney knows exactly what losses you can sue for, and they will sue all parties who could be at fault so you have the best chance at securing fair damages.
- Access to medical care: If you need access to specialist medical care, your attorney can help arrange this. You can focus on recovery while they handle the communications.
- Gathering evidence: The more evidence you have, the easier it is to prove your case. An attorney can determine what evidence is most helpful and identify any weaknesses in your claim. They will help you build the most compelling case based on the evidence available.
- Drafting legal documents: Legal paperwork is complex. A single mistake can damage your case. Your attorney has the knowledge and experience to draft documents, such as complaints, and serve them on the correct parties.
- Negotiating with insurance companies: Insurance companies are notorious for using various tactics to either avoid settlement or settling for low amounts. Your attorney will ensure they do not take advantage of your position. They will protect your legal rights and help you understand the pros and cons of accepting an offer.
- Hiring experts: Expert evidence may be required to prove elements of your case. For example, we may need a medical expert to confirm your prognosis if you have a catastrophic or life-changing injury. And crash scene experts can help to prove liability in your case. Without an attorney, you may find it challenging to access these expert witnesses.
- Mediating discussions: Settlement can be agreed upon at any stage. Your attorney will be alert to possible settlement opportunities and help you decide the best way to proceed.
- Conducting trials: Should your case go to trial, your attorney will be your best advocate. They understand how the court process works and how to present the most eloquent case possible.
- Concluding settlement procedures: Your attorney will ensure that all bills are settled and that your check is distributed in a timely way.
A Mishawaka car accident attorney could prove invaluable to your claim’s success. Contact SLG Accident Attorneys to discuss your injury or accident case for free and with no obligation.
After a car accident in Mishawaka, Indiana, where do you turn? How do you find a car repair quote, and where do you go for the medical treatment you need? At SLG Accident Attorneys, we understand how overwhelming the sheer number of options may seem. To help you start the recovery process sooner rather than later, here are some service providers you may turn to in Mishawaka, Indiana.
- Martin’s Auto Repair Clinic: Servicing all makes and models, Martin’s Auto Repair Clinic prides itself on quick response times and efficient customer service. Whether you need a major overhaul or minor repair work, the team is ready and waiting to help.
- Ron’s Grape Rd Automotive: Family-owned and family-operated, Ron’s Grape Rd Automotive has long-standing ties to the local community. You can turn to this garage for any auto repair needs, from oil changes to engine repairs.
- Unity Physicians Hospital: At Unity Physicians Hospital, the individual patient takes priority. This patient-focused approach means that you can expect a positive, nurturing experience from the moment you enter the clinic. You will be treated with dignity and respect and get the medical care you deserve after your car accident.
If you’re unsure where to get help, our friendly team can assist when we get to work on your car accident claim. Simply let us know what you’re struggling with and we’ll do everything we can to assist.
Knowledgeable Law Firm in Mishawaka, Indiana
Our Mishawaka car accident attorneys have championed the rights of numerous accident victims. No matter how complex your case is, we will stand by your side and ensure that your rights are protected.
We only take on claims we truly believe in and there is no charge unless we win your car accident claim. Contact us now to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation.
In addition to Mishawaka our attorneys serve Fishers, Carmel, Greenwood, Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Anderson, Avon, Hammond, Gary, Highland, Munster, East Chicago, Portage, Lawrence, Hobart, Richmond, and more.