If you’ve had the misfortune to get involved in a car accident in Portage, Indiana, then you’ll understand the importance of hiring a Portage car accident lawyer to help you navigate the next steps.
Sadly, accidents can happen in many ways here in Portage, Indiana. Maybe you’ve been t-boned at the intersection of Central Avenue and Hamstrom Road after picking up your child at Kyle Elementary School, or you’ve been on your way home from shopping at the Portage Resale Shop and been sideswiped by an aggressive driver merging onto I-90. You may even have been rear-ended on I-94 by a distracted driver on the way to catch a flight out from the Gary/Chicago International Airport.
These are all real-life scenarios that can affect other drivers, disrupting lives. It’s not just the immediate aftermath that you have to deal with — auto accidents can have far-ranging effects. These can include the cost of repairs to your car if your insurer won’t pay the full amount, medical expenses, which can continue into the long term, and even loss of earnings if you have to take time off work.
If you’ve been involved in an accident, then know that a car accident attorney in Portage will help you through the process of gaining the compensation you deserve, step by step.
SLG Accident Attorneys have a trusted track record of gaining compensation for clients who have been involved in car accidents. From navigating state law to dealing with insurance companies, we can advocate on your behalf so that you get the compensation you deserve. It’s our day-to-day business, so you can be assured that your compensation is in safe hands.
Alarming Amount of Car Crashes in Porter County Every Year
As car accident lawyers in Portage, Indiana, we know that it’s an unfortunate fact of life that car crashes are commonplace in Porter County. According to Indiana Crash Facts 2020, in 2020, there were 4,161 collisions in Porter County. Speeding accounted for 425 of these collisions. Tragically, out of these accidents, 19 were fatal.
What’s more, Porter ranked ninth place in the county rankings for the total number of collisions during the year, meaning it’s one of the riskiest places for car accidents.
In neighboring Madison County, Illinois, the total number of accidents for the same period was 3,400, 15 of these being fatal, with the county coming in at twelfth position. A total of 182 of these accidents were due to speeding.
To give you an idea of how many people were affected by accidents in these localities, the statistics show that 6,654 individuals were involved in collisions in Porter County in 2020 and that 405 received incapacitating injuries.
In Madison County, 5,149 people were involved in vehicle accidents, and 393 of these received incapacitating injuries.
These figures demonstrate the seriousness of the issue in our local area — in fact, the chances are that you or someone you know has, at some point, been affected by a vehicle accident.
Factors Contributing to Accidents in Portage, Indiana
There are many reasons and factors behind the vast number of car accidents occurring in Portage, Indiana. In this next section our Portage car accident attorneys take a look at the most common causes of collisions on our roads.
Getting Too Close to the Vehicle in Front
When a driver fails to leave enough room between their vehicle and the car in front, they risk having an accident. This can happen if the car in front applies its brakes suddenly. Unfortunately, tailgating is a common occurrence in Porter County, particularly during busy periods on the road.
Failing to Yield Right of Way
If you’re a safe driver who respects the rules of the road, you may assume that other drivers are the same — this is not always the case. When another driver fails to yield the right of way, this can easily lead to an accident, even if you’re a careful and respectful driver.
Switching Lanes in an Unsafe Manner
Switching lanes safely requires care and attention. When a driver switches lanes suddenly or without warning other motorists by omitting to use their signal or failing to check their blind spot, then a car accident is likely to take place.
Losing Control of the Vehicle
As a driver, you should be in control of your vehicle at all times. Drivers may lose control of their vehicle if they’re traveling too fast, distracted, or under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Any of these situations can lead to a collision.
Distracted driving is defined as any action that takes the driver’s focus away from driving their vehicle safely. This can happen for a variety of reasons, for example, checking a cell phone, eating or drinking at the wheel, or being distracted by checking out what’s happening on the other side of the road.
Driving under the Influence
Driving under the influence refers to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs so that your judgment is impaired. Substances such as these can have a significant impact on how a driver handles their vehicle, slowing reaction times and inciting them to take risks. All too often, this behavior leads to accidents, which can often involve incapacitating injuries or even death.
If you have been injured in an accident and require legal counsel, reach out to a car accident attorney in Portage, Indiana, from our law firm today.
What Are Indiana’s Car Accident Laws?
The first thing to understand about Indiana’s car accident laws is that Indiana is an at-fault state. This means that the driver found to be at fault for the accident should be responsible for paying damages.
So, if you’ve been injured in a car accident and the other driver was found to be at fault, you may claim compensation for your injuries. Unlike no-fault states, the scope is not limited, so you may claim for:
- Medical expenses
- Damage to property
- Loss of earnings
- Pain and suffering
However, you should also know that there is a limited time period in which you can file your claim for compensation — this is referred to as the Indiana statute of limitations. In Indiana, this means you or your Portage car accident lawyer can file a personal injury lawsuit within a period of two years after the date of the accident.
You should also know about the comparative fault rules in Indiana. This means that you may not claim personal injuries if you are found to be 51 percent or more at fault.
If you are considered to be partially at fault, then the compensation awarded to you will be reduced in proportion to your amount of fault.
For example, if you were hit by a speeding car while turning out of an intersection, yet you failed to use your signal, then you may be considered to be 20 percent at fault for the accident. Therefore, you would only receive 80 percent of the total amount of compensation incurred.
To understand the rules around compensation and understand exactly how they could affect your case, the best course of action is to consult an experienced car accident attorney in Portage.
Who Can Be Held Responsible for Your Car Collision in Portage, Indiana?
If you’ve experienced a car accident in Portage, Indiana, you may assume that the other driver was at fault.
While this is often the case, know that other parties may be at fault for your accident. These are the parties who could be deemed to be at fault for your accident:
- The other driver: In many cases, the other driver is found to be at fault because of speeding, driving under the influence, driving while distracted, failing to yield the right of way, or other types of negligence.
- An employer: If the other driver was performing their regular work duties when the accident took place, then their employer may be held liable for damages — for instance, if they failed to maintain the vehicle or hired an individual without properly checking their suitability for the task.
- A mechanic: If a mechanic has worked on a car that was subsequently involved in an accident and their standard of work was found to be a factor, then the mechanic could be held liable.
- A car manufacturer: A car manufacturer may be deemed responsible for an accident if a mechanical or other type of defect is found with a vehicle involved.
In the case of multi-vehicle accidents or chain reaction accidents where three or more vehicles collide as a result of an initial collision, apportioning fault can be complex.
In some cases, for example, if the driver of one car were checking their cell phone while driving and collided with a second car, which in turn was shunted forward and crashed into a third car, then the first driver would be at fault.
However, if a driver gets distracted and rear-ends the person in front, who was traveling too close to the person in front of them, leading to another collision, then the fault may be apportioned between the first two drivers.
What Types of Portage Car Accidents Does Your Law Firm Cover?
The Portage car accident lawyers at SLG Accident Attorneys are experienced at fighting for compensation for their clients for a wide range of car accidents.
These are some of the most common types of car accidents our legal team in Portage, IN, deal with on behalf of our clients:
- Head-on collisions
- Wrong way accidents
- Side collisions
- Rear-end collisions
- Muli-vehicle accidents
- Intersection accidents
- Hit-and-run accidents
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists
- Single vehicle crashes
Rest assured that whatever variety of vehicle accidents you’ve been involved in, and whether you’ve suffered injury to yourself or damage to property, SLG Accident Attorneys will work hard to get you the compensation you deserve.
Dealing with the Insurance Companies After a Crash in Portage, Indiana
The insurance company of the driver at fault for the accident is responsible for compensating you for damages.
Unfortunately, it’s not always that simple, as insurance companies will often try to get out of paying claims.
That’s why you need to know what to do when dealing with insurance companies after an accident — follow these tips from our experienced car accident attorneys in Portage, to know more:
DO keep a dossier of evidence about the accident: This should include the police report, photos of the site, medical records to show the extent of your injuries and any subsequent treatment, and proof of loss of earnings. It’s also useful to keep a diary of any physical or emotional consequences of the accident.
DON’T give a statement to the insurance company: If you receive a call from the other party’s insurance company soon after the accident to ask a few simple questions, don’t be tempted to divulge anything. This may be used against you at a further point to attribute fault or play down your injuries.
DO stay away from social media: Be careful not to post any information on social media that could jeopardize your claim, for example, details about your injuries or what you intend to do with your compensation money.
DO get full medical treatment: Even if your insurance doesn’t cover the full treatment you need to recover from your injuries, make sure you get the medical attention you need — this may be reimbursed once your claim is settled.
DON’T give your full medical records: The other party’s insurance company may request your full medical records. Do not hand these over, as they may try to claim that your injuries are pre-existing. Know that you are only obliged to hand over medical records relating directly to the injuries sustained in the accident.
DON’T accept the first offer: The insurance company will likely give you an initial offer that is lower than the amount you deserve. Don’t be tempted to take it, as it will be highly unlikely to reflect the true extent of your suffering and loss.
DO consult a Portage car accident lawyer: They will have the skills to negotiate a settlement on your behalf. A great attorney will have the confidence and experience to deal with insurance companies and know what constitutes a fair offer of compensation for your injuries and loss.
How Much Is My Portage Car Accident Worth?
Our Portage car accident lawyers are often asked “how much is my car accident settlement in Indiana worth?” The compensation you will receive for injuries and other losses sustained in a car accident will depend on a number of different factors — there’s no average amount as every case is different.
Your compensation may relate to economic damages and/or non-economic damages. Economic damages refer to losses that can be calculated to a precise amount, for example, medical costs, vehicle repairs, and loss of earnings.
Non-economic damages don’t come with a specific price tag, so include things like pain and suffering and mental anguish.
A number of factors will be taken into account to calculate the amount of compensation you are due. These include:
- How many people were involved in the accident
- The type of injuries you sustained, how severe they were, and how long their effects lasted
- Current and ongoing medical expenses
- Need for additional care or therapy
- When you can safely return to work, if at all possible
- The amount of insurance the negligent party has
- What kind of insurance coverage you have
- Whether you are partially at fault for the accident
An experienced Portage car accident attorney can help you fight for the compensation you deserve, taking all these factors into account.
What to Do If You Are From Out of State and Get in a Crash in Portage, Indiana
Being involved in any car accident can be stressful and unpleasant, but even more so if you are involved in an out-of-state crash.
In many cases, the legal authority dealing with the crash will reside in the state where it took place. However, this can mean complications and challenges for you if you are from out of state.
So, for example, if you live in Illinois or Michigan and commute to Indiana, where the crash occurred, the laws of Indiana will apply. This is why you need to hire a local car accident lawyer in Portage who is familiar with local laws and insurance rules.
Whatever the circumstances of your car accident, be sure to take the following actions:
- Get medical attention, even if your injuries appear minor
- Inform the local police and request a copy of the accident report
- Take photos of the scene and get contact details of any witnesses
- Contact your insurance company, but be sure to stick to the simple facts
- Hire a car accident attorney local to the state where the accident occurred to help you navigate through the next steps
If you’d like to explore this topic in more depth, take a look at our section on out-of-state jurisdiction to help you understand more.
Portage, IN, is a thriving city in Porter County, home to the Indiana Dunes National Park and nestling on the banks of Lake Michigan.
Just 40 miles southeast of Chicago, it enjoys excellent transport links and has many attractions and services both for residents and people visiting or commuting from neighboring states.
These include Reeder’s Auto Service Center, a local auto repair service family-owned and operated for 60 years. Specializing in all areas of auto repair, they’re a company you can trust with your vehicle.
You’ll also find Portage Tire and Auto Service, your one-stop shop for anything relating to tires or auto service. Conveniently located at Scottsdale Street, the team will be happy to source the exact tire you need or carry out a range of auto repairs.
And you’ll get a warm welcome at Genuine Tire and Complete Auto, where you can enjoy a full range of auto maintenance and repair services. If you’re a commuter, you’ll appreciate the after-hours drop-off service for your convenience.
Knowledgeable Car Accident Lawyer in Portage, Indiana
There’s no need to navigate the minefield of compensation for your car accident alone. With a focus on quality, excellence, and getting our clients the compensation they deserve, you can rely on SLG Accident Attorneys to fight your corner. Reach out to our car accident lawyers in Portage, Indiana, for a free initial consultation to know more about how we can help you get the payout and peace of mind that’s due.
In addition to Portage, Indiana, some of the locations we serve includes Fishers, Carmel, Noblesville, Greenwood, Indianapolis, Avon, Anderson, Munster, Hammond, Gary, East Chicago, Highland, Fort Wayne, Lawrence, and more.
ADDITIONAL CAR ACCIDENT RESOURCES