There are so many ways for car accidents in Richmond, Indiana, to happen, but they all have one thing in common: they can leave you with a serious injury. And if you’re hurt due to someone else’s carelessness, you might have a compensation claim. Because what happens if you can’t work or attend school for a few weeks after the crash? Or if you’re left with a devastating, chronic condition? This is where an experienced Richmond car accident lawyer can help.

For example, you might be having a great day, shopping at the Richmond Mall. You leave the parking lot and you’re T-boned by a driver who is too busy texting to watch the road. Or, maybe you’re coming home from a long day at Earlham College. You merge onto the U.S. 40 and you’re broadsided by an aggressive driver.  

At SLG Accident Attorneys, our car accident attorneys in Richmond, Indiana, know how significant a car crash can be. And while we can’t truly understand just how stressful the ordeal was for you, we can do everything possible to make it right. 

Increasing Risk of Car Crashes in Richmond, Indiana 

Richmond, Indiana, takes road safety seriously. As a city, we take pride in our local community. Unfortunately, despite this community spirit, we still have a high number of car accidents each year. And careless driving, such as speeding, plays a significant role in these crashes. 

For example, in 2020, Wayne County saw 151 speed-related crashes. Of those, one crash was fatal – which is simply one fatality too many. Other factors that contribute to crashes in Richmond include:

  • High traffic volumes on the I-70, U.S. 27 and U.S. 40
  • Presence of large schools, such as Earlham College, Indiana University East, Ivy Tech College of Indiana, and Purdue Polytechnic Institute 
  • The large number of students makes teen and young person accidents more likely 

When to Call a Richmond Car Accident Lawyer 

Do you always need an attorney? Not necessarily. However, it’s recommended that you do seek legal advice to receive financial compensation after a crash.

Without legal support, insurance companies may take advantage of the situation. They may try to settle quickly and offer a small sum to move matters along. If you accept this offer without getting legal advice, you could risk out on compensation you deserve. And by then, it’s too late to claim further damages. 

It’s hard to value what your claim is truly worth if you lack experience in injury law. For example, you can often claim for medical bills, therapy, lost income, lost potential earnings, and pain and suffering. A Richmond car accident lawyer can accurately value your claim to ensure you are fully compensated. When in doubt, call our team.

Important Steps to Take After a Car Accident in Richmond, Indiana 

To protect your legal rights after a crash, take the following steps: 

  • Get emergency medical assistance if required.
  • Report the accident to the Richmond police. Your accident report can help to prove what happened.
  • Exchange insurance information with the other driver(s) involved.
  • Take pictures and/or videos of the accident scene, including any property damage and bodily injuries. 
  • Seek a medical evaluation, even if you don’t feel unwell.
  • Report the accident to the insurance company to start the claims process. 
  • Contact a Richmond car accident attorney to discuss your legal rights. 

Why Seeking Medical Treatment After Your Accident Is Crucial 

There are various reasons why you should seek early medical treatment after a car crash in Richmond, Indiana, particularly from a legal perspective. 

  •  Your injuries are critical to your car accident case. They form the basis of the damages you can claim. If you don’t seek medical treatment, you won’t have medical records to prove the extent of your injuries. 
  • The at-fault party might question why you delayed seeking treatment for your injuries. They may also try to argue that you sustained the injuries at another time. 
  • Similarly, the at-fault party may try to persuade the court that your condition pre-dated the accident. Your attorney can use medical records from your accident to show that this is not the case. 

What if you feel okay and don’t have visible injuries? Even if you feel fine after a crash, you should always get a medical opinion. Some sinister injuries, such as head trauma or internal damage, take hours or even days to develop. If you don’t seek medical care, you risk a delayed diagnosis, which could cause you further harm. 

If you’re unsure where to turn for medical help, our Richmond car accident lawyers can explain how to seek the medical care you deserve. 

Investigating the Causes of Car Wrecks in Richmond, Indiana 

There are as many possible causes of car crashes as there are accidents. Each case turns entirely on its own facts. However, the most common causes of car accidents in Richmond, Indiana are:

  • Careless driving: Careless driving includes speeding, running red lights, and changing lanes without checking it’s safe to move. 
  • Distracted driversDistracted driving is anything that takes your attention from the road, such as texting, eating, smoking, or turning around to talk to passengers. Distractions take the focus away from operating the vehicle. 
  • Drugs or alcohol: Drugs and alcohol impair judgment and vehicle control. They make it harder to spot and react to dangers. 
  • Fatigue: Driving exhausted means slower reaction times or even falling asleep behind the wheel.
  • Inexperience: Teen or young drivers may overestimate their driving abilities. They may fail to anticipate hazards, and they could be more easily distracted than experienced drivers.
  • Lack of maintenance: Failing to perform routine maintenance, such as tire pressure checks, can lead to blowouts, skidding, and brake failure. 

Sometimes, it’s not the other driver who is at fault. It can be a car safety fault, such as a faulty airbag, that causes the crash. Product liability claims are complicated, but our car accident attorneys in Richmond, Indiana, can help. 

Types of Car Accidents in Richmond 

Just as there are numerous reasons why car accidents occur, there are various types of car crashes. Some are more serious than others, but they all have the potential to cause severe – or even fatal – injuries. Common types of car accidents include:

Accidents range in severity from minor fender benders to fatal, multi-car pileups.

How Indiana Car Accident Laws Impact Your Claim 

To claim damages for a car accident in Richmond, Indiana, you must show four things:

  • Another party owed you a duty of care. This is a legal responsibility to behave in a way that shows due regard for the safety and welfare of others. All drivers, for example, owe other road users a duty of care.
  • The other party breached this duty of care. In other words, they behaved negligently by speeding, driving distracted, or breaking another driving law. 
  • You were injured in a crash or accident on the road, or you suffered other losses, e.g., property damage. 
  • The losses occurred due to the other party’s negligence. In other words, had the other party exercised due care and attention, you would not have been harmed.

You’ll notice the implication here is that someone must be at fault, or responsible for your losses, in order to sue them. This is where Indiana’s car accident laws, and how they apportion blame, are relevant. 

Comparative Negligence and Car Accidents in Richmond, Indiana

Indiana is a “fault” state for civil lawsuits, including car accident claims. This means that whoever caused the crash is responsible for compensating the injured party. It’s not always immediately obvious who caused a crash, however. And in many cases, it’s not just one driver’s fault. Two (or even more) parties could share the blame for the crash. 

Does this mean that you can’t claim compensation if you’re partly at fault? Not necessarily. It all comes down to how large your share of the blame is. Liability is determined under what are known as Indiana’s comparative fault rules. 

As Richmond car accident lawyers, we know these rules can be complex. However, the general position is as follows. 

  •  Comparative fault laws in Indiana are a type of modified fault system. The courts award damages based on a person’s degree of fault. 
  • Degrees of fault are reflected as percentages. So, for example, a defendant could be 70% responsible if they are mostly to blame. Or they might only be 10% responsible if they are only marginally to blame. 
  • Your damages are awarded – or reduced – based on your degree of fault. Meaning, if you’re 10% responsible, your damages are reduced by 10% of the total value. 

Comparative negligence laws mean that more than one person can be liable for an accident. This is a common scenario. The difficulty, then, is determining who is at fault and also their degree of responsibility. Our legal team is experienced in handling comparative negligence claims. We can identify who caused your crash and how this may impact your damages. 

What Happens If the Car Crash Happens Out of State? 

This is a common question, given we share a border with Ohio. From a legal perspective, the laws regarding out-of-state accident jurisdiction can be nuanced. Claims may involve presenting detailed evidence to show specifically on which side of the border an accident occurred.

For our purposes, though, the main rule is this: if your accident occurs in Indiana, then Indiana state rules apply. And if it happened in Ohio, then Ohio laws apply. Meaning, it doesn’t usually matter where you live or whether you’re just passing through the state. You’re bound by the laws of the state in which the accident occurred. 

What does this mean for any insurance claim? As we’ve discussed, Indiana follows a fault-based system. You should file an insurance claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company. However, it’s not recommended that you accept an offer to settle until you seek legal advice. Otherwise, you risk settling for less than you deserve. Our Richmond car accident attorneys are standing by, waiting to assist.

Richmond, Indiana 

Every car crash in Richmond, IN, is completely unique. If you’re unfortunate enough to be in a crash, it can be overwhelming to know where to turn. As Richmond car accident lawyers, we know how to help our clients find the services they require. In the meantime, here are some helpful service providers you may wish to contact after a crash. 

  • Beach Automotive Service, Inc.: Need car or truck repairs in Richmond, IN? The Beach Automotive Service, Inc.. team offers reliable repair services at affordable prices, and you can either call in advance or visit the garage to make an appointment,
  • Elstro Auto: Serving Richmond customers since 2011, Elstro Auto offers a variety of vehicle maintenance and repair services. It’s a family-owned shop with community ties and prides itself on quality workmanship. 
  • Richmond State Hospital: Car accidents may leave victims with psychological and emotional injuries. Sometimes, the trauma can be severe. Richmond State Hospital provides quality psychiatric services to help patients recover and find strength. The team gives hope to those in need and provides a safe space for patients to heal.

Need further assistance? Our lawyers are always happy to help.

Auto Accident Law Firm in Richmond, Indiana

Our experienced Richmond car accident attorneys know what it takes to win accident and injury cases. We will listen to what happened, determine if you have a claim and, if so, we’ll fight to get you the compensation you deserve. SLG Accident Attorneys will champion your legal rights and present the strongest possible case in your favor. And as we work on a contingency fee basis, we don’t charge anything unless we win your case. 

To schedule a free case evaluation with a car accident attorney in Richmond, Indiana, contact SLG Accident Attorneys today. 

In addition to Richmond our attorneys serve FishersCarmelGreenwoodIndianapolisFort WayneAndersonAvonHammondGaryHighlandMunsterEast ChicagoPortageLawrence, Mishawaka, Hobart, and more.