Being injured in a car accident can be an extremely stressful, traumatic experience. If you have suffered significant
injuries from a car accident in Valparaiso, you may be unsure where to turn.
Hiring a Valparaiso car accident injury lawyer is a wise step to take after a complicated, serious accident. Your
attorney can guide you through the compensation process and take the responsibility off your shoulders while you
recover. They can use their legal experience and knowledge to improve your case outcomes.
At Worthley Law, our attorneys, Mark and Tara Worthley, have extensive experience across a range of legal practice
areas. We can help you navigate your car accident, receive adequate compensation, and begin moving forward from this
Contact us today at 219-575-8565 to seek assistance.
Indiana Car Accident Statistics
Unfortunately, car accidents are all too common throughout Indiana. Here are a few surprising Indiana car accident statistics
to keep in mind:
- Indiana traffic fatalities increased by 7.5% in 2021.
- 4,684 accident victims experienced incapacitating injuries in 2021 — the highest number in more than ten years.
- 246 speeding-related fatalities occurred in 2021.
- 134 motorcycle fatalities occurred in 2021, of which 50 were unhelmeted drivers.
- 117 pedestrians died from motor vehicle accidents in 2021.
- The seatbelt usage rate in 2021 reached a low of 92.9% compared to the previous four years.
Indiana is considering a 2023 Highway Safety Plan to increase the number of law enforcement phlebotomists on patrol,
with hopes of collecting stronger evidence for drug-impaired driving collisions.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
When the police arrive at the scene of a car accident, they attempt to determine the cause of the accident. Identifying
the cause is the first step in determining who is at fault.
Accidents can result from a range of causes. A few of the most common include the following:
- Distracted driving: Distracted driving is a leading cause of car accidents, claiming over 3,100
lives in 2020 alone. Drivers can become distracted by their phones, passengers, the radio, events outside the
car, and a range of other activities.
- Speeding: When drivers exceed the posted speed limit, they often do not give themselves enough
time to stop suddenly or evaluate the traffic around them before making decisions.
- Inclement weather: Inclement weather often causes car accidents. Driving in icy, wet,
low-visibility conditions can lead drivers to lose control of their vehicles or merge into other drivers or
- Drunk driving: Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can impair one’s decision-making
abilities and reaction time, leading to accidents.
- Failure to follow traffic laws: Actions like running intersections, failing to yield, not using
turn signals, and other violations of traffic laws can easily cause accidents.
- Night driving: Many car accidents happen at night, when visibility is worse and drivers may be
- Reckless driving: Failing to consider the traffic and conditions around them is another reason
drivers cause accidents.
If another driver was at fault for the accident, you may be able to claim compensation.
Common Car Accident Injuries
Car accidents can lead to injuries ranging from mild to severe. The mildest injuries can include minor scrapes, bruises,
and sore muscles. In the worst cases, car accident victims can experience the following injuries:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injury
- Internal bleeding
- Loss of limbs
If your accident led to severe injuries, you’re probably facing steep medical bills. Our attorneys can help you seek
compensation for your damages and navigate this process.
Determining Fault in a Car Accident
Before you can seek compensation after a motor vehicle accident, you must prove that another driver was primariy at
fault for your accident.
At the scene of the accident, the police officer present mayattempt to determine who was at fault. They may analyze the
positions of the vehicles, take statements from you and any other drivers involved, talk to witnesses, and review
footage from security cameras.
The insurance company will also try to determine fault. An insurance company does not want to be financially responsible
for an accident their policyholder did not cause. While normally the at-fault driver is responsible for paying damages,
this oftent does not come without a fight.
Indiana is a comparative fault state, which means that more than one party can be responsible for an accident. Your
percentage of responsibility can affect your compensation amount. In order to recover, the other parties involve must
be greater than 50% at fault than your fault.
For example, let’s say another driver ran a red light, striking your vehicle at the intersection. However, evidence
shows that you were driving 10 miles per hour over the speed limit at the time of the accident.
While you didn’t fully cause the crash,the at-fault driver may try to allege you were partially at fault.. The at-fault
driver’s insurance company may attempt to say that you were 30% at fault for the collision, while the other driver was
70% responsible. As a result, trying to reduce your compensation amount by 30%.
If you believe the insurance company has unfairly placed negligence on you, our Valparaiso car accident injury lawyer
can help. We’ve helped numerous car accident victims throughout Indiana seek compensation, and we can put our skills to
work to fight for your rights.
How to Seek Compensation After a Car Accident
Car accidents can create expensive bills. You may have steep medical bills due to your physical injury, pricey car
repair costs, lost wages, and other expenses resulting from the crash.
If you were not more than 50% at fault for the accident, you can claim compensation. (If you were more than 50% at
fault, you can submit a claim through your own insurance company, depending on your coverage).
The two main ways to seek compensation in a car accident case are through an insurance claim and legal action.
Within a few days of the accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance company should contact you to obtain details about
the case. Having an attorney on your side at all times can be highly beneficial. Your lawyer can help you negotiate with
the insurance company, fight its decision, and seek additional funds. If the insurer refuses to budge, your attorney can
help you take legal action. You should take caution when communicating with the insurance company on your own and should
contact an attorney before you agree to give any statements Be sure to avoid any statements that could be taken as
The insurance company may ask for evidence of your damages, such as:
- The accident report
- An estimate of your vehicle repair costs
- Your medical bills and documentation
- Medical evidence that you are unable to work, if applicable
Insurance companies are in the business of making money, not being generous. The at-fault driver’s insurer will likely
lowball you to reduce its costs.
The other way to seek compensation after a car crash is through a civil lawsuit. You can sue the at-fault driver or
their insurance company.
If the insurer has already provided sufficient funds for your case, you may not have a reason to take legal action.
These are a few instances in which a lawsuit may be necessary:
- The insurance company refuses to offer adequate compensation
- The insurance company wants to hold you partially responsible, and you disagree that you were negligent
- The at-fault driver did not have sufficient insurance coverage at the time of the accident
Your attorney can help you determine whether you have a solid legal case and whether a lawsuit would be worth the time
In a civil lawsuit, you can seek compensatory damages to compensate you for the accident. Compensatory damages include
economic and non-economic expenses.
Economic expenses may consist of:
- Medical bills
- Physical damage to your vehicle
- Lost property
- Lost wages
- Loss of ability to work
Non-economic damages may include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress
- Loss of companionship
In rare cases, you may qualify for punitive damages. These damages punish the at-fault driver for especially reckless or
egregious behavior. For example, if the driver was intentionally speeding to test the limits of their vehicle or was
driving under the influence of alcohol, you may consider punitive damages.
Who Should Hire a Car Accident Attorney?
If you come to our practice and we determine you don’t need our legal services, we’ll be upfront with you.
However, many car accident cases warrant professional legal assistance. You may need to hire a lawyer if you:
- Experienced severe injuries and damages
- Are the family member of someone who died from their car accident injuries
- Need help navigating the insurance process
- Are considering taking legal action against the insurer or the at-fault driver
- Disagree with the insurance company’s offer
- To ensure you are treated fairly.
Your car accident attorney can assist with several processes related to your compensation. Specifically, you can rely on
your attorney to:
- Provide legal advice and guidance
- Walk you through the insurance claims process
- Communicate with the insurance company and at-fault driver on your behalf
- Help you negotiate with the insurer
- Represent you in court
Your attorney can take the burden of your accident case off your shoulders, allowing you time to recover from your
About Worthley Law
At Worthley Law, we understand the pain, stress, and suffering that come with being a car accident victim. You shouldn’t
have to deal with the aftermath alone — we’re here to help.
Attorney Mark Worthley founded Worthley Law in 2014 after spending six years as a Deputy Prosecutor in Indiana. Mark
opened his firm with the sole purpose of helping Valparaiso residents. Tara has extensive experience in helping people
injured in Indiana car accidents. She has done this kind of law for the last 17 years, and has been named as an Indiana
Superlawyer between 2018-2023 and was named Northwest Indiana’s Influential Woman in the Law in 2021 by NWIIWA.
With practice areas ranging from personal injury to criminal defense and family law to estates and wills, we have
extensive experience providing qualified legal services across Indiana. We take a hands-on approach to personal injury
cases, doing everything we can to help clients receive sufficient compensation.
You can count on our diligent attorneys to fight on your behalf and help you move forward from your accident. Contact us
today at 219-575-8565 to learn more.