$5 million settlement
We recently won a $5 million settlement for a wrongful death & injury case to survivor due to car crash.
Our Indianapolis car accident lawyers were once defense attorneys … now we use what we learned to help our clients prove their cases.
In March 2022, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a report of motor vehicle crashes that occurred in 2020. According to NHTSA, 38,824 people died on U.S. roads in 2020. This represents a 6.8% increase from the 36,355 fatalities recorded in 2019 and the highest number of fatalities on our roads since 2007.
A financial recovery cannot heal all wounds or restore life to exactly the way it was before the car accident — but it can help you discover and enjoy a hopeful new normal. A financial recovery can ease the expensive burdens caused by overwhelming medical bills, loss of income, and disability. Let our Indianapolis car accident lawyer fight for the compensation you deserve.
Why Choose Us as Your Indianapolis Car Accident Attorneys
Being in a car accident is a frightening and emotionally draining experience, especially if a person sustains major injuries that require significant hospitalization and medical treatment. Families are turned upside down, children are afraid of the changes in their schedules, and medical bills pile up. This is a time when you need experienced and skilled Indianapolis car accident attorneys who are calm, tested, and know how to fight for the maximum payout possible. Here are reasons to choose our law firm:
- Our attorneys possess decades of legal experience.
- We are not afraid to fight aggressively on your behalf.
- We have a winning track record in personal injury cases.
- Our attorneys offer top-notch client service and communicate openly and frequently with the clients we serve.
Attorney Mike Stephenson has 40 years of legal experience and has won many large personal injury claims totaling millions of dollars. He has served as lead trial counsel in more than 100 civil jury trials and has handled litigation in 18 states around the country. State and local polls by peers have listed Mike as one of Indiana’s top lawyers. The legal team at Stephenson Rife also includes Attorney Brady Rife, who prepares each case as though it may be tried in court. We have achieved outstanding case results and many satisfied clients.
At Stephenson Rife, we understand that your family needs to be protected and cared for. If you feel alone and don’t know where to turn, reach out to us. We are here for you. For a free initial consultation, call us at (317) 680-2501.
How We Can Help
There are many ways our Indianapolis car accident lawyer can help clients build a strong car accident claim and secure a significant financial settlement or award. We will:
- Review police and accident reports
- Interview witnesses
- Gather evidence, including surveillance videos, photos, emails, safety records, and other electronic data
- Gather and analyze medical records
- Conduct depositions
- Research applicable statutes and case law
- Hire expert witnesses, if needed
- Draft and file all necessary paperwork with the court
- Negotiate aggressively on your behalf with insurance companies
- Argue your case in court, if needed
Every case is different, but no matter what your circumstances, we will create a legal strategy to help you get the justice you deserve.
Who Pays My Attorney Fees?
Here’s the good news: Our Indianapolis car accident attorneys work on contingency, which means we don’t get paid until you get paid. Our fees are paid by the defendant as part of a settlement agreement or jury award. If for some reason your claim is not successful, then you owe us nothing. To learn more about settlements you can visit our settlement FAQ page.
Hit By a Delivery Truck: D.W.’s Car Wreck Story
Our client D.W. had a harrowing experience when he was hit by a delivery truck. He was sitting in the front seat in a vehicle that was smashed into by a UDF delivery truck. It turned out that the UDF driver had multiple driving violations. Attorney Mike Stephenson retained numerous experts to show the jury the devastating effects of our client’s unique injuries.
Before trial, the defendant’s company stated that a jury in a small southern county in Indiana would never return a verdict for $1 million in this case. The defendant was correct; the verdict was twice that amount.
How Much Money Can I Get from My Car Accident?
There are many different kinds of car accidents, and the amount of damages varies from case to case. It depends on the facts involved and the applicable law. An Indianapolis car accident attorney will tell you that the value of a claim tends to be higher when:
- Injuries are more severe,
- Long-term disabilities are greater,
- Total bills for treatment and rehabilitation are higher, and
- Days and weeks off work are longer
There are some things that could bring down the value of your case, such as evidence that you played a large role in causing the accident or the defendant may have some valid defenses to the claim. Talk to an Indianapolis car accident lawyer at Stephenson Rife to receive a more specific estimate of the value of your case.
Damages You Might Be Entitled To
If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Indiana, you could be entitled to both economic and non-economic damages. These include:
- Medical and rehabilitative costs (current and future)
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of consortium
- Wrongful death.
The amount of your payout will depend on the severity of your injury and the skill of your Indianapolis car accident attorney in negotiating or litigating your claim.
Will My Life Ever Be the Same Again?
You are probably facing unique challenges and struggles right now. Just as no life is the same as another, no accident is the same. Our Indianapolis car accident lawyer will listen to your story, find out what your life was like before the crash, and learn about your current physical limitations and the medical expenses you’ve incurred. Then we will explain your legal options and help you decide what steps to take next.
For a free initial consultation about your case, call an Indianapolis car accident lawyer at Stephenson Rife at (317) 680-2501. We’re here to help.
Car Accident FAQs
The department points out that in 45% of all fatal crashes in 2020, drivers of passenger vehicles were either speeding, drunk, or not wearing seat belts.
Early projections of 2021 traffic fatalities indicate that around 42,915 people died in motor vehicle accidents, representing a 10.5% increase from 2020. This is the highest number of fatalities recorded since 2005. Texas, California, and Florida had the most fatalities (4,573, 4,258, and 3,753, respectively).
Because we’ve represented hundreds of clients who were injured in vehicle crashes, our Indianapolis car accident attorneys hear a lot of the same questions over and over. Here are answers to frequently asked questions:
- Your first priority must be to protect the safety of yourself and your passengers. Call the police to report the accident and to request emergency medical treatment. Even if you don’t think you’ve been injured, you may have delayed symptoms. Some serious injuries are not immediately apparent, so it is best to seek a medical evaluation right away.
- Obtain the names and contact information for others involved in the accident, as well as any people who have witnessed the accident or stopped to assist. Their statements may help you make a successful claim against any negligent parties.
- Do not admit fault or make any comments to bystanders or others involved in the accident.
- If you are able, take photographs of the accident scene, the road, and any markings or debris around the site. Cell-phone cameras are excellent for quickly documenting the circumstances and extent of the damage.
- Contact an Indianapolis car accident attorney to represent you.
Although our offices are in Shelbyville, near Indianapolis, our car accident lawyers serve clients in towns and cities all across the state. In fact, Mike Stephenson has handled litigation in 18 states and is often called upon by attorneys across the nation to assist with their Indiana cases. You’ll find comfort in Mike’s full concentration on your story and his “client first” approach.
Some states are “no-fault” states; however, Indiana has an insurance system based on fault. If you’re an Indiana driver who has been injured or been left with a damaged vehicle after a wreck caused by another driver, you can file a claim under your own insurance policy, pursue a claim against the other driver’s insurance policy, and/or file a lawsuit against the other driver. Mike Stephenson, Indianapolis personal injury attorney, can help you determine the most advisable course of action based upon the circumstances of your accident.
Not always. Many times, car accident claims are settled out of court. The insurance company for the negligent driver may offer a lump sum settlement. Be aware, however, that by accepting the settlement you will have to agree to forfeit your right to make any future claims on account of the accident. Do not accept any payment or sign any release until you have consulted an Indiana personal injury lawyer.
To learn more about how we can help you and your family, call us for a free initial consultation at (317) 680-2501.
Indiana Negligence Laws and Statute of Limitations
Indiana applies the legal theory of modified comparative negligence when determining fault in a car accident case. Also known as the “51% fault” rule, you must be less than 51% at fault for a car crash to file an injury claim. If you are awarded damages for your injuries, the court will reduce your recovery by the percentage of fault that is yours.
For example, if it is determined that you are 30% at fault for a collision and the other party is 70% at fault and the total award is $200,000, then you will receive $140,000 (the total less 30%). The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim in Indiana is two years. (Indiana Code Title 34. Civil Law and Procedure § 34-11-2-4).
The clock starts ticking on the date of your car accident injury.
There May Be a Larger Payout Than You Expect
Stephenson Rife brings a lot of experience to the table. That’s why you should never negotiate with an insurance company on your own — instead, let our skilled attorneys do the negotiating for you. A great example is our client Carla Fausnaugh, a mother of three, who was injured in a vehicle accident that was not her fault. The insurance company initially offered her a settlement of only $1,500 more than her medical expenses for her injuries. After she hired Stephenson Rife, we were able to negotiate a settlement for $35,000 — more than 20 times the original offer.
Severity Of Injuries in Car Accidents
Car accident injuries can range from bruises and cuts to severe burns, paralysis and death. The severity of injuries depends on several factors, including:
- Seat belt use
- The speed of the vehicles
- The weight of the vehicles
- The angle at which a vehicle or object is struck
- The overall health and age of the person injured
Harm can include soft tissue injuries like strains and whiplash, damage to internal organs, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain injuries. If the accident causes a fire, there can also be second- and third-degree burns.
”My sister and I lost our dad our stepmom are two brothers or uncle and almost our nephew in a car accident and and Stevenson Rife attorneys were amazing. I honestly don’t know what I would have done without them and all their good work and hard work. Thanks to everyone in their office forever grateful.” – Christina Swallows (Google Review)
Table Of Contents
- Indianapolis Car Accident Lawyer
- Why Choose Us as Your Indianapolis Car Accident Attorneys
- How We Can Help
- Who Pays My Attorney Fees?
- How Much Money Can I Get from My Car Accident?
- Damages You Might Be Entitled To
- Will My Life Ever Be the Same Again?
- Car Accident FAQs
- Indiana Negligence Laws and Statute of Limitations
- Severity of Injuries in Car Accidents
- Call Our Indianapolis Car Accident Lawyers Today