What Is My Indianapolis Car Accident Claim Worth?

March 5, 2024 | Car Accidents

At Fountain Law Firm, P.C., one of the most common questions we receive is, “How much is my case worth?” While we would love to offer a specific answer such as $100,000 or $250,000, this is simply impossible. Every case is unique. Specific factors can influence the potential value of the claim. 

For these reasons, we do not promise our clients that their case is worth a specific dollar amount. However, we can use our years of knowledge and experience handling Indianapolis car accident cases to give you a better idea about what reasonable compensation might look like for you. You can learn more by calling us today and requesting a free case review. 

Who Is Responsible for Paying for My Damages Following an Indianapolis Car Accident? 

Indiana uses a comparative fault-based system for car accidents. This means that the party responsible for causing an accident is also financially responsible for paying for the harm they caused to the extend of their fault.

In the case of car accidents, the injured party usually files a liability claim with the at-fault party’s insurance provider. 

How Car Accident Claims Work 

In Indiana, all drivers are required to maintain minimum liability insurance that pays for damages caused by their negligence. This includes:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury or death to one person
  • $50,000 for bodily injury or death to more than one person
  • $25,000 for property damage

These are only the minimum insurance amounts. Consumers can purchase higher amounts of insurance to protect them. If your damages, the losses you suffer because of the accident, are greater than the insurance coverage available, an attorney may be able to find additional coverage.

After a car accident, the injured party notifies the at-fault party’s insurance provider of the accident and files a claim. The insurance company then assigns an adjuster to the case who investigates the accident and determines if the accident is covered under the policy. If it is, the insurance company can make an offer to settle the case or respond to the at-fault party’s demand letter. 

It is important to keep in mind that the insurance adjuster works for the insurance company. Their job revolves around minimizing claims as much as possible to protect the insurance company’s profits. They want to settle your case for as little money as possible. This is the case even if you are dealing with your own insurance provider, such as if you were hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver. 

The insurance company may offer you a quick settlement in hopes that you will accept it before you have the chance to consult with an experienced car accident lawyer who can advise you on what your claim is worth. Once an accident victim agrees to settle a claim, they forfeit the right to seek additional compensation from the insurance company, even if they later discover their injuries were less than they intended or they receive unexpected bills. This is why it is crucial to work with a skilled Indianapolis car accident lawyer. 

Types of Damages in Indianapolis Car Accident Cases 

The potential value of your case is tied directly to the damages you suffered in the accident. Damages generally fall under two categories: economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages are losses that have a direct financial effect on you, while non-economic damages are those that do not. 

An experienced car accident lawyer can help identify the damages you suffered in the accident and what they are worth, including:

Medical Expenses

Medical bills stemming from a car accident can be daunting, sometimes even leading to accident victims filing bankruptcy. These expenses may make a primary component of a personal injury claim. Immediate medical expenses may include:

  • Ambulance charges
  • Emergency room treatment
  • Hospital stays
  • Surgeries
  • Diagnostic tests
  • Anesthesia costs
  • Pain medication 
  • Medical devices, such as a brace or crutches

Accident victims may continue to incur additional medical expenses as they recover, such as:

  • Follow-up visits with primary care physicians
  • Specialist visits
  • Rehabilitation expenses
  • Therapy costs 
  • Nursing care
  • In-home care

In cases involving serious injuries or disabilities, accident victims must consider their permanent impairment.

Lost Income 

Another substantial component of a personal injury claim may be for lost income. Accident victims may need to miss work to recover or attend medical appointments. They can seek compensation for losses such as:

  • Lost wages and salaries
  • Lost tips, overtime pay, commissions, and bonuses
  • Sick time, PTO, and other employment benefits they had to use because of the accident
  • Decreases in pay caused by having to work part-time or on light duty while they recovered

If you are permanently disabled and unable to return to your same job or any type of work, an economic expert may need to estimate the long-term reduction in your earning capacity by considering factors, such as your:

  • Age and health 
  • Education
  • Profession and industry
  • Job skills and record of promotions 
  • Employment history

Property Damage

Your vehicle was likely damaged in the accident. You can seek compensation for the costs to repair or replace it, whichever is less. If the Fountain Law Firm represents you for your personal injury claim, they will help maximizing your vehicle settlement at no fee.

Out-of-Pocket Expenses

You may incur additional out-of-pocket expenses because of the accident, including:

  • Rental car expenses
  • Rideshare, public transportation, and other alternative transportation expenses
  • Over-the-counter supplies and medications 
  • Insurance co-pays
  • Deductibles 

Your lawyer can help identify all of the losses you suffered in the accident and help document them.

Pain and Suffering 

Pain and suffering includes the physical, mental, and emotional pain, suffering, anguish, and distress you experience because of the accident. It can be difficult to attach any particular number to these losses, so it’s important to work with an experienced car accident lawyer who can fight for the compensation you deserve. 

Lost Quality of Life 

Accident victims may be negatively affected by the accident and their injuries. They may have activities that they can no longer participate in. They can seek compensation for these and other losses.


In addition to the earnings lost, car accident victims who suffer from disabilities may be able to obtain additional compensation for the negative impact that having a disability will likely have on their future. 

Disfigurement and Scarring 

Some injuries such as amputations or burns can cause permanent disfigurement or scarring. Accident victims can pursue a claim for compensation for these effects. 

Loss of Companionship  

Loved ones who have had a relative die or are permanently disabled in a car accident may have a separate claim for loss of consortium and companionship. 

Remember, the insurance company will try to minimize each of these damages to reduce your overall compensation. An experienced Indianapolis car accident lawyer will try to fight for maximum compensation on your behalf.

Evidence to Prove Your Damages 

Because the insurance company will try to minimize your claim, your car accident lawyer will work closely with you to determine all of the damages you have sustained and have a right to recover compensation for. Your lawyer can work to obtain evidence to support your damages claim, including:

  • Medical records and bills
  • Wage loss statements, paystubs, and tax returns
  • Car repair invoices or estimates
  • Receipts, bills, and invoices
  • Testimony from doctors, economists, and other experts
  • Pain journal entries

Factors That Can Affect the Value of Your Claim 

Besides the value of the damages you suffered, many other factors can affect the value of your claim, whether upward or downward. Some of these include:

Insurance Coverage Available 

The amount of available insurance can directly impact the value of your claim. Even if you suffered a million dollars worth of damages, you may be limited to the amount of insurance available. If the at-fault driver did not have more than the minimum insurance, they may not have sufficient assets to pay for your damages, and it might not be worth suing them. 

Your car accident lawyer can look at all possible sources of compensation after an accident. More than one driver may be at fault. Or, one of the at-fault parties may have been working or drinking, and there may be other people who are considered legally responsible for the accident. Your lawyer will try to maximize your recovery. 

Whether You Contributed to the Accident 

If it is determined that you partially contributed to the accident, your claim value can be reduced proportionately to your degree of fault. If you are found to have been 51% or more at fault for the accident, you will be barred from recovering any compensation for the accident under Indiana’s modified comparative fault system.

The Severity of Your Injuries

Generally, the more severe your injuries, the higher your potential settlement value. 

The Duration of Your Recovery

The amount of time it takes you to heal from your injuries, if ever, can also impact the potential value of your claim. 

Whether You Work with a Lawyer 

Working with an experienced car accident lawyer can help. An experienced lawyer will know the evidence necessary to establish your claim, what to do and not to do following an accident, and how to fight for maximum compensation. 

Estimating the Value of Your Claim 

Once all of the damages described above are calculated and the additional factors are weighed, your car accident lawyer and the insurance company may estimate the value of your claim. Remember, insurance companies want to minimize the amount they pay out in claims. Your lawyer wants to maximize your recovery so you have the resources you need after your life is altered because of someone else’s negligence. 

There are many different ways to estimate the value of your claim. For example, insurance companies might use a multiplier method, per diem method, or formula to calculate your pain and suffering. Your lawyer will fight for the method that will best appropriately compensate you for your injuries. 


How Much Does a Car Accident Lawyer Cost? 

Some car accident victims are worried about whether they can afford to hire a lawyer after they were unexpectedly injured in a car accident. At Fountain Law Firm, P.C., we understand how difficult and uncertain this time can be in your life, and we are here to help. We offer our services on a contingency fee basis, so you pay nothing upfront. We get paid as a portion of any recovery we can make on your behalf.

Do I Need a Car Accident Lawyer?

If you have suffered injuries in a car accident, you need a car accident lawyer. A car accident lawyer can handle your claim while you focus on your recovery. They can investigate your case to determine who is at fault and fight to recover the maximum compensation available for your claim. They can also gather evidence to support your claim and negotiate with insurance companies.

How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Lawsuit? 

Indiana’s statute of limitations imposes a two-year deadline on most car accident cases. This means that you must file your personal injury lawsuit within two years of the date of the accident, or you can lose your right to recover compensation through the courts. Protect your rights by contacting a skilled car accident lawyer today.  It is important to obtain a consultation soon after the collision to ensure that you do not do anything to jeopardize your legal rights.

You should not wait until the two year deadline to contact a lawyer.

Schedule Your Free Consultation With An Indianapolis Car Accident Lawyer Today 

At Fountain Law Firm, P.C., we know what it’s like to be injured in a car accident. Merry Fountain founded our firm after she was injured in a car accident. We advocate for our client’s best interests and work to maximize your compensation so that you will have the resources you need to rebuild your life after it is derailed because of someone else’s negligent actions. You can learn more about how we can help when you contact us for a free case review.