Indiana’s Modified Comparative Negligence System
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident, you may be wondering whether you have a claim against the other driver. In Indiana, the modified comparative fault rule allows you to file a claim if you or the other driver were less than 51% at fault. It may be the case in an example where a driver aggressively moves to the right to pass a tractor-trailer, rushes through a red light, and T-bones a car in the open lane.
Let’s consider an accident where a driver failed to signal. They would be barred from recovery if the plaintiff was more than 51% at fault. The percentage of fault directly relates to the amount of damages that can be recovered. If the case goes to trial, the percentage of fault in an accident is also important for the court to consider when awarding damages.
The modified comparative fault rule applies to most personal injury cases in Indiana. However, there are exceptions. Because every case is unique, the courts can consider several circumstantial factors when determining the defendant’s and plaintiff’s level of fault.
The modified comparative fault is a complex system, and an experienced law firm is your best bet for guidance. In addition, a knowledgeable attorney can help you understand how the modified comparative fault rule will affect your case. For this reason, if you are injured in a car accident and have questions about your rights, you must talk to an Indianapolis car accident attorney.
The comparative negligence system in Indiana prohibits compensation when the plaintiff is more than 50% at fault for the accident. This law is especially important in personal injury cases because defendants often argue that the injured party contributed to the accident too. Even in cases where a plaintiff shares the fault, an experienced Indiana personal injury attorney can formulate strategies to maximize compensation.
Damages for Injured Drivers
Personal injury cases filed in Indiana are often resolved under the modified comparative fault system. As we have learned, this system divides the fault between the plaintiff and defendant, but it does not eliminate the right of a plaintiff to seek compensation from the negligent party. Compensatory damages are payments made to a person to compensate for their injuries, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. In Indiana, you can sue for compensatory damages even if you caused the accident as long as you were less than 51% at fault for what happened.
In Indiana, drivers deemed 100% responsible for an accident will not be able to recover any damages from the insurance company or any other party involved. However, drivers who are partially at fault in causing an accident may be able to recover some compensation from the insurance companies or other parties involved in causing their injuries.
Why Do You Need an Indiana Car Accident Lawyer?
Car accident attorneys can help determine whether or not you have a case and assist you with filing the appropriate paperwork. They will also build a strong case, establish liability and its percentage, and maximize your compensation.
Because Indiana is among the few states using modified comparative negligence rules, you need a specialized law firm to help you understand how the system works. The good part of comparative negligence is that you can still recover damages and losses even if you contributed to the accident. The bad part is that if all evidence point to you as the major contributor to the accident, you get nothing. Here is where an attorney becomes crucial to your case.