The vast majority of the time, driving to work or school or running errands is uneventful. And taking a Sunday drive on your motorcycle can be relaxing. Other people on the road are mostly going about their business in an ordinary way as well. Your routine can be turned upside down in an instant, however, if driver negligence—or the negligence of another party not behind the wheel–causes an accident with your vehicle.
Although the rate of non-fatal traffic injuries on Indiana roads decreased to a ten-year low in 2019, there are still thousands of injuries that take place as a result of Indiana motor vehicle accidents each year. If you or a loved one has been injured in such an accident, there are some things you should know to preserve your chance to recover from the responsible party for these injuries. An Indianapolis accident attorney at Camden & Meridew, P.C. can help you understand these important factors in your case and decide what to do next.
Non-Driver and Driver Negligence in an Indiana Motor Vehicle Accident
There are a variety of situations in which people are injured as a result of driver negligence in Indiana motor vehicle accidents. However, the possible situations involving negligence under Indiana car accident laws stretch far beyond the typical “another driver hit my car” scenario that first springs to mind for most people.
The injured party might be the driver of either vehicle, passengers in either car, or even pedestrians on the roadway. The at-fault party might be the driver, but bicyclists and pedestrians can be at fault too. And if a negligent driver is at fault, other responsible parties might include the driver’s employer or a bar that served the driver too much alcohol. Other possible at-fault parties could include car manufacturers and mechanics as well as governments and property owners responsible for maintaining conditions on and around roads.
Have You Experienced Negligence in an Indiana Motor Vehicle Accident?
A motor vehicle or motorcycle accident might sound like a common-sense case with one person clearly at fault, but there are very specific elements involved in proving that someone was legally at fault. The legal concept is called negligence. In Indiana, meeting the motor vehicle negligence definition requires establishing that the at-fault person or entity owed the injured person a duty. This duty can be the obligation of all drivers, for example, to exercise reasonable care to avoid causing injury to others on the road.
Next, the legal definition of negligence (which applies to Indiana motor vehicle accident cases) requires that the at-fault party breached, or failed to fulfill, the duty. Additionally, the injured party must demonstrate that the injuries occurred as a result of the at-fault party’s breach of duty. This is known as establishing causation.
The motor vehicle negligence definition in Indiana car accident laws also follows what is known as a comparative negligence/fault rule. This rule involves examining the allocation of fault between all parties to an accident.
Sometimes, the injured party is partially responsible for the sequence of events that led to his or her injury. Applying the comparative negligence rule, the injured party’s damages would be reduced by the percentage of fault in contributing to the injuries. If an injured party is found to be 51 percent or more at fault for their injuries, that party is prohibited from recovering any damages.
Filing a Non-Driver or Driver Negligence Claim in Indiana
Under Indiana Code § 34-11-2-4, personal injury claims generally must be filed within two years of the date of the injury. This is known as the statute of limitations. If a complaint is not filed with the court within that time frame, the claim might be dismissed as time-barred.
In addition to timely filing and preserving evidence, an experienced Indianapolis accident attorney can identify where the complaint should be filed based on considerations including where the accident happened and where the parties involved in the accident live. Complaints that are not filed in the correct jurisdiction can be removed to the proper venue (county), delaying resolution of the matter, or being dismissed for improper venue.
Motor Vehicle Negligence Claims Call for an Indianapolis Accident Attorney
In addition to evaluating the merits of a negligence claim arising from a motor vehicle or motorcycle accident, an experienced attorney can guide you in identifying all at-fault parties, assessing the damages you have suffered in order to request the proper amount of compensation, and ensuring that your claim is timely filed in the proper court.
If you have suffered injury in a vehicular accident as the result of non-driver or driver negligence, your best bet is to contact a skilled lawyer with experience in Indiana motor vehicle accident cases as soon as possible. An Indianapolis accident attorney like David Allen at Camden & Meridew, P.C. can help you evaluate and preserve your negligence claim. Contact David by calling 317-770-0000 or by completing the firm’s online contact form to discuss how you can get the compensation that you are entitled to for injuries suffered in an Indiana motor vehicle accident.