Car accidents can cause damage to your vehicle and personal injuries. After the accident, who is responsible for making you whole? In Indiana, the party responsible is determined by the extent to which each party involved is found to have contributed to the accident. To understand the possible outcomes in your claim, you need to understand how that determination is made. In other words, you need to know how fault is allocated in an Indiana car accident.
How Indiana Comparative Fault Determines Damages in an Indiana Car Accident
Imagine this: you are driving to the grocery store and are yielding to turn left at a light. The light turns yellow and you decide that you can make the light in time to turn, but a driver traveling straight through the light from the other direction is thinking the same thing and speeds up. The next thing you know, your cars hit each other as you both attempted to make the light. Now the question is: who is at fault?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1,212 drivers were involved in fatal crashes in 2018, and 88.9 percent of those drivers were over the age of 21. According to the same report, there were 858 traffic fatalities across Indiana in 2018. Car accidents occur all the time and happen for a number of reasons, but determining fault in an accident may not be as straightforward as you might think. Working with experienced Indiana car accident attorneys is a must to make sure you’re compensated to the fullest extent possible under the law.
Is Indiana a No Fault State?
Some states are considered no fault states which have different fault laws, but Indiana is not a no fault state. Under Indiana Code § 34-51-2-1, Indiana comparative fault law determines who’s responsible for damages in actions based on fault. This law helps determine the amount of an award (damages) in cases where a party seeks to recover for injuries, death, or harm to property caused by another (with a few exceptions for medical malpractice or against a qualified health care provider). Using the example above, the amount you can recover against the driver who T-boned you in the intersection may be cut down by the amount that you were at fault for the accident.
Why Fault Matters in an Indiana Car Accident Case
Determining fault in an accident is important because it helps establish which party could be entitled to damages and the size of such an award. Knowing who was at fault in an auto accident is also vital to your lawsuit because in an action brought against one defendant or two or more defendants who may be treated as one party, the individual filing a lawsuit against the defendant cannot recover damages from the accident if it is found that the individual was over 51 percent at fault for the accident.
Back to our example, if you sue the person who T-boned you and it is determined that you were over 51 percent at fault for the accident, then you cannot recover damages. Knowing who was at fault in an auto accident and to what extent can be difficult but auto accident attorneys are here to help.
Camden & Meridew Auto Accident Attorneys Can Help
If you have been in an auto accident, the Indiana car accident attorneys from Camden & Meridew, PC can help you evaluate your case. By obtaining and reviewing accident reports, medical records, and witness interviews, we will work with the other driver’s insurance company to get you the compensation you deserve. If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident, reach out to us. Contact us by completing our online contact form or calling 317-770-000 to set up a free initial consultation. Let us help make you whole!