Accidents and injuries come in all shapes and sizes. From motor vehicle accidents to major slip and fall cases, the impact of an injury can be serious. Those who have sustained a severe or catastrophic injury due to the fault or negligence of another person or entity are sometimes entitled to Indiana personal injury settlements or other serious injury compensation. A Fishers personal injury lawyer at Camden & Meridew, P.C. can assess your claim and help you determine the next best steps to take.
Types of Serious Injuries in Indiana Personal Injury Settlements or Suits
Indiana is a “fault state,” meaning that any individual involved in an accident or anyone who has suffered an injury may file a lawsuit against the wrongdoer responsible for the accident or injury. In that suit, the injured person may seek two types of damages: compensatory damages, which compensate the victim for loss, and punitive damages, a financial sum intended to punish the wrongdoer. Compensatory damages may be based on factors like these:
- Medical expenses;
- Property damage;
- Disability, either temporary or permanent;
- Lost wages and benefits; and
- Pain and suffering.
These types of serious injuries and related damages are often seen in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, trucking accidents, major slip and fall cases, and injuries that happen on property owned by businesses and other people. These incidents can result in serious injuries such as the following:
- Brain injuries;
- Broken bones;
- Permanent scarring; and
- Soft tissue damage.
An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you understand how the law will treat your request for damages in a personal injury case and will know when Indiana personal injury settlements are a viable or advisable option.
Indiana Comparative Fault in Serious Injury Compensation
In most personal injury cases, Indiana applies comparative fault, a legal concept dictating that, if an individual is liable for any percent of an accident, then any compensation awarded to the individual is reduced by the percentage of fault attributable to him or her. For example, if you sued another driver for a car accident and you were found to be 20 percent at fault for the accident, then the damages awarded to you in the lawsuit would be reduced by 20 percent. In other words, if you were awarded $1000 in damages, the amount you receive would be reduced by 20 percent based on your partial fault in causing the accident, and you would recover only $800 in damages.
Furthermore, the Indiana comparative fault law bars compensation by an injured individual who is determined to be more than 51 percent or more at fault for the accident that caused the injury. In such cases, the injured person would not be able to sue the other party for damages.
The examples above illustrate how comparative fault is applied when an injured person seeks damages from one defendant or from multiple defendants if are treated as a single party under the lawsuit. In an action against multiple defendants, the injured person may not recover damages if his or her comparative fault equals a larger percentage of the total than the other responsible parties in the claim. For example, if A, B, and C all get into a car accident, A is found to be 70 percent at fault, and B and C are each only 15 percent at fault, then A cannot recover against B and C because their total fault was only 30 percent and less than A’s total amount of fault.
Who Determines the Percentage of Fault?
In a case that is brought to trial, a jury (or the judge, in cases held without a jury) determines the percentage of fault for each responsible party in an accident or personal injury case. The jury or judge makes that determination by evaluating the amount of fault of the claimant, the defendant(s), and any other person or entity that may be responsible but is not a party to the case.
In some personal injury cases, the responsible party (or the party’s insurance provider) may offer or agree to settle the claim without going to court. The amount of compensation offered in Indiana personal injury settlements might be calculated based on the types of serious injuries sustained, the comparative fault of all parties involved, and other relevant factors. An experienced personal injury lawyer can advise you as to whether a settlement agreement is the most beneficial and fair resolution of your claim.
How a Fishers Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
Any injury, big or small, can have adverse effects on you and your loved ones. Having an attorney sort through evidence, talk to witnesses, communicate with insurance companies, and guide you through your claim for serious injury compensation will make life a little easier while you recover. Your Fishers personal injury lawyer at Camden & Meridew P.C. can help by applying years of experience to finding the best solution to fight for compensation for the damages and injuries you sustained.
If you or a loved one suffered a serious personal injury or accident and would like to discuss your options related to Indiana personal injury settlements and other types of serious injury compensation, please call Camden & Meridew at 317-770-0000 or complete our online contact form. We’re here to help!