What you’ll learn reading this article:
- In personal injury cases, Indiana uses the modified comparative fault rule.
- It could be difficult to recover compensation if you hold a certain amount of fault, but being partially to blame isn’t always a deal-breaker.
- These cases often come down to evidence and how much you can prove with the help of your lawyer.
Imagine surviving a car crash on an Indiana highway and the first thing the other person says to you is, “That was YOUR fault!” Now what?
You’re in a very common post-accident situation where someone is trying to pin the blame on you. Luckily, the state of Indiana still protects your rights and allows you to collect compensation, even if you do indeed share some of the responsibility for an accident.
A skilled Indiana personal injury lawyer can help you understand how to use the state’s comparative fault law to maximize your case value. Here’s how it works.
Indiana operates under the modified comparative fault rule, which means the fault of all parties is evaluated and assigned a percentage. Together, all of the fault should add up to 100%.
Under a straight comparative fault rule, each party is simply eligible for compensation in the percentage they’re assigned. However, under the modified comparative fault rule, this is true only up to a certain threshold. In Indiana, if you hold 51% or more of the responsibility, you’re barred from compensation altogether.
That means your percentage of fault impacts the amount of compensation you can possibly receive in a personal injury case. If you’re found to have more than half of the blame, you’re not eligible to be compensated because the law views you as too culpable for what happened.
Yes, you can still claim accident compensation for a personal injury as long as you’re not 51% or more at fault. The other person still has partial responsibility for their role in your injuries even if you did something to contribute to the accident.
That’s why Indiana personal injury claims are sometimes jokingly called “the partial blame game.” The opposing parties will inevitably try to shift as much blame as possible to the other person so they can claim as much compensation as possible for themselves.
Don’t let anyone talk you out of starting an accident claim in Indiana, even if you could be partially at fault. If anyone tries to point the finger at you – especially the other person in the accident or their insurance company – you need a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to fight for what your case is worth.
It’s impossible to estimate the value of your case without knowing the details. It’s also hard to say how Indiana’s comparative fault rule will impact your case until your attorney investigates the circumstances and makes an evaluation using their legal insights.
In most cases you can bring a claim when you have fault because of the exception for claims against governmental agencies which use contributory negligence standards. Generally speaking, your percentage of blame reduces your compensation proportionally. So if you would have received a $500,000 settlement but you were found to be 10% at fault, your total claim is $500,000 minus 10% of $500,000, leaving you with $450,000. That’s probably still plenty of money to pay your medical bills and cover your other costs.
Your lawyer will help you evaluate things that impact your case, like:
- Who was negligent in the situation
- How much blame you potentially have
- Whether the other person owed you a duty of care and breached it
- How you suffered and how you could be compensated
- Which types of damages you can claim
- What kinds of evidence are available to back up your case
One thing is almost certain: Your case is worth more than the initial offer you’ll receive from the insurance company. They have plenty of experience with making lowball offers and guilting people into giving up. Don’t fall for it!
Talk to an Indiana personal injury attorney as soon as possible. At Poynter & Bucheri Accident Recovery, we understand how to use the comparative fault rule to ensure you get the full and fair accident compensation you deserve.
If you or a loved one have been injured physically or mentally by a person, product, or company, you need to know your legal rights. Our personal injury attorneys are experienced with cases like yours and can evaluate what your case may be worth. We will ensure that you are protected and compensated for your injuries and losses. Why pay up to 40% in attorney fees? Our fee is only 25%* and we fight to win your case or you pay no attorney fees at all. Don’t hesitate – one of our experienced attorneys can assist you right away. Call 1-800-265-9881 for a free case review.