Indiana Comparative Fault: What You Need to Know
Posted On behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak on Apr 26, 2017 in Indiana Law
In a personal injury claim, comparative fault means that a claimant can be held partially liable for his or her injuries. This means that the claimant's negligence, or lack of reasonable care, contributed in some way to his or her injuries.
For instance, the victim of a car accident could be partially at fault if he or she was hit by a speeding car after he or she pulled in front of it without using a turn signal. Failing to use your turn signal is negligence because it is a violation of traffic laws.
Under Indiana's modified comparative fault system, your percentage of fault will affect the amount of compensation you can recover in a personal injury claim.
How Comparative Fault Works in Indiana
Indiana's comparative fault system prohibits personal injury claimants from recovering any compensation if they bear 51 percent or more of the responsibility for their injury, according to Indiana Code 34-51-2-6.
If you are less than 51 percent at fault, you are entitled to recover compensation, but it will be reduced by your percentage of fault. This means that if you were found to be 30 percent at fault for the injury-causing accident, you will receive only 70 percent of your compensation award.
If there are multiple defendants, they will be held liable for damages proportionate to their percentage of responsibility. That means if a defendant is 20 percent responsible, it will pay 20 percent of your compensation.
The personal injury attorneys at Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak will carefully evaluate all of the evidence in your case to determine if you bear any responsibility for what happened. If you do, we will build a strong case to help ensure you are not assigned more responsibility than you deserve.
Our goal is to make sure you are not barred from recovering compensation and that you recover a fair amount of compensation, given your amount of responsibility for what happened.
We will work to collect evidence showing that the defendant(s) bear the majority of the responsibility for your injuries.
Our lawyers are well-versed in the elements of negligence that must be established to hold someone liable for a personal injury:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care – This means that the defendant had a legal obligation to exercise reasonable care. This means different things in different situations. For instance, drivers have an obligation to not drive recklessly or violate traffic laws. In a slip and fall claim, property owners have a duty to maintain a safe property.
- The defendant breached his or her duty of care – This means that the defendant failed to exercise reasonable care, given the situation.
- The defendant’s breach of duty of care caused the victim’s injury – You have to show that the primary cause of your injury was the defendant's actions that violated the duty of care for the situation.
- The victim has been injured and suffered resulting damages – You have to show that you were injured and suffered damages, which could include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Schedule a free, no obligation legal consultation today to learn how our lawyers can assist you.