INDOT, an acronym for the Indiana Department of Transportation, is responsible for maintaining safe roads and intersections throughout the state of Indiana. To handle day-to-day operations ranging from management of construction projects in highway work zones to traffic control signals and more, INDOT has numerous offices and vehicles across the state. INDOT’s vehicle drivers do get in accidents.
In an Indiana Car Accident with an INDOT Vehicle
If you have been injured in a crash caused by an INDOT vehicle, you may have the right to pursue compensation for your medical bills and other losses. While recovering damages is certainly possible in accidents involving INDOT negligence, it is important to have an experienced lawyer on your side who can advocate for you after an accident with an INDOT vehicle.
Causes of Indiana Car Accidents Involving INDOT Vehicles
INDOT vehicles and trucks are often at the sites of construction projects, road maintenance projects, debris removal areas and other locations. When an accident involving an INDOT vehicle occurs, it may be a result of an error committed by either driver. Some common causes of INDOT vehicle accidents include:
- Speeding or traveling too fast for conditions through construction zones;
- Improper signage or lack of marking in work zone;
- Lack of warning signs or directional arrows;
- Improper parking; and
- Other acts of negligence, often on the part of the INDOT vehicle driver.
INDOT vehicles have been involved in numerous accidents, some of which have led to serious and fatal injuries.
You Have the Right to File a Tort Claim for Your Indiana Car Wreck
INDOT has a legal responsibility to maintain highways in reasonably safe condition for motorists and to operate INDOT vehicles in a responsible manner. Following an accident with an INDOT truck or vehicle, you may have a right to file a tort claim to recover damages, as explained by the Indiana Department of Transportation.
File a Tort Claim: Indiana Car Accident Lawyers
Filing a tort claim against the Indiana Department of Transportation means filing a civil lawsuit alleging that the DOT committed an act of negligence, and that this negligent act led to the direct harm of the victim. While citizens in Indiana have the right to file a tort against another party any time that negligence is the direct cause of injuries and damages, there are special rules for filing a tort claim against a government or government agency, including INDOT.
Rules for Filing an Indiana Tort Claim Against INDOT for Your Car/Truck Accident
Before you bring your civil action against the INDOT, you must initiate the process by filing a notice of claim. A notice of claim should be filed as soon as possible after the date of the accident involving the INDOT vehicle, but must be filed within 270 days and comply with Indiana Code 34-13-3. If you do not file your notice of claim within the time allowed after the accident, you will likely lose your legal right to seek compensation for your injuries.
Once your notice of claim is filed against INDOT, the Indiana Office of the Attorney General will investigate the facts of the claim. The Office of the Attorney General is required by law to contact you within 90 days of receiving your claim informing you if your claim has been approved. If you do not receive notice within 90 days, this means that your claim has been denied.
Limits on Damages: Your Indiana Car Accident Attorneys
There are limits on liability and on damages when filing a claim against INDOT. First of all, a government employee who is acting within the scope of their employment at the time of the accident’s occurrence, even if this employee committed an act of negligence leading to the accident, is not individually liable for the accident. INDOT assumes liability instead. This means that if you were injured via the actions of an INDOT employee or INDOT trucker, you will file your claim against INDOT, not the individual driver
There are also limits on liability of the state of Indiana and government entities, meaning that the amount of damages you can recover for your injuries is capped. Under Indiana Code 34-13-3-4, damages for accidents that occur after January 1, 2008 are limited to $700,000 for the injury or death of one person. If multiple people are injured or are killed in the accident, the liability is capped at five million dollars (regardless of the number of people involved). Punitive damages, which are meant to punish the defendant, are not allowed.
Different Legal Standard Applies When Suing INDOT
In a typical personal injury case in Indiana, an individual can recover compensation for their losses if they are less than 51 percent at fault for their injuries, under Indiana’s modified comparative fault laws. If you have some responsibility for the accident, then any damages you may receive would be reduced in proportion to their degree of fault.
But when bringing a claim against a government agency such as INDOT, different laws apply. If you are found to be even one percent at fault, then you are not allowed to recover anything. As part of pursuing an INDOT claim on your behalf, our experienced personal injury lawyers will investigate the accident carefully and seek to prove that your actions did not cause the accident.
You Deserve Your Full Damages Amount For Your Indiana Car Accident
Following an accident caused by an INDOT vehicle, you deserve to be fully compensated for your losses. Unfortunately, claims against INDOT and other government entities have different notification and filing requirements and often prove to be more complicated than are claims filed against individuals in our state.
At the law offices of Craig, Kelley & Faultless LLC, we have experience representing INDOT truck accident victims in their claims against the state. To learn about your options and how to improve your chances of having a claim resolved in your favor, contact us today by phone or online. You can request your free consultation by contacting us through our website today.
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