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Indiana Contributory Negligence

If you have been seriously injured in a car accident in Indiana, you should be aware of The Indiana Comparative Fault Act and how it may affect the amount of compensation you can recover if you file a personal injury claim. Because injury laws vary from state to state and are often complex, it is a good idea to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss the specifics of your accident claim.

Having the guidance of an attorney who understands the laws may be essential if you have been hurt in a car accident in Indianapolis. After a collision, people often do not understand their rights or how to go about pursuing an injury claim if they have been seriously hurt and incurred medical debt. One of the first questions that arises when reviewing an accident claim is “Whose fault was it?” In many car accidents, more than one person is partly responsible for a crash. The question of fault becomes critical following an injury accident, when medical bills, property damage, and other expenses mount up to tens of thousands of dollars. Insurance adjusters will make an assessment of each party’s share of fault when considering a claim settlement. If an accident case goes to trial, the Indiana jury must assign fault to the party or parties involved before the jury can award damages.

The process of resolving your case and securing appropriate compensation will likely be much easier If you and your attorney are able to provide evidence showing your actions did not contribute to the accident and the other side was at fault.

What is Modified Comparative Negligence?

Indiana uses a negligence system called modified comparative fault. This means each party’s contribution to an accident will factor into the amount of damages a claimant can recover, but if an individual’s percentage of fault passes a certain threshold, he or she is barred from recovery.

For injured individuals in Indiana, the state has a modified comparative negligence system, which is also known as a “51% fault” system. This means that to be eligible to pursue a personal injury claim, you need to be less than 51% at fault for the accident.

You may still be eligible to seek compensation for the injuries you’ve suffered, even if you were partly to blame for the accident. But any compensation you receive will be reduced proportionately by your percentage of responsibility for the accident.

For example, if you are found to be 25 percent responsible for causing a car accident, and the jury awards $100,000 in damages, then you would be entitled to $75,000.

If you were found to be 50% liable for a car accident, then you would only be entitled to 50% of the damages awarded in your injury claim.

If you are found to be more than 50% responsible for the accident, under Indiana’s system, you will be barred from recovering compensation. You might owe the injured parties compensatory damages and their legal expenses.

What if multiple parties were responsible for the accident? Indiana’s legal system takes that possibility into account as well. Indiana civil law assigns liability in proportionate amounts according to fault. Multiple parties may be held responsible for what happened to you. Their insurance companies may be required to pay compensation based on the amount of fault each party has been assigned. View more frequently asked questions here.

If you have sustained injuries in an Indianapolis car accident, it is critical that you seek the help of a law firm that has extensive experience with personal injury cases to help guide you through the claims process. An attorney at Craig, Kelley & Faultless LLC can discuss your rights and options during a courtesy consultation. If we represent you, we will investigate your accident and assess what amount of fault should be assigned to the other parties involved. Because of the often-complicated nature of car accidents, you should entrust your case to an attorney who has a track record of success in handling car accident claims.

StatutesIndiana Code Title 34, Section 51-2-5, et seq.
Contributory/Comparative Negligence Recognized?Indiana applies the legal theory of modified comparative negligence. Also known as the “51% fault” system, the plaintiff must be less than 51% at fault for the incident to file an injury claim.

Courts reduce recovery in proportion to each party’s contribution to negligence.

Contribution Among TortfeasorsThe state’s Comparative Fault Act and common law both prohibit contribution among tortfeasors.
Uniform Act?No.
Time Limit for Filing Claim2 years (Indiana Civil Statute of Limitations) for personal injury and injury to personal property claims.

Contributory negligence versus comparative fault

When it comes to accident claims, your ability to secure compensation may depend on the state in which you’re located. Negligence laws may take the following forms:

  • In contributory negligence states, you would be precluded from collecting any damages if you had any role in causing your injury.
  • In modified comparative fault states such as Indiana, you can collect damages if the court determines that you are less than 51 percent responsible.
  • In pure comparative fault states, you can collect specific damages even if the court determines that you are more than half at fault for your injuries.

While Indiana follows a modified comparative fault system, it is important to note that in claims against the State or one of its political subdivisions or government agencies, the more strict contributory negligence doctrine is used. That is why it is important to contact a member of our team to discuss the specific circumstances surrounding your accident so that we can determine your best steps to take.

Contact Craig, Kelley & Faultless LLC

Since 1999, the personal injury lawyers at Craig, Kelley & Faultless LLC have represented thousands of victims and families throughout the state of Indiana. Over the last 19 years we have become well respected in the legal community within our state for our substantial settlements, verdicts, and a compassionate approach to helping our clients. We boast a rating of 10 on AVVO, are members of the Multi-Million and Million Dollar Advocates Forum® and our firm was listed among the 10 Best Law Firms of 2015 by the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys.

Our experienced trial attorneys understand how vital your injury claim is to your recovery and your financial well-being. We know that you may have questions about how you are going to support your family and rebuild your life after a severe injury accident. It is our job to help you secure the compensation that you are owed.

We have extensive experience helping people with car accident claims and other injury claims subject to Indiana laws. We are ready to put our firm’s resources and experience to work for you. If you have been injured in an accident in Indianapolis contact Craig, Kelley & Faultless LLC by calling (888)-673-8275 to schedule a free consultation with a member of our team today.

Since 1999 the Indianapolis legal team at Craig, Kelley & Faultless, LLC have been dedicated to helping individuals and their families who have been injured or have lost a loved one as the result of someone’s carelessness. The firm was founded by three attorneys, David Craig, William ‘BJ’ Kelley II and Scott Faultless, since then they have added attorneys and legal professionals to the team and opened four additional office locations to better serve their clients.