In the State of Indiana, you can make a successful claim even if you are at fault for the accident.
Accidents happen to the best of us and, despite our efforts, we’re not always operating at 100%. Even if you’re careful on the road, you can still end up in an automobile accident. Sometimes, you are at fault for the accident, meaning that something you did or didn’t do led to the collision. There are countless reasons why this could be: You might not have seen the other car coming before you made the lane change. You might not have hit the brakes in time and ended up rear-ending the driver in front of you. You might have lost control of your vehicle as a result of inclement weather. It might be that you and the other driver both could have been a little more cautious, and it might not be clear who is to blame.
Indiana Comparative Fault Laws
The state of Indiana uses a legal defense called “comparative fault” when judging automobile accidents. In comparative fault, the defendant’s and the plaintiff’s responsibilities for the accident in question are weighed against each other when making a decision in a trial. During the course of a trial, a jury, when presented with all of the facts from the accident, will come to a decision on the percentage of fault to be attributed to each party in the case. The percentage of fault determines how much money you would receive.
In an example, assume that the potential damages from an auto accident total $50,000. After going over the facts of the case, the jury decides that the defendant is 90% at fault for the accident and that you, the plaintiff, is 10% at fault. The amount of the damages is multiplied by the percentage of fault and distributed accordingly: in this case, you would receive 90% of $50,000, which is $45,000. The math works up to the point where the blame is exactly 50% for each party. However, in Indiana, if you are 51% at fault or more, you cannot recover damages.
In this way, it is absolutely possible to take a car accident case to court (and even win) if you are at fault for an accident. The thing is, however, that you’re not completely at fault for the accident, and that there’s a sizable percentage of blame on the defendant’s shoulders as well as yours.