When it comes to recovering damages following a motor vehicle crash, the state's car accident laws play a major role in determining whether the injured victim can recover compensation for their injuries.
In some states, even if the affected party is partially liable for their injuries, they may be able to pursue a personal injury claim or lawsuit against the negligent driver.
The legal team at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys has extensive experience helping protect the rights of injured victims in Indianapolis, Indiana, by fighting for the compensation they deserve.
Those who have suffered injuries due to another's negligence should reach out to Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys to discuss their case and learn more about their legal options. They can also assist in answering more questions like Does an insurance company have to provide a rental car in Indiana?
Understanding Car Accident Laws: Fault and No-fault State Systems
The state laws help determine the legal process of recovering compensation after an auto accident. There are two main categories of states, and these include the following:
What Is a Fault State?
A fault-based state refers to a state where the law holds a party responsible for the damages they've caused due to their negligent actions.
There are different types of fault-based states, with some allowing the injured victims to pursue compensation even if they're partially responsible for their own injuries.
In fault-based states, the at-fault driver's bodily injury liability coverage covers the damages caused to the other driver.
What Is a No-fault State?
A no-fault state is where the injured party may be responsible for the damages from a car accident, regardless of who is at fault.
Suppose John is talking on the phone and rear-ends Ben in a no-fault state. In that case, Ben must file a claim against his own insurance company to cover the costs arising from the accident, including medical expenses and lost wages.
In no-fault states, the injured victims must file a car accident claim with their own insurance company, which is why purchasing a personal injury protection (PIP) is crucial. This liability insurance covers injury-related medical and rehabilitation expenses, lost wages, and funeral costs.
Some examples of no-fault states include Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, New York, and Utah, among many others.
A no-fault system sounds great in theory, but it has its own fair share of problems in the real world. In these types of states, car insurance prices are much higher than the national average.
Is Indiana a No-fault State for Car Accidents?
Indiana is a fault-based state where an injured party may be able to pursue a car accident claim or lawsuit against the negligent party's insurance company.
Although this type of state law holds the responsible parties liable for the damages caused, the injured victims must prove the other party's negligence and go through a series of hurdles if they wish to receive justice.
Determining Fault in an Indiana Car Accident
In most cases, when an auto accident occurs in a fault-based state, all of the parties involved may issue conflicting statements.
However, insurance companies do not take the word of the parties involved at face value. They require concrete evidence that determines liability and shows proof of the policyholder's negligence.
Witness statements, photographs, videos, CCTV footage, phone data, and social media activity are some examples of evidence the injured victim may submit to bolster their personal injury claim. These may be difficult for the affected party to gather, which is why it's crucial to seek legal help from an experienced personal injury attorney.
Determining fault in Indiana and building a strong personal injury claim or lawsuit can be challenging. However, experienced auto accident lawyers in Indianapolis have the expertise to help the injured victims.
They may have the resources to hire investigators who gather critical evidence from the accident scene. Skid marks, road signs, and lane markings can provide insights into who may be responsible for the incident.
Is Indiana a Comparative Fault State?
Although Indiana is a fault state, it follows the modified comparative fault system. Under the rules of the state, the injured victims may be able to recover compensatory damages even if they're partially responsible for the incident.
In these types of states, the degree of fault plays a critical role in determining how much the affected party may recover following their car accident.
However, the modified comparative fault system in Indiana prevents the injured victims from making any recoveries if their degree of fault is greater than 50% (51% or more).
It also bars the affected party from pursuing compensatory damages if they don't have liability insurance at the time the accident occurred.
Here's an example to explain how the modified comparative negligence rule works in Indiana:
Sarah is running late for work and decides to step on the pedal to reach her office on time. However, she gets into a car crash after Jack runs through a red light.
The accident resulted in $100,000 in medical bills and other damages, prompting Sarah to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover the losses.
During the trial, the court determined that Sarah was 30% liable for the accident, as she would have avoided the incident if she hadn't exceeded the state's speed limits.
Under the state's modified comparative rule, Sarah is still able to recover the damages despite being partially responsible for the incident. However, she would only receive $70,000 instead of $100,000 from the at-fault driver.
In the above-mentioned example, if Sarah were 51% responsible, the state laws would prevent her from making any recoveries for the accident.
Should the Injured Victims Seek Legal Help Following a Car Accident in Indiana?
It's important for injured victims in fault-based states like Indiana to reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney for legal help. They can explain how to calculate pain and suffering car accident in Indiana.
The lawyer can assess the facts surrounding the case, gather the necessary evidence to determine liability, and build a strong claim to increase the victim's chances of recovering maximum compensation.
Since the insurance companies get involved in fault-based states, it can be challenging for the injured victims to recover compensatory damages in Indiana.
Fortunately, Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys have extensive experience working with insurance companies in the past, and they know all of the insider secrets, allowing them to fight the insurers and win big for the injured victims.
Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys Are Ready to Go to War for the Injured Victims in Indiana!
A car accident can have devastating physical consequences for the injured victim. It can also result in financial and non-economic losses, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Those who have suffered injuries in Indianapolis, Indiana, should call to schedule a free consultation with Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys. They can help protect the injured victim's rights and hold the other driver responsible for the damages caused.