Driver-side car accidents can be quite catastrophic, resulting in a wide range of serious injuries. Receiving compensation to recover from these losses is vital. Hence, determining fault in a driver-side car accident is vital.
Unfortunately, there isn't a simple answer to this question. Various factors, along with Indiana personal injury law, need to be considered to determine fault and which driver is liable for compensable damages.
Since this is an extensive area of personal injury law that requires negotiating with the other driver's insurance company, contacting a reputable car accident lawyer for legal representation is vital. Thus, without further ado, here's how to determine fault in an Indiana driver-side car crash. can also help with determining who is at fault in a car accident while merging in Indiana.
Who Is at Fault in a Driver-side Car Accident in Indiana?
In general, Indiana law allocates blame to the driver whose carelessness resulted in the collision. This implies that if someone was driving too fast, texting, intoxicated, or just not paying attention, and their reckless actions resulted in the crash, then they are accountable.
When it comes to intersection accidents, T-bone collisions, left- or right-turn accidents, or any other kind of collision, there are no hard-and-fast guidelines that specify who is at fault. Everything is dependent upon the unique circumstances of the accident.
However, with that being said, there are still certain cases where one driver is presumed to be at fault. If someone were to hit a parked car from the side, for example, the person driving the moving car would be at fault.
It's also critical to remember that one only needs to demonstrate that the other driver was at fault for the collision, not why they did so. Thus, it's not legally required to prove that the at-fault driver in a drunk driving crash was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Rather, it only needs to be proved that their negligence was the reason for the collision. This is one of the reasons why individuals can still win a civil lawsuit against an intoxicated driver even if they are found not guilty in a criminal court.
Determining fault might be difficult depending on the accident's specific circumstances. Witnesses may differ about the color of the traffic light or which car had the right of way. The same goes for collisions that occur when reversing out of a parking spot, particularly in busy lots where witnesses might not have had a clear view. A thorough investigation is necessary to determine what transpired and who was at fault.
What Are the Four Elements of Negligence when Determining Fault in a Car Accident?
Fault is determined based mainly on negligence. Therefore, to prove the other driver was negligent, the following four elements need to be proved:
1. Duty of Care
All drivers on the road owe each other a duty of care to follow the rules of the road, drive safely, and act with prudence.
2. Breach of Duty of Care
When a driver breaches their duty of care, they either act recklessly or negligently. Some of the most common breaches include:
Driving while tired
Improper lane changes
Ignoring traffic signs or signals
Failure to yield to the right of way
Driving too fast for the current road conditions
The negligent behavior of the at-fault driver must lead to the accident, whether it be a side-impact, head-on, rear-end, or rollover collision. Furthermore, the victim must be injured as a result of this.
The injuries sustained in the accident must lead to physical, mental, or financial losses or harm. Keep in mind that these damages need to be proved. Medical bills, car repair receipts, income statements, etc., can all be used as evidence when proving these damages.
Gathering Evidence to Determine Fault in Side Car Accident Cases
Anyone who decides to file a claim or lawsuit to recover damages for car accidents needs to gather strong evidence. Some of the strongest and most valuable forms of evidence include:
Pictures of the accident scene, any visible injuries, and vehicle damage
The police report
Any video footage
Any claims filed may also be supported by the claimant's own testimony about the vehicle collision. Jot down everything that comes to mind prior to, during, and following the crash. To provide a more thorough analysis of how the accident affected one's quality of life, they can also include information on their physical limitations and mental state.
What Happens If Both Drivers Are Partially at Fault for the Accident?
If there is any doubt as to who is at fault, it's important to hire a lawyer to analyze the facts of the accident. To establish who is at fault, a lawyer will use experts who use tangible evidence and eyewitness accounts to reconstruct the car crash. The next stage is to calculate the percentage of fault that each motorist bears in the collision if both are partially to blame.
Indiana is a modified comparative fault state. Therefore, the pure comparative fault and contributory negligence theories are combined, and victims don't need to claim damages from their own insurance company. Victims can only recover compensation from the other driver if they were less than 51% responsible for the side car accident.
The percentage of fault attributed to each driver lowers the recovery of damages. To optimize the settlement from the other driver's insurance company, an auto accident attorney will try to lower their client's proportion of fault. They can also help explain who is at fault in a passenger side car accident in Indiana.
Dealing with a Personal Injury Case? Contact a Car Accident Lawyer Today!
Determining fault in an Indiana driver-side car accident can be tricky and requires the knowledge and experience of competent and professional car accident attorneys in Indianapolis. With proper legal assistance, victims will be able to receive the maximum compensation for their injuries sustained, which will only help with the recovery process.
Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys in Indianapolis, Indiana, has been helping accident victims for years when it comes to these types of cases. Therefore, if you're looking for an Indiana car accident attorney who will go to war for you, contact us today for a free case review.