If you have been injured in a car accident, you may assume that you are unable to recover damages from the other party if you share blame for the collision. In Indiana, you can collect damages even if you were partially at fault for the accident, but under the comparative fault principle, your level of fault must be less than 51 percent, or you will be unable to sue for vehicle damages, medical expenses, lost wages and other common losses in a car accident.
The level of fault is typically determined by witness statements, police reports and investigations performed by all drivers’ insurance companies. Indiana drivers are fortunate not to live in a state that enforces contributory negligence laws. In these states, you may not collect damages if you are found to be just one percent at fault. Even so, it can be difficult to determine the exact level of fault that should be assigned to each driver. It is important that this figure be accurate if you are trying to collect compensatory damages from the accident. As an example, if you are found to be 25 percent responsible for an accident, the amount the other driver's insurance company must pay you is 75 percent of the total claim.
If you feel that you are being assigned an inaccurate level of blame for your car accident, it is important to meet with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. When interviewing lawyers to represent you, make sure that the person you choose is experienced with comparative fault laws. He or she needs this knowledge to challenge the percentage of blame you are being assigned by the courts. With an experienced attorney on your side, it is possible to get the comparative fault percentage changed more in your favor.