Personal injury cases revolve around the concept of assigning fault to
a negligent party. Many times, this is a simple matter of asserting that
one negligent party is at fault for injuring the plaintiff. However, not
all accidents provide the circumstances for a clear-cut understanding
of who was at fault. There can be multiple parties sharing partial blame—including
the injured victim.
When this happens, Indiana's modified comparative fault law comes into
play. Comparative fault allows the court to determine fault that is shared
by multiple parties. It does this by assigned a percentage of the fault
to everyone involved. This percentage, then in turn, dictates how much
compensation each of those parties can collect.
To explore how this concept works, let's look at a theoretical example:
in the case of a three-car accident in which all drivers were hurt, the
jury has decided to award each of the victims $10,000 for their injuries.
- The jury then found Driver A 60% negligent.
- They found Driver B 30% negligent.
- They found Driver C 10% negligent.
The percentage of negligence is then subtracted from the available compensation.
So, in this example, Driver B would receive $7,000 in compensation ($10,000
- $3,000). Driver C would also receive $9,000.
The "51% Rule"
You'll notice in the example above, Driver A does not receive compensation.
That is because Indiana uses "modified comparative fault" laws.
This means that any party who is found to be 51% or more at fault cannot
collect money. This ensures that parties cannot be compensated when they
are found be chiefly at fault for the accident in question.
Comparative fault laws mean that you, as the plaintiff, must aggressively
present your role in the accident that harmed you to not incur partial
fault from opposing counsel. At
Wruble Law Group, we ensure that our personal injury clients are shielded from wrongful
assertions or partial fault and remain eligible for the optimal amount
of compensation they rightfully deserve.
If you've been hurt, contact a South Bend personal injury attorney
ready to fight for you today for a
free case evaluation.