Wouldn’t it be great if the answers to all of life’s disputes were glaringly obvious? Whether it was a disagreement about a project gone wrong at the office or an argument with your spouse over who forgot to pick up Junior from soccer practice, everyone would always know for certain who was right and who was wrong. Then the person in the wrong could accept responsibility, and everyone could move on with their lives.
Whose fault is it, anyway?
Unfortunately, few things in life are so black and white, and the same holds true in cases of personal injury and negligence. In a car crash or other kind of incident that causes injury—say you slipped and fell on ice in someone’s driveway—more than one person can be liable, or at fault. This is what we call comparative fault.
In Indiana, liability can be thought of as a pie and divided by percentages. If the defendant is 100 percent liable for the crash or incident, meaning they are entirely at fault, they pay the entire amount of damages proven. And if the plaintiff is 10 percent liable for the crash or incident—you were distracted when you got hit by another driver, for example—the defendant has to pay for 90 percent of the proven damages. But if the plaintiff is 51 percent or more at fault, then the defendant does not have to pay for any of the proven damages.
Insurance companies want to minimize their payouts, so if there is any way to argue that you were somehow responsible, then you can expect them to try. If they succeed, it saves them money and lowers your verdict.
What does this mean for you?
The sad fact of the matter is that someone who has been badly injured in a crash or incident could end up sustaining financial damage in addition to the physical damage. This slows recovery in more ways than one and adds tremendous stress to an already traumatic experience.
For that reason and more, it’s important to find an attorney as soon as possible after being injured by another person’s act or negligence. Once people have left the scene and time passes, crucial evidence that can prove who is really at fault can disappear quickly.
In the best case scenario, you’d never have to find a personal injury attorney. But should you find yourself or a loved one in a crash or other incident, make sure one of your first calls is to us. Contact Kyle Cray at 765-742-9066, and let us help you through this.
The content of this blog is intended to be general and informational in nature. It is advertising material and is not intended to be, nor is it, legal advice to or for any particular person, case, or circumstance. Each situation is different, and you should consult an attorney if you have any questions about your situation.