What Is Comparative Negligence in Indiana Car Accident Cases?

Negligence is defined as being careless or failing to act as a reasonably prudent person would under the same or similar circumstances. In car crashes, the typical legal claim is that the driver who caused the crash was careless in their driving and their carelessness caused the crash and any resulting injuries or damages.

In car crashes where negligence is the claim, Indiana has a system called comparative fault that assesses the relative fault of any party involved in the crash.  Comparative fault means the actions of all parties are “compared” or evaluated in order to determine which party has how much fault for a particular crash. When a jury evaluates a car crash case, they are asked to determine how to assess fault to the parties. If any fault is assessed against the party bringing the claim, then the damages that party can recover will be reduced by the percentage of fault assessed to them. If that fault exceeds 50% of the total fault, then Indiana law says that person loses their claim or lawsuit.

There is no precise method of assigning or comparing fault. This is where an experienced personal injury attorney can provide guidance on how an insurance company, judge or jury might view a particular situation.

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