Most personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits are based on the claim that some other party or parties were negligent or otherwise responsible for the car accident or incident that led to the injury or death. But what happens if you or your loved one were partially at fault for the accident? Will it affect how much you can recover? Can you recover any damages at all?
In Indiana, the answer depends on how much at fault you were for the accident. You can recover damages reduced by your percentage of fault so long as you are found to be less at fault than the defendant or defendants. If you are more than 50% at fault you will be barred from any recovery at all.
Indiana: 51% or More at Fault = No Recovery
Indiana, like 21 other states, bars a plaintiff from recovering any damages at all “if the claimant’s contributory fault is greater than the fault of all persons whose fault proximately contributed to the claimant’s damages.” so long as “the negligence was not greater than the combined negligence of the person or persons against whom recovery is sought.” I.C. 34-51-2-6. This means that if an Indiana plaintiff is found to be 51% or more at fault, they will be barred from any recovery. If their percentage of fault is less than that, damages are recoverable but will be reduced by the plaintiff’s percentage of fault.
How a judge or jury apportions fault between a plaintiff and one or more defendants can be complicated and depends on the unique facts and circumstances of each case. Even if you believe that you or your loved one may have been at fault to some degree for an incident that led to a serious injury or death, in Indiana you still may be able to recover damages from those who were also responsible. You should consult with an experienced Indiana personal injury lawyer who can evaluate your case and discuss your options.
The Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyers at Hovde Dassow + Deets Are Ready to Help
Hovde Dassow + Deets, the preeminent personal injury law firm in Indianapolis, understands the challenges, pain, and suffering that accident victims face and the firm’s lawyers work tirelessly to get them the compensation they deserve. Contact Hovde Dassow + Deets today at 317-818-3100 or toll-free at 888-404-6833 for a free, initial, and confidential consultation to discuss your case.
This article has been prepared by Hovde Dassow + Deets for informational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.