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What is comparative fault?

Car accidents can be incredibly stressful, especially if you suffer any injuries. You may assume that someone else’s fault should lead to you receiving compensation for your damages.

While this is technically true, stipulations exist in Indiana that could make it more complicated. Indiana follows “comparative fault” guidelines in liability cases for personal injury.

This means that if you sue someone who causes your injury, your claim can be diminished due to your “contributory fault.” If the court decides that you contributed to your own injuries in any way, they will reduce the damages you recover by how at fault you were.

For instance, if a court decides the other driver was 80 percent at fault and you were 20 percent at fault, the court would award you 80 percent of the damages for the injury.

Faultless proof

This can be daunting if you don’t have the funds to pay for your injuries and you know you weren’t at fault. What can drivers do?

Here are a few basic tips if you find yourself in a car crash, after you’ve confirmed everyone is safe:

  • Call the police immediately so they can start a report
  • Take your own photos to have your perspective of the accident
  • Talk to any bystanders or witnesses who may have seen the crash and make sure they stick around to give the police a statement
  • Seek medical treatment immediately – in most cases, doctor’s offices can postpone payment if you are an accident victim

Comparative fault can make an accident a trickier situation than it should be, but Indiana drivers can still protect themselves and seek full compensation.

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