Establishing Liability in Indiana Multi-Vehicle Car Accidents
Indiana personal injury lawsuits often involve just two parties, the victim and the individual or entity that caused the victim’s injury. However, some Indiana car accidents include several parties, depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident. Most frequently, this occurs in multi-vehicle crashes. In such cases, it may be challenging to establish the course of events that led up to the victim’s injury.
For example, recently, seven people were injured, and three died in a multi-vehicle accident on an Indiana highway. Tragically, a 29-year-old woman and her toddlers were the individuals that suffered fatal injuries in the crash. According to a local Indiana news report, the deadly accident involved seven vehicles, including a semi-trailer. The domino effect apparently began when the semi-trailer slammed into the cars in front of the truck.
The truck driver told police officials that he was forced to slam on his brakes when a vehicle that was not involved in the accident cut in front of him. The sudden braking caused him to crash into several cars. However, other witnesses claimed that they witnessed the truck driver speeding on the highway. They believe he quickly applied his brakes because he did not notice the stopped traffic in front of him. One of the cars the truck hit was dragged about 300 yards before eventually crashing into two additional vehicles. Although state police arrested the truck driver, the driver still maintains that the accident occurred because he was cut off.
Indiana personal injury lawsuits involving multiple defendants implicate the theory of joint-and-several liability. Joint-and several-liability arises when there are two or more individuals who share responsibility for an injury. Generally, states follow one of three methods of apportioning liability when there may be multiple parties responsible for causing an accident. Indiana follows pure several liability theory. In these cases, a defendant is only liable for damages commensurate with their percentage of fault. Pure several liability places the burden of identifying the responsible non-party on the plaintiff.
Take, for example, the case above. If the court were to find that the truck driver was only 80% responsible; the plaintiff would only be able to recover 80% of their damages from the truck driver. The victim would then need to recover the rest of their losses from the other drivers involved in the accident, if possible. Apportioning liability in car accidents is more complicated for Indiana plaintiffs than for plaintiffs in other states that follow different theories. In other states, a defendant may be responsible for the entire amount of damages, and the burden is placed on the paying defendant to recover contribution from the other driver.
Have You Been Injured in an Indiana Car Accident?
Indiana multi-vehicle car accidents can be complicated, and it is crucial to have a dedicated and experienced attorney assist you with your claim. Indiana personal injury attorney, Burton A. Padove, has over three decades of experience handling complex multi-vehicle car accident lawsuits. He has helped countless car accident victims get the compensation they deserve. If you have suffered injuries following an Indiana car accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Compensation may include payment for medical expenses, ongoing medical bills, property damage, lost wages, as well as for any pain and suffering you endured as a result of the collision. Contact Indiana injury attorney Burton A. Padove at 877-446-5294 to schedule your free initial consultation.