Car accidents can involve a wide range of causes, from distracted driving to inclement weather. If a person chooses to bring a lawsuit after an Indiana car accident, they should be aware of the role fault can play in an ultimate damages award. Additionally, it is important to understand the types of damages available when bringing a negligence lawsuit in Indiana. Speaking with an Indiana personal injury attorney can help accident victims learn more about the types of damages Indiana law recognizes.
As a recent news article reported, a car accident in Columbus, Indiana, left one person dead and another injured. A driver was traveling southbound on the highway when he veered toward the left and struck a vehicle traveling northbound in the opposite lane. The driver, who was not wearing his seatbelt, died at the scene. The other driver was transported to the hospital for life-threatening injuries.
Can You Recover Damages if You Were at Fault in a Car Accident in Indiana?
Indiana allows plaintiffs to recover damages even if they were at fault for the accident. The state follows a system of fault known as modified comparative negligence. Under this scheme, plaintiffs can recover damages as long as they were less than 51% at fault for the accident. If a plaintiff’s proportion of fault is higher than the defendant, the plaintiff cannot recover any damages. Finally, Indiana reduces a plaintiff’s damages award by their proportion of fault for the accident. For example, if a plaintiff is 10% at fault for the accident, a court will reduce their award by 10%.
What Damages Are Available After an Indiana Car Accident?
In personal injury lawsuits, Indiana allows plaintiffs to recover compensatory damages. This type of damages award is meant to put the injured plaintiff in the same position as if the accident had never occurred. Compensatory damages can take the form of economic or non-economic damages. Economic damages include can medical bills, lost earnings, and damage to property, such as a vehicle. Conversely, non-economic damages largely compensate for the emotional harm a plaintiff has suffered. This type of damages award often includes emotional pain and suffering. Additionally, an injured person’s spouse may be able to recover damages for the loss of their partner’s companionship. Finally, a court may also award punitive damages. This is a rare type of damages award reserved for only the most egregious cases. Unlike compensatory damages, a court typically only awards punitive damages if a person’s behavior is willful. An experienced Indiana personal injury attorney can help you understand these different types of damages claims.
Have You Been Injured in an Indiana Car Accident?
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in an Indiana car accident, contact Padove Law today to discuss your case. Attorney Burton A. Padove has nearly four decades of experience representing plaintiffs in Indiana personal injury cases. He has secured significant compensation for his deserving clients, including a range of compensatory damages such as ongoing medical expenses, lost earnings, and pain and suffering. To schedule a free initial consultation, contact our office at 877-446-5294.