According to state traffic statistics, 829 people died and 18,647 people were injured in traffic accidents during 2015. Medical costs, lost wages, and property damage result in billions of dollars in losses each year in the United States. In addition to the great financial losses incurred by accident victims, the physical, mental, and emotional damages suffered by accident victims are also substantial and often overwhelming.
Unfortunately, the legal system cannot undo the damage caused by a negligent or reckless driver. The only way the law can help an accident victim is to provide a means by which the person can obtain compensation for his or her losses, injuries, and damages. Indiana’s personal injury laws provide a way for you to recover compensation from a driver who causes a car accident. The amount of compensation you are entitled to receive is often related to the severity of your injuries.
Serious Injuries vs. Minor Injuries
For an accident victim, there are no minor injuries. Being injured in a car accident is a traumatic event regardless of the severity of the injury. However, some injuries are considered “serious injuries” when compared to other injuries. For example, a spinal cord injury that results in partial paralysis is more serious than a broken leg. The broken leg will heal, and the person will walk again whereas the paralyzed person will never walk again. The question becomes how do you define a “serious injury” for an accident claim.
No Fault States vs. Fault States
The serious injury threshold is a critical factor in insurance claims filed in no-fault states. Several states, including Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania, are no fault insurance states. An accident victim in a no fault state might be required to file a claim against his own insurance coverage even if the other driver caused the collision. The person can only file a claim against the other driver if damages exceed the no-fault insurance limits or if the injury is considered “serious” as defined by state law. Each state has different laws regarding no-fault insurance.
However, Indiana is a “fault state” for insurance claims. In a fault state, an accident victim is not required to file a claim against his or her insurance coverage. A victim can seek compensation from the driver who caused the collision regardless of the amount of damages or the severity of the injury. In other words, Indiana law allows you to file a claim or a lawsuit against the other driver for any amount or any injury, and you can receive compensation if you can prove the other driver caused the collision.
Comparative Fault Laws
It is important to understand that Indiana’s comparative fault laws can reduce the amount of compensation you receive from the at-fault driver. In Indiana, more than one driver can be at fault for a collision. If a driver is judged to be partially at fault for the crash, the compensation received by the victim is reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to that person.
In other words, if your damages are $100,000 but you are 20 percent at fault for the crash, you can only receive $80,000 for your damages ($100,000 less 20%). It is also important to note that if you are found to be 51 percent or more at fault for the crash, you are barred from receiving any compensation from the other driver.
Call an Indiana Car Accident Lawyer for Help
Determining fault in a car accident can be a complicated and complex procedure. Hiring an experienced Indiana car accident lawyer can be the best step you take to protect your right to receive full compensation for your injuries.
Contact The Ken Nunn Law Office by calling 1-800-CALL-KEN or 1-800-225-5536 or use the Live Chat feature on or website to contact our office 24/7. Our car accident lawyers offer free consultations to accident victims, and we accept cases on a contingency basis meaning you don’t pay our fees until we win your case.