When someone is responsible for an accident, they often think that if they ran through a red light or stop sign that they will be totally at fault and the inquiry ends. While this may be true in some accidents that can be easily analyzed, the reality is that fault and negligence in the state of Indiana are much more complex due to the doctrine of contributory negligence.
The Hammond Police were investigating an accident where it appears that a driver ran through a red light then collided with both a Fedex delivery truck and a school bus.
Woman runs red light and hits two other drivers

According to a local police, the woman was driving a dark colored SUV at about 8:30 am when she was about to go through the intersection of 173rd Street and Columbia Avenue. After going through the red light illegally, she hit the delivery truck traveling southbound through the same intersection. This initial impact caused her car to spin out of control, which caused another collision with her vehicle and a school bus before the SUV finally came to a complete stop. The driver later admitted to the police that she had ran through the red light.
There were two adults and one child on the bus who were treated for injuries. Video surveillance of the area also showed that the delivery truck driver had a steady green light for several seconds before the collision occurred, which means he clearly had the right of way. The director of the school’s transportation system said the child on the bus was safe and doing fine after the accident, and that buses in the area are still the safest way to get children to school.
Is the driver who ran the red light totally at fault?
This inquiry can often be highly specific based on the specific facts surrounding each accident. Indiana law has adopted a modified form of a doctrine called contributory negligence that governs in civil lawsuits for all kinds of accidents. Contributory negligence generally means that a person who contributed to an accident cannot collect any money.
Indiana has adopted this rule but changed it so that a person has their award of damages reduced proportionately to their level of fault in the accident, but if a person’s level of fault is greater than the person they are suing, they cannot collect anything at all. This generally means that people with high levels of fault will not be able to collect after an accident, but even those with lower levels of fault will have their amount of money reduced based on contributory negligence. The amount of fault portioned to each party is highly fact dependent, and is decided by a jury at the end of each case. In some situations, the parties to an accident will find it more beneficial to settle or allow their insurance to cover the damages to vehicles without litigating the issue and further or deal with the unpredictable nature of a jury trial.
As always, it is best to get professional legal advice based on the facts of your personal situation.
Accident lawyers can discuss your case today
There are attorneys in the Hammond area who specialize in both filing lawsuits after an accident or defending people after they have been served with a lawsuit. Marshall P. Whalley and Associates are available to prove advice and consultations after any kind of automobile accident in Indiana.