Depending on which state a person gets into a car accident, they will have to pay for the damages according to the laws governing that specific region.
Indiana follows a comparative fault system when it comes to finding fault after a car accident. Anyone who has gotten into an accident while they are in Indiana will have to pay for the damages according to the Indiana Comparative Fault Act.
What is comparative fault?
Comparative fault basically means that each driver will have to pay for the damages depending on how much of the accident was actually their fault. It can be a little difficult to put fault into percentages, but that is the job of the court. Once the court decides how much fault each person has in the form of a percentage, they then divide the payments up accordingly.
How much a person is at fault directly depends on how the accident occurred and how negligent the driver had been while driving. The more negligent the driver, the more chances they will be given a greater percentage of fault.
Breaking traffic rules and failing to maintain one’s vehicle are both examples of reasons why a driver may be faced with more blame for the accident, and will, therefore, have to contribute more to pay for damages. Whichever driver is more at fault will generally have to pay more. However, this is not always the case.
Say for example a car accident resulted in $50,000 in damages. If one driver was at 20% fault and the other was at 80% fault then the first driver only has to pay $10,000 whereas the other has to pay the remaining $40,000.
However, the important rule here is that the individual who is filing the claim needs to be 50% at fault or less. If it is decided that their fault is more than 50% then they will not be able to recover any damages and will have to make a claim with their own insurance company.
What if there were more parties involved in the car accident?
If there are other parties involved in the car accident apart from the drivers, the case can become a lot more difficult. Sometimes, it is wiser to only lay fault on the driver and not the other parties due to strategic reasons. Other parties who could be blamed but are left out of the dispute (such as employers or road maintenance workers) are termed as ‘non-parties’.
If a person wants to ensure they are following an ideal strategy in order to get compensated for their damages they should seriously consider hiring an accident lawyer in Gary, Indiana.
An accident lawyer can figure out the appropriate legal route in order to minimize a person’s fault and help them recover more damages.
What is the difference between an at-fault state and a no-fault state?
Indiana is an at-fault state but there are also many states across the U.S which are called ‘no-fault’ sates. No-fault basically means that when a person gets into a car accident, they have to first use their own insurance to cover the damages and they are only allowed to claim the other driver’s insurance in certain circumstances. However, in at-fault states, drivers are allowed to claim the other driver’s insurance to cover damages in most scenarios.