General Article

Personal Injury and Indiana Car Accidents 

June 4, 2017

After an Indiana traffic accident, a person may incur major injuries and/or car damage. Sometimes a car accident is just that, an accident. This means that the accident happened, and it was no one’s fault. However, a car accident can become a personal injury claim in certain situations. A personal injury claim requires an auto accident lawyer merrillville in to resolve the case in the injured driver’s favor.

Statute of Limitations in an Auto Accident Lawsuit

Indiana has what’s called statute of limitations. These are limitations on when an injured person can sue the at-fault driver in court. The injured person, who could be a passenger or driver injured in the crash, as a specific time to file their claim.

This specific time is two years from the date of the auto accident. For instance, if a car accident happened on February 2, 2018, an injured passenger or driver has until February 2, 2019 to file their lawsuit. If they wait until February 3, 2019 to file a lawsuit, their claim will be dismissed. Thus, it’s important to file a lawsuit early so the claim and proceed to court. Indiana doesn’t require a lawsuit to conclude by a certain time. The lawsuit must be filed. The statute of limitation does not extend to car insurance claims. This means that an injured driver has a longer time to file an insurance claim.

Comparative Fault in an Indiana Car Accident

Most of the time, one party is responsible for causing the car accident. However, an injured driver may be responsible for partially causing the auto accident. Indiana law allows for the at-fault driver to claim the comparative fault defense. This defense is an option when there was more than one person involved in an accident.

Comparative fault decreases the amount an injured driver receives. For example, an injured driver is awarded $1,000 for their pain and suffering, medical bills and lost wages. However, the at-fault driver claims the injured driver was partially at fault for the auto accident. If the jury agreed and found the injured driver 20 percent at fault for the auto accident, then the award would decrease.

The award always decreases by the percentage of fault. The percentage of fault in this example is 20 percent. Thus, the injured driver would receive $800 instead of $1,000. An injured driver’s lawyer will have an opportunity to fight this defense and get their client the full compensation. The exact strategy depends on specific circumstances such as proving the injured driver was not partially at fault.

Contact an Indiana Car Accident Lawyer Immediately

In Indiana, a driver or passenger hit by a driver can sue for injuries they sustained in the auto accident. This means that the driver or passenger must have an experienced auto accident lawyer to navigate them through the complexity of a personal injury claim. Whether a passenger or driver wants to settle the claim or go to court, it’s important to have legal representation.