A lot of the time drivers think if you hit another vehicle in an accident, you are automatically more at fault. However, this is not always the case. Indiana is one of the states with a “51% Fault” rule, also known as a modified comparative negligence system.
Indiana’s 51% Fault Rule Explained
In Indiana, if you are 51% or more responsible for your own personal injuries, you cannot recover for damages in a personal injury lawsuit. But if you are less than 51% at fault, you might still be able to recover some compensation for your medical costs and other losses.
Imagine you have $10,000 in damages for medical bills and lost wages after a car accident. It’s important to know this compensation will eventually be reduced by the percentage you are at fault. If you are found to be 20% responsible for the accident, that $10,000 in damages is reduced by 20%, and you would only receive $8,000 under Indiana’s comparative fault system.
Our Indiana trucking accident attorneys consider the 51% fault rule in evaluating your case and defeating arguments that you are more at-fault. At the scene of the accident, the police may make an initial assessment of who is at fault, but they also may not have all the evidence. Our semi truck accident attorneys can collect secondary evidence like records, video from surveillance cameras, eyewitness testimony, and accident reconstruction to fully explore the circumstances of your injury.
There are many elements of negligence that can contribute to an accident. Even if the driver of a passenger car collided with a 18-wheeler or other commercial vehicle, a majority of responsibility may be shared by the truck driver or even their employer.
Commercial Truck Drivers’ Duty to Care
Commercial trucks are subject to different regulations than other vehicles because they are more dangerous than other vehicles. They weigh more and cause more damage during car accidents than passenger vehicles. Here are some of the factors that may affect a court’s judgment about whether a commercial driver or their employer was negligent in their duty to care:
- Speeding or otherwise breaking rules of the road, especially during bad weather like rain or snow
- Driving with an expired or suspended commercial driver’s license (CDL)
- Falsifying log books or being proven to drive longer than the allowed shift
- Truck is improperly loaded or carrying too much cargo
- Maintenance records that show the truck or trailer were not adequately maintained
These are just some of the factors a truck crash attorney will examine to see if negligence contributed to your injury. If you hit a semi or other commercial vehicle, don’t suffer your resulting injuries in silence. Contact the Indiana personal injury attorneys of Christie Farrell Lee & Bell. From listening to your story to fighting for you in court, we’re your advocates.