Determining Fault in an Indiana Car Wreck

Mad driver pointing damage car from accident.

In Indiana, fault in a motor vehicle accident is generally assigned to the negligent driver who caused the collision. Insurance adjusters and personal injury lawyers investigate the crash and analyze evidence to decide who is responsible. Understanding how fault is determined in Indiana car accidents is crucial for protecting your rights and seeking the compensation you deserve for your losses.


Is Indiana a No-Fault State?

Indiana is not a no-fault state. In no-fault states, drivers typically turn to their own insurance companies for compensation after a car crash, regardless of who caused it. However, Indiana follows a traditional fault-based system, also known as a “tort” system.

Under Indiana’s fault-based system, the driver determined to be responsible for causing the accident must compensate the other parties for their injuries and other losses. This means that if you’re injured in a car wreck caused by another driver’s negligence, you have the right to pursue compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company or file a lawsuit against the driver directly.

What Is Needed to Prove the Other Driver’s Negligence?

To prove that the other driver was at fault for your Indiana car accident, you must demonstrate that they were negligent. Negligence is a legal concept that refers to a failure to exercise reasonable care, causing harm to another person. To establish negligence, you must prove four key elements:

  1. Duty of care – The other driver was legally obligated to operate their vehicle safely and follow traffic laws.
  2. Breach of duty – The other driver breached their duty of care by engaging in careless, reckless, or illegal behavior behind the wheel.
  3. Causation – The other driver’s breach of duty directly caused the accident and your resulting injuries and damages.
  4. Actual losses – You suffered actual losses as a result of the collision, such as bodily injury, property damage, medical bills, lost wages, or pain and suffering.

If you can prove all four elements of negligence, you’ll have a strong case for holding the at-fault driver liable for your losses.

What Evidence Can Help Prove the Other Driver Was At Fault?

You’ll need as much proof as possible to support your claim that the other driver was responsible for the crash. Some key types of evidence include:

  • Police report – Call the police to the accident scene and get a copy of their report. It may contain the officer’s opinion on who was at fault based on their initial observations.
  • Witness statements – Collect contact information from any witnesses who saw the collision occur. Their testimony can help corroborate your version of events.
  • Photos and videos – Take pictures of the accident scene, vehicle damage, and your injuries. If any nearby surveillance or dashboard cameras captured the incident, secure a copy of the footage.
  • Medical records – Seek prompt medical attention after the accident and keep detailed records of your injuries, treatment, and expenses. These records will help establish the extent of your losses.
  • Cell phone records – If you suspect the other driver was using their phone at the time of the crash, their cell phone records may provide evidence of distraction.

An experienced Indiana car accident attorney can help you gather and preserve this critical evidence to build a strong case on your behalf.

Driver calling his insurance company to report accident.

What If I Am Partially Responsible for the Crash?

Even if you believe you may be partially at fault for the accident, you may still be entitled to compensation under Indiana’s comparative fault law. However, your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you.

For example, let’s say you are found to be 20 percent at fault for the accident and your damages total $100,000. Your recovery would be reduced by 20 percent, allowing you to collect $80,000. However, if you are found to be 51 percent or more at fault, you will be barred from recovering any compensation.

Insurance companies may try to shift blame onto you to reduce their own liability. This is why it’s crucial to have a personal injury lawyer on your side who can fight to protect your rights and maximize your compensation.

What Should I Do to Avoid Liability After an Indiana Car Accident?

To protect yourself from being unfairly blamed for an accident, take the following steps:

  • Call the police and report the accident.
  • Avoid admitting fault or apologizing at the scene, as this could be used against you later.
  • Gather evidence at the scene, including photos and witness contact information.
  • Seek immediate medical attention for your injuries and follow your doctor’s treatment plan.
  • Contact an Indiana car accident attorney before giving any recorded statements to insurance companies.

How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Lawsuit in Indiana?

If you need to file a lawsuit to pursue compensation for your Indiana car accident, you must be aware of the state’s statute of limitations. In Indiana, you generally have two years from the accident date to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you miss this deadline, you may lose your right to seek compensation through the court system.

Contact an Indiana Car Accident Lawyer

Determining fault in an Indiana car wreck can be challenging, especially when you’re dealing with injuries and expenses. A skilled Indiana car accident lawyer can help you investigate your collision, gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and fight for the full compensation you deserve.

At Truitt Law Offices, our dedicated attorneys have been helping Indiana car accident victims for over 40 years. We understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll a serious crash can take on your life, and we’re here to help you through the process of pursuing justice.

If you have been injured in an Indiana car accident, don’t wait to seek legal help. Contact Truitt Law Offices today for a free consultation so we can begin putting our experience to work for you.

Visit Our Indiana Car Accident Law Offices

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About the Author

Phil Truitt joined Truitt Law Offices in 2018 after he earned his J.D. from Ohio Northern University Ohio Northern Pettit College of Law. However, his association with the law firm dates all the way back to childhood. His father, Richard, established the firm over 40 years ago. Growing up, Phil…