Car Accident Lawyer Fighting For Victims Of Auto Injuries In Crown Point
For many of us, automobiles are an essential element of everyday life. They allow us to get to work, see our friends, provide for our family, transport our goods, and get from point A to B without incident. Sometimes, however, accidents take place, and the life-long implications of these accidents can be devastating for victims.
If you are the victim of an accident involving a car, truck, motorcycle, or other vehicle, there are steps you can take to help determine who is at fault, and achieve the outcome you and your family deserve, and possibly recover the damages you are owed. Here at Hilbrich Law Firm, we have the team you need to take the next steps towards justice.
What Does It Mean To Be “At-Fault”?
Determining liability in auto accidents in Indiana requires establishing which party was “at-fault” – in short, determining who was careless. This is also known as determining “negligence,” and can be achieved in a number of ways.
- Police Reports: In some cases, proving liability can be a fast, painless process. Any police or law enforcement officer on the scene after a car accident is required to complete a written accident report. This can contain valuable information and details about the accident, including any violations of traffic laws which took place, or unsafe driving which resulted in the accident. The report may also detail negligent driving, and this can be a great place to start in showing that the other party was at fault.
- State Traffic Laws: The state of Indiana sets out strict laws and requirements for drivers, and if it can be proven that these were not met, the driver may find themselves liable. You will be able to access a copy of the laws and use this to consider aspects such as the speed limit, any road markings, or who has right of way. These details can all be very useful in proving that a third party was liable.
What Is No-Doubt Liability?
In some cases, liability is almost certainly attributable to the other party and in those cases, often most insurance companies will not take the time, money, and energy to dispute this.
- Rear-End Collisions: The majority of rear-end collisions can be blamed firmly on the driver who rear-ends the other. For example, Indiana and Illinois require drivers to have the ability to stop the vehicle safely if the traffic in front of them also stops. If they are unable to do this, they are not driving safely.
In addition, physical evidence is damning here; in most rear-end collisions, your car will show damage to the back only, while the other driver will have damage to the front – it is therefore pretty clear who struck whom. While comparative negligence may come into play here, possibly reducing your damages, liability will still almost always be attributed to the party who crashed into the back of the other.
- Left-Turn Accidents: Liability is almost always clear when it comes to accidents involving left hand turns. Any car making a left turn will almost always be found liable for a collision with a car coming straight the other way. There are a few exceptions – if the car going straight was speeding or ran a red light, or if the car making the turn began the turn when the road was safe, but was then forced to make an unexpected stop.
What Is Modified Comparative Fault?
For motor vehicle accidents, Indiana generally operates under the principle of modified comparative fault; this is a defense which may be put forward by the other party to reduce the chance of having to pay damages.
This states that “any contributory fault chargeable to the claimant diminishes proportionately the amount awarded…but does not bar recovery except…if the claimant’s fault is greater than the fault of all persons who contributed to the claimant’s damages.”
In short, you will still be entitled to compensation, even if you are found to be partly at fault for the accident. For example, if you are found to be 51% at fault, you cannot recover. If you are found to be 50% at fault, your damages are reduced by 50%. Basically, if you are 50% or less at fault, your damages are reduced by the percentage of blame apportioned to you.
There are certain cases, such as dealing with governmental employees and agents, where even harsher laws preclude or diminish recovery.
Am I Entitled To Compensation?
If you are able to prove that the other party is liable for the accident, you may be in a position to claim costs, compensation, and damages. These can be essential for covering healthcare bills and costs, loss of earnings at the time of the accident and in the future, and pain and suffering.
Here at Hilbrich Law Firm, we have years of experience working in the Crown Point area to help victims of auto accidents achieve the justice they deserve and recover the damages they need to move forward. If you have been involved in a car, motorcycle, or truck accident, get in touch with us today at (219) 924-2427 for a consultation, and see how we can help you.