Car insurance laws vary between states. Indiana uses the concept of at-fault insurance. That means the driver who is at fault must pay compensation to the victimized driver.
Yet, defining who is to blame for a wreck is not always straightforward, as sometimes both drivers made errors that contributed to the collision. What happens then?
Every case hinges on the determination of fault
When investigating the causes of a vehicle crash, your goal is to prove that the other party was 50% or more responsible for the collision. Under Indiana law, you cannot claim compensation if more than half the responsibility lies with you.
The rule of comparative fault means that a court would determine compensation according to the percentage of fault each party holds. For example, investigations show the collision was 70% the other driver’s fault and 30% yours. Therefore, if the total amount you should get is $10,000, the other party’s insurer must pay you $7,000 because 30% or $3,000 was your fault.
How do you determine fault after a crash?
Unlike dividing a pie, or working out sums on a piece of paper, attributing blame in a vehicle collision is far from simple. How do you prove that the other driver was 70% responsible instead of 65% or 49% responsible? Remember, every extra percentage of fault translates to a different settlement value.
Insurers will send investigators and adjusters to gather evidence and apportion blame. The other driver’s insurer will look to limit their liability by suggesting you were responsible. To defend against their allegations and counter with your own requires research and legal knowledge. If you want to receive the full amount of compensation you need you will have to fight hard to get it.