What is Comparative Fault in a Personal Injury Case?

If your accident was partially your fault, can you still bring about a personal injury claim against the other at-fault party? Continue reading to learn about shared-fault states, including facts about comparative negligence in personal injury cases and whether or not Indiana accepts and recognizes such legal principles.

Injury Lawyers Indianapolis IN 317-636-7497
Injury Lawyers Indianapolis IN 317-636-7497

Personal Injury Comparative Fault Facts

Comparative fault, also known as comparative negligence, is a legal principle of tort law that is applied to accidents in which both parties involved are partly to blame. It states that when an accident of any kind takes place, the negligence or fault of each party is founded on their separate roles in the accident.  Comparative fault principles allow insurance companies to assign fault, and therefore pay insurance claims accordingly.

Comparative Versus Contributory

Do not confuse comparative negligence for contributory negligence, also called contributory fault. These are two separate kinds of tort law principles. As mentioned, comparative fault/negligence refers to taking into consideration the fault of each party in an accident, and then using the difference of faults to assign a value to the accident claim.

Contributory fault, on the other hand, is a very strict legal principle that does not allow an injured person to collect compensation through an injury claim if they are partly responsible for their own accident. In a state that applies contributory fault, one cannot bring about a casualty claim against any other involved parties regardless of how little at-fault they are for their accident.

Very few states follow the contributory negligence system; ones that currently do include Maryland, Virginia, and Alabama (also Washington D.C.). Indiana is a modified comparative fault state.

Pure and Modified Comparative Fault

States that follow the comparative fault tort law principle will use either a pure comparative fault system or a modified comparative fault system. Under pure comparative fault, a claimant’s accident claim value will be lowered by the actual percentage of fault they are for their accident.

For instance, if a claimant is 99% to blame and damages add up to $100,000, they could recover $1000 in compensation under a pure comparative negligence system. Modified comparative negligence is a bit more lenient, as it allows a claimant to collect personal injury compensation for their damages so long as they are less than 50% at-fault for their accident.

Are you looking for a skilled lawyer who can help you recover the maximum settlement for your Indiana personal injury claim? Contact Carl Brizzi LAW at 317-636-7497 to schedule a free consultation with our licensed Indianapolis Indiana accident injury attorneys, today. We take cases all throughout the state.

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Carl Brizzi Law Indianapolis Indiana
Carl Brizzi Law Indianapolis Indiana 317-636-7497