A jury must assign a percentage of fault, if any, to each person involved in the accident
If you are injured by another party, for example, in an auto, trucking, bicycle or motorcycle accident—even as a pedestrian or when acting as a Good Samaritan—under Indiana Code §§ 34-51-2-6; 34-51-2-7; 34-52-2-14, the judge is required to instruct the jury that part of their duty must be to determine which party or parties to the incident bear responsibility for the Plaintiff’s injuries and assign to each, a percentage or degree of their fault. The percentage of liability determines the percentage of the resulting damages each party must pay.
Parties responsible may include the Defendant(s). In some cases, a portion of responsibility can even be assigned to non-parties to the action, i.e. someone unnamed in Plaintiff’s civil suit. Even Plaintiff(s) can bear fault. Under Indiana’s ‘modified’ Comparative Fault law, a claimant’s responsibility cannot exceed 50% of the sum total of all other responsible parties. If the claimant is deemed to be more than 50% responsible for his or her injuries, then that claimant is barred from recovery in a negligence case. The Comparative Fault chapter may vary when applied to medical malpractice, governmental entities or public employees.
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It’s challenging for most people to stay knowledgeable of every statute that may affect them at some point in time. That’s why it’s important to seek advice from an attorney who deals with liability issues on a daily basis. Every case is different. Ward & Ward will look at the facts of an issue, dissect them and give you an honest assessment in their free consultation with you. Call Charlie Ward.