Picture this: you are driving carefully, or walking down the street, when you are suddenly hit or fall due to another driver not watching the road or a sidewalk that has not been fixed. You are hurt, upset, but mostly, you are frustrated because this could have been avoided if another person acted correctly or finished their job. This is called negligence.
Negligence is the first thing a victim must prove when filing a claim for damages, but it is also the most difficult. Unfortunately, negligence is never just assumed and you must work hard to prove to the court that negligence did, in fact, take place.
In Indiana, there are four things that go into proving negligence, including duty of care, breach of duty, causation and damages. Duty of care is your first step: you must establish that the person who caused your injury was supposed to be acting accordingly. This is usually the easiest step, as it is often implied, especially when it comes to a car accident. Breach of duty is the proof that the at-fault party failed to act as they were supposed to. This can be as simple as proving that they were driving under the influence, texting while driving or talking on the phone while on the job. Once that breach is proven, you must then show the courts how that breach directly impacted your injury or damages, and then, you must prove that those damages you received actually caused you financial pain.
Indiana also follows the comparative fault law, which states that if you had any part in the accident, you will be docked for your percentage of fault. For example, if a driver was texting and hit your car, they are mostly at fault, but if you were speeding, you can also be held partially at fault. The court will determine what percentage of the accident was your fault and dock your compensation by that percentage.
To prove negligence, it’s imperative that you have things such as a police report, pictures of the damage, evidence of the accident occurring, any witness statements and any medical bills that you accrued after the accident occurred. An experienced Indiana accident attorney will help you sort out all of these items and ensure that you not only receive compensation for your damages, but that you also get as close to 100 percent of the damages as you deserve.
If you were involved in an accident due to negligence, contact the attorneys at Stewart & Stewart. You can call us at 1-800-33-33-LAW or visit our website for more information.