Unfortunately, accidents are a fact of life. In 2011, there were more than 188,000 traffic crashes across the state of Indiana, resulting in nearly 46,000 injuries and 749 deaths. Tragic accidents can also happen off the roadways, such as injuries related to trains, explosions, fires or construction sites. If you or a loved one suffers a catastrophic injury, you may be eligible to recover a wide range of damages. Here’s what you need to know:
- Compensatory damages are awarded in an amount that compensates the victim for their injuries, essentially “making them whole” again. This may include property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
- Punitive damages, on the other hand, are awarded in an amount that penalizes the defendant for their conduct. In Indiana, punitive damages are capped at three times the amount of compensatory damages or $50,000, whichever is greater.
- Under Indiana’s comparative fault law, an injured party cannot recover compensatory damages in a fault-based claim if they hold the greater percentage of fault. When an injured party is able to recover, their damages are reduced based on their percentage of fault. The following examples illustrate this legal principle:
- Pam jumps in front of Diana’s car and gets run over. The jury determines that Pam is 51 percent at fault, so she is barred from receiving compensation.
- Peter rides his bicycle in the street and is hit by David’s car. Peter’s sustains $100,000 in damages. The jury determines that Peter is 20 percent at fault, so his award is reduced to $80,000.
After an accident, you need to consult an Indiana personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Theodoros & Rooth’s injury lawyers work hard to recover maximum damages in every case.