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Indiana Negligence Laws

Maybe your neighbor never shovels his sidewalk and you finally slipped on the ice. Or maybe someone rear-ended you on I-465. Either way, if you’ve been injured because of another person’s lack of care, you may be asking yourself if you have a valid negligence claim. But how do these claims work, and are there state laws regarding how much you can recover for your injuries? This is a brief overview of negligence laws in Indiana.

General Negligence Law

Legal negligence refers to a situation where on person owes a duty to another and fails in that duty, becoming liable for any resulting injuries. A person speeding on the interstate, for example, who collides with another car, might be held liable for negligence. Indiana’s negligence laws recognize what is called “contributory” negligence, in which the plaintiff is partially at fault for his or her own injuries. In the above example, if the person whose car was hit failed to signal before changing into the speeder’s lane, he or she might be found partially responsible for the accident, limiting the amount he or she could recover.

Negligence Laws in Indiana

Each state may have differing negligence laws which can vary significantly depending on your specific circumstances. Indiana negligence laws are highlighted in the table below.

Code Section

34-51-2-5, et seq.

Comparative Negligence

-

Contributory Negligence-Limit to Plaintiff's Recovery

Recovery barred if contributory negligence was greater than defendant's negligence, otherwise reduces recovery proportionately

Contribution Among Tortfeasors

-

Uniform Act

No

Negligence Cases

There are several elements of a negligence case which must be proved in court in order to recover damages for your injuries:

  • Duty: the defendant owed to a duty of care;
  • Breach of Duty: the defendant failed to meet that duty;
  • Cause in Fact: but for this failure, you would not have been injured;
  • Proximate Cause: this failure (and not something else) caused your injury; and
  • Damages: you have actually been injured and suffered some loss.

For instance, one of the elements is "cause in fact," meaning it was the other person’s failure to meet their duty that cause your injuries. Therefore, even if you can prove that you were injured, if you can’t prove that it was the other person at fault, you may not collect damages. Under Indiana law, if a jury decides you bore more responsibility in an accident, you generally won’t win the case.

Indiana Negligence Laws: Related Resources

For additional information and resources on this topic, you can also visit FindLaw's section on Negligence. If you have been injured and believe you may have a negligence claim, you can contact an experienced Indiana personal injury attorney in your area.

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