Earlier this month, a volunteer poll worker was struck and killed by a passing motorist as he was attempting to collect some items that had fallen out from the back of his van. According to one local news source covering the accident, the tragedy occurred near the intersection of Banta Trail and South Meridian Street in Indianapolis.
Evidently, the man was on his way to volunteer at the polls when he stopped on Meridian Street to retrieve some items that had fallen out of the back of his van. The van, which was a rental, was pulled over on the side of the road while the man tried to collect the items, which authorities believe were bags of trash. As he was collecting the bags, another motorist came down Meridian Street and struck him. That motorist remained on the scene and cooperated with police.
After the fatal accident, police began an investigation into what could have caused the accident. It is not known why the van’s rear door opened. Police do not believe that drugs or alcohol were involved in the accident. It was dark at the time of the accident, and it is a possibility that the driver of the car failed to see the man as he was collecting the trash bags.
Determining Fault in Indiana Accidents
After an accident, it is the job of the police to determine who, if anyone, was criminally at fault in the accident. Police may issue a citation to one or both parties involved, and they may even recommend that criminal charges be brought against either driver, if the facts support such charges.
However, determining fault is sometimes not an easy task, especially when it comes to determining who should be able to recover for their injuries after an accident. For example, in the accident discussed above, it seems that either or both parties may be at fault, depending on facts that may never be uncovered.
In these situations, Indiana law uses a legal doctrine called “comparative fault” to determine which parties may be eligible for monetary compensation after a car accident, as well as how much they are entitled to. Under the comparative fault doctrine, the judge or jury first will assign each party a percentage of fault after hearing all the evidence in the case. Then, the court will look at what the total amount of damages to the plaintiff was, and then it will reduce that figure by the plaintiff’s own percentage of fault. If a plaintiff is found to be 51% at fault or more, they are not entitled to recover damages at all.
Have You Been Injured in an Indiana Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in any kind of Indiana accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for the injuries you sustained as a result. However, the defendant and his or her attorney may attempt to shift blame onto you in order to decrease their own liability. In order to prevent an unfair shifting of blame, contact a dedicated and experienced Indiana personal injury attorney today to discuss your case. Call 888-532-7766 today to set up your free consultation.
10-Year-Old Girl Killed in Miami County Car Accident; Alcohol Suspected, Indiana Injury Lawyer Blog, October 19, 2015
Indiana State Trooper Struck by Passing Motorist While Responding to Accident, Indiana Injury Lawyer Blog, November 2, 2015