FAQs - Car or Auto or Vehicle Accidents

Contributory Negligence Cases

Yes, you can recover, but it is much, much more difficult.

Remember, government makes the laws.

So, when government is involved in a lawsuit you can be certain that the laws will favor the government owned vehicles, schools, or lands which cause accidents.

This is called the Indiana Tort Claims Act.  If a private citizen files a lawsuit against the State of Indiana or one of its political subdivisions, such as a town, township, county or school corporation then the old law of contributory negligence, applies (not Modified Comparative Fault as explained above in other cases involving private citizen versus private citizen or corporation).

Contributory negligence is a harsh doctrine. Under it, a jury is instructed that they are only to award a verdict in favor of a plaintiff if they find that the plaintiff was not at fault at all in causing the accident or incident.

If the jury finds that a plaintiff is only slightly at fault, say 1%, then the plaintiff is not entitled to recover anything.

It's an all or nothing allocation of fault and it often leads to unfair results where the defendant is almost totally at fault, but not completely 100% at fault.

We believe, however, that juries are smart.  They realize that in these contributory negligence cases, that justice for the plaintiff should be done.  That's why it is so important to hire a firm like Shaw Law, LLC who has experience in handling contributory negligence claims and lawsuits from start to finish.

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