Indianapolis Accident Lawyer Addresses Fairness in a Case

I’ve been practicing law for more than 23 years.  In all that time, except for a three year stint as a part time public defender at the start, I have represented only those seriously injured as a result of the negligence of others.  In that time, I have seen much criticism of the civil justice system.  I have heard that there are too many law suits.  I have heard that people need to take personal responsibility.  I have heard that our medical system is being irreparably harmed by malpractice suits.  The list goes on and on. In response to all this criticism, I am starting a multi part blog that addresses ideas that will make the system a level playing field for the benefit of all concerned.  Let me start by saying that our civil justice system is the best in the world.  Of course it will always be subject to change to accommodate our changing society.  However, in our system of civil justice we do not drag a person who has caused a serious collision and serious personal injury or wrongful death and beat the driver to death..  We come to Court.  We behave as civilized human beings.  We allow our adversaries counsel and the opportunity to present their evidence in a peaceful manner.  We ask our peers to listen to the evidence and return a verdict.  We then live with the results of that verdict.  I offer the following ideas as an observer whose goal it is to aide our society to greater heights.

Every person should be held responsible for their actions.  Currently, a person is held accountable for their actions, but only in part. Responsibility is based on fault and fault is determined by percents.  For example if a driver is 75% at fault for causing a serious injury, and the injured person is 25% at fault, the 75% responsible driver fairly compensates the injured driver by paying  75% of their damages.  However if the injured driver is 51 % at fault, and the other driver is 49% at fault, the other driver has no responsibility to fairly compensate any of the 49% of damages they caused.  In addition, the jury is not told this fact.  I suggest making two changes.  First, change the system so that the driver who causes any percent of a collision, is responsible for fairly compensating the injured driver equal to that percent of fault.  If they are 25% of fault, pay 25% of the injured person’s damages.  If they are 95% at fault they are responsible for compensating 95% of the damages.  After all it is only fair that a person be responsible only for that percent of harm they cause. Second, tell the jury the truth about how the system works. Jurors are smart.  Jurors do not become frivolous just because they are sitting in the jury box.  Jurors listen to the evidence and try to follow the instructions.  Tell them the truth and let them do their job.

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