Fort Wayne Uninsured Motorist Lawyer
One in eight drivers you encounter on the road lacks auto insurance, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Being injured in a car accident caused by one of these uninsured drivers can be stressful, leaving you unsure of how you will pay your medical bills and other expenses that the driver has caused. However, you may have options for pursuing the compensation you need and deserve.
At Truitt Law Offices, our lead attorney has more than 40 years of experience advocating for the rights of injured clients in Indiana. We can help you seek justice and accountability after an accident. Call or contact us online for a free consultation with a dedicated Fort Wayne uninsured motorist lawyer today.
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What Are Minimum Auto Liability Insurance Requirements in Indiana?
State law requires all Indiana drivers to carry auto insurance with these minimum liability limits:
- $25,000 for bodily injury or death to one person in an accident
- $50,000 for total bodily injury or death in an accident
- $25,000 for property damage per accident.
A basic policy covers medical care treatment, property damage, and other expenses for drivers, passengers, and pedestrians injured in a collision.
What Is the Penalty for Driving Without Insurance in Indiana?
Indiana provides serious penalties for driving without insurance, including fines and a loss of driving privileges. The penalties for a first offense include suspension of your driver’s license suspension for at least 90 days and up to $250 in fines. You must also show proof of future financial responsibility with an SR-22 certificate for 180 days.
The penalties for a second offense within five years of the previous violation include driver’s license suspension for one year, up to $500 in license reinstatement fees, and vehicle registration suspension for one year. You must also meet the SR-22 certificate requirement for three years.
The penalties for a third or subsequent offense within five years of the previous offense include driver’s license suspension for one year, up to $1,000 in license reinstatement fees, vehicle registration suspension for one year, and the SR-22 certificate for five years.
Is Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage Mandatory in Indiana?
According to the Indiana Department of Insurance, uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage must be included in Indiana auto insurance policies unless a policyholder rejects the coverage in writing. The required minimum limits include the following:
- $25,000/$50,000 for uninsured motorist bodily injury
- $50,000 for underinsured motorist bodily injury
- $25,000 for property damage.
What Other Sources of Compensation Are Available?
If the at-fault driver doesn’t have liability insurance, and you don’t have UM/UIM insurance, other types of coverage may be available. You should review your policy to determine if you have additional coverage you can use, such as:
- MedPay — Medical payments, also called MedPay, is an optional form of auto insurance. It pays the policyholder’s medical care expenses after a car crash. It can also cover passengers injured in an accident and other named drivers on the policy.
- Collision — Collision insurance pays for the damage to the policyholder’s vehicle due to an accident.
- Comprehensive — Comprehensive coverage pays for damage to the policyholder’s car involving situations other than a collision or upset, such as glass breakage, theft, windstorm, and fire.
You may be able to sue the at-fault driver for compensation if you can locate them. Your health insurance may cover your medical treatment during the lawsuit. However, a health care insurer typically will require reimbursement after a favorable settlement or verdict.
Sometimes, defendants can’t afford judgments issued against them. When that happens, two options are available to recover compensation:
- Property lien — A lien can prevent the defendant from spending or selling their assets during the lawsuit. After a judgment, the defendant can sell their assets, and you will receive a portion of the proceeds.
- Payment plan — The judge might create a payment plan if the defendant has money but can’t pay the entire judgment upfront. Instead, the defendant can make small payments monthly or weekly until compensation is paid in full.
What Should I Do After an Accident with an Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist?
You should always take immediate action after a car accident regardless of the at-fault driver’s insurance status. Start by calling 911 to summon emergency medical services and the police to the scene. When the police arrive, answer their questions, and ask if you can have a copy of the police accident report. If you are not taken to the hospital in an ambulance, see a doctor immediately for an examination and diagnosis of your injuries. If the doctor recommends a treatment plan, follow their directions.
Keeping follow-up appointments and treating your injuries after a crash is crucial. Gaps in treatment could lead an insurance company to argue that your injuries were not serious enough to warrant compensation. The insurer might use the delay to justify a low settlement offer or deny a claim. Skipping doctor’s appointments can also delay healing and lead to more medical problems.
Maintain detailed records during your ongoing case. You should keep copies of every health insurance letter, physical therapy notes, prescriptions, billing statements, and diagnostic test results. These documents can be valuable evidence in proving the nature and extent of your injuries. They can also be proof of the expenses you incurred from the car accident.
You are not legally obligated to hire a lawyer after a car crash. However, working with an attorney could give you the best chance of pursuing the full compensation you deserve. A Fort Wayne uninsured motorist lawyer can handle every detail of your case so that you can focus on healing. An experienced attorney can also advise you of all possible options for seeking compensation for your losses. A lawyer should take care of all the necessary paperwork for filing an insurance claim or lawsuit on your behalf and ensure that you do not miss any crucial deadlines.
Get Help from an Uninsured Motorist Lawyer in Fort Wayne Today
The aftermath of a car accident can be overwhelming when you discover the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance. However, it is important to explore all legal options for seeking compensation for your losses. Truitt Law Offices is ready to help you to get on the road to your recovery. If you were injured in a car crash due to an uninsured driver’s misconduct, contact us for a free consultation with a Fort Wayne uninsured motorist lawyer.