After a car accident, most people turn to their car insurance or the liability insurance of the other driver to help them pay for car repairs and medical bills. If the accident was someone else’s fault, then you would file a claim against the other driver’s insurance auto liability coverage. In most cases, the person at fault must pay for costs and losses suffered by others in a car accident.
Unfortunately, an insurance claim can become more complicated if the other driver does not have auto insurance. Despite Indiana’s requirements that vehicle owners have liability insurance coverage, the Insurance Research Council (IRC) says nearly 16% of motorists in Indiana in 2019 were uninsured. The national average was 12.6% of motorists, or about one in eight drivers, according to the IRC’s 2021 study.
In most cases, Indiana residents can rely on uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM coverage) if the driver who injures them in a crash does not have auto liability insurance. Indiana law requires every new auto liability policy to include UM/UIM coverage unless the policyholder rejects it in writing.
It’s not unusual for a car accident victim to neglect to file a UM/UIM claim. Many car owners buy car insurance without a full understanding of the types of coverage they have. If you’ve been in a car accident caused by a driver with no insurance or insufficient insurance to cover your losses, you may have a legal right to seek compensation through your own UM/UIM coverage.
An experienced Indiana car accident attorney with Truitt Law Offices can review your auto insurance policy coverage and the losses you have suffered to help you maximize your car accident claim. We can help you seek full payment for the injuries and losses that you’ve sustained. Contact Truitt Law Offices for a free case review today.
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What are the Minimum Liability Coverage Requirements for Indiana?
It is against the law in Indiana to drive a car without liability insurance. The minimum liability coverage required is:
- $25,000 for bodily injury to, or the death of, one individual;
- $50,000 for bodily injury to, or death of, two or more people in any one accident; and
- $25,000 for property damage in any one accident.
This is commonly referred to as 25/50/25 liability insurance. Indiana law requires the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to suspend driving privileges and fine motorists who are found to lack proper car insurance. License suspensions range from 90 days to one year and include reinstatement fees.
In addition to auto liability coverage, each insurance policy must include uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, unless the buyer rejects it in writing. Minimum UM/UIM coverage matches the minimum liability coverage required in Indiana:
- Uninsured Motorists:
- Bodily Injury: $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident
- Property Damage: $25,000 per accident
- Underinsured Motorists:
- Bodily Injury: $50,000 per person and per accident
When you have uninsured motorist insurance and underinsured motorist insurance coverage, you collect payment by filing a claim against your own automobile insurance.
What is the Difference Between Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists in Indiana?
An uninsured motorist is one who has no auto liability coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage also applies to unidentified hit-and-run drivers, because there’s no liability coverage to access in that situation.
Underinsured motorist insurance coverage becomes available when the injured person has drawn the maximum payout available under the at-fault driver’s liability coverage but still has unpaid medical bills.
Because most people carry the minimum liability coverage (a maximum of $25,000 for bodily injury), underinsured motorist coverage comes in handy if you are hospitalized after a car accident someone else caused. A 2020 RAND Corporation study found that Hoosiers pay some of the highest health care prices in the country.
What To Do at the Scene of an Indiana Car Accident
The first thing to do after a car accident is to assess yourself, your passengers, and others involved in the collision for injuries. If anyone is in need of medical help, call 911 and request an ambulance along with the police.
In Indiana, if a car accident causes injury, death, damage to the vehicles totaling more than $1,000, or damage to property beyond the vehicles such as a streetlamp or guardrail, you must contact the police.
If you are able, you should document the accident as well as you can. This means taking photos of the vehicles and their damage and their positions relative to each other. Get photos to illustrate anything that may have contributed to the accident, such as road construction or overgrown bushes that reduce the visibility of a stop sign.
Get names and contact information from any witnesses to the accident.
Exchange information with every driver involved in the automobile accident, including:
- Contact information
- Driver’s license number
- License plate number
- Insurance company information.
If the other driver(s) says they do not have automobile insurance, get the other information about them. If they suggest you handle the accident without police, reply politely but firmly to the effect that you prefer to do things by the book. Do not allow an uninsured driver to talk you out of reporting the accident to the police. The lack of a police report will make it harder to recoup any insurance payment for the accident.
If you did not require emergency medical treatment, see a doctor within 24 hours of the accident to ensure you get the medical care you need. A visit to the doctor also documents your injury in connection with the car accident.
How Can an Indiana Car Accident Attorney Help Me?
Contact a car accident attorney to evaluate your legal options. It is the best way to ensure your accident and a potential insurance claim are investigated by someone with the knowledge and the incentive to help you recover full compensation for your medical bills and car repairs.
The Indiana car accident attorneys at Truitt Law Offices will protect your rights and negotiate aggressively with insurers to seek all the compensation available for your losses. Contact the Truitt Law Offices in Indianapolis today for a free, no-obligation discussion of your accident, injuries, insurance coverage, and legal options.