What If I’m Hit by an Uninsured Motorist?

After you’ve been in a car accident, it’s natural to look to your own car insurance, or the other driver’s insurance, to cover expenses like car repairs and medical bills. If the accident wasn’t your fault, you’d typically file a claim against the other driver’s auto liability coverage. Generally speaking, the person who caused the accident should be responsible for the costs and losses that others experience due to the accident.

However, filing an insurance claim can be more complex if the other driver doesn’t have auto insurance. Indiana’s law states that drivers have to carry liability coverage, but nearly a study showed that almost 15.8% of Indiana motorists didn’t have insurance in 2019. This is higher than the national average of 12.6%.

In many instances, you can use uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage if the driver responsible for the accident doesn’t have liability insurance. Today, the laws in Indiana require every liability policy to have this coverage unless the policyholder rejects it, and it has to be in writing.

Many car accident victims don’t file a claim with uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, and it’s common for people to purchase auto insurance without fully understanding which coverage they have. Suppose you were involved in an auto accident, and the driver responsible doesn’t have any or has insufficient insurance to cover your losses. In that case, you can use your uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage to seek compensation.

Indiana Car Insurance Requirements

Understanding car insurance can be difficult, especially regarding the specific requirements that vary by state. If you live in Indiana, you want to know the state’s specific insurance requirements. In Indiana, all motor vehicle owners must carry the following minimum levels of insurance coverage:

  • Bodily Injury Liability – This is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. Suppose you are involved in an accident where the other driver is injured. This type of coverage will pay for their medical expenses up to these limits.
  • Property Damage Liability – This is set at $25,000 per accident. If you happen to be at fault in a collision, and there is damage to another person’s property, like their car or house, this coverage helps pay for those repairs.
  • Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury – The minimum coverage is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. Uninsured motorist coverage is essential because it steps in if you are hit by a driver without insurance or are involved in a hit-and-run accident.
  • Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury – This coverage is also set at $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. This comes into play when the other driver’s insurance coverage isn’t enough to cover your medical expenses.

These requirements can protect you and others on the road in an accident. However, they are just the minimum amounts, and you might find it helpful to carry higher coverage levels to safeguard yourself better financially.

For example, let’s consider a situation where you’re at fault in an accident, and the other driver’s medical expenses exceed the $25,000 bodily injury liability limit. In that case, you’d be responsible for paying the remaining out-of-pocket unless you had higher coverage. Understanding Indiana’s insurance requirements and limitations can help you make more informed decisions about your insurance coverage and ensure you’re adequately protected while driving on the state’s roads.

Underinsured motorist coverage for property damage in an accident is not available in Indiana. This means that if the damages to your vehicle go above the limit of the at-fault driver’s insurance, you can only recover the amount of their insurance limit. So, you can only recover $25,000 in property damage if the at-fault driver has minimum coverage. You may file a claim for the difference with your own insurance company.

Indiana’s ‘No Pay, No Play’ Statutes

Specific laws in Indiana aim to encourage responsible vehicle ownership and insurance coverage. Two of these laws, known as the “No Pay, No Play” statutes, might significantly impact you if you’re involved in an auto accident. Indiana Code 27-7-5-11 and Indiana Code 34-30-29-2 outline these laws.

The first law, Indiana Code 27-7-5-11, states that if you are driving uninsured and are involved in an accident (even if it is not your fault), you may be unable to seek compensation. Simply put, if you did not pay for your insurance, you cannot play, or collect compensation, even if the other driver is at fault.

Meanwhile, the second “No Pay, No Play” statute in Indiana, Indiana Code 34-30-29-2, goes further. According to this code, uninsured drivers aren’t allowed to sue for certain non-economic damages. Non-economic damages are not monetary, including pain and suffering or emotional distress. This law emphasizes how important it is for you to have current auto insurance coverage.

Both of these laws emphasize the importance of keeping enough insurance coverage. It’s all about encouraging responsible driving and ensuring that everyone has equal access to the legal system. After all, being an accountable driver involves more than simply following the rules of the road. It also includes making sure that you have enough auto insurance coverage.

Remember that the “No Pay, No Play” laws can make the aftermath of a car accident more complex, especially if you or the other party involved aren’t adequately insured. So, it’s crucial to stay informed about these laws and ensure that you meet Indiana’s insurance requirements. By doing so, you’re not just following the law but also protecting yourself and your finances from potential complications in case of an accident.

What If I Was Hit by an Underinsured Driver?

Before we dive into what actions to take when an uninsured or underinsured driver hits you in Indiana, let’s first understand the distinction between the two.

An uninsured driver is someone who does not carry any auto insurance. This is illegal in most states, including Indiana. On the other hand, an underinsured driver has some level of auto insurance, but it’s not enough to cover the costs associated with a car accident. It means that while they’ve made an effort to comply with Indiana’s laws, their coverage falls short of the actual expenses an accident can generate.

If an uninsured driver has hit you in Indiana, your steps depend on your insurance policy. Let’s say your insurance policy includes uninsured motorist coverage. In that case, this can be a lifeline. It’s designed to cover you if the other driver involved in an accident doesn’t have insurance. Uninsured motorist coverage can help pay for your medical bills, vehicle repairs, and other expenses you may incur. It’s like having a safety net when the unexpected happens.

But what if your insurance policy does not include uninsured motorist coverage? If this is the case, then your options may be more limited. You may have to sue the uninsured driver directly to recover costs. This can be a long and tedious process, and even if you win, there’s no guarantee that the uninsured driver will have the means to pay the judgment. In such cases, it’s crucial to seek advice from a professional with experience in this area of law.

In all these scenarios, it’s always wise to report the accident to your insurance company. Also, gather as much evidence as possible from the accident scene – like photographs, witness accounts, and police reports. This evidence could be invaluable in proving your case.

Does Uninsured Motorist Coverage Cover Hit and Run Accidents?

If you are a hit-and-run accident victim in Indiana, you may wonder how to pay for your damages or injuries. You’re lucky if your car insurance policy includes uninsured motorist coverage. This type of coverage can protect you in a hit-and-run accident.

Because the driver who caused the accident fled the scene and the police can’t identify them, they get classified as ‘uninsured’ for insurance purposes. As a result, your uninsured motorist coverage kicks in, helping you cover costs like vehicle repairs, medical expenses, and even lost wages if you can’t work because of your injuries.

Remember, each policy can be different, so it’s essential to understand the specifics of your coverage. If you are in this situation, report the incident to the police and your insurance company.

Do I Need a Lawyer To Obtain Compensation?

If you’re facing the aftermath of a car accident, you might ask yourself: “Do I really need a lawyer to get compensation?” The short answer is: while it’s not always necessary, having a lawyer can make a significant difference.

Understanding the complexities of insurance claims and legal jargon can be difficult. This is where a lawyer comes into play. They are well-versed in car accident law and can guide you through the process while ensuring they protect your rights.

Negotiating with insurance companies is another critical area where a lawyer can be highly beneficial. The insurance company’s primary goal is to minimize payout, so they may offer you a settlement that isn’t enough to cover your costs. A skilled attorney can negotiate to get the compensation you deserve. Additionally, having a lawyer will be invaluable if your case goes to court. They can present your case effectively and fight for you.

Experienced Indiana Car Accident Lawyer

SLG Accident Attorneys is here to assist you if you need legal representation after a car accident in Indiana. The firm, led by knowledgeable professional Hasan A. Shah, specializes in personal injury law and strives to provide seamless legal representation.

Our attention to client needs and extensive knowledge of Indiana car accident laws make us a dependable choice for legal counsel. Remember that you don’t have to deal with the aftermath of an accident alone; SLG Accident Attorneys can be your firm ally.

Some of the locations our Indiana law firm serve include: Evansville, Merrillville, South Bend, Fishers, Carmel, Noblesville, Indianapolis, Greenwood, Fort Wayne, Anderson, Avon, Mishawaka, Hobart, Richmond, and more.