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Is Indiana a No-Fault State for Car Accidents?

Is Indiana a no-fault state? Indiana motorists must understand Indiana’s car insurance laws if they suffer financial losses due to a car accident. If you recently experienced a car accident and are unclear about how to proceed, the Indiana car accident lawyers at Stein Law Offices can help you navigate Indiana laws, establish legal fault, and receive the compensation you deserve. 

Indiana is an “at-fault” state. This means that, under Indiana car insurance laws, the motorist found to be at fault for an accident will be responsible for all damages.

The laws of individual states determine auto accident liability. Some state liability laws are “no-fault.” This means that only your own insurance company will provide you with compensation for any damages, medical expenses, or other costs from a car accident in Indiana. In no-fault states, which motorist is found to be at fault for the accident does not affect the compensation that each driver’s insurance policy pays out. 

If you are involved in a car accident in Indiana where the other driver is found to be at fault, that driver’s insurance policy will be financially responsible for any damages to your vehicle or any medical expenses. If you are found to be at fault for the accident, your insurance policy will be liable to compensate the other driver and anyone else who incurred damages from the accident. 

Given the complexity of Indiana car insurance laws and Indiana’s status as an at-fault state, you should find the best legal representation at Stein Law to help you navigate the complex issue of determining fault in a car accident. Car accident lawyers can also help you communicate with insurance companies and avoid accidentally establishing fault.

How do you prove the other driver was at fault?

One consequence of Indiana’s status as an “at-fault” is that determining who is at fault in a car accident is highly important. You must know how to prove you are not at fault in a car accident to receive compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. 

In some cases, establishing fault for a car accident is fairly straightforward. If the other driver recklessly disregarded traffic laws, such as running through a red light in front of a traffic camera while you had the right of way, they will likely be found legally at fault and liable for any damages. Likewise, if the other driver is found to be legally intoxicated at the time of the accident, you can more easily establish their fault under Indiana law. 

However, proving who was at fault in an accident is not always so simple. In some cases, accidents can occur through no apparent fault of any driver involved. This happens due to sudden road obstructions, hazardous driving conditions, and other factors outside anyone’s control. In other cases, the other driver might be at fault due to reckless or negligent driving, but evidence showing their fault may be hard to find. 

Once an accident occurs, your first step is determining whether anyone involved needs medical attention. If all parties escaped injury and you’ve moved all cars out of driving lanes, your next step is to begin the process of gathering evidence. 

It’s a good idea to take as many pictures of the accident as possible. Photos will not only demonstrate damage to your vehicle but also can help insurance investigators establish who is at fault. Photos can also prove any traffic signs relevant to the other driver’s responsibility. For example, if the other driver had a stop sign and you did not, photos of the stop sign’s location at the intersection can show insurance investigators that the other motorist caused the accident by violating Indiana traffic laws. 

You can also see if any third-party witnesses are willing to offer their contact information to provide statements to insurance investigators. You may also file a police report on the accident, though you usually don’t need to have a police report on file to file a claim with your insurance company. If you suffer injuries that require medical treatment, keep all medical records as proof of the other driver’s liability for your medical expenses.

two drivers looking at damaged cars

What happens if the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance?

Though Indiana law requires that all motorists have car insurance, this does not mean that every driver on the road complies with the law. While the penalties for driving without insurance in Indiana can involve steep fines and license suspension, some drivers still choose to operate vehicles while uninsured. If you are involved in a collision with an uninsured driver in Indiana, you have a few options. 

In some cases, you may file a lawsuit against the uninsured driver to recover damages. Under Indiana’s laws, the at-fault driver will still be liable for all damages out of pocket. However, a lawsuit will only be worthwhile if the uninsured driver has adequate financial assets to cover the compensation. Unfortunately, uninsured drivers rarely have such financial assets available. Lawsuits cannot recover money that the driver does not have, and an at-fault, uninsured driver will always have the option of filing for bankruptcy in the face of any court-mandated liability. 

Another option is uninsured motorist insurance. This type of insurance is usually an addendum to a preexisting car insurance policy. For an extra fee, you can get additional coverage with your insurance policy to cover you if you are involved in a car accident caused by an uninsured driver in an at-fault state. Indiana law does not currently require motorists to have uninsured motorist coverage, though, so you may want to be proactive and take out an uninsured motorist policy before you may need it. An experienced Indiana car accident lawyer will find the best options for you if you are involved in a car accident with an uninsured driver.

Indiana Car Insurance Laws

Under Indiana law, all motorists must have a minimum degree of liability coverage when operating a vehicle. Indiana laws currently require all motorists to have bodily injury liability of at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. Additionally, Indiana car insurance laws require motorists to have property damage liability coverage with a minimum of $25,000. Indiana car insurance laws do not require uninsured motorist coverage, underinsured motorist coverage, or personal injury protection. 

How can a Car Accident Lawyer at Stein Law help?

With Indiana’s status as an at-fault state, victims of car accidents will need the best Indiana car accident lawyers in their corner. The experienced attorneys at Stein Law can help you establish responsibility in a car accident, navigate insurance companies, and receive the compensation you deserve. If you have suffered financial losses due to a car accident in Indiana, don’t assume that you will be protected by no-fault accident laws. Get in touch with Stein Law today for a free consultation.