Should you sue an uninsured driver after an accident in Indiana?
If you’re an Indiana resident who sustained property damage or bodily injury from a car accident with an uninsured motorist, you might be uncertain if you can sue an uninsured driver in Indiana. At Stein Law, our experienced Indiana car accident attorneys can help you find your best legal options, work with your insurance company, and get the compensation you deserve.
Car accidents can be painful and traumatic events for everyone involved. If you have been in a vehicular accident involving another driver, your primary concern will likely be any potential injuries you or others may have sustained. If you’re fortunate enough to avoid any bodily harm in the accident, your next most pressing concern will be any damage to your car.
In most cases, the other vehicle’s driver will carry auto insurance as Indiana law mandates. If the other driver is found to be fully or partially responsible for the accident, their insurance coverage will help cover the costs associated with the incident. But sometimes, the driver responsible for the accident may not have car insurance. If you’re involved in a car accident with an uninsured motorist in Indiana, the Indiana car accident attorneys of Stein Law can help you understand the options before you and provide expert legal representation to get the compensation you deserve. Stein Law offers a free consultation and never charges a fee unless we get money for you.
Are there a lot of uninsured drivers in Indiana?
The Insurance Information Institute estimates that approximately 15.8 percent of Indiana motorists do not have auto insurance. This places Indiana at 15th in the institute’s national ranking of uninsured motorists by state.
Indiana Uninsured Motorist Laws
Indiana law mandates a legal minimum of auto insurance coverage for anyone driving a vehicle in Indiana. All Indiana motorists must have insurance covering a minimum of $25,000 in bodily injury liability per person and $50,000 in liability per accident. Indiana law also requires each driver to have a property damage liability of at least $25,000.
Indiana is an “at-fault” state. This means that the motorist found responsible for a car accident will be legally liable for all damages. If you’re involved in a car accident where the other driver is found to be at fault, their insurance company will cover all property damage and bodily injury damages to you and your passengers.
But if the other driver does not have auto insurance corresponding to the Indiana state minimum, the situation becomes more complicated. In some cases, the uninsured driver may flee the scene of the accident. If the driver is not located, it may become impossible to recover any compensation.
Additionally, Indiana’s minimum property damage and bodily injury liability requirements are often not enough to provide the other driver with sufficient coverage. If the accident is particularly severe and results in substantial damage and major injuries, well over $25,000, the at-fault driver’s coverage will not cover the full cost of damages.
Options To Obtain Compensation After an Uninsured Driver Accident in Indiana
If you’re involved in a vehicle accident with an uninsured driver in Indiana, you have three main options for attaining compensation:
- Go through your insurance provider to receive compensation.
- Seek compensation from a third party.
- Seek compensation from the uninsured driver.
1. Having an Uninsured Motorist Policy
Option one is only possible if you have an additional uninsured motorist policy. This policy is an addendum to your regular insurance policy that provides extra coverage if you’re involved in a car accident with an uninsured driver.
But while a few states now require all drivers to have uninsured motorist coverage, Indiana is not one of them. For this reason, it may be good to be proactive and take out an additional uninsured motorist policy with your insurance company before you need it.
2. Third-Party Compensation
A third party may also compensate for the car accident in a few cases. If the uninsured driver was working in the service of a company at the time of the accident, for example, as a delivery driver, the company itself might be found at fault for the accident. Also, if the uninsured driver is found to be intoxicated at the time of the accident, the bar that had provided them with alcohol may be found liable for your damages.
If these two options are not feasible, you may consider seeking compensation from the uninsured driver.
3. Suing an Uninsured Driver for Damages
In some cases, your insurance company may seek compensation from the uninsured driver found to be at fault for the accident. This is more likely if your insurance company covered your damages due to the at-fault driver not having adequate auto insurance.
However, while insurance companies may consider filing a lawsuit against an uninsured driver, these lawsuits are only worthwhile if the uninsured motorist has adequate financial assets to cover the compensation. Since uninsured drivers usually do not have such financial assets, insurance companies often do not consider it worthwhile to pursue legal action.
Is there a downside to filing a claim with your insurance company?
Depending on your circumstances, filing a claim with your insurance company may not be the best option following an accident involving an uninsured motorist. Indiana law does not have specific laws that prevent car insurance companies from raising your premiums if you have been involved in an accident with an uninsured driver. Therefore, filing a claim with your own insurance company could increase your car insurance premiums. This is more likely if your insurance company’s investigation into the accident finds you partially at fault. Indiana also imposes a statute of limitations for car accident lawsuits, so you must file any claim within a set timeframe of two years from the date of the accident.
Contact an Auto Accident Attorney at Stein Law
If you suffered bodily injury or vehicle damage in an accident with an uninsured driver, you deserve the best legal representation possible. Indiana car accident attorneys at Stein Law work to help you choose the right option and restore your health and vehicle.
With more than 50 years of combined experience in Indiana, including New Albany and Clarksville, and in Louisville, Kentucky, our expert attorneys recovered millions of dollars for Indiana motorists who experience vehicular accidents. If you’re an Indiana driver who suffered an injury, property damage, or financial loss from an accident with an uninsured motorist, contact Stein Law today for a free consultation.