There is nothing more jarring than to be driving down the road and then feel the sudden impact of a car slamming into the side of the vehicle or into a bumper. Car accidents can happen to anyone at any time for a range of reasons. Someone may have been distracted and failed to stop. A person may be tired or under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Other times, an aggressive driver may believe they have the right of way or may try to drive through an intersection despite having a red light.
After an accident, both drivers will assess the damages and determine who will pay for repairs. If someone is injured, they may seek out compensation from the person who caused the accident. In certain states, there is a no-fault statute in regards to car accidents and collecting compensation. Other states have at fault rules, called comparative fault acts, that handle the compensation details of a car accident. For the state of Indiana, people who experience an accident will follow an at-fault rule as well as a “No Pay, No Play” statute.
Difference Between No-Fault and At Fault Laws
When a state adopts no-fault rules, it means that each person who has injuries and damages caused in a car accident must first collect compensation from their own insurance policies. If their medical bills or damage expenses exceed the compensation limits in their own insurance policies, they can then file a claim against the other party for the remaining outstanding amount or sue them.
With Indiana, it is an at-fault state. If a person has car damages, becomes injured, or experiences lost wages caused by an injury due to the car accident, they can seek out compensation from the liable driver’s insurance policy first. Then once they exhaust the limits of the other insurance policy compensation, the injured person can then seek the remaining compensation from their own insurance policy under the uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist benefits. The injured motorist can also sue the at-fault party for damages.
In some cases, an injured Indiana motorist will file the insurance claim with their own insurance company first. In these instances, their insurance company will go after the at-fault driver and file a subrogation claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Minimum Liability for Indiana Car Insurance
Every resident in the state of Indiana needs to have a minimum amount of liability car insurance to abide by the state’s financial responsibility regulations when driving a motor vehicle. This law ensures that a driver fulfills their financial responsibility if they are ever involved in an accident. Here are the minimum amounts for basic car insurance liability coverage:
- $25,000 per accident for property damage caused by the driver
- $25,000 for any bodily injury or death to a person from an accident caused by the driver
- $50,000 for total bodily injury or death liability from an accident caused by the driver
The liability insurance is designed to cover the driver of the insured vehicle even if they are not the person who actually owns the vehicle. So it will cover family members, friends, coworkers, neighbors and other people who obtained permission to operate the vehicle. The insurance policy will pay for medical bills, damages, and injuries caused to pedestrians, passengers and other drivers.
In addition to minimum liability car insurance coverage, all drivers must also have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) in Indiana. This insurance coverage offers additional compensation if a person is in an accident and the liable party doesn’t have any insurance or are underinsured where their insurance policy won’t cover medical costs.
No Pay, No Play Statutes
Besides being an at-fault car accident state, Indiana also has a “No Pay, No Play” statute in place for uninsured motorists. If an uninsured motorist becomes injured or has property damage and an insured driver is at fault, the uninsured motorist will not be able to collect compensation for noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, or physical impairment. This statute only applies to certain motorists who did not have liability insurance at the time of the accident and has received a prior violation regarding the motor vehicle financial responsibility laws in Indiana.
Determining Car Accident Fault
Figuring out who was at fault for the car accident can help everyone receive the right amount of compensation to pay for car damages and medical bills. Some car accidents will clearly show who is at fault. Yet in other accidents, both drivers may be liable as it has to be determined on how much liability each person will claim. The Indianapolis car accident attorneys at Doehrman Buba Ring can help you investigate the accident details and provide you with assistance in filing a claim. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
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Thomas C. Doehrman
Thomas C. Doehrman is a founding partner of Doehrman Buba Ring. With more than 30 years of personal injury experience in Indianapolis, Tom has successfully represented countless serious personal injury and accident victims and helped them obtain justice against those who have caused them harm.
Tom is nationally renowned for his skilled representation of persons with traumatic brain injuries and was the President of the Brain Injury Association of Indiana (BIAI)
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