When you are injured in a collision caused by another driver, our Indiana car accident lawyers know how important it is to get started on the claims process as soon as possible. However, you may be facing an additional hurdle if the driver who caused the crash is an uninsured motorist. According to the Insurance Information Institute, on average nationally, about 13% of drivers are uninsured. That number is actually higher in Indiana, where the Insurance Research Council estimates that about 16.7% of all drivers are uninsured. That data means that Indiana has the eighth-highest rate in the country for uninsured motorists, putting other drivers and vehicle occupants in the state at risk.
An uninsured motorist is a driver who does not have auto insurance required by law. It is important to know that an uninsured motorist is distinct from an underinsured motorist. Whereas an uninsured motorist has no coverage, an underinsured motorist may have the minimum amount of required liability insurance, but that driver’s coverage may be insufficient to properly compensate injured parties in a collision.
Under Indiana law, motorists are required to have the following minimum insurance amounts:
In addition to the above liability insurance requirements, an Indiana auto insurance policy also includes uninsured motorist (UM) coverage and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. Each new Indiana auto insurance policy will include the following amount of coverage:
To be clear, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is written into each new policy, but a policyholder can reject it in writing. If you did not reject this coverage, it is likely that you do have it.
Indiana’s auto insurance laws are fault-based, which means that an injury victim usually can file a first-party claim through his or her own insurance company or a third-party claim through the at-fault driver’s insurer. In cases involving uninsured motorists, a third-party claim is not an option.
However, you may be able to receive full compensation through your own policy.
If you were involved in a collision caused by an uninsured motorist, an aggressive Indiana uninsured motorist accident attorney at our firm can help. You should know that you may be eligible to receive compensation from your own insurance company that can cover the total costs of your losses, and our dedicated motor vehicle accident attorneys can help you to negotiate a reasonable and fair settlement.