Is Indiana a No-Fault State for Car Accidents?
By Space Coast Daily // June 7, 2020
Many states use a no-fault rule for accidents, but Indiana is not a no-fault state. This state employs a comparative fault rule. That means if you cause an accident here, you are liable for the damages. If someone else causes an accident that injured you, they are responsible for your damages.
After a personal injury in Indiana, the jury will determine the level of fault for all parties involved, including the plaintiff, defendant, and any third parties.
Third parties may comprise auto manufacturers and employees. If the plaintiff’s responsibility is determined to be less than 50%, they are liable for compensation for any damages minus the percentage of their fault.
The At-Fault System of Law
A no-fault system enables injured divers to collect compensation using their own insurance to the limit of their policy. The individuals who are injured or who incur damages from the accident must get compensation from their insurance company first.
If their damages are more than the compensation limit, they must file a claim against the at-fault driver for extra compensation.
In Indiana, the car accident victim uses the insurance policy of the at-fault driver first to collect compensation for damages, injuries, and lost wages.
Additionally, they can use their insurance to get underinsured or uninsured motorist benefits. The injured driver has the right to sue the driver at-fault for damages.
In some cases, injured motorists in Indiana file a claim with their insurance company first. The company then pursues the at-fault driver and files a complaint with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Ideally, the difference between at-fault and no-fault insurance policies is whether the victim has the right to sue.
The Tort System and Minimum Liability for Indiana Car Insurance
Indiana uses a tort system to determine fault. The at-fault party’s insurance company pays for the damages according to the apportioned fault level.
Note that the insurance covers compensations up to the policy limit. Each driver should have the minimum amount of liability insurance.
This law aims to ensure that drivers are financially responsible when they are involved in an accident. It is prudent to purchase more than the minimum insurance because most of the compensation settlement needs of motor vehicle accident victims are significantly higher than the minimums.
The minimum coverage in Indiana includes:
• $25,000 for property damage and bodily injury
• $50,000 for damage and injury caused by uninsured motorists
When the driver’s minimum coverage is less than the compensation amount, the driver’s assets will pay for the excess. However, being awarded damages and actually being able to collect assets from an individual is rare. It is recommended that you should have coverage that is more than $100,000.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Drivers should have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage in addition to their minimum liability car insurance. This insurance policy covers additional compensation when an individual is involved in an accident that was caused by someone who does not have insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance.
Indiana also has a “no pay no play” statute that applies to uninsured motorists. When an insured motorist causes injuries or damages to an uninsured motorist, the at-fault driver will not be liable for the non-economic damages compensations. Non-economic costs include mental anguish, physical impairment, or pain.
While personal injury protection (PIP) insurance is a requirement in no-fault states, it is also available in Indiana. PIP insurance enables you to receive medical payment to a specific value before you collect payment from the other part’s insurance provider. This is helpful if you need help covering the costs of your medical treatment right away.
Determining who is at fault in an accident can be complicated. If you’ve been injured and you believe you were not at fault, you may want to consider reaching out to an experienced collision attorney.
Studies have shown that people who work with a lawyer are more likely to be able to settle their claims or get an award in court that is much higher than those who deal directly with insurance companies. Never forget, the insurance adjuster is not your friend. Their job is to offer you too little to help a huge corporation to stay profitable.
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