Driving is a privilege, not a right, and each driver in Indiana must comply with certain requirements to legally drive. State laws about motor vehicle insurance are very clear. Indiana requires every driver to pay for property damage and bodily injury liability coverage. You even need proof of insurance to renew the registration for your vehicle.
Despite the legal requirements, there are still many drivers on the Indiana roads without proper coverage. As of 2019, which is the most recent year with data analysis available, roughly 15.8% of drivers in Indiana were uninsured.
What happens to you in a crash caused by one of these drivers?
Your insurance claim rights are at risk
Fault for a crash determines which policy covers the bills the drivers have. When the driver who is to blame for the crash is uninsured, you can’t make a claim against their policy. Your only protection may come from your own insurance policy, and that is far from a sure thing.
Only drivers who have paid extra money for additional coverage can expect their insurance policy to help them after a crash. If you have collision coverage or uninsured motorist protection on your policy, you will have the option of requesting coverage from your own insurance company.
Unfortunately, that protection comes with a catch. You can expect a claim to increase your costs even if police reports show that the other driver was to blame.
How do you hold the other driver accountable?
It would be incredibly unfair if the people hurt in collisions simply had to absorb the costs passed on to them by the driver at fault. People whose irresponsible and illegal choice to forgo insurance shouldn’t be able to pass all the losses in such situations to others.
You can ask for compensation in a personal injury claim. Any of the kinds of losses that insurance would have covered can affect your lawsuit. Your lost wages, vehicle repair costs and hospital bills may all be expenses that you can recover with a successful Indiana personal injury lawsuit.
Understanding what rights you have after a car crash with an uninsured driver will help you make the most of the legal protections available in that unfortunate situation.