Is Indiana a No-Fault State?
When you are in a car accident, the insurance company you file your claim against will depend on what type of fault state you live in. This will not only determine who you file your claim with, but it can also affect how much money you will receive as compensation for your damages. So, is Indiana a no-fault state?
There are two types of fault systems in the United States—at fault and no fault— and it is essential for drivers to understand the difference between the two in case they ever find themselves involved in an accident. Which type of fault state you live in will play a role in how your car accident case plays out.
If you need help filing a claim or have questions about Indiana’s fault laws, contact the experienced car accident lawyers at Poynter & Bucheri Accident Recovery. Our Indianapolis attorneys have years of experience handling all kinds of cases and know what it takes to prove fault and ensure our clients get the settlement they deserve.
No Fault vs. At Fault Laws
Before answering the question, “Is Indiana a no fault state for auto accidents?” it’s helpful to first explain the difference between the two types of fault systems. Car accident cases can be confusing and overwhelming, so it’s always best to educate yourself as much as possible ahead of time to avoid misunderstandings should you find yourself needing to file a claim.
No Fault Systems
In a state that follows a no fault system, all drivers in an accident—no matter who is at fault—will be responsible for their own damages. In other words, they will have to file a claim with their own insurance to get coverage for their damages. The purpose of having a no fault system is to limit the number of lawsuits that are filed against drivers.
However, in a no fault state, it is still possible to file a lawsuit against another driver if certain thresholds are met. For example, if an accident results in death or if the damages exceed a certain amount, then it may be possible to sue the other driver.
Overall, no fault systems are not ideal because they can make it more challenging to recover enough money to cover all damages. Additionally, car insurance rates are generally higher in states with no fault systems.
At Fault Systems
In an at fault system, the driver who is guilty or responsible for causing the accident will be the one held liable for the damages that occur as a result. Thus, in an at fault state, if you are injured, you would file a claim against the at fault party’s insurance company. You can also sue a driver in an at fault state without having to first go through your own insurance. This type of system makes more sense because it holds the guilty party responsible and does not force innocent drivers to pay high insurance rates.
Indiana is a Comparative At Fault State
Indiana is an at fault state. So if you are injured in a car accident in Indiana, you would file a claim or a lawsuit against the guilty driver and would not be required to go through your own insurance. However, there are also two kinds of at fault systems: pure fault and comparative fault. This is important because drivers can share fault.
In a pure at fault state, if you share more than 1% of the blame for causing the accident, you are not eligible to file a claim against the other party to recover damages. Luckily, Indiana follows comparative at fault laws. This means that so long as you are no more than 50% at fault, you can still file a claim against the other driver. The amount of compensation you can receive, however, will be reduced based on your percentage of fault.
For example, if you are initially awarded $50,000 in damages, but you are then determined to be 10% at fault, the settlement amount would be reduced by $5,000. So, while this system is better, it is still best to prove that the other party is primarily responsible if you want to recover the highest possible amount.
Insurance and Fault Laws
Insurance and fault systems go hand in hand. So if you were wondering—is Indiana a no fault insurance state?—the answer would be no. There is no such thing as Indiana no fault insurance or an Indiana no fault accident since it is an at fault state. No fault states do have something called Personal Injury Protection (PIP) that is required by law, but Indiana does not require this, nor is it available.
Indiana drivers are, however, required to carry liability coverage. This coverage is what will pay for an injured driver’s damages should they file a claim against you. In Indiana, the minimum liability coverage is as follows:
- $25,000 for bodily injury per person
- $50,000 for bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 for property damage per accident
*If you are injured, and the other party is uninsured or does not have enough insurance to cover your damages, you can then file a claim through your own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Proving Fault in Indiana
Because Indiana is an at fault state, you must be able to prove that the other party was at fault to recover damages from their insurance company. Even if you think it is obvious, you will bear the responsibility—also known as the burden of proof—of providing sufficient evidence to show that the other party is at fault or that they at least carry the majority of the blame.
To do this, you will need to work with an attorney. Without one, insurance companies can easily argue against your claim and deny fault. Evidence that you and your attorney should provide that can help prove fault include:
- Police reports
- Video surveillance footage of the accident
- Photographic evidence of the accident scene and your injuries
- Medical documents proving you were injured
- Eyewitness statements
- Accident reconstruction reports and diagrams
Consult With an Indianapolis Personal Injury Attorney
So, is Indiana a no fault state? No, it is not. And because of this, you should contact a local attorney should you find yourself needing to prove fault after an accident.
At Poynter & Bucheri Accident Recovery, our Indianapolis personal injury attorneys understand the challenge of proving fault and have helped numerous clients win their cases. We are dedicated to advocating for your rights to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
Don’t hesitate — one of our experienced attorneys can assist you right away. Call 1-800-265-9881 for a free case review.