Many people go for years without ever experiencing a car crash. Those who employ defensive driving techniques and spend a minimum amount of time on the road could drive for years without ever getting into a crash.
Unfortunately, your own safety practices aren’t enough to eliminate your collision risk. You never know when a drunk driver may come racing down the road, possibly even going the wrong way on a one-way street. Distracted drivers and people too fatigued to be safe at the wheel are also major safety concerns for everyone in Indiana.
Given that state law requires insurance and that you have to provide proof of coverage to register your vehicle, you might assume that you will have financial protection if you ever do get into a crash. You could very well end up in a wreck caused by a driver without insurance.
A surprising number of Indiana drivers don’t have coverage
While you might never think of driving without liability protection, plenty of people happily take that risk. Uninsured motorists are everywhere on Indiana roads, at least based on coverage statistics from 2019.
Indiana reports having roughly 15.8% of its drivers on the road while not compliant with insurance requirements. If the person who causes your crash is one of those uninsured drivers, then you depend on your own policy for protection.
Your uninsured motorist coverage can help
Indiana state law actually protects you against this exact situation by requiring uninsured and underinsured motorist protection. If you get hurt in a wreck and the driver at fault does not have insurance, your policy can pay what their policy should have paid.
While it is absolutely better to have uninsured motorist protection on your policy to reimburse you than to have no coverage at all, making a large claim against your policy will likely increase your future insurance costs. You may also need to consider bringing a claim in civil court.
Uninsured drivers may face lawsuits
Indiana state law allows those who suffer financial losses through another person’s negligence or misconduct to file a lawsuit. Failing to carry insurance and causing a crash is a violation of state law that could lead to financial responsibility for someone else’s losses.
The civil lawsuit against the driver who caused the crash could reimburse you for the same expenses that insurance would typically cover. Some people are even in a scenario where there might be a third party with partial liability for the crash, which can open up another avenue to compensation.
Reviewing the circumstances of your recent motor vehicle collision carefully can help you determine what resources may be available to you to cover your expenses.