Every car accident has the potential to become a bit of a puzzle.
Whether it is determining liability, gaining a better understanding of your injuries, or trying to determine what your case is worth, there is no shortage of questions following a serious collision.
However, there is one factor that will always play a key role in answering a number of car accident concerns, and that is “auto insurance.” And depending on the type of insurance policies carried by drivers involved in an accident, there is the potential for things to become even more complicated.
Indiana requires every Hoosier to carry auto insurance on their vehicle, and each policy is made up of multiple parts that are designed to protect you from various car accident scenarios.
Specifically, if you live in Indiana and carry the state minimum insurance coverage on your vehicle, your policy will contain the following:
- Uninsured Motorists: Bodily Injury: $25,000/$50,000 ($25,000 per person and $50,000 for the total incident)
- Property Damage: $25,000
- Underinsured Motorists: Bodily Injury: $50,000
While the property damage portion of a policy is fairly straightforward, there is sometimes confusion about what exactly the remainder of a policy covers, specifically when it involves uninsured and underinsured coverage(s).
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If you are struck by a driver and it is determined that they have no insurance coverage or not enough insurance coverage, this is when the uninsured and underinsured portion of your auto policy will kick in and serve as a potential source for future compensation.
To better understand the difference between uninsured and underinsured coverages, we need to take a closer look.
What Does Uninsured Auto Insurance Cover?
Uninsured motorist coverage has become increasingly important in Indiana, as we have witnessed a rising number of car accident cases involving one or more drivers that are without insurance.
In the event that you are insured, and have at least state minimum coverage, the uninsured portion of your policy protects you from drivers who have no car insurance or if you are involved in a hit-and-run accident.
Keep in mind, the level of protection afforded to you in this instance is limited to the amount of uninsured coverage you carry in your policy. We advise everyone to carry more than the state minimum when possible.
Ultimately, having uninsured motorist bodily liability coverage offers peace of mind in the event that you are injured in an accident that was not your fault, as it helps to ensure that you are not responsible for medical bills and other costs associated with the collision.
Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage can provide compensation for the following damages:
- Medical bills (past, present, and future) related to your injuries
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
We sometimes get the following question about uninsured accident claims: “If they don’t have insurance, can I sue the other driver?”
Unfortunately, if someone is not able to afford auto insurance on their vehicle, there is often a slim chance you would be able to collect from them in a lawsuit.
Having uninsured coverage is extremely important, however, there remains another scenario of which it does not protect: the driver who hits you and is not carrying enough insurance.
What Does Underinsured Auto Insurance Cover?
If we assume that you were injured in an accident and it is found that the other driver is insured, there should be no problem, right? Not necessarily.
If the at-fault driver is carrying Indiana’s state minimum coverage and your injuries are severe enough to result in $10’s of thousands in medical bills, your damages could quickly exceed their policy limits. In this instance, the underinsured motorist coverage in your policy becomes key.
Simply put, if you are injured in a car accident and an investigation determines that the at-fault driver has some auto insurance, but their policy limits are not high enough to cover your damages, the underinsured portion of your claim can be used to cover any outstanding medical bills, etc.
The following example helps to break down the math of an underinsured claim:
Assume your injuries are traumatic, resulting in $55,000 worth of medical bills and other associated costs. The other driver is carrying Indiana’s minimum coverage of $25,000 in bodily injury coverage. The liable driver’s policy will quickly reach its limit.
However, we later learn that you have $100,000 worth of underinsured motorist property damage in your policy. This means that your insurance company will now be responsible for the remaining $30,000.
Underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage can provide compensation for the following damages:
- Medical bills (past, present, and future) for your injuries
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
Additionally, if your damages are especially significant, it could be possible for the other driver’s policy and your underinsured policy to both be maxed out. If that were to occur, you would be responsible for any remaining bills associated with the accident.
Similar to uninsured coverage, we recommend that you carry more than the state minimum required by Indiana for underinsured coverage. In most instances, you can significantly increase your uninsured and underinsured coverage for a minimal cost.
Is Your Insurance Company on Your Side?
It is important to realize that when you file an underinsured or uninsured claim, your insurance company will not necessarily be looking out for your best interests. In short, you are now on the other side.
The goal of every insurance company is to pay as little as possible on personal injury claims, no matter the scenario. This means when you file an underinsured or uninsured claim, your insurance company will handle the case similar to claims involving accident victims who are insured by other insurance groups.
For that reason, it is important that you have legal counsel on your side whose goal is to collect as much compensation as possible for your damages.
Questions about an Uninsured or Underinsured Claim?
Are you reluctant to file an uninsured or underinsured claim with your insurance company? We can help.
Attorney Matt Boulton has more than 20 years’ experience advocating for injured Hoosiers with a variety of car accident claims, including uninsured and underinsured personal injury cases.
In fact, Matt’s track-record of legal successes and his approach to client service have led Boulton Law Group to be sought after by victims throughout the entire state.
We believe it is important that everyone has access to award-winning legal representation, no matter their story or financial situation. For that reason, Boulton Law Group offers a Zero Fee Guarantee. This promise ensures that you will never pay for a consultation, and you owe the firm nothing until we win your case.
To speak with Matt about your uninsured or underinsured accident claim, call direct at 317-350-2680, or write to us by using our confidential contact form. Matt personally reviews every contact received at our firm.
We look forward to hearing your story and learning how we can help you!