Indiana requires all drivers to carry Uninsured Motorists (UM) Coverage as part of their insurance policy. In fact, the only way Hoosiers can exclude Uninsured coverage is by rejecting it in writing.
As such, if an insured Indiana pedestrian is struck by a driver of an automobile that flees the scene, the pedestrian can elect to file an Uninsured claim with their own insurance company.
Given the high number of pedestrian-related accidents and hit-and-runs in cities such as Indianapolis, it’s important for Indiana’s residents to understand their legal rights when filing an Uninsured claim.
It should be noted, despite the legal rights afforded to insured pedestrians, Uninsured hit-and-run pedestrian claims can be challenging without the help of an experienced Indiana personal injury attorney.
Attorney Matt Boulton has investigated and settled a number of Indiana hit-and-run cases throughout the state. His experience with these accident types has enabled him to witness defense tactics and strategies used by insurance companies in an attempt to deny liability and/or pay less than what is owed to injured pedestrians.
Is Uninsured Insurance Coverage Equal for Drivers and Pedestrians?
Assuming the victim is not found liable for the accident, Uninsured claims are designed to protect all hit-and-run claimants in a similar manner. In other words, the legal rights and laws afforded to innocent drivers of hit-and-runs should apply equally to innocent pedestrians of hit-and-runs.
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In the aftermath of a hit-and-run pedestrian accident, if authorities are unable to locate the at-fault driver, you can elect to file an Uninsured Motorist claim through your own insurance company.
If the hit-and-run pedestrian claim is approved by the insurance company, it can help to cover various damages that may accompany traumatic injuries.
Types of Recovery for Indiana Pedestrians Injured by Hit-and-Run Drivers
The types of recovery available to Indiana pedestrians injured in a hit-and-run are specific to each person’s case, however, the damages most often sought are comprised of two categories: economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are losses that can be numerically quantified with items such as receipts, bills, and/or wage statements.
With regard to pedestrian accident claims, these losses may include:
- Immediate medical bills, e.g., ambulance and ER visit.
- Long-term medical care and treatment expenses related to the accident.
- Lost wages or lost future earnings.
- Miscellaneous costs for prescriptions and medical equipment.
It’s important to understand that economic losses must be attributed directly to the accident and subsequent injuries. Conditions unrelated to prior or post-accident will be contested by the insurance company.
Additionally, if you claim wage loss that was not the result of doctor-approved time-off, this portion of your injury claim may also be denied.
Non-economic damages are subjective and are harder to quantify, as they represent the intangible costs associated with your injuries.
Examples of non-economic damages in a hit-and-run pedestrian case may include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Disability or permanent handicap
- Cognitive effects, e.g., PTSD, anxiety, nightmares, and/or depression
An experienced injury attorney can use case history and knowledge of various insurance companies to help better quantify the potential value of non-economic damages.
Did the Insurance Company Deny Your Claim?
As mentioned above, pedestrian accident claims in Indiana can be complex and vigorously defended by the insurance company. For those victims filing an Uninsured pedestrian claim, it’s not unusual for the claim to be denied, especially if they are without legal representation.
With this in mind, if your claim has been denied (or you believe their offer is unreasonably low), your attorney may elect to pursue damages by filing a lawsuit. If the attorney chooses to file a lawsuit, and you agree with the decision, your case will be brought before a judge and jury to make a decision regarding fault and/or total compensation.
How Long Do Pedestrian Hit-and-Run Cases Take to Settle?
If someone tells you they can predict how long the case will take to settle, as well as how much you may receive, be skeptical. In reality, no attorney is able to make exact predictions or promises with regard to the outcomes, including the exact time it will take to settle a case.
Pedestrian hit-and-run cases have the potential to settle within months or years, depending on factors such as:
- Liability disputes
- Locating potential defendants
- How long one is under medical care
- Whether or not the insurance company makes a fair offer
In short, the best way to learn about potential timelines for settlement is by conferring with an experienced Indiana personal injury attorney.
Indiana Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Attorney Matt Boulton has 25+ years’ experience helping Hoosiers recover compensation for injuries they sustained resulting from another party’s negligence. This history of casework includes various types of Indiana pedestrian accidents, such as hit-and-run uninsured claims.
If a hit-and-run driver is believed to be at fault for your injuries, you may have a legal right to pursue an Uninsured pedestrian claim by filing a claim with your insurance company.
Because Uninsured claims can be difficult and complex, Boulton Law Group provides injured pedestrians with a Zero Fee Guarantee, meaning there is never a cost or fee to have attorney Boulton review your potential claim.
Additionally, the firm’s Guarantee promises that clients owe nothing unless a financial recovery is made on their behalf.
If you wish for attorney Boulton to review the circumstances of a hit-and-run pedestrian accident, you can send your story directly to him by using the firm’s confidential, free contact form.