What To Do If You’re In a Car Accident Without Insurance But Not At Fault In Indiana

Driving without insurance is a crime in Indiana—you could lose your license and your rights for suing are severely limited in the event of an accident.
Written by Bonnie Stinson
Reviewed by Shannon Martin
If you get into a car accident in
without insurance, you could face fines and a license suspension. If you were not at fault, then you can file a claim against the other party’s policy (if they had one). However, there are limits to your ability to file for damages in Indiana without insurance. 
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What to do if you’re in a car accident without insurance in Indiana and not at fault

It is illegal under state law to drive in Indiana without the
minimum required car insurance coverage
. Getting into an accident without insurance in Indiana, will create legal problems, increase the cost of repairing your car, and possibly impact your ability to get quality healthcare. 
Here’s what you need to do if you’re in a car accident without insurance in Indiana.
Step 1: Stay present at the scene of the incident. A
hit-and-run in Indiana
is a serious offense, even if you didn’t cause the accident, so whether or not you have insurance, never leave the scene. 
If you flee the scene of an accident, you could be charged with a Class A or B misdemeanor and face some or all of these penalties:
  • One year in jail if convicted of a hit-and-run
  • Fines up to $5,000
  • Restitution orders to pay back property damages or medical bills
  • Community service and probation
Step 2: Ensure the safety of everyone involved. Once you have pulled over safely, assess the health of you, your passengers, and other involved parties. If anyone needs medical attention, call 911.
Step 3: Document everything carefully. Take photos, videos, and other evidence from the scene. Ask for the contact information of any bystanders who could back you up. This documentation can help prove that you were not at fault. 
Step 4: Exchange information with the other party. Provide your name, contact information, and your
Indiana driver’s license
number. Ask for their information, too. Even if you don’t have insurance, exchanging information with the other party is important. 
If the other driver has insurance and the accident was their fault, you can
file against their policy
for damages—whether or not you have a policy. If the other driver doesn’t have insurance, you can file a personal injury lawsuit for vehicle repairs, medical bills, and lost wages due to injury.
Unfortunately, there is one area in which you cannot sue for damages if you did not have insurance and were involved in a not-at-fault accident in Indiana. You may not sue for pain and suffering, inconvenience, or stress if you were 1) driving uninsured at the time of the accident and 2) you have a history of driving uninsured.
These are called non-economic damages, and you forfeit your right to collect them in this “No Pay, No Play” state.

Who decides fault in a car accident in Indiana?

Establishing who is to blame for a car accident can be complicated. While a police report may help determine liability, police aren’t always present at the scene of an accident. Ultimately, the insurance company will decide which party is liable for an accident.
If you get into a car accident without insurance and you’re not at fault in Indiana, your best strategy is to provide as much evidence as possible that the other driver was at fault. Then, send all the information you collect about the incident to the other driver’s insurance company when you file a claim

Do you need to report a car accident in Indiana? 

You must report a car accident in Indiana if there was $1,000 or more in property damage or if someone was hurt, killed, or trapped.
If the accident resulted in minimal property damage and no injuries, it is not a legal requirement to report it to the police. However, fleeing the scene under any circumstances is still considered a crime.
If someone was hurt or there was significant property damage, you must file an accident report with the
Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles
within 10 days from the date of the accident. Filing an accident report is a legal requirement if the conditions above are met. It’s also your best chance to recover damages if you don’t have insurance.

What if you’re at fault?

If you are at fault in the accident and did not have car insurance, the consequences will be costly
Because Indiana is a modified comparative negligence state, you will be financially responsible for your portion of the other driver’s damage if you are deemed more than 50% negligent for the accident.
So, if you are found 51% at fault, you cannot claim damages and must pay for the other party’s damages via a lawsuit if you didn’t have insurance at the time of the accident.

What if you’re hit by an uninsured driver in Indiana?

There’s one more scenario we haven’t covered. What happens if the other driver caused the accident, and they didn’t have car insurance, but you did? You have several options for covering your repair and medical expenses.
One option is to pursue the other driver for damages with a personal liability lawsuit. However, this takes a long time and may not be worth the amount of money you’ll recover.
The best option is to use your
uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage
. If you had UMC or UIM coverage, then your policy can help pay for your medical bills if you were in an accident with a driver who had no or insufficient coverage.
Since Indiana offers
medical payments (MedPay)
coverage, this protection would apply first if you purchased it. MedPay pays for hospital bills up to your policy’s limit and then your UMC or UIM could kick in to pay for any overages. 
As far as getting your car repaired, you have two options. The state of Indiana requires companies to offer drivers UMPD (uninsured motorist property damage) coverage. If you elected to keep this coverage, you might have up to $25,000 to repair or replace your vehicle if an uninsured driver hits you. 
The other option is to use your
collision coverage
(if you had it) to cover the bills associated with vehicle repairs. 
According to the
Insurance Information Institute (III)
, about 15.8% of Indiana drivers had insufficient coverage in 2019. It’s very possible you could end up in an accident with an uninsured driver! To protect yourself, get UIM and collision coverage. 
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Penalties for driving without insurance in Indiana

Even if you didn’t cause the accident, Indiana's penalties for driving without car insurance are severe
For a first offense, you could lose your license for 90 days. You may also be required to carry an
SR-22 car insurance certificate
for three years
An SR-22 certificate is a form of proof of financial responsibility. It’s required after someone commits a major driving violation—and it usually results in extremely high
car insurance
A second offense carries a $500 fine and a one-year license suspension, whereas subsequent offenses will trigger a $1,000 reinstatement fee, a one-year license suspension, and a five-year SR-22 requirement.
You can’t avoid these consequences, unfortunately, and you cannot buy insurance after the fact and apply it retroactively. If you can prove that you had insurance coverage at the time of the accident but didn’t have
proof of insurance
with you, then the court may simply charge you an administrative fee.

Minimum required car insurance in Indiana

Every state has its requirements for minimum legal car insurance coverage. In Indiana, every driver is required to have an auto insurance policy with at least:
While Indiana’s minimum liability coverage is higher than in many other states, you may wish to purchase a higher limit in each category.
If you think about how much a new car might cost to replace, or how many medical bills could pile up in a serious accident, it’s clear that having higher liability coverage limits is wise.
Carrying at least $100,000 for each person, $300,000 per accident, with $100,000 in property damage liability is your best shot at avoiding out-of-pocket expenses and protecting your financial future. You might be pleasantly surprised at how affordable more coverage is.  
In Indiana, you are only required to carry
liability coverage
. You are not required by state law to carry collision coverage or
comprehensive coverage
which protects your car. However, it’s a good idea to consider purchasing this coverage to protect your car from theft, natural disasters, and vandalism.

How to find cheap car insurance in Indiana

Insurance can be expensive—but it can be more affordable if you know where to look. 
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