Indiana Car Accident Laws

If you’re in a crash on the Borman Expressway or Route 422, you’ll need to know Indiana’s car accident laws to file a report or claim damages.
Written by Amber Reed
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
If you get into a fender bender, car accident laws in
require you to file a report with the police department. To claim damages, you’ll need to go through your insurance company or file a personal injury lawsuit.
Whether you’re involved in a minor incident or a serious collision, car accidents can cause major stress. Learning the rules and regulations around accidents can feel like a hassle, but a good understanding of your state’s laws can help you keep cool when disaster strikes.
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What to do after a crash: Indiana car accident reporting laws

If you're wondering
what to do after a car accident
, your first priority should be to make sure that you and your passengers are safe.
Pull your vehicle onto the side of the road and call 911 if anyone is injured. It’s also a good idea to document the crash by taking pictures. Exchange insurance information with the other driver, as well. 
The next step—which is required by law—is to report the accident to the police department and your insurance company. Here’s what you need to know before you report a car accident in Indiana.

When to report an accident to the police

According to Indiana law, if you’re in an accident that results in bodily injury or death you are required to report it to the police within 10 days. However, the best course of action is to file a report immediately or as soon as possible. If you fail to report a crash, your
Indiana driver's license
can be revoked.
The easiest way to report a crash is by alerting the proper authorities or calling 911. If your accident occurs on a public highway, you can report the crash to the Indiana State Police. But if you get into a car accident on a city road, then you should contact the local police department or sheriff’s office.
Keep in mind that if police are present at the scene of the accident, you don’t need to file a report yourself. The responding officers will take care of it. 

Financial responsibility and coverage minimums: Indiana’s insurance laws

All drivers in Indiana are required to carry
liability insurance
before they can legally hit the road. This car insurance coverage demonstrates financial responsibility to the state since it protects other drivers if you cause an accident.
According to
Indiana car insurance laws
, all drivers must purchase a minimum of 25/50/25 liability coverage, meaning:
If you're caught
driving without car insurance
—or are unable to provide
proof of insurance
after being pulled over—you could end up with a $250 fine and a 90-day
license suspension
A second offense results in a $500 fine and a one-year suspension, and repeat offenders can earn fines of up to $1,000 and a one-year suspension
Not only does driving without insurance mean you might have to pay some hefty fines, but it can also affect your ability to claim damages after a car accident, either by
filing a car insurance claim report
or a pursuing personal injury lawsuit. 
Despite the risks, many people in Indiana continue to drive without car insurance. Believe it or not, according to a 2019 study by the
Insurance Information Institute
, 15.8% of Indiana motorists don’t carry the minimum insurance required in their state.
Uninsured drivers aren’t just a risk to themselves, they create problems for the Indiana motorists who do carry the legally required coverage.
If you’re ever in an accident with an uninsured driver, you’re on the hook for medical bills and car repairs—even if it was the other driver who caused the collision. That’s why insurance companies in Indiana give you the option of adding
uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
to your policy.

Claiming damages after an accident: Indiana’s personal injury laws

Sometimes the aftermath of a car accident can cause major financial or emotional hardship, and you might feel like you deserve more compensation than what you’re awarded from your insurance company. In cases like these, you can file a personal injury lawsuit to collect damages.
You have the right to claim both economic damages—like medical bills, loss of income, or property damage—and non-economic damages—like pain and suffering, mental distress, or humiliation.
Indiana’s statute of limitations says that you must file a personal injury lawsuit within two years of your injury.

Exceptions to Indiana’s personal injury laws

In most cases, if you try to file a personal injury lawsuit after the two-year time limit, it will be thrown out of court. However, there are a few scenarios where you may be granted extra time, including:
  • If you were legally disabled when you had your accident, the two-year statute of limitations doesn’t begin until after you are no longer considered disabled.
  • If you were a minor at the time of your accident, the two-year limit does not begin until after you turn 18.
  • If the defendant leaves Indiana or attempts to conceal themselves, the time it takes to locate them will not count toward the statute of limitations.
There is one case where the law may prohibit you from filing a personal injury lawsuit. If you didn’t have
car insurance
at the time of your accident, and you also have a record of not having insurance at any point during the previous five years, you are eligible for economic claims only.

Who’s fault was it? Indiana’s comparative negligence law

The first thing that law enforcement—and insurance companies—need to determine after a collision is who’s to blame. If Kelly
runs a red light
and hits Jason’s car, but Jason was speeding at the time—who is responsible for the wreck? And who has the right to claim damages? 
Because Indiana takes a modified approach to
comparative negligence
, drivers can only claim damages if they are found to be less than 51% at fault for the accident. In these cases, you can be compensated for your injuries, but your percentage of fault will be deducted from the total amount you are rewarded. 
Going back to our example with Kelly and Jason—both drivers broke traffic laws, which means that neither of them can be 100% at fault.
If we imagine that Kelly is found to be 60% at fault, and Jason is found to be 40% at fault, Jason is the only one eligible to claim damages under modified comparative negligence. However, any damages awarded to him will be paid out at a reduced rate.
Most states across the U.S. have adopted modified comparative negligence, but some states use different versions of the law—like pure comparative negligence or
contributory negligence
. If you’re driving across state lines, it’s a good idea to know the laws where you’re headed.

How to save money on car insurance in Indiana

If you got into a car accident in Indiana, you may have seen your insurance rate soar. But with a little help from the top-rated broker app
, even drivers with an accident on record can save on coverage.
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Once you find a policy you like, just give it a tap and Jerry handles all the paperwork and phone calls. They’ll even help you cancel your old policy. The average Jerry user saves over $800 a year on car insurance.
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