What do I do if I was seriously injured in an Indianapolis crash with an out-of-state driver?

Debris in the Middle of an Intersection After a Car Crash“The car came out of nowhere!” We hear this statement all the time in our practice. Drivers who were going about their business, obeying the speed limit, not using a cellphone, and generally following the law are suddenly slammed from behind, T-boned, or—even worse—hit head-on.

What could make a serious car accident even more difficult to deal with? When the driver literally came out of nowhere—as in nowhere in Indiana.

If you were seriously injured in a crash with a driver from a state other than Indiana that was not your fault, you should understand that you are covered by Indiana’s insurance and fault laws—the same as you would be if you were hit by an Indiana driver.

However, our Indianapolis car accident lawyer adds that pursuing the other driver’s insurance company could be challenging. That’s why we highly recommend talking to a local car accident lawyer about the claim. At Keller & Keller, we are experienced in resolving car accident claims with out-of-state drivers, and we would be happy to review your case in a free consultation.

States Do Not All Have the Same Auto Insurance Laws

Auto insurance laws are governed at the state level, which means that each state has its own laws about how much insurance you have to carry, how much you can recover in a personal injury lawsuit, how comparative fault applies, and whether or not it considers who is at fault when determining car crash damages.

These laws apply to drivers who purchase auto insurance in that particular state. However, they also apply to anyone driving in that state who gets in an accident. For example, Michigan is a no-fault state for auto accidents, but if a Michigan driver hits you in Indiana, their insurance company will have to adhere to Indiana’s fault law.

Dealing with an out-of-state insurance company can be a struggle, especially once the driver has left Indiana and returned home. If your injuries were serious enough to require emergency treatment and hospitalization, your injury claim could be worth enough money that the insurance company will fight your claim. Our team can lift this burden off your shoulders and deal with the insurer while you focus on your recovery

Overview of Indiana Auto Insurance Laws

When you are looking to hold another driver accountable for your losses, it doesn’t matter what state the driver is from. All that matters is Indiana’s auto insurance laws, including the following key components:

  • Fault. About half of the states are what is known as “fault” states, including Indiana. That means that the insurance company for the driver who caused the crash will be responsible for paying the other driver’s damages. It does not matter if the driver who caused the crash has “no-fault” insurance from their state.
  • Minimum coverages. Most states require similar minimum auto insurance coverages, but regardless of what their state requires, the at-fault driver would be responsible for Indiana’s bodily injury liability minimums of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. If the driver’s coverage is higher than Indiana’s minimums and your bodily injury damages exceed $25,000, they can be forced to pay more.
  • Comparative fault. Indiana is one of 33 states that divides damages between negligent parties using a modified comparative fault system. In Indiana, if you are assigned 51 percent or more of fault for the crash, you will not be able to recover any damages from the other driver.

In the aftermath of a serious car crash with an out-of-state vehicle—or if you are in a wreck in a state other than Indiana—you should not be worried about state insurance laws. If you are able, you should wait for the police to arrive, get the other driver’s contact and insurance information, and take pictures of the scene. Your next step should be to get medical treatment and call the car accident lawyer team at Keller & Keller as soon as possible. We will take it from there.

James R. Keller
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Partner at Keller & Keller