Because Indiana is a tort state, also known as an at-fault state, injured people can bring a claim against a negligent driver who causes an accident. Indiana’s insurance laws do not require drivers to carry PIP insurance coverage. However, in other states that follow no-fault laws, all drivers must have PIP insurance because they are not allowed to bring a claim for damages against other people after a vehicle accident. If you choose to have PIP coverage in Indiana, it may be a valuable resource after a crash. An experienced Indiana personal injury protection attorney from Keffer Hirschauer LLP can help you determine whether PIP coverage is available to you.
Why You Might Need an Indiana Personal Injury Protection Attorney
The Indiana Department of Insurance requires motorists to carry minimum liability insurance to protect others in case of an accident. A motorist can buy PIP coverage in Indiana on top of the required liability insurance and other auto insurance add-ons. However, PIP coverage likely will not be sufficient to cover the losses associated with a serious injury. In that case, you can pursue additional compensation by bringing a car accident personal injury claim against the other driver. In either circumstance, an Indiana personal injury protection attorney can guide you through all of your available options.
After a car accident, you can bring a claim against your PIP coverage, but you are limited to the payment of certain medical bills and lost wages; pain and suffering are not recoverable. You also have the right to file an action against the negligent driver’s insurance policy or the driver personally. If you file a personal injury lawsuit based on the car accident, you can request additional compensation that is not allowed under a PIP claim.
What is PIP Coverage in Indiana?
A few states follow no-fault insurance rules that prohibit someone who is injured in a car accident from filing a claim against the responsible party and limit the injured person’s recovery to payment from their own insurance carrier. However, Indiana is an at-fault or tort state, which means, if you are injured in a vehicle accident, you have several options to pursue payment of your damages. You can choose to:
- File a claim against your own insurance company, known as a first-party claim
- File a claim against the insurer who covers the driver who was at fault for the accident, known as a third-party claim, or
- File a lawsuit to prove who was at fault and request payment for the damages you suffered
Most Indiana motorists who are injured in crashes have the option of filing a first-party or third-party insurance claim to seek compensation. However, if you have elected PIP coverage, you may benefit from filing a first-party claim through your PIP insurance to obtain some compensation for your injuries more quickly. Check with a PIP attorney in Indianapolis to determine which course of action is best for you.
What Compensation Can an Indiana Personal Injury Protection Attorney Recover?
PIP coverage in Indiana is limited in several ways. First, most PIP coverage will only pay for medical expenses and lost wages. You will not be compensated for pain and suffering or other non-economic damages. Also, there is usually a cap on the total amount of medical expenses you can receive, and only a percentage of your lost wages will be recoverable. Lastly, PIP insurance usually does not cover vehicle damage expenses.
One of the benefits of PIP insurance is the ability to receive compensation without going to court and without having to prove who was at fault. This is especially helpful if your claim involves low medical expenses and lost wages since you can settle your bills quickly and move on.
Unfortunately, many people who have a car accident personal injury claim suffer severe injuries, lose a lot of time at work, and experience pain and suffering that PIP insurance simply doesn’t cover. If you fit into this category of accident victims, you need an Indianapolis personal injury protection lawyer who will represent you beyond bringing a PIP claim. You deserve an experienced personal injury attorney who will pursue all possible options and recover the maximum amount of compensation possible.
The Basics of an Indiana Car Accident Personal Injury Claim
Even if you elect PIP coverage in addition to the minimum liability insurance required by the state, your PIP coverage likely will not be sufficient to cover the losses associated with a serious injury. Under Indiana law, you can file a car accident lawsuit against the at-fault driver and any other responsible parties to seek compensation for both economic and non-economic losses associated with your injury. Before you file a suit, you can file your PIP claim and attempt to negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company to recover your damages without going to court.
If settlement negotiations are unsuccessful, Indiana’s statute of limitations sets a specific deadline for bringing a car accident personal injury claim against another person. According to Indiana Code § 34-11-2-4, you must file a personal injury lawsuit within two years from the date of the accident or your case will be forever barred. If you choose to bring a claim against your PIP coverage or attempt other negotiations, those actions will not stop the two-year limitation clock. An attentive Indianapolis personal injury protection lawyer will ensure all deadlines are met and your rights are protected.
Turn to a Trusted Indiana Personal Injury Protection Attorney
If you have been injured in a vehicle accident and need an Indiana personal injury protection attorney, the team at Keffer Hirschauer LLP is here to help. Bradley Keffer and Tom Hirschauer have decades of experience helping injured people recover the compensation they deserve, whether through PIP claims, insurance negotiations, or full-blown jury trials. Contact us today at 317-455-4043 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation with an experienced and compassionate Indiana PIP attorney who will answer all of your questions and help recover the money damages you deserve.