Published in Personal Injury on January 17, 2022.
Almost every state in the country requires drivers to maintain some amount of car insurance. Indiana is no exception.
In fact, if you are caught driving without insurance, Indiana police can issue you a ticket.
Not only that, but drivers who have a history of driving without insurance may not be able to collect non-economic damages if they are involved in an Indiana car accident.
Indiana’s Car Insurance Laws
Under Indiana Code § 9-25-4, motorists must meet the “financial responsibility” requirement to legally register a vehicle or drive on any public road.
More specifically, the law requires drivers to carry at least the following amount of insurance:
- Bodily injury liability—$25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident; and
- Property damage liability—$25,000 per accident.
While there are other types of recommended coverage, these are the bare minimum that you must have to avoid being in violation of Indiana’s financial responsibility laws.
I Got into a Car Accident with No Insurance That’s Not My Fault—Can I Sue the Other Driver?
If you were driving without insurance in Indiana with a previous violation and suffered an injury as a result of another driver’s negligence, you can seek compensation for your economic losses, such as medical bills and lost wages.
However, you may be precluded from seeking compensation for noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
What Is Indiana’s No Pay, No Play Law?
The purpose of car insurance in a “fault-based” state like Indiana is to provide a means for compensation for anyone injured in a car accident.
However, the system relies on all drivers purchasing the required amount of insurance. If a driver doesn’t have liability insurance, it may prevent another injured motorist from recovering financial compensation.
To encourage motorists to purchase insurance, Indiana lawmakers passed § 34-30-29.2 and § 27-7-5.1. Together, these are commonly referred to as the “No Pay, No Play” law.
Per I.C. 34-30-29.2-3, a person who sustained bodily injury or property damage as a result of a motor vehicle accident, and was an uninsured motorist with a previous violation at the time of the motor vehicle accident, may not recover non-economic damages for the person’s bodily injury or property damage from the owner or operator of another motor vehicle involved in the motor vehicle accident.
Per I.C. 27-7-5.1-5, an insurer may not pay non-economic damages on a claim for coverage under a motor vehicle policy issued by the insurer if the claim is for coverage for a loss insured by an uninsured motorist with a previous violation.
An “uninsured motorist with a previous violation” is:
- An individual who owns a motor vehicle that was involved in an accident; and for which financially responsibility is not in effect; and
- During the immediately preceding five years, has been required to provide proof of future financial responsibility for any period; regardless of whether the individual is operating a motor vehicle at the time of the accident.
What Types of Damages Does the No Pay, No Play Law Bar?
Under Indiana Code § 27-7-5.1-3, the types of non-economic damages that an accident victim cannot obtain include the following:
- Emotional distress;
- Loss of companionship, services, and consortium;
- Loss of enjoyment;
- Mental anguish;
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering; and
- Physical impairment.
Noneconomic damages are critical to a full and fair recovery. Thus, it is important to preserve your ability to recover noneconomic damages by obtaining the necessary insurance coverage.
Exceptions to the No Pay, No Play Law
While the No Pay, No Play law applies generally to most drivers, it does not apply in the following situations:
- The uninsured driver who is under 18 years old;
- The accident involved another driver’s intentional actions; and
- The other driver was convicted of a crime in connection with the accident.
Given the harsh consequences of driving without insurance in Indiana, it is imperative that all drivers ensure they have a valid insurance policy.
Have You Been Injured in an Indiana Car Accident?
If you recently suffered injuries in an Indiana car crash, it is important that you reach out to an attorney.
While the No Pay, No Play law may prohibit you from recovering for your non-economic damages, that is not a certainty.
An attorney can help you understand your options and determine what damages you can seek. At the personal injury law firm of Eskew Law, we value the relationships we create with each client.
Therefore, we take as much time as necessary to fully understand your situation and what is important to you before we recommend any course of action.
To learn more and to schedule a free consultation, call (317) 794-2431 today. You can also reach us through our online contact form.