March 19th, 2018|
A distracted driver ran a red light and smashed into your vehicle. You are injured. Should you sue the driver directly or sue his insurance company?
Often, when we talk with accident victims, they ask us if they need to sue the driver directly or sue the driver’s insurance company. Understandably, this is a perplexing issue for many people. Some accident victims get upset because they want the driver who caused the wreck to personally pay for all of the inconvenience and disruption the driver caused. On the other hand, some accident victims do not want the person who caused the wreck to be personally responsible because the person at fault did not do anything on purpose- it was just an “accident.” So that you understand this process, I will explain the appropriate Indiana insurance law.
Sue the Driver or the Insurance Company?
When you’re in a vehicular collision, normally you talk to both your own insurance company and also the insurance company of the other driver. Even if you are not at fault, we always suggest you inform your insurance company about the wreck. Your insurance policy requires that you cooperate with your insurance company—so you should advise them about the facts of the wreck. In addition, it is important to inform your insurance company of the wreck because, if the other driver does not have liability insurance or does not have enough insurance to cover your claim, you are entitled to file a claim pursuant to the Uninsured/Underinsured provisions of your own insurance policy.
For all practical purposes, you (or your attorney) will not be dealing with the at-fault driver. You will be dealing with his insurance company. If your case cannot be settled and a lawsuit is filed, Indiana law requires that you sue the individual who caused the collision instead of his insurance company. However, when the at-fault driver is sued, his insurance policy requires his insurance company to provide an attorney to represent him and, if you prevail at trial, pay you up to the limits of the at-fault driver’s policy. As I stated above, some people have a knee-jerk reaction and want to punish the person who caused the wreck, but the reason we all have insurance is to provide coverage for us and pay any damages we might cause.
What Can I Do if the Other Driver Has Minimal Coverage or No Insurance?
If the at-fault driver is uninsured (or doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your damages), you have the right to make a claim against your own uninsured/ underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage policy. Often, accident victims do not want to request their own insurance company to help cover their damages since the other driver was at fault. However, that is exactly the purpose of your UIM policy. You paid premiums to protect yourself, knowing that the other driver might not have any, or enough, insurance to adequately compensate you for your damages. There is nothing wrong with doing this. Your insurance company insures you and has agreed to pay for your damages to make sure you receive appropriate compensation.
If the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage or your UIM limits are not sufficient to compensate you for all of your damages, you do have the right to claim damages directly from the at-fault driver. Seldom is this an option we recommend. If the other driver does not have insurance, or has low limits, he or she probably does not have significant personal assets. I have learned my dad was right- “You can’t get blood out of a turnip”—meaning if people have no insurance, they almost always have no money or assets.
To summarize, when you file a personal injury lawsuit, you file a civil claim against the at-fault driver. By purchasing insurance, the at-fault driver is protected up to his policy limits. By purchasing UIM coverage, you have protected yourself. UIM coverage is one of the most important types of coverage you can buy to protect yourself. UIM coverage is relatively cheap, and the higher your UIM coverage, the more protected you will be if you suffer serious catastrophic injuries by an at-fault driver who does not have adequate coverage.
We Can Help Answer Any of Your Personal Injury Questions.
If you have any questions about your personal injury claims, contact me at 812-232-2000, or fill out a contact form at FleschnerLaw.com.
Our law firm handles car accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident, slip and fall, dog bite, product injury, wrongful death, and social security disability cases. To see a full list of cases, go to FleschnerLaw.com and click on “Cases We Handle.” Even if you have a case we normally do not handle, call us. We have a Referral Department that can help find an attorney to represent you.
May 2nd, 2012|
May 2, 2012
Despite Indiana’s governor signing a law in July that made it illegal to text while driving, experts say the problem hasn’t stopped. According to WTHITV 10 News, Indiana police are blaming the problem on the actual wording of the law and the difficulties of enforcing it.
The law states that the use of any handheld device to read or transmit a text message or email while driving is illegal. It further states that drivers younger than 18-years-old are not allowed to use any electronic device at all while driving, except for in emergency situations.
Since the laws inception, very few tickets have been issued for infractions. In Vigo County, only three tickets have been written in the 10 months the law has been on the books. It’s not that people aren’t committing violations, as a recent study found that 57 percent of Indiana teens text while driving. So what seems to be the problem?
Police say the wording of the law makes it extremely difficult to enforce, as officers must actually catch violators in the act, which can be hard to decipher at times and even more difficult to prove.
If you’ve been injured in an Indiana Car Accident that was caused by someone using a cellphone, the Indiana Injury Lawyers with Fleschner Stark Tanoos & Newlin say that may be considered negligence on the driver’s part, and you may be able to hold them responsible for damages.
March 31st, 2009|
March 17, 2009
A 1-year-old girl was killed in a Chicago auto accident, reports the Chicago Breaking News.
According to police, the child’s father was pulling a vehicle out of the garage at the family’s home when he hit the child.
The child was transported to the Advocate Christ Medical Center, where she was later pronounced dead.
The Chicago car accident lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin can help if you were injured in an Illinois auto accident.
March 16th, 2009|
March 10, 2009
One woman was injured in a single-vehicle Terre Haute car accident, reports the Tribune Star.
An 18-year-old female was driving east on I-70 when her car veered off the roadway and rolled over multiple times.
When emergency responders arrived at the scene of the Terre Haute auto accident they found the driver lying on the ground after apparently being ejected from the vehicle.
The woman was treated at the scene for possible multiple fractures, then airlifted to a local hospital. She was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the Indiana auto accident.
The Terre Haute car accident lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin can help if you were injured in an Indiana auto accident.
March 9th, 2009|
March 3, 2009
The Zanesville Times Recorder reports that an eight-year-old girl was mauled by her family dog while she was sleeping.
According to a statement taken by the police, the mother of the Ohio dog bite injury victim heard her daughter crying and the dog barking sometime after midnight. She ran into her daughter’s room and immediately noticed that her daughter had been bitten. They then rushed to the hospital for treatment.
The victim reported that she was sleeping at the time of the Ohio dog bite accident. The dog sleeps at the foot of the child’s bed, and her mother indicated that the child might have kicked the dog in her sleep, startling it, and causing it to bite her.
The Ohio dog bite injury lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin can help if you were injured in a dog bite accident.
March 2nd, 2009|
February 26, 2009
One man was killed in a Chicago auto accident, according Chicago Breaking News.
The Chicago car accident happened on Lake Shore Drive near 45th Street. According to a witness the Illinois auto accident victim was headed north when he lost control of his vehicle and hit a light pole. The driver was the only person in the vehicle at the time of the Chicago auto accident.
He had to be extricated from the vehicle by emergency personnel, and was transported to the hospital where he later died.
The Chicago auto accident attorneys at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin can help if you have been injured in an Illinois car accident.
February 24th, 2009|
February 24, 2009
The Chicago Tribune reports that the family of a nursing home resident who died last week filed an Illinois nursing home abuse lawsuit against the facility where she lived.
The victim froze to death when she wandered outside into the courtyard of the nursing home. She was found in the courtyard after being outside for about 90 minutes in freezing cold temperatures. The Chicago nursing home abuse victim was wearing an ankle bracelet that should have triggered an alarm when she went outside.
Although prosecutors are investigating this Chicago nursing home abuse case, the family of the deceased is planning to conduct its own investigation.
The Chicago nursing home abuse lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin can help if your loved one has been the victim of Illinois nursing home neglect.
February 10th, 2009|
February 5, 2009
The Times-Union reports that a woman died from injuries she received in a Fort Wayne auto accident.
The woman was traveling south on Indiana 15 when she lost control of her vehicle and slid into the path of a pickup truck, causing the Indiana auto accident. The truck had a snowplow attached to the front.
The woman became trapped inside her vehicle and had to be removed by emergency personnel workers. She suffered blunt force trauma from the Fort Wayne car accident.
The Fort Wayne auto accident lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin can help if you have been injured in a car accident.
February 9th, 2009|
February 3, 2009
The Chicago Sun Times reports that a man has been charged with driving under the influence after hitting three teens with his vehicle and then crashing into another vehicle.
Police report that the driver of a 1990 Ford Thunderbird was headed west on Galena Blvd. at a high rate of speed, when he ran a stop sign causing the Illinois auto accident. The vehicle then drove off the road and hit three teens who were standing on the street corner.
The vehicle then hit a pickup truck parked in a driveway. The driver then attempted to flee on foot from the scene of the Chicago auto accident.
The three teens were taken to a local hospital following the Chicago car accident. They are being treated for non-life threatening injuries.
The driver was charged with an aggravated DUI along with several other charges in this Chicago auto accident.
The Chicago auto accident lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin can help if you have been injured in an Illinois car accident.
January 27th, 2009|
January 27, 2009
The Terre Haute Tribune Star reports that four people were injured in a Terre Haute auto accident.
According to the Sheriff’s department, one vehicle was traveling east on Gilchrist road, and another vehicle was traveling north on US 41 when the Terre Haute car accident occurred. The vehicle traveling east appeared in the path of the other vehicle, before the driver had time to react.
The driver of the northbound car struck the other vehicle before leaving the intersection, crossing the median, and heading down a steep embankment.
Four people suffered minor injuries in the Indiana auto accident.
The Terre Haute auto accident lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin can help if you have been injured in an Indiana car accident.