Dealing with a vehicle accident can be stressful and complicated even when you are fully insured. The situation can be painfully stressful and financially ruining when you get in an accident without car insurance. You may have a momentary misjudgement and feel that it is a calculated risk to drive without insurance for whatever reason. However, your excuses will not help you in avoiding a fine, penalty and perhaps jail sentence. Most importantly, you will have a hard time explaining it to people who suffered due to a crash you caused.
Do you need insurance to drive a car? The answer is indisputably yes no matter where you live in the US, unless you already meet financial responsibility requirements, allowed by one or two states. Therefore, you should make sure that you are insured before driving an automobile. If you know you are uninsured you shouldn’t even think of driving.
Car Accident without Insurance not at Fault
It doesn’t matter that you had no fault in the accident. A police officer has to book you after discovering that you were driving without insurance. You will still have to pay a fine, your car may be impounded and you may also be required to appear in court for driving without liability insurance.
Whether you can recover your loses as a result of a crash that was someone else’s fault depends on several conditions. If you are lucky and your damages are negligible, the other driver may just pay for them out of pocket to avoid involving his/her insurer but there is a slim chance of this to happen.
If you live in a no fault state you may not be able to claim any payment for your injuries and suffering from third parties anyway as your state laws prevent you from making claims, unless you qualify certain conditions or your damages are substantial. In no fault states, you are supposed to have your own insurance to cover for your injuries in an accident.
You may not be able to make a claim in some tort states too if they have “no pay no play” rules. Such rules prevent motorists who don’t have at least state minimum car insurance to make a claim on third parties. If there isn’t “no pay no play” restrictions you may be able to claim on responsible driver’s insurance, if they are insured. If they are not insured either, you will have to sue them in court.
At Fault Car Accident without Insurance
What happens if you cause an accident and don’t have insurance? You are probably in deep trouble if you were involved in a traffic incident while you don’t have insurance coverage and it was your fault. How deep your troubles depend on how bad the damages and injuries you caused and your state insurance rules.
You are very lucky if you live in a no fault state, the damages are small and the other parties have insurance. They may be able to claim their loses from their insurers and leave you alone.
However, you cannot probably escape that easy when you live in a tort state where at fault parties pay for the accident damages. Even if the other drivers are insured and paid by their insurers it may not be over as the insurance company may decide to sue you for the claims they paid.
Even no fault rules cannot save you when the injuries are serious or more than say $20,000 because they would be allowed to sue you then. And in a tort state, the third party insurance company would most likely sue you for whatever you have got. If you don’t have any property, you may have to pay the losses slowly out of your wages, even it takes until the end of your life.
Furthermore, who is going to pay for your own damages if you are not insured? You can end up in deep financial troubles while you are trying to avoid small monthly insurance premium payments.
It wouldn’t stop there either as drivers caught driving without insurance will still face fines, penalties, court sentences and vehicle impoundments regardless of being at fault or not.
Drivers may be able to deal with fines, driver license suspensions or vehicle impoundments. However, not many people have enough money to pay for possible damages and injuries they may cause to other people. That is why people buy insurance. There are many ways being insured can help you. Here is how will buying auto insurance help you? Remember that causing an accident and not having insurance to pay for people’s injuries and damages can weigh heavily on your conscious too.
Other Consequences of Driving Uninsured
– You Cannot Avoid a Ticket For Driving Without Insurance
If a police officer turns up at the scene you cannot avoid getting a ticket for driving uninsured no matter you are at fault or not. If you are at fault you will probably receive a ticket for reckless driving. Every state require drivers to be financially responsible for their actions and make sure they can pay for the damages they cause, at least up to a minimum limit.
If you fail to show proof of insurance you will get a ticket and pay a fine. In some states, you may be able to get away with a small fine if this is the first time you got caught uninsured. In a few other states, you may be referred to traffic courts regardless and the judge may sentence to pay more fines and court costs.
– Your Drivers License May Be Suspended
In addition to a ticket, most states would suspend your driver license after the second offence. But some states like California may suspend it after the first offence. Duration of the suspicion will depend on the state rules and your driving record. Losing your driving license can make your life difficult and affect your job. If this is the case, you may want to talk to a lawyer and see if you would be allowed to drive between home and work in order to keep your job.
– Your Car Can Be Impounded
Some states impound uninsured vehicles. This can happen when driving someone else’s car without insurance too. So, you should make sure that the automobile you drive is insured regardless of owning it or not. You may have to pay a fee and show that you bought insurance for it before they release your auto. The duration of impoundment will depend on various factors like your state laws and number of similar incident in your record.
– You May Have Your Day in Court and Time in Jail
A judge decides what to do with you if you are taken to court. You may face substantial fines or sent to jail depending on the circumstances of the accident and your state driving laws. First time offenders may be let off with a warning and a fine but multiple offenders may spend time in jail. Then, you will stay away from your family and risk losing your job. In most cases, judges may prefer large fines to jail sentence.
– Finding Auto Insurance after Getting Caught Driving Uninsured
Insurers will see tickets or convictions for driving with no insurance in your record. Top car insurance companies will probably refuse to provide coverage. And the ones that will insure will do so at much higher premium. Most insurers don’t like law breaking drivers. Some carriers may not even tolerate lapse in car insurance, let alone breaking state financial responsibility laws by driving uninsured.
You may think that you will not get in a car accident without insurance because you are a good driver, driving only a short distance or whatever other excuses you may have. You might not have even thought about what happens if you get in an accident without auto insurance? In such cases, you can get into so much trouble. If you are struggling to pay for the premium you should try to find cheap liability car insurance coverage before giving it up altogether. Often motorists find cheaper quotes by searching through many companies in their region.