What Happens If You Get in A Car Accident Without Insurance?
Despite your best efforts, you can never fully prevent car accidents. Even if you’re naturally a careful driver, someone else’s negligence can still put your life in danger. And even if you survive a crash, the financial toll can be quite devastating. Thankfully, most states require drivers to have car insurance to help cover the financial damages that accumulate after a car accident. But what happens if you are involved in a car accident without insurance?
According to a report by the Insurance Research Council in 2021, over 28 million American drivers are uninsured. Despite government advice, many drivers still need proper insurance policies. Without one, they can get into serious trouble.
If you or anyone you know is uninsured and was recently in a car accident, here’s what you can do.
How to Handle A Car Accident Without Insurance
After a car accident, you’ll need to prioritize your safety and well-being first. Seek emergency medical services even if you think you or your companions aren’t injured. You should then call local law enforcement to ensure the incident is documented properly through a police report.
Once you’ve done so, you should get the other party’s contact information. Take photos of the scene if you can, as any information you gather from the incident will help your case in the future.
Afterward, we recommend you find a reliable personal injury lawyer who will help you settle damages from the car accident if either you or the other party don’t have insurance.
Who Pays After An Accident?
Now that you know what to do after a car accident, let’s discuss paying for all the damages. The party who has to pay for the accident will depend on your state’s insurance laws.
No-fault states are locations that require each driver involved in the accident to file a claim with their respective insurance providers. Additionally, they ask both drivers to have personal injury protection insurance to take care of their medical bills if they sustain any injury.
But despite this regulation, these states still hold the at-fault party responsible for any property damage they cause. No-fault states include the following;
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Dakota
No-pay, No-play States
Some states don’t allow drivers without insurance to be fully compensated for any damage they sustain in an accident. This specific regulation limits how much money an uninsured victim can receive if they file a fault-based claim.
The states with no-pay, no-play laws include the following;
- New Jersey
- North Dakota
In particular, California is not a no-fault state, which means that the at-fault party is legally required to cover the other person’s losses, regardless of whether they have insurance. If both parties are liable, they share the responsibility of recovering losses.
According to the state’s “Pure Comparative Negligence” system, if one party is 99% responsible for an accident, the other party is only 1% responsible. Parties are only liable for their percentage of fault.
The vast majority of the states are identified as tort states. In these locations, the at-fault party is responsible for all car accident damages. Additionally, injured victims can sue the at-fault driver for all the injuries and damages they’ve sustained from the incident.
Determining who needs to pay for the incident will make settling much easier.
What Does Car Accident Insurance Cover?
Typically, auto insurance pays for medical expenses, property damage, and other liabilities for you and your family.
But your insurance coverage could still change depending on your policy. It could include personal injuries and more.
Drivers involved in car accidents typically claim their insurance premiums after the incident.
What Happens When You Get Into A Car Accident Without Insurance & You’re At-fault
If you’re found to be the at-fault party of a car accident and don’t have insurance coverage, you may be asked to pay a fine or have your driver’s license or registration suspended. The penalties for driving without insurance vary from one state to another.
For example, Alabama requires anyone who violates their Mandatory Liability Insurance law to pay a penalty of $500 for their first offense. On the other hand, Arkansas only asks uninsured drivers to pay a fine between $50 and $250.
You’ll also be required to file an SR-22 or FR-44 certificate within your state to prove that you have the insurance documentation you need to pay for future incidents. Lastly, you’ll be held responsible for the damage you cause. These out-of-pocket expenses could include medical and legal fees.
What Happens When You Get Into A Car Accident Without Insurance But You’re Not At Fault
Even if you didn’t cause the accident, your state could still fine you for driving without their required insurance coverage. You’ll have to use your money for medical bills, legal fees, and other expenses.
And though you can file fault-based claims against the other driver, your lack of insurance could affect its outcome. If you live in a no-pay, no-play state, filing your claim will be stressful. We suggest you find a legal representative that could help you navigate this law.
How to Find Affordable Insurance
If you’re one of the many American drivers without insurance, now’s the right time to find the right policy. Here’s how you can find comprehensive yet affordable insurance coverage.
One of the best ways you can find affordable insurance policies is to compare different providers against one another. Compare prices and coverage limits. We recommend checking out smaller local insurers to see if they offer any excellent deals.
Inquire About Deductibles
Deductibles are the amount you’re willing to pay out of your pocket. The higher your deductibles are, the lower your monthly premium will be. Ask your providers if they can increase your deductible.
But before making this decision, we suggest you consider your financial situation. You must avoid a high deductible if you ever need to file a claim in the future.
Maintain A Clean Record
Your driving history is one of the many factors that affect the price of your insurance. The fewer accidents you have on your record, the more affordable policies become. Drivers with a clean record can qualify for lower insurance premiums and safe-driver discounts.
Additionally, safe driving behavior can help you avoid surcharges on your policy. We suggest you use a telematics device to monitor your driving habits and develop better behavior in the long run.
Get Help From A Reliable Lawyer Today
Handling a car accident without the right insurance policy can be difficult. But with the help of a reliable personal injury lawyer, you won’t have to go through the stressful process alone.
Adamson Ahdoot’s team of experienced lawyers is here to provide you with all the help you need when settling a car accident without insurance.
Adamson Ahdoot is a full-service civil litigation firm with over 100 years of combined legal experience handling personal injury cases. With our help, you can trust that the best lawyers will handle your case with the intimacy and attention to detail of a boutique firm, with the expertise of a larger one.
Our firm is committed to putting people first. We proudly serve a diverse clientele with their car accident cases and offer free English and Spanish consultations. Call us at (800) 310-1606 today to schedule your free consultation.
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