The USA, requires that motorists have adequate car insurance coverage if operating on the roadways in the state. The current minimum requirements are bodily injury liability coverage of a minimum of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. Property damage liability coverage is a minimum of $15,000. Some states do not make it a legal requirement to carry uninsured or underinsured coverage, but if you are in an accident and the at-fault party only carries the minimum liability insurance, it may not be enough to cover all of your expenses. An experienced  firm specializing in Car accidents, such as Springs Law Group, will be able to navigate and guide you through this process.

What are the Penalties for Driving Without Insurance?

Driving without auto insurance is a serious and expensive offense. If you are convicted of driving without insurance, penalties increase with the number of times you offend. For example, first-time offenders have lesser fines and penalties than someone who has been stopped two or more times for the same offense. For first-time offenders, expect to pay $500 in fines and have your driver’s license, registration, and license plate suspended for three months. You will also have to purchase an SR-22 certificate for two years. 

Second-time offenders get their fines bumped up to $750, suspensions of license, registration, and license plate increased to six months, and SR-22 certificates for two years. For offenders of three or more offenses, the fines increase to $1000, suspensions to one year, and the SR-22 requirements remain at the two-year requirement. 

What is an SR-22?

An SR-22 is required when your license, plates, and registration are reinstated. An SR-22 is not car insurance but a certification that you are insured for a designated period of time. There is a filing fee for obtaining the SR-22, but the major cost occurs when you tell your insurance company that you need it. Once they know you are required to submit an SR-22, they realize that you are high risk and your premiums go up substantially.

What If You Are in An Accident and You Have No Car Insurance?

The amount of impact greatly differs on the amount of fault that you have in the accident. What this means is that you could be found to bear some of the fault in the accident. For example, what if you were hit by another car at an intersection? A driver turned without the right of way. The turning driver hit you but you were speeding. You may have partial responsibility for the accident. 

If you have no car insurance, things can become pretty complex. Even if the accident is not your fault, if the driver who caused the accident has insurance, you will have to sue his insurance company for damages. If you have no coverage for uninsured/underinsured drivers and your damages exceed his coverage, you will either have to sue him in civil court or pay the damages yourself. When an officer responds to the accident, if you have no insurance, you could still be ticketed even if the accident is not your fault.

If you are in an accident and the at-fault driver has no insurance, your insurance company will sue the driver in civil court to recover damages. You can still sue the uninsured driver but may end up paying for some of the damages yourself if you do not have uninsured or underinsured coverage.

If you cause the accident and have no coverage, the injured parties will file a civil suit against you directly and you will have to pay for their damages out of your own pocket. At that time, your license and registration will be suspended until the judgment is paid in full or a satisfactory payment plan is put in place. By now, you should be considering contacting a car accident attorney, such as Hess Law Office PPLC, for the best guidance on your case.

What Should You Do If You Are in a Car Accident and No Insurance?

If you are in a car accident and have no insurance coverage, even if you are not at fault, you can expect some hefty fines, a suspended license, registration, and license plates, and the required SR-22. If you are found at fault for the accident, you could be sued for damages from the other driver and may be found responsible for their vehicle damages, medical bills, and even their pain and suffering. If you are injured by a driver who has no insurance, your insurance company may bring suit in civil court.

Car accident coverage is complex. The penalties for driving on roadways without insurance coverage can be severe. Courts take it very seriously. If you were involved in a car accident and have no insurance, contact an attorney such as DP Injury Attorneys as soon as possible so that you can explore your options and work on your best defense.