If you are in a car accident and do not have insurance, the outcome of this situation depends on many factors, including the local regulations where you live and who is responsible for the crash.
All states except New Hampshire and Virginia require at least some degree of liability insurance. If you do not have insurance, you may be subject to legal penalties such as:
- license suspension
- jail time
- vehicle seizure
- Must submit Form SR-22 (proof of insurance coverage) to drive legally in the future
These legal penalties apply in addition to civil claims that other drivers may bring against you to recover compensation for losses caused by a motor vehicle accident.
If Your State Mandates Auto Insurance and You Are Responsible
If there is negligence at the time of the accident, compensation for damages may be claimed. Details depend on where you live.
- your state no-fault condition, All drivers obtain coverage for minor injuries from their insurance company by filing a claim under Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. However, you can bear the cost of property damage yourself. Also, if the injury is serious, the other driver may file a claim against you to recover compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and lost wages not covered by PIP insurance. can be done.
- if your state is fault stateyou may be held responsible for covering all costs related to the collision, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering damages, and emotional distress damages, regardless of the severity of your injury.
Typically, your insurance company will pay your legal costs and cover damages suffered by other drivers up to your policy limit. However, if you do not have insurance, other drivers can try to collect money from you personally.
If your state requires auto insurance and you’re not at fault
If the other driver is at fault, you may be able to claim damages from the other driver’s insurance company.
You can file a third party claim with your insurance company to claim damages for all the losses you have suffered. You may be able to resolve your case out of court if your insurance company offers an acceptable settlement offer. Otherwise, you can sue for damages.
However, some states have no pay/no play rules. These rules prevent you from claiming non-economic damages (medical bills, pain and suffering, etc.) against other drivers if you were uninsured when the collision occurred. Or, it may limit your recovery or limit the circumstances under which you can take legal action. For example, you may only be able to make a claim if the other driver has been drinking or fled the scene of an accident, or you may only be allowed to obtain partial compensation for your loss.
If Your State Doesn’t Require Auto Insurance
Liability insurance is not required in New Hampshire or Virginia. However, even if you don’t have insurance, you may still be personally liable to cover the losses you cause, even if your state doesn’t require you to purchase an insurance policy.