If you have been involved in a car accident and the officer learns that you have been driving without insurance, you will face significant penalties. Depending on your state laws, it might involve huge fines and it could even involve jail time. What happens with the damages is dependent on the insurance system used by your state.
For example, if you live in a no-fault state, then you seek compensation from your own auto insurance after an auto accident. If you don’t have insurance, then most likely the other driver can’t sue you and seek compensation from you directly unless the injuries are deemed as significant according to the state threshold.
If You Live in a Tort State
If you live in a state that doesn’t follow the no-fault approach, you are in what is called a tort state. In one of those states, if you have a car accident in which you are at fault and the other person was injured, you can be sued for the damages and injuries suffered by the other party or parties.
This might include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, mental trauma, property damages, and more. If you don’t have auto insurance coverage, you will be held personally responsible for covering those damages.
You will have to pay them out of your pocket, so if the other driver takes you to court and gets a judgment, they have several options available to recover their compensation, which might include garnishing your paycheck.
What If You Weren’t at Fault
If you weren’t at fault for the crash, you might have some restrictions on recovering compensation depending on your state laws. Several states have a “No Pay, No Play” rule, which indicates that if you don’t have valid auto insurance in place at the time of the crash, you are limited in recovering compensation for your damages.
You would not be able to recoup non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering, but you could recover the costs of your medical expenses. There are some states that will allow you to recover all your damages even if you aren’t insured at the time of the crash if the other driver is at fault for the accident.
Consult With a Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have been involved in an auto accident and do not have insurance, you should consult with a personal injury attorney. An accident injury lawyer can determine how to proceed with your case and will be familiar with the state laws and can explain how they will apply to your situation.
Most accident injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, so you do not pay until you receive compensation. Get your case details reviewed by a personal injury lawyer in your area, complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page today! With an attorney’s help, you can determine what to do after an auto accident while driving without insurance.