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  • Writer's picturejoseph retcho

Car Accident Without Insurance

car accident

Every driver wants to avoid accidents for obvious reasons, but getting into an accident can have long-term consequences if you're uninsured. The consequences will differ depending on where you live, but driving without insurance is illegal in nearly every state. Furthermore, getting into a car accident without car insurance will almost certainly affect your future rates when you apply for coverage again. Learn about the significance of car insurance and why you should keep it in case of an accident.

If You're At Fault

A lack of auto insurance coverage will complicate the situation if you are found partially or completely at fault for an accident. If you are involved in an accident and are found to be at fault, you may face one or more of the following consequences:

  • Property damage costs: If you don't have liability insurance, you'll be liable for damages to the other party's vehicle or property that your insurance would have covered.

  • Medical expenses: If the other driver, their passengers, or any pedestrians are injured in the accident, you may be held liable for their medical expenses.

  • Legal fees: If you do not have enough insurance to cover the other driver's losses, they may sue you for damages.

  • Fines: Because driving without insurance is generally illegal, you may be fined if you are caught without it.

  • A suspended license: If you are involved in an accident without insurance, most states will temporarily suspend your license. Your license may be permanently revoked if you have a history of driving without insurance.

  • Vehicle Towed: If you do not have insurance, the officer who responds to your accident may have your vehicle towed.

  • Jail time: While first-time offenders are rarely imprisoned for driving without insurance, some states do jail time for multiple offenses.

  • An SR-22 configuration: If your license is suspended, some states will require you to obtain SR-22 insurance before you can drive again. The SR-22 is a form that shows the state that you have legal insurance.

What if you live in a No-Fault State?

In America, there are several no-fault states that do not assign blame to either driver in the event of an accident. However, if you live in one of these states or are involved in an accident in which the other driver is at fault, you can still be fined for driving without insurance. If the police are called, you will usually be required to provide proof of insurance to the government. If you don't have insurance, you could face a license suspension, fines, or having your vehicle impounded.

Some states will not allow you to sue the at-fault driver if you are not at fault but lack insurance coverage. States with "no pay, no play" laws typically prohibit uninsured drivers from suing at-fault drivers for non-monetary damages, such as mental and emotional distress. Uninsured motorists in these states may also be required to pay a deductible toward repairs before suing the other party for their losses. This deductible can be as high as $25,000 in some states, such as Louisiana.

What Effect Does an Uninsured Driver Have on Future Rates?

In addition to the fees listed above, your future insurance rates may be affected if you have an uninsured accident on your record. Drivers who have been in an accident without insurance typically pay higher premiums than drivers with comparable records who were insured at the time of the accident.

How to Keep Insurance Costs Low

While skipping insurance may help you save money in the short term, getting into a car accident without insurance can have long-term consequences. You can find affordable car insurance by comparing multiple quotes to see which level of coverage fits your budget and asking your insurer about discounts. You may be eligible for a discount if you bundle your policy, own a safe vehicle, maintain a clean record, insure multiple vehicles, own a home, and other factors, depending on your insurer.

If you're looking for auto insurance that best fits you, The Retcho Agency can provide you with multiple comparable quotes. We have a variety of policies for every driver, including high-risk drivers and those with prior violations on their record. Contact us to learn more about auto insurance.

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