What Happens If You Get Into a Car Accident Without Insurance?
By Chris Dixon
Each state’s laws vary on whether or not they are an at-fault or no-fault state. If you get into a car accident without insurance, it is important to know which category your state’s ‘fault’ rules fall under. In some states, not having insurance can lead to costly injury lawsuits with other drivers where you’ll have to pay out-of-pocket for the other driver’s damages if you’re at-fault. In other states, getting into an accident without insurance simply means that you’ll have to pay out-of-pocket for your own personal damages.
What If I’m Not At-Fault for an Accident and Don’t Have Insurance?
The outcome of a car accident you’re involved in without insurance is dependent on whether or not the state is an at-fault or no-fault state. If you’re not at-fault in a no-fault state without insurance, you unfortunately won’t be able to sue the driver that is liable for damages. You will have to pay for your own damages out-of-pocket. If you’re not liable for an accident in an at-fault state and don’t have insurance, you can sue the other driver for damages including medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and other damages.
If I’m At-Fault in a Car Accident and Don’t Have Insurance, What Does This Mean?
Getting into an accident without insurance can be a stressful situation. If you are at-fault for the accident, the other driver can sue you for damages if you’re in an at-fault state. Damages can be costly, and if you refuse to pay them the other driver can file a lawsuit against you to recover the compensation. If you’re in a no-fault state and you get into a car accident that is your fault, you won’t have to pay for the other driver’s damages unless they surpass a certain threshold. No-fault states require you to have no-fault insurance which means that if you are in an accident, your own insurance company will pay your damages. The downside of this is that no-fault insurance is required in a no-fault state, so if you don’t have it, this can lead to steep fines and penalties or even suspension or revocation of your driver’s license.
Can I Be Sued After Getting Into a Car Accident Without Insurance?
There are many factors at play when a car accident happens. Every case is different so each case is eligible for different types of damages. If you are at-fault for a car accident without insurance, you can be sued by the other party involved in the accident if:
- There is property damage
- The other driver was injured
- You fled the scene of the accident
- You refuse to pay the other driver a settlement
- In a no-fault state, if the other driver’s damages surpass a certain threshold, you can be sued for damages
If you are being sued for damages and do not have insurance, you should immediately call a car accident lawyer so that they can protect your rights and help you understand the options that are available for your case.
Information Your Lawyer Needs to Help You If You Get Into a Car Accident Without Insurance
Regardless of whether or not you have insurance or you are/are not at-fault for a car accident, you should always call your local lawyer. It’s equally as important to document the scene of the accident so that details can be preserved. Even if you’re at-fault, failure to document the scene of the accident leaves the door open for the other driver to potentially exaggerate the details of the accident. This can lead to you paying more money in damages. You should also:
- Swap contact information and gather the other driver’s insurance information
- Talk to any witnesses at the scene
- File a police report immediately
- Not talk to the other driver’s insurance company
- Get checked out by a physician and request a copy of the medical report
- Contact a car accident lawyer
The steps above should be taken in that exact order. Contact a car accident lawyer before making a claim with your insurance company. This is a crucial step because this can save you from paying a higher settlement for the other party’s injuries, and will make sure that you have an experienced local lawyer in your corner that can help you through this difficult situation. If you’ve been in a car accident without insurance and need legal representation, contact Dixon Injury Firm to start discussing your case’s options today.