Every state has a minimum level of car insurance coverage that drivers must have to legally drive. This pays for injuries and damages to yourself and to others. Auto insurance can also protect you from financial ruin if you’re found to be at fault for a crash.
Still, a small number of drivers—around 13 percent, according to research—drive without coverage.
Here’s what to expect if you or someone you know has a no-insurance car accident.
Getting into a car crash without being insured
Each state has its own threshold for minimum liability insurance requirements. If you’re uninsured and get into a car accident without insurance, expect that you may face lawsuits, fines and suspension of your driver’s license and car registration. When you do secure auto insurance, your premiums will be higher as well.
There are at least 12 states that follow a no-fault car insurance system. In these states, if someone is injured in a car accident, they are required to seek compensation from their own car insurance company. Only in limited circumstances will they be able to file a lawsuit outside of the no-fault system. Typically, this is set by a threshold, such as damages being over $20,000.
Most people, however, live in a tort state, meaning that you will be personally responsible for any damages you caused in an accident. When a lawsuit is filed against you and you don’t have auto insurance, you will pay any damages out of your own pocket. You will also have to hire a lawyer at your own expense.
Penalties for a no-insurance car accident
If you’re pulled over by law enforcement or you get in a crash without insurance, you may face fines along with suspension of your driver’s license or car registration. You may also have to acquire SR-22 insurance, which is a form of certification for high-risk drivers stating that they are carrying at least the minimum level of insurance coverage. Most states require SR-22 certification for three years following a wreck.
What if the accident is not your fault?
Even if you aren’t at fault for an accident, driving without insurance can be costly: You can still be fined; your car may be impounded; you could lose your license. In some cases, you may have out-of-pocket costs as well, such as if your car is damaged by a fallen tree branch or is stolen.
Impact on your driving record
States handle this differently, but the average amount of time a car accident without insurance will stay on your record is three years. The bottom line is that you should always drive with at least the minimum amount of liability coverage to avoid these consequences.
Whenever you need help on the road, turn to the professionals at AMR Auto Repair & Towing. We offer emergency towing to cars and trucks of all sizes. Give us a call right now and learn more about our affordably-priced services. We look forward to doing our part to help you get out of a stressful situation.
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