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What Happens If I Have a Car Accident Without Insurance?

Police officers may write tickets for drivers who don't have insurance.
People may consult with an attorney after a car accident.
In a car accident in which you are at-fault, you will be expected to pay for damages to any other vehicles involved.
Jail time is one possible consequence for driving without insurance.
A car that's been in an accident.
Article Details
  • Written By: Autumn Rivers
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 28 July 2014
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    Conjecture Corporation
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If you get into a car accident without insurance, the consequences usually depend on the details surrounding the car wreck. If you are found at-fault for the accident, you will likely have to pay for the damage to any other vehicle involved, as well as other expenses incurred, such as medical bills. If the other driver is found to be at fault, though, you will likely be able to make a claim to their insurance company. Either way, you can expect to lose your driver's license for up to a year, since driving without car insurance is illegal in most places. You may also be subject to other legal consequences, such as jail time and fines.

In a car accident in which you are at-fault, you will be expected to pay for damage to any other vehicles involved. If the damage is extensive, or you were in a multiple-vehicle accident, you could owe much more than you have, forcing you into bankruptcy in some cases. You may also have to pay for medical treatment if anyone was injured, as well as the damage to your own car. In general, the financial cost is often a lot, as most accidents require at least some repair to the vehicles involved.

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If you are in an accident and are not at fault, you should be able to make a claim to the other driver's insurance company even if you don't have insurance. You will likely be able to get enough money to fix your car, and you may also be entitled to a rental car while your vehicle is being repaired. Of course, if the other driver does not have insurance either, you will probably have to either pay for your own damages or get a lawyer to ensure that the other driver pays for your repairs out of his pocket.

No matter who was at fault, you will likely lose your license for six months to a year. Additionally, you will not usually be able to renew your car's registration once it is discovered that you do not have insurance. Depending on the police officer at the scene of the accident, you may also get a ticket for your lack of insurance, resulting in large fines, which will vary depending on the jurisdiction. One of the most severe consequences of getting into a car accident without insurance is the possibility of jail time, which can range from one month to one year.

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Discuss this Article

Mammmood
Post 3

@allenJo - Here’s the way it is, people. If you can’t afford auto car insurance, you can’t afford to drive the car, period. Drive the bus, carpool, bike or walk. You can’t afford to drive a car.

I am not trying to sound harsh, but the fact is that losing your license for a year or doing jail time is not “cheap” by any measure. So this is one area where you shouldn’t be a penny pincher.

Find a basic policy, work extra hours if you need to in order to pay for it, and enjoy the added protection and peace of mind it affords.

allenJo
Post 2

@nony - I think you should have uninsured motorist coverage as well. This will protect you against drivers who have no auto insurance. I think most companies will include this in their policies as well but don’t assume anything. Make sure you have it.

It’s a fact that, as you said, there are many drivers who get in a car accident with no insurance. If you are the victim in this case, you will have no recourse unless you have uninsured motorist coverage. With that coverage in place your own company can pay you for whatever damages you received at the hands of the other driver, whether you are dealing with bodily damage or damage to your car.

Of course, without this coverage, you can still sue the other driver for damages. But it’s unlikely you’ll get much. The whole reason that they don’t have insurance is that they probably couldn’t afford it.

nony
Post 1

I have no idea why anyone would drive without car insurance. At the bare minimum, you should get liability insurance. That will offer protection against bodily injury and some property protection of the other driver.

Medical bills can be sky high, so you definitely want liability. Furthermore, I think it’s actually required that you at least get this much coverage in most states. Collision and other stuff like that are not required.

So if your car is totaled and you don’t have collision you’re just out of luck. But like I said, liability is the most important coverage. If you want to reduce your premium, get the basic coverage. But don’t skip out on car accident insurance to save money. You won’t save money in the end, and it’s illegal to boot.

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