You can never predict when you will be in a car accident. Unfortunately, it happens without warning and when you least expect it. Having insurance at the time can save you in many ways. But, what if you don't have insurance? In 2019, The Insurance Research Council (IRC) discovered that one in eight drivers do not have insurance.
You might have just decided to wait a few days before getting insurance, or maybe you were getting insurance that same day, and the accident happened. What can you do?
Many states have laws against uninsured drivers, and you might get penalized for driving without insurance. However, what if the other party doesn't have insurance? Will you be compensated for your injuries if the at-fault party doesn't have insurance? What if you don't have insurance but did not cause the accident? Let's discuss your options.
Is the Uninsured Driver Automatically at Fault?
The accident's responsibility still stays with the party that caused it, regardless of whether they have insurance coverage or not. However, if you are the uninsured party, you can get penalized with fines, jail time, or license suspension. The rules change with each state, but the uninsured driver is most likely subject to some type of punishment.
Car insurance is important as it takes care of many accident-related expenses. Without insurance, you will often have to pay for medical costs and other damages. However, you may not need to pay for the other party's insurance if you live in a no-fault state, such as Florida.
The no-fault law requires you to recover damages from your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. Furthermore, it sets limits on your ability to sue another driver for damages.
What Are No-Pay, No-Play Laws?
Some states have a no-pay, no-play rule to penalize individuals who drive without insurance. These laws are designed to prohibit drivers from receiving damages if they do not carry insurance.
These laws vary by state. In some states, you can claim certain damages provided the other driver was driving recklessly or under the influence during the accident. Since there are different laws for different states, you can talk to a car accident lawyer to better understand the rules applying to your state.
What If You Are Responsible for the Accident, but You Don't Have Car Insurance?
The other driver may be able to sue you for damages if you don't have car insurance. This puts you at a disadvantage since you will have to use your own money to cover the damages. You may also face fines and other penalties based on your state.
If you live in a no-fault state, the other driver's insurance will cover their expenses. However, they may be able to sue you if their injuries breach a certain threshold, such as permanent disfigurement.
What If the Other Driver Is Uninsured?
If you get into an accident with an uninsured driver, you can sue often them to cover your property damage and other related medical expenses. Of course, doesn't apply if you live in a no-fault state, as your insurance will cover the damages up to your limit. Therefore, you can only sue the other driver if you suffered serious injuries.
You can also use uninsured motorist coverage to help pay your damages if the other party is uninsured. Uninsured motorist coverage is optional in many states and can help compensate you for damages, such as:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Replacement services (for tasks you can no longer reasonably complete, such as lawn care)
- Pain and suffering
- Death of a loved one
- Loss of future enjoyment of life
No matter the circumstances surrounding the case, one of the first steps is to ask for the other party's insurance information. You should also call the police to the scene and have them complete a police report. This helps show the details of the accident. It also acts as evidence that you can use to get compensation. You can consult an attorney to help you understand your options for compensation, depending on the insurance circumstances.
Talk to a Dolman Law Group Attorney About Your Car Accident
You can contact one of our attorneys after your car accident, regardless of whether you have insurance or if you were responsible for the accident. Our lawyers can advise you on your options and help you determine the next step. Call us today or fill out this free case evaluation form and let us help with your case.