What If Someone Hits My Car and I Don’t Have Insurance? | GetJerry.com (2023)

If someone hits your car and you don’t have

car insurance

, you’ll face harsh penalties that include a possible license suspension. You may also be responsible for paying out-of-pocket costs for medical bills, car repairs, and lost wages for the other driver if you’re at fault in an accident.

Car accidents are stressful enough, but what if you don’t have insurance? The legal consequences of driving without insurance vary from state to state, that’s why we’re here to cover everything you need to know about what happens when you get into an accident without auto insurance—including what to do if you live in a state that doesn’t require insurance.

MORE:

What is uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage?

What happens if I get into an accident without car insurance coverage?

It might go without saying, but driving without insurance comes with severe consequences—whether you’re at fault in an auto accident or not. Though repercussions differ by state, you’ll likely face penalties that include a license suspension, paying hefty fines, or even having your car impounded if you get into a car accident without auto insurance.

If you don’t have insurance, your status as an uninsured driver won’t factor in when it’s time for insurance companies to determine who is at fault in an accident. But driving with a lack of insurance will make it harder for you to get compensation for any medical bills, property damage, or related losses you might suffer if the other driver is deemed at fault.

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If you live in a state that requires car insurance

Nearly all 50 states require proof of financial responsibility in the form of auto insurance for drivers to legally hit the road.

Liability insurance

is usually required at the very least, but state laws typically determine the minimum levels of coverage policyholders must obtain.

Most states require the following types of coverage:

  • Bodily injury liability

    : This type of insurance covers the medical expenses of the other driver if you’re at fault in an accident up to your policy’s limit.

  • Property damage liability

    : This coverage helps pay to repair or replace the other driver’s vehicle if you’re at fault in an accident up to your policy’s limit.

  • Uninsured motorist coverage

    : While not required in every state, this type of insurance will cover your expenses if you get into an accident with a driver who lacks insurance coverage.

Keep in mind that some states, like

Maine

, even require

medical payments (MedPay)

. No-fault states, such as

Delaware

and

Florida

, require

personal injury protection (PIP)

.

If you’re at fault

(Video) Car Insurance Explained, & What to Do After a Car Accident!

If you’re at fault in a car accident while uninsured, the most important thing you can do is pull over and stay at the scene of the accident. While you’ll certainly face some legal consequences for driving without insurance, the repercussions for a

hit-and-run accident

are all the more severe. But the situation varies depending on if you live in a “no-fault state” or a “fault state”.

If you live in a no-fault state, that means that if the other driver is injured in a car accident, their insurance company generally covers all medical bills through their required personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. Only under rare circumstances where the other driver’s injuries are considered “serious” or medical expenses exceed a certain amount can the injured driver file a lawsuit against you to seek compensation for damages. But at-fault drivers, no matter if they have insurance or not, are responsible for paying any property damage out of pocket.

If you live in a fault state or “tort” state, the other driver can sue you for damages stemming from a car accident if you’re at fault and they become seriously injured as a result. In this case, if you don’t have auto insurance, you’ll be solely responsible for paying out-of-pocket costs for damages that could include medical bills, loss of wages, property damage, and more.

MORE:

What is a no-fault state?

If the other driver is at fault

If the other driver is at fault in a collision, you may be limited on what you can recover from the other driver if you don’t have your own insurance policy.

Many states have some form of “no pay, no play” laws that prevent or limit an uninsured driver from collecting compensation that arises from a car accident. In some states, like

New Jersey

, you can’t collect any compensation at all from the at-fault driver, while in other states such as

California

, drivers with a lack of insurance can get reimbursed for medical expenses, but you can’t seek out "non-economic” damages, such as reimbursement for pain and suffering.

If you live in a state that doesn’t require car insurance

While most states require car insurance,

New Hampshire

and

Virginia

are the only two states in the nation where carrying auto insurance is optional—though you’ll still face certain ramifications if you get into an accident or you’re the at-fault driver.

If you’re at fault

If you’ve opted out of purchasing car insurance in New Hampshire but caused an accident on the road, you are legally responsible for paying for any related damages or injuries. You’ll also be responsible for covering your own medical expenses (unless you have health insurance) that result from the accident. If you’re not able to pay, you may get your driver’s license or registration suspended in the Granite State.

In Virginia, drivers who decide not to purchase auto insurance must pay a $500 uninsured motorist vehicle (UMV) fee every time they renew their registration. If you don’t pay your UMV fee, the penalties can be steep. Not only could your driver’s license and registration be suspended, but you may also have to pay a $600 noncompliance fee and file for

SR-22 insurance

as well if you get caught driving without coverage.

If the other driver is at fault

If the other driver is at fault in an accident, their insurance company generally pays for your damages and injuries that result from a collision.

(Video) 7 Dirty Tricks Insurance Companies Will Play After an Auto Accident | Denmon Pearlman Law

But as we mentioned above, “no pay, no play” laws in certain states may prevent uninsured drivers from recovering compensation at all. Under these circumstances, you may have to pay out-of-pocket costs for the rest of your own medical bills and car repairs.

Penalties for driving without insurance

Driving without insurance while you’re at fault can come with some serious repercussions and sizable out-of-pocket expenses relating to the accident, including:

  • Fines

  • Driver’s license suspension

  • Medical expenses for the other driver

  • Damage costs for the other driver

  • Legal fees

  • Vehicle impounding

  • Jail time (usually for repeat offenders that have been caught multiple times without insurance)

Some states require you to file an SR-22 if you’re at fault in an accident without insurance. But if you’re not at fault while driving without insurance, you’ll still face penalties such as a possible license suspension, paying legal fines, vehicle impounding, and paying your own medical and property damage.

MORE:

How many drivers are uninsured?

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