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Driving Without Insurance & Getting In a Car Accident

So, what happens if you get into a car accident and don’t have insurance? What if the person who hits you doesn’t have insurance? What if you’re at fault? What if you’re not at fault? Hopefully you never have to ask yourself those questions. But, sometimes bad things happen. This post will give you an idea of what happens after a car accident if you (or they) don’t have auto insurance.

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After a Car Accident with No Insurance

At the highest level, after you get into an accident where you or another party doesn’t have car insurance, there are two possible ways claims are settled: No-Fault or Tort. Whether you’re in a no-fault or tort scenario is dependent on in which state you live.

No-fault is a system in which each party involved in the accident has a limited ability to sue and has to seek compensation for damages and injuries from their own auto insurance company. Currently, there are 12 no-fault states: Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan,Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Utah. If you live in a no-fault state and don’t have insurance, getting into a car accident can be a very expensive affair. Your car also takes a value hit, but you can still sell your damaged car after you find out what your car is worth after an accident.

Car Accident Laws in Tort States

For those of you that live in the other 38 states, you drive under a tort auto insurance system. In a tort system, the person at fault for the accident (by at fault, I mean the person who caused the accident) can be sued by the other parties involved for physical, property and vehicular damage. Each state has different laws regarding the particulars, but suffice it to say, if you’re uninsured and cause an accident in a tort state, you can be held responsible for a large sum of money. It’s always a good idea to consult an attorney for advice on how to proceed.

Accident's effect on a repaired car's value
What to Do after a Car Accident i don't have insurance?
 

No Insurance Penalties

There are several penalties of driving with no insurance and many situations you could face after you've been in an accident. Depending on if you're in a no-fault state or a tort state, and if you're at fault or not. You may also have to consider if your car or the other drivers car is totaled. If you've been in a car accident and need to figure out how to proceed, see which situation applies to you below.

I got into a car accident, I’m at fault and I don’t have car insurance.

No-Fault:

If you cause a car accident in a no-fault state and don’t have insurance, there is a tiny bit of a silver lining. In most situations, the other drivers involved won’t be able to sue you to directly seek compensation for damages or minor injuries. There are some situations where you can be sued when the accident is particularly serious or when there are significant injuries, but this varies state-by-state. You may also get a ticket for lack of car insurance.

If you are named as a defendant in a lawsuit, you’re going to be responsible for hiring and paying for your own attorney. In this situation, you’re likely completely responsible for paying for your own injuries and any damage to your car. If that’s the case, repair may not be your best option. DamagedCars.com will buy your damaged car. Fill out the form on the right to start the process of selling your car to DamagedCars.com by getting a guaranteed offer.

Tort:

This is possibly the worst scenario an uninsured driver can get themselves into. In a tort state, if you’re at-fault for an accident and don’t have insurance, the others involved can sue you directly for damages resulting from the accident, including car and property damage, medical bills, lost wages and physical and mental pain and suffering.

If you’re found responsible and held liable for these damages, you’ll have to pay them. The “I don’t have enough money” excuse won’t work. Your wages may be garnished and you may be forced to forfeit your property to pay the amount of the judgment. For your own damaged car, again, it may not be a bad idea to sell your car online. On top of it all, you may get a ticket for not having car insurance.

I got into a car accident, I’m at fault and they don’t have car insurance.

No-Fault:

This is a pretty straight forward situation. In most cases, you would file a claim through your own insurance, and the other party would cover their own costs. In certain, more serious accidents, they may be able to file a lawsuit against you, the party responsible for the accident. You’d have to consult an attorney on the specifics.

Tort:

They may get a ticket for not having insurance. But, since you’re at-fault, in this scenario even if the person you hit doesn’t have insurance, they can still file a claim with your car insurance, or possibly even sue you directly to cover their damages. You would also be responsible for your own repairs and medical treatment.

I got into a car accident, they’re at fault and I don’t have car insurance.

No-Fault:

Here, you would be responsible for your own costs. Sometimes, in more serious accidents, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the party responsible for the accident, but you’d have to consult an attorney on the specifics. A ticket for not having insurance may be in your future.

Tort:

First off, you may get a ticket for not having insurance.But, as they’re at-fault, you can probably file a claim with their car insurance, or possibly sue the responsible party directly to cover your damages. Again, an attorney might be a good idea.

In ten states (Alaska, California, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana,Michigan, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Oregon), there is something called No Pay, No Play. This policy states that if you don’t have sufficient car insurance yourself, you can be limited as to what damages you can recover from the responsible party, essentially limiting you to only recovering economic damages like medical costs and property damage.

I got into a car accident, they’re at fault and they don’t have car insurance.

No-Fault:

In most cases, you would file a claim through your own insurance to cover your damages. In certain, more serious accidents, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the party responsible for the accident. You’d have to consult an attorney on the specifics as they vary situation-by-situation and state-by-state.

Tort:

In this situation, you (or your insurance company) would have the right to file a lawsuit against the party who’s at-fault for the accident. How much you would be able to collect and what exactly you would be able to sue for varies by state. Hiring an attorney would be your best course of action. Having insurance for uninsured and under insured drivers could help,as well.

Selling Your Car After a No Insurance Car Accident

In all no insurance car situations, DamagedCars.com will make you a guaranteed offer for your damaged, wrecked, salvage, totaled or broken-down car. We buy damaged cars every day and are glad to help you recover financially from a car accident.  Fill out the form to the right to start the process to sell your car, truck, van or SUV to DamagedCars.com where we buy cars in less than perfect condition, nationwide.

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