Accident Without Car Insurance: Coping with the Aftermath

Being involved in an accident without car insurance can be a frightening ordeal. Even after the smoke has cleared from the accident itself, you still have several things that need to be done. Here’s what you can expect.

Reporting the Accident

Regardless of who was at fault for the accident, most states require you report the accident to the DMV with in 10 days of the accident. The accident report collected from the DMV will include information regarding your insurance. If you don’t have insurance, you won’t have anything to add to this section. You can expect a fine from the DMV, and possible revocation of your tags. Some states will revoke the tags for 30 days or more, even if you end up insuring the vehicle with in that time frame.

Covering Any Damage

If you are found at fault for the accident, you can expect to have to pay out of pocket for any damage to the other parties vehicle. Hopefully the damage won’t be extensive. If you’re not able to pay for the damage you can expect the other party to take you to court for the damage amount. If they have uninsured motorist damage their insurance company may cover part of the repair on their car. As far as your car though, you will be liable for any and all damage incurred during the accident.

If you were involved with someone who didn’t have insurance, but you did, you can contact your insurance company regarding any uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. Many states now require coverage for this specifically.

If you were not found at fault for the accident and don’t have insurance, then you may not have to worry about covering any damage on the other parties vehicle. The other parties insurance may cover part or all of your repair, but don’t hold your breath on this. Insurance companies like to lowball the amount for the repairs, and without an insurance company on your side fighting for you, the chances are much higher that you end up having to pay a higher amount out of pocket.

Court

You can expect to have to appear in court for a charge of driving without insurance. These court dates are time consuming, and can be costly. Some states can even suspend your license for up to a year for driving without insurance.

Insuring after the Fact

If you’ve been involved in an accident without insurance, then you will likely need to have an SR-22 filed with the states DMV. This is basically a form that states you are meeting the requirements of financial responsibility determined by the state. You will need to find an insurance company that will cover you after the accident. These rates can be double, and sometimes triple, the standard insurance premiums. In most cases you can expect to need this special insurance form for at least three years. Once you no longer need the SR-22 on file, most insurance companies will cancel that policy and start you on a more typical one.

It’s best to make sure you are carrying the correct levels of insurance now to avoid any of this in the future.
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