It is illegal to drive without automobile insurance throughout the US. Depending on the state, you could face penalties such as loss of your car registration and driver’s license, fines, and even jail time. If you are responsible for an accident and do not have insurance, you will have to pay for all the damage to your vehicle and the vehicle you hit. Moreover, the other person involved in the accident could also file a lawsuit against you.
If you live in one of the few states where you do not have to get automobile insurance as a prerequisite in order to register a car, or if your car insurance has lapsed, and you get into a crash, what will happen after the incident depends on who is at fault for the accident and whether you live in a “no-fault” auto insurance state.
So, what is no-fault insurance? This type of insurance means that your car insurance company will pay some or all of your medical bills if you are involved in an auto accident, regardless of who was at fault for the crash. The states that currently follow some type of no-fault system are New York, New Jersey, Minnesota, Michigan, Pennsylvania, D.C., Kansas, Utah, Florida, Kentucky, North Dakota, and Hawaii.
Some physicians are more experienced than others when it comes to billing insurance companies. Learn more in our post about no-fault insurance doctors. Chambers Medical Group has no-fault doctors in both Florida and Kentucky.
If the driver of the other vehicle was at fault for the accident, e.g., the other driver ran a stop sign or a red light or rear-ended you, and you are in a no-fault state, then you may be entitled to make a personal injury or property damage claim against the other driver if certain thresholds are met.
It is important to keep in mind that if you possess required insurance in certain no-fault states, the first portion of your health care expenses for your car accident injuries will be paid by your insurer. Most people don’t understand why their insurance must pay for their health care expenses, when they are not at fault. The reason for this, is it is the law in most no-fault auto states. Your insurance company may also pay for the first portion of any property damage claims and lost earnings. On the other hand, if you do not have car insurance, and are not at fault- then you will need to pay for all your medical bills up front. Some physician’s groups such as Chambers Medical Group will see you anyway. However, even if you have no insurance and are not at fault, most likely you can bring a claim against the party that hit you, if certain requirements are met. You would have to consult an attorney for more information regarding this.
If you think that it is likely that you will be found at fault for an auto accident and you have no car insurance, then you will probably have a problem, regardless of the state you are in. You cannot do much more than telling the other driver that you do not have automobile insurance. Remember, never say that you have coverage when you do not, or refuse to answer any questions about your insurance situation. Doing so will only make matters worse.
Unless you have significant personal assets, the next thing that will happen is that the other driver will file a UM (uninsured motorist) claim under their own automobile insurance policy – this is assuming that they have that type of coverage. After the claim is resolved by the insurance company – a process that can take years – they will likely file a lawsuit against you to recover whatever they paid to their own insured. This process is known as subrogation. If you are sued in a subrogation case, you will need to pay something so that the case is settled and goes away.
It is a terrible idea to drive without auto insurance. If you cannot afford to get your car insured, it is better that you do not drive at all. If you cause an accident and do not have insurance, it will likely cost you a lot more money than years’ worth of monthly insurance premiums would have cost.
If you or somebody you know has been in a car accident, be sure that you seek medical attention from a car accident doctor or car accident chiropractor to treat your injuries. Visit Chambers Medical Group or simply call us at 1-866-6-BackMan to receive world-class medical treatment for your injuries.
Chambers Medical Group has car accident medical clinics in the following locations: