Car Accidents and Uninsured Motorists

Car Accidents and Uninsured Motorists

Car Accidents and Uninsured Motorists  – When You Don’t Have Insurance and You Get in a Car Accident

 Our guest blog today is by, the Pacific Attorney Group in California.

Having a valid car insurance is mandated by all states, and many states will severely penalize someone who was found to be driving without one. When an accident happens with an uninsured person, then they may face more punishments than just having to pay for the accident.

 

Car Accidents and Uninsured Motorists

Car Accidents and Uninsured Motorists

 

Living in a No-Fault State Uninsured

To this day, there are about twelve states that use this “no-fault” system. This system is when the person who gets in a car accident can only get compensated through their insurance companies. They are not allowed to sue to other person or entity that caused their injury or damages, only under extreme circumstances such as, the injuries being serious, or medical fees exceeding $20,000.

If the accident does not fall under those extreme circumstances, even if a person with no insurance got in an accident, the other person would not able to file a lawsuit against them under the no-fault car system.

If the uninsured person does get sued, then they would have to pay all the damages by their own means, meaning their own pockets. They would not have an insurance company to pay a partial amount or the full amount. The uninsured driver might also have to hire an attorney to try and defend themselves, but simply stating ‘I don’t have money to pay that’ is not an excuse for the courts. If the uninsured driver is found to have had the fault of the accident, then they would have to pay for the damages and would have a judgment made against them.

Living in a Tort State Uninsured

The majority of states are known to follow the tort laws for insurances. This is when they do not follow the ‘no-fault’ system. With the tort system, the person can get sued for all the damages caused, including physical damages, and property loss.  The uninsured driver would be personally responsible for paying all of the fees associated with the collision.

If at trial the uninsured driver is found responsible, then they could be facing a judgment from the other driver, which can be satisfied fully or partially, but in some cases, it can end with a garnishment of the uninsured driver’s wages.

The Fault Being of the Insured Driver

Even though the accident may have been caused by the other driver, the uninsured driver will still be very limited to the amount they would be able to recover.  Many states have adopted the “No Pay. No Play” rule, which is basically for uninsured drivers that get into a car accident due to another’s negligence can only recover certain damages. They would not be able to recover “non-economic” damages, that are those in which a number cannot be placed on it such as, loss of enjoyment of life, but they could claim specific damages such as, loss of earnings.

Car Accidents and Uninsured Motorists

This rule is in place because if the uninsured driver does not have the required insurance to be able to compensate another driver fully if he had been responsible, then he or she should not have the right to claim another person’s insurance even though he or she was the victim of the accident.  Below is a list of “No Pay. No Play” states:

  • AK
  • CA
  • IA
  • KS
  • LA
  • MI
  • NJ
  • ND
  • OK
  • OR

Punishments for Being Uninsured and Driving

Many states enforce criminal charges or administrative penalties for someone who is found to be driving without an insurance. A fine will most certainly be imposed on the driver of up to thousands of dollars at one time. In some states, they might even suspend or renovate the person’s license which can be for up to one year.

Guest post by a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer.

 

Car Accidents and Uninsured Motorists