What Happens if You Get in a Car Accident Without Insurance?

car wreck - The Jackson Law Firm

Car accidents can have devastating consequences, resulting in extensive damage to vehicles and causing injuries that lead to significant medical expenses. Recognizing the potential financial burdens that can arise from such accidents, most states, including Virginia, require drivers to have car insurance. However, if you find yourself involved in a car accident without insurance, the consequences can be severe.

How Much Coverage Do I Need?

Virginia law mandates that drivers either purchase auto insurance or pay a $500 fee. If you choose to buy insurance, specific coverage limits apply. These include liability coverage of $20,000 for property damage, $30,000 for bodily injury or death per person, and $60,000 for bodily injury or death per accident. Additionally, uninsured motorist coverage is also required, with limits matching those of liability coverage.

Driving without insurance in Virginia can result in various penalties if you are caught by law enforcement or involved in an accident. These penalties include a Class 3 misdemeanor conviction, a noncompliance fee of $600, a reinstatement fee of $45, driver’s license and vehicle registration restrictions, and the requirement to provide proof of auto coverage and financial responsibility (SR-22) for at least three years. SR-22 insurance is more expensive than regular auto insurance, and your insurance provider will inform the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) if you cancel the coverage during the three-year period.

However, you can potentially avoid most of these penalties by providing proof of liability insurance within 30 days. This involves either purchasing insurance or paying the $500 fee.

What if I am in an Accident?

If you are uninsured and you cause an accident, you will be personally responsible for covering the costs associated with the other person’s vehicle damage, medical bills, treatment expenses, and pain and suffering. Additionally, you will also have to bear your own accident-related costs. This can lead to a substantial financial burden, potentially amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars in accident-related expenses. If you are unable to afford these costs upfront, the accident victim may seek to garnish your wages or establish a payment plan. They could also choose to file a lawsuit against you.

Having a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can be immensely valuable in such situations. A lawyer well-versed in personal injury law can assess the extent of fault in the accident and negotiate with insurance agents to minimize the cost of vehicle repairs. They can also advocate for your interests and ensure your rights are protected.

Contact Us Today

To mitigate the risks associated with driving without any form of economic responsibility, it is crucial to take appropriate action. If you have been involved in an accident caused by an uninsured motorist, it is essential to explore your legal options. The Jackson Law Firm, PLLC, a reputable law firm specializing in personal injury cases, can provide the personalized attention your case deserves. Schedule a free consultation with their Virginia personal injury lawyers by filling out the online form or calling (276) 777-7654. Taking proactive steps and seeking professional guidance can help safeguard your rights and navigate the complexities of the legal system.