Every state either has laws mandating drivers to carry minimum car insurance coverage or regulations that cover financial responsibility. While each state imposes a set of penalties for anyone driving without proper car insurance coverage, there are still motorists who get behind the wheel without having auto insurance. And the severity of the punishments are severe.
What happens when caught driving without car insurance coverage
Although a first offense for driving without insurance can carry significant fines; it’s the repeated offenses that can dramatically skyrocket the severity of the punishments.
If you’re caught driving without insurance, this is what could happen:
- Tickets and fines for failing to provide proof of insurance
- License suspension
- License reinstatement fees
- Have your vehicle impounded
- SR-22 requirements
- Potential jail time
What is an SR-22?
An SR-22 is frequently required for a driver to reinstate or maintain their driving privileges after being caught driving without insurance.
If you are an uninsured motorist caught driving, do you know you could go to jail for maybe a few days or even as much as two weeks or more of prison time if you have repeat offenses or cause a serious accident?
Getting into an auto accident while uninsured
If you’re an uninsured motorist, or you let your insurance lapse, getting into an accident can be a traumatic situation. And if the other driver does not have uninsured motorist coverage, they will be in a traumatic situation as well.
Just repairs and medical expenses alone from an auto accident can easily cost you thousands of dollars. Moreover, uninsured drivers who injure or kill someone due to causing a severe accident can face hefty fines, SR-22 requirements, meaning that you are going to pay more for auto insurance than you normally would. And a good chance of spending time behind bars.
Can you be sued for not having car insurance
Yes, you can be sued if you live in what’s known as a “tort” state, States that do not follow the “no-fault” insurance system which by the way tort states includes the vast majority of states.
In tort states, if you are the cause of an auto accident and someone is injured, that person can sue you for all the damages they suffered from the auto accident. You could be sued for medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and physical and mental pain and suffering.
At the very least, a ticket with a substantial amount of fines will be issued by a law enforcement officer if you fail to provide proof of auto insurance coverage. For first-time offenders, the fine could cost you between $500 and $1500 but no less than $3000 for subsequent offenses. Also, do not forget the possibility of getting yourself in jail and obtaining the SR-22 requirements.