What to Do When You Have an Accident & No Insurance

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U.S. law mandates that every driver of a car be covered by a minimum amount of liability insurance. The exact amount of insurance a person must have varies by state, but all states mandate coverage. This is to provide a person with financial protection in the event that they are involved in an automobile accident. A person who gets into a car accident without insurance is usually forced to take several legal actions.

Exchange Information

After an accident has occurred, police should be immediately summoned. Even if no one was hurt, a police report will provide a legal record of what happened. Police often take photos of the scene and interview witnesses, information that can be used by the insured driver's insurance company to assess fault. In addition, the two drivers should exchange contact information and the insured driver should provide the uninsured driver with information about his insurance.

Contact An Attorney

An uninsured driver involved in an accident may face both civil and criminal charges. To better understand his liability and to mount a defense, the driver should hire an attorney with experience in driving law. The attorney may also be able to negotiate with insurance companies. In the event that the uninsured driver is found at fault for the accident, the attorney may be able to contest the finding.

Contact The Insurer

If the uninsured driver does not hire a lawyer, the other vehicle's insurer will likely contact him. The insurer will attempt to determine what happened to cause the accident and then issue a finding of fault. If the insurance company finds that the uninsured driver was at fault, then the uninsured driver may be required to either negotiate a payment plan with the insurance company or come to another settlement. If he does not reach a settlement with the insurance company, he may face a lawsuit.

Go To Court

A person involved in an accident without insurance may have to go to both civil and criminal court. If the uninsured driver is sued by the other motorist, then he will have to appear in civil court to answer the charges. In addition, the uninsured driver will, even if he not at fault for the accident, face penalties assessed by the state for failing to purchase insurance before driving. The penalties usually take the form of fees, but may include a suspension of the driver's license.

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