What Should I do if I Caused a Car Accident and Don’t Have Car Insurance?
You may not have car insurance out of choice, an inability to pay for insurance, or due to a lapse in coverage. Regardless of the reason, more often than not, there are financial implications of a car accident, and without insurance coverage, you may find yourself with a large bill to pay.
Just because you do not have car insurance, this does not necessarily mean that you are at fault for the car accident. However, if you are at fault, and you do not have insurance, it is likely that you will be held personally financially responsible for injuries and vehicle damages of both parties, as you do not have an insurance policy to cover these costs.
The financial implications of being an at-fault driver without car insurance are substantial. In addition to your own costs, the medical bills, property damage, and other personal injury damages of the other party may become your responsibility. Representation from a highly experienced car accident attorney will provide you with the best chance of minimizing the potential financial burden that could be placed on you.
Wendt Law car accident attorneys have years of experience with car accident personal injury claims. Whether you are looking to claim compensation and are concerned about how being an uninsured driver could affect this, or whether you are looking to defend yourself against personal financial responsibility for damages, our attorneys can guide you every step of the way and ensure a fair settlement is reached.
Our experienced lawyers will consider the specific circumstances of your situation and explain your options, to find the best course of action for you.
What Should I Do If I Caused a Car Accident and Don’t Have Car Insurance?
A car accident is a nerve-wracking experience for everyone, especially if you do not have insurance. Firstly, don’t panic. The most important thing to do if you have been in an accident is to remain at the scene and not leave. Although you may potentially be facing substantial financial costs, if you leave the scene of an accident, the penalties are likely to be far more severe, including criminal hit-and-run charges, for example.
Other steps to take include calling local law enforcement and emergency services, exchanging information with anyone at the scene, taking photographs of the scene, and getting contact information of witnesses.
It is also important to be careful of what you say at the scene of an accident. Just because you don’t have insurance does not mean that you are necessarily at fault for the accident. Do not admit to being at fault at the scene.
Once you have recovered from the shock of the accident, seek out legal representation and secure a car accident attorney as soon as possible. This is much more important as you are an uninsured driver and could be held personally and financially responsible for damages.
What Should I Do if I am the At-Fault Driver?
If you are the at-fault driver and you do not have a valid insurance policy, seeking legal advice as quickly as possible from a car accident lawyer is essential. The other driver’s insurance company will likely be looking to recover costs from you for such things as medical bills and property damage, and you will need a strong case to avoid being held personally responsible.
Is Car Insurance Mandatory?
Every state in America, except for New Hampshire and Virginia, legally requires car insurance. Driving without the legally required auto insurance will result in penalties. These often increase with severity, dependent on how many times you have been found to be driving without insurance.
Penalties for Driving Without Car Insurance in Kansas City
A range of penalties can be imposed on you for driving without car insurance in Kansas City. Penalties include fines, withdrawal of driving privileges, and even time in jail. Additionally, in Missouri, ‘no insurance tickets’ can never be removed from your driving record.
What if Neither Party has Car Insurance?
If you get into a motor vehicle accident, and neither of you have car insurance, then the stakes of your situation could be even higher. If one party has insurance, then they may be able to claim for their damages under any uninsured driver coverage that they may have. However, if neither of you have insurance, it is possible that the at-fault driver will need to cover the total costs of damage and personal injury to themselves and the other driver and both motor vehicles.
However, uninsured drivers do face additional difficulties claiming for compensation for the full extent of their damages in Kansas City, which could limit the final amount that you are liable for. An attorney can guide you through the specifics of your case and advise you of the potential outcomes.
Uninsured Motorist Car Insurance Coverage
Many car insurance policies also include uninsured motorist coverage. In Missouri law, uninsured motorist cover is an essential requirement. If you are an uninsured driver, and the person you have an accident with has this coverage, then they can claim on their own car insurance policy for their damages incurred by the accident. Uninsured motorist coverage includes two key elements, these are:
Covering the cost of property damage and personal injury without an increase in insurance premiums
Covering the difference in coverage for property damage and personal injury involving uninsured drivers
Claims under this type of coverage can be complicated and the car insurance company will often try to dismiss claims based on small errors or pay the minimum amount possible. If you are looking to file a claim under uninsured motorist cover, hiring a car accident attorney to assist you with this will give you the best chance at a successful claim.
Can I Still Claim Compensation if I Don’t Have Car Insurance?
Typically in a car accident, unless you are 100% at fault for the accident, you are entitled to claim compensation for damages. However, the fact that you are uninsured could limit your ability to claim for compensation following an accident, or make it more challenging. Uninsured drivers in Kansas City face difficulties claiming compensation due to laws that have been passed in a bid to discourage driving without insurance.
‘No-Pay, No-Play’ Laws
Both Kansas and Missouri are ‘No-pay, No-play’ states. The ‘No-pay, No-play’ statutes mean that without valid insurance at the time of an accident, the damages that you are entitled to claim for are limited.
In both Missouri and Kansas, this law prohibits an uninsured driver from claiming compensation for non-economic damages, such as compensation for pain and suffering or emotional distress. However you are still entitled to claim compensation for economic damages such as medical bills, lost wages and damage to property.
There are a range of exemptions to these laws that vary between states. For example, in Missouri, this law does not apply when the at-fault party is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
In Kansas, if you have been uninsured for less than 45 days at the time of the accident, and previously you have been insured for at least one year, then the law will not apply to you. Meaning that you can claim for both economic and non-economic damages.
Your attorney can help you navigate these complexities and advise you on which exemptions may apply to your circumstances and how these could impact your settlement.
When Should I Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?
If you are an uninsured driver that has been in an accident, regardless of whether you are at fault or not, it is likely that you will have a fight on your hands with the other driver’s insurance company, as they try to push costs and liability onto you.
If you are at fault, this could have severe financial implications for you personally. You should hire an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible following the incident. You will need strong legal representation to avoid the most severe financial implications that could be imposed on you.
Seeking compensation can also be a more complicated process for an uninsured driver, and some insurance companies may try to use it as an excuse not to pay your claim.
As a result, it is recommended that you secure legal representation as quickly as possible so that you are best placed to fight your case and ensure that you still receive a fair settlement despite being uninsured.
Free Case Review and Consultation
As a driver without auto insurance, if you have had a car accident, you are likely to already have a mounting list of financial concerns.
Wendt Law are proud to offer free case reviews and consultations to discuss your case with no obligation to proceed further. We hope this can be one less financial concern for you at this stressful time, when seeking legal advice is essential to successfully fighting your case.
Wendt Law Contingency Basis
At Wendt Law, we pride ourselves on operating on a contingency fee basis, or what can be known as ‘no-win, no-fee’. We will take our fees from your winning settlement, and if you do not win your case, you do not have to pay our legal fees. This can bring you added peace of mind at a time when financial concerns may be high. This is also the motivation for our lawyers to work exceptionally hard to win your case as they will not take their fees if you do not win.
Contact a Wendt Law Attorney as Soon as Possible
Following a car accident as an uninsured driver, a number of additional laws and considerations come into play that would not ordinarily, and the stakes can be far higher. This makes the process more complicated, but by no means impossible. However, it does make the need for legal representation far more important.
Contact a Wendt Law attorney as soon as possible following your accident, to ensure that your interests are represented aggressively and fairly. Whether you are trying to claim damages as an uninsured driver, or trying to defend yourself against excessive financial costs from the other party, we will go to bat for you and your best interests.
Call our legal team today on 816-542-6734 today for a free consultation to discuss your circumstances and find the best path forward for you.