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What If I Get Into a Car Accident and I Don’t Have Insurance?

December 5, 2022
Image of an auto crash with damage

Auto insurance coverage is required in almost all states, so if you get into an accident without proper insurance coverage, the consequences can be serious. Exactly what happens would depend on various factors, such as who caused the crash, the severity of the crash, and the injuries involved.

But it’s crucial to keep in mind that carrying insurance is one of your legal responsibilities as a driver or vehicle owner in New York. This is why driving while uninsured in New York is a criminal offense.

What Are The Consequences of Driving Uninsured in New York?

The state imposes severe penalties for driving without insurance. Depending on the specific circumstances, these can include hefty fines, getting your car impounded, license suspension or revocation, and even time in jail. However, many drivers have mistakenly allowed their insurance coverage to lapse and some just don’t have the means to maintain their coverage.

But the fact that you were driving without the proper auto insurance requirements does not automatically mean you are liable for a car accident. While driving uninsured is illegal, you may be able to seek compensation when another driver was at fault for the crash. 

What If Another Driver Caused The Car Accident?

Even if you didn’t cause the car accident, it would be difficult for you to recover compensation for your losses. Keep in mind that New York follows the no-fault auto insurance system, which means that your PIP (personal injury protection) insurance must cover you in an accident regardless of fault. This would be impossible if you were uninsured.

You might be eligible to file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance if you meet certain requirements. Under the law, you must prove that you sustained a serious injury that involves the following to get around the no-fault insurance system:

  • A fracture
  • Significant disfigurement
  • Dismemberment
  • Loss of a fetus
  • Limited use of a body system or function
  • Lifelong loss of use of a body system, member, function, or organ
  • Death
  • Any impairment or injury that prevents you from conducting your daily tasks for a minimum of 90 days of the initial 180 days after the car accident

In some cases, it’s easy to prove a serious injury. For instance, proving that you broke your back in a car accident is straightforward. In other cases, however, proving the extent and seriousness of other injuries, like a traumatic brain injury, can be more difficult. Unfortunately, you might end up paying for all your accident-related expenses if you fail to prove that you’ve suffered a serious injury.

Talk to a Skilled Brooklyn Car Accident Attorney Today

While driving without auto insurance does not bar you from recovering compensation, you’ll be in for an uphill battle. If you got involved in a car crash while driving uninsured, reach out to the Brooklyn car accident attorney at Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman right away. To set up your free case consultation with our Brooklyn car accident attorney, please call 347-822-3937 or send us an online message.


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