Driving without insurance is dangerous anywhere in the US. Let’s say hypothetically, you suffer severe injuries, or your car suffers costly damages during an auto accident. How do you cover the expensive medical expenses or repair costs without breaking the bank? Say you were the at-fault motorist? How do you protect yourself financially from the significant cost associated with bodily injury liability or property damage liability?
The state of California mandates motorists to have auto insurance. For one, it makes it easier for San Francisco injury lawyers to seek compensation for any damages or injuries their clients may have suffered during an accident. Find out what happens if you get into a car accident without insurance in San Francisco, California below.
Can I Drive Without Insurance in California?
As a motorist, it is against the law to drive in California without having auto insurance coverage. Even if you are not at fault, recovering compensation for damages or injuries that you suffered can be daunting without an auto insurance policy.
As you know, the state of California operates a “No Pay, No Play” rule for uninsured motorists who get into car accidents. Essentially, this rule limits the compensation an uninsured driver can recover in an auto crash.
If the other motorist is at fault, you can seek compensation for your economic losses like medical expenses or property damage but not for non-economic losses like suffering, pain, or loss of quality of life.
If you are at fault, you could be held liable for civil liability and other forms of liability. Keep in mind that you could face legal sanctions for driving without insurance. These may include hefty fines and license suspension. The upside of having insurance is that the insurance company pays all or most of the costs associated with the car accident, depending on the type of coverage.
Legal Consequences of Driving Without Insurance in California
As we mentioned earlier, it is illegal to get behind the wheels of a vehicle in California without insurance. Getting caught without proof of a valid insurance policy in California could set you up for some legal penalties. The penalties may vary according to the situation when you were apprehended.
The state of California may slap you with a fine of $1,000, suspend your license for a specified period, or impound your vehicle. Sometimes, the state may pardon first-time offenders or offer them reduced fines. However, the penalties increase for consecutive offenses.
You should that getting caught significantly impacts premium cost in the future. Insurance companies consider motorists with spotty driving records as higher-risk drivers.
What Happens If I Get into a Car Accident Without Insurance?
Say you get into a car accident without insurance in San Francisco, California; your assets and property could be at serious risk, especially if you were at fault in the accident. If you cause injury or property damage to the other motorist, you could be held liable for damages and the cost of medical bills.
Remember that all car accidents must be reported to the authorities for proper investigation. Both drivers also need to show proof of insurance, mainly if the accident resulted in severe property damages and injuries.
If you can’t show evidence of car insurance after an accident, the state of California may suspend your driving license for one year. Sometimes, they could charge you a hefty fine or seize your vehicle. The good news is that you can reapply to get your license back after the suspension elapses. Of course, you’ll need to show proof of car insurance and financial responsibility.
If you get caught driving without your insurance card, police could issue you a ticket. Fortunately, you can appeal the fine by presenting proof of insurance in court. Nine times out of ten, the court decides to withdraw the fine.
Let Us Assist You With Your Claim
It’s illegal to drive without insurance in California. If you do and you get into a car accident, you could incur significant financial losses or be held liable for the cost of damages to others. Say you get injured in the accident; you may not receive any compensation for your financial or non-financial losses.
If you ever get into a car accident, don’t hesitate to let your insurer know. Better still, contact experienced San Francisco injury lawyers to handle your compensation case. That’s where we come in; we can assist you with your compensation claim. If you would prefer, we can send someone over to discuss the details of your case.
Believe us when we say we can develop a viable strategy that guarantees the best possible outcome for you. We’re pleased to let you know that all our lawyers are proven experts with many years of experience litigating car accident-related cases. The best part is that we cover all legal costs.