If you are in a car accident and don’t have insurance, you may face multiple battles in your journey for compensation. If the other driver or their insurance company claims you are at fault, you may be responsible for damages to your car and damages the other driver incurred. However, if you think the accident was the other driver’s fault, being without insurance could limit your ability to get compensation for your damages.
If you have a question about how not having insurance may impact your car accident case, contact a Washington, D.C. auto accident lawyer with Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. today for a free consultation. We value the attorney-client relationship, and we will work to protect your rights and obtain the compensation you deserve.
Washington, D.C. and Surrounding States’ Car Insurance Laws
In most states, you must have valid insurance or other proof of financial responsibility to register your car. All states have different insurance regulations with regard to the minimum amount of liability coverage. For example:
Washington, DC Liability Insurance Policy Minimum Limits
Liability insurance coverage requirements for Washington DC include:
- $25,000 per person
- $50,000 per accident
- $10,000 for property damage
Maryland Liability Insurance Policy Minimum Limits
Liability insurance coverage requirements for Maryland include:
- $30,000 per person
- $60,000 per accident
- $10,000 for property damage
Virginia Liability Insurance Policy Minimum Limits
Liability insurance coverage requirements for Virginia include:
Policies effective before January 1, 2022
- $25,000 – Injuries or death of one person
- $50,000 – Injury or death of two or more people
- $20,000 – Property damage
Policies effective January 1, 2022, through December 31, 2024
- $30,000 – Injury or death of one person
- $60,000 – Injury or death of two or more people
- $20,000 – Property damage
Policies effective on or after January 1, 2025
- $50,000 – Injury or death of one person
- $100,000 – Injury or death of two or more people
- $25,000 – Property damage
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
With UM/UIM coverage, when the at-fault driver has no insurance, drivers can file a claim with their own insurance company for UM/UIM benefits. This pays for medical expenses and other losses, up to auto insurance policy coverage limits. UM/UIM is mandatory in Washington D.C., Virginia, and Maryland.
Penalties for Driving Without Insurance
The repercussions of car accidents without insurance vary depending on the severity of the accident, the state in which you live, and whether or not you caused the accident.
Is an Uninsured Driver Automatically Liable for a Car Accident?
No, an uninsured driver is not automatically liable for a car accident. However, if the other driver does have insurance, their insurance company may try to hold the uninsured driver responsible for the accident.
Accidents in “Fault” Car Insurance States
Maryland and Virginia are considered “at-fault” insurance states. This system determines who will compensate the victim for their losses following the auto accident in these states. This means that whoever was at fault for the car accident is responsible for any damages caused by the accident. In Virginia and Maryland, a person who suffers any injury or damage due to an accident can proceed in one of three ways:
- Filing a claim with their own auto insurance companies
- Filing a third-party claim directly with the other driver’s insurance if the other driver is at fault
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit in civil court against the at-fault driver
Accidents in “No-Fault” Car Insurance States
Washington D.C. uses a “no-fault” system. This means that regardless of who is at fault, you will be expected to take care of your own bills. For example, those with insurance would file a claim through their personal injury protection (PIP) or medical benefits coverage in a no-fault state. Although those without insurance won’t have to pay for the other driver’s damages, uninsured drivers are expected to take care of their own medical bills, which can be costly.
If significant injuries are sustained by the insured driver and the uninsured driver is found liable for the accident, an insured driver can file a lawsuit to recover their damages.
How to Protect Yourself If You Don’t Have Auto Insurance
If you don’t have auto insurance, you can still take some steps to protect yourself. First, if you are in an accident, try to stay calm and avoid admitting fault. Second, exchange information with the other driver and get their insurance information. Third, consult with an attorney to see if you have any legal options. If you are at fault for the accident, you may face driver’s license suspension and be responsible for the medical costs and damages for the other driver as well as damages to your own vehicle.
Can I Still Recover Damages If I Don’t Have Insurance?
If you are in an accident and don’t have insurance, you may still be able to recover damages. However, it will be more difficult to do so. You will likely need to hire an attorney to help you with your case. If the other driver was at fault for the accident, their insurance company should pay for your damages. However, if you are found to be at fault, you will likely have to pay for the other driver’s damages out of your own pocket.
Our accident lawyers have obtained settlements for various car accident cases. Here are a few of our case results:
- $6 million for a client who suffered a brain injury after being involved in a rear-end collision.
- $4.8 million for a severely injured client after another vehicle struck his motorcycle.
- $1.9 million for a client who suffered a permanent back injury due to a car accident.
- $1.5 million for a client who had to undergo multiple surgeries after a negligent motorist cut off his motorcycle.
- $1 million settlement obtained on behalf of our 19-year-old client who was a passenger in a car in which the driver lost control, causing a collision. As a result, our client suffered extensive brain damage with cognitive impairment. He was in a coma for an extended period of time. Although he has regained consciousness, he is unable to care for himself. The law firm asked the Court to appoint him a guardian to care for him. The law firm is helping to establish a special needs trust so that the proceeds from the settlement will be protected against any medical liens.
- $1 million settlement on behalf of a client who suffered a brain injury when the driver of the car in which he was a passenger lost control of his vehicle.
Hire a Car Accident Lawyer at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C.
The Washington, DC car accident lawyers with Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. have a proven track record of success helping clients obtain the maximum compensation possible for injuries they have suffered due to the negligence of others. Our firm has consistently demonstrated we have the expertise needed to help our clients see that justice is served. We have the resources needed to conduct thorough investigations of all the circumstances contributing to a motor vehicle accident, gathering the evidence to establish liability and negligence.
Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. has achieved more than $500 million in verdicts and settlements, and our attorneys have more than a century of combined legal experience. Two of our partners are certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Our firm has also earned the highest AV® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®, one of the most respected attorney-ranking service organizations in the United States. Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. attorneys work passionately on behalf of our clients to help them secure fair compensation – there is no type of case that is too complex for us to litigate.
Contact an Accident Lawyer Today
If you are looking for the highest level of representation available for your personal injury case, turn to Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. Our firm has helped clients recover more than $500 million in compensation, and we have more than 100 years of combined experience. All of our partners are recognized by Washington, DC Super Lawyers®, and our firm includes three past presidents of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, DC.
We work to help our clients obtain fair settlement offers to compensate them for the injuries they’ve suffered, but our attorneys are extremely well-equipped to go to trial if needed. Call (202) 659-8600 or contact us online to get the proven legal representation you deserve.