You may find yourself driving a vehicle without the necessary insurance for many reasons. But this is a risky thing to do since Washington requires drivers to have insurance, and you could receive penalties for not having it.
If you get into an auto accident without insurance, this can come with serious repercussions that will have a long-term impact on your life. That is why it is crucial to understand what to do in this situation.
At NBF Accident Law, our auto accident attorneys are dedicated to helping victims of vehicle accidents. We understand the complexities around auto laws in Washington and can help you take the appropriate steps after getting into an accident while uninsured.
Washington’s Financial Responsibility Law
Washington requires all drivers to carry a certain level of liability insurance in case something happens on the road. Failure to have this insurance can result in penalties if you are caught, such as a $550 fine. In some instances, you could even be at risk of getting a misdemeanor or having your driver’s license and driving abilities suspended.
Washington has a financial responsibility law that provides a minimum coverage requirement for drivers. These requirements include:
- $25,000 per person for injuries
- $50,000 for injuries to all people per accident
- $10,000 for damages to someone’s property
It’s important to understand that it is risky to drive without Insurance even if you do not get into an auto accident. If you are pulled over for something as simple as speeding or having a broken tail light, law enforcement will need to see proof of insurance.
Repercussions of Getting Into an Accident While Uninsured
If you get into an accident without insurance, this is going to make things a bit more difficult than they would be otherwise. The first thing to remember is that you should never leave the scene of the accident to avoid repercussions. This will only worsen the situation and result in far more penalties.
There are certain steps you can take to try to reduce the penalties for driving uninsured, and you should hire an auto accident attorney to represent you.
Any driver caught driving without insurance is subjected to a $550 fine automatically. This is off to the keys whether you were simply pulled over for a traffic violation or if you were involved in a vehicle accident.
Most drivers involved in an accident while uninsured will get a license suspension. The standard timeline for this is a three-year suspension. If you are simply pulled over and given a fine, failure to pay your fine can result in the same three-year license suspension.
After your three-year license suspension, you are also required to provide proof of financial responsibility for an additional three years. You will also have to pay a $75 fee to have your license reinstated.
In some instances, you may be able to have a driver’s license suspension hearing to try to prevent your license from being suspended. You will need to hire an auto accident attorney to represent you so that you have the best chance of winning.
It is not common for Washington drivers to receive jail time if they are caught driving without insurance. However, this could happen if the driver is a repeat offender or if they have gotten into multiple accidents uninsured.
Something many drivers fail to think about is the repercussions of driving uninsured on their insurance premiums. Because of this violation, you will usually be required to pay more for coverage after being penalized.
In some cases, your rate may go back down, but it will usually take several years for this to happen, and you won’t want to receive any other driving penalties during that time.
You may be in luck if you get into an accident while uninsured, and the accident isn’t your fault. If the other driver was at fault, you are entitled to receive financial compensation even if you didn’t have insurance at the time. However, this also means that you will be held financially responsible if you are at fault.
You will have to cover your own expenses after the accident, and the other driver may create a lawsuit against you to cover their damages.
What Happens If You Have Insurance But Can’t Provide the Information?
There may be instances where you have found yourself needing to provide insurance information, but you are unable to. You may not have the insurance information on you, or you may have just gotten insurance.
To avoid having your license suspended, you will need to take steps to prove that you really do have insurance. You will have 60 days to do this before the suspension goes into full effect. Here are some examples of things you could do to prove that you have insurance:
- A certified copy of a civil court decision stating that you aren’t liable for claims.
- Proof of financial responsibility or proof of an SR-22 insurance certificate.
- Proof that you had insurance at the time of the accident.
- A written agreement involving everyone who is seeking reimbursement for damages.
- A signed release stating that everyone involved in a collision will not hold you responsible for any damages.
Keep in mind that you must have had insurance at the time of the collision. You cannot obtain insurance after the fact to try to avoid a suspended license or other penalties.
Contact an Auto Accident Attorney Today at NBF Accident Law
Being involved in a vehicle accident is already a very stressful and overwhelming process for most drivers. It becomes that much more difficult if you get into an accident when you are uninsured.
At NBF Accident Law, our personal injury attorneys will fight purposefully for your case to reduce any repercussions following an accident. We can help guide you through the legal process so you have the best chance of recovering after an accident.
Contact us today at 206-923-8888 to schedule a consultation with one of our top attorneys.