Driving an automobile without liability insurance is a very risky proposition for any vehicle owner. Accidents happen at a moment’s notice, and even when the uninsured driver does not cause the accident, the fact they were uninsured will be a real issue in court if they are involved in an accident. It is unlawful to drive without liability insurance in almost every state in the U.S., and it can be a very irresponsible act for any who even attempts it. While some may evade being pulled over by a law enforcement officer, even a roadblock or sobriety checkpoint can result in being given a citation for no insurance. And there will be consequences when it occurs even when not being involved in an accident.
The first and most obvious penalty for anyone cited for having no liability insurance on their automobile will be a financial penalty. North Carolina requires a $50 civil penalty plus a $50 reinstatement fee. First offenders may be probated for 45 days as well in addition to obtaining auto liability insurance. Demerit points against the individual’s driving record may also be assigned by the court upon a conviction. Vehicle registration may also be suspended for up to 45 days. Those being convicted two or more times can actually face incarceration, especially if being involved in an accident.
Personal Responsibility for Accident Damages
Vehicle owners who cause accidents are still required to pay injured victims even without having liability insurance. This requires total fault in North Carolina, but the unlawful act of driving without insurance could easily result in the court finding the uninsured driver receiving this determination. Fault is central to all auto accidents, and a car accident attorney could make the case for their injured client that the uninsured driver was totally at fault for even being on the highway unlawfully. The car accident law firm can then file suit against the uninsured driver for attachment to personal assets and a court order to pay.
Increased Insurance Premiums
Once convicted of driving without car insurance, the court will typically require the defendant to obtain coverage and show proof in court. Those who have been effectively cited and prosecuted are placed in a specific group of high-risk drivers, resulting in greatly increased insurance rates. Drivers who maintain insurance with a single company for an extended period of time see their premiums reduced as time goes on when they do not file a claim or are found liable as a result of an accident. However, uninsured drivers who return to the insurance pool are classified as new drivers and must start over in building reduced premium rates.
Never Drive Without Liability Insurance
It is never a prudent decision for anyone in North Carolina to drive a personal automobile without appropriate liability insurance. Accidents can happen at any time anywhere when out on the road, and it is always best to be protected in accordance with the law. The cost of an insurance premium is indeed much less than the financial penalties in the event of an accident while being uninsured. Every car accident attorney at every car accident law firm will advise against driving uninsured because they know that the ultimate damage can be much greater than what would happen with insurance in place. Those who even have insufficient insurance protection run the risk of losing any personal real estate in the event they are sued for accident damages, and those who do not could have their wages garnished or be required to comply with a court order to pay.
Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm
Regardless of whether you have been injured in an accident with an uninsured driver or are facing a lawsuit resulting from driving without insurance, contact our car accident law firm and let us conduct a comprehensive investigation into your legal situation. Sometimes there may be options for a case settlement in certain situations.