Your decision to drive without insurance may purely be financial. Without a doubt, it’s not always easy to come up with premium payments. Perhaps you figure it’s worth the chance. Ultimately, you may want to reconsider.
It might not seem like such a big deal to you. After all, you have nothing to lose if you’re found liable for an accident. You own no property. Your bank account has no money. And, besides, you’ve heard what happens if you cause an accident and the injured party has their own policy. Rumor has it their own coverage will afford benefits.
If you’re justifying your choice to drive without insurance, there are some things you will really want to know. It’s not just about fines or the fact that you could lose your license. Your failure to carry liability insurance could mean “No Pay, No Play.”
“No Pay, No Play”
Most people know that automobile insurance policies cover different types of claims. Even so, not everyone quite understands what happens when you’re injured in a motor vehicle crash. And, it isn’t your fault. Not even a little bit.
Here’s where the term “no pay, no play” strikes home. It is isn’t just that you can’t get your medical bills paid under the Personal Injury Protection portion of your policy. In the long run, it may be bigger than you imagined.
When you decide to drive without car insurance, you’re basically negating the importance of liability law. So, if you don’t find it necessary to comply, why should you benefit? As a consequence of failing to carry automobile liability coverage, you become one of a group of three who can’t make a motor vehicle accident claim.
NJSA 39:6A-4.5 lists the three reasons a driver may be precluded from pursing damages for a car wreck. They are:
- Driving an uninsured motor vehicle
- Automobile operation while driving while intoxicated (DWI)
- Getting behind the wheel with the intention of hurting yourself or someone else
The decision to drive without insurance is a big one. Notwithstanding, you should still speak with an experienced personal injury attorney if you were involved in an accident. What if you drove your friend’s car and were under the impression it was insured? Ultimately, this might be something your attorney can work out on your behalf.
Penalties When You Drive Without Insurance
The problem with driving without insurance is not just forgoing your right to pursue a claim for your own injuries. NJSA 39:6B-2 lists the penalties for uninsured drivers as follows:
- Depending on the number of offenses, fines can be assessed to up to $5,000
- Community service may be ordered
- Uninsured driver’s license may be suspended for a year
- Driving privileges could be forfeited for up to two years
- Jail time may be ordered by the court
When the Other Driver is Uninsured
You might think that your right to make a claim is lost when the other driver has no insurance. After all, how can you expect to recover monetary damages for someone who can’t afford liability coverage?
Fortunately, all may not be lost. Take a look at this article we wrote on Uninsured/Underinsured motorist claims. Your attorney can guide you through the procedure for making a claim under your own policy.
Have questions? Are you concerned that you might not have the right to pursue a lawsuit for your injuries? Don’t make any assumptions on your own. The Law Offices of Beninato & Matrafaljo has decades of experience assisting accident victims. Call us to schedule an appointment.