I HAVE NO AUTO INSURANCE – CAN I STILL GET CAR ACCIDENT COMPENSATION WHEN OTHER DRIVER AT FAULT?
Our lawyers have recently had several calls from people who were injured in a MN car accident that was not their fault, but they did not have insurance on their own car. The question is basically, how much trouble am I in, and can I still get paid from the other insurance for the damage to my car and compensation for my injuries from the accident even though I did not have auto insurance?
First, let’s be clear: It is illegal to drive an automobile without insurance in Minnesota and you can be prosecuted and fined. However, if the car accident is not your fault, you CAN still be compensated by the other driver’s insurance even if you don’t have insurance on your own car. They cannot refuse to pay just because you were driving without insurance. If the other driver was clearly at fault, his insurance will pay to fix or replace your vehicle, and they cannot use the fact that you were illegally driving without insurance as an excuse not to pay. Our car accident lawyers have represented many people in this situation, and the auto insurance company knows they will not be successful denying a claim on that basis. (This is also true if you are driving without a driver’s license.)
PAYMENT OF MEDICAL BILLS DELAYED WITHOUT CAR INSURANCE
Also, Minnesota is a No-Fault state, which means that your insurance usually has to pay the first $20,000 of medical bills and lost wages you incur from your accident. Therefore, if you were driving without auto insurance, any compensation for the initial medical bills and lost wages will be delayed. But this does not mean that they will not get paid at all, only that payment of those medical bills and lost wages is delayed until the end of the case and is limited to the amount of the other driver’s coverage.
However, if the driver that hits you is also uninsured, you will be in a much more difficult situation as far as getting compensation for your vehicle or injuries. You may have to sue the other driver directly. Then, if you are successful in court, you have to find a way to collect your judgment from the other driver.
The first advice we can give you is don’t drive without insurance. But if you have been in a Minnesota car accident where it was the other driver’s fault and you did not have insurance, don’t panic. Call our office and speak with an auto accident attorney for a free consultation. One of our lawyers will explain your rights to you and make sure you get the compensation you are entitled to.