YOU CAN STILL SUE OTHER DRIVER IN CAR ACCIDENT EVEN IF YOU WERE DRIVING WITHOUT INSURANCE
Our lawyers regularly get calls from people who have been injured in a car accident but were driving their own car with no insurance. They know it is against the law to drive without auto insurance, but for whatever reason – usually financial, that is the situation they are in.
The caller is always concerned about the criminal consequences, i.e. will they go to jail for driving without insurance? – generally the answer is no (although there will be a citation and a fine). But they also want to know if the car accident was the other driver’s fault, can they still get compensation from the other driver’s insurance even though their own car was uninsured? – generally the answer is yes. To start with, if the other driver is at fault, their insurance still has to pay for the damage to your car even if you were driving without insurance.
The biggest penalty to you for driving with no car insurance in Minnesota when the accident is not your fault is that you can’t get No-Fault benefits for your injury. Usually, your own auto insurance immediately pays the first $20,000 of medical bills and $20,000 of lost wages after a car accident regardless of who was at fault. If you were driving with no insurance, you will lose that benefit even if the other driver was at fault. However, if you are injured in a car accident that is the other driver’s fault, their insurance still ultimately has to pay your medical bills, wage loss, and other compensation – just not immediately after the accident the way your No-Fault insurance would have. In addition, you will not have any underinsured coverage because you don’t have insurance on your car. So if you are seriously injured and the other driver does not have enough auto insurance to fully compensate you, you will not have the additional underinsured coverage that every insured driver has for a Minnesota accident.
The bottom line is that it is much betting (as well as being the law) to have auto insurance when you are driving. However, if you are injured in a MN car accident that was the other driver’s fault, you can still get compensation for their insurance even if you yourself were driving without insurance. For more information about MN car accidents and insurance, call us and speak with an experienced car accident lawyer for a free consultation.