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How to Handle a Car Accident as a Student Without Insurance
Posted By: Anica Oaks on April 28, 2020

In most states, a student driving without insurance is breaking the law. Penalties range from fines to loss of your driver’s license and even jail time. Driving without insurance is financially reckless because you have to pay for all of the damage to the other person’s vehicle, property, and bodily injury out-of-pocket. Victims could sue you for damages.

What Will Students Be Financially Responsible for after an Accident with No Insurance?

The answer to that question varies depending on the state where the accident took place. There are no fault insurance states where a driver can have their own insurance company pay for minor damages and injuries regardless of who caused the accident. This means that the injured party would likely not be able to sue the uninsured student as long as the damages or injuries were under a preset amount.

What If the Uninsured Student Did Not Cause the Accident?

Again, this will be determined by the state where the accident took place. For example, states like Louisiana, Iowa, North Dakota, and Oregon have “no pay, no play” laws.
This means that the uninsured student could not sue for damages that cannot be quantified. The uninsured student may be able to attempt to recoup the expense of repairing their vehicle or medical bills. However, they would not be able to recoup intangibles, such as pain and suffering. In other states, the uninsured individual would have to pay large deductibles for injuries, car damage, or auto glass repair before they would be able to sue for property damage costs.

What If the Uninsured Driver Lives in a State Where Insurance Is Not Required?

Virginia and New Hampshire do not legally require a person to have car insurance. However, to drive without insurance in Virginia, you have to pay the DMV a $500 fee. In both states, you still have the financial responsibility to cover the cost of property damage or injuries the accident caused. Depending on the severity of the accident, the student may have to report the accident to the DMV, which could lead to their license being suspended.
If the driver is not at fault, they may be able to file a third-party claim with the at fault driver’s insurance, if they have it. The not at fault driver also has the right to take the at fault driver to court to recoup damages. However, there is a statute of limitations that needs to be upheld.
In most cases, students should have insurance before getting behind the wheel. If insurance seems too expensive, doing a little bit of shopping around can help most students find insurance that fits their budget.
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