What happens when you get into a car accident without insurance in America depends on the state you live in. You’d probably get away with it in Virginia or New Hampshire, but certainly not in Ohio. Ohio takes her insurance laws very seriously and mandates that every vehicle operator should have proper insurance coverage.
This is because Ohio is an “At-Fault” state, and drivers who cause accidents are liable to pay compensation to the victims. Having an insurance policy makes it easier to pay damages. To this end, every car owner or driver must carry bodily liability insurance coverage and property damage liability coverage.
Ohio also imposes penalties on defaulters. So if you have been involved in an accident in the state and don’t have insurance, you may be scared about what punishments await you. But you shouldn’t be. This article will show you what to expect and how to navigate through it regardless.
What Are the Penalties for Driving Without Insurance in Ohio State?
The truth is, you could get in serious trouble for driving without insurance. In Ohio, auto insurance’s minimum limits are $25,000 for bodily injury per person, $50,000 for bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 for property damage. You are required to carry proof of your insurance whenever you drive.
The punishments for violating this law range from mild to severe, depending on each case’s circumstances and peculiarities. They usually rely on if you’re a first, 2nd, or subsequent offender.
- First Offender
As a first offender, you are at risk of having your driver’s license suspended, paying a $160 restoration fee, and additional fines imposed by the court. If your first offense is a severe one, you may be at risk of imprisonment too — but this is very rare. If you violate your suspension, you will have your vehicle and license plates confiscated for up to 30 days.
- Second Offender
A second offender’s punishments are steeper than the first offenders’. Second offenders are at risk of getting their license suspended for a full year, paying a restoration fee of $360, additional fines or penalties imposed by the court, and jail term. Suspension violation for a second offender attracts vehicle and license plate confiscation for 60 days.
- Subsequent Offender
Third and subsequent offenders usually have their license revoked for two years, with a restoration fee of $650. They are also at risk of a jail term. If you violate your suspension for the third time, you are likely to get your vehicle impounded and sold in addition to a five year suspension on registering vehicles.
Upon conviction for driving uninsured in Ohio, the law requires you to file SR-22 insurance. The SR-22 insurance is proof that you’re meeting your minimum auto liability insurance requirements.
Driving Without Insurance as an “At-Fault” Driver in Ohio
As an at-fault driver without insurance in an Ohio car accident, the penalties for driving without insurance applies to you, plus damages for any injuries. But you don’t have insurance, so, how are you expected to pay for all these?
If you are at fault in a car accident without insurance, you’ll have to pay compensation in installments. In the alternative, a court may place a garnishing order on your wages.
Driving Without Insurance as a Victim in an Ohio Car Accident
If you’re involved in a car crash where you are the innocent victim and driving uninsured, you are still entitled to compensation from the negligent driver. This means that you can pursue a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver if you wish. But this doesn’t absolve you from your wrongdoings. You’d still face the legal consequences of violating the law.
Why You Need a Car Accident Lawyer
Whether you are the victim or negligent driver in a car accident in Ohio, there are legal consequences for driving without insurance. Your only hope for the best outcomes in such situations remains your car accident attorney. If you suffer an injury in a car accident, your attorney will help you get the maximum compensation possible. Your attorney will also defend you in court to make sure you get the least punishment for violating insurance requirements.
Contact the Best Car Accident Lawyers in Ohio
Having the best Ohio car accident lawyers would increase your chances of having the desired outcomes for your uninsured car accident cases. At Young, Reverman & Mazzei, we have the best-experienced car accident attorneys to handle your case. We’ll help you navigate through the most challenging situations in less time than you expect. Contact us now!