Being in a car accident when you don’t have insurance can be a scary situation, regardless of who caused the accident. This can feel even harder to navigate if you or a loved one was injured in the accident.
If you’ve found yourself in this situation, please get in touch with a Long Island car accident lawyer with Carner & DeVita as soon as you can. We’ll let you know how we might be able to help you get the money you deserve – even if you didn’t have insurance at the time of the accident. Contact us online or call (631) 543-7070 for a free case evaluation.
What is a car insurance lapse?
A lapse in insurance is simply when you don’t have coverage. There are a few ways a car insurance lapse can occur. For example, you might have purchased a new policy, but the old one expired before the new one took effect, you were unaware that your policy was up for renewal, or if the insurance company canceled your original policy then reinstated it, the time between cancellation and reinstatement is a lapse in coverage.
No matter what the circumstances, the consequences of driving with lapsed coverage are significant. You could lose your license for at least a year and pay up to a $1,500 fine. It could cost another $750 to get your license back. There’s even a chance authorities could impound your vehicle.
What happens if you’re in a crash with lapsed coverage?
Fortunately, you can still seek compensation for your injuries even if you didn’t have insurance at the time of the accident and you weren’t at fault. You would file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurer to pursue money for your medical treatment, lost wages, and other financial losses. It’s especially important that you file a claim if you sustained a serious injury as defined by New York State law, including:
- A broken bone
- An amputated limb
- A lost fetus
- The permanent loss of an organ
- The permanent loss (or substantial limitation) or function of an organ, limb, or another part of the body
- A temporary impairment that will keep the victim from performing their typical daily activities for at least 90 of the 180 days immediately following the accident
- Substantial disfigurement
- The wrongful death of a loved one
Will it be harder to recover my financial losses?
Although it might be more challenging for an uninsured person to be awarded compensation when compared to someone with insurance, it’s not impossible. The at-fault driver’s insurer is likely to make the argument that you shouldn’t receive compensation because you failed to follow the law, but you should have as much a right to compensation as anyone else if you were injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault.
Because it’s going to be an uphill battle, you’re going to need the help of a Long Island car accident lawyer. Your lawyer will investigate the accident, determine how it happened, and identify all parties who might be liable for your accident to ensure you’re justly compensated to the fullest extent possible.
Penalties for driving without insurance
The penalties for driving without car insurance in New York are stiff. Uninsured motorists can have their license and vehicle registration revoked for at least one year. The traffic court fines could be up to $1,500, and you could pay the DMV a civil penalty of $750 to get your license back after revocation. If you’re convicted of driving without insurance, you could also face up to 15 days in jail.
Getting your insurance reinstated
It’s very important that you reinstate your insurance as quickly as possible and that you take whatever steps necessary to prevent a lapse of coverage in the future. You’ll need to purchase insurance from a reputable insurance company. The Department of Financial Services provides a list of insurers and their toll-free telephone numbers.
Learn more by contacting Carner & DeVita
To learn more about how a lapse in coverage might affect your ability to recoup your financial losses from a car accident that wasn’t your fault, talk to a Long Island car accident lawyer with Carner & DeVita. To schedule your free consultation, contact us online or call (631) 543-7070.