What Happens If I’m in an Accident with an Uninsured Driver?
In Virginia, drivers may put their cars on the road without having auto insurance for many different reasons. For instance, in Virginia, the law does not require drivers to have insurance in order to register their car. Instead, they can pay an uninsured motorist fee.
How Much is the Uninsured Motorist Fee in Virginia?
According to Virginia State law, a driver who has an uninsured vehicle can pay a $500 uninsured motorist fee. This allows them to drive without insurance but without penalty for 12 months. Of course, paying the fee only makes it legal to drive your car. It provides no coverage to the driver or others in a crash.
If they are found to be driving without insurance and having not paid the UMV fee, the VA legislature will provide them an administrative hearing to discuss the penalty or suspension.
If you do carry auto insurance coverage in Virginia, then you must have liability insurance in the following minimum amounts:
- $25,000 for bodily injury (per person)
- $50,000 for bodily injury (per accident)
- $20,000 for property damage (per accident)
Some people may initially have coverage in those required minimum amounts. However, because they can no longer afford their premiums, they let their coverage lapse. The person may have lost a job, for instance, or experienced a sudden, expensive health care emergency.
Some drivers may not have auto insurance because they simply cannot qualify for coverage. For example, a person may have lost his or her driver’s license due to a DWI conviction or because the person has too many insurance points due to traffic violations. (If you don’t have a driver’s license, then you should not be on the road – period. You can’t even get away with paying the $500 uninsured motorist fee.)
Uninsured motorist coverage exists to provide the drivers who did not cause their accident compensation for the losses caused by an uninsured driver. In Virginia, a minimum limits policy will provide you or your immediate family members with $25,000 in per person coverage in the event of injury sustained in a vehicle collision with an uninsured driver. If you choose to have more coverage above the for example by purchasing a $100,000 policy, you will have $100,000 in per person coverage available in the event of a crash.
Uninsured motorist coverage doesn’t give the driver who caused the accident a “free pass” since that person may ultimately be required to reimburse your insurance company for the amount that it paid out to settle an uninsured motorist claim.
Virginia’s uninsured motorist statute can very beneficial to you if you are in a serious motor vehicle crash, but only if you purchase enough liability insurance to effectively protect you and your family.
Have you been in an accident with an uninsured driver? At Kalfus & Nachman PC, we’ve helped thousands of clients by providing them with competent legal support. We are dedicated to fighting for full compensation for victims and we never back down from problematic or complex cases. No matter what you are up against, our attorneys can evaluate the circumstances of your car accident injury and provide a custom plan of action to meet your specific needs.