It’s essential to always carry proof of insurance in your vehicle. In Georgia, you’re required to carry minimum liability insurance. If you are in a car accident and can’t show proof of insurance, you could be faced with fines, license suspension, and greater penalties if you have no insurance at all.

What Happens if I Don’t Have Insurance?

Under Georgia laws, drivers need liability car insurance that covers bodily injury for $25,000 per person and $50,000 per incident. You also need a property damage liability of $25,000 per incident. If your auto insurance expires, the state is notified, as you have 30 days to provide proof of new insurance.

If you obtain the minimum coverage with no lapse, you can send the information to the state, and there are no penalties. However, if you have a lapse in coverage of under 10 days, then you will owe a $25 lapse fee. If you fail to pay this fee, your registration is suspended. Then, you need to pay a $60 reinstatement fee and potentially other fees.

If you fail to provide the state with proof of insurance in 30 days, you will receive a notice of suspension that provides you an additional 30 days to provide proof. If you are unable to provide proof of insurance, you are guilty of a misdemeanor.

Consequences for having no valid insurance or driving a suspended vehicle include:

  • Suspension of licenses and registration 
  • $25 lapse fee and $60 reinstatement fee
  • Jail time of up to a year

The court could also impose additional fines and penalties depending on your circumstances. These consequences increase for each offense.

What if I Have Insurance but Don’t Have My Insurance Card?

If you do have auto insurance coverage but don’t have your proof of insurance at the time of an accident, that is a different charge. You will be charged with No Insurance, but if you were covered at the time of the accident, you can change that.

The charge can be reduced to No Proof of Insurance, and the fine can’t be more than $25. It’s essential to have proof of insurance with you in court to prove you did have insurance coverage at the time of the accident. Once you pay the fine, the charge against you is often dismissed.

Filing a Claim While Uninsured

If you were operating a car without insurance and were in an accident that was not your fault, you can still file a claim for damages. You still have to face the consequences of driving without insurance, but you can cover medical costs and property damage through a claim. If the insurance claim doesn’t cover your damages, you can file a personal injury claim.

Your compensation amount is not impacted by whether or not you had insurance. It depends solely on your comparative fault in the accident.

Legal Counsel After a Car Accident

If you were in a car accident and suffered injuries and damages, you can gain compensation under some circumstances. This can allow you to cover the costs of vehicle repairs and medical bills from the accident. If the other driver was at fault for the accident, you can gain compensation even if you don’t have auto insurance coverage. An attorney can help you prove the accident was the other driver’s fault.

If it seems you were at fault and you don’t have insurance, it’s even more essential that you speak with an attorney. Because the other driver can’t file with your insurance, they will likely file a claim against you. At Lamar Law Office, LLC, we have experience with personal injury and car accident cases. We can guide you through the legal process and protect your rights. Contact our team today to see how we can help.