If you drive without insurance in Oklahoma, you are taking some major risks. There are legal consequences for drivers caught driving without insurance. And for those involved in accidents, it is impossible not to get caught even if you did not cause the accident.
Then, there are the financial worries. What if you cause an accident and the victims sue you for damages? Without insurance coverage, you could lose your personal assets.
Representation from a knowledgeable Oklahoma car accident lawyer is essential if you have an accident and do not have car insurance. You can rely on the attorneys at BDIW to give you sound advice and help you make the best of your difficult situation.
Oklahoma’s Car Insurance Requirements
If you are a driver in Oklahoma, you must carry insurance. Oklahoma state requires all drivers to purchase minimum coverage and have proof of that coverage when driving. As stated by the Oklahoma Insurance Department (OID), minimum requirements include:
- $25,000 for bodily injury per person
- $50,000 for bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 for property damage per accident
While these amounts represent what you need to cover your legal responsibilities, they likely represent far less than you would need if involved in an injury and/or property damage-causing car accident. Recommended coverage amounts are significantly higher.
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Legal Consequences for Driving without Insurance
Oklahoma Statute §47-7-606 establishes the legal repercussions for driving without insurance. Uninsured drivers can be charged with a misdemeanor offense and if convicted, may face:
- A fine of up to $250: if you were caught without insurance because you were in an accident, you have to pay the fee immediately. If caught at a traffic stop, and it is your first offense, you have 10 days to get insurance and have the fine waived
- A jail sentence of up to 30 days
- Suspension of driving privileges
- Vehicle or license plate seizure and impoundment
Getting your license reinstated costs even more money. You will have to pay administrative and reinstatement fees. If you lost your license because you were in an accident while uninsured, you will have to pay for a modified driver’s license.
When You Are an Accident Victim and Do Not Have Insurance
When you do not have insurance and are the victim in a car accident, you still have the right to pursue compensation from the at-fault driver–as long as they are covered. If they are not, you would have to sue them personally. The bottom line is that if you are the victim, your uninsured status does not preclude you from receiving compensation.
Oklahoma is a fault state and follows a comparative fault system. This system allows victims who are less than 50% responsible for an accident to seek damages. If victims meet this requirement but hold some degree of fault, the compensation they recover is reduced proportionally.
How a Car Accident Lawyer in Oklahoma Can Help
Oklahoma’s fault laws play an important role in determining how much of a settlement you can potentially receive and how much the at-fault party is required to pay. This means it is in the at-fault party’s representatives’ best interests to put as much blame as possible on you (or someone else) to reduce their own payout. If the at-fault party has coverage, you can expect their insurance representatives to use whatever means possible, even unethical ones, to inflate your blame.
The experienced car accident lawyers at BDIW know how to handle these tactics and will protect you from false blame and your settlement from unfair reduction. Your attorney will also investigate your accident fully, determining its cause and identifying the at-fault party, and build evidence to prove your case and justify your settlement demand.
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When You do Not Have Insurance and Are at Fault for an Accident
The costs may be quite steep if you cause an accident while driving without insurance. If the injured driver has uninsured motorist insurance (UMI), you might avoid being sued by the victim but may be sued by their UMI carrier to repay the damages they paid out.
If the injured driver does not have UMI, or if their coverage is not enough to pay their damages, you will probably be hit with a civil case holding you personally responsible for paying compensation.
Get Legal Guidance
Connect with a skilled car accident lawyer in Oklahoma if you drive uninsured and are in an accident. You might not be the only party at fault for the accident, and if there are others who hold culpability, they need to pay their share of the damages. In some cases, another party may hold all fault, and while you will still have to pay the legal penalties, you will not have to pay the victim’s damages.
Other parties holding liability could include:
- The vehicle or vehicle-part manufacturer. If the accident occurred because of a defect in the vehicle, manufacturers or even installers may be responsible
- Your employer. If you were driving for your job, perhaps making a delivery, your employer may hold fault
- A government entity. If bad roads, poor lighting, or broken traffic signals caused the accident, the government office responsible for keeping those elements in working order may be to blame
Our team will perform a thorough analysis of your accident to uncover all relevant details, and those details may show you are not responsible for paying costly damages. Reach out for help right away to prevent other parties from using you as a scapegoat.
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Protect Yourself and Connect with an Oklahoma Car Accident Attorney Today
There is a lot to lose when you are in an accident but do not have insurance coverage. If you are the victim, your lack of insurance does not take away your right to seek compensation, and our team can help you get the coverage you deserve. If it seems you are the cause of the accident, remember that things are not always as they seem.
An Oklahoma car accident lawyer from BDIW will sift through the details of your accident to ensure you are not being unfairly blamed. Contact us today with a call or a message. We are here to help.
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