A car accident is a frightening and jarring experience. Besides the scary feeling of being in the accident itself, the aftermath of that accident can be very stressful. There may be medical bills to worry about if someone was injured, the cost of repairing your car, and maybe even mental health counseling to deal with shock or trauma resulting from the accident. All of this is stressful enough on its own – but what if you don’t have insurance? What consequences are there for driving without insurance, and how do you handle the aftermath of a car accident?
What Do I Do Immediately After the Accident?
The first order of business after a car accident is to make sure everyone is okay. If anybody was injured, call 911 and get them treated right away. If no one was injured, call the police and talk to the other driver. Get their contact and insurance information and take photos of any damage to the cars. Write down any important details about the accident as well. You may have to use these to defend yourself in a lawsuit. When the police arrive, file an official report.
Ohio Driver’s License Consequences
You might be wondering, “If I call the police after an accident, will I get in trouble for not having insurance?”. Unfortunately, the answer is yes, you will. As soon as you drive without insurance, you are breaking the law. The penalty for driving without insurance in Ohio is having your license temporarily revoked. Your registration and license plates will also be revoked, and you’ll need to pay a $160 fine to get them back. Your vehicle could even be impounded for up to 60 days. If this is your second or third offense, the penalties are more severe – your license will be suspended for up to two years and the fines are higher – up to $660. In Ohio, the offense will stay on your record for two years.
What if the Accident Was My Fault?
If you are driving without insurance and are involved in an accident where you are at fault, prepare yourself for some high costs. You’ll be responsible for all of the damages to the other car and any medical bills for the people in the other car, out of your own pocket. This is just the initial damage – the driver of the other car may file a lawsuit against you as well. Your license could be suspended until all damages are paid, and a judge may take action (such as wage garnishment) to ensure that they are paid as well.
What if the Accident Wasn’t My Fault?
If you were not at fault for the accident, then the other driver will be responsible for the costs of the damage to your car and your injuries. You need to make sure you get pictures of the accident – take pictures of your car from all angles, and pictures of any injuries you may have suffered as well. Be sure to get the other driver’s name and insurance information. You may even be able to file a personal injury or liability suit against the other driver. Remember that even if you weren’t at fault for the accident, there will still be consequences for driving without insurance.
Contact an Attorney
Are you filing or facing a lawsuit after your accident? Not sure where to go from here? Contact an experienced attorney for help. We can guide you through the process. Contact Steuer, Escovar, and Coleman at (216) 771-8121 for a FREE consultation today, or visit our website.