Purchasing insurance for your vehicle is one of your main legal duties in the state of Texas. While jail time is not something youâ€™ll face when driving without insurance in this state, this is still a crime, and you could face several penalties and fines.
This goes for all motorists, whether driving in the city or on an open back road. This post will cover everything you need to know about driving without insurance in Texas.
How Car Insurance Works
You might wonder how car insurance works if you’ve recently been in a car crash. It’s a type of insurance that covers damage to your car in the unfortunate event of an accident.
This can include accidents caused by other drivers, natural disasters, or even theft. When you purchase car insurance, you typically pay a monthly premium to an insurance company in exchange for coverage.
Liability coverage will help cover repairing or replacing another driver’s property if you are at fault in an accident. Collision and comprehensive coverages will help repair or replace your vehicle if it is damaged or stolen.
To get car insurance, you will typically need to provide proof of your driving record and credit score to the insurance company. This information helps them evaluate your risk level and determine how much to charge for premiums.
You may also be required to have regular inspections or maintenance performed on your vehicle to maintain your coverage.
Insurance Requirements for All Motorists in Texas
As described in the Texas transportation code, all motorists in Texas must have car insurance to drive on public roads. This insurance must include coverage for at least bodily injury, property damage, and other significant losses that could arise following the accident.
Other types of coverage that you may wish to consider include comprehensive coverage, which will protect against non-collision-related damages or losses, such as theft or natural disasters, and collision coverage, which will cover the cost of repairing your vehicle after a crash.
Here’s the minimum car insurance requirement for motorists in Texas:
- $30,000 for injury to the body liability per individual, simply referred to as the individual medical bill.
- $60,000 for injury to the body liability per individual; or for treatment of anyone who got a personal injury during the accident.
- $25,000 for vehicle repair.
What Is Proof of Insurance?
Itâ€™s a document that shows that you have the required coverage for your vehicle, as mandated by state law in Texas. This proof may be in the form of an insurance card or a declaration page from your car insurance policy that lists all the required information about your coverage.
Suppose you want to get proof of insurance; you’ll need to contact your car insurance provider and request a copy of this document.
If you are involved in an accident or stopped by law enforcement for any reason. In this case, you will likely need to present proof of insurance to verify that you meet the state’s minimum requirements for car insurance coverage.
The easiest way to comply with this is to keep an electronic copy of your insurance certificate on your phone and a physical copy in the glove compartment of your car. Alternatively, you may wish to store your proof of insurance in your wallet or purse, so it’s always easily accessible.
Proving you have insurance without these documents is incredibly difficult. So be sure to carry it with you when driving.
Can You Go to Jail for Driving Without Insurance in Texas?
You can’t go to jail for driving without insurance in Texas, as this offense is considered a Class C misdemeanor.
This means that youâ€™ll face severe penalties and fines instead. This also answers the question, â€˜Can you drive a car in Texas without insurance?â€™
So, what happens if you get caught driving without insurance in Texas?
First, you’ll get ticketed. The amount will depend on whether this is your first, second, or third offense. For a first offense, the fine is $175 to $350. For a second offense, the fine ranges from $350 to $1,000. If caught a third time, the fine is $1,000 to $2,500.
What Happens If You Get in a Car Accident Without Insurance?
If you get in a car accident with no insurance in Texas, there may be serious consequences depending on the accident’s severity.
As mentioned above, drivers must have car insurance to legally operate a vehicle in Texas. However, in the event of an accident, a driver who does not have insurance may be held liable for any resulting injuries or property damage.
This could include paying for medical bills and vehicle repairs yourself or even facing criminal charges if determined that the accident was caused intentionally or due to negligence. Remember, the penalties vary depending on the state.
But generally speaking, you could end up paying hefty fines. Repeat offenders could end up getting their driverâ€™s license suspended, their vehicle impounded, and their vehicle registration suspended. They can also face criminal charges.
If you are involved in a car accident without insurance and need legal advice, you should speak with experienced personal injury attorneys as soon as possible. Another great option is to consult with uninsured or underinsured motorist lawyers.
Can Police Pull You Over for No Insurance in Texas?
Yes, the police can pull you over if you have no car insurance in Texas. According to Texas laws, driving without car insurance in the state is illegal. Police are authorized to pull drivers over if they suspect that the driver does not have valid auto insurance.
Drivers caught driving without car insurance may face fines or other penalties, depending on the situation. If you have been pulled over and need legal assistance, you can contact a local attorney to learn more about your options and how to navigate the legal system.
Steps You Should Take When in an Accident Involving Uninsured Motorists
When you are involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist, it is important to take the proper steps to protect your rights and give yourself the best chance of obtaining compensation for your injuries.
First, ensure that you seek medical attention immediately, even if you are not seriously injured. This will help ensure that you get the care you need and document any injuries or pain that may arise. You should then take photos of the scene and exchange information with other drivers
With that said, here are some of the most important steps you should take when in a car accident involving uninsured motorists:
Call the Police and Obtain a Report
When you are involved in a car accident with uninsured motorists, it is important to call the police immediately. After all, the law requires motor-vehicle operators to report any collision that leads to injury, property damages, and death.
The police will investigate the accident and gather evidence, which can be very helpful if you need to file a claim or take legal action against the other driver.
They will also ensure that everyone involved is safe and accounted for, and they can help you contact emergency services if needed.
Call Your Lawyer or Attorney
An experienced lawyer can help you navigate the complex legal system and work with you to determine the best course of action moving forward. This is why you should call your car accident lawyer immediately.
Depending on the specifics of your case, your attorney may recommend that you file a claim with your own insurance company, or they may advise that you seek compensation from the other driver’s insurance provider instead.
Either way, it is important to have an attorney on your side who can advocate for your interests and help ensure that you receive a fair settlement.
File a Lawsuit
When you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, one of the steps you can take is to file a lawsuit against that driver.
This is important for many reasons, such as ensuring that the uninsured party is held accountable for their actions and obtaining compensation for any damages or injuries they may have sustained.
Texas is technically considered an at-fault state. You can sue the uninsured driver if they caused property damages or bodily injury.
If you believe your injuries are serious or long-lasting, it may be necessary to pursue legal action to obtain the full compensation you deserve. However, an uninsured motorist will unlikely have much to offer financially despite the lawsuit.
To file a lawsuit against an uninsured driver in Texas, you must work with an experienced car accident attorney who can help guide you through the legal process and represent your best interests.
An attorney can gather evidence to support your case, negotiate with the other party’s insurance company on your behalf, and guide you through any necessary court proceedings.
Contact Stoy Law Group
If you end up driving without insurance, youâ€™re risking a ticket in Texas or worse. On the other hand, if you have been involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist, our lawyers can give you the guidance you need to navigate the legal system.