If you get in a car accident in South Carolina and don’t have insurance, you could face financial hardship. In addition to the cost of your own vehicle repairs or medical treatment, you could also be responsible for the other driver’s damages.
The good news is that you are not out of options simply because you lack insurance coverage. In some cases, you might be able to pursue an injury lawsuit against the other driver if they were at fault for the accident.
If You Are At Fault, You Could Be Personally Liable For Damages
Every state has some form of financial responsibility requirement for drivers. In most states – including South Carolina – this requirement is met through mandatory liability insurance coverage.
Liability insurance protects you from claims made by other drivers. Even if you are at fault, your insurance could pay the damages up to the limits on your policy. If you do not have insurance, you will face responsibility for any damage you cause.
The damages from a car accident claim can be significant. From medical bills to vehicle repair costs, you could be liable for the full amount. The other driver must show that you were negligent in order to pursue a legal claim against you, however.
You Could Pursue an Injury Claim If You Were Not at Fault
You also have the right to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent driver even when you are uninsured. Your lack of liability insurance can still have consequences, but it will not inhibit your right to hold a careless motorist accountable.
If your personal injury lawsuit is successful, you could recover a variety of damages. In addition to any medical costs you accrued, you could also be compensated for your vehicle repair costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Of course, some accidents occur without any driver being at fault. If you are involved in a one-vehicle accident caused by extreme weather, you will be on your own when it comes to paying for your damages. One of the benefits of full insurance coverage is that it could protect you under these circumstances.
There are Potential Consequences For Driving Without Insurance
No matter who was at fault for the accident, there are consequences that can come with driving without insurance in South Carolina. This is because driving without car insurance is a criminal offense under state law. While this offense is always treated as a misdemeanor, your potential fines can vary depending on the number of prior convictions you have.
For a first-time offender, a conviction for driving without insurance carries a fine of up to $200 plus $5 per day for every lapse in coverage. There are other expenses including reinstatement fees as well.
For a second offense, you could face a potential jail term of up to 30 days. Finally, a third or subsequent offense will lead to a jail term between 45 days and six months.
South Carolina Requires Liability Coverage
If you do not have liability insurance and you intend to drive in South Carolina, now is a good time to seek out coverage. This coverage isn’t just required by the South Carolina Department of Insurance, it could also benefit you greatly if you are involved in an accident. The minimum level of liability insurance includes:
- $25,000 for bodily injury per person
- $50,000 for bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 for property damage per accident
State law requires a minimum level of liability insurance, but there are other types of coverage that are voluntary. Additional coverage could be in your best interest depending on your budget. Full coverage or uninsured motorist policies could pay for your medical bills or other expenses instead of leaving you on the hook financially.
An Attorney From Our Firm Can Help You
If you got in a car accident in South Carolina and don’t have insurance, do not hesitate to seek the guidance of a legal professional from our firm. One of our South Carolina car accident lawyers could advise you of your personal liability as well as the potential for pursuing a case against the other driver.
Our legal team could answer your questions and address all your concerns.
Call Today For a No-Obligation Consultation
We are ready to evaluate your case and walk you through every step of the litigation process. If you want to get started, call (888) 612-7001 as soon as possible for your free consultation with a compassionate team member. We fight for justice and fair compensation.
George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers will put their 40 years of experience to work for you. We take cases on a contingency-fee basis, so you pay us nothing up front and out of pocket. We only get paid if you do.* There are no financial risks when you choose us to be your advocate.