Car Accidents On Wednesday, February 15, 2023
Car insurance is a means of making sure that a driver has the financial ability to pay for a car accident that he or she causes. In Connecticut, as in all 50 states, car insurance or proof of financial responsibility is mandatory. It is against the law to drive without automobile insurance or adequate amounts of insurance in Connecticut. If you get into a car accident with an uninsured driver, learn what to do.
Every motor vehicle driver in Connecticut must carry “proof of financial responsibility,” according to Connecticut General Statutes Section 14-112. This law states that for anyone to receive or retain a driver’s license or vehicle registration, he or she must have on record evidence of sufficient financial responsibility for the reasonable protection of other persons. Proof of financial responsibility must meet the following minimums:
Driving without insurance in Connecticut is a moving violation that is punishable by a fine of $100 to $1,000 (or $5,000 for commercial vehicle drivers). Drivers in Connecticut are strongly encouraged to purchase more than the minimum required amounts of liability insurance and optional types of coverage, such as medical payment insurance, collision coverage and comprehensive coverage. This can ensure that a driver is fully covered in the event of a car accident.
The types of insurance that a state deems mandatory correlate with whether the state uses a fault or no-fault car insurance system. Prior to 1994, Connecticut was a no-fault state. Today, however, it joins most other states in using a fault-based automobile insurance system. Under this rule, the person or party that is at fault for causing a car accident will be held financially responsible (liable). In a no-fault state, on the other hand, both drivers file claims with their own insurance providers, regardless of fault.
The fault system is why Connecticut law requires all drivers to carry minimum amounts of liability insurance. Liability insurance pays for damage caused to others after a crash. Bodily injury insurance pays for a victim’s necessary medical bills, while property damage insurance pays to repair a damaged motor vehicle or reimburse the full pre-crash value of a totaled car. If a driver in Connecticut wants coverage for his or her own losses after causing a car accident, he or she will need additional types of first-party insurance.
Despite car insurance being mandatory in Connecticut, hundreds of drivers break the law and drive while uninsured or underinsured every day. If you get into a car accident with one of these drivers, you may not have the option of using his or her car insurance for coverage. You may instead be forced to turn to alternative sources of financial compensation, such as your own car insurance policy or a third party’s insurance.
First, report the uninsured driver to the police while you are still at the scene of the accident. Documenting that the other driver is uninsured can help you during the financial recovery process. It can also hold the driver accountable for violating Connecticut’s insurance requirements. Then, report the car accident to your own car insurance company. Explain that the other driver does not have adequate insurance.
After an accident with an underinsured driver, what coverage he or she does have can pay for your losses, to an extent. Then, your own car insurance can cover the remaining amount, if you have first-party insurance. It may also be possible to hold a third-party liable, such as the manufacturer of a defective vehicle part or the government for a road hazard. Contact a car accident attorney after a collision with an uninsured or underinsured driver to discuss your financial recovery options.