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What Are the Consequences of Driving an Uninsured Vehicle?

Most states require every driver to have auto insurance. Usually, you are required to carry minimum amounts of coverage, and you must also keep proof of insurance with you while driving. Depending on where you live, driving without the proper car insurance puts you at risk of serious penalties.

Continue reading to learn more about the consequences of driving an uninsured vehicle. Injured in an accident? Need help with an uninsured motorist (UM) or underinsured motorist (UIM) claim? Contact Dunk Law Firm today! From our multiple offices, we represent client in Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin, as well as nationwide.

Auto Insurance Requirements in Tennessee

Like most states, Tennessee has minimum auto insurance coverage requirements for all licensed drivers who operate motor vehicles in the state.

These minimum coverage amounts include:

  • $25,000 in bodily injury coverage per person
  • $50,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident (two or more people)
  • $15,000 in property damage coverage per accident

Because Tennessee follows a traditional fault-based system when it comes to auto insurance claims, it is important that you have the minimum required insurance coverage, or you could be sued by someone who was injured in an accident with you.

Additionally, if you do not have the minimum required insurance in Tennessee, you face significant penalties.

Most often, driving without insurance in Tennessee is charged as a Class C misdemeanor and comes with the following penalties:

  • A $300 fine
  • Driver’s license suspension
  • Auto registration suspension
  • Various restoration fees

The police officer may also decide to have your car towed, and you may need to retake the driver’s license exam and provide proof of insurance to have your driver’s license reinstated. This could potentially lead to increased premiums, meaning you’ll end up paying more for auto insurance in the long run.

Auto Insurance Requirements in Texas

Similar to most other states, Texas mandates all drivers must carry minimum liability coverage in order to lawfully operate a motor vehicle.

The minimum auto insurance requirements in Texas are:

  • $30,000 in bodily injury per person
  • $60,000 in bodily injury per accident (two or more people)
  • $25,000 in property damage per accident

Texas is another state that follows the traditional at-fault system when it comes to car accidents and insurance claims. This means that you could be on the hook for paying someone’s damages if they are injured in an accident you cause and you do not have insurance. The best way to protect yourself is to make sure you maintain at least the state’s minimum insurance coverage requirements.

Driving without insurance is also a crime in Texas. The penalties you face depend on the situation; though they are strict even the first time you are caught driving an uninsured vehicle, these penalties increase with second-, third-, and subsequent offenses.

In Texas, the penalties for driving without insurance include:

  • Fines ranging from $175 to $350 and up to $1,000
  • Driver’s license revocation
  • Vehicle impounding

On top of these penalties, you could face additional administrative fees associated with reinstating your driver’s license, as well as increased insurance premiums.

Auto Insurance Requirements in Wisconsin

Wisconsin is also an at-fault state for car insurance and accident claims. This means that auto insurance is there to protect you in the event that you end up injuring someone else in a crash. If you do not have the minimum required insurance coverage, you not only face criminal and administrative penalties, but you could also be sued by the injured party and be forced to pay exorbitant out-of-pocket payments.

In Wisconsin, the minimum auto insurance requirements include:

  • $50,000 in bodily injury coverage per person
  • $100,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident (two or more people)
  • $15,000 in property damage coverage per accident

Additionally, you are required to carry proof of insurance or face a $10 fine. If you are caught driving not only without proof of insurance but also without actual insurance, you face much harsher penalties.

The penalties for driving an uninsured vehicle in Wisconsin include:

  • A $500 fine
  • Driver’s license suspension
  • Vehicle registration suspension
  • Possible vehicle impounding
  • Additional fees

Additionally, if you are found to have provided false proof of insurance, you could face up to $5,000 in fines.

If you are found to have been driving an uninsured vehicle when you were involved in an accident, you could avoid certain penalties—including the suspension of your driver’s license and vehicle registration—if you provide a security deposit that covers the cost of the claims, agree to pay for the claims in installments, and/or prove that you have settled the claims.

Need help with an auto insurance claim? Contact Dunk Law Firm at (800) 674-9339 to schedule a free and confidential consultation with one of our car accident attorneys today.

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