If you drive a vehicle in Texas, the law requires you to have insurance. Still, many people take a risk and drive without insurance. If you’re uninsured, what happens if you end up in an accident?
Texas is what is known as a tort state, meaning whoever is at fault in causing a car accident is responsible for paying for it. The accident police report often plays a key role in determining who is at fault.
If the accident was your fault
If you get into an accident without insurance, you could be on the hook to pay for any damages to the other person’s vehicle. Beyond that, the other party could sue you for expenses associated with personal injury, such as medical bills and lost income due to an inability to work. If their lawsuit is successful, you would have to pay for all of these expenses out of pocket.
If the accident was the other driver’s fault
If the other driver is at fault, then they (or their insurance company) will pay for any of your accident-related damages. However, you can still face penalties for being caught driving without insurance. In Texas, these can include:
- Fines from $175 to $350 for a first offense, and up to $1000 for a subsequent offense
- Having your driver’s license suspended (for repeat offenders)
- Having your car impounded for 180 days (for repeat offenders). You will have to pay a fee of $15 per day – $2700 total – to get it released.
Even if you are a safe, defensive driver, you still run a big risk by driving without insurance. An innocent victim in a car accident can still face severe consequences for being uninsured.