It can be a scary time if you’re involved in a car accident in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and you don’t have insurance. Uninsured drivers in South Carolina may be liable for the damages caused by a car accident. This could include damages to the other vehicle, medical expenses, and property damage.
Rock Hill, South Carolina Car Insurance Coverage Requirements
In South Carolina, drivers must have liability insurance or pay an annual $550 uninsured motorist fee. A minimum-coverage policy in South Carolina has liability coverage and uninsured motorist coverage.
Bodily Injury (BI) – $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident. BI pays for the other party’s medical bills when you cause the accident. This policy also covers legal expenses if the other driver sues you.
Property Damage (PD) – $25,000 per accident. PD pays for damage to the other vehicle when you cause the accident. However, it will not pay for damage to your vehicle.
Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UMBI) – $25,000 per person. UMBI pays for damages when you are in an accident with an uninsured driver.
Failure to have insurance or pay the yearly uninsured motorist fee can result in a misdemeanor offense, which carries driver’s license suspension, fines, and even jail time.
What You Should Do After a Car Crash if You Don’t Have Insurance
If you are involved in a car accident and don’t have insurance, you should first stay calm and explain to the other driver and the police that you are uninsured. You should then,
- Get the other driver’s license number, license plate number, and insurance company information.
- Get medical attention. If you or someone else in your vehicle needs medical treatment, tell the 911 operator so they can dispatch emergency medical services.
- Take photos of the accident scene, damage to either vehicle, and your injuries.
- Do not admit fault. Even though South Carolina has penalties for driving without insurance, fault is determined by who caused the crash, not by who has insurance. If the other driver is responsible for the collision and has insurance, their insurer should be liable for any bodily injury or property damage they caused.
- Be on the lookout for any witnesses who can state to the police who caused the crash.
- Seek legal assistance from a Rock Hill car accident lawyer. A lawyer can help you understand your rights and determine if you are liable for the damages caused by the accident.
Can I Be Sued if I’m Uninsured in Rock Hill, South Carolina?
Yes, you can be sued if you are uninsured in South Carolina. If the other driver suffers damages due to the accident, they can file a claim under their uninsured motorist policy. If they do not have uninsured motorist coverage or their medical expenses exceed a certain amount, they may file a personal injury lawsuit against you. In a personal injury suit, you may be responsible for their medical bills, lost wages, car damage, physical and mental pain, etc.
Your assets, such as a car, home, or boat, may be used. It is vital to make sure you have car insurance in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Car insurance protects your assets from being seized if you get into a crash and cause personal injury or property damage to another person or their vehicle.
Penalties For Driving Uninsured In Rock Hill, South Carolina
You must provide proof of insurance when you receive your driver’s license and register your vehicle. If you can’t show proof of financial responsibility, you may face jail time, fines and have to surrender your registration and license plates.
If you are caught driving without insurance or the $550 uninsured motorist fee, South Carolina will confiscate your vehicle and license plates. You have the option to pay the uninsured motorist fee or provide proof of insurance coverage within 20 days. If you miss this deadline, you may be charged with a misdemeanor. You may also have to:
- Serve 30 days in jail
- Pay a $100-$200 fine
- Pay a $5 surcharge each day you go without coverage
If your subsequent offense occurs within ten years of your first violation, you’ll have to pay a $200 fine, serve 30 days in jail, and surrender your license plate and vehicle registration. You will get your driving privileges back when you purchase an insurance policy and pay the $200 reinstatement fee.
Third Offense and Subsequent Offenses
Suppose you are caught for the third time within ten years of previous violations. You are considered a habitual offender and will serve 45 days to six months in jail. The length of your sentence will depend on the number of times you violated the South Carolina insurance law.
Contact a Rock Hill Car Accident Attorney Today
If you have been in a car accident in Rock Hill, South Carolina and either you or the other driver was uninsured, please do not hesitate to contact us. The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor, P.C. Our experienced car accident attorneys are licensed in South and North Carolina. We value the attorney-client relationship and will do everything to assist you through this process.