Cover Yourself: The Consequences of Driving Without Insurance in New Jersey
Police blotters around New Jersey are filled with incidents of a pervasive and illegal type: driving without insurance. To many, driving without insurance appears to be a minor, bureaucratic infraction. After all, it doesn’t involve careless or dangerous behavior like other well-known traffic crimes. Many are surprised, then, when they find that driving without insurance in New Jersey carries hefty consequences. New Jersey takes the requirement that drivers carry insurance to protect themselves, their passengers, and others that may be injured in accidents very seriously.
The punishments for driving without insurance reflect that seriousness. A first conviction carries a $300 to $1,000 fine, a period of court-determined community service, and a one-year suspension of driving privileges. Further convictions for driving without insurance carry a $5,000 fine, 14 days imprisonment, 30 days of community service, and a two-year license suspension.
For accident victims, being struck by a motorist who doesn’t have insurance complicates claims against the guilty party. In this situation, your own insurer may pay for your losses or injuries, provided you have the right kind of insurance policy yourself. Other considerations as to whether you will receive coverage from your insurer – and how much – include the following:
- The other driver is found to be at fault for the accident
- Your underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage limit is higher than the liability coverage limit of the driver who caused the accident
- The percentage the other driver was at fault is not lower than your own, under New Jersey’s Comparative Negligence law
- Your $500.00 policy deductible has been met
New Jersey clearly considers driving without insurance a serious offense. If you are charged with driving without insurance, contact us for help to defend you and protect your rights.