What To Do if You’re in a Car Accident Without Insurance But Not At Fault in Connecticut

If you’re in a car accident without insurance in Connecticut, you will still face some pretty harsh penalties—even if you weren’t at fault for the collision.
Written by Mary Cahill
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
If you get into a car accident in
without insurance, you’ll still be cited and penalized for
driving without insurance
—even if the crash wasn’t your fault. On top of that, uninsured drivers in Connecticut may still have trouble getting reimbursed for damages from the at-fault party because many insurance companies will not pay out for damages that compensate uninsured drivers.  
Car accidents are a lot to deal with. On top of the destruction they can cause, there are often legal troubles associated with collisions. If you’re wondering what might happen if you drive uninsured in Connecticut and get in a crash,
is here to give you answers. 
In this article, we’ll discuss what penalties you could face for driving uninsured—even if the
accident wasn’t your fault
—plus what you can expect if you try to recoup damages from the other party’s insurance company.
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What to do if you’re in a car accident without insurance in Connecticut and are not at fault

Let’s cut to the chase: driving without insurance in Connecticut is illegal—just like in every other state except
New Hampshire
. According to
Connecticut’s traffic law
, you could face anywhere from a $100 to $1,000 fine for driving without a minimum of
liability insurance
The serious penalties for driving uninsured still stand even if you’re the victim in a car wreck, but don’t make matters worse by trying to evade the law. Stay at the scene of the crash to avoid adding the more serious legal charge of a hit-and-run to the situation. 
A hit-and-run is a major crime that could result in you being fined hundreds of dollars and potentially facing a year of jail time. Even if the accident doesn’t seem that serious, you need to pull over and assess the damages
In the event that you or anyone else involved in the car accident is physically injured, call 911 right away. If you aren’t in need of immediate medical attention, do your best to document the accident while you’re still at the scene. Take photos of the vehicle damage and any physical injuries—this will help you if you decide to seek compensation for damages. 
Depending on the circumstances, you may decide to file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company so you can be reimbursed for expenses related to the collision. You may even decide to take legal action against the other party to cover the cost of vehicular damage, medical expenses, or lost wages after the crash. 
Don’t forget about the part where you were driving uninsured when the accident happened. This will not be overlooked by law enforcement or insurance adjusters, even if the damage was serious. Driving without insurance is a class C misdemeanor in Connecticut—if convicted, you could be fined up to $500 and face up to three months in prison

Who decides fault in a car accident in Connecticut?

If the
car accident
was serious enough that police were called to the scene, the police report that the officer fills out will be a huge component in determining fault. But, ultimately, it’s up to the insurance company to assess the level of fault after an accident. 
This is where your documentation of the car accident comes in handy. If you’re adamant about receiving compensation after the accident despite the fact you were driving illegally when it occurred, providing photos, hospital bills, or other evidence of damages to the other party’s insurance company could be enough to prove the insured party’s liability for the crash. 

Do you need to report a car accident in Connecticut? 

Maybe. If you were involved in a car accident that caused $1,000 or more in property damage, you must report the incident within five days
Again, if you collide with another vehicle If there isn’t a significant amount of property damage, you still need to pull over to assess the scene and speak with the other driver. If the other driver wishes to exchange information, you’ll need to comply. Driving off without acknowledging the other party because you’re afraid to get caught driving uninsured will only make matters worse. 
Keep in mind that if you sustain bodily injuries in the crash and no accident report was filed, this will make it impossible for you to be compensated—regardless of your insurance status. You won’t be able to file a claim with the other party’s insurer if there is no record of the accident. 
The same goes for lawsuits. Connecticut allows you three years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit, but if neither party ever reported the collision in the first place, you won’t have a case.  
MORE: How to file a car accident claim report

What if you’re at fault?

If the accident was your fault and you were driving without insurance, any shot you may have had of recouping damages is off the table. 
Because Connecticut is a modified comparative negligence state, you’ll be financially responsible for your portion of the other driver’s damages if you are deemed 51% or more responsible for the accident. If you don’t have insurance, the not-at-fault driver can file a lawsuit against you to recover these damages. 

What if you’re hit by an uninsured driver in Connecticut?

Connecticut requires drivers to have
uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
as part of their minimum liability policy. However, this mandatory policy only covers costs related to bodily injury. This policy does not help pay for damage to your vehicle if an uninsured driver in Connecticut hits you. 
To avoid footing car repair bills on your own after an accident with one of these high-risk drivers, you may want to consider adding
collision coverage
to your policy. This insurance will kick in for car repairs regardless of who is to blame for the incident.  
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Penalties for driving without insurance in Connecticut 

Whether you’re driving without
proof of insurance
or are flat-out uninsured, Connecticut’s traffic law lays out penalties for both. 
As stated in Connecticut General Statutes Chapter 246 § 14-13, drivers who are found to be without their insurance documentation can be fined up to $500. If you’re found to be uninsured altogether, this categorizes you as a high-risk driver and the penalties are far more severe. 
In addition to being fined up to $500, you could be sentenced to three months in jail—or some combination of the two. Driving without insurance in Connecticut is considered a misdemeanor, so there’s a very good chance that you’ll also have your license suspended. Your
driving privileges will be reinstated
once you pay the $175 restoration fee and prove that your vehicle has the legally-required insurance, which in this case will likely be
SR-22 coverage
SR-22 is a “certificate of responsibility” often required by law for drivers who have had their license suspended and are looking to get back on the road. By filling out an SR-22, you are stating that you have purchased and are maintaining the legal amount of car insurance for your vehicle. High-risk drivers are usually required to have SR-22 certificates.

Minimum required car insurance in Connecticut

As we mentioned earlier, Connecticut requires all licensed drivers registered in the state to carry at least liability insurance. But, minimum liability limits are different from state to state, so it’s crucial that you know how these limits are laid out where you live. 
In Connecticut, you must purchase liability in accordance with the following minimum limits:
  • $25,000 of
    bodily injury
    per person
  • $50,000 of bodily injury per accident
  • $25,000 of
    property damage
    per accident
  • $25,000 of bodily injury per person for uninsured/underinsured motorists
  • $50,000 of bodily injury per accident for uninsured/underinsured motorists
When a driver carrying liability coverage in the minimum amounts causes an accident, their insurance provider will cover the other party’s damages up to these designated monetary amounts. 
As part of the minimum coverage, Connecticut requires drivers to carry uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance to protect against bodily injury when a driver without insurance crashes into you. Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage offers drivers a safety net to avoid being obligated to pay out of pocket for medical expenses after a collision. 

Driving without insurance can increase premiums

As if the laundry list of penalties wasn’t enough to convince you to insure your vehicle, there’s yet another consequence to driving without insurance. Once you do purchase a policy, it’ll be more expensive than if you had been carrying insurance all along. 
It’s common knowledge that being convicted of certain moving violations—like uninsured driving—raises the cost of your insurance premium significantly. In fact, just letting your car insurance lapse for as little as 60 days can increase your rate in Connecticut by around 12%.
Add a conviction for driving without insurance to the mix and you’re going to be looking at some steep coverage costs. Connecticut drivers who are considered high-risk by insurance companies pay an average of $2,777 per year for an auto policy—that’s over 80% more than what the average driver in Connecticut pays to stay covered. 

How to find cheap car insurance in Connecticut

Connecticut is known to have
expensive car insurance
statewide, but as we’ve learned in this article, it will cost you much less in the long run if you always drive insured. Whether you’re on the hunt for an affordable policy after being charged with driving uninsured, or you just want to explore your options, finding a great price on your coverage is easier than ever when you shop with the
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With Jerry’s expert assistance, you could find a new insurance policy in a matter of minutes, but the best part is definitely the savings. On average, people who use Jerry save over $800 on their annual coverage! 
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