What To Do If You’re In a Car Accident Without Insurance But Not At Fault In Kentucky

Even if you’re not at fault, being in an accident without insurance in Kentucky can lead to steep fines and a revocation of your driver’s license.
Written by Abbey Orzech
Reviewed by Shannon Martin
If you get into a car accident in Kentucky without insurance, you may be liable for all vehicle damages and medical bills for both yourself and the other driver, even if you are not at fault. You will also likely see steep fines, potential jail time, and revoked driving privileges. 
In nearly every US state, Kentucky included, you are legally required to hold a minimum amount of car insurance before getting behind the wheel. Getting caught without the proper insurance can be bad enough, but if you’re in a car accident, you could face serious financial and legal repercussions. 
, the
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aimed at making car owners’ lives easier, has created this guide on what to do if you’re in a car accident without insurance in Kentucky. We’ll go over your options if you’re at fault and not at fault, the penalties you may be looking at either way, and the minimum required
car insurance
in the Bluegrass State so you can hit those roads legally.
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What to do if you’re in a car accident without insurance in Kentucky and not at fault

Kentucky drivers are required to carry car insurance before they can legally get behind the wheel. Not maintaining the minimum amount of Kentucky auto insurance is considered a crime, and being involved in a car accident without insurance can leave you especially vulnerable to the repercussions. 
If you’re in an accident in Kentucky and you don’t have insurance, do not leave the scene. You could land in even deeper legal trouble for a
hit and run
, so try to remain as calm as possible while you assess the situation. 
Give yourself, any passengers in your vehicle, and any passengers in the other involved vehicle a once-over to check for any injuries. If anyone is hurt, call 911 and request medical assistance. If possible, turn your hazard lights on and try to move your vehicle out of traffic. 
You and the other involved driver will need to exchange information. Since driving without insurance is a criminal offense in Kentucky, it can seem tempting to provide false information—don’t do it. While you’ll likely see some repercussions for your lack of insurance, it probably won’t be as bad as the consequences for providing false insurance information of up to $10,000 in fines and one to five years in jail
It’s a good idea to document the accident by taking photos, videos, and notes of the situation and any damages. You will want this documentation later if you’re trying to prove you were not at fault in the accident. 
Since you do not have insurance, you will have to pay out of pocket for your own injuries and vehicle damages. If the other driver involved has no-fault insurance, you will not be able to sue for the cost of your damages, and instead, you could be sued by that driver and their insurance company if their medical bills reach or exceed $1,000, if they have a broken bone, permanent disfigurement or injury, or if there was a death

Who decides fault in a car accident in Kentucky?

It can sometimes be unclear who is at fault in a car accident, but it’s important to be diligent in the attempt when you are not at fault. The police will write a report detailing who may be at fault and why and speak to all involved parties and any witnesses on the scene. 
While the police report can be used in an insurance claim, it ultimately comes down to the insurance company. Providing the insurance company with photos and videos that help prove you’re not at fault can be very beneficial in determining your role in the accident and subsequent expenses. 

Do you need to report a car accident in Kentucky? 

You do not have to report a car accident in Kentucky in every circumstance. However, if the accident in question results in more than $500 of property damage, injury, or death, you must report it. 
If the police arrive on the scene and the crash damage meets the above criteria, they will write their own report and you will not be responsible for doing so. If there aren’t any police at the crash scene, though, you have ten days to fill out and submit a
Civilian Traffic Collision Report Form

What if you’re at fault?

If you are found to be at fault in an accident while not carrying the proper insurance, you could land in some serious financial and legal trouble. Because Kentucky is a comparative negligence state, you’ll be financially responsible for your portion of the other driver’s damages, and that driver can file a lawsuit against you to recover these damages if you are without insurance. 
This means if you’re found to be 90% at fault in the accident, you will have to pay 90% of the other driver’s damages and loss. 
You also face the legal repercussions of driving without insurance, which can include a fine of $500 to $1,000, up to 90 days in jail, or both, along with a suspension of your license and registration

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

Now, if you’re in an accident in which you have insurance but the other driver does not, you may have a few more options. First, since you likely have no-fault insurance in Kentucky, you can choose to go directly through your insurance company for compensation. Depending on your coverage level, though, your policy may not cover all your expenses. 
You can otherwise choose to sue the uninsured driver for the damages caused. Although, if they do not have the resources to pay your damages, you could be embarking on a long and tiresome legal journey that may not get you very far. 
It may be worth looking into additional insurance coverages, like
uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
, that will help cover your medical expenses in an accident with someone without insurance. In addition, collision
can be another extremely beneficial type of coverage that will help you to fund the repair expenses from any vehicle body damages sustained in the accident. 
There are many ways to supplement and fill in the gaps in your insurance policy coverage, and since the Insurance Information Institute found that a little more than 13% of Kentucky drivers in 2019 were uninsured, you may wish to consider them. 
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Penalties for driving without insurance in Kentucky 

Whether or not you get into an accident, driving without insurance in Kentucky can lead you through some steep consequences. 
If you’re caught without the proper car insurance coverage one time, you will be subject to a fine between $500 and $1,000, up to 90 days in jail, or both. You’ll also be liable to have your vehicle’s registration revoked and your driver’s license suspended until you can provide proof of valid insurance. 
If it's your second insurance offense, the fine increases to $2,500, and you could face up to 180 days in jail or both. Additionally, your driver’s license is automatically suspended for one year and your vehicle registration is revoked until after that period. Slip up again, and you’re barred from driving for at least two years
Kentucky does not require special documentation when reapplying for your vehicle registration and license after a serious traffic violation. To reinstate your driving privileges, you’ll need to pay all fines and fees attached to your offense and then reapply with a $40 registration fee and
proof of valid car insurance

Minimum required car insurance in Kentucky 

So what is valid car insurance in Kentucky? In-state drivers are responsible for carrying
personal injury protection (PIP)
and minimum liability insurance to avoid the heavy consequences of uninsured driving in the Bluegrass State. 
You’ll need at least $10,000 of PIP coverage, and your minimum liability insurance needs to meet the 25/50/25 requirements:
Keep in mind that these numbers are just the very least amount of insurance you need to be a lawful Kentucky driver. Most car accidents can easily exceed the coverage limits of the minimum insurance requirements, so it is generally recommended that you purchase more than the basic liability coverage. 
You’re not likely to get much help in your repair expenses with just the minimum coverage, but
collision coverage
comprehensive coverage
can cover the costs of vehicle damage repairs from car accidents and other hazards like natural disasters and vandalism. 

Driving without insurance can increase premiums

We’ve gone through all the fines and potential legal trouble you’ll be looking at for being caught driving without car insurance in Kentucky, but what about how major traffic violations impact the price of your insurance when you finally get it?
Insurance companies consider your driving record when making your insurance offer, and any poor driving behavior on your record can spike your rates.

How to find cheap car insurance in Kentucky 

We know that adding
car insurance
expenses on top of every other car-owning expense can stress you and your bank account, but it will be better in nearly every situation to have it rather than be caught without it. 
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