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

If you’re not at fault for a car accident in Vermont but don’t have insurance, here’s what you can do.
Written by Julian de Sevilla
Reviewed by Brittni Brinn
If you’re in a car accident in Vermont and don’t have insurance, there can be serious consequences. If you’re found to be less than 50% at fault, you’re still entitled to receive compensation for your damages through the other party’s insurance company, but you’ll still face penalties for driving without insurance.
Car accidents are never convenient and the rules regarding insurance and compensation in each state are confusing, to say the least.
Jerry
, the
car insurance
broker app, has everything you need to know about car accidents without insurance in Vermont. We’ll cover what to do after the accident, how fault is determined, the penalties for driving without insurance, and more, including the easiest way to get
cheap car insurance in Vermont
.
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What to do if you’re in a car accident without insurance in Vermont and not at fault

It’s illegal to drive without car insurance in Vermont, and being in an accident without insurance can get frighteningly expensive and lead to legal trouble. But there are things you can do to make the most of your situation.
If you’re in an accident, don’t leave the scene—it’s illegal and can lead to much more serious consequences. According to Vermont law, if you’re involved in an accident where anyone other than you is injured or any property aside from the car you’re driving is damaged, you have a duty to stop and “render any assistance reasonably necessary.” 
You must also give your name, address, license number, and the name of the owner of the car you’re driving to anyone who is injured, anyone whose property is damaged, and any law enforcement officers present. 
If you violate this section of the law by leaving an accident, you could:
  • Be fined up to $2,000 and/or sentenced to up to two years in jail.
  • If the accident resulted in serious bodily injury, the possible fine increases to $3,000, and possible jail time increases to five years.
  • If the accident resulted in death, the possible fine is $3,000 and you’ll be sentenced to between one and 15 years in prison. 
A $50 surcharge will also be added to any fines imposed by the court.
Staying put and staying calm is your best bet. Pull over safely and check yourself and anyone else in your car for injuries. If necessary, call 911 as soon as you can. 
Make sure you exchange information with other drivers involved. Aside from that, the best thing to do is to document the accident with photos or any other evidence—this can help the insurance companies determine levels of negligence and can help you file a claim for your damages.

Who determines fault in a car accident in Vermont?

Ultimately, fault—more accurately, the amount of negligence displayed by a given party in an accident—is determined by the insurance company. That’s why it’s so important to document the accident as thoroughly as possible and include as many details as possible in your insurance claim.
If you end up having to file a lawsuit to try to recover damages, which might be the case if the other party doesn’t have insurance, the court will determine fault. 

Do you need to report a car accident in Vermont?

It depends. Car accidents in Vermont must be reported to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles within 72 hours only if someone is injured or the accident resulted in property damage exceeding $3,000. 
Each driver involved in the accident must submit their own report. The required forms can be found on the
Vermont DMV website
.
If police are called to the scene, they’ll report the accident, but you should still request a copy of it for yourself. 

What if you’re at fault?

Because Vermont 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% negligent for the accident. If you don’t have insurance, the driver not at fault can file a lawsuit against you to recover these damages.

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

Vermont’s insurance laws include a certain amount of
uninsured motorist coverage
in their minimum insurance requirements. This coverage pays out if you’re in an accident caused by someone who doesn’t have insurance. The minimum requirements include $50,000 per person and $100,000 total per accident for injuries and $10,000 per accident for property damage.

Penalties for driving without insurance in Vermont

If you’re caught driving without proof of insurance (like a card issued by an insurance company) in Vermont, you could receive a fine of up to $100. If you’re found driving without any insurance at all, you could be fined up to $500 and get points on your license
Afterward, you’ll be required to file
“Financial Responsibility Insurance”
with the Vermont DMV for a minimum of three years. This type of coverage applies to a specific person, not a vehicle, and if it lapses, your license will be suspended until you file proof of insurance again. 
This type of insurance is filed in the form of an
SR-22 certificate
from an insurance company. It lets the state know that you have legally sufficient coverage. This coverage is considerably more expensive than regular insurance and deems you a high-risk driver, which will increase your future insurance costs. 
MORE: Does insurance cover a hit and run?

Minimum car insurance requirements in Vermont

To avoid these costly penalties, it’s best to carry at least
Vermont’s minimum required coverage
from the start:
  • $25,000 of
    bodily injury liability
    per person
  • $50,000 of total bodily injury liability per accident
  • $10,000 of
    property damage liability
    per accident
  • $50,000 of bodily injury uninsured motorist coverage per person
  • $100,000 of total bodily injury uninsured motorist coverage per accident
  • $10,000 of property damage coverage for uninsured motorists per accident
As the language implies, these are minimum requirements and won’t cover much in the event of a serious accident. You’re responsible for financial damages beyond these coverage amounts, and something like three days in the hospital can easily exceed them.
Also, minimum liability coverage only covers damages for other parties involved in an accident and uninsured motorist coverage only kicks in if the other party involved doesn’t have insurance. 
If that’s not the case, you’re on the hook for your own damages, which is why we recommend
collision coverage
, which covers your damages in an accident with another car or object, and
comprehensive coverage
, which covers your damages caused by something other than a collision, like severe weather. 

How to find cheap car insurance in Vermont

If you’ve read this far, live in Vermont, and don’t have car insurance, let
Jerry
take care of you in just a few minutes. Shopping with the Jerry app makes finding affordable car insurance fast and easy—signing up is free and takes just under a minute. 
As a
licensed broker
, Jerry compares plans from over 55 insurance companies nationwide to find you the very best price for exactly the coverage you need. Jerry can even help you cancel your existing plan and sign you up for a new one—all from the app. Drivers who shop with Jerry save an average of over $800 a year on car insurance.
“I just financed a new car and knew my insurance premium was going to rise.
Jerry
was well worth it to use. They helped me find a lower premium and canceled my old policy instantly when I was ready to switch!” —Meghana D.
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