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

In Kansas, driving without car insurance is illegal—and expensive. Here’s what to know—and how to find affordable car insurance in your state.
Written by Kathryn Kurlychek
Reviewed by Claire Beaney
If you’re in an accident without proper car insurance in Kansas, You’ll likely have trouble recovering economic damages from the accident—and you won’t be able to pursue recourse for non-economic damages, either. On top of that, you’ll face harsh legal penalties for driving without insurance. 
Car accidents are an unpredictable—yet somewhat inevitable—part of driving. That’s why car insurance is legally required in every state to help protect yourself and other drivers in the event of a collision. But what happens if you’re in an accident while driving uninsured? 
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in their state. But if you don’t have insurance and you’re in an accident, don’t panic—we’ll walk you through what to do, give you the lowdown on the legal repercussions
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What to do if you’re in a car accident without insurance in Kansas and not at fault

In Kansas, it’s illegal to drive without auto insurance—and if you find yourself without insurance and in an accident, you could face legal repercussions along with financial ones, no matter who’s at fault. 
While you may be tempted to leave the scene of an accident to avoid being caught driving without insurance, it’s imperative to stay put. So take a deep, calming breath, and follow these next steps. 
First, stay at the scene of the accident and offer assistance as you’re able to any other drivers or passengers involved in the crash. 
Kansas law makes it clear that drivers have a legal responsibility to offer aid to others who were injured or suffered property damage following a car accident—so if you leave, you could be subject to additional and extensive fines, not to mention possible prison time. So instead of driving off, pull over as soon as it is safe to do so and check on yourself, your passengers, and other drivers involved in the crash. 
Call 911 if necessary, and be ready to share personal information, including your name, driver’s license number, and other pertinent info. It’s also a good idea to document the accident with photos or any other evidence you can collect—this can help show later on that you weren’t at fault. 
If you weren’t at fault, and the other driver has insurance, you may be able to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company for help covering vehicle repairs or medical expenses that resulted from the accident—even if you don’t have your own insurance policy.
The catch? You’ll still have to pay a certain amount of money out-of-pocket before you can seek recourse from the at-fault driver—and you won’t qualify for any compensation for noneconomic damages like pain or emotional distress. This is called a “No Pay, No Play” rule. On top of that, you’ll still face penalties for driving without insurance, even if the accident wasn’t your fault. 

Who decides fault in a car accident in Kansas?

Kansas is a no-fault state, which means that each driver involved in an accident is responsible for pursuing damages such as vehicle repair costs, medical expenses, and lost wages via their own auto insurance policy, regardless of who caused the crash. 
However, in some cases, percentages of fault may be assigned to individual drivers based on the state’s modified comparative negligence law (more on that below). In that case, if you’re found to be 50% or less at fault in an accident, you have the right to pursue damages from the other driver’s insurance company. Photographs and other documentation of the accident can go a long way in proving you were not at fault. 

Do you need to report a car accident in Kansas? 

Sometimes. Not every accident needs to be reported to law enforcement—but if personal injury, death, or property damage exceeding $1,000 has occurred as the result of the accident, then you’re required to report the accident to local authorities immediately
per Kansas’ car accident laws

What if you’re at fault?

Because Kansas is a
modified comparative negligence state
, you’ll be financially responsible for your portion of the other driver’s damages if you are deemed over fifty percent (50%) negligent for the accident. If you don’t have insurance, the not-at-fault driver can file a lawsuit against you to recover these damages. You’ll also be responsible for paying your own damages out-of-pocket. 

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

According to the
Kansas Health Institute
, 9.2% of Kansas drivers are uninsured as of 2021. That’s roughly a 1 in 10 chance of experiencing an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. So if you have car insurance, but you’re in an accident with someone who doesn’t, you have a few options. 
One way to protect yourself is by adding
uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
to your policy. These coverages—commonly called UMC or UIC—help pay for your medical expenses if you are hit by an uninsured driver, or by someone who doesn’t carry enough
bodily injury liability
to cover your medical costs. 
Another optional coverage is
medical payments (MedPay)
coverage, which allows your hospital bills to be paid through your own insurance policy, up to the policy limits. If you already have
collision coverage
, you’ll also have the chance to file a claim with your own insurance company to recover the costs of vehicle repairs. 
Otherwise, you may not be able to claim damages from an uninsured driver—unless you can file a personal injury lawsuit. 
In certain cases, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to collect two distinct kinds of damages:
  • Economic damages: Monetary costs of vehicle repairs, property damage, medical bills, lost wages, etc. that resulted from the accident.
  • Noneconomic damages: Non-monetary expenses that diminish your quality of life, such as extended pain, physical or mental suffering, disability, or other inconveniences that resulted from the accident. 
In Kansas, there’s a maximum limit of financial compensation you’re allowed to collect on non-economic damages: up to $350,000 max for injuries that occurred on or after July 1, 2022
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Penalties for driving without insurance in Kansas

Even if you weren’t at fault in an accident, you’ll likely still be cited for driving without insurance—the penalties for which are steep. 
In Kansas, driving without insurance is a Class B misdemeanor that can result in fines between $300 and $1,000 for first-time offenders, and $800 to $2,500 for subsequent offenses. 
On top of extensive fines, you’ll also face the possibility of prison time:
  • For first-time offenses, you could be sentenced to up to 6 months in jail
  • For subsequent offenses, you could be sentenced to up to 2 years in jail
Your license may also be suspended until you can provide valid proof of in-state car insurance. For subsequent offenders, your license may be revoked entirely, without the option to reinstate it, for up to three years. 
Reinstating a revoked or suspended license comes with a non-negotiable $100 fee, plus additional financial penalties such as an SR-22. In Kansas, an SR-22 form is a specific type of proof of financial responsibility that lets insurance companies and law enforcement know you’ve been convicted of major traffic violations in the past. Carrying an SR-22 can increase your insurance premiums as well as the charges you face for subsequent violations. 
Unfortunately, there’s no way around these penalties—even if you purchase insurance following an accident, you can’t have it apply retroactively. The only way to avoid these penalties is by already having insurance. 
If you did have insurance at the time of the accident but simply lacked the
proof of insurance
with you, there’s a chance you can have these penalties repealed for a much smaller fee. But first, you’ll have to make your case in court—and prove to the judge that you were insured at the time of the collision. 

Minimum required car insurance in Kansas

So how much insurance do you legally need to carry in Kansas in order to avoid the above penalties? Here are the minimum amount of coverages you’ll have to purchase per Kansas state law:
Once you’ve purchased the above amounts, you’re ready to legally take to the roads. But drivers be warned: the state’s minimum liability coverages rarely cover the full costs associated with actual accident expenses. That’s why most experts recommend purchasing higher limits for each of the above coverages, alongside additional coverages to help protect yourself, your passengers, your vehicle—and your wallet—in the event of a crash. 
MORE: Is it legal to show proof of car insurance on your phone?

Driving without insurance can increase premiums

If lost money and legal penalties aren’t enough, there’s still another incentive to carrying car insurance:
if you’re caught driving without it
, you’ll actually have to pay more to have your vehicle insured after the fact. 
Traffic violations and car accidents can raise your insurance rates—and if you’re caught in traffic trouble without insurance and forced to carry an SR-22, your premium will skyrocket. 

How to find cheap car insurance in Kansas

We get it—buying car insurance can get costly, especially if you’re looking to purchase more than just your state’s minimum liability coverage. But the price of driving without it is far more expensive. If the cost of car insurance has been holding you back,
may be able to help you find a lower rate.
Download the Jerry app and answer a few key questions about you and your vehicle. With the information you provide, Jerry can analyze your driver’s profile—then find rates that fit your needs. If you find a policy you like, Jerry’s team of insurance agents can help you sign up or switch providers, secure your new policy, and even finalize the paperwork. 
And did we mention the savings? Drivers who use Jerry to shop for car insurance save an average of $800+ a year on
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