Believe it or not, there are consequences for driving without insurance even if you are not the one responsible for the accident. Even if you are not in an accident and are pulled over, the consequences of driving without insurance in the state of California are tremendous.

The Basics

If you are in an accident and you are not the driver who is at fault, there are certain restrictions on what you can recover against the at-fault driver. Since California is a “No Pay, No Play” state, that means that you will be limited to the amount of compensation you can receive. You will still receive compensation for damages to your property as well as any medical bills you have accrued. Unfortunately, you will not receive compensation for pain or suffering. The reason behind why this rule was put into place is because if you do not have the required insurance coverage to provide full compensation to another, then you should not be able to claim full benefits from someone else’s insurance company; if you are the victim.

If you are found to be at-fault in the accident, the passengers of the car you hit may have access to receive compensation by going after any number of your assets. These assets include your savings, a portion of any earnings from future paychecks, even your home.

Even if you are in an accident and you are driving without insurance, the at-fault driver will be responsible for paying for any damages; this includes property damage as well as repairing the damage to your vehicle.

Example Scenario – if a drunk driver comes up behind you and crashes into you and because of the impact, you are paralyzed, you will not be paid for your pain and suffering that you endured because of the incident. You may even have to pay your own medical bills until the case is resolved, even if the accident isn’t your fault.


Most states will “punish” you will fines that range from hundreds to thousands of dollars if you are driving without insurance.

  • If you are pulled over by a police officer, you could not only get a ticket, but you may have your license suspended or revoked and your vehicle’s registration may be suspended as well.
  • After the police file their report with the DMV, the DMV in California has implemented strict laws in which it automatically will suspend your license for a minimum of 6 months – even when you are not the driver who caused the accident.
  • You may have to pay your own medical expenses while you are waiting for your case to settle. This is because you do not have uninsured motorist coverage or MedPay to help even out the costs of an accident.
  • Driving without insurance can damage more than just your driver record
    • It will be more difficult for you to obtain car insurance after you have been in an accident where you are not covered. Insurance companies may refuse to cover you or they may increase their rates – not only because of the accident, but because they do not like seeing that you are uninsured on the road. It makes you a liability.

It is always better to be safe than sorry. Always make sure that you have car insurance coverall and that you have a copy of your insurance card with you when you are on the road.

If you have been in an accident and have been injured due to the negligence of another, please contact Silverthorne Attorneys today. We are more than happy to help you with your case so you can concentrate on healing. Consultations are free.