As a no-fault state, Pennsylvania requires all drivers to carry first-party medical benefits as well as third-party liability insurance. It is against the law to drive without the minimum required insurance – regardless of the circumstances. The penalties can be quite serious if you are caught driving without insurance in PA, especially if you are involved in an accident.
Insurance Requirements for Drivers in Pennsylvania
The required insurance coverage under the law is:
- $5,000 for first-party medical benefits
- $15,000 for third-party bodily injury or death (per person)
- $30,000 for third-party bodily injury or death (per accident)
- $5,000 for third-party property damage (per accident)
Need for No-Fault Medical Benefits and Liability Insurance
The no-fault insurance system is designed to make sure you are compensated for your injuries in the event of an accident – regardless of who caused the accident. Similarly, if you cause an accident, your insurance provider will compensate the victim for their injuries and property damage.
The biggest benefit of the no-fault system is that it ensures that everyone is compensated for at least a portion of the losses they suffer in an accident – without having to jump through hoops. It not only reduces the financial burden caused by an accident, but also prevents the state’s civil justice system from getting clogged up with too many claims involving minor injuries.
Penalties for Driving without Insurance in Pennsylvania
The civil penalties for driving without insurance in Pennsylvania include:
- A minimum of $300 in fines
- Suspension of vehicle registration for a period of three months
- Suspension of driver’s license for a period of three months
In addition to this, your vehicle might also be impounded in some cases.
Once the suspension period is over, you need to pay $98 to restore your vehicle’s registration and $76 to reinstate your driver’s license.
It should be noted that you can avoid your vehicle’s registration from getting suspended by paying a civil penalty of $500 and a restoration fee of $98.
These penalties are only applicable for your first offense. For your subsequent offenses, the penalties might increase significantly. Particularly, if you violate other laws in addition to driving without insurance (speeding, reckless driving, or driving under the influence), you could face serious penalties.
What Happens if you Cause an Accident While Driving without Insurance?
If you cause an accident and injure someone while driving without insurance, you can be held personally liable for the injuries and property damage you caused. In the absence of third-party liability insurance, you might have no option but to compensate the victim out of your own pocket.
Depending on the extent of injuries and property damage you caused, you might have to pay tens of thousands of dollars or even more. In case you are unable to do so, your assets can be liquidated to compensate the victim.
Caught Driving without Insurance? Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Basil D. Beck III Can Help You
If you are caught driving without insurance, it is important to get legal representation as soon as you can. Otherwise, you might not only have to pay a significant sum in penalties and restoration fees, but also lose your driving privileges for months.
Basil D. Beck III is a highly-rated criminal defense attorney with over 30 years of experience in handling a wide range of cases – from traffic violations to felony offenses. He can assess your situation, provide you with the right legal advice, and take steps to help you avoid a suspension.
To find out more about your legal options, call our firm today at 610-239-8870, or get in touch with us by filling out this online contact form and schedule a free consultation with accomplished Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney Basil D. Beck III.