My car insurance lapsed and I had an accident. What do I do now?

My car insurance lapsed and I had an accident. What do I do now?

If your car insurance has lapsed and you had an accident, what do you do now? To avoid the risk of fines, penalties, and even jail, you should immediately schedule a free consultation with our Lake Charles car accident lawyers. The Johnson Firm will assess your case and explain your options to get financial relief for your medical bills and reduce the negative impact of letting your insurance lapse.

my car insurance lapsed and I had an accident

How does my car insurance lapse?

The most common cause of a lack of coverage is when you forget or don’t have the funds to pay your monthly premium. However, just because your insurance lapsed doesn’t mean you’re a bad person.

Another way that a lapse can occur is when you buy a new car and there is a gap in coverage from your old vehicle. You may also not have known that it was time for your policy to renew or that your insurer canceled your coverage without warning.

Why does it matter if my insurance lapses?

Louisiana is a “fault” state, which means that anyone who causes a car accident must pay for the injuries and damages to those they harmed. That’s why it’s required that every driver carry a minimum amount of liability insurance so they can pay at least some of the bills a victim incurs.

Those minimums are:

  • $15,000 bodily injury insurance for an individual
  • $30,000 bodily injury insurance for two or more people in a single event
  • $25,000 coverage for any vehicle or personal property damage

Isn’t there a grace period for paying my car insurance?

Many insurance companies allow a few day’s grace to receive your payment. Some companies only allow as little as one day to miss a payment. If you don’t know what your grace period is, your policy should list it somewhere among the pages of fine print.

Calling them to verify your grace period doesn’t always work because the insurance company has very little interest in being on your side. This can extend to when it’s time for them to pay a valid claim. If you did send your premium, but the insurance provider claims your coverage lapsed for non-payment, you often have to fight to show you paid so you can avoid the penalties. This is when a car accident attorney can benefit your case.

What happens when I’m in a car accident when I’m not at fault, but I have an insurance lapse?

First of all, if you’re in an accident with expired insurance, you’ll likely face several penalties, such as fines ranging between $500 and $1000, license suspension, and fees for impounding your vehicle. You’ll also need to pay to have your license reinstated.

When it comes to filing for insurance if the other driver is at fault, the “No Pay, No Play” law means you cannot receive the first $15,000 for medical bills and $25,000 for property damage from your claim. So, if your damages are less than those amounts, you will not get a settlement.

If your expenses are greater than the policy limits, you will probably need to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover any damages that exceed those minimum amounts. As you can see, insurance and the laws governing it are very complicated, and you should contact an experienced car accident attorney in Lake Charles, LA, to understand how to proceed.  There are exceptions to these rules, and the lawyers at The Johnson Firm can help you determine whether an exception applies.

Get help handling a car accident with expired insurance today

Don’t risk losing your license or suffering other burdens just because you got into a crash and didn’t know your insurance coverage had lapsed. Contact our Lake Charles car accident lawyers and schedule a free initial case review to discuss your options.

Call The Johnson Firm at (337) 433-1414 or use our online form to set up a meeting today.

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Every person deserves and experienced and compassionate lawyer to represent them in their personal injury claim. Choose a lawyer who isn’t afraid to take those to trial who try to deny or minimize your claim.

Our attorneys will thoroughly examine every detail of your case and fight to make sure your injuries are justly compensated. We have a passion for the truth and will challenge anyone who attempts to obscure it.