Security Suspension, Judgement Suspension & License Suspension 2020
Due to the COVID-19, many of us are stuck at home with no plans of driving for a while. Trying to manage finances and see what bills and payments can be cut is a priority in these crazy times. Without the need to leave the house, auto insurance may not be a high priority for you and you may even let it lapse with the plan to re-up your auto insurance as soon as you believe you’ll be back to driving again. While this may seem like a smart move now, it may actually hurt you more than it may help you.
While you try your best to plan for everything, emergencies still happen. Someone in your household might get injured or your food rations may not last as long as you think they would. In these situations, you might believe, “a quick drive without insurance would not be the end of the world. What are the odds something happens?” This is a dangerous thought. No one can foresee a crash or traffic ticket.
If you are stopped by the police and do not provide proof of insurance, your license will be temporarily suspended until you can pay a reinstatement fee of $100.00. For each time this happens, the license reinstatement fee increases and the suspension lasts longer. Additionally, if you are found driving under such a suspension, your vehicle can be immobilized and your license plates confiscated for a period of time.
If you are involved in a car crash without auto insurance, things become even worse. If you caused the crash, then you are personally responsible for the property damage and medical bills for injuries from the crash. Additionally, you may receive a security suspension or a judgment suspension. A security suspension is when your license is suspended because of a claim made through the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). This kind of suspension can last up to two years and you must submit to the BMV both: (1) a payment agreement signed by all parties; and (2) either a deposit for the damages or a petition for discharge in bankruptcy. A judgment suspension is when your license is suspended because of a judgment from a lawsuit against. This kind of suspension lasts until the BMV receives either: (1) a payment agreement or release from the other party; (2) a journal entry from court; or (3) a petition or discharge in bankruptcy.
If you did not cause the car crash, fortunately you can still make a claim against the at-fault party. However, if they also decided to let their auto insurance lapse, then you will have to go after the at-fault party personally. When the at-fault party is uninsured, you may face difficulties collecting what you are owed. You may be prevented from collecting much if the at-fault party files bankruptcy. If they do not file bankruptcy, you may have to wait to be paid little by little (for instance through garnished wages), because an individual is extremely unlikely to have enough money on hand to pay for damages, unlike an insurance company.
The chance of having your license suspended and paying fees, not to mention potentially having to pay for your or another’s damages, is not worth letting your auto insurance policy lapse. However, whether you are covered by insurance at the time of a crash or not, if you are an injured victim of a car crash, call TDP Law Firm so we can help you determine if your damages are covered and, if so, we can help you get the compensation you deserve.