Driving on Ontario roads without proper auto insurance coverage can be a costly mistake that may result in severe legal and financial ramifications.
If you find yourself in a car accident without insurance, you may be personally liable for any damages or injuries inflicted on other parties involved in the collision.
So let’s investigate together what happens if you have no insurance and get into an accident.
Accident Without Insurance Ontario: Keypoint
Ontario law (Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act (CAIA)) requires drivers to have vehicle insurance coverage.
Driving without insurance in Ontario and getting into an accident can lead to a worst-case scenario. In such a situation, you may face personal liability for all the repairs to your vehicle and any medical bills arising from the accident. And this is the most critical for this charge!
Suppose you cause an accident with no insurance and are found to be at fault. In that case, you can be held personally responsible for any damages or injuries caused to other parties involved in the collision. This can include property damage, medical expenses, and related costs, quickly adding up to thousands of dollars or more.
If you cannot pay for these costs out of pocket, you may be sued, and your wages or assets may be garnished to cover the damages.
Penalties for Driving Without Insurance in Ontario
If you get into an accident while driving without insurance in Ontario, in addition to the above-mentioned liabilities, you can face significant penalties, including:
- Fines: The minimum fine for driving without insurance in Ontario is $5,000 for a first offence, which can go up to $50,000 for subsequent offences.
- Additional costs: fines for driving without insurance in Ontario are subject to a court-imposed victim surcharge fee. This fee is typically set at 25% of the fine (if it is over $1,000) + $5 court cost.
- Suspension of driver’s licence and vehicle registration: Your driver’s licence and vehicle registration can be suspended for up to one year.
- Vehicle impoundment: Under the Highway Traffic Act, if you have a car accident and have no insurance, the police can impound your vehicle for up to three months, and you will be responsible for the cost of the impoundment. In addition to the impoundment fees, you will also be responsible for any towing and storage costs incurred during the impoundment period. Moreover, you may face additional fees and penalties for retrieving your vehicle from the impound lot.
- Increased insurance premiums: Insurance companies consider drivers involved in no insurance accidents high-risk. As a result, they may be subject to higher premiums or even denied coverage altogether. That’s why you may have trouble finding affordable insurance coverage in the future, which can affect your ability to drive legally.
What To Do if You Get Into an Accident Without Insurance in Ontario
If you have been involved in an accident without insurance in Ontario, addressing the situation as soon as possible is essential. Here are some options to consider:
- Stop driving: Continuing to drive without insurance can lead to further legal and financial trouble. It is crucial to immediately cease driving until you are properly insured.
- Get insured: While getting insurance after an accident will not retroactively cover damages incurred during the accident, it will protect you from future incidents. Getting insured immediately is essential to avoid legal or financial trouble.
- Seek legal representation: If you are involved in an accident without insurance in Ontario, seeking legal advice and support is important as soon as possible. An experienced lawyer can help you understand your options and guide you through the legal process.
- Negotiate with the other party: If you are at fault for the accident and cannot afford to pay for the damages or injuries, you may be able to negotiate a settlement with the other party. This can involve setting up a payment plan or finding another way to compensate them for their losses.
- Explore government programs: Some government programs in Ontario can help you pay for damages or injuries caused by an accident, such as the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund. These programs are typically intended for people who are uninsured or underinsured.
Keep in mind that every case is unique and that seeking the advice of a qualified legal professional is always recommended. Do not hesitate to contact X-COPS for a free initial consultation!