Its not right and its not OK. But if you failed to maintain basic, minimum liability insurance and caused a car accident with damage to property and persons, you may be facing a license suspension. Insurance is a necessary part of our society. It protects people from unnecessary harm. It is estimated that the average victim of an accident where the liable party did not have insurance to cover the damages incurred cost the victim an additional $20,000 in expenses over a lifetime of recovery due to someone else’s negligence in not only the operation of their vehicle but in their inability to follow the laws regarding insurance. This is the exact reason that state laws mandate that anyone who operates a motor vehicle have insurance sufficient for whenever they drive.
So what happens if you do allow your insurance coverage to lapse and you rear end a person. You say that you cannot afford to pay for insurance, but must get to work to pay your bills. What if you hit a single mother with three children and total vehicle out; her only way to get to work for her family. I can tell you that the State of Texas will have no sympathy for you. You must answer for your mistakes and the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will not let you forget about what happened. When DPS receives notice that you caused an accident with more than $1,000.00 dollars in property damage, personal injury, or death, you will be subject to a suspension of your driving privileges.
If you are eligible for a hearing, you will receive a notice of the pending suspension in the mail at the last address that DPS has on file for you. You must make a written request for a hearing within 20 days of the date of the notice. Failure to timely and properly make the hearing request forever waives your right to a hearing and DPS will proceed with your suspension as a default. If you do successfully request a hearing, DPS will petition an administrative court to suspend your license for failing to maintain insurance for the accident in question. You will have the opportunity to contest the suspension and offer evidence to either controvert the allegations in the petition or mitigate your suspension based on the individual facts of your case.
If your license is suspended it will remain suspended until the one of the following is done:
- Evidence of liability insurance at the time of the crash,
- A Notarized Release (SR-11) from liability of judgment,
- A properly executed Installment Agreement (SR-19) (if DPS receives notice that an individual has defaulted on the installment agreement then the driver license is subject to suspension), or
- Deposit of a cashier’s check or money order, and submission a Financial Responsibility Insurance Certificate (SR-22) and an SR-22a as proof of liability insurance,
- The insurance policy must be pre-paid for at least six-months.
- The SR-22 and SR-22a are available at any insurance company authorized by the Texas Department of Insurance
Of course, a reinstatement fee will be required before any license is renewed to its original status.
If a civil suit or unpaid judgment has not been issued after 2 years from the date of the crash, a person may applying for reinstatement by filing a SR-60 Affidavit of No Suit Filed Within Two Years and paying the required reinstatement fee.
Its not easy to discuss at time and can be embarrassing if you are in this situation. You may need an occupational license because you cannot afford to pay for the damages that you caused. We can help. Call our office to reserve your complimentary case evaluation.