What Happens to Uninsured Drivers in an Accident?

In 2022, 12.3% of South Carolina drivers did not have insurance, which means that more than one in 10 individuals driving vehicles do not carry appropriate insurance. You may wonder what happens to uninsured drivers in an accident and how you can get compensation if one of these drivers is responsible for an accident involving you. Our attorneys at the Jordan Law Center understand South Carolina insurance laws and how they impact your recovery.

What Are South Carolina’s Car Insurance Laws?

South Carolina is not a “no-fault” state when it comes to motor vehicle accidents. This means that the person who caused the accident is responsible for the damages incurred. Typically, the individual’s insurance covers these damages.

Therefore, the state requires every driver to carry liability coverage in the amount of

  • $50,000 per accident
  • $25,000 for property damage per accident
  • $25,000 per individual for bodily injury. This is the very minimum coverage.

What happens if the at-fault driver is not insured? South Carolina also requires uninsured motorist coverage in the same amounts:

  • $25,000 for property damage
  • $50,000 for bodily damage per accident
  • $25,000 for bodily damage per individual.

Therefore, if you get into an accident with someone who does not have insurance, your uninsured coverage should help you recover financially. However, underinsured coverage is not required by the state, so you may be responsible for the difference in the insurance limit and the financial costs of the accident.

Remember that these are minimum requirements, and they may not fully cover all the expenses you incur during an accident. You may purchase additional policies, including comprehensive, underinsured, collision, medical payments and gap coverage, or increase your uninsured and liability coverage limits. However, pay attention to your deductibles.

As you consider these SC insurance laws, you may still question what happens to uninsured drivers in an accident.

What Consequences Does South Carolina Have for Driving Without Insurance?

Driving without insurance has significant consequences in South Carolina. First, the insurance industry may see these individuals as high-risk, which may make it difficult to find insurance and could significantly increase their premiums when they do find it.

Fines and fees for driving without insurance

Individuals who cannot show proof of insurance immediately can have their insurance companies file a form (SR-22) within 20 days. However, if the individual has allowed their coverage to lapse or fall into a gap in their coverage, they will face fines and fees.

  • $5 per day uninsured up to a $200 maximum
  • $100 vehicle registration reinstatement fee
  • $100 driver’s license reinstatement fee

Additional fees may also apply.

First uninsured offense

In addition to what happens to uninsured drivers in an accident, if an individual gets pulled over and does not have insurance, they could face a $600 fine if they do not immediately get coverage. They could also face the following

  • A fine of up to $200 for not having insurance
  • 30 days in jail
  • License and registration suspension

Reinstating their license and registration could cost up to $400.

Future uninsured offense

The second time a driver gets caught uninsured, they will get charged with a misdemeanor. If convicted, these individuals will have a driving without insurance offense on their criminal records. In addition, they will face both the fine and the jail time outlined in the first offense.

If law enforcement catches the same individual driving without insurance three or more times, that individual will face jail time of up to six months and at least 45 days. They will also face the same fines and penalties.

Driving an uninsured vehicle

What happens to uninsured drivers who drive an uninsured vehicle they do not own? These individuals also face license suspension for 30 days. They will also pay a $100 license reinstatement fee.

Getting into an accident while uninsured

What happens to uninsured drivers in an accident? These individuals face all the fines, penalties and jail time as they would if they were caught driving without insurance. However, their vehicles will likely be impounded. Therefore, these drivers may need to pay impound fees and the cost of towing their vehicle to the impound lot.

In addition, if they are at fault for the accident, these individuals are responsible for the property damage and injuries the accident caused, including lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering and punitive damages.

What Damages Will an Uninsured Policy Cover in South Carolina?

As you consider what happens to uninsured drivers in an accident, you may also question whether your uninsured policy will cover it. You should receive compensation for the following:

  • Medical bills and future treatment costs
  • Lost wages and earning capacity
  • Mental anguish
  • Pain and suffering
  • Property damage

The goal is to get you back to your financial position and enjoyment of life prior to your accident.

Uninsured motorist policies cover these individuals:

  • The person who purchased the policy
  • Anyone related to them who lives in their household.
  • Other drivers listed on the policy
  • Individuals the policy owner permits to drive their vehicle

You can limit your financial compensation from the insurance company based on your policy limits. Fortunately, South Carolina law allows you to stack your policies. This means that you can take advantage of the payouts on every vehicle you own. For example, if you have $25,000 coverage on three cars, even if only one is in an accident, you can receive up to $75,000 in payouts, $25,000 for each vehicle. However, the policy limits on the vehicle in the accident apply to all stacked policies. Therefore, if your limit is $25,000 for the damaged vehicle and you have another vehicle with a $50,000 limit, you can only receive $25,000 from the policy for your undamaged vehicle with the higher limit.

How Can an Uninsured Motorist Accident Attorney Help?

Now that you know what happens to uninsured drivers in an accident, you may have concerns about how to recover after an incident with someone who does not have insurance. An uninsured motorist accident attorney at Jordan Law Center can provide a free case review and help you determine your next steps so you can pursue the compensation you need from both the insurance company and the at-fault driver.

Reasons to Work With
Jordan Law Center

  • Free Case Icon
    Free Case Consultations
  • Millions of Dollars IconMillions of Dollars Recovered for Clients
  • Indisputable Record Icon
    Indisputable Record of Verdicts
  • Aggressive Icon
    Aggressive Yet Compassionate Advocacy
  • Personal Icon
    Personal, Small Firm Attention for Your Case

Testomonials From Our Clients

“There is not enough GREAT THINGS I could say about Jordan Law Center.”


“Would recommend to anyone!”

-Anthony C.

“Highly recommended!”

-Brad L.

“I would definitely use Jordan Law for any future legal assistance.”

-Brian S.

“Trust me, you will not go wrong letting Jordan Law Center handle your legal needs.”

-Catherine W.

“Jordan Law has been working with my family and I for over a year due to a car wreck. They have been very helpful and informative throughout the whole process. They have kept us up-to-date in a timely matter and have always remained professional and kind!”

-Corenthia F.

“A big kudos to one of the best law firms in Greenville, SC.”

-Helene Gillery Skoniecki

“He worked extremely hard for my family.”


“He helped us on our case and was very professional.”




“If I could give this company 10 stars I would in a heart beat!! Melissa and William were the nicest people for me and my family. I handed them a very difficult accident case and after 4 long months of arguing with insurance companies I was given more money.”

-Madison L.

“They went above and beyond”

-Michaela S.

“I highly recommend this law firm to anyone seeking a personal injury attorney to handle their case.”

-Michelle E.

“Will and the team handled our case in the most utmost professional and yet sensitive manner. They had a sense of urgency for us , yet never rushed anything. They provided us with step by step details and updates of our case, coordinated all info in a very timely manner and negotiated on or behalf for a end result we were very satisfied with. We would highly recommend Will Jordan and his firm.”

-Paul G.

“Greatest injury lawyer in Greenville SC.”

-Sony A.

Get the Help You Need Now

All Consultations are Free. Contact our Firm Today!

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.