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I caused an auto accident....no insurance...

Reverend_ChaosReverend_Chaos Registered User regular
edited April 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
I didn't notice the light changed as I approached the intersection, I was in the intersection before I realized what was going on - and I struck a lady turning into my lane. Now, I don't have any insurance, but according to the accident report she does. She went to the hospital in an ambulance. Everyone in my car was unharmed.

I have made a few calls and because insurance companies were getting burned by this scenario - there is no way to get insurance today that would cover the accident (I can't blame them) but that I could get insurance effective today that would take care of the no insurance portion of the ticket which is $500 which seems worth it.

I am assuming that the lady I hit, or more likely her insurance company is going to sue me. I understand that I am completely at fault, and I should have renewed my insurance, and to be honest, I feel pretty crappy about the whole thing, but especially about not having insurance to pay for her car which is more than likely totalled and the medical bills that I am sure that she is incurring right now. I am not in a position to pay these out of pocket, even though I would like to.

Any advice?

Reverend_Chaos on
“Think of me like Yoda, but instead of being little and green I wear suits and I'm awesome. I'm your bro—I'm Broda!”
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  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User
    edited March 2010
    Get a lawyer.

  • GungHoGungHo Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Laywer up. Start making copies of your bank statements. Be prepared to demonstrate why you couldn't renew your insurance. Be prepared to try to settle with this lady's insurance for every bit of money you can actually pay.

    "Adios, mofo" -- TX Gov Rick Perry (R)
  • witch_iewitch_ie Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I don't know that the insurance company is going to sue you. My understanding of how this happens is based on my being in the lady's position last year (the guy that hit me actually falsified his insurance coverage to the police after trying to lie about the accident itself) is that they are going to try to collect their damages from you.

    In my situation, after my insurance company had determined that my uninsured motorist (aka hit and run) coverage applied, they paid me everything including a settlement for my pain and suffering since I was hurt. Last I spoke to them (roughly 5 months after the accident), they were still trying to find the guy at fault in the accident since he'd also given a fake address. In your situation, I think they're just going to ask you to pay for the damages they've covered. Best case scenario, they will contact you and can set up a payment plan with them. They want to get their money back, so will probably be willing to work with you.

    This woman you hit could also sue you on top of this. It depends on what she wants to do - I just don't think the company will unless you refuse payment.

  • MachismoMachismo Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    You are right to feel terrible for what you did. I hope you end up dealing with this for years, honestly. I hope that it will be a painful lesson so that you will never even consider exempting yourself from the requirement of having insurance to use the privilege of driving.

    I do hope things work out for you and the woman, however.

    steam_sig.png
  • A Dabble Of TheloniusA Dabble Of Thelonius Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Yeah. You'll probably end up with a payment plan for damages. A lawsuit isn't a sure thing.

    TuckSig.jpg
    Steam - Talon Valdez : Xbox Live & LoL - Talonious Monk
    chrishallett83
  • EliteLamerEliteLamer __BANNED USERS
    edited March 2010
    I do not wish anything bad upon you like the above poster; however, you're fucked, son..

    One of my friends back in high school had the same thing happen and he got sued for 25k. Still owes money years and years later.

    SEGA
    p561852.jpg
  • EliteLamerEliteLamer __BANNED USERS
    edited March 2010
    Yeah even if you don't sue like A Dabble says you will get a payment plan and cars cost a fuck ton to repair.

    SEGA
    p561852.jpg
  • kaliyamakaliyama Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    get a lawyer and a firm grip on your ankles. even if you're "judgment proof" i'd expect, after a lawsuit, wage garnishment and collections actions against you going forward.

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    chrishallett83
  • A Dabble Of TheloniusA Dabble Of Thelonius Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    And legal fees!

    TuckSig.jpg
    Steam - Talon Valdez : Xbox Live & LoL - Talonious Monk
  • John MatrixJohn Matrix Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I could scold you like the above poster, but you're about to discover just how bad the situation is rather quickly.

  • DoctorArchDoctorArch Curmudgeon Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Good luck, as you are possibly fucked beyond fucked.

    Get a lawyer, get your bank/employment statements in line, and maybe look into being a paid spokesman for an insurance company as to the "Why I should always have auto insurance" claim.

    Another thought: If there are any traffic cameras, try to get the photos. I am not a lawyer (yet) but I reckon you want to find as many extenuating circumstances as possible to make it appear more of an accident than negligence, as I reason that this could help you in a possible civil suit.

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  • A BearA Bear Registered User
    edited March 2010
    Talk to a lawyer, because you are sure going to want someone with professional experience on your side here to make sure this is settled fairly.

    Get your financial affairs in order. If you have any debts you would like to pay off before this falls down on you, I'd get to paying them now.

    If you are willing to work with this individual and her insurance, this whole thing might go along smoothly. Just don't try to run or hide, and own up to what has happened and try to move foreword.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Jason00Jason00 Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    This happened to my wife when she was a freshman in college, roughly 19 years ago. She (or, more accurately, her parents) still pay the other driver's insurance company $25 a month and I'm pretty sure they'll be doing that for the foreseeable future.

    The good news is that the insurance company will probably work with you on some sort of payment plan. The bad news is that I can pretty much promise you that you will be paying them something.

  • CorvusCorvus Caw? VancouverRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Get a bike and a bus schedule.

  • WileyWiley Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Just out of curiosity, if they sue and win damages can they be discharged in a bankruptcy? I know almost all debts can be so long as there is no fraud involved.

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  • saltinesssaltiness Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I agree with A Bear's advice about paying off debts. When you get fucked over by the insurance company it will be better to have only one entity trying to get money out of you rather than several.

    edit: Also, I don't know if I'd bother trying to get an insurance plan to get out of the the $500 fix-it ticket. Depending on your financial situation you may not be using a car in the near future and your premiums will be insane anyway.

    And Machismo has some harsh words but as a cyclist I'm extremely fearful of being hit by an uninsured driver.

    XBL: heavenkils
  • FloowidFloowid Registered User
    edited March 2010
    While I am not excusing what you did, I do feel for you. Some lessons are painful, this one's gonna hurt. In the interest of protecting yourself, I will second (third, fourth, whatever) the suggestion that you get your own lawyer. The retainer fee may seem like a painful upfront cost, but having legal representation on your side is worth every penny.

    Spoiler:
  • DeadfallDeadfall Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Bankruptcy would be a terrible solution to this.

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    xbl - HowYouGetAnts
  • dwwatermelondwwatermelon Registered User
    edited March 2010
    In the US, court judgements generally are not satisfied by bankruptcy. So if they sue you and you lose, you get to pay what the court tells you to no matter what.

    Edit: IANAL, just based off several bankruptcy proceedings in my immediate family. Take it for what it's worth.

  • WileyWiley Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I wasn't really suggesting bankruptcy, just wondering if it were even a viable option in this situation. Regardless, the OP should contact a lawyer who will be much better than me at recommending what course of action to take.

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  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal Flo-ridaRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Ambulance trip probably increases the chances you're going to see a lawsuit out of this. It's not necessarily going to happen, but these days... yeah.

    How much a lawyer is going to help you depends on your statement to the police. If you admitted fault, then you are pretty much done.

  • PerpetualPerpetual Registered User
    edited March 2010
    Machismo wrote: »
    You are right to feel terrible for what you did. I hope you end up dealing with this for years, honestly. I hope that it will be a painful lesson so that you will never even consider exempting yourself from the requirement of having insurance to use the privilege of driving.

    I do hope things work out for you and the woman, however.

    Sorry, but is this really necessary? Not only did you basically say "I hope you get fucked for years" but also didn't offer any useful advice.

    OP, what state do you live in?

  • GothicLargoGothicLargo Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Any advice?

    Get a bike. You're going to have your license revoked if this makes it to the authorities.

    Everyone else: Learn from Reverend Chaos's mistakes. Driving (or flying anything other then a rookie ship) without insurance isn't just a bad idea, it's also illegal. In some states it's an automatic admission of fault.

    atfc.jpg
    chrishallett83
  • AvicusAvicus Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Any advice?

    Get a bike. You're going to have your license revoked if this makes it to the authorities.

    Everyone else: Learn from Reverend Chaos's mistakes. Driving (or flying anything other then a rookie ship) without insurance isn't just a bad idea, it's also illegal. In some states it's an automatic admission of fault.

    Why would his license be revoked? Wouldn't it be recorded as a regular traffic infringement causing an accident and he would lose points? Its seems pretty silly if they have special conditions like if you are uninsured and you cause an accident that harms someone you lose your license as opposed to being insured.

    stephen_coop.gifkim_coop.gifscott_guitar.gif
  • RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Avicus wrote: »
    Any advice?

    Get a bike. You're going to have your license revoked if this makes it to the authorities.

    Everyone else: Learn from Reverend Chaos's mistakes. Driving (or flying anything other then a rookie ship) without insurance isn't just a bad idea, it's also illegal. In some states it's an automatic admission of fault.

    Why would his license be revoked? Wouldn't it be recorded as a regular traffic infringement causing an accident and he would lose points? Its seems pretty silly if they have special conditions like if you are uninsured and you cause an accident that harms someone you lose your license as opposed to being insured.

    Because you're not supposed to be driving without insurance, and if the police find out you are driving without insurance your license gets suspended until you prove that you do have insurance (I'm guessing here, but it makes sense).

    chrishallett83
  • GdiguyGdiguy San Diego, CARegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    RUNN1NGMAN wrote: »
    Avicus wrote: »
    Any advice?

    Get a bike. You're going to have your license revoked if this makes it to the authorities.

    Everyone else: Learn from Reverend Chaos's mistakes. Driving (or flying anything other then a rookie ship) without insurance isn't just a bad idea, it's also illegal. In some states it's an automatic admission of fault.

    Why would his license be revoked? Wouldn't it be recorded as a regular traffic infringement causing an accident and he would lose points? Its seems pretty silly if they have special conditions like if you are uninsured and you cause an accident that harms someone you lose your license as opposed to being insured.

    Because you're not supposed to be driving without insurance, and if the police find out you are driving without insurance your license gets suspended until you prove that you do have insurance (I'm guessing here, but it makes sense).

    Not only that, but they do have the power to impound your car until you do, and the fines are pretty hefty

    (see http://www.carinsurance.com/kb/content12136.aspx for california)

    chrishallett83
  • AvicusAvicus Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Wow, didn't know that.

    Just a bit off topic but why the hell are all the republicans chucking a big shitty over the new healthcare bill saying they shouldn't be forced to buy something if there are rules like this for car insurance.

    stephen_coop.gifkim_coop.gifscott_guitar.gif
  • KhavallKhavall Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Avicus wrote: »
    Wow, didn't know that.

    Just a bit off topic but why the hell are all the republicans chucking a big shitty over the new healthcare bill saying they shouldn't be forced to buy something if there are rules like this for car insurance.

    Because "You can choose to drive"


    Similarly, you can choose where you live, but that's not important. According to them, in the U S OF A there are RULES which you must ABIDE BY unless you decide not to, like in the case of healthcare.


    Anyways, political ideas aside, it really is "because you can not drive"

  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal Flo-ridaRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    The actual phrasing of their argument is "state sovereignty". In their eyes, it's ok if the states force you to do something, but not the federal government.

    It's a holdover from the whole confederate thing. Because, you know, what didn't work in the 1800's will surely work now.

    chrishallett83
  • ceresceres Love is in the battlecry Nevada, USASuper Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited March 2010
    Yeah, I live in PA, and it is DEFINITELY a PA state law that you need to have car insurance to drive a car. A friend of mine STILL has her license suspended because she was pulled over (not even an accident, just pulled over), and couldn't show proof of insurance. She hasn't done anything about it and has been driving for about two years like that anyway, but she's fucking crazy and if she gets pulled over again she will be in very big trouble.

    I believe it's not the law in all states, but if your state is like PA then you're very lucky if you still have your license.

    JohnDies_zpsfe6c609e.jpg
    The avalanche has already started; it is too late for the pebbles to vote.
  • WileyWiley Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Avicus wrote: »
    Wow, didn't know that.

    Just a bit off topic but why the hell are all the republicans chucking a big shitty over the new healthcare bill saying they shouldn't be forced to buy something if there are rules like this for car insurance.

    Because you are given the choice of not owning a car. This tangent is probably best discussed in a different forum, but its a Constitutional argument over powers. Specifically, the Tenth Amendment. The Constitution reserves all rights for the states that aren't specifically provided to the Federal Government in the Constitution. The Federal Government has gotten around this in the past by saying many laws fall under the Interstate Commerce Clause of the Constitution, which says the Federal Government has the right to make laws regulating Interstate Commerce. The Democrats say it falls under the Interstate Commerce Clause, The Republicans say it doesn't and is unconstitutional.

    steam_sig.png
  • RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Avicus wrote: »
    Wow, didn't know that.

    Just a bit off topic but why the hell are all the republicans chucking a big shitty over the new healthcare bill saying they shouldn't be forced to buy something if there are rules like this for car insurance.

    It's gets even funnier when you realize that the individual mandate was a republican idea back in 1994. They were for it before they were against it! Flip-floppers! Warglegargle!!!!

  • PeccaviPeccavi oh... oh my!Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Any advice?
    Everyone else: Learn from Reverend Chaos's mistakes. Driving (or flying anything other then a rookie ship) without insurance isn't just a bad idea, it's also illegal.

    Not in New Hampshire (the illegal thing, it's still a bad idea).

    Wearing a seatbelt and motorcycle helmets also aren't required.

    kvhn.png
  • KalTorakKalTorak Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Peccavi wrote: »
    Any advice?
    Everyone else: Learn from Reverend Chaos's mistakes. Driving (or flying anything other then a rookie ship) without insurance isn't just a bad idea, it's also illegal.

    Not in New Hampshire (the illegal thing, it's still a bad idea).

    Wearing a seatbelt and motorcycle helmets also aren't required.

    Live Free and Die.

  • VeeveeVeevee WisconsinRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    RUNN1NGMAN wrote: »
    Avicus wrote: »
    Any advice?

    Get a bike. You're going to have your license revoked if this makes it to the authorities.

    Everyone else: Learn from Reverend Chaos's mistakes. Driving (or flying anything other then a rookie ship) without insurance isn't just a bad idea, it's also illegal. In some states it's an automatic admission of fault.

    Why would his license be revoked? Wouldn't it be recorded as a regular traffic infringement causing an accident and he would lose points? Its seems pretty silly if they have special conditions like if you are uninsured and you cause an accident that harms someone you lose your license as opposed to being insured.

    Because you're not supposed to be driving without insurance, and if the police find out you are driving without insurance your license gets suspended until you prove that you do have insurance (I'm guessing here, but it makes sense).

    Lies, In Wisconsin auto insurance is not required, although after june 1st of this year you either have to have insurance, or proof that you can afford not to have insurance

    steam_sig.png
  • saltinesssaltiness Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Veevee wrote: »
    RUNN1NGMAN wrote: »
    Avicus wrote: »
    Any advice?

    Get a bike. You're going to have your license revoked if this makes it to the authorities.

    Everyone else: Learn from Reverend Chaos's mistakes. Driving (or flying anything other then a rookie ship) without insurance isn't just a bad idea, it's also illegal. In some states it's an automatic admission of fault.

    Why would his license be revoked? Wouldn't it be recorded as a regular traffic infringement causing an accident and he would lose points? Its seems pretty silly if they have special conditions like if you are uninsured and you cause an accident that harms someone you lose your license as opposed to being insured.

    Because you're not supposed to be driving without insurance, and if the police find out you are driving without insurance your license gets suspended until you prove that you do have insurance (I'm guessing here, but it makes sense).

    Lies, In Wisconsin auto insurance is not required, although after june 1st of this year you either have to have insurance, or proof that you can afford not to have insurance
    Hah. What is proof that you can afford not to have insurance? A bank statement showing $5m in your checking account?

    XBL: heavenkils
  • VeeveeVeevee WisconsinRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    saltiness wrote: »
    Veevee wrote: »
    RUNN1NGMAN wrote: »
    Avicus wrote: »
    Any advice?

    Get a bike. You're going to have your license revoked if this makes it to the authorities.

    Everyone else: Learn from Reverend Chaos's mistakes. Driving (or flying anything other then a rookie ship) without insurance isn't just a bad idea, it's also illegal. In some states it's an automatic admission of fault.

    Why would his license be revoked? Wouldn't it be recorded as a regular traffic infringement causing an accident and he would lose points? Its seems pretty silly if they have special conditions like if you are uninsured and you cause an accident that harms someone you lose your license as opposed to being insured.

    Because you're not supposed to be driving without insurance, and if the police find out you are driving without insurance your license gets suspended until you prove that you do have insurance (I'm guessing here, but it makes sense).

    Lies, In Wisconsin auto insurance is not required, although after june 1st of this year you either have to have insurance, or proof that you can afford not to have insurance
    Hah. What is proof that you can afford not to have insurance? A bank statement showing $5m in your checking account?

    Basically, yeah. So insurance is required for us plebs, but it's not a true blanket statement saying it's legally required everywhere

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  • MidshipmanMidshipman Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    saltiness wrote: »
    Hah. What is proof that you can afford not to have insurance? A bank statement showing $5m in your checking account?

    In California you can deposit $35,000 with the DMV in lieu of having liability insurance. I'm pretty sure that is a poor investment unless you have an absolutely terrible driving record though.

    midshipman.jpg
  • Reverend_ChaosReverend_Chaos Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    So my Fiance' and I did some further research on state laws, I live in Washington state btw - and depending on the insurance company I can possibly work out a payment plan without getting sued. Just depends on how much she/they want and if I can afford to pay them what they want monthly.

    I can and probably will lose my license temporarily, but that will likely take months for the beauracrats to get through the paperwork but it seems pretty much automatic in my case. Getting pulled over while on this kind of suspension would probably mean getting arrested - so not an option. I can get a permit to drive to and from work & take family to the doctor, if I file some papers and pay a $100 fee.

    If I get sued and can't pay the judgement, the state can suspend my license (again if I have gotten reinstated). If that is the only reason that my license is suspended, and I filed bankruptcy the state has to give me my license back. A judgement against me for this would be something that could be taken care of with bankruptcy but the ticket which is $751 could not. So the state makes sure that it gets it's money, but that's it. I am still waiting to hear from the Insurance company. Talking to a lawyer seems to be the best option. Thanks to everyone that offered ideas, I really do appreciate it.

    I did admit guilt to the cops - there were numerous witnesses that told the cops that I ran the light and gave statements so there was no way of denying my guilt - which I was not inclined to do anyway. I still feel terrible, it was truly an accident, I wasn't trying to make the light or anything, but not having the insurance was a terrible oversight on my part. I hope that any of you who don't have insurance will take a cue from my mistake and get some - Depending on your driving record it can be a little pricey but it's better than having a large corporation after you for tens of thousands of dollars. I had a good policy last year, but things got tight and I was falling behind on other bills, and since I have been driving for 14 years or so without an accident, I figured it was the thing to get rid of for a while, instead of downgrading it. I am a really good driver, and have avoided a few accidents because I am paying attention to what's going on around me, when someone else does something without looking. I still don't know how I missed the light change.

    “Think of me like Yoda, but instead of being little and green I wear suits and I'm awesome. I'm your bro—I'm Broda!”
  • RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    You should probably still get a lawyer--based on your statement about admitting guilt you're not to savvy about this sort of thing. Just because you feel guilty doesn't mean you have to agree to the first number the insurance company throws at you.

    Incidentally, don't ever admit guilt. There is absolutely no situation where it is in your benefit to do so. Best case, you actually were guilty of whatever you admitted to. Worst case, I'm guessing you don't have the Washington State civil code memorized and you have no idea what you were or were not actually guilty for. If you don't admit guilt you're at least in a better position to plead out some of the charges later--an admission of guilt at the scene doesn't mean you can't plead otherwise later, but you made things harder on yourself.

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