Thank you for your question.
Assuming that your friend was responsible for the accident, your niece can file a personal injury lawsuit against your friend to recover damages. Alternatively, your niece can file a claim with her own insurer if she has personal injury protection (PIP) insurance or MedPay.
Unfortunately, your niece probably won’t be able to file an insurance claim with your friend’s insurer (assuming they were insured). This is because most insurance companies will not provide coverage if the insured does not have a valid license at the time of the accident.
Thank you for your question.
In New Hampshire, the at-fault party is responsible for paying damages in a car accident.
Unfortunately, your friend was not at fault for the accident and, therefore, your friend is not legally obligated to pay the deductible. What’s more, you can’t sue your friend for the damages to your car.
Your options are to file a claim under your uninsured motorist policy (and pay the deductible) or locate and sue the at-fault driver.
Questions about unlicensed and uninsured drivers
Thank you for the question.
If your daughter is unlicensed, it is very unlikely that she is insured, as most insurance companies will not insure someone who is unlicensed.
As a result, you likely have 2 options: File an uninsured motorist claim with your insurance company, or Sue your daughter for the damages. You can learn more about insurance requirements and uninsured motorist claims in Illinois here.
I’m sorry this happened to your sister.
California is an at-fault insurance state, which means the party responsible for the accident is responsible for paying any damages. Accordingly, if your sister caused the accident, she is responsible for paying any damages caused by the accident.
Because your sister was uninsured at the time of the accident, the injured parties have the right to sue her personally to recover their damages. If they choose to do this, your sister will receive a summons and complaint. The summons and complaint will explain that she is being sued and it will provide instructions with how to respond.
Assuming the other parties can prove fault, the court will issue a judgment against your sister (unless she negotiates a settlement before then). If she can’t pay the judgment, the other parties can get a court order to automatically withdraw a certain percentage of your sister’s future wages.
In situations like this, I generally recommend working with the other parties to negotiate a settlement and set up a payment plan. Plaintiffs’ attorneys are generally very receptive to setting up reasonable payment plans.
You might also advise her to reach out to the California State Bar to inquire about free legal help.
In California, car insurance typically follows the car. In other words, your friend’s insurance would typically cover the damage done to the other vehicle even though you were driving the car at the time.
However, because your friend lent the vehicle to an unlicensed driver (you), the insurance company may be able to deny coverage. In that event, you would be personally liable for the damages that you caused. This means that the other driver (or their insurance company) would be able to file a lawsuit against you to collect the damages that you caused.
I recommend reviewing your friend’s insurance policy and reaching out to their insurance company to see if the accident is covered. If the accident is not covered, I would wait to see if the other driver is going to file a lawsuit against you, at which point you can defend the lawsuit or negotiate a settlement.
Finally, it’s against the law to drive without a license in California (California Vehicle Code 12500). Similarly, it’s against the law to drive without insurance (California Vehicle Code 16028). If you weren’t given a citation at the time of the accident, you could still technically receive a citation. The penalties range from $100 to 6 months in jail depending on the seriousness of the accident and whether or not it’s your first offense.
I’m sorry you’re dealing with this stressful situation.
Under Illinois law (625 ILCS 5/6-101), a person who drives a vehicle without a valid license can be punished by a maximum penalty of 180 days in jail and a $1,500 fine. If the person’s license was revoked, the penalties could be more severe. In other words, the police officer had the right to arrest your mother under Illinois law.
The person who hit your mother’s vehicle is likely at fault for the accident (even though your mother didn’t have a valid license). Your mother can file an insurance claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance or file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver to recover damages. The police officer, however, had no legal basis for detaining the at-fault driver simply for causing an accident.
Under New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 509-1, it is a traffic infraction to operate a motor vehicle on the road without a valid license (or to knowingly allow another person to operate the vehicle without a license).
The traffic infraction is punishable by a $300 fine and up to 15 days in jail for the first offense. The penalties become significantly more severe after the first offense.
More importantly, a driver without a valid license is excluded from insurance coverage. In other words, if your friend gets into an accident without a valid license she will be personally liable for any damages that result, regardless of whether or not she has insurance of the vehicles.
If you need to make an insurance claim because of an accident that wasn’t your fault, you usually make a claim through your own insurance company against the other driver’s insurance company. California is a “No pay, no play” state. That means there are some limitations on what damages you can recover from the other driver because you don’t have insurance, yourself. You can recover for losses like repair and medical expenses, but you cannot recover damages for non-economic losses like pain and suffering.
California Prop 213 requires that an uninsured driver must deduct $10,000 before you can sue the at-fault driver for property damage. In other words, you would likely have a $10,000 “deductible” that you’ll have to pay out-of-pocket before the other driver’s insurance covers any additional costs.
Please do make sure to get insurance right away. In addition to your out-of-pocket expenses for an accident, you might be charged penalties for driving without insurance.
There’s more information available on Enjuris about California insurance laws, No Pay, No Play laws, and accidents with uninsured drivers. If you need additional guidance, you can contact a California personal injury lawyer. Your lawyer can guide you through the legal process to try to recover damages within the boundaries of state laws for uninsured motorists.
Thank you for contacting our firm about your car wreck. I am sorry to hear about your situation. From your question, it sounds like you are concerned about the damage to your vehicle. In general, it might make sense to make a claim in Magistrate Court against the responsible driver for the damage done to your car, but there may be some other options for you to consider first.
It is common for there to be more than one insurance policy that applies to a wreck. For example, if the responsible driver was driving a car owned by someone else, the coverage on the car may apply or you may have uninsured motorist coverage on your own policy to help in this situation. Please give us a call so that we can learn more details about your specific situation to help determine if we can be of assistance to you or try to point you in the right direction.
Please understand that we do not represent you as an attorney/client relationship is not established with our firm unless a retainer agreement has been signed. Also, since there are strict time limitations involved in making legal claims through the court system, it is imperative that you contact an attorney right away for appropriate legal advice.
Philip R. Potter
Partner and Personal Injury Attorney with Westmoreland, Patterson, Moseley & Hinson, L.L.P.
Under Virginia law, it’s a Class 2 misdemeanor to operate a vehicle without a license or learner’s permit (Code of Virginia 46.2-300). Additionally, it’s a Class 1 misdemeanor to knowingly let a minor operate a motor vehicle without a license or learner’s permit (Code of Virginia 46.2-301.1(E)).
In other words, both the minor and the parent could face penalties, though the minor may be able to escape liability if the parent forced the minor to drive against their will.
If an accident occurs, the insurer will probably not cover the claim. Most insurance policies have a clause that exempts coverage if the vehicle is driven by someone without a valid license.
Texas is an “at-fault state,” which means that the party responsible for causing an accident is responsible for paying the damages caused by the accident.
If the unlicensed driver has car insurance, you can file a claim with their insurance company. If the driver does not have insurance (a good possibility considering they were unlicensed), then you can either:
- File a claim with your own insurance company using your uninsured motorist (UM) coverage (if you have it), or
- File a personal injury lawsuit against the driver.
It sounds like liability should be easy to prove in this case. Therefore, the focus of the lawsuit will be on the amount of damages owed. Keep in mind that even if you obtain a judgment, you might have trouble collecting the judgment if the at-fault driver doesn’t have any money or assets.
I would recommend talking to a personal injury attorney in your area. You can use our free Texas attorney directory to locate one.
I’m sorry this happened to you.
If you are hit by an uninsured driver, you have 2 options for recovering damages:
- You can file a claim with your own insurance company (assuming you purchased the optional uninsured motorist (UM) coverage), or
- You can file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
You can learn more about what to do when you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured driver in Florida here. If you’re ready to talk to an attorney, you can find one using our free online directory.
Questions about car accident damages and compensation
It sounds like you paid for a job and you are not satisfied with the service performed. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to file a breach of contract claim or a negligence claim.
I would recommend trying to negotiate with the auto repair shop. If that doesn’t work, I would reach out to your insurance company and explain the situation. If you’re still not satisfied, you’ll need to file a lawsuit. In Georgia, you can file a lawsuit in small claims court if the damages are $15,000 or less.
North Carolina is 1 of only 5 states that follow the strict contributory negligence rule. Under this rule, if a victim’s own negligence contributed to causing the accident to any degree, the victim recovers nothing (with a few narrow exceptions). Accordingly, if you were 30% at fault for the accident, you can’t recover any damages.
With that being said, if you think the insurance company is wrong and you don’t believe you were partially at fault for the accident, you can negotiate with the insurance company or take the insurance company to court for failing to pay a legitimate claim.
You can file an insurance claim against the other driver or file a lawsuit against the driver to recover damages. In these situations, the vehicle that hit the debris is generally liable, even if the debris was unavoidable.
I would recommend contacting your insurance company and providing them with all the information. Your insurance company should be able to identify the at-fault driver using the license plate number. If you would prefer to file a lawsuit instead, you can reach out to an attorney in your area. Keep in mind that you’ll need to file the lawsuit in Georgia (where the accident occurred) or Kentucky (where the defendant resides).
What’s more, filing a lawsuit can be expensive, so it may not be worth it if the damage to your vehicle was minor—which it sounds like it was since you didn’t notice it until you got home. In this case, your best bet is to file a claim through your insurance company.
I’m sorry this happened to you.
When an insurance company “totals” a vehicle, they pay you the vehicle’s actual cash value in the form of a check. Generally, the insurance company will then take your vehicle to a salvage yard and the insurance company will keep the money it receives from the salvage yard. The insurance company’s rights in this regard are detailed in the auto insurance policy.
You can certainly negotiate with your insurance company. For example, you might ask your insurance company to provide you with the fair market value of your car, less the money the insurance company would likely receive from the salvage yard. In exchange, you would be able to keep the truck.
The first thing you should do is check to see whether there’s any available insurance coverage for the accident. Your auto insurance policy may cover the damage if you have “collision coverage.” Similarly, your friend’s auto insurance policy may cover the damage if they have collision coverage.
If the accident isn’t covered by insurance, you’ll need to file a personal injury lawsuit against your friend in order to recover the costs. If the damage is less than $15,000, you might consider filing the lawsuit in small claims court. If the damage is more than $15,000, you might consider hiring a personal injury attorney. You can find a personal injury attorney near you using our free online directory. Most initial consultations are free.
I’m sorry this happened to you.
Without reviewing your medical records and the specific facts of your case, it’s difficult for me to provide an accurate case value.
Generally speaking, plaintiffs in Tennessee car accident cases can recover economic damages, non-economic damages, and (in some cases) punitive damages. You can learn more about each type of damages here.
What’s more, insurance companies and adjusters use a simple formula to estimate the value of a claim. You can learn more about that formula and estimate the value of your claim here.
Finally, personal injury lawyers in your area will be able to give you a more accurate estimate based on (1) the facts of your case, (2) your specific injury, and (3) the amounts generally awarded by jurors in your county. You can locate a personal injury attorney near you using our free online directory. Most initial consultations are free.
Keep in mind that the statute of limitations (which is the time period within which you must file a claim) is typically shorter when accidents involve government agencies and employees. In addition, sovereign immunity may impact your ability to file a lawsuit. For th
I am so sorry to hear about Charlie. I am sure that the experience has been traumatic for your whole family. It sounds as though both your mother and this driver bear some liability for the accident. Your mother lost control of the dog, who darted into the street, into the path of the oncoming car. But if the driver was speeding or distracted, and that’s why he wasn’t able to avoid hitting the dog, then he has some liability too.
In most cases, the legal system will consider a dog to be personal property, which means if you’re able to sue the driver, you would recover costs for what Charlie would be “worth” on the market (in other words, the cost to purchase a replacement dog). I know it sounds harsh to compare a beloved pet to a dollar amount, but that’s how the courts work.
However, a 2012 California case allowed a pet owner to recover damages for emotional distress from a defendant’s intentional injury to their dog. A jury award provided for both costs to cover the dog’s surgery and treatment and the owner’s emotional distress. In your situation though, it sounds like the injury to Charlie was definitely not intentional, and it was partially your mother’s fault because she was walking the dog when he got loose and ran into traffic. Therefore, unfortunately, it would seem unlikely that you would recover damages from the driver for emotional distress.
As far as the driver having fled the scene, that could result in a hit and run charge if you reported the accident to the police.
Still, this is complicated and seems to involve liability of both parties. My suggestion is that you seek the advice of a lawyer who can evaluate the evidence and guide you through the legal process. If you need a lawyer, please feel free to use the Enjuris law firm directory to find a California attorney who can help.
From what I can understand, it seems like you were driving and hit some object that caused damage to your car, but no other cars were involved (but possible property damage to your vehicle and perhaps another non-vehicle object).
There are a few things to consider:
First, the state of Illinois requires you to report an accident within 10 days that involves death, injury, or property damage of more than $1,500 (or $500 for an uninsured vehicle).
Second, you could be charged with a hit and run, and you could face penalties for driving with an expired license. A hit and run is any collision with another vehicle, person, or property when the driver fails to stop at the scene to provide their personal information.
It would be wise to call the local police department to report the accident before any more time passes. You also should immediately contact the Illinois Secretary of State to renew your driver’s license. You can call your insurance company to find out what’s covered for property damage related to the accident.
I’m sorry this happened to you.
Have you checked to see whether a police report was filed? If so, it should contain the at-fault driver’s contact information. Filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company will allow you to avoid paying a deductible to have your vehicle repaired. You also have the option of suing the at-fault driver personally to recover your deductible.
If you believe your insurance company failed to provide appropriate compensation, you can contact an attorney to help negotiate a better settlement or file a bad faith claim if necessary.
Yes, there is a 2 year Statute of Limitations that begins to run from the date of the accident on filing a claim for injuries arising from a car accident.
Our car accident attorneys have more than 200 years of combined experience helping car accident victims like you obtain the compensation they need and deserve for medical bills (past and future), lost wages, pain and suffering, disability, and other damages.
Questions about auto insurance
I was issued a citation for no insurance and that citation was dismissed as I obtained insurance the same day of the accident. I have a personal injury attorney, but they are not a car accident attorney. In addition, the at fault insurance is offering me a trade-in value for my car that is totaled.
Now, I’m wondering if should file a complaint with the Texas Department of Insurance, as I believe the at-fault insurance violated chapter 542 of the Texas Insurance Code, which states:
UNFAIR CLAIM SETTLEMENT PRACTICES PROHIBITED.
(a) An insurer engaging in business in this state may not engage in an unfair claim settlement practice.
(b) Any of the following acts by an insurer constitutes unfair claim settlement practices:
4) not attempting in good faith to effect a prompt, fair, and equitable settlement of a claim submitted in which liability has become reasonably clear.
Without knowing all the facts, it’s hard to know exactly what’s happening with your insurance. From what I can understand, the police report indicates that the other driver was at fault and the insurance company is saying that it will accept 80% liability for the driver, and you are paying out-of-pocket for the remaining 20% of the damages.
Texas is a modified comparative fault state, which means you can recover damages as long as you’re less than 51% at fault (which seems to be true in this instance), but your financial recovery is limited by the percent for which you are at fault (allegedly 20%).
There are many jurisdictions where it’s highly unlikely that an insurance company will acknowledge that one party is 100% at fault. Though the other driver hit you while you had the right of way, they could argue that you could have avoided the accident if you’d slowed down when they pulled into your path, for instance. Or, they could claim that you could have seen the other driver sooner and swerved to avoid a collision. Of course, I don’t know if either of these are true, but insurance companies do make arguments like these and are often successful, particularly when they are assigning a plaintiff a low percentage of fault (like 20%).
You mentioned that you have a personal injury attorney. If that person doesn’t handle car accidents, they might be able to refer you to a lawyer who does. I would certainly consult with a lawyer to see if the insurance company’s offer seems reasonable based on the nature of the accident and the extent of damages. If you have trouble finding a lawyer, you can use the Enjuris attorney directory to find one near you.
You are always free to file a complaint with the Department of Insurance, but I suggest speaking with a car accident or insurance lawyer first. If the insurance company is willing to settle with you for 80% of the damages, I am not sure that would constitute an unfair claim settlement; however, your lawyer would be best equipped to answer this based on the facts of the claim.
Best of luck.
I need a rental or something – what should I do?
Should I see a doctor about my thumb?
Or get a general checkup?
Should I contact the other party for any reason? I’d like to thank her for being so honest and to tell her I’m glad she’s OK.
Thank you for the questions. I’ll address them in order.
Your insurer (USAA) can work with the at-fault driver’s insurance company on your behalf and help you file a third-party auto insurance claim.
If you think you need a lawyer (perhaps your claim is denied or the settlement offer is less than you deserve), you can find one using our free online directory. Here are some tips on finding the right attorney and preparing for the initial consultation.
The at-fault party’s insurance generally has to provide you with a rental car. Your insurance company should be able to help you obtain the vehicle.
If you suffered an injury, it’s very important to see a doctor. You need to know the full extent of your injuries before accepting a settlement offer.
I would avoid contacting the other party. Although it is kind of you to want to thank them, it could be problematic for your claim.
In Texas, there are no laws protecting consumers from rate increases after accidents or tickets. So, in theory, your insurance company can raise your rates even if you don’t file a claim. However, I’m not aware of any insurance companies that actively monitor police reports.
In reading your question, it’s not clear to me whether the minor is suing the insurance company for mishandling a claim (i.e., a bad faith lawsuit) or whether the minor is suing an at-fault driver.
In either case, the statute of limitations is 3 years. However, the clock doesn’t start ticking until the minor turns 18. To put it another way, the minor will need to file the lawsuit by the time they turn 21.
It sounds like the driver behind you was at-fault or at least partially at-fault for the accident. If you can locate the driver of that vehicle, then you can file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit against that driver.
If you can’t locate the driver who rear-ended you, you can attempt to negotiate with the truck driver’s insurance company. Either way, you’ll be personally liable for the damages to the truck because you’re uninsured. Keep in mind that if you don’t have the full $2,385.94, most insurance companies are willing to work out a monthly payment plan that you can afford.
Here is an article that you may find helpful in the meantime: Who’s at fault in a multi-car pileup?
I’m sorry this happened to you. Texas has something called the “sudden emergency defense.” This defense can relieve a driver from liability if they suffer an unforeseeable medical emergency that causes an accident. The rationale behind the defense is that a person who suffers a sudden medical emergency hasn’t acted negligently and therefore shouldn’t be held responsible for the accident.
It’s possible that the other driver’s insurance company is denying your claim because they don’t think their insured is liable under the sudden emergency defense.
Keep in mind that just because an insurance company denies your claim, it doesn’t mean you won’t recover damages. You can appeal the decision or even file a bad faith lawsuit against the insurance company if you think the claim was wrongfully denied.
I would strongly recommend meeting with an attorney in your area. Most initial consultations are free and the attorney will be able to review your specific situation and tell you whether you have a legitimate case. If you want, you can then hire the attorney to negotiate with the insurance company or file a lawsuit against the insurance company (or driver).
To find an attorney near you, consider using our free online directory.
I’m sorry you were involved in an accident. It’s hard to say what could or should happen without all the facts of what happened. However, if there were 3 cars involved, there should be 3 insurance companies involved in establishing liability and determining settlements for each of the parties.
California is a comparative fault state. That means each driver could bear some liability for the accident. If you have any fault (even if you didn’t cause the accident), the court or insurance company can reduce the amount of your damages by your percentage of fault. You can read more about how this works here.
It sounds like this is complicated because of there being 3 drivers involved, 1 who left the scene, and some dispute about liability. My suggestion is that you consult a personal injury lawyer who will represent your interests. Your lawyer will look at all of the evidence (accident report, any evidence from the scene, witness statements, etc.) and determine the best course of action for you, how to minimize your liability and maximize your compensation. If you need a California lawyer, please feel free to use the Enjuris law firm directory to find a capable attorney nearby. Best of luck!
I’m sorry this happened to you.
Generally speaking, car insurance follows the car (not the person). In other words, so long as the car is insured, it doesn’t matter who was driving.
With that being said, it’s impossible for me to know whether you had coverage without looking at your specific insurance policy. If you believe your insurance company is wrongfully denying your claim, you can:
- Attempt to resolve the issue with your insurance company (be sure to request a copy of your full policy so you can point to the language that states you’re covered), or
- File a bad faith lawsuit against the insurance company.
I would recommend meeting with an attorney in your area. Most initial consultations are free and, so long as you bring a copy of your insurance policy, the attorney should be able to tell you quickly whether your accident should have been covered and whether it’s worth pursuing a bad faith claim.
You can find an attorney near you using our free online directory.
If you were not covered by insurance, the other driver’s insurance company has the right to recover damages from you. If you are unable to pay the damages upfront, the insurance company will almost certainly be willing to workout a payment plan with you.
The injured party has a right to sue you for the damages that exceed your insurance policy limits (in this case, $4,000).
In general, your car insurance must correspond with the state where you live. However, there are numerous exceptions.
Regardless, whether or not the injured party is properly insured has nothing to do with whether or not they can sue you and recover the damages that exceed your policy limits.
If you can’t afford the judgment, the other party will likely allow you to work out a payment plan.
I’m so sorry this happened to you.
If you don’t have uninsured motorist coverage, your only option is to file a personal injury lawsuit against the uninsured driver. It will most likely be easy to prove liability (given the arrest and the empty bottle). The problem with suing an uninsured driver is that a driver who doesn’t have money to purchase insurance generally doesn’t have money to satisfy a judgment. With that being said, there are a number of legal tools that can be used to collect a judgment (including wage garnishment and liens).
I recommend meeting with an attorney in your area. An attorney can conduct a quick investigation to determine if the uninsured driver has a job or any assets that might make a lawsuit worthwhile.
In the meantime, take a look at our article on insurance requirements in Arizona.
Generally speaking, car insurance “follows the car.” In other words, your car insurance will cover any damage to your vehicle so long as the person driving your vehicle had your permission to drive the vehicle.
There are a few exceptions to this general rule. Most notably, an insurance company can explicitly exclude certain people from coverage (such as a specific member of your family or a driver who doesn’t have a valid license). Any exclusions would need to be stated in the policy.
Therefore, to be sure your son isn’t excluded from coverage, you’ll need to look at your auto insurance policy. You can request a full copy of your policy from your insurer.
The driver of the vehicle you rear-ended has the right to sue you for the damages that exceed your policy limits. In other words, if you refuse to reimburse the insurance company, the driver may file a lawsuit against you. If that were to happen, the driver would have to prove that they sustained damages above your limits (i.e., more than $5,000).
If you believe the amount the driver is demanding is reasonable, it may be in your best interest to try to work out a payment plan with the insurance company. If you believe the amount is unreasonable, it may be in your best interest to refuse to pay and let the driver file a lawsuit.
You may also consider meeting with an attorney in your area to discuss your options in more detail. If you can’t afford an attorney, consider reaching out to the Pennsylvania State Bar Pro Bono Program.
Under California law, the required automotive liability policy insures a person driving a car with the owner’s permission, even if the driver isn’t listed on the policy. It’s hard to say for sure what the $900 fee was for without knowing the facts of your situation (for example, why you were pulled over), but you could certainly call the court and request clarification.
Perhaps the proof of insurance that you sent was insufficient. If you can’t get a satisfactory answer from the court or if you’re still questioning the fine, you can find a California lawyer who might be able to provide more specific guidance based on the documents and facts.
If you believe the other driver is at fault for the accident, then you should file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company. If the insurance company believes you were at fault for the accident, the insurance company will deny your claim. At that point, you can attempt to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company (this may involve an exchange of evidence) or you can file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
Before filing a claim that you expect to be denied, it’s a good idea to meet with an attorney. You can use our free online directory to locate an attorney in your area. Alternatively, if you can’t afford an attorney, you can contact the Oregon State Bar Referral Service and inquire about free or reduced-cost attorneys.
Thank you for your question.
Unless the insurance policy states otherwise, California law (i.e., the state where the policy was issued) will apply to any disputes regarding the insurance policy. For example, if there’s a dispute as to whether or not an uninsured motorist provision applies, California law will apply. Similarly, if there’s a dispute as to the proper payout under the policy, California law will apply.
On the other hand, any non-contract issues will generally be governed by Texas law (i.e., the state where the accident occurred). For example, if there’s a dispute as to liability or what shared fault rule applies, Texas law will apply.
The answer depends on the specific language found in your insurance policy, as well as the specific language found in the rental company’s insurance policy (assuming you purchased insurance through the company).
Unfortunately, I can’t answer your question without reviewing the policies. In addition to reviewing the policies, I would recommend contacting each insurance company and asking the agent whether the claim would be covered.
Questions about hiring a lawyer
I am so sorry you were involved in an accident and that you and your dogs are suffering traumatic effects in the aftermath. It’s not entirely clear to me what happened, though it sounds as though you pulled to the road shoulder and your vehicle was not damaged.
It’s possible that your insurance is involved because you were counted as a vehicle in the accident, even if you didn’t hit anything, your vehicle didn’t sustain damage, and you weren’t injured. If it was a multi-vehicle accident, there’s probably a file that includes each vehicle and driver’s information.
It does sound as though this case is complicated because of the number of vehicles involved. It would probably be in your best interest to contact a Florida personal injury lawyer who can assist you as the details are sorted out. It sounds as though your dogs, though frightened, were not physically injured. You can call a lawyer, explain the facts of the case as you perceive them, and let them know either what relief you’re seeking (if you feel that you’re entitled to compensation from the accident) or to protect from someone else collecting from you and your insurance policy if it appears to be moving in that direction.
Best of luck. I hope it all works out for you.
I’m sorry this happened to you.
It’s not uncommon for an insurance company to offer you less money to settle your claim than you deserve. You always have the right to counter the adjuster’s initial settlement offer. To do so, submit the amount that you believe you deserve to the insurance company in writing. Be sure to include any evidence that you may have (auto shop estimates, photographs, police reports, witness statements, etc.).
You can go through this process without a lawyer, but a lawyer can be extremely helpful when it comes to negotiating with an insurance company.
To find a personal injury attorney near you, consider using our free online directory.
You always have the right to change attorneys (except in rare cases when you are about to start a trial). To fire your current attorney, send the attorney a letter notifying them that you would like to terminate the attorney-client relationship.
Keep in mind that there are certain consequences to firing an attorney. Most importantly, the lawyer you fire is likely entitled to be paid for the work they have already done. If the lawyer was working on a contingency basis, you may be required to pay the lawyer’s hourly rate depending on the terms of the attorney-client contract you signed.
Before you fire your current attorney, however, we recommend first finding another attorney who is prepared to help take on your case and facilitate the transfer of your case from your old attorney.
Here are some tips on finding a personal injury attorney in California.
Thank you for your question. In most cases, a plaintiff can file a lawsuit in:
- The county where the defendant (your sister) lives, or
- The county where the accident occurred.
Whether or not your sister has insurance doesn’t have any bearing on the issue of liability. In other words, your sister isn’t at fault for the accident just because she didn’t have insurance.
However, if she is found at fault for the accident, her lack of insurance will impact how she satisfies a judgment against her. Because she doesn’t have insurance, she’ll have to personally pay any judgment against her. If she doesnt have the money to pay, the plaintiff can attempt to garnish a certain percentage of her wages or even collect some of her assets.
Your sister might benefit from an attorney if:
- She doesn’t think she was at fault for the accident, or
- She doesn’t think the amount of damages requested by the plaintiff is reasonable or accurate.
Most attorneys offer free initial consultations. Accordingly, your sister could always meet with an attorney to discuss her case and decide whether hiring an attorney would be beneficial.
Questions about car accident fault and liability
If there’s no damage to the utility pole, you can’t be held liable by the power company for hitting the pole. If there is damage to the pole, your insurance company should cover the damage (in Massachusetts, you’re required to carry insurance that covers damage to someone else’s property).
Let’s take a look at how the accident might impact your insurance rates:
- If you hit a deer while driving, your insurance company will typically consider it a “not-at-fault accident” because, in most cases, there’s little you could have done to avoid the crash. As a result, your insurance company generally won’t raise your rates.
- On the other hand, if you swerve to avoid a deer and hit something else (like a utility pole), your insurance company will typically consider it an “at-fault accident” because you had at least some control over the situation. As a result, your insurance company might raise your rates.
Keep in mind that the damage to your vehicle is probably covered by your collision coverage (assuming you have collision coverage, which is not required in Massachusetts). If you don’t have collision coverage, you’ll have to pay for the repairs yourself. This is because there’s no one else you can hold liable for the accident (you can’t, for example, sue the deer).
I’m sorry this happened to you.
Iowa is an “at-fault insurance state.” This means that the person who caused your accident is responsible for paying the damages. Accordingly, to recover damages, you need to file a lawsuit or an insurance claim against the person who caused your accident (i.e., the driver of your vehicle or the driver of the other vehicle).
Assuming you can prove fault, you can recover the following damages:
- Economic damages represent the monetary losses caused by your accident (medical expenses, lost wages, etc.)
- Non-monetary damages represent the non-monetary losses caused by your accident (pain and suffering, etc.)
I would recommend meeting with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case. In Iowa, you generally have 2 years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. If you fail to file a lawsuit within 2 years, your claim may be forever barred.
You can find a personal injury attorney near you using our free online directory.
Nevada has a “fault-based” insurance system. This means that the person responsible for the accident is responsible for paying the damages.
Who is at fault depends on a number of factors, but generally speaking, the person who rear-ended the vehicle in front of them is liable for the car accident under Nevada’s “following too closely” statute (Nevada Revised Statutes 484B.127). This isn’t always the case, though. For example, the driver that was rear-ended may be at fault if their tail lights were out.
In the accident you described, your fiance is likely at fault for the damages to the car in front of him, while the car behind him is likely at fault for the damages to your fiance’s car.
I would have your fiance contact his insurance company and explain the details of the accident. If the insurance company determines he was at fault, they should provide liability insurance. If the insurance company decides he was not at fault, they should help defend any claims against him.
I’m sorry this happened to you.
The United States Postal Service (USPS) is self-insured and does not carry insurance on its motor vehicles because it is exempt from the requirements of state vehicle insurance statutes.
It sounds like your insurance company covered your claim. If that’s the case, your insurance company will seek reimbursement from USPS. This can take some time and, practically speaking, might require your insurance company to file a lawsuit against USPS under the Federal Tort Claims Act (“FTCA”).
If your insurance company has not covered your claim, you may have to sue USPS under the FTCA. To do so, I would recommend meeting with a personal injury attorney in your area.
If you’re sued by the insurance company and the court determines that you were at fault for the accident, the court will enter a judgment against you.
If you do not pay the judgment, the insurance company (at this point called the “creditor”) can take a certain percentage of your future earnings every month (this is called a “wage garnishment”) in order to satisfy the judgment. The insurance company can also seize certain assets (such as the money in your bank account and your car).
Keep in mind that it costs the insurance company money to garnish your wages and seize your assets. For this reason, insurance companies are generally very happy to work out a payment plan with you based on what you can afford to pay every month. I would strongly recommend talking to the insurance company. Explain that you can’t pay the $30,000 immediately, but that you would like to work out a payment plan.
I would consider reaching out to your own insurance company. Your insurance company can pay your claim and then seek reimbursement (otherwise known as “subrogation”) from the at-fault party’s insurance provider. What’s more, some auto insurance policies include “rental reimbursement” coverage, which would allow you to rent a car while your vehicle is being fixed.
I would be reluctant to replace your tires before speaking with your insurance company. If you absolutely must do so, be sure to save the towing receipt and take several time-stamped photographs so you can support your claim for damages.
I’m sorry this happened to you.
In most rear-end accidents, the rear driver is at fault for following too closely or not leaving enough room to stop safely (Florida Statute 316.0895).
Regardless, just because someone filed a lawsuit against you doesn’t mean you’re at fault for the accident. You will have an opportunity to respond to the lawsuit and plead your case in court. In the meantime, be sure and inform your insurance company that you’re being sued and that you didn’t cause the accident. Your insurance company has a duty to defend you in court.
If you file an insurance claim with your insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company, the insurance company will conduct an investigation and either accept or deny your claim. If the insurance company denies your claim because the company believes the accident was your fault, you should dispute the finding of fault immediately by writing a letter to the insurance company.
Disputing fault will lead to an additional investigation. At this point, it’s important to provide any evidence you have that supports your claim. You may also consider hiring an attorney to help you negotiate with the insurance company. Your attorney can, among other things, collect witness statements and depose the other driver.
You cant sue the driver for not having insurance or registration. The fact that the driver did not have insurance or registration is irrelevant when it comes to determining liability.
However, you can file a counterclaim alleging that the other driver was speeding (i.e., alleging that the other driver was at least partially at fault for the accident). Because Oklahoma is a modified comparative fault state, the plaintiffs damage award will be reduced by their percentage of fault.
Finally, if the vehicle was towed because it did not have insurance or registration (and not because it was damaged), you are probably not responsible for paying the cost of the tow.
Keep in mind that drivers who dont have insurance rarely have the funds to pay any judgment award that you might obtain against them.
Under Rhode Island Code §31-26-2, a driver of a vehicle “knowingly involved in an accident resulting in damage to a vehicle” is required to stop at the scene and exchange their insurance information with the other driver.
The law does not require a driver to do anything if they were involved in an accident that didnt result in any damage. In other words, you haven’t done anything wrong under the law. However, if the other driver later discovers damage to their vehicle caused by the accident, the driver could attempt to file an insurance claim or a lawsuit against you.
It’s a good idea to take time-stamped photographs of your vehicle so the other driver cant later claim that you caused more damage than you actually did.
It’s always a good idea to get a police report after an accident, no matter how small, and also to report it to your insurance company. A report to the insurer is different from a claim. Even if you’re planning for paying for accident damage out-of-pocket, having a report on file with your insurer can protect you if the other party decides to file a claim.
In short, yes, if you damaged the other car, the driver can follow up in a variety of ways if he has your license plate number or other identifying information. For one thing, if you didn’t exchange information, he could report the incident as a hit and run. Second, he could make a claim to his insurance company if there’s damage that warrants a repair.
If his vehicle was older, as you mentioned, and perhaps not in perfect condition, it would be difficult for him to prove that a particular scratch or dent was the result of the accident. But, in general, it protects all parties to have a police report filed and make a report to the insurance company, even for a minor incident.
If your auto insurance was canceled after your car accident (even if it was 24 hours after the accident), then your accident is probably covered and you should file a claim with your auto insurance company.
If, on the other hand, your auto insurance was cancelled before your car accident, then your accident is probably not covered and the injured driver can sue you personally for any damages.
Keep in mind that some auto insurance policies have grace periods that extend coverage for a certain period of time before they’re actually canceled in the event that you miss a payment or even after you cancel the policy. To find out whether your policy includes a grace period, you’ll need to review your full policy or contact your insurance company.
I’m so sorry this happened to you.
You have a few options depending on the circumstances surrounding your accident:
- File an insurance claim against the at-fault driver. If the at-fault driver has liability insurance, you can file a claim with his insurance company. In addition to requesting money for the property damage to your vehicle, you can request money for any physical or mental injuries caused by the accident.
- File an insurance claim with your own insurer. If the at-fault driver does NOT have insurance, you can file an insurance claim with your own insurance company (assuming you have uninsured motorist (UM) coverage).
- File a personal injury lawsuit. If the at-fault driver is uninsured and you don’t have UM coverage – or, if either insurance company denies your claim – you’ll need to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver to recover damages.
If you have questions about how to proceed, consider using our free online directory to locate an attorney near you. Most initial consultations are free. In the meantime, you can learn more about car insurance laws in Ohio.
If your son was explicitly excluded from the car insurance policy that covered the vehicle at issue, then the insurance company will likely not provide coverage. To be sure your son was explicitly excluded, you should request a copy of the full policy.
Assuming your son was uninsured when he got into the accident, the family of three (or their insurance company) may file a personal injury lawsuit against your son. His mother may be included as a defendant, but it’s unlikely she’ll be personally liable for any damages.
If the family of three (or their insurance company) obtains a judgment against your son, they will try to collect it. If your son doesn’t have any assets, they’ll likely get a court order allowing them to garnish a certain percentage of his paycheck every month until the judgment is satisfied.
It’s impossible for me to know the likely outcome without knowing more about the case. However, in rear-end crashes, the driver who strikes the other driver from behind is almost always liable. The car in front may be partially liable if, for example, they were missing a rear brake light.
Every state has a statute of limitations. The statute of limitations dictates how long a person has to file a lawsuit. In Connecticut, the statute of limitations for most cases based on negligence is 2 years. This means the person has 2 years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit.
So to answer your question: Yes, the other driver can still take you to court even though it has been 11 months since the accident.
If the other driver ultimately files a lawsuit (or an insurance claim), you can fight the reasonableness of the damages claimed. To do so, you may want to consider reaching out to an attorney.
I’m sorry to hear this. Unfortunately, sending a demand letter to a potential defendant isn’t the same as filing a claim in court. While a lot of things have been upended by the COVID-19 pandemic, the court is unlikely to accept a claim that’s past a statute of limitations when the accident itself happened more than a year prior to pandemic shutdowns.
You can certainly contact a lawyer to inquire whether there are other options or if they think there’s any way that your local courts might be sympathetic to your situation and accept a claim after the deadline. There might be some circumstances in your particular municipality that allow for statute of limitations extensions, and a lawyer or the court can advise you if that’s the situation. Best of luck to you.
I’m sorry this happened to you.
Because you have liability insurance, you should contact your insurance company and report the accident. Explain to your insurance company that you were not at fault for the accident and provide any evidence that you may have. Tell your insurance company that a police report was filed so your insurer can obtain a copy of the report.
After listening to your side of the story, your insurance company will make a decision about who was at fault for the accident. Your insurer may decide to litigate or settle the matter. Under most insurance policies, the insurance company controls the right to settle a claim.
If you feel your insurance company is acting improperly, you may be able to file a bad faith lawsuit. If you need additional help sorting this matter out, consider reaching out to a personal injury attorney in your area. Most initial consultations are free.
Thank you for your question.
Oregon’s “following too closely statute” (ORS 811.485) states that a person commits the offense of following too closely if the person “drives a motor vehicle so as to follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of the vehicles and the traffic upon, and condition of, the highway.”
It’s impossible for me to know who’s liable for your accident without more details, but it sounds like, at the very least, you can make an argument that both the motorcyclist and the taxi driver were partially at fault for the accident. In cases like this, you generally file an insurance claim (or a personal injury lawsuit) against both drivers and let the drivers argue among themselves.
If you suffered serious damage, it’s a good idea to meet with a personal injury attorney. Most initial consultations are free. If you need help locating an attorney, you can use our free online directory.
Thank you for your question.
Under California law (California Vehicle Code Section 14604), the owner of a vehicle can be held liable for letting a person drive who does not have a valid license.
If the son in this case gets into an accident, both the son and his mother can be sued for damages. What’s more, the mother will likely be given a ticket.
To request a copy of a Michigan State Police incident report, you need to submit an RI-101 Request for Public Records document. You can learn more about submitting the document here, and you can submit the document here.
To request a traffic crash report, you can do so using the Traffic Crash Purchasing System (TCPS). If you continue to have trouble obtaining the police report, you may need to reach out to an attorney. You can find one using our free online directory. If you think you may qualify for free legal help, contact Michigan Legal Aid.
Based on the information you provided, it sounds like the 16-year-old was clearly at fault for the accident. The 16-year-old’s mother may also be partially liable if she allowed her son to drive her vehicle. When you’re involved in a car accident that’s not your fault, you have 3 options:
- File an insurance claim with your own insurance company (your insurance company will then seek reimbursement from the at-fault driver),
- File a third-party insurance claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, or
- File a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
If you don’t want to involve your insurance company, I would recommend filing a third-party insurance claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If you don’t have the at-fault driver’s insurance information, you should be able to get the information from the responding officer.
Alternatively, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against both the mother and the son (as both may be liable) in small claims court. If you choose to file a lawsuit, be sure to gather all the evidence you can to support your claim (witness statements, police reports, etc.).
You can learn more about filing a lawsuit in small claims court in this handbook published by the Ohio courts.
I’m sorry to hear about your accident.
If the other driver was illegally parked, they may be partially responsible for the accident. New Jersey is a modified comparative fault state, which means a plaintiff’s damages are reduced by their percentage of fault.
If you have liability insurance, then your insurance company should handle the claim. I would make certain to tell your insurance company that the other driver was illegally parked. If you have any proof (photographs, etc.), be sure to provide the evidence to your insurance company.
If you want to avoid going through your insurance company, you can suggest that the other driver get a second estimate in the hopes that it is lower. Alternatively, you can attempt to negotiate a settlement with the other driver based on the fact that they were partially at fault.
Questions about drunk driving/DUI
In Michigan, the statute of limitations for damage to property is 3 years (see Michigan Compiled Laws § 600.5805). In other words, you have 3 years from the date the drunk driver hit your car (or the date you discovered that the drunk driver hit your car) to file a personal injury lawsuit.
I would recommend meeting with a Michigan personal injury attorney immediately and explaining that the statute of limitations is going to expire soon. The attorney should be able to quickly file a personal injury lawsuit, which can later be amended if necessary. Alternatively, you can file a lawsuit in small claims court (so long as the claim is for $6,500 or less).
I’m sorry this happened to you.
Nebraska’s implied consent law means that anyone who operates a motor vehicle implicitly consents to a sobriety test so long as the officer has “reasonable grounds” to believe that the driver has consumed alcohol, commited a moving violation, or been involved in an accident.
In other words, the officer had the legal right to administer a sobriety test. Unfortunately, I can’t speak to why the officer did not administer a sobriety test to the other driver. In some cases, an officer will only administer a test to the driver they believe is responsible for the accident.
Questions about your rights after an accident
This is an interesting question. The answer may depend on whether you are involved in the accident or not.
Indiana Code 9-26-1-1.1 requires that a driver who is involved in an accident “provide reasonable assistance to each person injured in or entrapped by the accident, as directed by a law enforcement officer, medical personnel, or a 9-1-1 telephone operator” and “as soon as possible after the accident, immediately give notice of the accident.”
The Indiana Court of Appeals recently described a driver’s duties as follows, “[the driver] was required to contact law enforcement, inform them of the accident, and provide the victim with reasonable assistance if instructed to do so.”
In other words, if you’re involved in an accident that results in an injury, the law probably requires that you drive to a place where you can get reception, call 9-1-1, and then return to the scene of the accident to render aid (if instructed to do so) or wait for the emergency responders. Taking the victim to the hospital is probably more than the law requires. Nevertheless, this might be the best option depending on the severity of the injury and the location of the accident.
If you were not involved in the accident, then you don’t have any obligation to call 9-1-1 or render any aid whatsoever. To put it bluntly, there’s no legal duty to stop and help someone who is injured unless you have a special relationship with the person (though there may be a moral duty to do so).
However, if you decide to be a good Samaritan and take the victim to the hospital, Indiana’s good Samaritan law protects you from being held civilly liable for any injuries that result, so long as you don’t engage in any reckless behavior.
I was reversing and was about to turn my wheel right to get out to the left. Halfway through, a car from the right decides to pass me from behind. While we were reversing slowly, we didn’t see them in our camera. The car was moving really fast in a parking lot like they were in a rush. They honked and we stopped reversing so they could go around using the half lot that was left before we finished reversing.
We stopped for them to go but they just stayed there. We thought they were gonna wait for us so we reversed. Then, they honked again and the front of their car was right behind us. They got out of their car to see if we had hit them.
We did not hit them because we did not feel anything. We also got out to see that their car was fine. They were talking in a different language checking the front of the car. They are the ones who moved so fast and we were already reversing.
I can’t stop thinking that they wanted us to hit them so they can get money from us. We obviously were reversing, but instead of waiting for us they decided to try to go around us. I found it weird that the front of their car was right behind us. They literally came out of nowhere and drove so fast in a parking lot. I took a picture of their license plate number just in case they took a picture of ours.
I have a feeling that if this was their game, they would be reporting this to their insurance and I would need to pay even though it is their plan to play victim. How should I prepare if they do file a claim against me? I feel that if I prepare ahead of time, I can show that I know they are faking and are trying to scam people out of money.
They didn’t tell us that we hit their car. They didn’t ask us for our driver’s license or anything. I’m more worried that they report that I hit and ran when I didn’t. I don’t want to report a claim, but I just want to prepare a report if they do file a report against me.
You’re correct that insurance fraud does happen sometimes. Unfortunately, it’s not entirely clear to me from your question whether your car and the other car actually collided. If there was no contact between the two, then it would seem that there’s nothing to worry about.
If you did make contact with their car, you’d want to be sure to protect yourself against a hit and run charge. California is strict when it comes to hit-and-run penalties. (You can read more here about California hit-and-run accidents.)
Unfortunately, it seems like some time has passed since this incident happened. If someone is going to make a claim against you, they would have to demonstrate that there was damage to their car. If there was no contact and no damage, it would be hard for them to file a claim.
If you’re concerned, you can call your local police department and make a report. That way, there’s at least a “paper trail” if the other driver decides to pursue this in any way. You can also make a report to your insurance company without making a claim. The insurance company might be skeptical because you don’t think there was an actual collision, but you would be doing your own due diligence in case the other person does decide to move forward with a claim. It would seem as though if they didn’t ask for your contact information, photograph your license plate (as far as you know) or take any other information, they likely aren’t intending to pursue a claim.
Best of luck.
If you were in a car accident after your insurance expired, you won’t be able to receive coverage for the accident even if your insurance was reinstated immediately after the accident. Assuming the accident was your fault, you’ll be responsible for paying damages.
I don’t know enough about your case to know the nature of the hearing on Monday. I would recommend using the Texas State Bar Referral Directory for low-income individuals to find an attorney who can help you. When you contact an attorney, be sure to explain that you have a hearing on Monday and make sure you have any paperwork you received from the plaintiff or the court handy.
Thank you for the question.
In Ohio, drivers are required to stop at the scene of an accident and exchange their contact information with the other driver. If the vehicle is unoccupied, drivers are required to leave a note on the unoccupied vehicle.
Fleeing the scene of an accident that caused minor damage to another vehicle is a misdemeanor and carries the following penalties:
- 0-6 months jail time
- $1,000 maximum fine
- License suspension of at least 6 months