Legal Question in Insurance Law in California

Auto Accident

I was in an auto accident on 8/2006, the other parties refused to give me their insurance info. at the time of the accident and I didn't have any insurance. Now I get a letter from the other person's ins. co wanting to collect $9,000 because they are claiming it was my fault. The ins. company never contacted me to ask me about the accident. It was not my fault the other driver was a teenager and it was his fault. Can they make me pay simply because I was uninsured? I am guilty of NOT having insurance, but nothing else..Please help!!

Asked on 1/22/07, 3:32 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Jonathan Stein Law Offices of Jonathan G. Stein

Re: Auto Accident

They cannot make you pay simply because you were uninsured. However, this is a fairly common tactic. I have written about this at my blog,

What can you do? You should retain an attorney, immediately, to help you resolve this matter. You may have a case against the other driver that is worth pursuing, especially if you get sued.

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Answered on 1/31/07, 11:32 pm
Steven Lynes Lynes & Associates

Re: Auto Accident

The short answer is that while you are guilty of not having insurance, it is not going to preclude you from defending against the other driver's claims in court. You can write back to the insurance company, advising them of your position and intent to defend claims in a civil action.

However, you can expect that insurance company to threaten to report you to the DMV which would like result in temporary suspension of your license. In addition, if you have not already do so, you need to report any accident in which the damage exceeds $750, or face additional penalities. I recommend that you do 2 things immediately: (1) hire a local attorney familiar with this area of law to assist in dealing with DMV and the other driver's insurance company; and (2)get auto liability insurance immediately -- even basic coverage provides you with an attorney to defend future claims.

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Answered on 1/30/07, 4:06 pm

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