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Q: Car Accident with no Insurance. ( Answered,   6 Comments )
Subject: Car Accident with no Insurance.
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: lonestardoa-ga
List Price: $75.00
Posted: 02 Mar 2006 18:37 PST
Expires: 01 Apr 2006 18:37 PST
Question ID: 703071
I got in a wreck today.  I was rear ended by a F-350 and pushed into
the back of a Jeep Cherokee.  I live in California and I have no
insurance. The accident was not my fault and there are witnesses that
can testify it.
I was wondering what is going to happen?  Will my car be covered by
someone else's insurance or am I going to have to pay everything out
of pocket?  The cops were involved but I wasnt processed or anything. 
I told them I didnt have insurance and nothing happend.
I have a Texas Drivers license.
Am I liable to lose my drivers license?
Noone was hurt in anyway.  My car was the only one not able to drive
away on its own power.
Subject: Re: Car Accident with no Insurance.
Answered By: hagan-ga on 07 Mar 2006 06:24 PST
Hello, Lonestardoa.  I'm sorry for your troubles, and I'm afraid I
have some bad news for you.  But I also have a little bit of good

First, though, I have to tell you -- you must file an SR-1 form with
the DMV RIGHT AWAY.  California Vehicle Code Section 16000 requires
EVERYONE involved in an accident with more than $750 of damage to file
a report.  You must file a report whether or not you were at fault.

You can read Section 16000 here:

A .pdf file of the form is here:

It must be filed WITHIN TEN DAYS of the accident.

One of the things the form asks is whether you had insurance.  When
the DMV receives the form indicating that you did not, they will
automatically suspend your driving privileges for a year.
Vehicle Code Section 16070:

HOWEVER.  None of that has ANYTHING to do with who has to pay for the
damage.  The responsible party (in this instance, the person who
rear-ended you) should be liable for the damage to your vehicle.  You
should contact that person's insurance company with an estimate for
the damage to your car, AND an estimate for a rental car for you for
the time it will take to fix your car.  If your car is totaled, you
will need to obtain the "Blue book" value.

The insurance company will probably refuse to pay the full amount at
first.  That's what insurance companies do.  They are in business to
collect premiums and make money, not to pay claims.  You will probably
have to negotiate with the insurance company to get the full amount. 
You may have to take the driver who hit you to court in order to force
his insurer to pay.

The small claims limit in California is $5000.
If your damages are less than that, I would strongly recommend going
to small claims court if the insurer won't pay.  It's MUCH MUCH MUCH
faster and cheaper and easier than the next step up, which is filing a
"limited civil case" in Superior Court.  Even if your damages are
$6000, it might be worth giving up the extra thousand in order to have
the case heard quickly.  Depending on the county where you live, it
may take anywhere from one to three years to have a case heard in
Superior Court.  Small claims cases are usually heard within a few

I hope this information has been helpful.  If there's anything further
you need, or if anything requires clarification, please hit the
"request clarification" button before you rate the answer.  I'll be
notified of the request and I'll provide whatever I can.
Subject: Re: Car Accident with no Insurance.
From: research_help-ga on 03 Mar 2006 06:13 PST
This is why you buy insurance - to protect you financially in case of
accident.  If you choose not to buy insurance, then you are taking the
risk.  In many situations, the car in back is responsible for damages.
 So, you may be liable for damages to the car that you rear ended even
though it was indirectly caused by the person who rear ended you.  It
is so frustrating for law abiding citizens who pay a lot for car
insurance to have to listen to people who don't get insurance and then
are concerned about finances when they are in an accident.
Subject: Re: Car Accident with no Insurance.
From: jack_of_few_trades-ga on 03 Mar 2006 06:35 PST
Not having insurance to cover your own car (Comprehensive and
Collision) is perfectly ok in certain circumstances.  I don't have
either of these because I feel that they cost more than they are worth
to me and if I did wreck my car I could buy another without financial
difficulties.  The insurance that very few people should drive without
is liability insurance, this covers bodily harm that your wreck causes
other people.

In your specific case, you should not be responsible for any damages
(personal or property) because the wreck was not your fault.  The
police and/or ultimately a court might have to officially decide that,
but from your brief description it was clearly the other drivers
fault.  This means that the other driver is responsible (either
through his insurance or out of his own pocket) for all damages to
your car.

If you had an insurance company, you could report your damages to them
and they would very likely handle the situation for you.  But since
you're uninsured, you will have to actively pursue the money you are
owed.  You should contact the other driver's insurance company (if you
got his insurance information like you're supposed to at the scene of
the wreck) and ask them how to procede.  If you didn't get his
insurance info, then you should contact the police department involved
and ask them how to procede.

Best of luck in getting all the money you are owed for damages.
Subject: Re: Car Accident with no Insurance.
From: edejl-ga on 04 Mar 2006 07:14 PST
Having 3rd Party insurance and not comprehensive is fine, but not
having any is ridiculous and irresponsible and, in England at least,
is illegal. Not to mention that 10% of the price of everyone else's
insurance is needed to cover people without insurance but what happens
if there is an accident and someone is paralysed etc. They will get no
compensation or help with medical costs from your insurers (as you
don't have any).
I assume no insurance is also illegal in America; this is why they make laws.
Subject: Re: Car Accident with no Insurance.
From: roxrox-ga on 04 Mar 2006 13:15 PST
Why are you so irresponsible as to drive without insurance?
Liability insurance does not cost that much.
I can't msuter any sympathy for you, and I do hope you are fined for
failing to have liability insurance.
Subject: Re: Car Accident with no Insurance.
From: joe916-ga on 04 Mar 2006 14:40 PST
I think that if a burglar can sue a homeowner for a dog bite anything
can happen. Talk to a lawyer. Get insurance. They were probably
covered for uninsured motorist. I would think that the carrier of the
one who rearended you  would pay, but you don't have a carrier to make
that happen. Too bad.
Subject: Re: Car Accident with no Insurance.
From: bigsedge-ga on 17 Mar 2006 06:15 PST
In the UK the car behind you would pay for your damage as he was at
fault for causing the rear end damage. However you are at fault for
hitting the car in front because you did not leave enough space
between you and the car in front. You would be looking at a $250 fine
and points on your licence.

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