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Insurance company won't cover my accident and the other party is coming after me for 9k

Discussion in 'Auto Accidents, Injuries' started by Jesseacronym, Dec 6, 2018.

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  1. Jesseacronym

    Jesseacronym Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
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    I got into an accident and collided with another vehicle. The accident was technically my fault. My insurance company was able to wheedle out of covering on a technicality. In short, I was driving a vehicle I came in possession of outside the grace period of when I was supposed to switch coverage from my older vehicle to the newer one. They used the date the car was released of liability from the previous owner instead of the date I actually registered the vehicle to make this assessment.

    I figured that in the worst case, the other party's insurance would cover their damages and they would deem it unnecessary to come after me. Well I just got a letter in the mail from a law firm stating that there was close to 9000 in damages that their insurance didn't cover and it appears they want to come after me for it. I have no money and am unemployed at the moment. On top of having lost my vehicle, I simply can not afford to pay this whopping 9k that they want. What should be my course of action?
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You have no choice other than to defend yourself in court.

    Had you driven your vehicle while it was properly insured (carrying FULL coverage at ridiculously low amounts) you might have still ended up where you are.

    In the interim I suggest you seek better insurance.

    You start that quest by discussing your insurance needs with a reputable insurance agent.

    If the other party receives a judgment against you, your bank accounts are subject to levy, as are your wages until the judgment has been satisfied.
     
  3. Jesseacronym

    Jesseacronym Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thanks for the response. Would it even be worth it for this party to come after me, someone with no money and no income, over 9k? (Which seems like an inflated amount considering they had coverage.)
     
  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    People seek judgments for many reasons.

    Only the person suing you can answer "why you".

    One reason could be to cause you angst, anxiety, agitation, and aggravation.

    One reason is to get "his'n or her'n" when you hit a lottery jackpot.

    Forget the why and worry about your options.

    If your finances are shaky or your pockets empty, once you're sued (better yet after a judgment issues), you can file a chapter 7 bankruptcy which will extinguish the judgment.
     
  5. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Please explain the meaning of the word "technically" in this sentence. Pending an explanation that makes sense, I will disregard the word.

    Not really sure what sort of response you're seeking. You might consider consulting with a bankruptcy attorney.

    No one here can say what is or isn't "worth it" for some person who is unknown to us, but $9k is under the small claims court limit in California, so it would hardly take much effort or time to sue you in small claims court. While you may not have any current ability to satisfy a judgment, you presumably are hoping that will change over the time period that a judgment would be enforceable (10 years after the date of entry plus additional 10 year periods if the creditor renews the judgment).
     
  6. Jesseacronym

    Jesseacronym Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Technically meaning that the other person was speeding through a red light, but I didn't see her and was the one who pulled out in front of her when we collided.

    I was hoping to get a heads up on what comes next and what I should do. Do I just ignore the Law Firm and hope they don't pursue? Do I get a lawyer and fight? Do I let them take me to small claims and just not pay?

    Let me rephrase my previous question. How do I get out of this? Lol. I've been punished enough by losing my car.

     
  7. Highwayman

    Highwayman Well-Known Member

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    You don't, unless you successfully defend yourself in court. A positive outcome seems very doubtful though.

    Be prepared to be punished even more - and it seems as if it will last a very long time.
     
  8. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    It's not for a bunch of anonymous strangers to dictate what you do. If you don't have the money to pay this debt, how could you hire a lawyer? If you do have the money to hire a lawyer, why not use it to pay the debt? Whether you "ignore" and "hope" or respond and explain your situation is entirely your call.

    You can "get out of this" by paying or by filing bankruptcy. Also, you're not being "punished." Rather, you're being asked to compensate the other driver for the damage you caused. Whether the facts are such that you could successfully defend yourself in court isn't apparently from what you've posted thus far.
     
  9. flyingron

    flyingron Active Member

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    He'll be punished by the fact his license is going to be revoked if it hasn't been already.
     
  10. Jesseacronym

    Jesseacronym Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I'm simply seeking help in exploring my options which seems to be:
    1. Pay the 9k in full
    2. Fight and get the amount reduced and then pay (probabaly the best option since the 9k seems to have been severely inflated)
    3. Ignore all attempts to collect and hope they deem in not worth going after (isn't it costly to have a law firm pursue someone specially if it end up going to court?)

     
  11. Jesseacronym

    Jesseacronym Law Topic Starter New Member

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    You don't get your license revoked for being involved in a car accident unless there was some kind of gross negligence such as if it was your 3rd DUI.

    Being sued is a completely different issue.
     
  12. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    It depends, in many cases the plaintiff can sue the defendant for damages and attorney's fees.
     
  13. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    I'd sure as heck sue you for 9 grand.
     
  14. flyingron

    flyingron Active Member

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    Not for just being in the accident, but he's likely to be sued and he's already known to have operated uninsured. Those will both likely trigger things. The DMV will catch on shortly on the insurance/SR-1 issue.

    All of these are sufficient for suspension/revocation:

    Having an unsatisfied civil accident as a result of the accident.
    Having an accident with no insurance.
    Having an accident and failing to timely submit the SR-1.
     
  15. flyingron

    flyingron Active Member

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    Frankly, sticking your head in the sand isn't a good solution. If they already have a lawyer involved, it's because they already think they have a pretty good case (either to justify paying for the lawyer out of pocket or picking one up on contingent fee).

    It's also a possibility that this lawyer really is working for the insurer. Despite what he said in the original post where he says it "appears" the other parties insurance didn't pay, people seem to think that if insurance pays out to someone, they're home free. It doesn't work that way.
     
  16. Jesseacronym

    Jesseacronym Law Topic Starter New Member

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    1. I was not uninsured. The vehicle I was driving was not insured under my plan. That's not the same. You don't get your licence revoked for getting into an accident while driving your friend's car as an example.

    2. An SR-1 was filled out.

     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018
  17. Jesseacronym

    Jesseacronym Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Yea I mean if you can then why not?
     
  18. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    It's more along the lines of, I don't have nine grand tucked away in my back pocket. If you were responsible for the accident, why should I pay out money I don't have because you didn't insure your car properly? Why shouldn't you take responsibility for the damage you caused?

    It's naive to imagine that they'll drop it if you don't respond because "it's not enough to bother with".
     
  19. Jesseacronym

    Jesseacronym Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I've read that in many cases it isn't worth going after someone on a small claim who doesn't have money. You'll pay for legal fees and you'll pay to have a process server track down and serve the other party and still never get paid out. I have my own experience with this. I won a small claims and still never got paid because even after I won the state can not force them to pay. It makes the whole process pointless.

     
  20. Jesseacronym

    Jesseacronym Law Topic Starter New Member

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    My goal isn't to alleviate myself of paying for damages that I caused. But I shouldn't be required to pay a whopping 9k when 1. the other party was fully insured and 2. I was only "technically" at fault, not completely at fault.
     

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