What to do if you cause an accident but didn’t have any insurance?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What to do if you cause an accident but didn’t have any insurance?

I was involved in a minor car accident. There was minimum damage to the other person’s vehicle only paint scratch no dent. My father told me I was under his insurance which I just found out I wasn’t. The lady husband wants to go through the insurance since I don’t have any. I was wondering can I just get quotes from different body shops. Send her the information then write a check or do I have to get a lawyer involved?

Asked on March 7, 2016 under Accident Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You don't have to get an attorney involved: the matter can certainly be settled between the two parties without litigation and without an attorney. One way to do so is to be a little generous: remember, if you are sued, you will have to spend time (likely hours; possibly more than a day) on the matter (which will cost you money if you miss work), and if you hire an attorney to defend the case, will have to pay for a lawyer. So say the damage appears to be $500 to fix...if she is reluctant to settle for that amount, to avoid the time and cost of litigation, you may wish to offer $600 or even $700--you'll still come out ahead by settling.

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