If Iwas in a car accident and had no insurance, can I be sued for damages from the other driver’s insurer?

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If Iwas in a car accident and had no insurance, can I be sued for damages from the other driver’s insurer?

About a year ago I was in a car accident. I had no insurance at the time and was at fault. The other driver was not injured and not taking legal action. The other driver’s insurance is now requesting my information and whether or not I had insurance at the time. I have no assets and make very little money. Can I be sued for the damages to the other vehicle by the insurance company? If so, how do I get the amount lowered or taken care of?

Asked on December 22, 2011 under Accident Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

1) An insurer who pays out on policy for an accident has the right to seek reimbursement from another driver who was at fault in causing the accident.

2) At fault means you either intentionally caused the collision, or that you were negligent, or unreasonably careless (e.g. driving too fast for conditions; DUI; ignored a traffic signal or sign; was following the car ahead too closely; was on the cell phone or texting; etc.). If you were at fault, therefore, the other driver's insurance can seek reimbursement from you.

2a) On the other hand, if you were not at fault, you should not have to pay; and if sued, you would defend yourself on the basis of showing that you were not at fault.

3) They have the right to seek reimbursement of all amounts they paid out to their insured driver. You can and should try to negotiate with them, if it looks like they will sue you for this money (and you think you probably were at fault), but you can't force them to accept less--all you can do is try to convince them that you have limited ability to pay, so they should accept a lesser amount.


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