What to do if I was in a car accident but my insurance had lapsed?

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What to do if I was in a car accident but my insurance had lapsed?

I was recently in an accident and didn’t have insurance policy info. When I checked my policy at home it said my insurance lapsed. There were no injuries in the accident to either me or the other party. When the police checked my information it showed I had insurance. The person I hit had a lawyer call me and they asked if I had insurance. I told them no and they said thats all they needed and hung up. I have a court appearance tickets I received from the accident next week. One is for failure to make a left turn and the other is no insurance card. I’ve never been in trouble before and don’t want to go to jail as I have a family to take care of. I’m looking to know what my options are.

Asked on May 8, 2012 under Accident Law, Georgia

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You won't go to jail.  This is a civil case and not a criminal case.  You will probably pay a fine for the traffic ticket.  As for no insurance, the penalties vary from state to state and may include fines and/or license suspension.

If the other driver had uninsured motorist coverage on his/her policy, the other driver can file a claim through his/her insurance company for property damage and/or any personal injury claim which might arise due to the accident.  If the other driver did not have uninsured motorist coverage, the other driver will sue you to recover compensation for property damage and/or personal injury.  If the other driver had uninsured motorist coverage, the insurance company will sue you to recover the amount it paid on the claim.  If the other driver or the insurance company sues you and gets a judgment against you in an amount you can't afford to pay, you might want to consider filing bankruptcy.  It would be premature to file bankruptcy until there is a judgment against you.

The reason the other driver's lawyer hung up after finding out you didn't have insurance was that either the case will be an uninsured motorist claim or if the other driver did not have insurance, the attorney won't take the case.

 


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