What should I do if I had a minor car accident but was under the influence and uninsured at the time?

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What should I do if I had a minor car accident but was under the influence and uninsured at the time?

I rear-ended the car in front me but there was minor damage. The problem is that I was under the influence of alcohol and I had no insurance. The driver of the car I hit made me sign a paper and took a pice of paper of the DMV registration which has all my information on it. I don’t remember what I signed and this happened about two years ago and now this guy is calling my home and sending mail for me to pay but wants be to pay him about $4000 which I believe is to much.

Asked on August 21, 2014 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

If you were at fault--and if you were under the influence and rear-ended the car in front of you, then you almost certaiinly would be found to be at fault--you'd have to pay for the damage to the other party's car and any injuries to him (such as medical bills). Ask the other party to document the costs/amounts he wants you to pay--for example, to send you copies of invoices or receipts for repairs to the car, medical bills, etc.

If the actual amount (after you look at his bills) is less than $4,000, you probably want to offer to pay the actual amount--if you could afford it--because if he sues you, you'd likely be found to have to pay that much. If the amount is $4,000 and you can't pay that much--or you can't pay whatever it is--try to settle for an amount you could pay and/or by paying over time, bearing in mind that if you are sued, again, you will probably have to pay whatever the actual costs/damages are, plus paying your own legal defense costs. It is in your interest to try to settle, if you were at fault, for something you can afford.

If you do settle, get a written agreement from him that this fully settles the case and that he cannot bring any other claims against you.


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