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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    2

    Default Accident While Uninsured, Not at Fault, Can I Avoid License Suspension

    My question involves a driver's license issued by the State of: California

    I was involved in an accident which was not my fault.

    I was uninsured at the time of the accident. My insurance had lapsed several days prior to the accident, and I reinstated it within a few weeks of the accident.

    The other party filed a claim claiming that I was responsible.

    I did not file an SR-1 because I did not believe there was $750 of damage. Also, I was afraid of having my license suspended for driving without insurance.

    I have recently been contacted by a claims company representing the other party's insurer seeking payment for considerable damages (including injury, which based on the accident I assume is a fradulent claim).

    I am judgment-proof in the sense that I have no money (I'm on public assistance); however, a friend told me that the claims company will most likely try to secure judgment anyways.

    I would like to defend myself against this claim as I was not at-fault, and I believe that if there was a trial there is a good probability I would win.

    However, I am wondering if as a result of defending against this claim I might end up having my license suspended because I did not have insurance at the time of the accident.

    In that case, I think I would prefer to try to negotiate a settlement even though I was not at fault, as I can't afford to have my license suspended.

    Any advice or links to relevant threads would be greatly appreciated. I searched the forums and did not find anything on-point.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,594

    Default Re: Accident While Uninsured, Not at Fault, Can I Avoid License Suspension

    The problem you might have is that the cost for an attorney to defend yourself for the cost of any damages might greatly exceed the amount of any damages.

    The insurance company can decide you were at fault and make a claim against you. If you refuse, they will have to take you to court - likely Small Claims, unless we are talking about something in excess of $7,500. You would then have your chance to defend yourself. At least in Small Claims you will not have insurance costs.
    **********
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    CT & IL
    Posts
    5,273

    Default Re: Accident While Uninsured, Not at Fault, Can I Avoid License Suspension

    as far as the insurance is concerned, you can plead the 5th. has little to do with the factual examination of who is at fault so a judge might rule favorably on an objection to even the question.

    If they have not filed a case yet, you may wish to in small claims for your damage; take the initiative.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Accident While Uninsured, Not at Fault, Can I Avoid License Suspension

    Thanks for your reply.

    If they pursue the claim in Small Claims Court that would be ideal. I worry that they won't because they sent me a claim for in excess of $15,000. In that case, I will have to figure out whether it's viable to defend myself.

    Do you or anyone have any sense for whether as part of a civil case against me, in which the Claims company attempts to prove that I am liable for the claim, the DMV would be notified that I was driving while uninsured? (I was uninsured for a total of about 3 weeks).

    If so, that would be a big reason for me not to try to defend myself in court.

    Thanks for any information.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    CT & IL
    Posts
    5,273

    Default Re: Accident While Uninsured, Not at Fault, Can I Avoid License Suspension

    The company can contact DMV w/o a suit .. so you cannot prevent this if the company wants to, they can.

    Insurance companies don't make claims unless they think the opposing party is at fault ... and for 15K, they may pursue you in court.

    I wonder if you file a small claims and then they want to file a counter-suit > the limit in sm. claims then would this automatically be transferred to regular court? Or would the insurance company be limited to the small claims or would they have the ability just to file regular and then ask the sm. claims to dismiss your complaint, if filed.

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