Question of Liability in Auto Accident with No Insurance...
(Northport, AL, USA)
I took the car my dad just bought me to the store but I had no insurance. While I was heading to the store another driver was getting ready for his light to turn green but he passed the line he was suppose to be waiting at. He was preparing to go north and I was going south. He was out a little far from the line and I hit him.
The light just turned yellow when I was passing by but he claims it was red. This is my first time getting into a crash and I don't know if he should be calling me asking for his money? Can he have me arrested?
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ANSWER for "Question of Liability in Auto Accident with No Insurance...":
Jeffrey (Northport, AL, USA):
No. You WILL NOT be arrested. The only crime you committed was driving without insurance. The penalty for that is a traffic citation. A traffic citation technically is evidence of a crime, but the most minor.
Additionally, because the police officer didn’t issue you a citation at the scene, the “crime” you committed is really isn’t a crime at all.
If the other driver had insurance and reported the collision to his insurance company it is highly probably you will soon be receiving a letter from them.
The letter will be a demand for you to pay for the repairs to the other driver’s vehicle. If you don’t pay the amount the insurance company will probably report the collision to the Alabama Department of Motor Vehicles.
Once they confirm you didn’t have insurance your drivers license will be suspended. The suspension will remain in effect until the amount of repairs, called “the Judgment” have been paid in full.
To avoid having your drivers license suspended you can ask the drivers insurance company if they will give you a payment plan for the full amount of the judgment. They will. As long as you continue to make the payments on time your license will not be suspended.
If for any reason you miss even one payment, your license will be suspended and you will not be able to resume the original paymnemt plan, nor request a new one.
The Judgment we speak of is not one which goes against your credit. It has nothing to do with your credit, and as such will not be reported to any collection agency. The exception to this is if you default on your payment plan.
If you do, not only will your drivers license be suspended, but you will have a collection agency contacting you.
In the alternative, if you believe it was the other driver’s fault you can contest the Department of Public Safety suspension. Unless you have overwhelming proof of the other driver's negligence you will probably not be successful at the hearing.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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