Visitor Question

At Fault Driver Left the Country…

Submitted By: Kenny (LA)

I was involved in a car accident. I had no auto insurance and neither did the other driver. The police came and did a report at the scene. They determined it was the other driver’s fault. The other driver is an international student and is now believed to be gone out of the country.

The damages cost a lot, exceeding the market value of the car. I asked the other driver’s friend where he was. His friend said he did in fact leave for his home county and he’s not sure if he’s coming back.

What if he’s not coming back? What should I do about the damages? I did call the police to let them know, but I don’t know if they can do anything. Would they really be able to find him in his country? Any info you could give would be great. Thanks.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Kenny,

Regrettably, you may be out of luck. The other driver didn’t commit any crime. The police certainly won’t go after him, nor will they investigate his whereabouts. Without insurance there is really nothing you can do.

The good news is the police didn’t cite you for not having auto insurance. All vehicles in the State of California have to be insured. In California if you are cited by the police for no insurance your license can be suspended for 4 years.

The good news is you may be able to get it back in a year if you are able to submit proof of insurance to the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

The bad news is you must be able to verify your insurance for the next 3 years.

If not, your license will be suspended again.

If you weren’t cited by the police for no insurance there is always a chance you may receive the citation in the mail. Let’s hope for your sake that doesn’t happen.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: September 11, 2011

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