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I got in an accident, not my fault, i have a suspended license, & no insurance. What will the courts do? Will my car get fixed?

Puyallup, WA |

I was hit by a man trying to cross 5 lanes of traffic and "didn't see me" as I was driving. He slammed into me and I had to pay to get my car towed as it was un-drivable. The man was driving his friends car that is insured, and I have called his INS to start a claim. I do not have a license or insurance (I am in the process of getting them back) and me, my bf, or my 1.5 year old are not badly injured. What will the courts do & his ins? the police were VERY nice to me & didn't say anything about a ticket on my part. The other guy was a lying idiot & the police even knew it and apologized for him because they even told him he was lying as proof was evident. (saying I was in this lane when my skid marks clearly showed me in another, etc.)

Attorney Answers 5

Posted

In the State of Washington, you can recover regardless of the fact that you did not have a license or insurance. You should all seek the necessary medical treatment to address any injuries. Consulting with a qualified personal injury attorney will assist you with the situation.c

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Posted

My colleague is correct: you can make a claim against the guy's insurance company despite your license status. There are a couple of things to consider, however. You can still get charged with Driving While License Suspended (DWLS), or cited for No Valid Operators License (NOVOL) and No Proof of Insurance.

DWLS is a gross misdemeanor, which may or may not require jail time and result in further suspension. You should call a lawyer to discuss your licensing issues.

NOVOL is a traffic ticket which generally requires a $250 fine.

Proof of Insurance generally carries a $550 fine, but is just an infraction, so no jail, license suspension, etc.

The final thing I would point out is that just because you don't hurt now, doesn't mean you won't hurt later. If you haven't gone to see a doctor, you should. If you're having problems finding one who will help you, call us and I can point you in the right direction.

You may have a valid Personal Injury claim, but it's hard to say without getting a little more information. Our office, like most, will meet with you for free to discuss your case. Feel free to call us.

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1 comment

Kevin Coluccio

Kevin Coluccio

Posted

It is very important that you seek necessary medical treatment and take care of any injuries suffered.

Posted

I agree with my colleagues completely -- your status has nothing to do with accident liability.

In no way am I offering you legal advice, and in no way has my comment created an attorney-client relationship. You are not to rely upon my note above in any way, but insted need to sit down with counsel and share all relevant facts before receiving fully-informed legal advice. If you want to be completely sure of your rights, you must sit down with an experienced criminal defense attorney to be fully aware of your rights.

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Posted

Sorry this happened to you. I agree with my colleagues as above, but would add that sometimes officers do not give tickets at the scene of the collision, and instead mail them to you later. Also, whether or not you make a claim against the at-fault driver's insurance should NOT affect whether you get a ticket, so you should still make a claim with the other driver's insurance company for your property damage and injuries. Try and get a copy of the police report from the Washington State Patrol (360-570-2355) to see what the officer's conclusions were, because sometimes they do not match what you are told at the scene of the collision.

DISCLAIMER: This information is for general information purposes only. Nothing stated above should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation.

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Posted

You can also get a copy of the Police report online:

https://fortress.wa.gov/wsp/wrecr/WSPCRS/Search.aspx

Sincerely,

Arthur D. Leritz

Legal Disclaimer: Mr. Leritz is licensed to practice law in the State of Washington. The response herein does not constitute legal advice nor does it seek to establish an attorney/client relationship, but rather offers educational insight only. Please feel free to visit Mr. Leritz's website for additional information: www.adlergiersch.com

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