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Small car accident, no insurance?

Long Beach, CA |

Situation:
There are 2 lanes, I am in the left lane. The lane does not move because someone is yielding for a left turn. I decide to merge into the right lane, because traffic along the lane is moving steadily. I signal right, and wait for cars to pass me. I see an opportunity to safely merge into the right lane (light traffic), and I go for it; however, as I merged, I scratched my front-right bumper and front mount (in a truck), onto their van. We both pulled over and exchanged information, but I did not tell him I was uninsured;I said I couldn't find it (nervous).

Details:
I am 18 years old. There were 4 passengers in my car during the time of the accident, including myself. No bodily injuries in either party; I scratched his van no more than 5 MPH. I forgot to take pictures. Help?

Attorney Answers 5


  1. Best answer

    It isn't clear to me what happened. Where did the van come from? Do you think you were at fault, or do they? If so, you are most likely going to hear from the van owner or his insurance company, demanding payment for the cost of repairs to the van. You can work something out with them, or face a possible lawsuit against you. Depending on how much they demand, you may want to consult with a lawyer who can advise you on the best way to get out of this debt as cheaply as possible.


  2. Based upon the limited information provided, and assuming that the Van was in the right lane which you were intending to merge into, then there is a likelihood that you will be found at least partially, if not totally, at fault for the accident. As the Van in the right lane had the right -of-way for that lane, the fact of the collision is presumptive proof that it was not safe for you to attempt to enter that lane when you did. As you did not have any insurance, you stand exposed to be liable to pay for any property damage or personal injury claims that may come out of this occurence. Consult with a local personal injury attorney to go over all the details and see what, if any, defenses to the accident you may have.


  3. I'm not sure why you were driving without insurance. If you get sued, retain a local car accident lawyer to defend.


  4. You should attempt to resolve this matter with the van owner right away. Have him/her sign a Release of All Claims form. You also should be concerned about the passengers in your car as they may claim an injury. If this claim is reported to the DMV you could have your license suspended. Therefore, I would also suggest getting insurance immediately.

    Mr. Crosner is licensed to practice law in California and has been practicing law in California since 1978. The response herein is general legal and business analysis.. It is not intended nor construed to be "legal advice" but rather it is analysis, and different lawyers may analyze this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.


  5. Uninsured motorists that are at fault for an accident face civil as well as administrative and registration issues. Call a local attorney to assist in immediately resolving this claim otherwise actions can start that you may not be able to stop.

    24 Hour Attorney Call Center (314) 361-4242 or visit us on the Web at http://www.hoffmannpersonalinjury.com.

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