I rear ended this woman on the road, and i had no insurance at the time. I Immediately offered to help her cover her costs and gave her my number. She told me she had to pay a $500 deductible, so i offered to pay her that in full and yet she has decided to call a lawyer. I don't understand what she thinks she can accomplish when all i cost her was $500 and maybe the cost of a rental which i also offered to pay for. I have no property to my name or anything she can really take from me. what is she thinking and should i be worried?
Car / Auto Accident Lawyer
She can secure a verdict against you and should you come into some money a portion of it will be hers.
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Family Law Attorney
If you really have no assets, and a judgment is obtained against you from this matter, you should consider speaking with a bankruptcy attorney to protect yourself. Best of luck.
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We can't read her mind, but she will likely resurface for money. It sounds minor, so hopefully won't be much. Make sure she signs a release when you pay her. Get insurance.
More is involved here than a $500 deductible. Her insurance company will make the repairs under her collision damage coverage and then the insurance company will take after you for the full amount of the damages they have paid to repair her vehicle, since they have sustained a loss and will now have the right to collect from you.
No one should own or operate any motor vehicle without maintaining adequate automobile liability insurance on it at all times. Hopefully you have now gotten insurance for your vehicle.
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Car / Auto Accident Lawyer
If you are driving an automobile and rear-end another car but do not have insurance to pay on the claim, then the common actions taken against you are: 1) criminal, 2) civil, 3) and administrative. In these cases, lawyers often see the claimant reporting the issue to the police and charges being issued. In other uninsured auto accidents, attorneys see the matter reported to the drivers license bureau and a suspension is issued until proof of insurance is submitted or proof of payment on the claim. Finally, it is not uncommon for the person or the person vis-a-vi their insurance company file suit against you in civil court for damages. This last option is most often the insurance company attempting to recoupe their payout on the uninsured automobile claim. Call a lawyer in your area for advice.
She may have retained a lawyer because she is injured. In that case, if you have no insurance and she is injured, she may pursue an uninsured motorist claim with her insurance company - if she has that coverage. She may continue with a claim against you, but in most instances with uninsured motorist it is in her best interest if she has the coverage to make a claim with her insurance. The woman will likely be in contact with you through her attorney to verify that there is no insurance coverage to you, or available to you.
She can proceed against you for any damages even if you you do not have insurance or assets, it just may not be very helpful for her to do that.
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You should not worry. She may never sue you, and you will raise your blood pressure for nothing.
Unfortunately, she is actually out more money than you identify. There is the deductible, true, and the rental car. But her insurance company is likely to raise her rates, even though she is not at fault, because the company had to pay a claim. It also may be that she wants to make a claim of Uninsured Motorist for personal injury.
If she does sue you and get a judgment, she can have Motor Vehicles suspend your license until the Judgment is paid in full. So even if you don't have anything, you will likely be motivated to get this paid. And if you are employed then she can garnish your wages once she has the judgment. Her insurance company could also sue you in subrogation, with the same options for collection. Fortunately, you can get the judgment discharged with a bankruptcy; and if you do, MVD will lift the suspension if it was imposed.
However, I will reitterate that a lot of these matters are never litigated. So do not worry unless you are actually sued.
I am an Attorney with Fife & Cesta, a compasionate bankruptcy firm conveniently located off the US 60 in Mesa, Arizona. In addition to our other areas of practice, Fife & Cesta is a debt relief agency. We help people and families file for relief under the bankruptcy code. https://plus.google.com/#105782058221121955478/posts The answers given here are based on the information in the question, but for a complete answer you should have a consultation with an attorney you trust. Call (480) 850-6541 for a free bankruptcy consultation. We carefully evaluate your situation and give you real advice.