Car accident with no police involvement and no insurance; is there any real evidence against me / will I have to pay the damage?
I was backing out of my driveway into a main intersection and hit a car waiting at the stoplight. My taillight cracked, and there was a scratch and a small dent on the bumper of the other car. The driver, a middle-aged woman, took pictures of our cars / my licence plate / drivers licence. I do not have insurance, and she did not call the police. She did take my phone number, and told me that she would get an estimate from her insurance company, and call me with the information. Considering that there were no witnesses (other than her 8-10 year old daughter) does she have any actual proof of an accident, and is it possible that I could be forced to pay for the damage to her car?
3 attorney answers
You should not be driving without insurance. If she reports you, it would not be good, as you'd likely get cited and have to go to court. Best bet is to pay her for the damage you caused (have her sign a release), and get insurance ASAP.
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Yes you could be liable for the damage to her car and without insurance the repairs may be your financial responsibility, there is a strong possibility that an insurance claim will be filed and when it is found out that you don't have insurance your license will likely be suspended. A driver's license is a privileged and can be suspended if you drive without insurance. A driver's license does not mean you can drive a an uninsured vehicle. Who do you think should bear your responsibility for insuring the public against your irresponsibility.
Sorry, no sympathy here. Get insurance and be a responsible driver. I would bet 10 to 1 that you continue to drive without insurance.
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Since you are writing from Grand Rapids, Michigan, I assume the crash happened in Michigan and if so then you as an uninsured driver are not protected by Michigan's mini tort law and you are now exposed to the total cost of the vehicle damage.
Also, you are now personally liable for any injuries if the other driver is seriously injured, and you will likely be sued by the other driver's auto insurance company if she recovers after bringing an uninsured motorist claim against her insurance company. http://www.michiganautolaw.com/nofault/un-motorist-coverage.php
The penalties for driving uninsured in Michigan are extremely harsh.
Yes, there is real evidence against you - as you say you were backing out of your driveway and hit a vehicle with the right of way at an intersection that was waiting for a stoplight.
Finally, I would not make the leap that because the vehicle suffered minimal visible damage, that this would mean the occupant is fine. Vehicle damage does not correlate with occupant injury, and there are hundreds of cases every year where the vehicle is fine, but the occupant suffers severe injury or even death. Think of Sam Kinison or Natasha Richardson, as two examples of why pictures of a car cannot rule out injury to an occupant.