Contact a personal injury attorney ASAP and get auto insurance.
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If she just "wants to drop it," she should just tell that to the other driver's insurance company. I assume she wasn't injured or suffered damage
She can tell the insurance company that she does not want to make a claim, but that would mean she will not get her car fixed or be able to make an injury claim. I would consult a personal injury lawyer just to be sure this is the right decision before you speak to the insurance company.
Also be aware of the SR-1 filing requirement with the DMV.
I am licensed in California only and my answers on Avvo assume California law. The above answer is for general information only and is based on the information you posted. Every case is fact dependent, so to get a thorough analysis of your situation, you will need to consult face to face with an attorney licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where the incident took place. Do not conclusively rely on any information posted online when deciding what to do about your case. No attorney-client relationship shall be created through the use reading of this response on Avvo. You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information in this response.
From the DMV website (link below): "All California drivers and owners must have at least the statutory limits of minimum liability insurance or an approved alternative way to pay for injury or property damage they may cause.* Penalties are very severe for non-compliance with this section of the vehicle code."
On top of that, if your girlfriend was injured as a result of this accident then you may want to read the "Uh-oh..." link below.
Please click the link below to read my AVVO Legal Guide which specifically addresses this issue.
Bottom Line: Consult a personal injury attorney before taking any further steps!!!
Your girlfriend can decide not to pursue anything and can decide not to speak with the adverse insurance carrier. However, more importantly, your girlfriend should not be driving an uninsured vehicle under any circumstances. It is important that she obtain insurance. She also should be sure to purchase uninsured motorist coverage, which will protect her in the event she is rear ended by an uninsured driver next time and is severely injured.
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Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within 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. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
This ans. does not create an attorney/client relationship.
I would simply contact a San Jose personal injury attorney and go in for a free consultation. She should, as least, understand her options.
I'm not sure why in the world she would be driving without insurance, but call one of the lawyers in your state who answered above to discuss in detail.
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If the other side reports the accident to the DMV, reqd when there is injury or property damage above 750.00, the DMV will then send a letter to her suspending her license for failure to file the SR 1 and for failure to have insurance. There is no guarantee that by telling ins co she isnt going to file a claim, that they wont file an SR 1 form any way. She has a 2 yr statute of limitations for her injury claim, and 3 yrs for her property damage claim. If injured she should get to a doctor and document injuries and get needed treatment. Take photos of damage to car. Get estimates for repair. If she gets the dmv suspension letter, she should contact an atty, and at that point might as well make her claims. Not a good idea to talk to ins co. They will try to get a statement about how acc happened, and may try to twist her words. if there were any witnesses, should get statements from them. The other person may bs about how crash occurred. eg. May claim your GF cut her off with an unsafe lane change.
Any punishment or fines your girlfriend might incur a a result of her failure to carry insurance are separate and independent from any liability claim she may have against the person who rear ended her. She must fill out an SR-1 and notify the DMV of the accident if the damage exceeds $750--this is a requirement--but it does not mean she cannot make a claim against the other driver for crashing into her. Put another way, your girlfriend's lack of insurance does not make the other driver any less "at fault" for the accident itself.
In California, Prop 213 will preclude your girlfriend from collecting general "pain and suffering" damages due to her failure to carry insurance. However, she can still demand compensation for damage to her car and any medical expenses she incurred as a result of the accident--something that does not seem emphasized in the responses I am reading above.
This answer is a general interpretation of the law and is not fact specific to your case. Likewise it does not create an attorney-client relationship. You should seek an attorney for a review of your specific facts and documents.
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