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If I was unknowingly driving a vehicle with no insurance can I be held liable for an accident?

Virginia Beach, VA |

My ex-boyfriend's sister in law let us drive her car. One night my ex-boyfriend was driving and made a left turn on yield and we were hit. He was drunk so I took the blame. I got a ticket and found guilty of failure to yield left turn. A year later I get a bill from a law firm of about $19,000. The vehicle we were driving was uninsured and they are coming after me for the money. At first I made three payments of $100, but now after not being with him I decided I don't want to pay. How can I get out of this?

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Attorney answers 5

Posted

You never should have accepted blame. You should have consulted an attorney at the outset. A law firm cannot just bill you. Did they take a judgment against you? Did you own any vehicle which you had insurance on that could provide coverage? Go buy an hour of an attorneys time to explore your options, bring all the paperwork you have with you.

This response does not create a lawyer client relationship. Each case is determined on its specific facts and this reply is intended for a general audience and facts particular to your case may affect the answer. Consult with an attorney in person for specific answers to your questions.

Posted

The short answer is yes, you are going to owe the money because of your own foolishness in taking the blame. The longer answer is that you also likely committed a crime when you lied to the police to cover up his crime. You should consult with an experienced criminal attorney in your area. My sense is that you made what will turn out to be a very expensive mistake. Also, if you don't pay your own drivers license will likely be suspended in Virginia

Ben Glass is licensed in Virginia. He offers a number of free consumer book downloads at his site for information purposes only. You should consult an experienced, board certified attorney in your area. Obviously, no attorney client relationship is formed by participating in Avvo.

Posted

It is highly unlikely that you will get out of this scenario in any way that is favorable to you. You lied yourself into this debt, and can not now come forward to claim it was not you who was driving. Additionally, by making whatever payments you did make, likely done without the benefit of first consulting an attorney, your action in doing so can be arguably deemed an "admission against interest [by conduct], to wit, that it was you who was driving and it was you who caused the accident, should you now attempt to litigate these issues. Your perjury, even if made in the name of love, brings to mind the old adage: "you shall reap what you sow".

Posted

Have a local lawyer in your state try to negotiate this amount down, and get you on a payment plan that you can live with.

Posted

In most states if you are in an accident and at fault, unknowingly driving without insurance does not alleviate responsibility. Left turns accross oncoming traffic must yield the right of way with the exception of a traffic light or signal giving the right of way. The oncoming car will submit both an uninsured motorist injury claim and property claim to their own insurance carrier. The carrier then proceeds against the uninsured driver personally and in some cases the vehicle owner to recoup the money paid out on the claim. Call a local attorney. This is not a case where you can afford not to call.

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