What is my liability for an accident in whichI was not at fault but did not have insurance?

Husband did not pay the car insurance and I did not know. I was driving uninsured when I was in an accident. A truck drove into my lane and to avoid an accident with him, I tried to change lanes. My car collided with another car. The police report states that the driver of the truck was at fault. The driver of the other car was issued a citation for driving without a license. I filed claim with the driver of the truck’s insurance, but they denied fault. My insurance will not cover the accident. We filed claim under the other driver’s insurance. I paid the deductible, towing, and rental car for the other driver. Their insurance totaled out their car. Am I liable for the value of their car?

Asked on January 2, 2011 under Accident Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The issue is fault. Note that what the police report states is evidence--in this case, evidence in your favor--but it does settle the matter. If you believe someone else is at fault and want to recover your losses, if their insurer does not honor the claim, you can sue them; if you do, you then have the chance to establish in court that they are liable, or  legally responsible. Similarly, if someone else believes you are at fault, they can make a claim against you; if you do not agree or want to pay, you can refuse, which then puts them in the position of deciding whether to sue or not. If sued, you can defend yourself, presenting evidence it's not your fault. (And, if sued, you can countersue if you think they are responsible, even if you yourself did not initiate a lawsuit otherwise.)


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