If I hit a car in my driveway and just found out that my insurace has lapsed, what am I liable for?

Asked on July 8, 2014 under Accident Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If you were at fault  in hitting the car--that is, you were driving negligently (carelessly) or recklessly, such as by not looking where yo were going, driving too fast, driving distractedly (e.g. on phone or texting), DUI, etc.--then you are potentially liable for all costs and damages which you caused. These include the cost to repair the other car, if repairable, or its then-current value if it can't be repaired; any medical costs or lost wages incurred by an injured person; possibly pain and suffering for serious injuries; and other out-of-pocket costs, like if someone else had to rent a car while his/her car is in the shop.

If someone else carelessly caused damage to you, on the other hand, they would potentially be liable for your costs and injuries.

An at-fault person, whether you or another driver, will have to bear his/her own costs (includinig repairs, medical bills, etc.), unless and only to the extent they have applicable insurance to cover those costs.

If you only you were involved--i.e. you were driving one of your cars, and hit another of your cars--then again, you'd have to bear all costs unless you have appropriate insurance.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.