What to do about liability for damagesregarding an accident?

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What to do about liability for damagesregarding an accident?

I was in a motorcycle with a motor vehicle. The police were called to the scene but no citations or tickets were issued. The motor vehicle’s insurance company is now holding me responsible for the damage. I did not have insurance on the motorcycle. I feel the accident was the fault of the motor vehicle. Am I responsible for the damages and can I fight it?

Asked on January 16, 2012 under Accident Law, Florida

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Although the police did not issue any tickets or citations, it would be advisable to obtain the police report to see which party the police report says caused the accident. 

If the police report says the motor vehicle caused the accident, then you have a claim for your property damage which you can file with the motor vehicle's insurance carrier.  If you were injured in the accident, and the other party was at fault, you would have a personal injury claim to file with the auto insurance carrier.  If injured, when you complete your medical treatment and are released by the doctor or are declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary which means having reached a point where no further iimprovement is anticipated, obtain your medical bills, medical reports and documentation of any wage loss.  Your personal injury claim will include these items.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your injuries and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the at fault party's auto insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault party.  If the case is settled with the insurance company, NO lawsuit is filed.  If the case is NOT settled with the insurance company, you will need to file your lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault party prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.

If the police report says that you were at fault in the accident, since you didn't have insurance you could be sued for negligence by the other driver and would be liable for their property damage and if injured their personal injury claim.

If the other party gets a court judgment against you which you can't afford to pay, you might want to consider filing bankruptcy.  Until there is a court judgment against you, it would be premature to file bankruptcy.


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