If I was in a car accident that was no fault of mine but didn’t have insurance at the time, what will happen?

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If I was in a car accident that was no fault of mine but didn’t have insurance at the time, what will happen?

I had just gotten the car 3 days prior to the accident and thought I had insurance. However, for some reason there was a lapse in my policy. Since the accident was not my fault, will the person who hit me have to pay for my car? The accident report says it was their fault. I just want to know if their insurance will have to pay for my car?

Asked on July 6, 2015 under Accident Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Their insurance does not *have* to pay for your car unless you sue the driver and win (and his coverage would then apply): the insurer may well choose to pay without a lawsuit, if they believe their driver would be liable (and so they'd have to pay anyway; but if they settle without a suit, they avoid the cost of litigation), but they are not obligated to pay unless you sue and win. A good first step is to try to settle--send a claim to the at-fault driver's insurance. But if they don't pay, you'll need to sue and prove that  the other driver was at fault in court. Depending on the cost to repair or replace your car, you may wish, if necessary to sue, to file in small claims court, acting as your own attorney ("pro se") to save on legal fees.


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