I had a car accident that I was at fault in, and it happened during a gap of my insurance coverage

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I had a car accident that I was at fault in, and it happened during a gap of my insurance coverage

I got a letter a few months after the accident from one of the cars involved in the auto accident asking for me to pay $8,000. I’m 18 and barely out of high school, but arranged to make $25 a month payments because it was all I could afford. Just last month I got emailed from an insurance company for the other car in the accident, they want $4,000. I haven’t yet responded, but they didn’t threaten to take away my license like the first letter did. Could I get away with just ignoring it, and if they send it to collections, would I be notified? Thanks.

Asked on April 30, 2009 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Driving without insurance is illegal in California, but threatening people with criminal prosecution for civil damages is not highly regarded either.

If you injured someone, or did property damage, and it was all your fault, and your are 18, you are liable for such damages regardless of your age.

Given that you're facing exposure of $12,000 (and who knows if they won't seek more later) it may be time to discuss it with your parents, and speak with a lawyer in California. Hopefully you won't have to file bankruptcy to wipe out the financial obligations, but at least a lawyer can try to negotiate down what you owe and get you a general release and keep you from making any other mistakes.


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