If I was involved in an accident and my insurance policy had lapsed unknown to me, what can I do?

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If I was involved in an accident and my insurance policy had lapsed unknown to me, what can I do?

I was involved in an accident at a 4-way stop. I stopped, proceeded into the intersection, and the other car came out of nowhere and I hit it. To make things worse, I thought my car insurance was current, but then I found out that it had been cancelled several months before due to a problem with my auto pay. No one from the insurance company called me and I did not receive a cancellation notice. The company is claiming they sent it out based on their records, but how do I know if it was returned to them, plus no one bothered to call me. Now I am being sued for $12,000 by the other parties insurance. In addition to that, my car was totalled and I had to pay $1200 to get it out of the junk yard, and it doesn’t even run anymore. What can I do? I feel so sick it is affecting emotionally and physically. I cannot pay for this, plus she should be paying for my damages. What can I do?

Asked on September 24, 2019 under Accident Law, Hawaii

Answers:

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

If you claim the other driver was at fault, you can file a cross-complaint (countersuit) against her for negligence. Your damages (monetary compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) would be the value of your car and the cost of retrieving it from the junkyard.
If you lose the case, and the other party obtains a monetary judgment against you, it would be advisable at that time to file bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is straight liquidation which will eliminate that debt.


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