What will happen if I was not at fault in a car accident but have no insurance or valid driver’s license?

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What will happen if I was not at fault in a car accident but have no insurance or valid driver’s license?

I was involved in a car accident early Monday morning. The cops said that I was not at fault. The car in front of me lost control and I struck the vehicle in the front left driver side. The driver of the vehicle that had lost control left the scene before cops arrived. There was no alcohol involved on my part nor his as far as I know. Both cars are completely totaled beyond repair. My problem is that I had let my insurance lapse so it was not valid at the time (although no one asked me for any of that information which I though was odd); also apparently I have a suspended license due to an unpaid fine.

Asked on September 21, 2011 under Accident Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you are not at fault, you should not be liable to pay for other damages or injuries (e.g the cost of totalled car). However, the police saying you are not at fault is not the end of the story; while that is evidence that you are not at fault, it is not actually a judicial determination of fault, so the other party to the accident or their insurer could sue you if they think that you were at fault, and at trial they'd have the opportunity to present evidence in their favor, as you could present evidence in yours (like a favorable police report). Of course, without insurance, you'd have to pay your own lawyer; and the fact that you didn't have a valid license may be evidence that you were an unsafe driver, depending on the circumstances. Also, if you don't have a license of your own, you may be precluded from suing anyone else for any losses or damages you suffered, though if you think you may have a cause  of action, you should discuss the situation in detail with an attorney.


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