What to do if my fiancee drove my uninsured car and a had a fender bender whole backing up?

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What to do if my fiancee drove my uninsured car and a had a fender bender whole backing up?

He and his co-worker worked out a deal for my fiancee to just pay his $500 deductible and repairs. No police involved. Today, I received a letter in the mail from his insurance basically stating I must contact them ASAP for not showing proof of insurance, and I have to pay $3,000-$4,000 to them. He called to ask why we have to pay and why it was sent and direct to both me and him, instead of just him (the person driving). They continue to transfer him to different people all stating we need to agree to a payment. plan. It’s my first accident, and I am not educated enough about the auto insurance world to know what I am I supposed to do say.

Asked on November 16, 2013 under Accident Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

You received the letter from the other driver's insurance company because you are the registered owner of the vehicle that was at fault in the accident.  As the registered owner, you are liable for the accident even though you weren't the driver when the accident occurred and were not present at the scene of the accident.

The party who was not at fault filed an uninsured motorist claim with his insurance carrier.  The amount the insurance carrier is seeking to collect from you and your fiance is the amount the insurance company paid on the claim.  If you and your fiance can't pay, both of you will be named in a lawsuit for negligence filed by the insurance carrier on behalf of the party who was not at fault in the accident.

If the insurance carrier obtains a judgment against you and your fiance which you can't afford to pay, it would be advisable to file bankruptcy.  Chapter 7 bankruptcy is straight liquidation which eliminates certain types of debts.  Eligibility to file Chapter 7 is based on income and other factors.  If you are not eligible to file Chapter 7, you can file Chapter 13; however, Chapter 13 bankruptcy requires a plan (budget) for repayment of creditors.

The penalty for not having auto insurance varies from state to state.  A penalty in some states is suspension of your driver's license by the Dept. of Motor Vehicles.

If you can afford a payment plan with the other driver's insurance carrier, it would be advisable to proceed with that in order to settle the case.


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