What to do if I was briefly driving my father’s vehicle which is owned by his dealership and was involved in an auto accident but with no insurance?

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What to do if I was briefly driving my father’s vehicle which is owned by his dealership and was involved in an auto accident but with no insurance?

The police report indicates an inability to determine fault, no citations were made. The other driver’s insurance company determined the accident to be no fault/equal fault. We realized after trying to file a claim that the insurance company insuring the dealership vehicles had let the insurance lapse due to the payment being sent to the wrong policy. Therefore the car was uninsured at the time of the accident. The other driver is extorting my father and me to the fullest degree. He is demanding his car be

completely repaired, a warranty on the repairs and compensation for loss and

Asked on October 18, 2016 under Accident Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

This is fundamentally an economic, not legal issue. First, until and unless a court finds fault--i.e. there is a legal determination of fault--you don't know who is or is not at fault. Your opinion, the police's opinon, etc. are just opinions. Certainly, that the police did not find fault is useful evidence that you could present if sued--it suggests there is no fault--but it's not legally binding; similarly, the other insurer's opinion is not legally binding, either.
That means that if sued, while you may well win, you could lose: don't assume that the court will not find you to be at least partially at fault (partially at fault can make you partially liable for his costs, etc.).
If the other driver looks like he will sue, then you will have to spend money on a lawyer; will lose some productive time (e.g. time you could be working/earning); and even though you probably have a strong case based on what you write, could possibly lose--winning in court is never guaranteed. Balance that vs. what he wants. If, for example, the blue book of is 200k mile car is only, say, $5k or so, you may wish to offer his $3k to settle and possible pay up to $5k, to avoid the possibility of legal fees, etc.--it depends how you balance the amount of money it would take to settle his case vs. your time vs. lawyer costs vs. the uncertainty of litigation vs whether emotionally, it will chew you up to pay if you think you're not in the wrong. Make the decison you can best afford and which lets you sleep at night.
If you do settle, get it in writing before you hand over the check.


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