What to do about an accident with an unlicensed and uninsureddriver?

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What to do about an accident with an unlicensed and uninsureddriver?

Parking lot accident with person backing out hit their driver’s side rear bumper on my boyfriend’s front right bumper. Technically it was the other person’s fault but since it was on private property I understand both parties should pay their own. However, my boyfriend doesn’t have insurance or a license right now and the person found that out and is now telling him they want $700 today and $500 in the next week or they are calling the cops. This sounds like extortion to me, is it? Should he pay? He doesn’t want to get in trouble but I know for a fact that the damage was not that much and the car wouldn’t even total out at that amount.

Asked on August 2, 2011 Colorado

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The party at fault is liable for the accident.  It is irrelevant that the accident occurred on private property.  It is also irrelevant that your boyfriend did not have insurance because he was not at fault in the accident.  He should NOT pay anything to the at fault party.  If your boyfriend is the registered owner of the car, he should file a claim for property damage with the at fault driver's insurance company for the cost of repairs to his (boyfriend's) car.  If the case is not settled with the insurance carrier, a lawsuit for negligence could be filed against the at fault driver.  Considering the minor damage, the case could be filed in Small Claims Court.  In addition to the cost of repairs, the lawsuit against the other driver should include recovery of court costs.  Court costs include the court filing fee and process server fee.  If the case is settled, no lawsuit is filed.  If the case is not settled, a lawsuit must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or your boyfriend will lose his rights forever in the matter.


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