Should I get a lawyer if an at-fault driver in a crash does not have insurance?

UPDATED: Aug 16, 2011

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UPDATED: Aug 16, 2011Fact Checked

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Should I get a lawyer if an at-fault driver in a crash does not have insurance?

I was involved in an auto accident about 2 months ago. The person who is at fault keeps saying they can’t not find their insurance information and I’m beginning to believe they just don’t have any insurance. They said they would be willing to work with me on a payment plan and help me find a new car but the last few weeks I’ve tried contacting them and I have not heard back from them. My car isn’t worth that much (maybe $2500) and I don’t have that much money to get a lawyer. Would it be worth hiring a lawyer?

Asked on August 16, 2011 Minnesota


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you were not personally injured, the most you could likely recover would be the value of the car, if it is totaled or can't be repaired economically, and possibly other out-of-pocket costs (e.g. towing; renting a replacement car while yours is undriveable; etc.) That is marginal for hiring an attorney, but still would be worth it IF you think the other person was at fault AND has money (income or assets) to pay you. If they don't have money, then if you win, you'd lose--you'd still pay the lawyer, but you wouldn't collect anything. If they don't have insurance, they may not have any money, either--it may therefore be better for you to sue them in small claims court, representing yourself, so you can avoid legal fees. Good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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