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

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 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.


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