What are my legal responsibilities?

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What are my legal responsibilities?

Car that was hit was in front of me at
a red. We were on the right only
turning lane she took the turn and I
followed she suddenly stopped and
didn’t follow through with the turn and
I rear ended we exchanged info but I
don’t have insurance on this vehicle as
I recently purchased it. We didn’t
report it but have confirmed phone
numbers

Asked on June 17, 2017 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Since if you hit her from behind you are the "at fault" driver. Your legal responsibiltiy here is to pay for the repairs to the car that you damaged. If you do not pay, then you can be sued in court and a judgment against you can be obtained by the other driver.. At that point, the other party can have your your wages garnished and take other actions against you in order to collect what is owed to them.  

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If she sues you for the damage, you will have to pay out of pocket (i.e. with your own money), since you do not have insurance to defend you in court or pay for you. Not having insurance does not mean you would not have to pay when at fault, but only that no one else (i.e. an insurer) will make payments for you. And if you were following her and hit her, you are legally at fault: the law requires you to maintain such safe following distance and speed that you *can* stop in time, even if the other driver stops short or suddenly.


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