Financial Liability for an Auto Accident

A friend was at fault in a fender bender. My friend doesn't have any money to spare and is $200 late on her rent already. The lady she hit turned it in to the police of course, as is the law, but she doesn't have really much damage. The damage estimate is for $1000 dollars. What could that be for?


Does anyone know what happens if she doesn't pay, as in can they take her car? And does she need a lawyer for this? I need anyone's input who is knowledgeable on this. I would also appreciate any ideas on how to raise money to help her out.

By Robyn from Hampton, TN

January 19, 20100 found this helpful

If the person did not have liability insurance on their vehicle, then the law can revoke driver's license until proof of insurance coverage and/or lose it for so many days and will most likely pay a fine for lack of besides the fine for being at fault and having to pay for repairs. The person is fortunate there are no injuries to claim as it could have been worse for your friend.

If there's liability insurance it shouldn't be too worrisome other than a mark against driver's license for cause of accident and having to pay any deductible clause on the insurance carrier and fines.

I don't know of any free services to get your friend out of the predicament other than borrow money from others and take a part time job to pay it all back. Sometimes one has to do those difficult things in order to survive and hold your head up above the water. Lessons can be learned from this and taking an extra job to have liability insurance coverage from the get go could have avoided a lot of the turmoil that's now being faced.

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Anonymous Flag
January 21, 20100 found this helpful

As for the $1000.00 in damage that is very, very realistic and actually very, very inexpensive! Your friend needs to call their own insurance company to find out what to do, what their out of pocket obligations are and how and when to pay. Because the accident was your friends fault and it was reported to the police your friend will most likely get 'points' added to their drivers license and insurance.No, the car will not be taken away but if your friend doesn't pay there could be a court ordered monetary lien which will retrieve the money via paychecks even if those paychecks are from state agencies. Most likely your friend will only be responsible for a deductible but that's where they need to talk to their own (or the person whose car they hit) insurance agent.

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January 21, 20100 found this helpful

It's irresponsible to drive without insurance.

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January 22, 20100 found this helpful

If she lived in the state where I live, she could not be driving without insurance. You must have it to register your car and if you drop it the state comes and takes your plates. If she has insurance she needs to turn it over and let them pay. Otherwise, she must do what she has to do to pay for the other car. If she takes a second job, then after she has paid she should work a little longer and buy insurance.

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January 22, 20100 found this helpful

First off, since your friend did not have insurance, the person she hit's insurance will pay for the damage under what I believe is called 'uninsured motorist' clause, or something like that.

She probably will get points against her license, like the other person mentioned, and probably some sort of fine when she goes to court, plus paying court costs. Alot will depend on the judge she gets, quite honestly.

You didn't mention, but I know there are a few states that do not require you to have insurance. That'll be a big factor as well. She could have a lot of problems if she was required to have it.

Best of luck to her. I understand how it is to only have enough to make the basic necessities.

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January 23, 20100 found this helpful

Your friend has my sympathy. Having scraped to survive financially all my adult life, I know how difficult it is even to buy liability insurance.

That being said, in spite of my state's financial responsibility laws, we secretly dropped coverage on a 2nd vehicle we used to own to save money. Naturally, hubby got in a fender-bender when a woman pulled out in front of him several years back. Even though the wreck was obviously her fault, hubby had two strikes against him: lack of insurance, and that the actual impact site (behind the passenger door) would've made it his fault by law. She didn't report it except to her insurance company, and actually took $300 from us - supposedly to begin paying for her repairs.

We learned later her own insurance paid for the repairs; this so-called Christian woman ripped us off. When we weren't able to come up with more cash, the woman called my hubby, threatening to report him, anyway. She never did, though.

Several months later we received a telephone call from her insurance company's collections dept, and learned what she'd done. Not only had this woman stolen our money, the $1300 estimate she'd shown hubby was twice what we should've had to pay for the damages. Now we're paying her insurance company directly, a little each month. Barring unforeseen circumstances, we should have it completely paid by the end of this year. Neither hubby nor I could take a 2nd job, so we've simply had to tighten our belts for the last several years in order to pay everything.

As for raising money to help her. I think you're a great friend to want to help. As long as your circle of friends understand any money given is a gift, go for it. One excellent way to raise money is to sell stuff. We have a local place that allows anyone to buy things like candy and popcorn to resell as fund-raisers. Sorry I can't come up with more.

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January 24, 20100 found this helpful

She can have her wages garnished if she doesn't pay also her drivers license suspended. she is better off making arrangements with the ladies insurance company to repay the damages she might want to check into safe auto insurance. I don't know anything about it but they say the have low rates.

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January 25, 20100 found this helpful

I appreciate all the feedback from all of you, and I think this was one of those situations of "Pay now or Pay later..." I am sure this is one of the more painful lessons she has learned in her life. Blessings, Robyn

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January 25, 20100 found this helpful

I don't want to get into offering legal advice, and laws about this kind of situation vary from state to state anyway. I only want to comment that body work is extremely expensive, and a modest looking amount of damage can add up to $1,000 in a heartbeat. That said, whoever is paying for the damage would certainly be within their rights to ask for two estimates from reputable body shops.

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January 30, 20100 found this helpful

If a person doesn't have insurance, they almost always regret it. It's a necessary expense. As far as uninsured motorist insurance goes, everyone doesn't carry it as it adds to the premium.

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