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Woman Is Asking me to Pay for Prior Damage from our Minor Accident

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#16
Unless you had an insurance card for the Jeep with it's VIN on the card then the vehicle was not insured. Why the dealer even let you drive away with no proof of insurance in amazing. Around here you cannot take delivery of a vehicle from a dealer without proof it's insured, but I guess that's how things are done in Colorado.
Bit of a hijacking the thread moment, hope you don't mind.
When I was a cop if I stopped someone and they had no insurance I wrote them a ticket, then I had to let them go, and by that I mean let them keep driving. I asked the DA's office if after I had cut them loose and I knew they were driving uninsured they hit a bus full of children, nuns, puppies or whatever would give the best shock horror headlines, would I be liable in any way.
They always assure me I would be fine, I always had my doubts.
Is Colorado any different?
 


quincy

Senior Member
#17
Bit of a hijacking the thread moment, hope you don't mind.
When I was a cop if I stopped someone and they had no insurance I wrote them a ticket, then I had to let them go, and by that I mean let them keep driving. I asked the DA's office if after I had cut them loose and I knew they were driving uninsured they hit a bus full of children, nuns, puppies or whatever would give the best shock horror headlines, would I be liable in any way.
They always assure me I would be fine, I always had my doubts.
Is Colorado any different?
It sounds as if Colorado police do as you did - letting the driver go - although I suppose in any state it would depend on the circumstances.

Colorado allows an uninsured driver to reduce their fine by showing that they have, since the issuance of the ticket, insured their vehicle.
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
#18
Unless you had an insurance card for the Jeep with it's VIN on the card then the vehicle was not insured. Why the dealer even let you drive away with no proof of insurance in amazing. Around here you cannot take delivery of a vehicle from a dealer without proof it's insured, but I guess that's how things are done in Colorado.
That's not true everywhere...
My insurance automatically covers new cars that I purchase for 30 days after purchase. When I buy a new car, the dealer takes my current insurance information as proof that I have insurance. If the vehicle is financed, then I also sign an agreement to properly insure the vehicle, both for liability and for comp/collision.

The problem that the OP has is that he only had a non-owner policy. There was no automatic coverage for a vehicle that he acquired because there was no insurance for any car that he owned. The OP knew (or, reasonably should have known) that his insurance was only there to cover vehicles that he didn't own, but was driving. Heck, he even says it clearly ("Before I bought my car I switched to a different insurance that covered me as a driver for test driving cars and driving my roommates car as I didn't have my own car.") He knew that he wasn't insured.
 

LdiJ

Senior Member
#19
Unless you had an insurance card for the Jeep with it's VIN on the card then the vehicle was not insured. Why the dealer even let you drive away with no proof of insurance in amazing. Around here you cannot take delivery of a vehicle from a dealer without proof it's insured, but I guess that's how things are done in Colorado.
In some states, as long as you are insured, you have a grace period where your insurance covers a new car as well. In my state it used to be 30 days, but has been reduced to 15 days now. So, in those states merely providing proof of insurance would be sufficient for a dealer. You wouldn't have to prove that you had that particular car insured.
 

HighwayMan

Super Secret Senior Member
#20
Bit of a hijacking the thread moment, hope you don't mind.
If I confirm a motorist has no insurance (and I call the insurance company to verify instead of simply depending on the expired card) then the vehicle gets impounded. Here in NY the registration would also be suspended so the plates would be taken also. The owner can claim the vehicle when they get insured and get a new registration from the DMV.
 

cbg

I'm a Northern Girl
#21
In Massachusetts the insurance information is right on the auto registration. You can't register the car without proof of insurance and you can't drive the car off the lot until you have the registration certificate with the insurance information on it. Some car dealers offer services where they will stand in line at the insurance company and RMV for you.

When my husband and I were in an accident in NY, the NY state trooper refused to accept this and ticketed my husband for driving without insurance. The ticket was ultimately dropped but DH had to call the county DA before anyone from the state of NY would accept that other states don't necessarily do things the same as NY does.
 

HighwayMan

Super Secret Senior Member
#22
When my husband and I were in an accident in NY, the NY state trooper refused to accept this and ticketed my husband for driving without insurance.
I have stopped thousands of cars over the years and found out about the Massachusetts weirdness early on. I don't know of any state that does it like Massachusetts does, i.e. no separate insurance card.

So if you switch insurers you need to get a new registration I guess?
 

cbg

I'm a Northern Girl
#23
Yep. Had that happen once - got my new registration in the same mail with the new insurance policy.

MA may be unique, but you've got to admit, the process works. Until some clueless NY trooper (meaning no personal offense) is unable to read the insurance information on the registration card in his hand.
 

HighwayMan

Super Secret Senior Member
#24
MA may be unique, but you've got to admit, the process works. Until some clueless NY trooper (meaning no personal offense) is unable to read the insurance information on the registration card in his hand.
I'm not a trooper so I'm not offended. LOL

Honestly, if 49 states require insurance cards and someone from Massachusetts doesn't have one, I'd be a little hesitant even with the insurance info on the reg. I know I was the first time I saw it.

Getting a traffic ticket for no insurance is easy enough to take care of. If I had any doubt I'd write it.
 

cbg

I'm a Northern Girl
#25
Tell that to hubby, who spent weeks trying to get the ticket dropped. They wouldn't even accept a letter from our insurance company confirming that we had insurance on the date of the accident. He had to threaten legal action before the county DA gave up trying to extort a little MA money.
 
#28
Based on the facts you provided, as I understand them, you would be found "at fault" or primarily at fault for the accident, and therefore would be liable to pay for any damages that are the proximate result of that accident. In most instances that would be the amount necessary to cover the actual reasonable costs to repair her car to the way it was before the accident (and possibly something for loss of use). Your NOT responsible to pay to have the car restored to brand new condition. (BTW to the extent that she may have been partially at fault, say 10%, her recovery would be for 90% of the damages, as her recovery would be reduced to the extent of her contributory negligence in most states.)

If she had collision insurance and filed a claim with her insurance company, her company would have paid her or the auto body shop the cost to repair the car less the deductible and then it (and its lawyers) would seek to come after you. If she did not have collision coverage and you can't work it out between you her only option would be to sue you in a local court.

Unless she can bring her suit in a small claims court, that could be a daunting challenge, and she might need a lawyer unless she can get it into a small claims court. If she does sue you, you could default (and she'd eventually get a judgment against you which she'd have to collect -- not always an easy task) or you could deny liability and defend yourself either alone or through an attorney. You (or the attorney on your behalf) could deny liability, deny that the damages were as great as she claimed, and/or claim she was at at least partially at fault. If the matter were nt settled it would eventually get to court where a judge would decide at trial. At trial the burden is on her to prove both that you were at fault and what the damages were, which often would require her to produce a mechanic or a certified paid bill.

Fortunately for you, at least at this point, she is only claiming property damage to her vehicle. However, if she hires a lawyer all of a sudden she might also assert a claim for some personal injury (that sprain she might claim she got after the accident, or some recurrent headaches) which could complicate matters and increase her potential claim and your potential liability. (Of course if the judge senses she is lying about the personal injury it would somewhat sabotage her property damage claim as well.)

It seems to me that you have some negotiating power and to the extent she is acting unreasonably, that may play out to your advantage in the end, as few lawyers would want to take her case on and (except here on FreeAdvice.com) lawyers expect to be paid for their work, and that would come out of her eventual recovery.

I'm not commenting about whether or not your own insurance would be liable to defend you and/or pay the claim as I would need far more facts and to read the policy. And that I don't do for free.

Thank you so much, this was by far the most helpful. I really appreciate the information.
 
#29
That's not true everywhere...
My insurance automatically covers new cars that I purchase for 30 days after purchase. When I buy a new car, the dealer takes my current insurance information as proof that I have insurance. If the vehicle is financed, then I also sign an agreement to properly insure the vehicle, both for liability and for comp/collision.

The problem that the OP has is that he only had a non-owner policy. There was no automatic coverage for a vehicle that he acquired because there was no insurance for any car that he owned. The OP knew (or, reasonably should have known) that his insurance was only there to cover vehicles that he didn't own, but was driving. Heck, he even says it clearly ("Before I bought my car I switched to a different insurance that covered me as a driver for test driving cars and driving my roommates car as I didn't have my own car.") He knew that he wasn't insured.
My name's Jackie, not Jack. I didn't own a vehicle or have a vehicle after my lease was up so that's why I had to switch insurances. I was under the impression that I didn't need to get new insurance until I registered my car. So I knew that I didn't have the insurance I would have in the future, but I thought I had more leeway time than I did to get that new insurance. I was on day 41 of the new car but I only had 30 days to notify Geico. I understand my mistake now, but at the time I thought I was fully insured and that's exactly what I told the other driver. She took a photo of my insurance card at the time of the accident and that's how she was able to file a claim and find me. Just updating you on the circumstances.
 

Just Blue

Senior Member
#30
My name's Jackie, not Jack. I didn't own a vehicle or have a vehicle after my lease was up so that's why I had to switch insurances. I was under the impression that I had until I registered my car to get new insurance. So I knew that I didn't have the insurance I would have in the future, but I thought I had more leeway time than I did to get that new insurance. I was on day 41 of the new car and only had 30 days to notify Geico. I understand my mistake now, but at the time I thought I was fully insured and that's exactly what I told the other driver. She took a photo of my insurance card at the time of the accident and that's how she was able to file a claim and find me. Just updating you on the circumstances.
Your user name is jackjackmurphs. Perhaps if being called jack offends you, you should have gone with jackiejackiemurphs when selecting a user name.
 
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