I was at-fault for an accident and had no insurance, can my license be suspended?
I was in a car accident 7 months ago. I went to court but the other person didn't show up. I thought I was in the clear until his insurance company kept calling me. I was scared so I didn't answer. Then they contacted a law firm who started calling me and I refused to answer because of still being scared. Now they are trying to fight to get my license suspended. They want me to pay $8,674 to the insurance company. There is no way possible I can afford that working a part time job and being a single mother of 2. What should I do?
I think what you need to do here is call the law firm and try to work out a payment plan. The money is the cost of the repairs to the other car (or its value, if it was totalled), for the damage you caused, and probably some legal fees and costs tacked on at this point. If you were at fault, as you've written, you probably owe the money, assuming the damages are not excessive. And the law says that if you don't have insurance, and don't pay the damages, you will get your license suspended.
When you get into a situation like this, it's best not to avoid it. I know that having an insurance company or a law firm calling you is frightening, especially in your situation. But problems like this don't just go away very often, they only get worse. I hope you'll be able to work a payment plan out; it would have been much easier if you had done this when they first started calling.
Hi. I am an Illinois personal injury and auto accident attorney that handles claims in most parts of the state. I am sorry to hear about the stressful situation that you are dealing with.
First of all, it is important to note that collection of the amount that the law firm is alleging that you owe is a civil matter. On the other hand, the potential suspension of your license is a criminal matter. In other words, these are two different types of actions. The law firm that is calling you cannot, on its own, force your license to be suspended. An action to suspend your license is a criminal matter that will have to be pursued by the state or the city where the accident occurred. In some areas, driving without insurance can result in an automatic suspension of your license. However, most likely this would have already occurred. Even though your license has not been suspended yet, a failure to pay the amount that they say you owe will almost certainly result in the suspension of your driving privileges. The law firm can refer the matter to the state or city to press charges and have your license suspended by confirming that you have not paid the amount due the other driver.
Failure to pay the full amount owed, comply with any payment arrangements the law firm could allow, or simply ignoring the law firm, will almost certainly result in a lawsuit being filed against you. If a lawsuit is filed, although it would not necessarily be too late to work out a payment arrangement, it will likely be difficult. Additionally, once a suit is filed, you will also be responsible for paying the other party's attorney fees, which could exceed $1000, $2000, or more.
An attorney would be able to deal with the attorneys from the law firm that is calling you and would work to try to negotiate the best payment plan available. Hopefully, it would be a plan that could fit into your budget. Moreover, if they do file suit against you, an attorney will prepare any legal pleadings that may be required to be filed with the court, and negotiate with the other attorneys, and work to have the case dismissed, so a judgment will not be entered against you. If you are looking to resolve this matter, I would not recommend delaying on contacting an attorney. If you wait, there is a far greater chance that they will file a lawsuit against you. I hope this helps at least a bit. Thanks.
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NOTE: This answer is for educational purposes and does not constitute legal advice. The use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship or privilege between the user and the attorney responding.