The Person I Got Into a Car Accident With Doesn’t Want to Get Insurance Companies Involved


You’re driving on I-275 on your way to work, listening to NPR and sipping your Starbucks soy chai tea latte, when a pick-up truck changes lanes without turning on its turn signal and crashes straight into the passenger side of your car.

You curse bloody murder, turn on your flashing emergency lights, and pull over. The trucker pulls over right behind you. Out he comes, fuming, but offering to pay for the damage without getting any insurance company involved. You’re pissed off. You’re wondering what the deal is with this guy. But you do wonder: “If he’s offering to pay, what’s the harm in just taking him up on his offer?”

What happens if I got into a car accident and the other driver doesn’t want to inform his insurance company?

If a person is insured but doesn’t want to report a car accident, chances are that it’s simply because they’re afraid their policy rates will go up.

But let’s look at the bigger picture. When you get into a car crash, even if it’s just a fender bender, you are likely to experience costs in addition to fixing up the damage to your car. Some of these include:

  • Car rental costs while your car is being repaired
  • Medical bills for pains that may show up days after the accident
  • Lost wages for days that you may have to miss from work while dealing with the mechanic or doctor appointments

If the person couldn’t even afford insurance in the first place, what makes you think they would be willing or able to pay for these expenses?


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What happens if I get into a car accident and the other driver has no insurance?

Another problem arises if the other driver has no insurance. Florida is fifth in the nation when it comes to states with uninsured drivers. It also has a significantly high incidence of car accidents. This means that if you get into a car crash, it wouldn’t be unusual to find out the other driver is uninsured.

Since the Sunshine State requires by law that all motorists carry insurance, this means that the uninsured driver faces fines, and possibly suspension of his or her driver’s license.

It is for this reason that someone without insurance may be tempted to either drive away or offer to pay out of pocket without getting anyone else involved.

Now, let’s be realistic. If a person can’t afford insurance, they likely can’t afford to pay for the damage caused to your car and for your medical bills out of pocket. So if you find yourself in this situation, you have several options:

1. File a PIP claim with your own insurance company

Florida law requires all car insurance policies to provide Personal Injury Protection (PIP). Under PIP, no matter who was at fault for the accident, insurance policies have to pay 80% of medical bills and 60% of lost wages for:

  • The named insured
  • Relatives who live in the same household as the named insured
  • Persons driving the insured’s car
  • Passengers in the insured’s car
  • Other persons struck by the insured’s car

The upside is that you wouldn’t have to deal with the hassle of determining who caused the accident. The downside is that:

(a) you have to file your claim within 14 days from the date of the accident, and

(b) PIP coverage is only for up to $10,000.00 in damages, so if you were involved in a serious accident, this type of protection won’t be enough.

2. File an underinsured/uninsured motorist claim with your own company

While PIP coverage is mandatory, Bodily Injury (BI) and Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist coverage (UM) are optional. And while most people would rather bypass having to pay extra for car insurance, having UM gives you the peace of mind of knowing that if you get into an accident with an uninsured motorist, you’ll still be able to cover your medical expenses, damages to your car, and lost wages.

How much coverage you receive is up to you and how much you want to purchase. A good rule of thumb is to remember things such as: Are you the only breadwinner in your family? If so, what would happen to your household if an accident prevents you from working for several days or weeks? Does your family have alternative modes of transportation?

Taking into account all of your circumstances will help you decide how much coverage you need.

3. Sue the other party

You could always sue the person who caused the accident. However, that only makes sense if the person has money to pay for a judgment in your favor, or if the person has assets you could garnish.

Contact Clark Hartpence Law for a Free Consultation

Many factors can affect the outcome of a claim after a car accident. This is why it’s crucial to talk to a personal injury attorney. Not doing so could greatly affect your chances of getting adequate recovery for your damages.

If you or someone you love was involved in a car accident, call us at (855) 680-4911 or schedule a free consultation.

Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney/client relationship.