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Legal recourse for uninsured victim of a car wreck?

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Alexandros
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On the way to my car this morning, I was welcomed by a crushed rear passenger door. There was no one around to admit to causing the damage, and no note containing their information. Needless to say, I was furious. That fury has only now become mild annoyance.

At any rate, my situation got me thinking about laws concerning accident insurance/liability. Because it is the law (Texas), I have insurance. And my insurance company would be happy to fix the damage, as long as I pay a $500 deductible. Fine, those were the terms of the contract I signed. The problem is, I can't afford a $500 deductible, and because my car is fully functional, I won't be getting it fixed. This made me realize something I had never thought about before: Every month, I shell out the dough for something that, when it is needed, I can't even afford to use. Then, I asked myself, why don't you cancel it? Oh yeah! Because I am required by law to have it.

But let's say I did cancel my insurance. In the event of an accident, one in which I am the proven victim and a police report is filed that the other person involved is at-fault, do I have any legal recourse? Or does the fact that I am without insurance mean that I am responsible for all repairs to my car, even if I am the victim? Is it possible that not having insurance would be enough to absolve someone from having to take responsibility for their actions? It sounds totally ridiculous, but I wouldn't be surprised.

Thanks for any input on this matter.

Edited by Alexandros
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But let's say I did cancel my insurance. In the event of an accident, one in which I am the proven victim and a police report is filed that the other person involved is at-fault, do I have any legal recourse?
Sure. You will no doubt have to pay a fine of up to $350, but that does not negate your basic property rights. They are completely separate legal issues.
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From what I understand, if you live in a state that has "no fault" insurance laws, you would not be able to recover damage (except to some tiny amount that makes such recovery not worth your while). Texas is not on that list. Not sure how things work there.

Edited by softwareNerd
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Here's a link to Texas DMV regs:

http://www.dmv.org/tx-texas/traffic-tickets.php

It appears that in Texas if you are caught driving w/out insurance you pay not only the initial fine but can have a "surcharge" added annually for up to seven years. Also, won't be able to renew your license or tags w/out insurance. Repeat offenders can have their car impounded and license revoked.

Also, do not forget this will be a big hit on your driving record which could in turn come back to bite you when seeking employment. Many employers check your driving record. If you ever want to hold a liquor license for an establishement this could also be a strike against you w/ the PD's ok for your background check.

The question is I guess..

"do you feel lucky"

do you?

The insurance lobby is strong. Unfortunate rock/hardplace sitch.

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In some states, such as Ohio, you are not required to have insurance, you merely have to prove that you can shoulder the legal minimum financial liability (about $32,500) for damage that you might cause. With private ownership of roads, it is imaginarily possible that there would be no requirement for covering your liability, but as a customer I would demand that other drivers be held responsible for their actions, and not just "responsible, up to the point of trying to squeeze blood from a turnip".

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