Car_Insurance_Filter: An accident, a No-Fault State, and liability only
April 24, 2014 11:04 AM Subscribe
A seemingly straight-forward car accident has turned into a puzzling conundrum thanks to No-Fault State laws.
posted by sureshot to Law & Government (8 answers total)
Last night, I was hit by a guy who ran a red light. No question, it was his fault. The sites of damage alone make that clear, but I even collected contact info from several witnesses just to cover my butt. My car was rendered un-drivable.
Sounds straight-forward, right? Behold, the complications:
- I live in a No-Fault State (Minnesota). These laws seem to only spell out repercussions for bodily harm/medical bills. I can't find any clear details on whether or not vehicle damage can be reimbursed by the liable party's insurer (i.e. the other guy).
- I carry Liability-Only insurance. My car is a hobbled, duct-taped, 15-year-old junker, and I had already arranged to ditch it in June and inherit my mom's old car, so I dialed down my coverage.
- The police never arrived. I called twice and waited over an hour. There is no police report or record of the accident beyond my call to emergency services.
- The man that hit me is Somali, spoke very little English, and seemed deeply confused by the entire situation. I collected his contact and insurance information, just to be safe. Hate to make assumptions, but the guy doesn't seem like the type to have robust auto coverage.
- I'm not really looking to get my car fixed. Again, it's a 15-year-old junker. There's no way I'm dropping several thousand dollars on it. I was going to replace it with a (free) vehicle in a month anyway. I would, however, love a rental for the short term, if I can get someone else to pay for it.
- Got the car towed, for free (thanks, AAA!), to my garage, where it currently resides.
So...what do I do?
I've held off on calling my insurance company, as those jerks seem to raise my rates every time I sneeze. So far, this incident has cost me $0, and I'd like to keep it that way. Plus, the sketchiness of the other driver combined with the murkiness of No-Fault laws makes me think I won't be getting a dime out of this anyway.