Q: Legal liability of at-fault driver in a fender-bender in a vehicle without insurance coverage at the time of accident?
I was recently in a minor car accident when I couldn’t skidded and couldn’t stop in time when coming to a line of cars at a red light. The car I hit then hit the car in front of her, who then hit the car in front of them. No injuries, no airbags deployed, just minor cosmetic damage for all 3 vehicles. No one felt it necessary to call police to the scene. I texted all the drivers a picture of my DL#, license plate, phone #, and policy info. But learned later coverage had lapsed. I am looking into ways to do the decent thing and repair the damaged caused. But I would like to know if I am at risk of any legal repercussions for causing damage and not having liability insurance at the time of the incident. Also, am I responsible for all 3 damaged cars, or is each car technically responsible for the vehicle they hit?
I need to know what criminal and civil law actually require of me. The driver I hit is hostile and threatening and has the address on my DL, so I don’t know what to expect.
A: A Texas attorney could advise best, but your question remains open for three weeks. I'm sorry about your accident. I hope you and everyone involved are okay. As a general matter nationwide, such chain reaction impacts with a line of stationary cars are usually attributed to the moving car that starts things off. In terms of your question about them sharing liability, each car is not usually responsible for damage to the car they hit, unless they themselves were somehow negligent. Consult with a local attorney regarding this general analysis, AND additionally the insurance issue - there isn't a universal rule as to how each state treats no-insurance; each state applies its own penalties. Good luck
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