If my husband crashed the car into someone else and had no insurance or license, will he go to jail or will they make a payment arrangement?

Asked on April 12, 2014 under Accident Law, West Virginia

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The registered owner of the car your husband was driving is liable for the accident.  If the registered owner has insurance,  claims for property damage and personal injury will be filed with the registered owner's insurance carrier.

If there was no insurance and the party who was not at fault in the accident has uninsured motorist coverage, that party can file an uninsured motorist claim through his/her insurance company.  That insurance company will sue your husband  and the registered owner of the vehicle your husband was driving to recover the amount it paid on the claim.

If the party who was not at fault in the accident, did not have uninsured motorist coverage, that party will sue your husband and the registered woner of the vehicle your husband was driving for negligence. 

The party who was not at fault in the accident will be seeking compensation  for property damage (cost of repairs to their vehicle) and personal injury.  The personal injury claim or claims if there was more than one injured occupant of that vehicle will include compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering (an amount in addition to the medical bills) and wage loss.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for pain and suffering is determined by the medical reports which document the nature and extent of the injuries.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.

Whether or not your husband will go to jail depends on your state's laws as the law varies from state to state.  It is unlikely that your husband will go to jail.  He will probably just receive a fine for driving without a license and without insurance.

If the registered owner of the vehicle your husband was driving did not have insurance, the Dept. of Motor Vehicles in your state may impose a penalty such as suspending the vehicle registration and not allowing it to be renewed until there is proof of insurance; however, any penalty imposed by the Department of Motor Vehicles will vary from state to state depending on your state's laws.


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