Can a driver with no insurance make a claim on the other driver’s insurance?

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Can a driver with no insurance make a claim on the other driver’s insurance?

Can a driver who ran a red light with no insurance make a claim on the other driver’s insurance? He had no insurance at time of impact and has refused to provide any insurance info, even after officers had instructed him to call the other driver with his insurance. Instead he has been harassing the other driver. What can the other driver do in this case?

Asked on June 29, 2018 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The red light-running driver can ask to or try to put a claim on the other driver's insurance, but the insurer could certainly (and based on what you write, would most likely) refuse to offer or pay anything. The driver could then try to sue you (he would sue *you*, not your insurer), since the courts do not "pre-screen" lawsuits to make sure they are viable or valid, but he is unlikely to win: to win a lawsuit in an auto accident, you have to prove that the other driver was "at fault" (was driving negligently or unreasonably carelessly), and if they ran the red light, it is unlikely that they could prove that you (as opposed to them) were at fault. Conversely, you could in theory sue them for any damage, costs, etc. you incurred with a good chance of success, but doing so may not be worthwhile, since if he did not bother having insurance, he may not have any income or assets worth protecting, and a court judgment in your favor does not make money appear where there is none--i.e. it would not be worthwhile to sue someone who is insolvent.


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