Can i sue a person for an auto accident that was the other parties fault, if i didnt have auto insurance at the time of the accident?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can i sue a person for an auto accident that was the other parties fault, if i didnt have auto insurance at the time of the accident?

I was turning into a housing addition,
when a car came flying up behind me, and
hit my car, totaled my car. I didnt go
to the hospital, so i cant sue her for
injuries. I did not have auto insurance,
but she totaled my car. And the driver
was also intoxicated, and went to jail
that night. Can i sue her for money for
my lost vehicle?

Asked on January 16, 2018 under Accident Law, Indiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes: not having insurance doesn't mean that you can't sue or that she does not have to pay for your damage--it just means that she does not have insurance to pay for her. That said, bear in mind that you "can't get blood from a stone" and that a court judgment in your favor does not money appear where there is none: if this woman is insolvent or impoverished or unemployed, etc., you might not get any money if you win. It's only worth suing people who have money. 
Of course, a small claims case is very cheap--you risk little. So if you are suing for less than the limit for your state's small claims court, do so as your own attorney ("pro se"): you may get money, and even if don't, you only waste some of your time and a small filing fee. But if you need to hire a lawyer or can't sue in small claims (non-small claims cases can be very difficult for non-attorneys), first take a good look at this person and decide if you think she could pay if you sued her and won. If you don't think she could--and many uninsured drivers are uninsured because they can't afford insurance or don't really own anything or have any savings/assets worth insuring--it may not be worth taking legal action.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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