IfI was hit by another vehicle butI wasn’t insured and my license was suspended, what will happen?

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IfI was hit by another vehicle butI wasn’t insured and my license was suspended, what will happen?

I got hit by a school bus from behind. Is the bus company still liable; the bus driver was cited?

Asked on December 2, 2010 under Accident Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The bus driver and the company both may very likely be liable. Liabilty depends on fault, and fault in an auto accident generally depends on negligence, or carelessness (bad driving). In the vast majority of cases, in a rear-ending, the driver in back will be held to have been the negligent one, since the assumption is he or she had the better chance to avoid the accident, such as by following at a safe distance. (There are circumstances where the front driver could be liable, such as when someone stopped in the middle of the road around a blind corner, but those are  the exceptions.) If it looks like someone is liable, you could present a claim to their insurer and/or bring a lawsuit against them to recover. If the driver hit during the course of his or her duties (e.g. while driving the bus on his or her route or while taking it home or back to the depot afterwards), then there's a good chance the employer, the bus company, could be liable, too. However, you will  have to bring a claim and possibly sue, even if it looks very much like they are liable--there is no mechanism, other than your own insurance, which makes sure you get compensated for an injury without bringing a claim.

Note that driving with a suspended license weakens your case, since that makes it look more likely that you may have been driving badly or at fault--at a miniumum, you were not complying with legal requirements. If your injury or property damage was enough to warrant it, you should consult with an attorney to evaluate your case and what it  might be worth.


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