I was hit at a red light by a drunk driver who ran off but was later caught, what do I do if the driver or the owner of the car isn’t insured?

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I was hit at a red light by a drunk driver who ran off but was later caught, what do I do if the driver or the owner of the car isn’t insured?

He did not own the car. Passenger in my car was taken to the hospital. Police report wasn’t ready until a week later.

Asked on June 24, 2015 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the owner personally, since he was being DUI, he was almost certainly at fault in causing the accident; you can sue for any repair costs, medical costs, lost wages (if any), etc. Just because someone does not have insurance does not mean that they can't be sued or would not have to pay--it just means that if they are sued and lose, they have to pay any judgment out of their own pocket, without an insurer to help. (Of course, if they have little or no money and can't pay, you won't get anything even if you win--a court ruling in your favor does not create money where none exists.) You can also, in the same way, sue the owner of the car, since a car's owner is liable, or responsible, for the actions of anyone whom he/she allows to drive the vehicle. So if the driver is at fault, then the owner could be liable, too.


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