If a non at-fault driver in a car accident was not authorized to drive, what happens?

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If a non at-fault driver in a car accident was not authorized to drive, what happens?

I was in a fender bender and no one was injured. My insurance company says that I was at fault. I got a call from the other driver’s insurer advising me that the other driver was not authorized to drive the car. What does this mean to me? Does it make me more open to lawsuits?

Asked on October 9, 2012 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

What is means that is if you were able to sue the other driver, because he or she was not authorized to drive the car, the insurer would not pay--though you'd still be able to sue that driver directly. It may also make you somewhat more likely be sued, in that whatever insurance the car's owner has on the car which might otherwise have paid for the vehicular damage (e.g. collision insurance) will not pay, so the car's owner may be forced to sue you, as the at-fault driver, to seek compensation for the damage.


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