What should happen to an illegal immigrant who caused an accident but has minimal insurance?

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What should happen to an illegal immigrant who caused an accident but has minimal insurance?

Involved in a 5-car accident cause by an illegal immigrant with no drivers license and minimal insurance. The police arrested him, but did not take a statement or do any drug testing due to “language barriers”. We went to court once, and the judge let him free pending the victims of car accident writting letters to the judge on what we want done with him. He has another court date and I believe he should be punished, but this judge seems to feel sorry for him. This accident happened close to 5 months ago and some people still don’t have cars because his insurance is not paying anything. What can I do?

Asked on October 6, 2010 under Accident Law, Nebraska

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

A car accident often does not result in criminal liability. Criminal liability involves both committing a criminal act and having a criminal state of mind, which is why an accident usually doesn't incur it. Certainly driving without a  license is a criminal act, but of the most minor type; if a the prosecutor and/or judge is inclined to be lenient, there's little or no consequence.

Civil liability, or the obligation to pay, is effectively worthless or valueless if the tortfeasor--the person responsible for the asset--has little or no income or assets to take; effectively the person is "judgment proof."

You could try contact Immigration and letting them know that this person is an illegal immigrant who drove witout a license and caused an accident causing property damage and/or personal injury--perhaps they will move to deport him.


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