If my boyfriend and I were in a car accident and the girl that hit us didn’t have car insurance, what can I do about my hospital bills?

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If my boyfriend and I were in a car accident and the girl that hit us didn’t have car insurance, what can I do about my hospital bills?

My boyfriend was driving and I was the passenger. My boyfriend and I both had back injuries but I had to get staples in my knee. Due to the fact that the other girl didn’t have insurance we couldn’t go to therapy. Can I sue her for my hospital bills and the week that I couldn’t work due to the injuries? Or do I have to go to my boyfriend’s insurance and claim?

Asked on March 20, 2012 under Personal Injury, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

1) You can sue another driver for medical costs, lost wages, and, for more serious injuries, pain and suffering (e.g. if you've faced a period of disability). The other driver would only have to pay if she were at fault--for example, she was driving carelessly or  negligently (speeding; going through stop signs or lights; texting or using a handset phone while driving; DUI or otherwise impaired; etc.). If the other driver was not at fault, even if you sue her, she will not have to pay.

Also, note that if she doesn't have insurance, you can only recover money directly from her--so if she also has little income or assets, even if you win, you might not recover anything.

2) Your boyfriend's liability insurance would most likely not cover you, as his passenger. However, if you're going to be talking to an attorney about suing the other driver, it would be wortwhile to see if you could claim under it. Note however that even if you could, to do this would likely mean suing your boyfriend.


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