What to do if my daughter was hit by a car when crossing at a crosswalk and the driver did not have a insurance, a license, registration or an updated inspection sticker?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What to do if my daughter was hit by a car when crossing at a crosswalk and the driver did not have a insurance, a license, registration or an updated inspection sticker?

He was ticketed for all of that and for reckless driving. How can I get costs covered by this person? I am not sure if he is in the country legally or not. The police allowed him to call someone with a license and drive the car away? Shouldn’t the car have been taken since there was no insurance or registration on the car? I thought that was the state law? Also, my health insurance is the primary coverage, and car insurance is secondary, but we have a lot of out of pocket expenses anticipated as a result. How can we get this covered? The guy goes to court next week and we don’t want to hire an attorney since we are under the impression he doesn’t have and believe the additional cost will fall on us. Are there any other options? Can we take him to court? Is there a way we can obtain a form online to file to take him to court ourselves? My daughter has a concussion, among other abrasions, as her head cracked the windshield. I don’t even know where to start.

Asked on January 31, 2018 under Personal Injury, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Your daughter, if she is 18 or over, or you, if she is a minor, may sue the other driver for any and all costs not covered by any insurance, as well as for lost wages (if she misses work) if not covered by insurance, and possibly for pain and suffering (if again, not paid by any insurance). However, suing the at-fault driver is your only option or recourse for compensation. You have to sue in civil court: as a general matter, you do NOT get compensation from someone's appearance in municipal (traffic) court or even criminal court. 
The problem you face is that even if you sue the defendant and win, you can't get money if he doesn't have any: a court judgment does not money appear where there is none. If the defendant has no insurance, did not have a license or registration, and may not even be a legal resident, it very likely that he has little or no money; therefore, suing him may not actually get you anything.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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