What canI do if my 2 vehicles were hit by a drunk driver who had no insurance?

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What canI do if my 2 vehicles were hit by a drunk driver who had no insurance?

My 2 vehicles were hit in a DUI/ hit and run. The guy was arrested, but the owner didn’t have insurance and I only had liability on both vehicles. 1of the vehicles is inoperable and for the other I got estimate and the value exceeds the damage. The owner was the person serving the driver alcohol but says the accident wasn’t her fault. What can I do to either get the vehicles repaired or replaced?

Asked on July 19, 2010 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Speak with an attorney specializing in auto accidents. Here are some possibilities:

1) From what you right, it sounds like the driver was not the owner. If so, you could sue the driver as well as the owner. If the driver has auto insurance, his policy may pay.

2) Whether or not the owner or the driver (or both) is being sued, insurance helps guarantee that there's money to collect--but you CAN sue people who have no insurance. (e.g. they can liable regardless of their insurance status.) If they don't have income or assets, it's not worthwhile; but if they have decent jobs, you may be able to garnish income; if they have assets (savings, a house, etc.) you may be able to collect from those assets. An experienced attorney can help you determine if it's worth pursuing these people.

3) *Sometimes* it is possible to sue a social host who serves alchohal to an obviously drunk guest who then causes an accident DUI. If you can do this, you might be able to access the host's homeowner's insurance (if any) in addition to auto insurance. Your attorney will know if this is possible in your case. Good luck.


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