What can I do legally about my bills froman accident if the person who hit me is a multiple DUI offender and has no insurance?

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What can I do legally about my bills froman accident if the person who hit me is a multiple DUI offender and has no insurance?

Here are the facts from my accident: I was rear-ended on the freeway by a 3rd time offense drunk driver. She was arrested and released the next day. She has court on the 28th. The insurance company she reported on the police report is under question whether not the policy is current. I started a claim on the insurance company she reported but still waiting to hear if they in fact covered her. So that is up in the air as of right now. Secondly, I went to the ER and now I’m seeing a chiropractor 3 times a week. Third, my car is in repair and I have a rental, and I missed work.

Asked on March 8, 2011 under Personal Injury, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you have the appropriate coverage (collision for car; PIP or "no fault" for yourself), look to your own insurer first and foremost for compensation.

If you don't have the relevant insurance, you may have trouble. Without your own insurance, you can only look to the at-fault driver for compensation. If she has insurance and fault is clear (and she did not do anything which invalidated the policy), then you should be able to get compensation, up to the limits of the policy and subject to the amount of your damages and your ability to prove them.

But if she does not have in-force insurance, all you can do is try to get the money directly from the at-fault driver by suing her. If she has assets (like a home or homes; money in the bank; brokerage accounts) or a good income, she should be able to pay some or all of the judgment, if you win the lawsuit. But if she's insolvent, then there's really no way to get paid--even if you win, if she doesn't have money or assets, there's no way to recover compensation, and meanwhile, you're out the cost of the lawsuit.

One last possibility--if she does not have insurance but your own policy has uninsured/underinsured driver coverage, that may pay for you. So again, look at your own policy first.


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