Legal Question in Criminal Law in California

A 20 yr. old male, high on meth drove into a mobile home, knocking it off its jacks and totaling it. The only injury was teh driver who passed out at the scene. Neither the homeowner or driver were insured. Is there any recourse for the homeowner in California?

Asked on 10/01/13, 4:58 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Terry A. Nelson Nelson & Lawless
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Sure, he gets to sue the driver and registered owners of the car. If they are uninsured, then if they 'have nothing' in assets and income, then 'nothing' is what you are going to get from suing. Sorry, harsh reality of life in a state that does not enforce mandatory insurance rules like many other states.

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10/01/13, 5:35 pm
Edward Hoffman Law Offices of Edward A. Hoffman
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Mr. Nelson is basically right. There might be a way to hold someone else liable -- for example, if someone who knew he was high had let him borrow the car -- but it's not likely.

The homeowner should consult with a lawyer just in case. Many lawyers offer free consultations, so there's little risk in exploring your options.

Let me add that you posted this question under criminal law. The driver likely committed several crimes. He should be prosecuted. But your question seems to be about suing for damages, which is a civil matter.

Finally, if the driver is prosecuted and convicted, he may be ordered to pay restitution to the homeowner. That won't magically make him able to pay (most uninsured drivers are poor, as are most meth users), but it might help in the future if his circumstances change.

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10/01/13, 5:51 pm

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