Legal Question in Personal Injury in California

Auto accident - other driver w/ no license and insurance

I was involved in a car accident. The other driver involved does not have a license nor car insurance. The passenger in that vehicle does not have a license neither. There were no personal injuries. The other driver's car got hit on the side, my car's front bumper got damaged. IF I were to be found at fault, can the other driver sue me and try to collect from me even though they do not have a license to drive and car insurance? Also, what other steps should I take to protect myself should the other driver retain an attorney and claim medical and personal injuries?

Asked on 8/19/01, 4:12 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

J. Caleb Donner Donner & Donner

Re: Auto accident - other driver w/ no license and insurance

You should report the accident to your insurance company. They are obligated to defend you if you are sued as a result of a covered accident.

THe other driver, though uninsured, can still recover for his "out of pocket" (economic) damages. Since uninsured he cannot recover for what are called non-economic (pain and suffering) damages. The same is NOT true for his passenger.

Even though there are no claimed injuries at the scene does not mean that they will not be noticed a few days later.

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Answered on 8/20/01, 2:50 pm

Re: Auto accident - other driver w/ no license and insurance

The fact that a passenger in a vehicle does not have a license is of no significance. If you were found to be at fault and had liability insurance, your insurance company would handle all claims coming against you. The other driver still could sue you and try to collect damages even without a license and car insurance. The lack of a driver's license on the other driver does not prohibit him from filing a claim against you. The lack of auto insurance on the other driver would only prohibit him from collecting pain and suffering but if you were at fault, he would still be entitled to recover medical bills, wage loss and property damage.

As far as steps to take to protect yourself, you would obviously report this accident to your insurance company and let them handle the entire matter for you. If the other driver retained an attorney and tried to make claims that you felt were frivolous or not legitimate, you may need to consult with your own attorney and consider hiring one. If you are in the Orange County area, I would be glad to provide a free consultation.


Sam M. Eagle, Attorney at Law, 10101 Slater Avenue, Suite # 218, Fountain Valley, Ca 92708; Telephone: (714) 963-5123 Fax: (714) 964-9993

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Answered on 8/27/01, 10:54 pm

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