Legal Question in DUI Law in Washington

Today I got in an accident where I was hit from behind at a speed about 40mph. I had a passenger...however I am not actually supposed to be driving anyone because of a limitation I recieved on my driving license. If the passenger is to claim whiplash injuries would I be responsible, or the person who hit me from behind?

Asked on 10/10/09, 10:33 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Jeffrey Bassett Jeffrey P. Bassett, Attorney

I'm not sure why this ended up under a drunk driving section, and I note you don't say what the "limitation" is. However, I can't fathom a driving limitation or restriction that would, solely by having an unauthorized passenger in your vehicle, contribute to accident causation. Now, here I have to make some assumptions: (1) assuming you were not under the influence of any drugs or alcohol and (2) assuming your driving did not contribute to the accident (e.g., slamming on brakes, etc..) and (3) assuming the facts are simply that you were driving properly down the road and were suddenly hit from behind, there appears no basis to find you responsible for this accident. If you have PIP (bodily injury coverage), your passenger can submit his or her medical bills to your insurer for payment, but your insurer would then proceed against the at-fault party for subrogation (repayment). Paying such bills under your insurance is no indication of fault.

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Answered on 10/16/09, 12:13 pm

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