CanI sue the person thatI hit if they didn’t have a driver’slicense or valid insurance?

UPDATED: Oct 19, 2010

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CanI sue the person thatI hit if they didn’t have a driver’slicense or valid insurance?

My car hit the person’s car that was in front of me. Actually its because of my mistake but she doesn’t have a valid driverslicense, or car insurance. Can I place a claim against her because of this? The police arrested her for not having a license.

Asked on October 19, 2010 under Accident Law, Kentucky


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

First, if someone does  not have insurance, you cannot file a "claim"--there's no insurance to claim against. You can try to sue her, if you think it worthwhile (note: people without insurance often don't have sufficient assets or income to make it worth suing them; even if you win, you might not recover anything). However, liability--being responsible to pay--depends on fault, which in an auto accident is a function of carelessness. The careless or inattentive driver will be at fault; whether that person has a license or not has literally nothing with whether they would liable in a lawsuit, since you can have a license and be careless, or not have one and yet have driven carefully and responsibily. As a general matter, there is a presumption--which can be rebutted, but not easily--that in a rear-end collision, the driver at back was the one at fault, not the driver in front.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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