What options do I have when a family member allowed me to drive their vehicle but they had no uninsured motorists coverage?

UPDATED: Oct 22, 2010

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What options do I have when a family member allowed me to drive their vehicle but they had no uninsured motorists coverage?

I was involved in a very, very minor accident with an unlicensed and uninsured motorcycle driver who has a previous DUI. There is absolutely no damage to his motorcycle which he admitted but his shin was slightly scraped and will probably bruise at the most. He was not seriously hurt and was walking fine hours later. I have my own liability insurance but for my car, not my brother’s car which I was driving at the time. I was pulling out of a driveway not more than a second and less than 1 mph when the motorcycle was exceeding the 25 mph school zone and close to parked vehicles and no traffic.

Asked on October 22, 2010 under Accident Law, California


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

From your description, it sounds like the motorcyclist caused the accident.  If there was property damage to the vehicle you were driving, your brother, as the registered owner of the vehicle could sue the motorcyclist for the cost of repairs to the car since your brother did not have uninsured motorist coverage.  Depending on the amount of damage to the car, the lawsuit could be filed in Small Claims Court.  Your brother would have to mitigate (minimize) damages by not selecting the most expensive body shop.  To mitigate damages, a body shop whose charges are comparable to other body shops in the area should be selected.  Failure to mitigate damages will result in damages being reduced accordingly.  In addition to the cost of repairs, your brother could recover court costs such as the court filing fee and process server fee.  

As for the injury to the motorcyclist, since he caused the accident, he would be responsible for the costs of medical treatment.

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