While driving through an intersection with a green light, I hit two teenagers on a dirt bike who ran their red light. The dirt bike was uninsured and unregistered, and the driver was not licensed. The two riders on the bike had minor injuries and were treated and released from the emergency room. The police told me I was not at fault and did not issue me any traffic violation.
Who is responsible for their hospital bills? If the police office said I'm not at fault, do I have any responsibility in this accident? Thanks.
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ANSWER for "Collision with an Uninsured Dirt Bike...":
Anonymous (New York):
You pose a very interesting question. Regrettably there is no law, or specific manner which can decide who is right and who is wrong when it comes to automobile collisions. Even if a person is issued a citation by the police it doesn’t necessarily mean the person is culpable (guilty) of causing the collision.
What does this mean to you, and how can we answer your question?
Let’s begin with the collision and circumstance related to it. From the facts you present it seems clear the dirt bike rider was at fault. As long as you cooperated with the police in their investigation of the collision you have no further responsibility.
You stated the riders were teenagers. If they are minors their parents will be responsible for their actions.
Anyone can file a lawsuit, at anytime, and for any reason. If the bikers or their parents decide to pursue you for their medical bills you will have to defend yourself.
Our intention is not to worry you, but instead to answer your question. We urge you to contact the police department and ask for a copy of the police report. In it will be a complete description of the collision. The description will be partly subjective, as it will have been written through the police officer's eyes.
Because the officer cleared you of any liability, the police report should be favorable. From the facts you present we are unable to determine if the biker(s) were cited by the police. If the bike was unregistered and uninsured the driver certainly should have been cited.
From what you have said we think the probability of your having any responsibility or duty to pay is quite low.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
The accuracy of information provided on this site is not guaranteed. It is generic information for informal purposes only. It is NOT formal legal advice. Your use of this site does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Before relying on any information found in this site you should consult with a licensed attorney in your state. If you are currently represented by an attorney, you should strictly abide by his/her counsel.