Visitor Question

I was rear ended and have no insurance…

Submitted By: Trisha (Wapak, OH)

I had an accident on the highway. I was rear ended by a car at 70 mph. It was icy and raining and he was going too fast and could not stop himself. He destroyed my trunk and bumper. I am waiting to have my car evaluated by the adjuster but I know that it will be totaled out.

I am not insured but the at-fault driver is.

The officer did not cite anyone in the accident. I was transported to the hospital for injuries to my neck and back.

Is he not liable for my damages? Can he sue me for damages to his vehicle if I didn’t have insurance? What if the insurance refuses to pay since I’m not covered? Thank you for any information you can give.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Trisha,

The good news is this… Whether or not you had personal injury or property damage car insurance at the time of the crash is irrelevant when it comes to who was at fault, and who must pay.

It is curious why the police officer did not issue a citation to the other driver for a violation of Section 4511.34 of the State of Ohio’s’ Motor Vehicle Code. Section 4511.34 addresses the issue of the distance one car must stay behind another car while on Ohio roadways.

The driver who crashed into you knew, or should have known traveling at that speed was dangerous, and that he or she should have stayed far enough behind your car to be able to stop in time. Apparently the driver failed to do so.

Section 4511.34 reads:

” – Space between moving vehicles

A) The operator of a motor vehicle, streetcar, or trackless trolley shall not follow another vehicle, streetcar, or trackless trolley more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicle, streetcar, or trackless trolley, and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway.”

While anyone can file a lawsuit, if the driver tried to sue you for not having insurance his case would be summarily dismissed. There is no law which states if an Ohio driver does not have insurance the driver who causes an accident can sue them. That’s ludicrous.

Additionally, the driver’s insurance company can not fail to compensate you in any manner because you did not have insurance. Once again, your not having insurance can not be held against you.

It’s simple: the driver should have stayed further behind you. He clearly violated the law and is responsible to pay you. You have nothing to worry about. You did nothing wrong in the accident.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: March 9, 2015

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