Uninsured Motorist Vehicle Hits Pedestrian...
(Long Beach, CA, USA)
In California I was hit in a lighted crosswalk (I had a green walk sign) by an uninsured driver (it says "none" on the Police Report) with a suspended license. I'm wondering what happens to that driver?
Also the driver's mother owns the car and a month after the accident she died (not accident related). The son (the driver) and I believe grandson lives in a house that the mother might own. They live down the street from me.
I have no health insurance. I'm the innocent Pedestrian and on The Police Report I am noted in the right. I was injured and taken to the hospital with a Tibial Plateau Fracture that I'm still recovering from. I have thousands of dollars of Medical Bills that should be the at-fault driver's responsibility to pay.
In the mean time, because the guy has not reported it to the DMV, I have to make sure there is absolutely no Insurance on his side. The guy should not have been driving at all. I want justice, and do not have the bucks. I just need to know what first steps I should take. Thanks for any help you can give.
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ANSWER for "Uninsured Motorist Vehicle Hits Pedestrian...":
Kathy (Long Beach, CA, USA):
From the facts you present it's not clear if the driver was arrested. It is apparent the police were called because you mentioned there was a police report.
If the driver’s license was suspended at the time he ran into you he should have been arrested as soon as the police arrived and ran a criminal check on him. In the State of California the penalties for driving with no insurance are substantial. The penalties for driving with a suspended license are even more so.
Failing to show proof of financial responsibility, meaning insurance coverage, is a violation of California Vehicle Code Section 16029. Violating this code could result in fines up to $500 plus penalties, impoundment of his vehicle and suspension of his driver's license.
The State of California can impound his vehicle for up to 30 days for a first time offense or seize it as a forfeit if this is a subsequent conviction. If the vehicle is impounded the owner will have to pay for all storage and tow charges as well.
The first offense for driving on a suspended license is anywhere from 5 days to 6 months in jail and a fine anywhere from $300 dollars to $1,000 dollars.
For the second offense the penalty is anywhere from 10 days up to one year in jail and a fine anywhere from $500 dollars to $2,000 dollars.
If he was caught driving while under suspension and he was also under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the penalty could be much higher. The term of suspension will likely be increased or he may lose his license altogether if he is convicted of driving on a suspended license.
You should contact the District Attorney’s office and let them know what happened, especially the substantial amount of medical bills you incurred. When the driver’s case comes up in court the Assistant District Attorney will ask the judge to order the driver be placed on probation and have to pay all your medical bills. If he doesn’t he will go right back to jail.
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.
Best of luck,
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