What happens if the driver who hit me didn't have a license?

by Jim
(Buffalo, New York)

An SUV ran into my car. My left signal to turn was blinking, but seeing the vehicle coming at me at considerable speed, I turned the car toward the right trying to get off the road and to the side as quickly as possible. But I wasn't quite fast enough and the oncoming driver scraped my driver's side rear light.

If I had turned left he would have hit my car more solidly in the center or my right or passenger rear. Hence the safest turn was to go right. This also prevented being hit by traffic moving towards me from the opposite direction. It saved the rear end of my car, thus my actions were efforts to prevent the impact.

I did not contribute to the accident. Also, the driver that hit me did not have his license on him. He should not have been driving without a license. What happens now? Do I sue that driver even though he didn't have his license on him? Do I file an insurance claim? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "What happens if the driver who hit me didn't have a license?":

Jim (Buffalo, New York):

From the facts you present, you appear to have a legitimate property damage claim against the at-fault unlicensed driver and the owner of the car (if two different people). The fact that the driver did not have a license really won't affect your claim one way or the other. If the driver was negligent, then the driver and the owner (if different) must compensate you for all your damages related to the accident.

Hopefully at the time of the crash you secured the driver's insurance information. If so, immediately contact your own insurance company to put them on notice, and then notify the at-fault driver’s insurance company and file a claim with them.

If the police were dispatched to the scene, be sure to secure a copy of the police report. Police accident reports normally have a great deal of information about each driver, including insurance company information, and driver/owner contact information. Moreover, police reports also often indicate which driver was at fault, and if anyone involved received a citation for an infraction of the law.

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,

Judge Calisi

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