Can I sue the uninsured drunk driver who hit my parked car and totaled it?

Asked about 2 years ago - San Jose, CA

My car was parked in front of my house and was rear-ended by an uninsured drunk driver who totaled my car and his. There was damage to another parked car because my car was pushed into it. I lost a day of work and the camera I use for work. The camera was in the trunk of my car. This has caused a lot of stress for me because I have no other vehicle or money for a rental. What are my options?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Janice Rourke Hugener

    Contributor Level 11


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes, you can sue the adverse driver (assuming he has assets to pay the judgment). Additionally, if the adverse driver was arrested for DUI, you can work with the police/prosecutors to ensure that a restitution order is made part of any plea deal or sentence in the criminal action.

    Another option is to make a claim under your own policy if you carry uninsured motorist property damage coverage. Good luck!

    This response is general legal and business analysis and not legal advice; thus, other attorneys may analyze this... more
  2. Mark K. Ameli

    Contributor Level 8


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Ms. Heugener is correct. The problem is that even if you get a judgment you may not be able to collect it is the drunk driver does not have any money. Therefore, it is important to work with the prosecutio in the criminal matter to see if you can get restitution. Also, if you have collision converage or uninsured motorist coverage with sufficient limits, your best bet would be to recover your damages from the insurance company and they will then go after the druck driver to get money back. If the coverage is not sufficient you should get whatever amount you can from the insurance company and attempt to collect the rest from the other party directly.

  3. Andrew Ronald Gillin


    Contributor Level 13


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree with the advice given by the other two lawyers. In addition to those approaches, your camera may well be covered by homeowners insurance, if you have it. Good Luck

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