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NY Car Accidents- "If I sue the driver of the car that hit me, will he lose his license?"

The answer is no, he will not lose his license. Many prospective clients come into my office with the feeling that because the driver of the other car caused the accident and their injuries that person is obligated to lose their license to drive. Many want "justice."

The purpose of the civil justice system is to provide an outlet for an injured victim to seek and obtain compensation for their injuries. It is not a criminal proceeding seeking to put a negligent or careless driver in jail. Nor is a civil lawsuit the appropriate forum to have a driver's license suspended or revoked. For the purposes of this article I will assume that any injuries that a driver caused were unintentional and accidental. Why do I say this? Because if the driver's action is intentional, two things happen. (1) It could then be a criminal case- a type of battery (a criminal law term used to describe an unwanted touching), and (2) Intentional acts are never covered by a driver's insurance policy.

Getting back to the original question- when you bring a lawsuit in civil court, you ask a jury to determine if the driver is responsible for causing you harm, and whether that harm is significant and permanent. If a jury answers all three elements "Yes," "Yes," and "Yes," then they will determine how much money you are entitled to be awarded. At no time will a jury be asked whether the driver should retain his license to drive. In fact, the jury has no ability to make such a decision.