Getting into an automobile accident without a driver’s license can be scary, but it may not be as bad as you think. Driving without a valid license is risky since you’re breaking the law, but it isn’t as bad as driving with a revoked or suspended license. An experienced auto accident attorney can help you understand the difference and work your way to a resolution.
Automobile Accidents and Driving Without a License
According to the Insurance Research Council, 1 in 8 drivers (or 13 percent of all motorists today) is uninsured. People take the risk of driving without a license for various reasons. Some folks never got their license, some drive with an expired license, and some don’t have the time or money to renew their licenses.
When an unlicensed driver gets involved in an accident, a seasoned car accident lawyer will help sort out the legal matters. In addition, your attorney will point out that liability for the accident doesn’t necessarily fall on your shoulders because you were driving without a license.
The liability for any accident is based on the negligence of the parties involved. So if you weren’t at fault, you’re not liable to pay for any damages. However, you still broke the law since you were driving without a license, which is a different case altogether.
Filing Claims Against the Party at Fault
Even if you were driving without a license, you could still file a claim against the other party if you’re not at fault for causing the accident. The law doesn’t automatically assign the responsibility to the driver without a valid license. It depends on which driver failed to act responsibly during the incident. It’s also possible for both drivers to operate their vehicles carelessly, in which case both are liable under the law. The party’s insurance company (or parties) at fault will be obliged to cover damages and auto accident injury claims.
Essential Details About Driving Without a License
An auto accident attorney can explain the details about driving without a license. In addition, they can describe the extent of your liability, if there is one, the fees you may have to pay and how to mitigate the situation, helping you avoid more severe legal trouble.
Your car accident lawyer can help you in several ways:
- Driving without a license vs. driving with a suspended or revoked license: Driving with a suspended or revoked license is a more serious offense than driving without a license. An experienced auto accident attorney can emphasize this vital point to the insurance company and others concerned. When your license is revoked or suspended, your driving privileges are taken away due to your negligence and irresponsibility on the road. However, you will still receive a citation and pay a fine for driving without a license, but that doesn’t mean you’ll serve time in jail or pay a more significant fine.
- Two different situations, two separate incidents: Driving without a license and getting involved in a car accident are two separate cases. Each situation should be handled separately, which means insurance companies can’t use the fact that you don’t have a license to deny any claims. It means you can still file claims and collect the money necessary for car repairs and medical costs with the driver at fault.
- Sorting the legal details for claims processing: Your attorney can help you sort out the details to collect funds for vehicle and property damages and medical costs related to your car accident injuries. You need to obtain the insurance details for the car you were driving. You will also need the other driver’s insurance information. Insurance companies will also require the physical addresses of the people involved in the accident. Your attorney can help you obtain these details and submit them to the right insurance company where you should file your claims.
- Getting a driver’s license after the accident: You must obtain your driver’s license as soon as possible because insurance companies can use your lack of a license against you in court. For this reason, getting a license ASAP can help build your case.
If you’re at fault while driving a loaned vehicle, the car owner’s auto insurance company pays for damages. Furthermore, your attorney can help you gather all the essential details to help you file a claim.
Insurance Coverage and Unlicensed Drivers
Insurance companies usually have non-coverage exclusions for vehicle owners with a suspended or revoked license. However, the terms are different for unlicensed drivers. If the car owner loaned the vehicle to an unlicensed driver, then the insurance details of the vehicle owner will be used for claims filing. Insurance companies will require you to have a valid driver’s license before they can issue a policy. An important caveat is that the owner didn’t know that the driver didn’t have a license.
A seasoned auto accident attorney can also encourage you to obtain adequate uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage. This type of policy covers everything from minor accident injuries to physical impairment.
Working With an Experienced Auto Accident Attorney
Getting into an accident while driving without a license can be a complicated case, which is why working with an experienced car accident lawyer will benefit you the most. Your attorney can ensure that you receive fair compensation for all types of damages you may have sustained.
To get the best legal advice, call the Law Offices of David Kohm today at any of our convenient locations and get a free consultation.
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