Unlicensed Driver Causes Car Accident
When an unlicensed driver causes a car accident, they could face both criminal and civil penalties. Driving without a license is a crime and could result in fines and jail time. The unlicensed driver also could bear civil liability for any resulting damages, from the other party’s medical bills to their lost wages.
Yet, an unlicensed driver isn’t automatically liable for damages stemming from a collision. To recover damages, the injured party must prove negligence, and that goes beyond showing that the other party didn’t have a license. If you find yourself in this situation, you could partner with a car accident lawyer from our firm. Call (954) 633-8270 to learn more.
The Unlicensed Driver Could Face Criminal Charges
Driving without a license is illegal, and the penalties vary by state. The unlicensed driver could spend time in jail or pay hefty fines. Other offenses, like driving while intoxicated, could elevate these consequences.
If you were in an accident that an unlicensed driver caused, their criminal conviction would not yield compensation for your losses. Yet, it could serve as important evidence later.
You Could Seek Damages Via a Claim or Lawsuit
Some states require drivers to carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, while in other states this coverage is optional. If you have this insurance, you could file a claim with your own provider to recoup damages. Yet, if your losses go beyond that figure, you could file a fault-based claim with the other party’s insurer based on your condition.
Just because the other driver doesn’t have a license doesn’t mean they’re not insured. A third-party claim could account for any gaps in your coverage. Still, if the at-fault party doesn’t have insurance, and your PIP coverage doesn’t offer adequate compensation, you could file a lawsuit.
You Generally Have a Limited Amount of Time To File a Lawsuit
Each state gives accident survivors a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. These deadlines are outlined in the state’s statute of limitations laws. In Florida, for example, Florida Statutes § 95.11(3)(a) gives you a four-year window to file a lawsuit.
Still, some exceptions could toll this deadline, depending on the laws in your state. It is typically best to get started on your case early. This allows your legal team the time they need to search for evidence and speak to witnesses.
What Damages Could You Recover Through Legal Action?
Depending on your situation, compensable losses may comprise:
- Medical bills, including anticipated care costs
- Lost income and other job-related sources of revenue, like tips
- Pain and suffering and inconvenience
- The cost of replacing or repairing your vehicle
- Out-of-pocket accident-related expenses
- Wrongful death damages, including funeral expenses
Compensation should account for your past, present, and anticipated collision-related losses. By partnering with a Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer, you can learn more about what damages you can pursue.
Recovering Damages Requires Your Legal Team To Prove Negligence
As noted, being unlicensed doesn’t automatically make the other driver liable for your losses. To recover damages outside of a third-party liability claim, you must show how the other driver’s negligence led to the collision. This requires showing:
- The other party, like every other motorist, had an obligation to drive as safely as possible.
- The other party did not drive safely. Perhaps they sped down a busy street, putting others’ lives at risk.
- The other party caused your accident.
- You suffered damages, such as injuries and financial losses, from the collision.
Using evidence, your lawyer can prove each of these elements. Supporting information in your case could include the accident report, statements from witnesses, and traffic camera footage. Your Fort Myers car accident lawyer may even research the other driver’s history to assess for previous traffic violations.
Your Next Steps After an Accident With an Unlicensed Driver
You should seek medical attention following your collision, even if you feel fine. Some conditions take days to manifest symptoms, such as traumatic brain injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Some other post-accident considerations include:
- Documenting your injury-related losses, such as your missed time from work
- Completing your recommended treatment plan
- Deferring all insurance-related communications to your Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer
- Considering prompt legal action
- Notifying your insurer of the collision (even if you’re not sure about filing a claim)
- Taking photos and videos of your car’s damage
You want to promote your personal injury cases outcome from the very beginning. That includes being mindful of what you share with the insurance company.
Call the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato To Get Started on Your Unlicensed Car Accident Case
You have legal options after an accident involving an unlicensed driver. Our team offers free consultations where you can learn more about partnering with us. We aim to give personal injury attorneys Florida a good name, offering our honest opinion and committing to your rights. To get started, Dial (954) 633-8270.