Getting in an Accident with an Unlicensed Driver

According to a recent study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, approximately one in every five fatal car accidents in the United States involves someone who does not have a valid driver’s license. This could mean that the driver has never gotten a license, the driver’s license has expired, or the driver is from a foreign country. These accidents often result in significant injuries, making the involvement of a skilled car accident attorney crucial for the victims.

If you are in an accident with an unlicensed driver, it is important that you take appropriate legal action. To understand your rights and the specific steps you should take if you’ve been injured, check out these tips from a car accident attorney at Tolbert Beadle, LLC.

What Are You Liable For?

When it comes to liability, car accidents with unlicensed drivers are no different than normal accidents. However, when injuries are involved, the stakes are much higher. If you cause the accident, you are responsible for paying any damages, such as vehicle repairs and medical bills. On the other hand, if the unlicensed driver is responsible for causing the accident and subsequent injuries then he/she is responsible for paying damages.

When an unlicensed driver is involved though, the bigger problem usually comes down to insurance. Drivers without a valid license most likely are uninsured, which complicates the liability process, especially in cases where injuries require extensive medical treatment.

How Should You Go About Paying for Damages?

Typically, an insurance company will not insure an unlicensed driver or someone with a suspended license. So, if your car accident is caused by an unlicensed driver, he/she will have to pay for damages out of his/her own pocket, including car repairs and medical bills.

Because most drivers, particularly young ones, do not have the disposable income to pay for all of the costs associated with a car accident, especially those involving injuries, recovering damages can be a difficult process unless you have adequate uninsured motorist coverage on your vehicles.

In some states, unlicensed drivers are not considered responsible for paying damages if they are driving someone else’s car. For example, if a family member or a friend loans their car to an unlicensed driver, the family member or friend is considered liable for the accident and held responsible for paying any damages.

As you can see, recovering damages from an unlicensed driver can be a complicated and confusing process that may require the assistance of a car accident attorney.

Do I Have Grounds to Sue an Unlicensed Driver? 

Just because someone is driving without a valid driver’s license does not mean you have grounds to sue. Like all car accident lawsuits, you must prove negligence in court, and driving without a license is not inherently negligent. However, if the unlicensed driver’s actions led to an accident that caused injuries, the case for negligence might be stronger. Of course, negligence is best judged on a case-by-case basis, so consult with a car accident attorney to get a better understanding of your rights and the potential for compensation for your injuries.

Additionally, you can browse more about car accidents with uninsured or underinsured drivers to continue to familiarize yourself with these situations.

Contact a Car Accident Attorney at Tolbert Beadle

At Tolbert Beadle, our experienced team of car accident attorneys is prepared to deal with a variety of car accident cases, including cases with unlicensed drivers. Regardless of the circumstances of your accident, we will not rest until justice is served. Tolbert Beadle is Missouri’s leading law firm with three locations in Springfield, Jefferson City, and Columbia. Tolbert Beadle proudly serves families throughout Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. To learn how a car accident attorney can benefit your case, contact Tolbert Beadle today.