What Happens to a Driver Without a License in an Accident?

What Happens to a Driver Without a License in an Accident? 2

What are the typical penalties applicable for those driving without a license?

A car accident can cause physical pain, emotional distress, and financial problems. The process of seeking compensation after a crash is usually straightforward. In most cases, you can file a compensation claim against the liable party.

However, what if you didn’t have a license during the accident?

As outlined (below) the penalties can be significant, but in the United States they can vary widely between different states. While this offense is typically charged as a misdemeanor, the severity of the punishment can vary based on the specific circumstances surrounding the lack of a license.

In California, for instance, the offense under the California Vehicle Code is regarded as a misdemeanor. Typically the fine may be $250 up to $1000 or up to six months’ jail for additional offenses.

In Florida the offense is regarded as a second degree misdemeanor and can result in a $500 fine and up to 60 days in jail.

For example, in the Bronx, you could face a fine of up to $300. But once again the circumstances of each case will affect the penalty, as Steve Dolman, a Bronx car accident lawyer from Dolman Law Group explained when pointing to the fact that the facts of each case are crucial to determine the ultimate penalty that may be imposed.

Criminal Consequences of Driving Without a License

Driving without a license can have serious legal and financial consequences, including severe criminal penalties.

Penalties can vary greatly depending on the circumstances. If an individual is caught driving without ever having obtained a license or with an expired license, the punishments will typically be less severe and may include fines. In most cases, this type of offense is charged as a misdemeanor.

However, the severity of the punishment can increase substantially if the driver was caught driving without a license due to a license revocation resulting from a DUI or another severe offense.

If the driver never held a license in the first place, a less severe penalty may be the prospect for the unlicensed driver.

But for the driver who has had a license revoked he or she may face harsher penalties, including jail time and a longer license suspension period. It is important to note that the location of the offense can also affect the severity of the punishment.

In some states, a driver caught driving on private roads or in remote areas may face less severe punishment than someone caught driving on major public highways.

If your license has been suspended or revoked, it is essential to comply with all legal requirements before attempting to drive again. By following the rules of the road and obtaining a valid license, you can protect yourself and others on the road while avoiding potentially severe penalties.

However, those who repeat the offense may face more severe consequences.

Impact on Liability

Consider a situation where you get in a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence. The status of your license may have limited implications regarding liability.

There are rules used to determine liability in a car accident. These rules assess the degree of fault for each driver involved in the accident. They do not consider whether or not the driver has a valid license. So, even if you were driving without a license, you may still be able to pursue compensation.

However, driving without a license can still have severe implications in any legal action. The other driver’s insurer may know you were driving without a license. They may argue that your lack of a license contributed to the accident. Thus, they may say that you should be partially liable for the crash.

Impact on Future Licensing

Getting in an accident while driving without a license can have severe consequences. It can affect your ability to obtain a valid driver’s license in the future. Sometimes, you may need additional training before being eligible for a license. 

Additionally, the accident will get reflected on their driving record. That can make it more difficult for you to find affordable insurance coverage in the future.

Implications of a No-License Accident on a Personal Injury Claim

If you got injured in the accident, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries. However, if you were driving without a license, it may impact your claim. 

One additional consequence of driving without a license is a significant increase in car insurance premiums. Many insurance companies are hesitant to provide coverage to individuals caught driving illegally, and those who do provide coverage may charge much higher rates.

The insurer may also use the lack of a legal license as a reason to deny your claim. They can also use your lack of a license to reduce the compensation you’re entitled to receive.

Recoverable Damages Following a Car Accident

After a car crash, you may be able to recover damages from the at-fault party. Here is a list of economic and non-economic damages you can recover in a car accident case. 

Economic Damages

One of the most common forms of economic damage is medical costs. You can recover compensation for past and future medical bills. Additionally, you can claim compensation for lost wages and property loss. 

For self-employed business people, for instance, the economic damages can also be considered, and, as with any such personal injury case, it is important to have regard for all the factors that lead to economic loss which can be many and varied.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are those that are more subjective. These include compensation for the following:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of companionship
  • Scarring and disfigurement

Take Care

Drivers need to take care to follow the laws of their state and make sure that any non-compliance is reviewed properly to ensure that the necessary facts relating to unlicensed driving are properly identified and used to obtain the lowest penalty or damages claim.

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