What to Do If You’re in an Accident Caused by an Unlicensed Driver

Road crashes are the bane of using the roads, whether as a motorist or pedestrian.

The numbers don’t lie. Every year, the are over six million vehicle accidents in the United States. They result in the death of about 35,000 people and cause over 1 million injuries.

You don’t hope to get involved in a road crash every time you hit the road. However, the possibility is always there. Even the most careful of drivers can be involved in an accident.

What if you’re in an accident caused by an unlicensed driver?

If you’re not familiar with road rules, especially with regard to car accidents, you might not be sure why it matters whether it’s a licensed or unlicensed driver that causes an accident.

In this article, we’re helping you understand why licensure matters. Continue reading to learn more.

Licensed or Not Licensed: Does It Matter?

In every state, it’s a legal requirement for every driver to have a valid license.

If you’re driving without a license because you forgot it at home or misplaced it, you could receive a fine. If you’re driving but your license is suspended or revoked, the police will likely arrest you and impound your car.

Consequences can be more severe if you’re driving without a license because you’ve never been licensed. In other words, under the law, you’re neither qualified nor authorized to drive on public roads.

When an accident happens, one of the first things the police will do is to ask for a license from the involved drivers.

If a driver is unlicensed, it also means they don’t have auto insurance coverage. This shouldn’t be any of your problems, right until when you’re involved in an accident caused by an unlicensed driver.

You see, after an accident involving two parties or more, the at-fault driver is required to compensate the other parties for their injuries, car damage, and other losses, unless the state is a no-fault state. Auto liability coverage usually takes care of this.

So, if you’re in a fault state and you’ve been hit by an unlicensed driver, you have cause to worry.

What to Do When an Unlicensed Driver Causes an Accident

Knowing what to do after you’ve been in an accident caused by an unlicensed driver can make a big difference, especially as far as compensation is concerned.

Generally, though you should follow the standard procedure for any road accident. Here’s a lowdown:

Pull Over

After a road accident has occurred, pull over and stop. Even if it’s a minor fender bender, stop.  

Of course, this is assuming that the accident isn’t so bad that the cars can’t be moved. If it’s bad, it’s fine to leave the cars at the exact scene of the accident.

If there are any injuries, call 911 and get medical help. When this is the case, don’t think about anything else other than getting treatment.

However, in cases where you can’t file a police report immediately after an accident due to injury or hospitalization, Preszler Law’s Jeffrey Preszler suggests you always go to the police department or call and file a report as soon as you’re released, preferably within 24 hours. Check out this link https://www.preszlerlaw-ns.com/how-do-i-file-a-claim-in-nova-scotia/ for more information. 

Collect as Much Information as Possible

Here, the assumption is that you’re able to remain at the scene of the accident. That means no serious injuries, which is good news – at least for now.

Turn your focus on obtaining as much information as possible about the accident and the other party.

Now, you should keep in mind that an unlicensed driver is more likely to drive off without stopping, especially if their car isn’t immobilized by the accident.

As such, one of the first things you should do is obtain information about the other driver and their car. You can start by taking pictures of the car’s registration, followed by those of the accident. This way, you’ll have solid evidence, which the police can use to track the driver should they decide to drive off.

If the driver is corporative, you can share identification details. Refrain from talking about who caused the accident and whether the driver is licensed and insured.

Call the Police

If police on patrol haven’t already arrived at the scene, it’s time to call them in.

It’s the police’s job to investigate the cause of the accident and identify the driver that’s to blame. Without a police report, it’s hardly possible to pursue a claim against the other driver.

File a Compensation Claim

Since an unlicensed driver likely doesn’t have any insurance, you can’t claim for compensation from their liability insurance provider. You have to claim the money from them directly.

On rare occasions, you’ll find an unlicensed driver who causes an accident, admits liability, and commits to compensating the other driver. If you’re in one of those rare occasions, luck is on your side.

In most cases, though, the unlicensed driver will fail to admit liability. This means they also aren’t willing to compensate.

When this happens, you’ve to take a more aggressive approach.

Hire an Auto Accident Attorney

On your own, you can only get so far when you’re pursuing a case against an unlicensed driver. They’ll probably hire a lawyer of their own to defend them.

This is why you need to hire an experienced auto accident attorney as soon as you realize that an unlicensed driver is uncooperative. The lawyer will advise you on the way forward and file a lawsuit against the driver if necessary.

Ultimately, you stand a better chance of securing the compensation you deserve when you have a lawyer on your team.

Be Proactive When an Unlicensed Driver Causes an Accident

Unlicensed drivers are putting themselves at risk every time they get behind the wheel. They’re also putting other road users, like you, at risk.

If you’ve been in an accident caused by an unlicensed driver, knowing what to do will make a difference when the time to pursue compensation comes. With this guide, you now know what to do.

Keep reading our blog for more tips and advice.

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