What Happens If I’m In A Car Accident With An Unlicensed Driver?
Steps To Take If You Were Hit By An Unlicensed Driver In Arizona
Although most people think of driving as a rite of passage that almost everyone goes through in their teen years, driving is actually a privilege and not a right. This means that the state can deny or rescind driving privileges if the driver is not following the rules of the road. Driving is a privilege that comes with responsibility because one driver’s actions can seriously impact the lives and safety of others.
Unfortunately, many drivers in Arizona do not hold a valid driver’s license. This can include people who have never taken a driver’s test, or whose license has been suspended or revoked. Some of the reasons why people may not have a valid driver’s license include:
- Being too young
- Not taking driver’s education or testing
- Failing a license renewal exam
- DUI conviction(s)
- Lack of auto insurance coverage
- Multiple moving violations while driving
- Certain criminal offenses
If you’ve been injured in a car accident with an unlicensed driver, get in touch with Mesa car crash injury lawyers for guidance on your legal options.
What Happens If I’m Hit By An Unlicensed Driver In Arizona?
In many ways, an accident with an unlicensed driver is the same as an accident with a licensed driver. Arizona’s law of comparative negligence means that the party who is at least 51% responsible for the accident is responsible to pay for the damages that were caused by the accident.
If an unlicensed driver who is deemed at fault for the accident has auto insurance, you can work with your Mesa auto accident injury attorneys to file a claim against their insurance company in order to obtain financial compensation for your damages, including repairs to your vehicle and any associated medical expenses.
The more likely scenario is that the unlicensed driver is also uninsured, in which case you have two options:
- Filing a claim with your own insurance company with your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, if you have it, or
- File a personal injury lawsuit against the liable unlicensed driver
In these types of lawsuits, it is usually relatively easy to prove who was liable for the accident, which means that your Mesa car crash injury lawyers will primarily focus on maximizing the number of damages that you are owed. If your case is successful, the judge can order the at-fault driver to pay your damages from the accident. Their assets can even be seized by the court to help pay for the damages. In many cases, the driver will be required to make regular payments to the injured party.
Sometimes, the unlicensed driver lacks any assets of value. That’s why it’s recommended to carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage on your auto insurance policy, which will cover your damages if you are injured in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.
What Else Should I Know About Accidents With Unlicensed Drivers?
There are several things to keep in mind regarding accidents with unlicensed drivers in Arizona. First, just because a driver is unlicensed does not mean that they are automatically liable for causing the accident. Liability is determined based on whose negligence caused the accident. In order for an unlicensed driver to be liable for the accident, their negligence or carelessness must have been the cause.
If you are liable for a crash with an unlicensed driver, they can still file a claim against your insurance for their damages and losses. While this may seem unfair, even unlicensed drivers have a legal right to compensation if your negligence caused an accident.
The vast majority of unlicensed drivers will not have up to date auto insurance coverage because proof of a valid driver’s license must be provided in order to obtain a policy. Additionally, many insurance companies will deny coverage if their insured loses their driving privileges after the policy is signed. In these cases, the injured party will need to consult with their Mesa personal injury attorneys and file a personal claim against the unlicensed driver. Unfortunately, many unlicensed drivers do not have the means or assets to make a fair payment to victims of a serious accident. This is where uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage can be extremely beneficial, because you’ll be able to file a claim with your own insurance company to cover any damages beyond what can be obtained from the liable driver.
Occasionally, an unlicensed driver will be operating a company vehicle at the time of the accident. In this situation, victims may be able to obtain financial compensation from the company’s insurance policy rather than the driver directly.
What Should I Do if I Am In a Car Accident With An Unlicensed Driver?
Protect yourself by following the same basic steps you would take with any other accident:
- Call law enforcement immediately to report the accident
- Get contact information and insurance information from the other drivers
- Take pictures of the scene and vehicles, if it is safe and you are physically able to do so
- Get the contact information of any potential witnesses
- Get medical attention, even if you think you are fine
- Contact an experienced Mesa injury lawyer right away
Let Mesa’s Trusted Personal Injury Attorneys Guide You Through Recovery
Recovering from a car accident is hard enough without worrying about how you will obtain compensation from an unlicensed driver. Get the support and legal guidance you need from Mesa Injury Lawyers. As one of the most trusted personal injury attorney firms in Mesa, we’ll handle all the details of your case with professionalism and expertise so you can focus on your recovery. Contact our office today to schedule your confidential, obligation-free consultation to discuss your legal options.
Mesa Injury Lawyers
1731 West Baseline Road Suite #103
Mesa, AZ 85202
Email: [email protected]