It’s easy to assume that our fellow drivers are law-abiding citizens. We get behind the wheel each day confident in our local laws and regulations requiring motorists to be experienced, licensed and insured in case of emergency. While it’s true that many drivers are indeed following the rules of the road, there are others who are not as respectful of the law. Some forgo their seat belt and neglect their insurance payments, while others flat out ignore the requirements to get their driver’s license. It isn’t until we find ourselves involved in an accident with such a driver that we realize just how common these kinds of behaviors actually are.
Unfortunately, a person’s apathy towards the law is often an indicator that they’ll act carelessly in other ways, too. When you’re involved in an accident that was caused by an unlicensed driver, it’s easy to panic about who will foot the bill for expensive car repairs and medical bills. Since unlicensed drivers can’t hold auto insurance, it’s understandable to be concerned about the fallout of the crash. Even when the incident was not solely the fault of the unlicensed driver, handling the aftermath can be stressful. Keep reading to ensure you follow the proper precautions after a wreck involving such a motorist.
Understanding who is at fault for a wreck is a crucial component of any car accident. Though complicated enough in its own right, throwing an unlicensed driver indefinitely makes things even more confusing. When fault is obviously that of the unlicensed driver, several outcomes are possible. If they are unlicensed and hold no form of auto insurance on their car, you will need to contact your insurance company for help paying for repairs, medical bills and other forms of property damage.
If the at-fault driver is unlicensed and driving a car with the permission of the car’s owner, you can seek damages from the vehicle’s owner’s insurance company. Since insurance follows the vehicle and not necessarily the driver, the company may be willing to pay for damage caused by the unlicensed driver. If there is any doubt about whether or not the driver had permission from the car owner to use their vehicle, though, you may need to have an attorney do some investigating before filing a claim with the insurance company.
In some cases, the at-fault, unlicensed driver did not have permission to use the car in which they crashed. They are, in such instances, considered to be driving a stolen car. Any insurance held on the vehicle in question will not apply to a driver who did not have permission to drive it. You’ll likely need to file a claim with your own insurance company if you hope to recover any kind of damages associated with the wreck.
Filing an Uninsured Motorist Claim
In all likelihood, you’ll find yourself filing an uninsured motorist claim in the wake of a wreck involving an unlicensed driver. Your coverage may pay for repairs to your vehicle, medical bills and compensate you for any pain and suffering you might have experienced because of the accident. Unfortunately, though, your insurance company may look for any reason to deny your claim.
It’s easy to feel angry that an accident caused through no fault of your own could leave you in serious pain and debt. If you’re experiencing pushback from the insurance company, consider hiring a local car accident attorney for help getting the compensation you’re owed. You may wish to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver seeking the damages they caused you in the accident. Unfortunately, though, many unlicensed drivers don’t have their license or car insurance because of the costs associated with getting licensed. It may be an uphill battle getting any kind of payment from them even if you win your case, but it’s not impossible. A judge can order their wages garnished so that you receive payments from each of their checks. They can also place a lien on their home if they own one or seize their property and sell it at auction.
If you’re curious about your options moving forward, consider checking out Lawsuit Info Center’s accident settlement calculator. Though it can’t factor in the likelihood of an unlicensed driver paying what they owe, it can help you better understand how much the case has cost you and how much an insurance company may be able to compensate you. Next, call 877-810-4067 to connect with an experienced car accident attorney in your area. Many such lawyers offer free consultations, giving you the freedom to explore your legal options without having to commit to one attorney or another. Chat with several to determine which is the best fit for you.