Car accidents are stressful, under any circumstance. From medical bills to car repairs and lost wages, these damages can add up. And if the other driver does not have a valid license, the stress can be more intense. If you have been in a crash with an unlicensed driver, you may be asking yourself: Who will pay for my damages? Is he or she even insured?
Even if the other driver does not have a license, it is important to know your rights and potential legal options in these situations.
Our car accident lawyers in West Palm Beach are ready to help you seek the compensation you need for your injuries and damages. An initial consultation is 100 percent free and will allow you the opportunity to discuss your situation, ask any questions you may have and discover whether you have a valid claim.
Requirements to Operate a Motor Vehicle
It is illegal to drive without a license. Driving without a valid driver’s license is considered a misdemeanor in the state of Florida. If convicted, the fine can be as much as $500 and up to 60 days in jail. However, certain eligible drivers (those without a criminal record), can resolve a citation by getting their license and paying a court assessment fee.
Anyone caught operating a motor vehicle with a suspended, restricted or revoked license will be fined, face jail time, and have their vehicle impounded. For instance, first-time offenders can face up to 60 days in jail and a fine up to $500. Second-time offenders can face up to one year in jail and a fine up to $1,000. A third or subsequent offense is a felony, which carries a prison sentence of up to five years and a fine up to $5,000.
Liability in Crashes With Unlicensed Drivers
If the other driver is at fault, his or her insurance company is generally responsible for paying out on a claim. However, Florida is a no-fault insurance state. It does not mean that no one will be deemed at fault in a crash. What is different in a no-fault system is how a claim is paid out.
If you are injured in a crash, you own car insurance company will cover the majority of your claim. You must go through your own insurer even if the other driver is uninsured and to blame for the crash.
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All drivers must carry a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP). PIP could help cover 80 percent of your medical bills and other expenses related to your injuries.
Taking Legal Action Against an Unlicensed Driver
If you suffered serious injuries that require extensive medical care, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the other driver. However, the burden of proof will be on you to prove that negligence played a role in the crash. Driving without a valid license is not inherently negligent. He or she must have been speeding, driving while distracted, intoxicated, drowsy, etc.
This is why it is important to have an experienced lawyer by your side with your best interests in mind. He or she can help you gather the necessary evidence to show that the other driver had a duty to keep you from harm, this duty of care was breached somehow and this breach led to your injuries and damages.
Get the Legal Help You Need Today
If you have been injured in a crash caused by an unlicensed driver, you may be able to pursue significant compensation. Contact Gordon & Partners today for help in protecting your rights. We offer a free initial consultation with no obligation to you. There are no upfront fees involved.