What to Do if Struck by an Unlicensed Driver
Dealing with the fallout after a car accident is already stressful enough; but what happens if you were hit by an unlicensed driver? How does this change the situation?
Millions of people hit the road without a license every day in the United States. Sometimes it’s a teen who has yet to hit the legal driving age and is unable to obtain a driver’s license, and sometimes it’s someone who has gotten their license revoked.
Possible reasons for a license suspension or revocation can include:
- A DUI conviction
- Failure to maintain adequate automobile insurance
- Accumulation of too many points on one’s license for committing moving violations
- Conviction of certain criminal offenses leading to a lifetime revocation
Regardless of why someone is driving without a license, they pose many dangers when on the road. According to a report by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety entitled “Unlicensed to Kill,” nearly one in five (18.2%) fatal car crashes during the years studied involved an unlicensed or invalidly licensed driver. In these fatal crashes, it was estimated that 6.7% of drivers had a license that had been suspended or revoked, 1.1% had a license that had either expired or been canceled or subsequently denied, and 5.0% were simply never licensed to begin with. The fatal crashes covered by the AAA report resulted in the deaths of 21,049 people.
When you are hit, by an unlicensed driver or not, you should always do the following:
- Call the police.
- Write down the other driver’s name and contact information.
- Take photographs of the accident scene that include the license plate of the other car.
- Write down the names and contact information of any potential witnesses.
- File a police report.
- Seek medical attention.
The best way to protect yourself against an unlicensed driver is to have insurance. There are several scenarios that can take place when hit by an unlicensed driver, and sometimes they won’t play out in your favor. If the unlicensed driver does not have car insurance and has to pay out of pocket for damages caused to your vehicle, they may not have much to offer. If the unlicensed driver was in a borrowed car without permission from the owner, then the insurance can deny payment of damages done by the unlicensed driver. Some states have unlicensed motorist coverage to protect against this.
It is important to note that an unlicensed driver who is involved in a traffic crash isn’t automatically liable; liability depends on where negligence lies. In order to be held liable, the unlicensed driver must have acted carelessly in some way that caused the collision.
If you or someone you know has been involved in a collision and are seeking help, call 1-800-411-PAIN and get the help you need! We will refer you to the attorneys that will fight to get you the compensation you deserve and the medical attention you need. If you have been hurt in an accident, call 1-800-411-PAIN, and we will guide you in finding you the best medical and legal professionals.