Crashes Involving Unlicensed Drivers: 2 Scenarios Explained
Every car accident involving injuries can get complicated quickly. However, crashes involving unlicensed drivers can be even more complex. What is important to understand is that if you were the victim of someone else’s negligence, whether that person was driving without a license or you were unlicensed, you do have legal rights.
What Happens If You Are Hit in a Crash While Driving with Insurance But No License?
If you drive without a license in Texas and are injured in an accident with a negligent driver, the good news is that you can still pursue compensation for your injuries. Regardless of whether you had a valid license at the time of the accident, the insurance company for the at-fault driver is responsible for compensating you for your losses. Pursuing this claim will likely take a lawyer because the insurance company will probably try to take the position that being an unlicensed driver automatically makes you a bad driver. We have been able to overcome this defense in many cases by showing that the evidence proves that the other driver made the mistake in this particular wreck.
The bad news is that you may be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. In Texas, a Class A misdemeanor can result in fines of up to $4,000, jail time of up to one year, or both a fine and jail time.
The penalties for driving without a license depend on why you do not have a valid Texas driver’s license. If you never obtained a Texas driver’s license, you may be charged with a misdemeanor and fined up to $200. If your driver’s license was suspended or revoked, you could face misdemeanor charges, fines ranging from $25 to $500, and jail time of not less than 72 hours or more than six months. On the other hand, if you accidentally left your license at home at the time of your crash, you would likely only have to pay an administrative fee not to exceed $10.
Does Insurance Cover Accidents if an Unlicensed Driver Hits You?
If an unlicensed driver hits you, chances are insurance will cover your accident. The question is what type of coverage will take precedence.
To drive legally in Texas, drivers must not only have licenses, but also car insurance that includes:
- Liability for bodily injury. Policies must cover a minimum of $30,000 per person for bodily injury and $60,000 for all persons injured in one accident.
- Liability for property damage. Policies must cover a minimum of $25,000 for all property damage in one accident.
If an unlicensed driver hits you, you can pursue compensation through his or her insurance coverage. If the driver does not have insurance, you would have to turn to your own uninsured motorist (UIM) coverage, which covers damages caused by an accident with a driver who has no insurance. This type of coverage is optional in Texas, though. In either case, expect a fight for which you will likely need a lawyer as either insurance company (theirs or yours) will probably assert defenses such as permission to use the car, facts of the occurrence, etc.
If you have suffered a car crash injury caused by an unlicensed driver anywhere within the state of Texas, call the personal injury attorneys at Tate Law Offices, P.C., today. You may be owed compensation for your injuries, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.
How Our Texas Car Accident Lawyers Can Help You
At Tate Law Offices, P.C., we value care and compassion. Our personal injury attorneys know how physically, emotionally, and financially devastating an accident can be. We will dedicate all of our skills, experience, and resources to helping you seek the maximum compensation for your injuries, pain, and suffering. Our goal is to help ease your burdens and get you back on your feet.
Tate Law Offices, P.C., has represented injured Texans for over 25 years. We fight for car accident victims in Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and all other areas throughout Texas. Call us today to schedule your free consultation.
Tim received a business degree in finance from Southern Methodist University and a Juris Doctor (law degree) from South Texas College of Law. Over the last two decades Tim has represented victims of injuries day-in and day-out throughout the state of Texas as well as in numerous other states throughout America. Tim’s mission on every case is always to get the insurance company of the defendant to pay top dollar for his client’s case, which allows his clients to put the maximum amount of money into their pocket.