Driving can be viewed as a rite of passage for teenagers. Along with the independence and freedom associated with getting behind the wheel comes great responsibility. When you don’t follow the rules of the road, your right to drive can be taken away by the state, who has to ensure the safety of the general public. A study released by the AAA Foundation of Public Safety states that one in every five fatal crashes in the United States involves an unlicensed driver. So, there is a high chance that you will get involved in an accident with someone who has been driving without a license. Though it is illegal, the same rules of negligence will apply, and an unlicensed driver will not be considered at fault just because they are unlicensed. For instance, if you hit someone from behind and it ends up being a vehicle driven by an unlicensed driver, you (or your insurer) will still be at fault and responsible to pay for the damage to their vehicle and any claim for injury compensation.
This situation becomes more of an issue in accidents with unlicensed drivers who are at fault and the insurance company of the vehicle they are driving is will most likely not pay their liability for property damage. Insurance companies have the right to exclude any obligation in circumstances where the driver was either unlicensed or had a suspended license. Any claim will need to be paid for by the unlicensed driver themselves. Since many unlicensed drivers may be young and not have enough funds to pay for damage to your vehicle, recovering money will most likely be difficult. The good thing is, if you have your own comprehensive car insurance policy, your vehicle’s damage should be covered regardless. Your insurer should pay you out immediately and try to recover the amount back from the unlicensed driver.
Regardless of the situation, there are a few basic steps that you should follow when you get in an accident.
- Call the police and have a police report filed.
- Check on everyone involved in the accident.
- Get the driver’s name and contact information.
- Take pictures of the accident, make sure to include the other car’s license plate.
- Ask for the names and contact information of any possible witnesses.
- Answer any questions the officer asks.
- Get medical attention, even if you think there isn’t anything wrong.
Unfortunately, no one has the capability to control when a car accident will happen. Preferably, the other driver will be validly licensed and fully insured with appropriate liability coverage. But, as we know, this sometimes isn’t the case. Protect yourself by having adequate auto insurance. If there are some cases where you don’t think you will be able to do things on your own, you can work with an experienced car accident attorney at One Law Group in Beverly Hills. Our attorneys will be able to help you navigate the many possible types of cases that involve an unlicensed driver or anyone else.