What Happens When an Unlicensed Driver Causes an Accident?

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A small white car with rear end damage.In most car accidents, the standard resolution is that the at-fault driver’s insurance company pays for the other party’s damages. If the at-fault driver had collision and MedPay coverage in addition to liability, their insurance will also probably cover their damages. However, there are several scenarios where this doesn’t happen, and having an accident with an unlicensed driver can complicate the situation. What happens to you and your damages depends on several factors, which we’ll discuss in this article.

Here are some common answers to questions about what happens when an unlicensed driver hits you:

Do I Have to Pay for the Damages if the Driver Was Unlicensed?

The first thing to understand is that “unlicensed” and “uninsured” are two different issues, although in most situations they result in the same problem. Usually, car insurance is attached to the car and will cover accidents caused by anyone who drives the vehicle with the owner’s permission. So if a friend borrows your car and crashes it, you won’t have to worry about suing them to pay for the repairs.

Unfortunately, most insurance companies don’t cover drivers who are breaking the law, so if the driver was unlicensed, the vehicle owner’s insurance may not cover your damages after all. However, you should be able to file a claim with your insurance company if you have uninsured/underinsured motorist (UI/UM) coverage. Don’t have UI/UM coverage? Consider adding it to your liability coverage – about 12.4 percent of drivers in Georgia are uninsured, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

What If My Insurance Company Says the Accident Was My Fault?

Driving without a license is illegal, but it doesn’t automatically make the other driver at fault for the accident. Of course, they will deal with enough legal problems due to being unlicensed and possibly arrested for driving without a license. Depending on whether they’ve been arrested for unlicensed driving, they could face a few months to a few years in jail or prison. They may hire a private attorney to represent them in the hopes of beating these charges.

Why does this matter to you? The point is that the unlicensed driver may be in a financially difficult situation, and as a result, they will probably make every effort to avoid liability for the accident itself, which could lead to them blaming you.

Now, you’d think your insurance company would be on your side, but remember, they’re a business. The insurance carrier’s main priority will always be their bottom line, and agreeing that the accident is your fault saves them from paying a UI/UM claim. After all, you aren’t uninsured. Plus, they have an excuse to raise your rates if the accident was your fault! (If you have collision and MedPay coverage, these will pay for an accident that’s your fault, but you could still be subject to a rate hike.)

If you’re in this situation, it can be frustrating, and you may be tempted to give the insurance carrier a piece of your mind. Unfortunately, that may make things worse. The insurance adjuster is probably going to record your conversation, then pick through everything you said until they find something that they think indicates you were at fault. The more you talk, the more material they have to choose from.

Don’t allow them to twist your words. Instead, call a car accident lawyer immediately. We will thoroughly investigate the accident, and we may be able to find evidence the police missed. Often law enforcement officers are very busy and lack the time and resources to deeply investigate a car accident, but our investigative team has plenty of time. Sometimes, we may find more witnesses or discover video from a smartphone or doorbell camera.

If we can uncover evidence that the unlicensed driver was at fault, we can resubmit your UI/UM claim to the insurance company, and it will be more difficult for them to say no. Additionally, you can sue the other driver for any damages not covered by the UI/UM policy. That being said, this may not be feasible. If the other driver has no significant assets we can seize, spending time and money on a lawsuit probably isn’t a good option.

There’s another reason that proving the other driver is at fault is essential, even if you don’t sue them. If the other driver convinces a jury that you were at fault, they can sue you for damages. Remember that in Georgia, personal injury lawsuits are based on determining who was most at fault. In order to make a claim against another person or their insurance, you don’t have to prove the accident was 100 percent their fault, just 51 percent or more. If there were no known witnesses to the crash, the other driver might be able to make the case that you are more mostly at fault, even if they also made a mistake.

Why Do People Drive Without a License?

There are many reasons why this happens. Some drivers don’t have the time or money to undergo the licensing process. Others may have lost their license due to drunk driving, excessive speeding tickets, or other moving violations. Some people may not be able to drive safely due to a disability or medical issue, like a visual impairment or seizure disorder. The bottom line is that there are many people on the road who shouldn’t be, and you never know when one of them will cross your path. Having UI/UM coverage will help protect you in these situations.

Call a Car Accident Lawyer From the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm

If you’ve been in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you need the support of an experienced Georgia car accident lawyer. Attorney Ali Awad founded the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm and quickly built it into the fastest-growing law firm in the country, besting 499 others. When he’s not fighting for clients in the courtroom or negotiating with insurance companies, he shares legal wisdom with more than a million followers on social media. For a free consultation about your accident, please contact the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm at any time.

If an unlicensed driver has injured you or someone you love, please contact the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm for a free consultation today at 833-254-2923.

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Frequently Asked Questions

After a personal injury, you're bound to have legal questions. The CEO Lawyer Ali Awad can provide you with answers to these questions, just as he's given answers to his millions of curious social media followers. Take a look at some of the most common personal injury law questions for general information, and then reach out to one of our seasoned attorneys for specific guidance on your case!

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Help Negotiating with Insurance Carriers

To quickly resolve matters following an accident, insurance companies will offer you less than you deserve in compensation for your injuries. Many victims feel pressured to accept these offers as the bills begin to pile up, but that is rarely a good idea. The insurance company is looking to protect its bottom line; and will offer injured victims less than they deserve. An experienced personal injury attorney understands how to negotiate with the insurance company and can look out for your best interests by getting you the compensation you deserve after an injury. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, it is important to avoid negotiating or providing recorded statements to the insurance company without first seeking help from a qualified personal injury attorney.

Do You Have a Personal Injury Case?

The best way to determine if you have a personal injury case is to speak with a knowledgeable attorney. Our legal professionals have the expertise to evaluate your case and determine a strong legal strategy so that you can obtain the greatest amount of compensation possible under the law. We will enlist investigators, assistants, and other specialists to collect accident reports, speak with witnesses to your accident, and put together a plan. While you focus on your physical recovery, we will remain committed to fighting for the compensation that you deserve.

Georgia's Personal Injury & Accident Firm

Accident victims have a limited time to file a personal injury lawsuit. This time period is referred to as the statute of limitations, and in Atlanta, it lasts only two years. This means that if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, you have only two years to pursue a personal injury suit. If you wait too long to reach out to an experienced attorney, you might be forever barred from seeking the compensation you deserve.

What to Expect From Your Initial Consultation With a Personal Injury Attorney?

During your initial consultation with CEO Lawyer team, we will go over the important details of your personal injury accident, which include the nature and extent of your injuries, how your injuries have impacted your ability to earn a paycheck, the cost of your medical treatment, and whether further medical treatment will be required. We will answer any questions you might have, as well, in regards to our experience, our track record of success, and what to expect from the legal process. Many personal injury victims wonder if they will be able to afford the legal fees required to pursue a lawsuit. CEO Lawyer injury and accident attorneys will not ask for any type of upfront fee unless we are successful in obtaining compensation for you. That means that if you have been harmed in a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall accident, defective product accident, or any other type of personal injury accident, you can absolutely afford to contact our law office today for assistance. In fact, you cannot afford to wait. Reach out today. We understand that some accident victims might have already obtained the assistance of an attorney but may be dissatisfied with the services provided. We are standing by and prepared to help you change legal representation, regardless of where you are in the process.

Speak to an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today

If you or a loved one has been injured in any type of personal injury accident, you should not hesitate to speak with the experienced attorneys at CEO Lawyer personal injury law firm. Call, email, or fill out our online contact form today so that we can begin helping you pursue the compensation you deserve.