If you were recently in a car wreck and learned the other driver was unlicensed, you may Google things such as, “What happens if an unlicensed driver has an accident with my car?” or “What to do after an accident with an unlicensed driver?”
Many of the steps you will take after an accident with an unlicensed driver will be the same as what you would do if the driver were licensed and insured. However, there are some differences you should be aware of.
Steps to Take After an Accident with an Unlicensed Driver
Immediately after a car accident, you likely will not even know that the other driver is unlicensed. It is unlikely that they will admit to not having a valid driver’s license.
It is essential to follow specific steps immediately following a crash to ensure you have done all you can if you learn later that the driver is unlicensed.
Call 911 and Request a Police Response
It is expected to forget basic steps like calling 911 when you are in a state of shock and panic in those seconds and minutes after impact. However, it is nevertheless important to call 911 if you or anyone else is injured.
Even if it does not appear that anyone is seriously injured requiring EMS, you should still request a law enforcement response. This is particularly important if it later turns out the other driver is unlicensed.
Law enforcement will also:
- Obtain the other driver’s information, including their driver’s license and insurance information or lack thereof;
- Get each driver’s version of events and
- Speak with witnesses and get their contact information;
Having all of this memorialized in an accident report will be helpful.
Get Medical Attention
Whether you require EMS to take you to the local emergency room for immediate treatment or are lucky enough to walk away from the crash, you should still be seen by a doctor immediately after the accident. Many injuries are not immediately apparent and can manifest as time goes on.
It is best to have a thorough workup by a medical professional or doctor. Medical treatment can include:
- Primary care services,
- Orthopedic treatment,
- Radiology services,
- Chiropractic care,
- Physical and occupational therapy, and
- Pharmaceutical services.
Many injuries will get worse before they get better. It is imperative to receive a quick diagnosis and treatment plan to avoid worsening injuries.
Keep copies of all receipts and records you receive from all medical appointments. Storing these records in an organized manner and readily available can make calculating damages easier later.
Gather Evidence and Information Regarding the Accident Scene
If physically able after the accident, document what you can about the scene.
The easiest and most efficient way is to take pictures with your cell phone. Snap photos of your car, the other vehicles involved, road and weather conditions, injuries, and anything else you think is essential.
Depending on the location of the accident, take note of any potential surveillance cameras that may have captured the accident on video.
In addition to using technology to your advantage to gather evidence, it is just as relevant to write down what you can remember about the moments before, during, and after the crash.
Contact Your Insurance Company
After any accident, but especially if you suspect an unlicensed driver in the accident is at fault, you want to notify your insurance company right away.
Notifying the insurance company is to advise them of essential information such as where the accident occurred, the damage to your vehicle, injuries, and information regarding the other driver.
To help your insurance company thoroughly investigate the at-fault party, especially if they are unlicensed and uninsured, provide an accurate account of what happened without exaggerating, embellishing, or lying. Remain honest and factual.
In Texas, as in every other state, anyone who operates a motor vehicle must have a valid driver’s license. This ensures everyone knows how to operate a car safely and will follow the laws.
If you have been injured in a car accident with an unlicensed driver, contact The Zimmerman Law Firm today about your case.SCHEDULE YOUR FREE CONSULTATION
Liability in an Accident with an Unlicensed Driver
Under Texas law, a person’s driver’s license status does not affect the determination of fault when involved in a car accident. Instead, negligence is the determining factor in an individual’s liability.
When an unlicensed driver is involved, the more significant issue is insurance. Usually, if a driver is unlicensed, they are uninsured. This is because insurance companies will only insure a licensed driver.
So what does this mean if you are in an accident? If the car crash is caused by the unlicensed, they will remain at fault for the wreck, and they may have to pay your vehicle repair and medical bills out of pocket. However, just because they should or are required to pay those expenses does not mean they have the financial means to.
An unlicensed driver may also face fines or quasi-criminal or criminal charges for operating a motor vehicle without a license. On the other hand, if the unlicensed driver in an accident is not at fault, they won’t be liable for damages.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
If you have uninsured or underinsured motor insurance (UM/UIM insurance), you can file a claim with your own motor vehicle insurance company. These are typically additional policies you must opt to pay for but can be beneficial in accidents with unlicensed and uninsured drivers.
Recovering damages from an unlicensed driver can be challenging and may require the assistance of a car accident attorney.
Pursuing a Lawsuit
Like any car accident, you can sue the unlicensed driver. However, it is essential to remember that as the plaintiff, you have the burden of proof to establish that the driver negligently caused the accident.
While driving without a license is frowned upon and against Texas law, it does not automatically make a defendant guilty of negligence.
You should speak with a Texas car accident lawyer to get the best sense of whether you might have a fruitful case against the unlicensed driver. Every case is unique and should be assessed on an individual basis.
Texas Car Accident Attorneys
At The Zimmerman Law Firm, we handle all personal injury cases but dedicate much of our practice to serious motor vehicle accident cases.
If you were recently injured in a car crash with an unlicensed driver and are wondering about your rights and options, contact us to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation. We have five convenient office locations in Waco, Killeen, Temple, Round Rock, and Austin.