Almost 20 percent of all car accidents nationwide involve a driver without a valid license. Unlicensed drivers and drivers whose licenses have been suspended or revoked are significantly more likely to be involved in fatal crashes than are licensed drivers. It isn’t smart to drive without a license because you’ll face criminal charges. Should you decide to drive without a license and are injured in a car crash, what should you do to protect yourself?
Every day, thousands of people choose to drive without a license. A driver could have many possible reasons for driving without a license. When you drive without a license, you take a significant risk. It may be possible to claim compensation when you’re involved in a car accident without a license. However, the other party’s insurer or attorney can bring up issues, denying you compensation. You’ll need an experienced Florida car accident lawyer to help you build a strong case.
Driving Without a License is Against the Law in Florida
Florida State Statutes in Section 322.03 state that a person may not operate any motor vehicle on state roadways unless they have a valid license.
Anyone operating a motor vehicle on a Florida highway must possess and present a valid driver’s license when requested. Driving without a valid driver’s license is a second-degree misdemeanor with fines up to $500 and up to 60 days in jail.
If you have been issued a valid driver’s license but don’t have it in your possession while driving, you may have to pay a fine, even if the accident was not your fault. You will likely get a ticket. However, it’s a citation for a traffic violation and not a misdemeanor. Often, a citation for this offense will be dismissed or treated lightly if you show the court your license.
Driving with a Suspended or Revoked License
If your license was revoked, cancelled, or suspended for a severe collision or for not respecting Orlando traffic laws, you might be declared incompetent to drive in the state of Florida. If you are driving and your license has been suspended or revoked, you are not eligible for a new driver’s license, and the offense is far more severe.
A person operating a vehicle when their license is suspended or revoked can receive fines, jail time, and an extension of their driving suspension. However, if you were injured by someone who was driving with a suspended or revoked license, an experienced Orlando car accident lawyer can take this into account when estimating your claim’s value.
How does Driving without a License Affect my Claim if I am injured in a Florida Car Crash?
If an unlicensed driver has car insurance, they can file a claim with their insurance company. Florida is a no-fault insurance state. Injured drivers and passengers must seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, or other costs from their personal injury protection (PIP) car insurance. So long as you report damages within 14 days of the accident, your insurance company will cover up to $10,000 in damages (up to 80% of medical bills and 60% of lost wages).
An unlicensed driver might still recover damages and injuries from the driver at fault or his insurance company. If the other driver was at-fault for causing the crash, you may be able to bring a claim against their insurance company for your injuries.. Having an Orlando personal injury lawyer on your side can give you an advantage in seeking compensation for your injury and damage.
The fact that you were driving without a license is not considered evidence of negligence. You must be proven to be careless or reckless before you can be held responsible for an accident.
What to Do When You are Injured in a Car Accident and Don’t Have Your License
- Stay Calm. Don’t try to leave the scene of the accident, as that could lead to criminal charges.
- Make sure someone calls emergency services to tend to your injuries as well as anyone else’s.
- Call the police. Who is at fault after an accident isn’t always clear. Calling allows police to investigate, take statements and determine who was at fault. You can’t be held responsible for the crash just because you don’t have a license. Additionally, don’t give false information to the police, or you could face criminal charges.
- Exchange your contact information and insurance details with the other driver.
- Contact a personal injury lawyer.
Contact Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers in Orlando
By law, each person can recover and claim compensation for their accident, but there is a statute of limitations. The sooner you act and hire a lawyer, the better. Orlando law firm Wooten, Kimbrough, Damaso & Dennis, P.A can protect your legal rights, defend you against any Florida criminal charges, and help you seek recovery for your injuries.
If you are injured in a car accident in Orlando and not licensed, do not panic. Wooten, Kimbrough, Damaso & Dennis, P.A is a team of highly qualified lawyers who know how to recover compensation for your accident injury case. We are so confident that we can help you that we don’t charge any fees until after we have successfully won compensation. Call us at (407) 843-7060 or fill out a contact form online today to schedule a free consultation.