Car accidents can become complex cases for a number of reasons. The main factors include the type of collision, the number of injured parties, the type of injuries sustained and the necessary paperwork for a victim to seek compensation.
Now imagine the seriousness of an accident when a driver involved doesn’t carry a valid driver’s license. If you’re driving without a license in Texas and are injured by a negligent driver, you can still seek compensation for your injuries. With a good defense from George Salinas Injury Attorneys, you can prove that the other driver was at fault.
Statistics on unlicensed drivers in the U.S.
A study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety states that drivers without a valid license are responsible for 20% of all car accidents. That means on average an unlicensed driver causes around 8,400 deaths per year.
This same study found that approximately 3% of all drivers are unlicensed and 18% of fatal car and truck crashes involve a driver who doesn’t have a license. In addition, 6% of drivers in these accidents hold a revoked or suspended license and, even more alarming, 5% don’t have one at all.
Regardless of whether you had a valid license at the time of the accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance company is responsible for compensating you for your losses. Pursuing this claim will likely require a car accident attorney, as the insurer will attempt to demonstrate that being an unlicensed driver automatically makes you a bad motorist.
Penalties for driving without a license in Texas
Unfortunately, there are penalties for drivers who get behind the wheel without a license in Texas. For example, you can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, which results in fines of up to $4,000 and imprisonment for up to one year.
The penalties for driving without this document depend on why you don’t have a valid driver’s license. If you never obtained one, you can be charged with a misdemeanor and receive a $200 fine. However, if the license was suspended or revoked, you would face felony and misdemeanor charges ranging from $25 to $500 and imprisonment of no less than 72 hours or more than six months in some cases.
On the other hand, if you accidentally left your license at home at the time of the accident, you may only have to pay an administrative fee that doesn’t exceed $10.
Reasons why people drive without a license
About 15.9% of Americans don’t have a valid driver’s license. In fact, the age groups with the highest percentage without a driver’s license are those 16 to 19 years old (65.2%), 85 years old or older (39.9%) and 20 to 24 years old (19.2%). Because of these statistics, people who drive without a license are characterized in the following ways:
- Teenagers who don’t yet have a license or are under the required age.
- Seniors who may have failed a driving test due to age-related conditions, visual or cognitive impairment.
- Individuals who had their licenses revoked due to medical conditions or careless driving.
Does your insurance cover accidents if an unlicensed driver hits you?
If an unlicensed driver hits you, your insurance will likely cover your accident. The question is what type of coverage will take precedence, since to drive legally in Texas, you need insurance that includes:
- Bodily injury liability
Policies must cover a minimum of $30,000 per person and $60,000 for all persons injured in an accident.
- Property damage liability
In Texas, policies need to cover at least $25,000 for all property damage in an accident.
If an unlicensed driver crashes into you, seek compensation through your insurance coverage. If the driver doesn’t have insurance, you’ll have to rely on your own uninsured motorist coverage, which covers damages caused by an accident with an uninsured driver.
6 steps to follow after a car accident with an unlicensed driver in Texas
Filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit resulting from a car accident when an involved driver doesn’t have a license is likely to be a big challenge. If you are ever the victim of such an incident, here are 6 tips for you to follow immediately after your incident to benefit your case later on.
- Call 911.
- Cooperate with the police report.
- Save your medical records.
- Take photographs of the accident, your vehicle, the at-fault party’s vehicle, the area around the accident and any signs or traffic lights.
- Exchange contact information with the other driver and any witnesses in the area.
- Contact an accident attorney.
Hiring a car accident attorney is one of the smartest decisions you can make. If you’re an unlicensed driver involved in a car accident, your attorney can initiate a full-scale investigation and help establish the liability of the other party.
Contact a Texas car accident lawyer
If you were injured in a car accident, approach a personal injury attorney to represent you. In this way, you can be sure that you won’t be taken advantage of in your case.
Our car accident attorneys at George Salinas Injury Lawyers know how devastating a collision can be. That’s why they’ll help you seek maximum compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering. Contact us for a free consultation, so we can help guide you on the right legal path.
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