Driving without a license is not only against the law, but it can also have an impact on an auto accident claim. On the other hand, the absence of a license at the time of an accident doesn’t render a claim or case invalid.
The impacts that driving without a license will have on a claim will depend on certain factors, such as:
- The individual involved who didn’t have a license at the time of the crash
- The specific circumstances of the accident and the cause
- The reasons for the lack of a license
Determining these will help gauge how driving without a license will affect the case. Assuming that a lawsuit is filed and the case goes to trial, although only a small percentage of cases go to trial, both the judge and jury could take a lack of license into account when deciding the outcome.
Depending on the following circumstances, driving without a license can have different effects on the case.
An Unlicensed Driver Rear-Ended a Licensed Driver
One situation that might involve a driver without a license is if an unlicensed driver rear-ends a licensed driver. The chances are that if the case goes to trial, a judge will let the jury know that the driver who rear-ended the other was unlicensed, considering this information is highly relevant to the auto accident case.
The specific effect this information may have on the case will depend on the reasons for the lack of a license. For instance, the rear-ending driver may have a history of DUI or DWI offenses that resulted in the suspension of his or her license, which could increase the value of the claim.
Other circumstances preventing the driver from acquiring a license may draw sympathy from the jury, depreciating the value of the case.
An Unlicensed Driver May Be at Fault in an Accident
Another situation could entail an unlicensed driver getting into an accident with another driver, and both claim the other is at fault.
Judges in these cases may not indicate to the jury that either driver was without a license, but they will be more likely to do so if they believe the unlicensed driver was at least partially at fault for the wreck.
Ultimately, unlicensed drivers won’t automatically lose their case. It’s best to consult with car accident lawyers regardless of the circumstances surrounding a case, which can help secure a better outcome.