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What Happens If You Wreck Without a License?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 19% of all car crashes involved unlicensed drivers. In New York alone, 152 fatalities involved crashes with unlicensed drivers. However, being unlicensed doesn’t necessarily mean you are more likely to be liable for a crash. What happens if you wreck without a license? It depends on the circumstance, but a few key steps should be taken to ensure the correct driver is held responsible for the crash.

Driving Unlicensed

Every state requires drivers to be licensed to drive. Driving unlicensed in the state of New York is a misdemeanor offense. There are many reasons why you would be without a driver’s license that imply a spotted driving record. A suspended license, never obtaining a license, or driving a vehicle for which you are not licensed for are all possible causes that could indicate a responsibility for endangering other drivers.

However, many drivers have invalid licenses due to expiration, inability to take off work to go to the DMV, or driving a car that is not theirs. These reasons are typically seen as more administrative rather than criminal. If you are in a crash without a valid license for one of these reasons, it may be a less important factor in filing insurance and pursuing legal action, especially if the other driver is found at fault.

What To Do After You Wreck Without a License

At the Scene of the Crash

At the scene of the crash, all parties should first assess any possibilities of bodily harm and if anyone is injured 911 should be called right away. After all involved are checked for any injuries, the police should be called to report the crash. Authorities will ask for license and registration from both drivers. If you were driving without a license this will be reported.

After the Crash — Get Your License

After reporting the crash it is advised for unlicensed drivers to obtain a license as soon as possible. This will require a permanent address, payment, and proving your understanding of the laws of the road. If a driver is able to show they meet the licensing requirements of the state, it is likely that being without a license at the time of the crash will be seen as temporary and not relevant to the cause of the crash.

Clarify Why You Were Unlicensed

As the insurance is processed, it is advised that unlicensed drivers sort out the details of why they were driving unlicensed. If you were unable to renew your license because of work requirements, find documents that show your hours prevented you from making it to the DMV during their open hours. If you were driving someone else’s car at the time of the crash, speak with the owner of the car and ask for their insurance information and if they’d be willing to verify that you were driving the car under their permission. This documentation can help you work with the right insurance company to get the damages covered.

Getting Justice After Driving Unlicensed

Driving without a valid license shouldn’t mean you don’t get the compensation you deserve. If you are not at fault, you have the right to have injury, lost wages, and pain and suffering fairly compensated by the negligent driver.

If you’ve been involved in an accident while you were driving unlicensed, get the justice you deserve. The car accident attorneys at Deliso Law can help navigate the specifics of your case. They offer Spanish and Arabic translation services and have experience in car accident law. Call 718-238-3100 today for a free consultation.

By Allison Theresa