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What Happens if I Was Struck by an Unlicensed Driver?

Posted on behalf of Lynch Law Firm on Jun 30, 2020  in Car Accidents News

application for a driver's licenseDespite it being illegal and the severe penalties that come with it, people still drive without a license. In many cases, these drivers have a license, but it was suspended, or they did not renew it.

If you or a loved one was struck by an unlicensed driver, it is important to note the other driver may not have insurance. Even if he or she has been paying the premiums, some policies say coverage stops if the policyholder has no license or the license was suspended.  

This is one of the reasons why having a qualified attorney on your side can be very important as you look to obtain compensation for medical costs, vehicle damage, lost wages and other damages you suffered. These situations can be very confusing, and those who hire attorneys often recover more compensation than those who do not.

Accidents with Unlicensed Drivers

There are a variety of scenarios involving accidents with unlicensed drivers. The most obvious is an accident with a someone who was driving his or her own car without a license. In this scenario, there are a few variables to consider:

  • Does the driver have insurance?
  • Does insurance coverage still apply if the driver did not have a license or his or her license was suspended?
  • Was the unlicensed driver at fault for the crash? (Driving without a license does not automatically make someone liable for a car crash.)

Another potential scenario is if the unlicensed driver was driving someone else’s car with permission from that person. Typically, insurance follows the car, not the driver. Even if the driver lacks insurance, you may be able to file a claim against the policy held by the owner of the car. However, does the fact the driver had no license invalidate the insurance coverage? That is a question to discuss with a licensed attorney.

If the unlicensed driver did not have permission, such as if he or she stole the car, the insurance coverage may be invalidated.

Generally, if the driver or owner of the car has insurance coverage, and it still applies, the claims process would proceed as it would after any other accident. If the driver or owner of the car lacks insurance, you may be able to file a claim against the uninsured coverage in your own insurance policy.

Penalties for Driving Without a License in New Jersey

Driving without a license in New Jersey carries severe penalties. If the driver has never had a license, he or she could be fined up to $500 and be imprisoned for 60 days. The driver is also ineligible for a license for 180 days. The same penalties apply to drivers who had a license at one point, except for the 180-day waiting period for eligibility for a license.   

Drivers are prohibited from lending their vehicles to unlicensed drivers. If you do this, you could be fined between $200 and $500 and imprisoned for up to 15 days. Before you decide to let a friend or family member drive your car, it is important to make sure that person has a valid driver’s license.

New Jersey law also prohibits you from lending your license for use by someone else.

Call for Legal Assistance from Lynch Law Firm

After an auto accident with an unlicensed driver, we recommend seeking immediate legal assistance from a qualified professional.

The New Jersey car accident attorneys at Lynch Law Firm are available to discuss your claim in a no-obligation consultation that is free of charge. We do not bill you unless we win compensation for you so there are no risks.

Co-founder James Lynch has a track record of success and has been included in the Super Lawyers list every year from 2008 to 2020. 

Contact Lynch Law Firm Today. No upfront fees. (800) 518-0508

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