Can I Pursue Compensation for an Accident if My Driver’s License is Expired?
Posted on behalf of Lynch Law Firm on April 14, 2021 in Car Accidents News
Driving without a valid driver’s license is against the law, which might cause you to question whether your insurance company may deny your claim.
If they did, would they be within their rights to do so? Can the other driver’s insurance company deny your claim for damages that exceed the value of your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage?
If you have questions about any aspect of your car accident claim, give Lynch Law Firm a call. We are here to help.
Can the Insurance Company Deny my Claim?
It depends on the terms of your policy. For example, if the insurance company finds out you did not have a valid driver’s license at the time you bought the policy, they may be within their rights to deny coverage.
However, if you had a valid driver’s license at the time you bought the policy and it expired later, the insurance company may not be able to deny coverage based on your expired license.
As New Jersey is a no-fault state, crash victims file claims with their insurance companies first. If your damages exceed the value of your PIP coverage, you may need to file a claim against the at-fault driver’s liability coverage. In that situation, your expired license should have no bearing on the insurance company’s decision about awarding compensation. The onus is on you and your lawyer to prove the other driver is at fault for the accident.
If the other driver had an expired license, it may hurt your chances of recovering compensation. However, this is a complex situation, and you should discuss it with a licensed New Jersey car accident lawyer.
What if I was Partially at Fault?
If you were found to be partially at fault for an accident in which you had an expired license, you may still be able to recover compensation. However, your compensation award may be reduced by your percentage of fault.
It is important to remember an expired license cannot cause a crash. It has no bearing on a driver’s actions and whether those actions may have been negligent.
Can I Appeal a Claim Denied Due to an Expired License?
The insurance company may not have the right to deny your claim purely because your license was expired. If this happens, you should discuss the situation with a licensed attorney, as you may be able to appeal the insurance company’s decision and obtain compensation.
Your next step after contacting a lawyer should be to work on getting your license renewed as quickly as possible. This may help establish you are taking the case seriously and driving without a license is not a regular habit.
Your attorney can review the terms of your PIP coverage and the at-fault driver’s liability policy to see if there is any wording about an expired license and what steps you need to take to proceed with filing a claim.
What Are the Penalties for an Expired License?
Regardless of whether you successfully file a claim with an expired license, keep in mind that driving without a valid license is a fineable offense.
In New Jersey, if you are caught driving with an expired license, you will be charged $100 per year, for three years. Failure to pay could result in a suspended license.
It is also important to remember your driver’s license expires on your birth date, not at the end of the month, since the law changed in 2018.
Call a Licensed Attorney
Our attorneys have vast experience handling a variety of claims and have a proven track record of success, recovering millions of dollars in compensation on behalf of injury victims.
We offer a free consultation and charge you nothing up front or while we work on your claim.
Call us today to schedule your free case review: (800) 518-0508