What Happens If You Are Involved in an Accident with an Unlicensed Driver?
Every state, including Georgia, requires that motorists carry a valid driver’s license to legally operate a vehicle within their territories. Different types of vehicles — cars, motorcycles, commercial trucks, etc. — often require a specialized license. Even so, many people choose to violate the law and drive without an appropriate license.
This post goes over some basic considerations when involved in an accident with an unlicensed driver. If you find yourself in this situation, do not hesitate to contact Geiger Legal Group, LLC, to learn more about your rights and options in a free, no-obligation consultation.
Who Counts as an Unlicensed Driver?
Of course, the most obvious kind of “unlicensed drivers” are those who never took the necessary steps to obtain their driver’s license. However, this is not the only category. In Georgia, an unlicensed driver may also fall into the following groups:
- Expired License – Licenses must be renewed regularly. If you do not, they will eventually expire. Georgia drivers are given a two-year grace period to renew.
- Suspended License – A suspended license means that its associated driving privileges are temporarily withdrawn.
- Revoked License – A person with a revoked license has had their driving privileges permanently terminated.
- Canceled License – Cancellation can happen when someone fails to provide the required information on their license application. It may also mean that they provided incorrect information or were otherwise ineligible to be licensed.
If you are involved in an accident caused by an unlicensed driver, you are entitled to seek compensation for things like medical bills, property damage, and more. Further, driving without an appropriate license is considered a misdemeanor in Georgia, which can result in significant legal consequences, including fines and jail time.
What Are My Legal Options After an Accident with an Unlicensed Driver?
Again, if an unlicensed driver causes an accident, they can be held legally responsible for compensating victims for their injuries and losses. If they have auto liability insurance, you could file a claim with their insurers.
However, chances are high that an unlicensed driver will also not have liability insurance. This is because auto liability insurers require that customers present a valid license before purchasing a policy. So, the only way an unlicensed driver would have liability insurance is if they became unlicensed before their policy expired or if they obtained their policy by somehow falsifying a license.
What do you do in this situation? There are a few options:
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) Insurance – UM/UIM insurance is not mandatory in Georgia. However, in the event you are struck by an unlicensed driver with no insurance, it can cover things like medical bills, lost wages, and property damage.
- Other Forms of Insurance – You could also turn to your Medical Payments (MedPay) insurance to cover medical bills, as well as to a collision coverage policy to cover any property damage caused by the accident.
- Filing a Lawsuit – Finally, you can file a lawsuit directly against the unlicensed driver. Even if they do not have sufficient funds to pay you out of pocket, you may still be able to secure a judgment lien against their property.
Consult With an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
After any car accident, including those involving an unlicensed driver, consulting with an attorney is the best way to make sure you know your legal rights and options going forward. The personal injury attorneys at Geiger Legal Group, LLC, are here to help. Contact us to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a skilled attorney today.