Is an Unlicensed Driver Automatically at Fault?

To legally drive in this country, you need to have a valid driver’s license. This doesn’t mean that thousands of people drive every day without one. Some people have a suspended or revoked license. Other people never bothered to get their driver’s license.

A lot of people think that, if you’re an unlicensed driver in Atlanta, you’re automatically liable for an accident. It doesn’t work this way. Yes, an unlicensed driver will get a citation for being unlicensed. They may even be locked up for breaking the law. However, this doesn’t have anything to do with liability for a car accident.

Car accident attorneys help unlicensed drivers who are involved in car accidents. Accident victims are entitled to justice whether they had a driver’s license or not. To think that not having a valid license prohibits you from recovering in court is a mistake.

If you’re an unlicensed driver and you’ve been involved in a car wreck, you need to call a Georgia car accident attorney.

Why Would Someone Drive Without a License?

Lots of people drive without a valid license. Some people drive before they’re old enough to drive. Maybe they’re learning how to drive. Or, they’re being a typical teenager and steals their parents’ car.

Other people have a license but it’s suspended. They could have outstanding fines or traffic tickets. Or, they have unpaid warrants and need to pay them to get their license restored. It’s usually something they just haven’t taken care of yet. It doesn’t mean they’re a criminal.

Still other people have a revoked driver’s license. They had a license at some point but accrued so many tickets or offenses that the court took their license away. People with a revoked license drive anyway. They may not have the money to pay to get their license restored. Or, they’re desperate to get to work so they drive even though they shouldn’t.

Not Having a Driver’s License Has Nothing to Do with Fault

If you think about it, having a driver’s license has little to do with fault in a car accident. Atlanta car accident attorneys understand this. Sure, you may be at fault. But it probably has nothing to do with your not having a valid license.

From a legal perspective, this is true. If someone hits an unlicensed driver from behind, they’re still going to be found liable. You’re not legally off the hook simply because the person you hit is an unlicensed driver.

There are some things, however, that could lead an unlicensed driver to be at fault. Some of these things include:

  • Someone too young to drive probably doesn’t know how to drive. It’s a logical assumption that a teenager without a license is more likely to be at fault than an experienced driver.
  • If someone has had their license revoked because of traffic tickets, it’s fair to assume that they’re a careless driver. Someone with ten speeding tickets is more likely to drive recklessly than someone with a clean driving record.
  • If someone’s lost their license because of multiple DUI, it’s fair to think they may have been at fault. Someone with a history of DUI is more likely to drive drunk than someone without DUI convictions.

But, again, these are assumptions. They aren’t legal determinants of fault. Your Georgia car accident attorney still has to prove fault. They can’t just tell the judge that someone was unlicensed and was therefore and liable for damages.

You Can Still Get into Trouble if You Drive Without a License

Even if you aren’t held liable for the car accident, you will get in trouble for driving without a valid license. If you get pulled over without a valid license, you’re going to get a ticket. You may even get arrested. They may impound your car.

If you get into an accident and the cops find out you’re unlicensed, the penalties will be more severe. Whenever there’s an accident and people are injured, the law treats things more seriously. So, you’re not off the hook even if the other driver was at fault.

Contact a Georgia Car Accident Attorney Today

If you or your teenager have been involved in a car accident, you need to call a Georgia car accident attorney today. If you’re an unlicensed driver, you could end up facing some pretty serious consequences. These consequences are in addition to the civil liability associated with a car crash.

Call today and schedule your free initial consultation. And remember – you pay nothing until you settle your case.

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