The Person Who Hit Me Does Not Have a Driver’s License
Nobody expects to be involved in a car crash in Brandon, and any motor vehicle collision can be disorienting and upsetting. It can be even more angering and frustrating to learn that the person who hit you does not have a driver’s license. Unfortunately, driving without a license has become relatively common in Florida in particular. According to an article in Forbes, recent data suggests that “one in four vehicles that speed past you or run a red light isn’t covered by insurance,” and many of those drivers also do not have valid driver’s licenses. Indeed, the article cites analysis from the Insurance Research Council, which indicates that Florida has the “highest percentage of uninsured motorists” in the country, with about 27% of Florida drivers failing to carry mandatory auto insurance. Failing to carry insurance can result in a license suspension, which means that a high rate of Florida drivers who have been caught without auto insurance have had their licenses suspended. Now, they are also driving without a valid license.
If you are injured in a motor vehicle collision or sustain property damage because of a negligent motorist’s behavior, and if that negligent motorist does not have a driver’s license, what can you do?
Florida Requires Motorists to Have Valid Driver’s Licenses
First, you should know that Florida requires drivers to have valid driver’s licenses. Indeed, as the Florida Statutes clarify, “drivers must be licensed,” either with a valid driver’s license in another U.S. state or with a valid Florida driver’s license.
If a person drives in Florida without a valid driver’s license, they can face significant penalties. Driving without a driver’s license can include driving on a suspended or revoked license, driving without ever having a valid driver’s license issues, driving without the appropriate endorsements (such as for a motorcycle or a commercial vehicle), or driving with an expired license.
Know That You Can Obtain Compensation Through Your Personal Injury Protection Coverage
Since Florida is a no-fault state for auto insurance purposes, it may not matter that the driver who caused your injuries does not have a valid driver’s license. In a no-fault state like Florida, you will seek compensation for your injuries by filing a no-fault claim or a claim through your own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. In cases where you have suffered a severe injury and need to seek additional compensation through a lawsuit, you may have options.
Gather Evidence at the Scene of the Accident
Just because a driver is unlicensed does not necessarily mean that they cannot pay damages in a car accident lawsuit. Even if the unlicensed driver does not have the means to pay a damages award, it may be possible to name an additional at-fault defendant in the lawsuit, such as the employer of the unlicensed driver, the owner of the vehicle involved in the collision, or another liable party.
To determine who may be liable for damages, it is essential to gather as much evidence as you can at the scene of the accident. You should take photographs and write down the make and model of any vehicles involved in the crash as well as license plate numbers on those vehicles and the contact information for any witnesses.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in Brandon
Do you need assistance seeking compensation after a collision involving an unlicensed driver? One of our Brandon car accident attorneys can help. Contact Carman Bevington & Finegan today.