What Happens if I’m in an Accident With an Unlicensed Driver?
Recovering damages after a car crash is complicated enough when dealing with a fully-insured and licensed driver. When you are hit by an unlicensed driver, securing compensation for your medical bills and other damages becomes that much more difficult. Read on for what to do after a car crash with an unlicensed driver in Indiana, and reach out to a dedicated Indianapolis car crash lawyer for help if you or a loved one has been injured in an auto wreck in Indiana.
The first step after any car accident is to determine fault. The fact that the other driver was operating without a license may be evidence of negligence, but it is far from absolute. For purposes of liability, you will need to establish that that driver actually operated their vehicle negligently (texting while driving, driving drunk, ignoring traffic signals, etc.), and that their behavior led to the accident.
Recovering After an Unlicensed Driver Accident
Even if you are able to establish the other driver is at fault for the accident, you will need to find a pathway toward recovering your damages. Your options for recovery depend upon the nature of the driver.
- Unlicensed driver in an uninsured car. If the driver was operating without a license or on a suspended license, then they likely either never had insurance or their coverage has lapsed. In that case, you might need to rely on your uninsured motorist insurance coverage to cover your medical bills and other expenses. You could bring a claim against an uninsured driver directly, but there is a good chance that they lack the out-of-pocket funds to sufficiently compensate you.
- Borrowed car. If the unlicensed driver was operating someone else’s vehicle, and they had permission to drive that person’s car, then you might be able to rely on the insurance coverage for the car. The insurance policy of the person who owns the car should cover your damages, even though that person was not operating the vehicle at the time. You and your attorney may need to investigate whether there was permission in order to bolster your claim.
- Borrowed car without permission. If the unlicensed, at-fault driver was driving someone else’s car without permission (or if they stole the car), then the car’s insurance policy will likely not cover your damages. If that driver has another insurance policy on a different car, you might be able to make a claim under that policy. Because an unlicensed driver probably lacks insurance, however, you will more likely need to rely on your own insurance.
Get Seasoned Help With Your Indianapolis Car Crash Injury Claim
If you or someone you love has been hurt in a traffic accident in Indiana, contact the seasoned and effective Indianapolis personal injury lawyers at Lee Cossell & Feagley, LLP for a free consultation on your case at 316-631-5151.