Car accidents are traumatic experiences. If you are involved in a car accident with an unlicensed driver, you will likely anticipate some additional challenges. This is because anyone driving without a license in New York state or any other part of the country also likely lacks car insurance.
What to do if You Are Involved in a Car Accident With an Unlicensed Driver?
If you are harmed in a car crash and end up incurring medical bills as the result of the accident caused by an unlicensed driver, you should avoid your first urge to simply give up and abandon the claim. An accident attorney at The Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe LLP can review the details of your case. You might still be able to receive compensation for damages caused by a motorist who lacks insurance. Our mva lawyers can also help you appreciate the choices you have during an initial free meeting with one of our lawyers.
Insurance Issues When an Unlicensed Motorist is in a Crash
If you or a loved one is involved in an automobile accident, you have the option to pursue compensation against the other motorist’s auto insurance and request reimbursement for your medical costs as well as any damage to your vehicle and lost wages. People in New York who own motor vehicles must maintain motor vehicle liability insurance coverage to operate their vehicle in the state.
It is important to remember this fact if you are involved in a crash with a motorist who lacks a license. The motorist might announce that he or she lacks insurance, but the motorist might not be the owner of the vehicle. The motorist might not even know whether the vehicle is insured or might be misstating details about the vehicle. This can happen if the motorist is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, is a teenager, does not understand motor vehicle insurance, operates someone else’s vehicle and does not understand the terms of motor vehicle insurance, is not being cooperative, or is confused by the hectic crash scene. Law enforcement who respond to a crash will ask for details about an accident as well as check the motorist’s name against the vehicle’s registration and then ask for additional details about the insurance to determine if any conflicts are present.
You should avoid relying on what an unlicensed motorist who has caused an accident states. A car crash attorney can assess whether the vehicle that struck you is covered by liability insurance. If the vehicle that struck you lacks liability coverage, you might need to pursue a claim against your own uninsured motorist coverage. New York requires insurance carriers to offer motor vehicle owners both underinsured as well as uninsured motorist coverage with their motor vehicle insurance.
Uninsured motorist coverage is designed to guard the policyholder. This coverage guards policyholders directly and compensates if you are injured or any property you owned is damaged by either an uninsured driver or a motorist who commits a hit and run. Coverage limits must be equivalent to the minimum liability coverage required in the state of New York:
- $10,000 for property damage for a single crash
- $25,000 for bodily injury
- $50,000 for the death of an individual involved in a crash
- $50,000 for bodily injury
- $100,000 for the deaths of two or more people in a crash
If you decide not to obtain uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage in New York, you must decline this coverage in writing. Many vehicle owners end up having this coverage without realizing they do. To determine the extent of your motor vehicle insurance, you should contact your insurance carrier. If you end up in an incident where you are struck by an unlicensed driver, you will be happy you have this insurance.
You can pursue a personal injury lawsuit against an unlicensed driver who is responsible for your injury in a car crash. For a lawsuit to prevail, you must be able to show to the judge and jury that the driver’s negligence caused your injury. For a lawsuit to be worthwhile, assets must be available that can be seized if you receive compensation for damages. This compensation must be sufficient to cover the costs of pursuing the lawsuit and still provide you with compensation.
In some situations, unlicensed drivers own various assets. Other times, third parties might be responsible for these drivers. Some of the situations where third parties might be responsible include:
- The parents of an underage or dependent driver whose license is revoked or suspended
- The adult children who have guardianship over an elderly motorist whose insurance or license has been either revoked or suspended
Other situations also exist where a third party can be held accountable for a crash caused by an unlicensed driver. Some cases where a third party might be held responsible include:
- A worker who is responsible for injuries caused by a worker who was driving as part of their position as a worker at the time of the crash. The worker’s knowledge of the status of the employee’s driving license is irrelevant.
- A bar or establishment that provided alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person that they should have been aware was intoxicated and who later operated a vehicle that struck you
- A social host who intentionally provided alcohol to a person below the age of 21 years old who later operated the vehicle that struck you
- If the unlicensed motorist who struck you appears to have been drinking, despite whether they ended up facing charges, you should not hesitate to speak with an attorney
New York law requires anyone licensed to sell alcohol for on-premise consumption to keep liability insurance worth at least $1 million. In these situations, an attorney can research the behavior of a motorist who got intoxicated and caused a car crash to assess whether another party bears responsibility for the crash and should provide the victim with compensation.
Contact a Compassionate Accident Attorney in Long Island
If an unlicensed motorist ends up causing a crash that left you facing damages, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced lawyer at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe LLP who will pursue compensation for your injuries as well as other losses that you ended up facing after an accident.
For a free legal consultation, call 516-358-6900The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. Information on this website may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information and may not be applicable in your jurisdiction.