It is understandable to be nervous if you were in a car accident while driving with an expired license. On top of the standard issues that follow a car crash, you now have to deal with the impact your expired license has on your case. You might be wondering:
- Can I still file a claim against the other driver?
- Will my insurance company still cover the damage to my car?
- Could I get into legal trouble for driving with an expired license?
- How will an expired license affect my car wreck case?
- Do I need a lawyer?
The first thing you should know is that it is not the end of the world. Driving with an expired license is generally a minor offense. It is much less serious than driving with a suspended or revoked license, for example.
It may still affect your case, however. For the best chance of minimizing your potential troubles and maximizing your chance of recovering compensation, contact the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine. We can help you recover compensation in a case like this. Call us today at 800-747-3733 for a free consultation with a car accident attorney in South Florida.
Can I Still File a Claim Against the Other Driver?
If the other driver was at fault for your crash, you can still file a claim against them—even if you were driving with an expired license.
In Florida, driving with an expired license is not an act of negligence. Thus, your lack of a valid license will not force you to assume additional fault for the wreck.
This means we can pursue compensation from the other driver in the same manner we would use if your license was valid. The driver’s insurance will likely pay for your property damage and bodily injuries—up to their policy limits. We can also help you seek additional compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Will My Insurance Still Cover the Damage to My Vehicle or My Personal Injuries?
If the other driver was at fault—and you suffered serious injuries in the crash—their insurance is the one that pays. This is true regardless of the status of your license.
If you were at fault in the crash or the police report indicates that both drivers shared in the blame, things can get more complex. In such cases, you generally have to report the accident to your own personal injury protection (PIP) insurance provider to receive compensation. Whether your expired license poses an issue depends on the terms of your policy.
Almost all car insurance policies become null and void the minute the state suspends or revokes your license. A suspended or revoked license means that the courts made a decision to take your license away. Usually, they do this because you broke the law—you got a DUI, you racked up too many moving violations, or you failed to pay a traffic ticket, for instance.
An expired license, more often than not, is the result of an honest mistake. Since you renew your license infrequently, it is easy to let the date slip by and continue to drive with an expired license.
For this reason, insurance companies are usually more forgiving of expired licenses. That said, make sure you check the wording of your policy. Better yet, go over your policy with one of our attorneys. We can help you determine if there are any exclusions for driving with an expired license. The sooner you contact us, the sooner you can get out in front of any potential issues or hurdles.
Could I Get Into Legal Trouble for Driving With an Expired License?
It is a violation of state statutes to drive with an expired license. However, the legal penalties you may face will likely be minor. You may have to pay a fine—and you will likely have to pay a delinquent fee when you renew your license—but you will rarely, if ever, face criminal charges. Again, driving on an expired license is much less severe than driving on a suspended or revoked license, which can result in misdemeanor charges, hefty fines, and even jail time.
Still, you should speak with one of our lawyers as soon as possible after your accident. Every county in South Florida has its own quirks and nuances for dealing with minor traffic violations. Our accomplished attorneys will know the best way to help you and minimize your legal headaches.
How Can I Talk to a Lawyer About My Case?
To set up a free consultation with an attorney from the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine, call 800-747-3733 today. We can help preserve your rights if you were in a car crash while driving with an expired license.