Q: I was injured in a car accident while driving without a license. Will I be considered at fault?
You won’t automatically be considered at fault for your accident just because you were an unlicensed driver. However, you may face legal consequences for driving without a license.
In Texas, collision liability is determined by negligence, not by licensing. An injured motorist doesn’t lose his rights simply because he was driving without a license. He may still recover damages for injuries he has sustained due to the irresponsible actions of another driver.
At an accident scene, it's not uncommon for one driver to be given a citation for driving without a license, while the other driver is cited for the traffic violation that caused the collision.
Consequences of Being an Unlicensed Driver
Driving without a license has serious legal repercussions in Texas. If you never applied for a license, or if your license expired, you may be fined up to $200 for your first and second offenses. Repeating the offense for a third time results in a fine of up to $500, and up to six months in jail.
Driving on a suspended license carries even stiffer penalties. If you were operating a vehicle without a license because it was revoked, suspended, or cancelled, you may be fined up to $500. If your license was suspended because you were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you may be jailed for up to six months.
Other possible consequences of driving without a license include:
- Vehicle impoundment
- Towing and impound fees
- Higher insurance premiums
- Difficulty obtaining insurance
If you’ve been injured while driving without a license, you’ll likely have to fight hard to receive the compensation you deserve. The at-fault driver’s insurance company may claim that your unlicensed status means it isn't responsible for your injuries, so you need representation by an experienced attorney to protect your rights.
To learn more about what the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., can do for you, visit us on Facebook.