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 If you were operating a vehicle without a license because it was revoked, suspended, or cancelled, you may be fined up to $500.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.
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