Screech, flash, bang. The sights and sounds of a car accident can be jarring and traumatic. When you are involved in a car accident, you are worried about your safety and the safety of your passengers. You also have to assess potential damage to your vehicle.
When you’re involved in an accident with an unlicensed driver who lacks insurance, the experience becomes exceptionally troublesome. Seeking payment for damages from a car accident becomes more complicated with an unlicensed driver, which means more time and effort are needed to resolve the issue.
Possible courses of action depend on several factors, like whether the unlicensed driver was in a car they owned or had permission to drive in the first place. Your options also depend on whether you or someone else suffered an injury in the accident.
Here are some common-sense steps you can take to gather the needed information after a collision with an unlicensed driver. These steps allow you to protect yourself after your car accident and prepare to seek financial compensation.
Document Details of the Accident
Whether you’re in an accident with a licensed or unlicensed driver, you should document what happened. Take pictures of vehicle damage, exchange insurance information, and call the police. The police should question you, the other driver, and any witnesses or bystanders.
Police called to the scene should also write up a police report and file it. You will need this report and any photos when pursuing payment for damages from a licensed or unlicensed driver. The police report should also document the injured parties and the extent of any injuries. However, you may need to get supplemental documentation from EMTs and hospitals.
If you need to hire an attorney to pursue payment for damages and injuries, the details contained in these documents will be essential. Your insurance provider may also request police and medical reports and the photographed evidence, so keep copies of the information to give to them.
Know the Basics of Unlicensed Driving in Minnesota
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety research reveals that one in five fatal accidents in the U.S. involve an unlicensed driver or people with invalid licenses. A license can become invalid because of suspension or revocation. Someone might fail to renew their license or fail their visual and mental competency exams.
Whatever the case, an unlicensed driver is less likely to have adequate insurance coverage because insurance coverage stops when a driver’s license is invalid or does not exist. Furthermore, an individual driving a stolen car doesn’t get covered by an insurance policy.
An unlicensed driver may only be covered by insurance if they had permission to operate the vehicle involved in the accident. When an unlicensed driver receives permission or authority from the car owner, the insurance policy may cover damages for injured victims. Otherwise, you could use your insurance coverage to pay for damages and medical expenses.
You can also file a civil or personal injury case with the assistance of the legal team at Mottaz & Sisk Injury Law.
We can help you receive compensation for:
- Accident-related medical care
- Physical therapy, or long-term rehabilitation costs
- Loss of income or wages (past and present)
- Loss of future expected earnings and future benefits
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment or quality of life
- Damage to your vehicle or other property
Hire a Personal Injury or Car Accident Attorney
Even if your insurance policy has uninsured motorist coverage, you may still want to hire a talented personal injury attorney. Insurance carriers are notorious for delaying and denying claims due to technicalities, but a skilled personal injury attorney can help you avoid these situations and recommend other actions.
Your uninsured and unlicensed driver coverage will probably have limits preventing all the damages to your property and person from being covered. Additionally, an insurance company can decide to total your car rather than repair it. In this case, you want to receive fair value for your vehicle and reimbursement for rental car expenses.
A personal injury attorney can also help ensure you get the maximum payment if you or one of your passengers is injured, including physical and emotional injuries or distress. These payments are more likely to come through your policy than an unlicensed driver because these drivers are more likely to have limited financial resources and no coverage.
File a Claim Against the Unlicensed Driver
You can pursue a lawsuit against an unlicensed driver who lacks coverage under an insurance policy in Minnesota. The lawyer you hire can advise on the best type of lawsuit and course of action. Be sure to gather the correct contact information of the other driver to help your attorney with the claims process.
When you file your police report, get a copy for yourself and your attorney. The other driver’s contact information should be in the police report, but you should exchange information with the other driver for your records.
The other driver’s contact information will be more crucial if they are unlicensed and uninsured. However, noting any expired, suspended, or revoked license information will be critical. You should also note or document the other vehicle’s tag or license plate number. The make and model are other crucial details, especially if the vehicle is stolen.
Record any visible DOT numbers or company information for fleet trucks or vehicles. This information helps your lawyer pursue payment through an employer insurance policy or the company. A company can be held liable for an unlicensed driver who operates a vehicle or for negligent actions that led to unauthorized access.
Our Personal Injury Attorneys Get Results
When drivers do not abide by the law, it can put you in a precarious situation. Pursuing legal action against someone else is never a pleasant experience, but if you are in a car accident, you deserve to get the compensation you’re entitled to.
If your car accident involves an unlicensed driver without insurance coverage, you are left with fewer options. You can file a claim with your policy if you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, however, working with a personal injury attorney can get you the desired outcome.
Contact Mottaz & Sisk Injury Law today to discuss how we can advocate for you to receive maximum compensation for your car accident.