Operating a car without a driver’s license is against the law in Dallas and throughout Texas. Even so, many people choose to do so every day. In the event of a car accident with an unlicensed driver, you may have questions about how to pursue damages. You may also wonder whether or not the fact that the other driver was unlicensed at the time of the crash will affect your case. Below is information to help you make heads and tails of this frustrating situation.
The first thing you need to know about pursuing damages is that Texas is an at-fault car insurance state. This rule applies regardless of whether or not the other driver had a license at the time of the accident. Drivers must pay for the accidents they cause. This rule means a car crash victim has the option of filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s car insurance company or filing a personal injury lawsuit for damages. If the unlicensed driver is liable for the accident and they have car insurance, you may be able to file a claim with their insurance company.
If the other driver involved in the wreck didn’t have a driver’s license at the time of the crash, there is a strong possibility they didn’t carry car insurance either. If you carry uninsured or underinsured coverage on your own car insurance policy your coverage may address damages up to the limits of your policy. If you don’t have underinsured/uninsured coverage, you may wish to consider filing a civil suit for damages against the at-fault driver.
In filing a civil suit, you’ll have to prove that the other driver acted negligently and that the negligence contributed to the accident’s occurrence. While driving without a license does not make a person automatically liable for damages, driving without a driver’s license is both illegal and negligent behaviour. This could be indicative of a lack of experience or ability, both of which could cause an accident leading to damages.
Bear in mind, that no matter the license status of the other driver involved, you have a limited time in which to take action after an unlicensed driver accident. Texas law requires all personal injury suits for damages, including car accident claims, to be filed within two years. This is according to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code section 16.003.
Filing a claim for damages can be an overwhelming – even intimidating – process. If you’re not trained in the law, the attorneys at the Law Office of Julie Johnson, PLLC can help you gather evidence, talk with your insurance company and explore your options for compensation. Schedule a free case review today by calling 214-290-8001.