When was the last time you checked the expiration date on your driver’s license? In most cases, people forget about when their driver’s license will expire and continue driving, until they are pulled over only to find out that they were driving with an invalid license. As a result, you will face penalties and fines, and will have to renew your license.
But what if you are involved in an accident during this time? Things can get more complicated and you may face serious legal consequences, especially when the accident is your fault. In addition to legal charges, you will find yourself in more trouble because this will void your auto liability insurance policy as well.
What Happens When You Don’t Have a Valid License in an Accident?
The following explains how your situation may progress when you are in an accident without a valid driver’s license:
- When the police arrive to investigate the situation, they will ask for each driver to show their driving license. Upon learning about the expiry, the police will issue a ticket for driving your car without a valid license.
- After investigations have been completed, you may be presented in front of a judge, where you will be asked to produce reasons for not having your licensed renewed in a timely manner.
- If the accident was caused by the other driver, you may be able to recover some damages by making a claim on the responsible party’s insurance policy.
- On the other hand, if the accident was caused by your negligence, the situation can go in a downward spiral for you. As mentioned earlier, your insurance policy will become nullified, and you will have no choice but to pay the damages of the other party from your pocket. Aside from this, you will face fines and penalties as well.
What You Should Do at the Time of the Accident
When you are at-fault and don’t have a valid driver’s license, you need to be careful about the next steps you should take in order to keep the situation from getting worse.
- Stay at the Accident Scene
After an accident, most people think that it is better to escape rather than to wait for the law enforcement to arrive at the accident scene. However, odds of you fleeing successfully without anyone or anything seeing you are very low. There are high chances that there are traffic cameras nearby or someone noted your vehicle’s registration number. If you are caught later on, the punishment and fines will be much harsher. It is best to stay and call the emergency services and police.
- Explain What Exactly Happened
Lying is not really an option in such situations. Since there are bound to be witnesses or cameras that have recorded the whole scene, the truth will likely to come up during the police investigation. It is better to stick to the facts, explain what happened truthfully, and avoid any argument.
- Hire an Auto Accident Attorney
Your next step should be get in touch with an experienced auto accident attorney and discuss your legal options. While you will have to pay fines, penalties, and damages to the other driver, your attorney will protect your rights and work to ensure that the legal consequences are minimized.
Contact the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. at (847) 395-2200 or online today to schedule your initial consultation.