Are You At-Fault if You Get into a Car Accident Without a Valid Driver’s License?
Under Florida law, all motorists must have a valid driver’s license to legally operate a motor vehicle. Driving on a revoked or suspended driver’s license or driving without a valid license entails serious penalties in the state of Florida. But is a driver automatically at fault for a car accident if he or she was driving without a valid license at the time of the collision?
How does driving on a suspended or revoked license affect liability in car crashes in Florida? That is the question we are going to answer today. Florida law recognizes four types of offenses related to driving without a valid license:
- Driving on a revoked license
- Driving on a suspended license
- License not in the driver’s possession
- Driving without a valid license
Car Accident Involving a Driver Without a Valid License
A driver whose license had been revoked was recently involved in a fiery car crash in Lakeland, Polk County. As reported by The Ledger, the three-vehicle collision occurred on Combee Road when a 39-year-old motorist of Ocala crossed the center line and bounced off a semi-truck driven by a 57-year-old man of Fort Lauderdale. Then, the 39-year-old’s car hit a pickup truck operated by a 31-year-old man of Lakeland. The head-on collision caused the truck to engulf in flames.
The 39-year-old driver who caused the fiery accident was driving on a revoked license. His license has been revoked since 2013. He was killed in the crash. The 31-year-old motorist also died after the head-on collision. Also, investigators determined that the 39-year-old motorist’s vehicle had been involved in a hit-and-run accident several hours earlier.
What Happens if You Get into a Car Accident Without a Valid Driver’s License?
If you got into a car crash while driving on a suspended or revoked license, you would face the legal consequences of driving without a valid driver’s license in Florida. However, the fact that you did not have a valid license at the time of the collision does not necessarily mean that you were at fault for the collision or that you will be barred from seeking compensation if the accident was not your fault.
You can still obtain compensation for your damages sustained in an auto accident, regardless of whether your license was valid, revoked, or suspended at the time of the crash. However, you should speak with a knowledgeable car accident attorney in Lakeland if you were hurt in a vehicle crash while driving without a valid driver’s license.
Can the at-fault party use the fact that you were driving on a suspended or revoked license as their defense in civil litigation? No. Personal injury claims are based on negligence, which is why a judge and jury in civil litigation will focus on the evidence proving either party’s negligence rather than the fact that one of the parties was driving on a suspended or revoked license.
While driving on a revoked or suspended license is against the law in Florida, it does not necessarily mean that the driver was negligent in causing a car crash. Consult with a skilled Lakeland car accident attorney at The Turnbull Firm to receive a consultation. Call at 407-612-6464 or 863-324-3500.