If you get into a car accident with no license, you can expect a few things to happen. You may face criminal charges in addition to the economic, physical, and mental hardships that come with being in a serious accident.
If you were injured in a car accident while driving without a license, that does not mean that you give up your rights; you still may be able to pursue compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering as long as you did not primarily cause the collision.
The Consequences of Driving Without a License
As noted, unlicensed drivers are not necessarily automatically at fault for an accident, but they may still face serious consequences.
In Illinois, it is against the law to operate a vehicle without a license, permit, or restricted permit, per 625 ILCS 5/6-101. The degree of the misdemeanor will depend on the specifics of your case. For example, you may be charged with a lesser offense if you never got a license versus you had a license, but it was suspended due to drunk driving.
In addition to the legal repercussions, you may also face financial consequences after your accident. Serious car accidents can leave you injured for weeks, months, or even permanently. You may require expensive medical treatments or even ongoing care, and your condition may prevent you from working.
When facing these financial consequences, you may feel overwhelmed. Yet, our lawyers are here to help. We can help you pursue compensation for your injuries through a claim or lawsuit, even if you were driving without a license.
How You Can Pursue Compensation for Your Injuries After Your Accident
To recover compensation on your behalf, we will need to show that several elements apply to your case. These elements include:
- The other party owed you a duty of care to keep you safe.
- The other party failed to meet this duty because of their negligence.
- This negligence caused your accident.
- Your accident caused losses for which you can be compensated.
Duty of Care
Even if you were not driving legally, you are still entitled to the same reasonable level of safety as other road users. It is every driver’s responsibility to drive safely regardless of license status.
Breach of Duty
When a driver fails to meet this duty of care, it is often because of their own negligent actions or inactions. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), some common forms of negligent driving include:
- Drunk driving
- Drug-impaired driving
- Drowsy driving
- Distracted driving
- Aggressive driving
We will investigate to find evidence that the other driver was negligent. Then, we will use this evidence to prove that this negligence was the cause of the accident.
It is possible that many factors contributed to your accident. You may have even been partially to blame for what happened. However, you could still seek damages as long as we can prove the other party was more negligent than you were, per 735 ILCS 5/2-1116.
This is why it is important to look for every piece of evidence to increase our chances of “winning” your case.
Finally, we will need to prove that your accident caused you losses for which you can seek compensation. These are called “damages.” We can establish the value of these losses by using your medical records, property damage receipts, and other related documentation. Remember, to maintain your right to financial recovery, you must act within Illinois’ statute of limitations.
Types of Damages in Car Accident Cases
There are two main types of damages you can recover through a personal injury lawsuit or claim: economic damages and non-economic damages.
The economic damages you can recover will depend on the financial losses you can demonstrate. This includes things like:
- Past and future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost future earnings
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Burial costs if you lost a loved one to the accident
You can also recover non-economic damages for your physical pain, mental suffering, and emotional turmoil. Your loss of enjoyment of life, inability to go about your day-to-day activities, and other non-financial losses are included under this category.
The amount of non-economic damages you can recover will depend on the severity of your accident and the impact it has had on your life. We can give you a better idea of what damages you can expect after your initial call and consultation.
Learn Your Options
To learn more about what happens if you get into a car accident with no license, call The Kryder Law Group, LLC today at (312) 598-0982. We can explain your options for financial recovery, as well as other matters related to your case. Your first call and consultation are free, so do not wait. Call now.