Because insurance companies typically will not provide coverage to an unlicensed driver, if a driver with no license caused your accident, there is a good chance their vehicle was uninsured. In this case, you may have two options for financial recovery. You might be able to:
- File a civil lawsuit against the at-fault driver
- Pursue coverage through your own insurer
Your insurance policy might provide financial protection via your uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. This protection is a mandatory part of car insurance coverage in South Carolina.
If the unlicensed driver was using someone else’s vehicle, the accident might be covered under the car owner’s insurance policy. This would allow you to file a fault-based claim against the owner’s policy. However, there could be language in the car owner’s policy that excludes coverage for this type of accident.
A car accident lawyer can help you read all applicable insurance policies, determine your options, and fully understand what happens if you get in a car accident without a license.
How Your Uninsured Motorist Coverage Protects You
According to the South Carolina Department of Insurance (DOI), drivers in South Carolina are required to carry the following UM coverage amounts:
- $25,000 per person for bodily injury
- $50,000 per accident for bodily injury
- $25,000 per accident for property damage
The coverage minimums of your UM policy may protect you from the financial damage caused by an unlicensed and uninsured driver.
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When Underinsured Motorist Coverage May Help
In cases where the unlicensed driver does have insurance, but your damages exceed the limits of their coverage, it may also be possible for you to file an underinsured motorist (UIM) claim with your own insurance company. However, this is only possible if you chose to purchase this voluntary form of coverage. A car accident lawyer can help you understand if this may be an option for you.
If your damages are greater than the limits of your own insurance coverage options, you may be able to pursue your remaining losses in a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible driver.
Damages in a Car Accident Case
According to South Carolina Civil Remedies and Procedures § 15-32-210, the financial damages you may be entitled to recover in a personal injury case include:
- Current and future injury-related medical expenses
- Current and future income loss due to the accident
- Emotional distress
- Property damage
- Physical disfigurement or impairment
Carefully track your medical expenses, financial losses from all income sources, and vehicle damage or loss. Your legal team may be able to use evidence of your damages to negotiate a fair settlement with your insurance provider.
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Establish the Status of the Unlicensed Driver with Your Crash Report
Anytime you are involved in a car accident, you should call the police to the scene to make a crash report and summon emergency medical assistance for anyone with injuries. Your crash report will contain the name of both drivers and their driver’s license status.
Your insurance company may request this information as proof of the at-fault driver’s unlicensed status. The crash report may also point to the cause of the accident by indicating:
- Drug or alcohol test results for the at-fault driver
- Driver errors that contributed to the collision
- Apparent vehicle defects that led to the collision
- Road, weather, and lighting conditions
- Points of impact and damage for each vehicle
Your crash report may also contain witness statements and diagrams. In addition, your lawyer may rely on its date to meet the filing deadline in your personal injury lawsuit. Obtain a copy of your crash report immediately and share it with your lawyer.
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Contact a Local Personal Injury Law Firm
You may want to contact the personal injury team at a local law firm as soon as your injuries permit you to do so. A car accident lawyer can help you by:
- Reviewing your crash report
- Compiling your medical records
- Obtaining witness statements
- Calculating your total income loss
- Obtaining photos of your injuries
- Obtaining photos of your vehicles
Your lawyer may also help you obtain and complete the forms and documents your insurance company requests. Provide your lawyer with a complete copy of your insurance policy.
Let Us Help You Fight for Financial Compensation
If you were injured in an accident with an unlicensed driver, you do not have to pursue monetary recovery on your own. A car accident lawyer from Hammack Law Firm may be able to help you. We serve clients in and around Greenville and throughout South Carolina.
Hammack Law Firm is a customer-focused firm. We are committed to giving you the personal attention you expect from a small firm backed by big firm experience. We encourage you to browse our great Google reviews and the customer testimonials on our website to learn more about our warm, supportive team.
We can help you understand what may happen next if you were in a car accident without a license during your free case review. Call our car accident team today at (864) 326-3333 to get started.