It’s a frightening feeling. You were driving without a license. You knew you were taking a risk. And you got into an accident. This has to be bad news, right?
Not necessarily. In Georgia, getting in an accident without a license is not as serious as you think. And you have the same rights as an accident victim whether you had a license or not—including the right to recover money.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Your accident claim with the insurance companies is separate from the legal issue of not having a license
- You can still recover money if you had no license
- Although driving without a license is illegal, in most cases you will not face jail time
How does not having a license affect a car accident claim?
The short answer is: it doesn’t.
Accident claims in Georgia are based on who is at fault for the accident. Fault means doing something careless or reckless—like speeding. Driving without a license is illegal, but it doesn’t have anything to do with who caused the accident. So insurance companies generally can’t hold it against you, and it shouldn’t affect your right to get paid.
Of course, some insurance companies will try to use it against you, and it will likely come up in the case at some point. But it’s immaterial—which is lawyer speak for irrelevant. Your best defenses are:
- Make sure you have a car accident lawyer representing you, and aren’t trying to deal with the insurance company yourself.
- If possible, apply for your license or renew it as soon as you can after the accident. This shows a good faith effort to follow the law on your part.
What legal penalties do I face for driving without a license?
It depends on what happened. In Georgia, there’s a difference between simply not having a license (for example, it’s expired) versus having it revoked or suspended.
- If you simply didn’t have a license: Technically you were breaking the law, but you will most likely receive only have to pay a fine. This includes an expired license or someone who never had a license to begin with.
- If your license was suspended or revoked: This means the court took it away from you for a traffic violation. In this case, there’s a chance you could face jail time. In other cases, it will simply affect your probation for your original offense, or cost you an additional fine.
What steps should I take if I got into an accident without a license?
Here’s what you should do:
- Talk to a car accident lawyer immediately.
- If you were driving someone else’s car, inform them what happened. You (or they) will need to file an insurance claim right away. Get the car owner’s insurance information and give it to your lawyer.
- If possible, apply to get your license or to renew it. This makes it harder to have your lack of a license used against you in your claim.
Talk to an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer for Free
Our law group has one mission: help those who were injured. We know there are good reasons why someone drives even when they don’t have a license. Let us take your case and help you get the outcome you need. Contact us for a FREE consultation. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.