While every motorist throughout the State of Texas is required to have a valid driver’s license in order to drive his or her vehicle legally, this has no bearing on the accident claim if another driver’s negligence causes him or her to be injured in a car accident. If you’ve been harmed by another driver’s negligence, the fact that your driver’s license is expired is a separate issue, and seeking the compensation to which you are entitled through a car accident claim remains your best option when it comes to pursuing your fullest recovery. If this is the challenging situation you find yourself in, make the call to an experienced car accident lawyer in Austin today.
What’s In This Guide
- Seeking Just Compensation
- Driving with an Expired Driver’s License in Texas
- If You Share Fault for the Accident
- The Other Driver’s Fault
- Your Economic and Noneconomic Losses
- The Insurance Company
Seeking Just Compensation
You’ve been injured by another driver’s negligence, but your driver’s license has expired – and you may be leery of pursuing a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance provider for this very reason. While driving without a driver’s license is against the law and a terrible idea, it does not alter the fact that you were harmed by someone else’s negligence, which is a separate legal issue. While the insurance company handling your claim with expired license shouldn’t deny it because of your license status, this does not mean it will not try to do so. Insurance companies are profit driven and are prone to attempting to get away with whatever they can, which is exactly why having a dedicated car accident attorney in your corner is the best path forward.
Driving with an Expired Driver’s License in Texas
Anytime that the police stop you on the road – or that you are involved in a car accident – you are required to present your Texas driver’s license. Driver’s licenses in Texas are generally valid for six years, and drivers are required to renew them regularly. If you are caught driving with an expired license, a grace period applies in which – if you are stopped – you must pay a small fine and ensure that your license is renewed prior to your court date. After this grace period, however, the fine goes up, and you could face more considerable penalties and fines if the offense is not your first.
If You Share Fault for the Accident
Having an expired driver’s license is not an indication of fault in the car accident that leaves you injured, which means it won’t affect your ability to pursue the compensation to which you are entitled. If, however, you do share fault for the accident in question, it should not stop you from seeking just compensation. The State of Texas employs what are known as comparative negligence laws, which means that, as long as the percentage of fault that you are deemed responsible for does not exceed 50 percent, you are not barred from obtaining compensation in a car accident. If, for example, you were speeding at the time that the other driver sailed through a red light and caused you to be injured, you may be found partially at fault. Your compensation will, therefore, be reduced by the percentage of fault that is allocated to you. Consider the following very simple example:
- You are awarded $10,000 for the losses you suffered in the car accident that caused you to be injured.
- You are found to share 10 percent of the fault (because you were speeding at the time of the accident).
- You will receive $9,000 in compensation, which amounts to 10 percent less than the full amount of $10,000.
The Other Driver’s Fault
Most car accidents are caused by negligence, and this negligence can take a variety of very dangerous forms, including:
- Excess Speed – Speeding is one of the most dangerous and most prevalent forms of driver negligence. Excess speed makes deadly accidents far more likely.
- Exhaustion – The danger associated with drowsy driving is all too real. In fact, drowsy drivers experience impairments that aren’t dissimilar from those experienced by drunk drivers.
- Impairment – The immense danger associated with drunk driving needs no introduction.
- Distraction – Distracted drivers drop the ball at the primary level of paying careful attention to the road ahead.
- Aggression – Aggressive drivers tend to do what they want to do when they want to do it and are fueled by a sense of entitlement that amounts to an exceptionally dangerous combination.
Your Economic and Noneconomic Losses
Even if yours is a claim with expired license, you have the right to seek compensation for the full range of losses (or legal damages) you incur, including:
- Property damage to your car
- Medical expenses, which can be extensive, may be ongoing, and can include secondary health issues
- Lost earnings, which can include a diminished earning capacity into your future
- Pain and suffering that can be both physical and emotional
A primary concern when it comes to your car accident claim is ensuring that every category of loss that you experience is well represented in your claim.
The Insurance Company
The at-fault driver’s insurance company that is handing your claim, as mentioned, is in the business of generating immense profits, and it may balk at your claim with expired license, but you shouldn’t let this deter you. The fact is that the insurance company has plenty of tricks up its sleeve that are intended to thwart unsuspecting claimants like you – but that your car accident attorney is more than ready to take on. Consider the following:
- Denying claims from the get-go
- Offering early lowball settlements
- Shifting fault away from policyholders and toward claimants
- Denying the severity of injuries sustained
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You Need an Experienced Austin Car Accident Attorney on Your Side
The seasoned Austin car accident attorneys at The Patel Firm have the experience, drive, and legal skill necessary to help guide your car accident claim toward its most favorable resolution. Your claim is important, and your just compensation matters – so please don’t wait to reach out and contact or call us at 361-400-2036 for more information today.