What if You Get in a Car Accident Before Getting Your License?
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In Kentucky, you must be at least 16 years old before you can get a driver’s license. Many unlicensed drivers get into collisions on the road, just like drivers who have had a license for decades. What happens next depends on certain variables, such as whether you have learner’s permit or whether you are driving without any authorization. Fortunately, an experienced Shepherdsville personal injury attorney at Meagher Injury Lawyers can help you understand your rights to a personal injury settlement.

Do You Have a Permit to Drive?

If you were driving on a valid permit, then you had legal authorization to drive while supervised. Consequently, there are no criminal consequences to getting into an accident.

Instead, we will analyze the case through the lens of personal injury law solely. You will be eligible for compensation if we can show someone else was at least partly at fault for the wreck. For example, you might have been stopped at a red light when someone rear-ended you, or you could have been sideswiped by a driver attempting to merge into your lane on the highway. In these examples, another driver was negligent, so you can request compensation for your injuries.

It’s also possible that you were partially at fault for the wreck. If so, then your compensation is probably reduced by your degree of responsibility. This is called comparative negligence. If you were solely at fault—for example, you ran a red light and slammed into someone—then you will not receive any compensation. Instead, injured victims can make claims on your insurance.

Were You Driving without a Permit or License?

If you had no valid permit, then you would be driving illegally in Kentucky. You could face legal repercussions, which you should discuss with a criminal defense lawyer.

We would still need to analyze your case to determine if you were eligible for compensation. For example, who is at fault for the collision? This is usually the motorist who failed to use reasonable care and was speeding, intoxicated, or driving while distracted. A failure to pay attention is also a breach of the duty to use reasonable care.

Some lawyers say that driving without legal authorization is a “totally separate” issue when it comes to personal injury. That’s partly true. If you are unlicensed or never took driver’s education, the other side might argue you can’t drive with reasonable care because you lack experience. That means you might bear partial fault. Driving without a license can certainly make it harder to receive full compensation for any injuries suffered in the accident, but driving without a license does not mean you do not have an injury claim if involved in a motor vehicle accident.  

We Offer a Free Consultation

The team at Meagher Injury Lawyers can meet with anyone hurt in a crash to discuss the facts of their case. Don’t let the fact that you are unlicensed keep you from reaching out to an experienced car accident lawyer. Based on the facts, you might be eligible to receive full compensation to cover your medical care, lost wages, and other expenses. Please contact us today to find out more in a free consultation.

Don’t wait, call Tate!

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