If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident without a valid motorcycle license, you may assume you have no standing to file a claim. This isn’t necessarily true. Even though it is in fact illegal to operate a vehicle without a license, this won’t automatically negate any fault that lies with the other driver. So keep your options open, and speak to a lawyer before you give up on filing an accident claim.
The Consequences of Driving Without a License
If you’ve been in an accident while driving without a valid license, you of course are not off the hook for that violation, regardless of any other circumstances of the accident. In California, driving a motorcycle without a license is a misdemeanor, and you may be subject to a fine of up to $1,000 and six months in jail. A police officer is also allowed to confiscate your vehicle, and you may have to spend a significant amount of time and money to recover it. However, not all is lost, because if it’s proven that the other driver was at fault in your accident, you may still be able to file an insurance claim and recover damages.
Who was at fault?
This is the crucial determination that will decide the outcome of your case. If you are found to be at fault for the accident, then you will be considered liable to pay any damages yourself. If you don’t have valid insurance in addition to your lack of a license, this will present a serious problem for you, so don’t compound your problems by committing a second violation.
If the other driver was at fault in your accident, you’re in luck, because this means you may be eligible for compensation from their insurance. Your lack of a license has no bearing on fault determination for your accident. Although you will have to face the consequences for your own actions, if you were not at fault for the accident itself, you will still have all the same rights to make claims and recover damages that you otherwise would.
How to File a Claim
Keep in mind that if you make a habit of driving without a license, it doesn’t speak well to your decision-making and risk-assessment skills. Like it or not, this means it’s easier and more natural to point the finger at you if an accident occurs. This makes it all the more important to make sure your rights are protected and you are given fair compensation in the event of an accident, and to do that you will likely require the services of a personal injury attorney.
As far as the logistics of actually making a claim, the process is the same as with any car accident you may experience. See more about car accident law in California if you require more information. A personal injury attorney with experience in California law is essential to protect your rights in the event you are the victim of an accident in which you are not at fault. An attorney will be able to answer any questions you have, resolve any issues you may face, and ensure that processes are properly followed to get you the money you’re entitled to when you’ve been the victim of someone else’s negligence or recklessness.