Does It Matter If My License Was Expired In A Car Crash Case?
People seem to never have enough time to accomplish what they need in a day’s time. It’s easy to forget to send a card for someone’s birthday, drop off those clothing donations and renew your driver’s license. While the first two things don’t have serious consequences, failing to renew your license can.
What happens if you have a car accident with an expired license? Will your insurance company still cover you? Can you file a claim against other responsible drivers? The Mike Morse Law Firm explains.
When Do You Need To Renew Your Driver’s License?
In Michigan, a driver’s license is valid for four years, expiring on your birthday. You can visit a Secretary of State location up to twelve months before it expires to renew it. Drivers can typically renew their licenses online or by mail, although some situations require you to do it in person.
You should receive a notice from the Michigan Department of State approximately 45 days before your license expires. Although that’s plenty of time, people often plan to wait until the last minute and wind up forgetting about it.
What Happens if You Drive With an Expired License?
Michigan doesn’t extend a grace period to drivers who let their licenses expire. Driving with an expired license can cost you citations, fines, points and jail time. Those are the legal consequences, but what if you’re involved in a car accident?
Driving with an expired license is illegal. Because of this, your insurance company may deny claims if you have an accident. Check your insurance documents for details specific to your policy. The points on your insurance record will likely raise your premiums, and Michigan residents already pay more than most for car insurance.
If your company doesn’t want to pay claims, you can spend thousands of dollars out-of-pocket for medical bills and property damage. You might not receive compensation for lost wages, increasing your financial difficulties.
If someone else causes your accident, you may be able to seek compensation from their insurance company. However, that company might deny your claim, also.
The Mike Morse Law Firm handles complicated insurance claims daily, so contact us to see how we can help you.
Can You Purchase Car Insurance With an Expired License?
Most U.S. insurance companies won’t sell car insurance policies to unlicensed drivers. Some won’t even give you a quote if you don’t have a valid license.
With that being said, it’s not impossible to purchase a policy with an expired license. For example, you can state that you’re an excluded driver. That way, someone else can drive your car with active insurance policies protecting it.
If you choose that option and are involved in an accident, law enforcement officers will consider you uninsured and unlicensed. You’ll face additional penalties for this second offense.
What if You’re Partially Responsible for the Accident?
Many accidents have two or more parties responsible for causing them. Michigan laws take that fact into account. The state uses modified comparative negligence to determine who can seek damages, what damage categories they’re eligible to receive and how much each party must pay.
Suppose you’re 25% at fault for causing your wreck. You are eligible to receive 75% of the damages, but you’re also responsible for paying 25% of them. Now, assume the accident causes severe injuries and significant property damage. In that case, your out-of-pocket expenses could be hundreds of thousands of dollars if insurance companies deny coverage based on your expired license.
Insurance claims adjusters may sense vulnerability because of your expired license and try to take advantage of you. They might attempt to assign fault unfairly, blaming you for more than you are responsible for. The Mike Morse Law Firm will investigate your accident to gather evidence and ensure that your percentage of assigned blame is fair.
How Can a Car Accident Lawyer Help?
Car accident lawyers don’t just show up in court to fight with insurance companies. In fact, most claims settle without the need for a trial. The Mike Morse Law Firm will complete many tasks to make your life easier and ensure you get fair treatment.
Car accidents can have many underlying causes. We have the resources to conduct a thorough investigation and discover why your accident happened. This discovery is vital because it determines who is at fault and who must pay damages.
We will use the evidence we uncover to build your claim.
Communicating With Insurance Companies
Even though Michigan residents pay high premiums, insurance companies don’t want to pay more than minimal compensation through valid claims. Representatives often use underhanded tactics attempting to trick you into damaging your case. They also may offer unreasonably low settlement offers, hoping you don’t realize you can negotiate a better offer.
Your Mike Morse legal team deals with insurance companies regularly, and we know their tricks. We can handle all communications with insurance companies for you.
Providing Options, Guidance and Advice
Most people don’t possess detailed knowledge of the applicable laws, available damages, potential complications and the evidence they’ll need to win fair compensation in car accident claims. The Mike Morse Law Firm is Michigan’s largest personal injury firm, and we have the knowledge and experience necessary to protect your rights.
Your attorney will explain every aspect of your claim and provide you with options. We’ll also advise you about what we believe is your best course of action.
Negotiating a Favorable Settlement Offer
Our skilled negotiators won’t recommend accepting a low settlement offer. We know what your case is worth, and we’ll fight to get that compensation for you through negotiations.
If insurance companies deny your claim or refuse to offer a reasonable settlement amount, your attorney may suggest filing a civil lawsuit.
What Damages Are Available?
Injured car accident victims may qualify for three categories of damages, depending on their assigned fault percentage and the guilty party’s behavior.
An auto collision can cause severe injuries and property damage. These incur many expenses, including:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Replacement services
- Property damage
Economic damages reimburse eligible claimants for the exact costs of qualifying expenses. Keep your receipts, invoices and bills to prove how much you owe.
If you are more than 50% responsible for causing your accident, you can’t obtain non-economic damages. This category compensates for things like:
- Losing your ability to enjoy life
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disfigurement or disability
Ask your Mike Morse attorney if your case qualifies.
Few victims receive exemplary damages. The guilty party’s behavior must be reckless, aggressive or willfully malicious to be eligible. Exemplary damages compensate victims for the heinous reasons behind the accident.
Why Should You Choose the Mike Morse Law Firm?
Mike Morse founded his personal injury law firm in 1995. Since then, the firm has served 25,000 clients, collecting more than $1 billion. We have several offices, so one is conveniently located close to you. Although we are a large firm, you can count on personal attention from your legal team.
We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you won’t pay us until we win your case. Request your free, no-obligation case review today. You can reach the Mike Morse Law Firm 24/7 by calling 855-MIKE-WINS or (855) 645-3946, via live chat, emailing us, or completing our quick contact form.