Georgia Car Accidents Caused by Unlicensed Drivers
While most Georgia drivers recognize that there is a risk of being hit by a motorist who is texting on a cell phone or driving too fast, you might not consider the possibility you will be hit by a motorist with no driver's license. However, one out of every seven (14.8 percent) auto collisions in the United States is caused by a driver without a valid license according to a report entitled, "Unlicensed to Kill," sponsored by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The report also indicates that unlicensed drivers cause 8,400 traffic fatalities annually. In this blog article, our Clayton County car accident lawyers discuss this problem and the legal options available to victims of unlicensed drivers.
Unlicensed Drivers Continue to Re-Offend
The report raises serious concerns because it appears that drivers operating motor vehicles without a license continue this practice even after intervention by law enforcement. According to a traffic safety researcher at the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M University, "It's like a revolving door. These people are being suspended and suspended and suspended again, and still, they're driving."
The AAA report (downloads PDF file) reveals that 28 percent of the drivers involved in a fatal accident while unlicensed had a record that included at least three suspensions or revocation during the preceding three years. The authors of the study analyzed data from the Department of Transportation (DOT Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) involving 278,078 drivers involved in 183,749 crashes.
While it is hardly surprising that drivers who have no license or who were subject to a driver's license revocation or suspension are prone to be involved in collisions, these drivers also exhibited other unsafe driving behaviors. Researchers found that drivers with a suspended driver's license were three times more likely than licensed drivers to be drunk based on the determination of law enforcement officers. Moreover, motorists with a revoked license were four times as likely to be intoxicated than a motorist with a valid license.
Challenges in Pursuing Legal Claims Against Unlicensed Drivers
An unlicensed driver will often be held responsible to some extent for causing a car accident. Unlicensed drivers also flee the scene of an accident five times more often than licensed drivers, leaving personal injury and wrongful death victims in a difficult position.
When an unlicensed driver slams into your vehicle, you can face challenges even if the driver can be tracked down and identified. A motorist who has no driver's license also will be uninsured. If the careless or inattentive driver also lacks assets against which a personal injury or wrongful death verdict can be enforced, creative strategies are needed to obtain financial compensation. Approaches our Georgia personal injury attorneys might consider in this regard include, among others:
• Third Party Liability: Depending on the unique facts and circumstances of your situation, a third party defendant other than the unlicensed driver might bear some degree of financial responsibility. Examples of third parties who might be liable include vehicle owners, the employer of the driver, vehicle manufacturers, and others.
• Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage: If you have uninsured motorist (UM) coverage, you may be able to pursue additional coverage through your auto insurance policy in the event that your injuries are caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver.
Put Our Law Firm's Over 37 Years of Experience to Work For You!
If you or a loved one has been injured in a collision caused by an unlicensed driver, our Clayton County car accident lawyers strive to help you recover significant compensation for your injuries. Our law firm has been representing those who suffer serious injuries in Georgia and in the Southeast for over thirty years.
No matter where you are located, the attorneys of Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.
Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law
17 Executive Park Dr NE
Atlanta, GA 30329
Hours: Open Today · Open 24 hours
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