It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle in Pennsylvania or any other state with an expired driver’s license. If you get injured in an accident, you may be unsure about your options for seeking compensation and have a variety of questions about what to do.
The experienced attorneys at Schmidt Kramer are here to answer your questions after a crash. We have been assisting car crash victims for decades and have helped many obtain the compensation they needed. There are no upfront fees for our services, and we do not get paid unless our clients get paid.
Call today to learn more. We are here to help. (717) 510-1782
Questions You May Have About Liability for a Crash
A car crash is a legal issue, so it is only natural to be concerned about how something illegal, like driving with an expired license, could affect the situation. Victims may have questions about:
- Being able to file a claim with their own insurance company
- Being able to file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company
- The insurance company trying to cancel your policy
- Meeting with a lawyer
- Penalties for driving with an expired license
Our trusted attorneys discuss some of these questions below. However, this is a complex issue that should be reviewed with a licensed attorney.
Can Your Insurer Deny Your Claim Over an Expired License?
It depends on the terms of your policy. If the insurance policy says coverage will be voided if you get caught driving with an expired license, there may be nothing you can do. That said, you should not take the insurance company’s word for it about the terms of your policy. Ask for confirmation and read the section of the policy the insurance company is citing.
In some cases, an insurance policy will still apply, provided you had a valid driver’s license at the time you bought the policy. The insurance company may not be allowed to deny coverage because your license expired later, and you kept driving without renewing it.
This would not be as big of an issue in a fault state because you would be seeking compensation from the other driver’s insurance. However, Pennsylvania is a no-fault state, which means victims are required to use their own insurance policies first.
Can I File a Claim Against the Other Driver’s Insurance Policy?
Even with an expired license, you may be able to file a claim against the other driver’s liability insurance, if you can prove he or she is liable for the crash. Your expired license does not impact the other driver’s insurance policy.
What if You are Partially Liable?
It is important to note driving with an expired license does not make you partially at fault for a crash. Your license has nothing to do with the cause of the crash. That means the other driver’s insurance company cannot devalue or deny your claim simply because you were driving with an expired license.
Pennsylvania crash victims can still seek compensation if they are partially liable for an accident. Your claim’s value will be reduced based on your percentage of fault. You cannot be more at fault than the other driver, or you will be barred from seeking compensation.
There are valid reasons for a crash victim to be found partially at fault. However, insurance companies often assign fault to the victim when they should not, particularly if you are handling the claim on your own. Schmidt Kramer’s experienced Harrisburg car accident attorneys know how to counter attempts by the insurance company to unfairly assign fault to the victim.
Can the Insurance Company Cancel Your Policy?
Insurance companies may be relatively forgiving about an expired license, especially if you have continued to pay your premiums on time. If your license only expired a few days ago and you renew it soon after notifying the insurance company, your policy may not be in jeopardy.
Waiting to renew your license, especially while continuing to drive, could hurt your claim for compensation. The insurance company is sure to use this against you as evidence of negligent behavior.
What are the Penalties for Driving with an Expired License?
If you get caught driving without a license, such as after a crash, you are likely to be issued a traffic citation by the police officer who responds to the scene.
You can be fined up to $200. However, the fine is usually just $25 if you were driving with an expired license for less than a year. If you do not have the expired license on you at the scene, you could be fined $200. That said, you can avoid a conviction by presenting a valid license to the court within 15 days of receiving a traffic citation.
Difference Between and Expired and Suspended License
There is a significant difference between driving with an expired license and driving with a license that was suspended or revoked.
The first time you get caught driving with a suspended license, you will get a $200 fine and your license will be suspended for an additional year or two. The second offense carries a fine of as much as $1,000 and six months in jail.
However, if your license was suspended because of a DUI, you may be sentenced to 60-90 days in jail, even if it is just your first offense. You could also face a $500 fine. The penalties increase from there with each subsequent offense.
Contact Schmidt Kramer Today to Discuss Your Claim
There is no need to go it alone when trying to recover compensation for a car crash. The insurance company will be looking for some reason to deny or devalue your claim, and an expired license could be a perfect excuse.
Crash victims can greatly benefit from experienced legal help in this kind of situation, as an attorney should know how to counter the insurance company’s arguments.
There is no financial risk with our services. You are not obligated to hire our firm after an initial consultation and there are no upfront fees if you choose to work with us.
Give us a call today. We are here to help. Ph: (717) 510-1782.