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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    15

    Default Getting Into an Accident While Driving Without a License

    My question involves an injury that occurred in the state of: California

    I was recently in a car collision involving an illicit lane change. The car had exited a driveway (ironically leaving a bar) where she had passed my lane (#4 closest to the right handed curb) and proceeds to enter the #3 lane (to my left). As I am approaching her vehicle (about 10 feet from her car) she starts to enter my lane without any blinker causing us to collide. She does not stop, continues to go, pushes my car out of the road and into the fire hydrant. There is damage to the front passenger side of her BMW, and to the entire front of my car- from her car & the fire hydrant.

    Police officers arrived, took statements (I was thorough, her remark was "I don't know"), she had "witnesses"/friends that gave fraudulent claims. The police officer had stated I was not at fault and that the physical evidence clearly shows that and he would even appear in court because the evidence was that compelling.

    My only worry is the fact that I only had a permit and I was only one in the car at the time of the collision. No tickets or arrests were made. I have a clean record.
    The car was fully insured.

    I did not take photographs as my phone was dead (however the police officer did), and I did not exchange information as the police officer stated it was not necessary, and it would all be in the police report.

    I've already put in a claim and started the process.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,405

    Default Re: Not at Fault, No License. What to Expect

    You've done what you can.

    It is still possible that you will be cited for driving while unlicensed. It is also possible that you will not be covered under the registered owner's insurance because you were NOT licensed ... and that may cause a problem if the other side's insurer denies your claim.

    Work with your company if you can and hope that the claims process works. Keep in mind that you can still receive a cite for being unlicensed and this could result in a delay of a year for you getting your actual license.

    Get a copy of the collision report as soon as you can. They should have it available after 10 days from the time of the collision.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    15

    Default Re: Not at Fault, No License. What to Expect

    Our insurance broker had stated in our policy that I was licensed. See, I had an appointment with the DMV the day we signed up with AAA, so the broker left that I was "licensed" on the paperwork....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    California
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    Default Re: Not at Fault, No License. What to Expect

    Quote Quoting missluhvlee
    View Post
    Our insurance broker had stated in our policy that I was licensed. See, I had an appointment with the DMV the day we signed up with AAA, so the broker left that I was "licensed" on the paperwork....
    And when they receive the police report reflecting a permit, they may drop you afterwards. But, that's later on ...
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  5. #5
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    Jul 2014
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    15

    Default Re: Not at Fault, No License. What to Expect

    Quote Quoting cdwjava
    View Post
    And when they receive the police report reflecting a permit, they may drop you afterwards. But, that's later on ...

    I understand that. I did make an appointment to get my drivers license (the wait is 2 months).
    My question is am I still legitimately covered by AAA since the paperwork states I'm licensed (why would I be held accountable for the incompetence/mistake of the broker?) Also, I have read that license status does not affect liability.
    Therefore, because I am not at fault, am I still guaranteed compensation for damages regardless of my status?

    I'm sure these are questions I need to take up with the insurance companies and probably a lawyer. However, any advice is appreciated.
    Thank you for the feedback.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Let me also add, I am not looking for any compensation other than my car to be fixed.
    (I believe it is probably totaled/20+K, but we'll see when the insurance adjusters look at it.)

    Also the at-fault car was around the 60-80K price point.

  6. #6
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    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
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    Default Re: Not at Fault, No License. What to Expect

    Quote Quoting missluhvlee
    View Post
    I understand that. I did make an appointment to get my drivers license (the wait is 2 months).
    My question is am I still legitimately covered by AAA since the paperwork states I'm licensed (why would I be held accountable for the incompetence/mistake of the broker?) Also, I have read that license status does not affect liability.
    License status does not effect CRIMINAL liability, or, technically civil liability, but, your insurer may be able to drop you or not cover you as a result. Effectively, they were provided fraudulent documents by you indicating you were licensed. Whether they will use that to cut you loose now or later, I can't say. But, just keep in mind that your license status may cause an issue with your company. And if the other insurance company denies your claim you may be forced to sue for damages on your own if you are not covered or assisted by your insurance company. I don't have any specific knowledge about AAA's practice in such issues, only warning that it might be a problem for you.

    Therefore, because I am not at fault, am I still guaranteed compensation for damages regardless of my status?
    You are NEVER "guaranteed" compensation. You cannot be denied solely because you are unlicensed, but that doesn't mean that the other party's insurance company has to accept your claim. You might have to fight for it. if your insurance company goes to bat for you, you have a much greater chance of receiving compensation than you do if you have to go it on your own.

    Let me also add, I am not looking for any compensation other than my car to be fixed.
    (I believe it is probably totaled/20+K, but we'll see when the insurance adjusters look at it.)
    What has YOUR insurance company said about the issue? Is AAA handling the matter for you?

    Also the at-fault car was around the 60-80K price point.
    That won't matter much as it relates to liability, but, I goes sit goes to show that the other driver has $$$$.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Not at Fault, No License. What to Expect

    Quote Quoting cdwjava
    View Post
    What has YOUR insurance company said about the issue? Is AAA handling the matter for you?
    I have not disclosed the fact that I only have a permit as I'm under the impression they will find out eventually. Also, I remember the broker stating he had only needed a permit for me to be on the policy.....?
    They already started the process, I made a verbal statement over the phone, and they are having the car transferred to the body shop for estimates.

    I just don't know what the next step is? I'm waiting for the police report to be released, and thinking about consulting a lawyer?

    - - - Updated - - -

    The police officer had stated that this is definitely going to court. Whether it's for me driving without a license or the other party going after me for being unlicensed.
    Do I just need to wait it out?

  8. #8
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    California
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    Default Re: Not at Fault, No License. What to Expect

    Quote Quoting missluhvlee
    View Post
    I have not disclosed the fact that I only have a permit as I'm under the impression they will find out eventually. Also, I remember the broker stating he had only needed a permit for me to be on the policy.....?
    That may be ... but, if you signed a document stating that you had a valid license ... ouch! Though, I suspect they would have checked your license status at some point.

    They already started the process, I made a verbal statement over the phone, and they are having the car transferred to the body shop for estimates.
    Sounds like everything is in the works.

    I just don't know what the next step is? I'm waiting for the police report to be released, and thinking about consulting a lawyer?
    It's a lot of hurry up and wait. And if things are still in the process, why waste money on an attorney when you have your insurance company doing the work for you?

    The police officer had stated that this is definitely going to court. Whether it's for me driving without a license or the other party going after me for being unlicensed.
    Do I just need to wait it out?
    I don't know how he could know that it's "definitely" going to court. Unless it's going to traffic court because of a citation issued to the other driver or to you as a result of the collision, there's no way to remotely predict that the issue is going to civil court at all.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Getting Into an Accident While Driving Without a License

    You're right, I will probably just wait and see how things pan out.

    I just have one more question. If at any time during the claims process, I need pictures can I ask the sheriff to send the pictures he took at the scene of the accident?
    Can he legally release them to me?

    Thank you again for the time taken to help me, I appreciate it.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Getting Into an Accident While Driving Without a License

    Quote Quoting missluhvlee
    View Post
    You're right, I will probably just wait and see how things pan out.

    I just have one more question. If at any time during the claims process, I need pictures can I ask the sheriff to send the pictures he took at the scene of the accident?
    Can he legally release them to me?

    Thank you again for the time taken to help me, I appreciate it.
    In CA you have a right to a copy of the collision report - this should include the photos. You might, however, be required to pay for the images.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

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