It is against the law to drive without a valid license in California. If your license was suspended or revoked, you should have taken the steps to fix it. However, as your Santa Ana car accident lawyer will tell you, you still have rights if you’re hurt in an accident.
Accident victims with a revoked or suspended license can still file a lawsuit.
The California DMV Is Very Strict When It Comes to Suspensions and Revocations
Every state has its own set of rules and regulations when it comes to a resident’s driving privileges. In California, the laws regarding a suspended or revoked license are rather clear.
If you’re caught driving with a suspended or revoked license, you will eventually get caught. You’ll be assessed fines and heavy surcharges. Your license will also be suspended or revoked for a longer period.
Many Drivers in Santa Ana Have to Pay Fines and Attend Safe Driving School
If your license was suspended for some reason, you just have to wait it out. This is especially true if your license was suspended due to a DUI conviction.
The same thing applies if you got into an accident while driving without insurance. The last thing you want to do is get pulled over while driving without a valid license. And, if you get into a motor vehicle accident, the cops will definitely find out your license is not valid.
Your Santa Ana Car Accident Lawyer Needs to Know Why Your License Was Suspended or Revoked
When you first meet with your Santa Ana car accident lawyer, you need to let them know the status of your license. They’ll figure it out once they read the police report. However, the last thing you want to do is hurt the trust between yourself and your accident attorney in Santa Ana.
In order to properly prepare your case, your Santa Ana car accident lawyer needs to know the whole story. This means they will need to know why your license was suspended or revoked.
Even if you feel embarrassed telling them the truth, you have to do it. If it comes out later in your case, it could seriously impact your ability to collect damages.
Did You Accumulate Too Many Points on Your License?
One of the most common ways California drivers can lose their license is if they accrue points on their license. This can happen in a variety of ways. The California DMV operates on a point system.
For example, here is the breakdown of how many points different violations are:
- Traffic violation/ticket/citation = 1 point
- At-fault collision = 1 point
- Hit-and-Run accident = 2 points
- DUI conviction = 2 points
As these points add up, your driver’s license will be in jeopardy.
Once your points reach a certain level, your license will be suspended or even revoked:
- 4 points within 12 months
- 6 points within 24 months
- 8 points within 36 months
Make sure you let your Santa Ana accident lawyer know what happened. They may need to challenge an argument made by the defendant.
Did You Get Into an Accident Without Having the Requisite Insurance?
One of the more serious offenses is getting into an accident without having insurance. The problem is that you can’t get valid insurance if your license is suspended or revoked.
What this means is that, unless you’re driving someone else’s car, you won’t be insured when you get into your accident. While this won’t preclude you from collecting damages, it will make it difficult.
The Good News Is That Your Accident Attorney in Santa Ana Can Still Sue
Regardless of the status of your driver’s license, your accident attorney in Santa Ana can still sue. Whether you have a valid license does not dictate your right to sue for damages.
This makes sense if you think about it. Passengers are allowed to sue for damages if the car they’re in is hit from behind. They can sue regardless of how the accident happened. Nobody cares if they have their license or not. The same rule applies in your case.
The Defendant May Claim That You Were Partially at Fault
Because you don’t have a valid license, the defendant will argue that you were partially at fault. They will say that you were trying to evade the attention of the police. They will argue that this caused you to drive recklessly or carelessly.
Your Santa Ana accident lawyer will be prepared for this argument on the part of the defendant’s attorney. They will treat your case like any other accident lawsuit. They will provide the evidence needed to prove the defendant caused the crash.
Thankfully, You Can Still Collect Damages in California Even if You Were Partly at Fault
One thing your accident attorney in Santa Ana will tell you is that nobody is ever 100% at fault. If you try hard enough, you can criticize anybody’s driving.
What this means is that you may be found partially at fault. However, this will not prevent you from suing. It just means that your damages will be decreased by your percentage of fault.
Your Accident Attorney in Santa Ana Will Explain How California Treats Plaintiffs Who Were Partly at Fault
One of the beneficial things about living in California is that the courts follow the pure comparative negligence rule. What this means is that anybody has the right to sue somebody. In fact, the law technically allows you to sue if you’re 99% at fault.
Of course, nobody would do this. In fact, no Santa Ana accident lawyer would take on a case like that. However, as long as you’re less than 50% at fault, you can still collect damages.
It’s a Good Idea to Meet With a Skilled Santa Ana Accident Lawyer to See What Your Rights Are
If you’ve been injured in an accident but you’re afraid you can’t sue, don’t give up hope just yet. You owe it to yourself to take the time to meet with an experienced Santa Ana accident lawyer first.
Even if your driver’s license was suspended or revoked at the time of your crash, you still have rights. If the other driver caused the accident, they need to be held accountable.
We offer all new clients a free, initial consultation. This gives you the opportunity to find out if your case is worth pursuing. It will also give you the peace of mind you need at a difficult time.