Question: I got into a car accident, but I did not have a driver’s license. It was clearly other driver’s fault. Am I automatically at fault because I didn’t have a valid driver’s license at the time of the accident?
Robert’s Answer: Throughout my career, I have represented many clients in the Dallas area who have been injured in car accidents and did not have a driver’s license. Under Texas law, whether or not you had a driver’s license is irrelevant and inadmissible in determining who is at fault in a car accident. The reasoning is that the only relevant factors are the circumstances surrounding the events of the collision and not the issue of who had a driver’s license.
This is the state of the law right now. However, there is a practical side to this issue.
If you did not have a driver’s license, then the other driver’s insurance company may be resentful of that fact and tend to scrutinize your claim more closely. This could lead to your claim being delayed, ignored, or even outright denied.
Additionally, if your case ends up going to small claims court for any reason, that issue may come up and you could lose your case. Why? Because the rules of evidence do not apply in small claims court. Likewise, a small claims court judge or jury might hold the fact that you did not have a driver’s license against you.
So, if you were injured in the accident, then my recommendation would be to hire a personal injury attorney to represent you. This way, you can have some assurance that you will not be taken advantage of in your case.