Does it Hurt My Case That I Was Driving Without My License?

We don’t like to admit it, but at some point in our lives, we have all probably driven without our driver’s license on our person at some point in our lives. Whether we were late for work and forgot our wallets, or were just running to the corner store to pick up milk – it happens. Unfortunately, car accidents also happen and can happen in untimely instances when you do not have your license on you. If you were driving without a license, do not let that stop you from pursuing recovery for your injuries resulting from another driver’s negligence. The Kansas City car accident attorneys at the Krause & Kinsman Law Firm can help walk you through the specifics of filing a claim.

What If I Didn’t Have a License to Begin With or If My License Was Suspended or Revoked?

Some clients are fearful of the consequences of admitting that they were injured in a car accident while they were driving without a valid license. They believe that it will prevent them from seeking compensation or will limit the amount they can recover for their injuries. This is a mistaken belief.  

To be at fault for an accident, there must be evidence that you contributed or caused the accident to occur. Driving without a license in itself is not a factor that is considered when determining causation. In fact, back in 1967, the Missouri Supreme Court stated that the “mere failure to have a driver’s license does not establish a causal connection between the operation of a vehicle and an injury.” This means that legally, simply driving without a license cannot be used as evidence that someone was at fault for an accident.   

Driving Without Insurance Can Limit Your Claim Amount

The bigger issue than driving without a license is driving without insurance, and the two can coincide. Generally, if you never had a driver’s license or your license is suspended or revoked, you probably do not have car insurance. Missouri law does limit the ability to recover damages when the injured driver was driving without insurance. This law is commonly referred to as the “no pay no play” law. Under Missouri Revised Code § 303.390.1, if you are an uninsured motorist and are injured in a car accident that is another driver’s fault, you cannot recover damages for pain and suffering (non-economic damages). Uninsured motorist can only recover economic damages for things like medical bills and lost wages.   

Contact Us With Your Questions

Do not let driving without a license stop you from seeking recovery for your injuries. We know that car accidents happen every day under a variety of circumstances, and our attorneys are experienced with all types of car accident cases. Even if you were driving without a license or insurance, a Kansas City car accident attorney can still help you obtain compensation. Contact the Krause & Kinsman Law Firm today for a free case evaluation by calling 816-200-2900 or by visiting our website and filling out our online contact form.

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