It is very important to carry your driver’s license with you while driving and more importantly, to not operate a motor vehicle without a valid license. A suspended license is not a valid driver’s license, under any circumstances.
In the case you are involved in a car accident while driving without a license, pursuant to Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. H. 8, you can face some serious consequences, such as fines and vehicle impoundment.
However, determining liability may not be affected. Although it is not encouraged, supported or recommended, to operate a motor vehicle without a valid driver’s license, if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident caused by another driver’s negligence, you may still have the ability to recover compensation for the damages that arises from the car accident.
Driving without a license does not necessarily take away your right to pursue either an accident benefits claim or tort claim. Liability in any car accident is determined by the province’s Fault Determination Rules, R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 668, rather than the validity of your license.
Nevertheless, it is also important to keep in mind that without a license, you likely do not hold an insurance policy. In the case you do not have an insurance policy, and unless you are listed/named under the insurance policy of someone else, you will have a hard time pursuing an accident benefits claim. Furthermore, you may face drastic consequences such as large fines under the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act of Ontario, have your license suspended and have your vehicle impounded.
If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident without a valid drivers license, you may also no longer be eligible to receive certain standard statutory accident benefits, such as income replacement benefits. Normally, an individual who is involved in a motor vehicle accident and is unable to return to work, would qualify for up to 70% of their gross weekly income to a maximum of $400.00 per week. However, if you are uninsured while operating a motor vehicle and get involved in a collision, you may be barred from receiving this statutory benefit.
It is in your overall best interest to make sure that you operate a motor vehicle accident with not only a valid driver’s license but a valid automobile insurance policy to ensure that you are eligible for all mandatory statutory benefits, to best help you recover from any injuries sustained in a car accident.
If you were driving without a valid drivers license but were under the reasonable impression that your drivers license was valid, you still have a tort claim.
In the case you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident while driving without a license or valid car insurance policy, contact us at JEWELL RADIMISIS JORGE LLP, to speak with our team of experienced personal injury lawyers, for a free consultation. We may be able to help you plan your recovery, assess your injuries and get you compensated for your damages.