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 A car has just rear-ended you on the freeway. You both pull over to the shoulder and exit the vehicle to exchange information, such as insurance cards and driver’s license information. You take out your driver’s license from your wallet then realize that your driver’s license has been expired for about 3 months now. You forgot to renew it. Although the accident was not your fault, could you still be able to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party? Could your insurance company still cover the damage? Do you need to hire a lawyer to litigate the fact that you did not have a valid driver’s license?

According to the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration, millions of people in the United States drive without a valid license every day. A driver’s license could be considered invalid for various reasons, such as a DUI conviction, failure to obtain car insurance, or failing to renew a driver’s license. According to a report by AAA, 1 in 5 car accidents that resulted in fatalities involved a driver that did not have a valid license. Further, the study stated that three major reasons for an invalid license were because the license was expired, the driver drove without even having a license, or the license was suspended.

This is a common scenario that many American drivers find themselves in. Every accident situation is different; therefore, it is still important to hire an experienced car accident attorney to better determine your specific case and how to ensure maximum compensation for you. Our car accident attorneys at Heidari law have decades of experience litigating accident claims. If you have found yourself in a car accident with an expired driver’s license, call our offices to better determine your situation and how to mitigate your faults.

In general, driving with an expired driver’s license is only a minor offense and results in citations or infractions. However, the circumstance may change when a victim of a car accident was driving with an expired driver’s license.

California is considered to be an at-fault state. In California, a person who has been involved in a car accident with an expired license is still able to file a claim against the insurance company. But the insurance company will assert as a defense that you did not drive with a valid license. That will be one of their main arguments to end up paying a lower amount. In cases like these, it is important to hire an experienced car accident attorney to mitigate any fault. California follows the comparative negligence fault standard. This means that if the plaintiff is at fault for their injuries, the damages they will be collecting from the defendant will be decreased depending on their personal faults. However, the plaintiff will still be able to collect damages from the defendant, it will just be decreased. For more information on comparative negligence standards, please visit our page here.  Another strategy that insurance companies use is increasing the premiums for the driver after the claim has been filed because he drove with an invalid license.

Generally, being able to collect damages depends on the insurance policy. If the insurance policy has a specific statement in their contract that limits damages if the driver is found with an expired license, then the plaintiff most likely will not be able to file a claim. However, if it is not included in the contract, the plaintiff will be able to argue that driving with an expired license has no effect on the car accident that has occurred.  An experienced car accident attorney could assert that driving with an expired license has not caused the plaintiff injuries, but the defendant’s negligent conduct when driving caused the accident. Just because a driver had an expired license, does not mean that they drove recklessly and caused the accident. Rather, the plaintiff will be able to assert that defendant was negligent when engaging in reckless behavior while driving.

If your insurance company has failed to provide you with fair compensation, contact our attorneys today. Our experienced car accident attorneys are prepared to assist you in your legal claims against the insurance company.

How Long Could You Drive with an Expired License in California?

Different states have different laws in place that determine how long you could drive with an expired license. In California, you have up to 60 days to renew a driver’s license after its expiration. After 60 days, A driver will be cited for driving with an expired driver’s license.

How to Renew Your Driver’s License

It is important to constantly check on the expiration of your driver’s license. Many states allow licenses to be renewed up to six months before the expiration. There are different ways you can renew your driver’s license, which include:

  • Online through the DMV portal
  • Sending in the form by mail
  • In-person at the DMV office
  • Over the phone

Renewing Your Driver’s License Online

Renewing your driver’s license through the DMV portal is the simplest way to renew. It skips long lines at the DMV with three simple steps:

  1. Login to the Department of Motor Vehicles online portal.
  2. Make an account through the portal
  3. Pay the renewal fee to register your driver’s license

In order to avoid any repercussions, our experienced car accident attorneys advise that drivers constantly maintain and update their driver’s license, along with their auto insurance. Driving without a valid driver’s license is very risky behavior, and the consequences could be quite severe depending on the type of accident. In certain cases, your car could even end up being impounded.

Driving with an expired license, and then getting involved in a car accident is a very difficult and stressful situation to be in. Many drivers are seen scrambling looking for legal help. It is important to seek experienced car accident attorneys to better help your case end mitigate your fault. Our Attorneys at Heidari Law are experienced in car accident cases. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.

Unless we win your car accident case, we will not charge you a fee. Our attorneys are available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, contact us today. We have offices in major cities located in California and Nevada. We will handle the difficult parts of your legal claim. We will provide you with a piece of mind while you focus on healing from your car accident injuries. We are always readily available for our clients with accessible offices in Los Angeles, Fresno, Sacramento, Irvine, and Las Vegas. Heidari Law Group will be there to assist you.

***Disclaimer: This page is created by Heidari Law Group for educational purposes. This article provides a general understanding of the law. It does not provide specific advice. By using this site and reading through this page, there is no attorney-client relationship created between you and any member of Heidari Law. Further, due to the constant change of the law, some parts of the information above may no longer be good law.