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What Happens if You Get Into an Accident With an Expired License?

Nov 29, 2023

Getting into a car accident is a stressful situation, and it becomes even more complicated if you were driving with an expired license. In Arizona, driving with an expired license is a violation of the law. Let us examine the potential consequences and legal implications if you are involved in an accident with an expired license in the Grand Canyon State.

Photo of a Car Accident

Legal Consequences of Driving with an Expired License

Traffic Violation: Operating a vehicle with an expired license is considered a traffic violation, subject to fines and penalties.

Insurance Challenges: Insurers may use the expired license as grounds to contest claims, underscoring the need for legal guidance.

Officer Response at the Accident Scene

Law Enforcement Action: Responses vary; while some officers might issue warnings for recent expirations, others could issue citations, especially for significantly lapsed licenses.

Possibility of Citations: Depending on the circumstances and the duration of the license expiration, an officer may choose to issue a ticket.

What Happens if the Accident Occurred Due to the Negligence of the Other Driver?

When the other driver is at fault for an accident in Arizona, but you were driving with an expired license, several factors come into play, affecting both legal and insurance aspects.

Fault Determination

Primary Responsibility: The fact that the other driver caused the accident is central to your claim. Arizona follows a fault-based system, meaning the at-fault party is typically responsible for the damages.

Impact of Expired License on Liability

Limited Impact: In general, your expired license, while a traffic violation, might have limited impact on determining liability if the other driver was primarily at fault.

Insurance Assessment: The other driver’s insurance company may investigate the circumstances, but if they are deemed predominantly responsible, your expired license may not be a significant factor.

Insurance Claims Process

Filing a Claim: In Arizona, you should still be able to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance for compensation, even with an expired license.

Possible Challenges: The other driver’s insurance might attempt to use your expired license as a point of negotiation or to minimize the settlement, but it will not outright negate your right to seek compensation.

Comparative Negligence Considerations

Arizona’s Comparative Negligence Rule: Arizona follows a pure comparative negligence system. If the other driver’s insurance can argue that your expired license contributed to the severity of your accident and injuries, the compensation you receive might be reduced.

How an Experienced Arizona Personal Injury Lawyer Will Protect Your Right to Compensation?

When dealing with a personal injury claim in Arizona, especially where driving with an expired license is a factor, having an experienced personal injury lawyer becomes vital.

Building a Strong Case

  • Gathering Evidence: The lawyer will collect evidence supporting your claim, focusing on the other driver’s negligence as the primary cause of the accident. This may involve obtaining witness statements, accident reports, and any available surveillance footage.
  • Mitigating Factors: The lawyer will work to mitigate the impact of your expired license on the case, emphasizing that it does not diminish the other driver’s responsibility for the accident.

Effective Negotiation with Insurer

  • Presenting a Compelling Argument: Armed with strong evidence, your attorney will negotiate with the insurance company. They will present a compelling argument that establishes the at-fault driver’s liability while addressing any concerns related to the expired license.
  • Highlighting Relevant Laws: Your lawyer will leverage their knowledge of Arizona’s laws, emphasizing that personal injury claims are not automatically invalidated by a traffic violation, especially if the other driver is primarily at fault.

Trial Preparation and Advocacy

  • Preparing for Trial: If negotiations fail to yield a satisfactory settlement, your lawyer will be prepared to take your case to trial. They will gather additional evidence, interview witnesses, and build a strong courtroom strategy.
  • Advocating in Court: In the event of a trial, your attorney will present a compelling case before a judge and jury. They will skillfully argue that your expired license, while a separate issue, should not overshadow the primary liability.

Why Choosing Wattel & York is Your Best Bet to Maximize Compensation in Arizona Personal Injury Cases

When you have a personal injury claim involving an expired license, choosing Wattel & York is a strategic move. With a proven record of large settlements and verdicts and a commitment to maximizing compensation for injured victims, our experienced Arizona personal injury lawyers are fully equipped to handle complex situations.

In instances where the at-fault driver’s insurance company may attempt to deny or diminish a claim due to an expired license, our lawyers will vigorously pursue the largest possible damages, whether through negotiation or trial. To schedule your free consultation with an Arizona personal injury attorney at Wattel & York, call us today at 877-572-4143 or contact us online.

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“Thank you so much for all your hard work on our behalf! Thinking I could handle it on my own, I was originally reluctant to take my accident claim to an attorney. But I am SO glad I called you instead. Your people were always helpful, pleasant and responsive at every step along the way. You represented us with honesty and integrity and made a traumatic experience as painless as it could be. And best of all, you helped us get a settlement that was fair and far more than I could ever have negotiated on my own! I highly recommend Wattel &York to anyone who has suffered a personal injury.”

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“I was the passenger in a vehicle that was 'T- Boned' at an intersection in 2014. The issues of responsibility and recovery became a difficult and convoluted confusion. I really needed help. This Team at Wattel and York walked me patiently and encouragingly through difficult months, sorting through issues and finally arriving at a satisfactory conclusion. I especially want to name two great and encouraging "warriors" of Wattel and York who directed me along the way..Brian Torba and Melissa Patterson..to them and the whole team I say "Thank You" with heart felt gratitude. Sincerely, God Bless You.”

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“Honesty. Integrity. Transparency. Partnership. Wattel & York brought all of these qualities and more to my accident case. I'd love to thank all of the team members who helped me with the process: David Guzman, who conducted the initial interview in my home, Aly Shomar-Esparza, who seamlessly guided me through paperwork and filings, Debbie Harrach, who conducted final review, paperwork revisions and scheduling, and Thomas Grisoni, who counseled me before and attended my deposition. I never felt alone during the arduous process and always knew there was a professional team looking out for my best interest. I highly recommend Wattel & York if you are unfortunately involved in an accident that was not your fault.”

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“I was a passenger in a car that got t-boned a few years ago and got a huge gash. I didn't know a lot about lawyers, so I basically just picked one on the flip of a coin. I called Wattel and York and they explained everything, I went into the office and filled out paperwork. Got treatment on my gash over the time I worked with them, glad I did as it opened back up a couple times and bled. They did really good, got me the maximum amount of money, and made sure I was well taken care of. I was updated from time to time so that was good. The only thing I might change is I never got to thank or talk to my lawyer. I think it was because I was already used to dealing with the lady at their Glendale office so they just kept her as my point of contact. So it's okay, I'll thank them with a good review. The last thing I could say about them is months after I thought my case was over they called me and said they had another check for me for a few hundred dollars. Apparently, they negotiated with the hospital I went to after the accident. It was a nice surprise and shows they really had my interests in mind.”

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