It is normal to feel anxious and worried when you have had a road or car accident with an unlicensed driver. Who will pay your damages when you have been physically or psychologically injured? You still have a legal right to claim compensation even if the other driver is unlicensed and uninsured. More about your legal rights here
Unlicensed motorists have an increased chance of engaging in risky driving behaviour and the likelihood of injuring themselves and other road users. In Australia, previous studies have shown that unlicensed road users are involved in approximately 4% of all collisions and up to 10% of all fatal accidents. Proving that driving without a license contributes significantly to injury and road deaths.
Who is at fault in an unlicensed driver car accident?
Even though it is a breach of road rules to drive without a license, it does not change the principles of legal liability. You will still be the negligent party if you have a driver’s license and cause an accident with an unlicensed motorist.
Knowing who is at at-fault for a car accident relies on a set of principles, and you can see more about determining car accident liability here >
The challenge in this situation is who will fund the financial damages arising from the unlicensed driver road accident.
Insurance companies are unlikely to payout when the other motorist has been suspended or has no license. In this case, the driver would need to pay compensation, and given the age of most people in this category, it is doubtful they will have the financial resources.
Who pays compensation for an unlicensed car accident?
Your comprehensive car insurance coverage would cover your motor vehicle damage, should you have this policy. The insurer will repair your car and then try to retrieve these funds from the unlicensed road user.
For personal injury compensation, Compulsory Third Party (CTP) Insurance will fund road injury damages no matter the license status of the at-fault driver. The CTP insurer supports car accident compensation regardless of the negligent driver’s liability.
You should contact the police if you have a collision with a road user you believe could be unlicensed. If you are involved in a hit-and-run accident (the other motorist fled the accident scene), lodge a police report, and they will investigate.
Who drives without a license in Australia?
There are millions of drivers on Australian roads every day, and you likely never think about the chance of people driving without authorisation. Some motorists have never had permission to operate a vehicle, while others have had their license suspended – often for previous risky behaviour.
Reasons for a revoked license or suspension include the following:
- DUI conviction
- Loss of points for traffic infringements
- A penalty for previous Criminal offences
- Breaching previous suspension orders
Individuals who choose to breach licensing rules include:
- People too young to get a license
- People who failed their driving test (often more than once)
- Aged persons who didn’t pass their license renewal
- Those who suffer a medical condition that stops them from getting a license