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No Driver’s License? How Does That Impact Your Florida Car Accident Case?

Posted by Guy DiMartino | Sep 24, 2013 | 0 Comments

Leesburg Florida car accident lawyer discusses how no driver's license impacts a Florida car accident case.

You were driving your car without a license – you stopped at a red light on US 27 and Dixie in Leesburg and you were rear-ended.  You did nothing wrong – except you didn't have a valid driver's license.  How will the fact that you did not have a license impact your personal injury claim?  In this situation, the fact that you did not have a driver's license will not negatively impact your personal injury claim – however, you will have to deal with the traffic violation for not having a license.

How about this scenario?

An 18 year old person, who doesn't have a driver's license, and is pretty inexperienced in driving, makes a left hand turn in front of another car and the cars crash.  The passenger in the car making the left hand turn dies and her estate bring a lawsuit against the driver of the other car.  The driver of the car that was traveling straight took the position that because the 18 year old was inexperienced; he was not able to judge the speed of the car that was traveling straight.

The case went to trial and the defendant wanted to question the 18 year old about not having a valid driver's license.  The trial judge allowed the jury to hear this information and the defendant won the case.  In trial, anytime a person is able to show the jury that a driver was not licensed, it will certainly be held against that unlicensed driver.  Anyway, the estate of the deceased passenger appealed, and the Court of Appeal agreed with the trial judge.

Let's take a look at the law.  The Florida Supreme Court has said:

Despite its precedent holding that a violation of a traffic law is evidence of negligence, the general rule that evidence must be relevant to be admissible still applied. Thus, the court concluded that a person's violating a traffic regulation is admissible evidence only if it tends to prove that that person has negligently operated an automobile. And the court noted that in some cases, the violation of a licensing statute may be relevant to show the driver's inexperience and incompetence in handling an automobile.

So, in the above case, the Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court's ruling finding that the 18 year old driver's inexperience may have had a causal connection with the accident (inability to judge the speed of the car going straight).  Most times, the fact that a driver was unlicensed will not impact a personal injury case but under certain circumstances it certainly can change the outcome.

Florida car accident law can be complex, if you have any questions about a Leesburg Florida car accident claim, call me at (352) 267-9168 and I will provide answers.

About the Author

Guy DiMartino

I have loved helping people in need for almost three decades.  It has been my privilege to serve people as their pastor, chiropractor, and lawyer.  The current focus of my legal practice and life’s passion is helping the seriously injured receive complete compensation for their injuries. I am a Florida Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney. What that really means is that I am no stranger to the courtroom.  I have successfully tried and handled serious cases in state and federal courts.  My backgrounds in both law and chiropractic medicine have given me a unique perspective, extensive knowledge, and wide experience to serve those I represent. For years as a chiropractic physician, I treated my patients to alleviate their pain and suffering. Now as their lawyer, I fight to bring them financial compensation for their pain and suffering. During my years of service, I have handled many traumatic injury cases ranging from the traumatic amputation of a limb to brain and spinal cord injury.  I consider it an honor to serve you and your family. When a person entrusts me and I accept to represent them, I don’t take that relationship and responsibility lightly. My approach is that we work as a team. We are partners and our goal is the best outcome for you and your family with the highest level of communication throughout. I am always available by phone or email to discuss my potential representation of your injury case. I handle cases throughout Florida. Education: National University of Health Sciences – BS (1984), DC (1986) Valparaiso University School of Law – JD, summa cum laude (1999) Bar Admissions: Florida (2000), Indiana (1999), Illinois (2000, expired); US District Courts of Appeals (11th Circuit, 7th Circuit); United States District Courts: Southern and Middle Districts of Florida; Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana; Northern and Central Districts of Illinois; and District of Colorado. Certification:  Civil Trial, Florida Bar Guy DiMartino on Google+ – Circle Guy on Google+ Guy DiMartino on Google+

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