If you have been involved in an accident with an unlicenced driver, you may be concerned about his or her lack of insurance or means to pay for your losses.
Regardless of whether the other driver has never held a licence, has an invalid or expired licence or has a suspended licence, it is important that you understand your rights and potential legal options in these cases.
A Windsor car accident lawyer from our firm is prepared to help you seek maximum compensation for your injuries and damages. Learn if you have a valid claim during a free legal consultation. There is no risk in calling us and no obligation to take legal action after this initial meeting.
Guidelines To Operate a Motor Vehicle
It is against the law to drive without a licence. The Ontario Highway Traffic Act states that it is illegal for a person to operate a vehicle when they are not qualified. If drivers are caught with an invalid licence, the vehicle will be impounded for seven days and result in a fine of at least $200 and up to $1,000.
In Ontario, there are 12 different types of licences. The class of licence you have must match the type of vehicle being driven. To operate a motor vehicle (car, van or small truck), you must have a Class G licence. This class of licence is also required to operate any other type of vehicle with the exception of motorcycles. For new drivers, obtaining a Class G licence is a two-step licensing process.
A Class G1 licence allows drivers to only operate a vehicle with an accompanying full licenced driver with at least four years of driving experience. A Class G2 licence gives drivers full driving privileges.
Liability in Accidents With Unlicenced Drivers
Ontario is a no-fault insurance province. This does not mean that no one will be found at fault in the event of an accident. In any accident there will be a determination of fault. This includes accidents involving unlicenced drivers. What is different in a no-fault system is how a claim will be paid out.
Generally, the insurance company of the at-fault driver will be responsible for paying out on claims for their insured party and the other party involved. However, in a no-fault insurance system, it does not matter who is at fault. Even if the other driver was driving without a proper licence when he or she hit you, you would need to go through your own insurance company to cover your losses.
Can I Sue an Unlicenced Driver?
In order to take legal action against an unlicenced driver, you must be able to prove negligence. This means showing that the other driver had a duty of care to prevent harm to you, this duty of care was breached and this breach directly resulted in your injuries and caused you to suffer damages.
Driving without a licence is not inherently negligent. Determining whether negligence caused or contributed to an accident will vary on a case-by-case basis. This is why it is important to consult with an experienced lawyer to get a better understanding of your rights.
Allowing an Unlicenced Driver to Use Your Vehicle
Vehicle owners will be breaching their insurance if they permit someone to drive their vehicle who is not authorized or qualified by law to do so. A vehicle owner must take reasonable steps to ensure that the driver is both able and qualified to use his or her vehicle.
If the unlicenced driver causes an accident, the insurance generally follows the vehicle, not the driver. The owner of the vehicle could be considered liable for the accident and held responsible for paying any damages — regardless of the licensure status of the at-fault driver.
Reach Out to Our Legal Team Today
Our legal team at Greg Monforton & Partners have extensive experience handling a variety of car accident cases. We have helped recover millions of dollars in compensation on behalf of our clients. This includes $6.3 million for the victim of a rear-end accident who suffered a severe traumatic brain injury.
An initial consultation is 100 per cent free of charge. You pay nothing up front if we represent you and no fees while we work on your potential case. We are standing by to take your call or chat online.
Have Questions? We have Answers. Ph: (866) 320-4770.