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An Expired or Suspended Driver’s License

Will It Affect Your Right to Compensation After an Auto Accident?

An Expired or Suspended Driver’s LicenseWe all make mistakes—maybe we forget to renew our driver’s license, or we get too many points and lose our driving privileges. What happens if we decide to drive anyway and are involved in a motor vehicle accident, one where we’re not at fault? Can the person who caused the accident argue that we’re not entitled to any compensation because we weren’t legally on the road at the time? The answer is no.

The Legal Principle of Negligence

Most personal injury lawsuits are based on the legal principle of negligence. To recover compensation under a claim of negligence, you must show three things:

  • That the defendant (the party who allegedly committed a wrongful act) was not acting as a reasonable person would at the time of the accident;
  • That the failure to act reasonably caused the accident; and
  • That you suffered actual losses as a result of the accident.

The Concept of Comparative Negligence

As discussed in previous blogs, New Jersey has adopted the principle of comparative negligence in personal injury claims. With comparative negligence, the judge and jury look at the actions of both parties and can reduce the amount of compensation to an injured person if he or she engaged in conduct that contributed to causing the accident. For example, if one party to a motor vehicle accident runs a stop sign and the other party is speeding, both parties may have some liability.

Courts in New Jersey have never recognized driving on an expired or suspended license to be a form of comparative negligence.

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

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