It’s a sad fact of life that there are many people -- perhaps more than anyone realizes -- who are operating motor vehicles at this very moment without a valid driver’s license. Perhaps it is a commentary on personal responsibility, or maybe a reflection of the necessity of personal transportation, but the odds are that you or loved one may end up sharing the road with an individual who either has not been licensed by the state of Maryland or who has lost his license due to a bad driving record.
The impact of the “great recession” has hit many people very hard, which could account for the number of uninsured drivers plying the roadways in and around Baltimore, Bowie, Annapolis and the District. But the thought of unlicensed motor vehicle operators driving around our communities just adds that much more anxiety for individuals and families concerned with their health, safety and well-being, as well as that of their family members.
As experienced auto accident attorneys, the legal team at the law offices of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, shares the concern that the threat of unlicensed drivers present on our public roads. Whether one finds themselves involved in a car, truck or motorcycle accident along a rural route, beltway or interstate, the thought that an accident may have been caused not only by a negligent driver, but that the responsible party should never have been operating a car or truck in the first place can be very upsetting.
Various studies have shown that those individuals who opt not to apply for a legitimate motor vehicle operator’s license, or who have had their license revoked or suspended, represent a segment of the driving public that have been identified as one of the most dangerous groups on the road today. One or more studies have indicated that unlicensed motorists are some of the most hazardous individuals driving cars, trucks and motorbikes.
Here in the Baltimore area, as professional personal injury lawyers working in the field of auto injury litigation, the attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen have seen the result of undisciplined driving throughout the metropolitan area and environs. We are well aware of the problem and understand the often serious and tragic implications for the average law-abiding citizen. We also know that unlicensed drivers most always operate a motor vehicle without insurance, which can complicate a car or trucking accident victim’s life when trying to recoup damages following a traffic wreck.
A study concentrating on unlicensed motorists found that insurance companies in California paid more than $600 million in claims involving motor vehicle crashes tied to uninsured drivers. The report, which took data from the 2009 calendar year, focused on the Golden State, but the results were still telling. Based on data covering 23 years of traffic accidents, researchers determined that there were about two million unlicensed individuals on that state’s roadways.
A conservative estimate would place the average number of unlicensed drivers at more than six percent, or one in 20. To some, this may not seem like a large number, but for police and traffic safety advocates it is huge. Because many unlicensed drivers have not received formal training on operating a motor vehicle, nor have they been tested and approved to drive a car, truck or motorcycle, the danger to the general public at large is understandably high.
Because no one has had a chance to evaluate the skills and driving capabilities of an unlicensed person, there is no good way to quantify the impact that even one of these individuals might have on other innocent people. Certainly, the chances of being injured or killed by someone who has not been properly licensed here in Maryland, or anywhere for that matter, can be greater than if a person does have a valid driver’s license.
At Lebowitz & Mzhen, we are trained to help victims of automobile and commercial trucking collisions recover damages arising from a negligence-related traffic accident. It is a shame that along with all the other hazards that Maryland motorists may face, that they must also deal with the often unpredictable results of a roadway wreck caused by an unlicensed driver. Not only is the potential lack of skill or training a problem when it comes to preventing accidents caused by unlicensed drivers, in the wake of a serious or fatal collision, it is much more difficult to track down the responsible party after the fact.
Police can often have a difficult time locating an unlicensed motorist whose negligent actions have resulted in a traffic wreck. With no records pertaining to their residence, driving record and other vital information, these scofflaws can be difficult to link to the very vehicle with which they caused the injury accident.
Having represented numerous victims of auto and trucking accidents, the skilled staff at Lebowitz & Mzhen understand that recovering physically from an injury-related motor vehicle collision is hard enough, much less having to worry about being hurt by someone who is unlicensed, and likely, uninsured. We know that personal injury cases involving an unlicensed driver may be more difficult from which to recover damages, but not necessarily impossible.
When our firm litigates an injury-related auto, truck or motorcycle accident case involving an uninsured at-fault driver, there are usually two defendants -- the uninsured driver, assuming the person has stepped up to account for his or her negligence; and the accident victim’s own insurance company. We, as Baltimore auto and truck injury attorneys, often encounter questions from our clients pertaining to the reasons why they must actively sue their own auto insurance carrier for recovery of damages caused by another individual.
This can be especially confusing when the client knows that he or she did not cause the crash to begin with. Cases in which an at-fault driver has no insurance at all, the situation often calls for a direct lawsuit against the victim’s insurance carrier; in fact, this is usually the only way to recover any significant doctor, hospital and other medical or rehabilitation-related costs since the defendant may not have sufficient funds to cover even a small fraction of the damages for which he or she is responsible.
At Lebowitz & Mzhen, we are ready help auto accident victims following car and trucking-related wrecks involving unlicensed and/or uninsured motorists. We understand personal injury law, as well as this state’s insurance statutes. Whether a person is seriously hurt in a hit-and-run crash, a multi-car pileup or a negligence-related commercial trucking wreck, our legal team is prepared to help. In the tragic circumstances surrounding a wrongful traffic death, our attorneys can assist the victim’s family recover medical costs, funeral expenses and damages for pain and suffering.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured by an unlicensed motorist, we highly recommend contacting a qualified auto accident lawyer right away. For the best results, you need to speak to an attorney experienced in handling these types of injury-related accidents. The professional and skilled trial lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen are pleased to serve you. Simply call our law offices at (800) 654-1949 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation; or, you may email either Jack Lebowitz or Vadim Mzhen to arrange for a face-to-face meeting to discuss your particular automobile injury case.