QUEENS, NY – Twenty one-year-old Satesh Permaul died early Sunday morning when an unlicensed driver sped through a stop sign and crashed into his vehicle.
The Queens resident was headed east on 107th Ave. in South Ozone Park when his 2003 Nissan Maxima was struck by a 2020 Nissan Altima driven by 20-year-old Christopher Garcia that was headed south on 109th St. In a strange coincidence, the two men were acquaintances from Robert H. Goddard High School.
Photo credit: Theodore Parisienne and New York Daily News
Garcia, who lives around the corner from the accident and was allegedly looking for a parking spot when the accident occurred, has been charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle. He was awaiting arraignment in Queens when the New York Daily News published their report of the incident on Sunday evening.
Filing a Claim Against an Unlicensed Motorist
Operating a motor vehicle without a license is illegal, and is a misdemeanor offense carrying a $300 fine (plus court surcharges) in New York State. However, an unlicensed driver is not automatically at fault in a collision; fault is instead determined by which motorist was responsible for the accident.
Most automobile insurance policies include an Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) clause. If you have been injured in an accident with an unlicensed motorist and you are insured, your insurance provider should pay for your medical bills and other expenses. If you do not have insurance coverage of your own, you may be able to obtain financial compensation by filing a lawsuit against the unlicensed motorist.
It is also important to remember that automobile insurance follows the vehicle, not the driver. If the unlicensed driver was operating a vehicle owned and insured by someone else and was doing so with their permission, the owner’s policy should cover the damages. This is obviously not the case if the car was stolen.
If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident by an at-fault unlicensed motorist and you have not received the financial compensation you’re entitled, Finz & Finz, P.C., can help. Contact us today to discuss your case with one of our experienced New York car accident attorneys.