What if Your Car Registration was Expired at the Time of the Crash?

Posted on behalf of Peter T. Nicholl in Car Accidents Feb 08, 2021

gavel on table with traffic citation documentThere are many elements in a car accident case, from what happened in the crash itself to the damages that result. However, there are various things that are not relevant to a claim, despite what victims may have heard or what the insurance company may say.

After an accident, it can be important to contact a Maryland car accident attorney to discuss your potential claim and get answers to your questions. For example: was your car registration expired at the time of the crash? If so, does this affect your claim?

The experienced lawyers at Peter T. Nicholl Law Offices have recovered millions on behalf of our clients, many of whom were car crash victims. Unlike the insurance company, our firm is committed to pursuing maximum compensation on behalf of our clients.

Expired Tags and Car Crashes

The central issue in a car crash claim is fault. Maryland is an at-fault state, which means the at-fault driver is financially liable for damages caused by the crash. To establish fault, you must prove the other driver acted negligently. There are many examples of driver negligence, such as:

  • Tailgating
  • Running red lights
  • And more

While there many factors involved in a car crash claim, there are some things that are not relevant to who is at fault for a crash.

Is it irresponsible and illegal to drive with an expired license plate? Yes, but that does not make you partially liable for a crash. The only thing that could make you partially at fault for a crash would be negligent driving. For example, if you answer yes to any of the questions below, you may be partially or fully at fault for what happened:

  • Were you speeding when the collision happened?
  • Were you looking at your cellphone when the crash happened?
  • Were you tailgating another car?
  • Did you have a taillight out?
  • Did you forget to use your turn signal before making a turn?

Penalties for Driving with an Expired Tag

You could be fined several hundred dollars if the police cite you for driving with an expired tag. That is why you should always make sure to renew your vehicle registration and put the new sticker on your license plate. Restrictions could also be placed on your driver’s license.

While a traffic citation for an expired tag should not affect your claim, other types of traffic citations might.

Partial Fault for a Crash

If an expired tag does not have any bearing on a car crash claim, why would the insurance company attempt to use it against you?

No matter what state you are in, insurance companies have an incentive to try to assign partial fault for a crash to the victim. This may allow them to deny or devalue a claim.

This incentive is very strong in Maryland, because you are prohibited from recovering any compensation if you are found to be even one percent at fault for a crash. Maryland is one of a handful of states with such a harsh law.

If you think you are partially to blame for a crash, you should only discuss this with your attorney. The insurance company will try to use this against you. However, you can trust that your attorney will explain whether you still have a case.

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For more than 30 years, our attorneys have been helping injury victims in Baltimore and throughout Maryland. We obtained $1 million for a crash victim who suffered two broken legs.

Contact our personal injury lawyers for a free consultation if you have been injured by another’s negligence. You may be entitled to compensation.



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