What Role does a Bad Driving Record Play as Evidence in Civil Suits?

a Bad Driving Record

Did you know that your driving record is considered a public record? This means that in addition to you and your auto insurance agent knowing your driving history, your record can be seen by employers and the court of law. Knowing that your driving history can be easily viewed and analyzed is nerve-wracking after you’ve sustained a personal injury in a car accident. The fact that your driving record is available makes it easy to worry that a less-than-perfect driving record could damage your case, even though you’re a defendant. Read on for my insights and why you should contact a personal injury attorney for your case. 

Can Previous Accidents and Traffic Infractions be Used Against you?

It’s perfectly understandable to be worried about previous driving accidents and traffic after you’ve been involved in a car accident that resulted in an injury. The good news is that previous driving experiences are not supposed to be considered in personal injury cases. In your situation, the facts of the accident you were involved in are all that’s relevant.

There are Some Exceptions

While your previous driving record can’t be used against you in a personal injury case, that doesn’t mean eyewitness accounts won’t be a problem. For example, an insurance company can’t use the fact that prior to the accident, the claim refers to you being ticketed three different times for failing to yield at a stop sign, provided that this time, you did stop.

However, if eyewitness accounts and other evidence indicate that this time you failed to come to a complete stop and pulled out in front of a moving car, that can be used against you when you file your claim.

You Can Inadvertently Do Something to Allow Your Driving Record to Become Evidence

It’s also worth noting that while an insurance company can’t present your driving record as definitive proof you were driving negligently at the time of the accident simply because you have a history of negligent or distracted driving, they can use the records if you present them with the opportunity to do so.

The most common way this is done is that one of the drivers involved in the claim states how they’re a careful driver. As soon as that person mentions their driving record, the other party is free to enter the actual driving record into evidence. The driving record can’t be used as proof of distracted driving at the time of the accident, but it can be used to challenge the driver’s statement and to question their reliability.

What if it’s Not Your Vehicle

One of the times when a driver’s previous driving record can be used as evidence in a personal injury claim is if they are driving someone else’s vehicle at the time of the accident. This frequently comes up when an employee is driving a business vehicle. If there are infractions or accidents on the employee’s driving record, the insurance companies can deny the claim on the basis that the employer hired negligently or failed to take proper safety precautions.

What If You’re Not Legally Allowed to Drive

The one other time a driving record can be used in a personal injury case is if the driver was operating on a suspended or restricted license. If the driver wasn’t legally allowed to drive, the insurance company will use this fact as a reason to deny the claim.

How to Handle a Bad Driving Record Following an Accident

It doesn’t matter if you were at fault or not for the accident that resulted in a personal injury. If you have a questionable driving record, it’s in your best interest to say nothing about it. Unless you’re asked a direct question by a police officer, don’t mention any tickets or accidents you’ve recently had. Remember that simply mentioning your driving record is enough to have it submitted, not evidence.

The only person you should discuss your driving record with is the personal injury lawyer from The Miley Legal Group, who is helping you handle your case. It’s even likely that your lawyer will restrict how much you say to them about your driving record.

If a police officer does ask you about your driving record while you’re at the scene of the accident. Answer honestly but in short, to-the-point responses.

Following an Accident, Immediately Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer

Traffic accidents happen in the blink of an eye. The high rate of speed, the sheer size of the vehicles involved, and a few other factors often combine to leave at least one person who was involved in the accident getting seriously hurt.

If you suffered injuries during an accident, you owe it to yourself to choose The Miley Legal Group’s personal injury attorneys. They will handle all the details surrounding your claim and do whatever they can to get you the best possible settlement so that the only thing you have to worry about is making full recovery.