How Your Driving Record May Affect Your Injury Case
In theory, Florida car accident cases are based on objective facts: Which drivers did what, who broke any traffic laws or acted negligently, and so on. In practice, though, other factors can have a significant impact on your case. One of these factors is your driving history. If you have a spotty driving record, you might have a more challenging time convincing an insurance company or the courts that you should receive compensation for your injuries.
While a sketchy driving record can make a car accident case more difficult to win, you shouldn’t give up. The West Palm Beach car accident attorneys at Schuler, Weisser, Zoeller, Overbeck & Baxter P.A. will defend your rights no matter your driving record and help you secure fair compensation for your injuries. We can use police reports, testimony from expert witnesses, surveillance footage, eyewitness accounts, and other evidence to demonstrate why you should receive compensation. Below you’ll find more information on your driving record’s role in a car accident case and what we can do to help you.
Why Does Your Driving Record Matter in a Car Accident Case?
Your driving record matters because insurance companies and opposing attorneys will likely try to use it against you. They may argue that your history of traffic violations or accidents indicates a pattern of reckless or negligent behavior, which contributed to the accident in question. As a result, they may try to reduce or deny the compensation you’re entitled to. They use this tactic to shift blame and responsibility onto you, making it seem like you’re less deserving of compensation or that you caused your injuries.
How a Defendant Might Exploit Your Driving Record
Defendants and their lawyers might use your driving record to shift blame onto you or undermine your credibility in several ways:
- Presenting your history as evidence of negligence: They could argue that your previous traffic violations or accidents demonstrate a pattern of negligence, suggesting that you were more likely to be at fault in the current accident.
- Questioning your credibility: They may attempt to cast doubt on your version of events, implying that your driving history makes you less trustworthy.
- Arguing for comparative negligence: In Florida, the concept of comparative negligence can impact your compensation. Comparative negligence essentially means that if a plaintiff is partly responsible for a crash, their compensation is reduced by their share of fault. The defendant may use your driving record to argue that you share some blame for the accident, thereby reducing your potential compensation.
Other Types of Evidence in Florida Car Accident Cases
Even if your driving record isn’t pristine, numerous other types of evidence can help prove your case. Examples include:
- Police reports: Official documentation of the accident, including details about the scene, any citations issued, and the officers’ observations, can be a valuable source of evidence.
- Expert witnesses: Accident reconstruction specialists, medical professionals, and other experts can provide testimony to support your claim, explaining how the accident occurred and the extent of your injuries.
- Surveillance footage or photos: Video or photographic evidence from traffic cameras or nearby businesses can help establish the sequence of events and identify the at-fault party.
- Eyewitness accounts: Statements from people who saw the accident can corroborate your version of events and provide an independent perspective on what happened.
- Medical records: Thorough documentation of your injuries, treatment, and prognosis can help demonstrate the extent of the harm you’ve suffered and the impact your injuries have had on your life.
How a West Palm Beach Car Accident Attorney Can Help With Your Case
A skilled car accident attorney will know how to minimize the impact of your driving record on your case by employing several strategies:
- Emphasizing the facts of the accident: Your attorney will focus on the specific details of the crash, highlighting the defendant’s negligence and downplaying the relevance of your driving history.
- Challenging the defendant’s use of your record: Your lawyer may argue that your driving record is not directly relevant to the current accident and should not be used to determine fault or compensation.
- Presenting strong evidence: By gathering and presenting a robust collection of evidence, such as police reports, expert testimony, and eyewitness accounts, your attorney can build a compelling case in your favor, making it harder for the defendant to exploit your driving record.
- Countering comparative negligence claims: If the defendant tries to argue that you share some of the blame for the accident, your attorney can counter these claims, helping to protect your right to full compensation.
- Negotiating with insurance companies: Your attorney can negotiate with insurance adjusters on your behalf, advocating for fair compensation and pushing back against any attempts to use your driving record against you.
Contact Our Florida Car Accident Law Firm Today
Your prior driving record does not define you and should not impact your right to compensation after a collision. If an insurance company is hassling you over your driving record, the Florida car accident lawyers at Schuler, Weisser, Zoeller, Overbeck & Baxter P.A. can protect your rights and help you secure the money you need. Call us today at 561.689.8180 or visit our contact page for a free consultation.