When you file a personal injury claim for an accident where the other driver was at fault, you expect it to be straightforward.
But don’t forget about your driving record. Unfortunately, filing a claim won’t just put the other driver’s record under scrutiny but yours as well. If they find patterns of traffic violations, distracted driving, or accidents, this could affect your injury claim.
Contact a car accident attorney if you’re concerned about how your record will impact your personal injury claim. All hope isn’t lost; you just need a professional on your side.
The Impact of an Accident on Your Driving Record
If you have been in a previous car accident before filing your personal injury claim, it may factor into the outcome of your claim. First, determine whether the accident is still on your record.
Car accidents show up on your driving and insurance records. They have a much more serious impact on your insurance rates, eligibility to drive, and, yes, personal injury cases than minor violations.
A poor driving record can prevent you from collecting fair compensation for a car accident injury claim.
The Type of Accident Matters
The law doesn’t treat all accidents the same.
While laws vary from state to state, many states keep minor accidents on your driving record for three years. To qualify as a minor accident, there had to have been no fatalities or serious injuries and less than $1,000 in damage.
Your record will also note whether the accident was your fault. An at-fault accident is one where you:
- Ran a red light
- Failed to yield the right of way
- Rear-ending another car
- Speeding or making other traffic violations
If the accident was not your fault, it will say so on your record and remain there for about three years.
On the other hand, you face severe consequences for hit-and-runs or accidents that end in fatalities or injuries. These accidents could remain on your record if you were at fault. They will also drastically affect your insurance policy.
The more serious the accident, the more likely it will impact future car accident injury claims.
How Your Driving Record Affects Personal Injury Claims
Your driving record can affect your car accident injury claim in several ways. Even though every car accident victim should have access to compensation for their injuries, this isn’t always the case.
Whether or not a previous accident was your fault, it can impact your injury claim. Your insurance can argue that your injuries were pre-existing from your previous accident. Because pre-existing conditions are not compensable through personal injury claims, this could end with you collecting no compensation.
If you have previous accidents or violations on your record, your insurance may use them to argue you were at fault for the accident. Even if they can’t prove you were solely liable, they could claim you were partially responsible as a tactic to underpay you.
Evidence of Good Driving
On the other hand, a good driving record can help your case. If you have a clean record, you have a better chance of collecting compensation for your claim. It is evidence that you are a responsible driver, eliminating the possibility that you were partially to blame.
Worried About Your Driving Record? Contact a Car Accident Attorney
If you are filing a personal injury claim and are worried your record will impact its outcome, contact a car accident attorney for assistance. Legal professionals will protect you from underpayment and unfair accusations.
The experienced attorneys at Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway, P.C., are ready to help you through your personal injury case. Contact us at 800-433-2408 for a case review today.