Can your driving record affect a car accident case?

When you’re involved in a car accident, many elements can sway the outcome of your case, and one key factor is your driving record.

At Smith Jordan Law, we recognize the importance of understanding whether and how your past driving behavior can affect your current situation. Please call our Greenville car accident lawyers at (864) 343-2222 if you have been injured in crash.

does driving record affect accident case

How your driving record can influence your case

Your driving record can play a significant role in determining fault and liability in a car accident case. If you have a history of traffic violations or previous accidents, the opposing party will try everything they can to use it against you. This could affect the perception of your driving behavior at the time of the accident.

Evidence of similar past conduct

In certain circumstances, your driving history may be admitted at trial.  This means that a history of traffic violations, such as speeding tickets or DUIs, could show evidence of a pattern of negligent behavior. This can influence the court’s or insurance company’s assessment of fault.

Comparative negligence

South Carolina follows a modified comparative negligence rule, as outlined in the South Carolina Code of Laws Section 15-38-15. If you are found partially at fault for the accident, your compensation may be reduced by your percentage of fault.

Impact on insurance claims

Your driving record also affects how insurance companies handle your claim. Insurers will review your past driving behavior to assess the risk you pose and may use this information to adjust their settlement offers.

  • Premium increases: A poor driving record can lead to higher insurance premiums. If you’re deemed a high-risk driver, your insurance company might be less willing to offer a favorable settlement.
  • Claim denials: In extreme cases, a bad driving record could result in claim denials. Insurers might argue that your history indicates a higher likelihood of you causing the accident, affecting their willingness to pay out.

Legal proceedings

During legal proceedings, the opposing party’s attorney may bring up your driving record to discredit your case. This can happen in both settlement negotiations and court trials.

While your driving record is not always admissible in court, it can be introduced in certain circumstances. For example, if the other driver claims that you were speeding during the accident, and you testify that you never speed, a history of speeding tickets may be admissible to show that you often speed.

Conversely, a clean driving record can work in your favor. It can be used to demonstrate that you are typically a cautious and responsible driver, which may help mitigate negligence claims.

How to mitigate the impact of your driving record

Legal representation

Having skilled legal representation from Smith Jordan Law can help mitigate the impact of a poor driving record on your case. Our attorneys can challenge the relevance of past violations and focus on the specifics of the current accident.

Demonstrating current behavior

Providing evidence of responsible driving behavior since any past violations can also help. Defensive driving courses, clean records for a significant period, and positive character references can all be beneficial.

We’re here to help you every step of the way

So, does driving record affect accident case outcomes? Yes, it can. Your driving history can influence fault determination, insurance claims, and legal proceedings. However, you can navigate these challenges effectively with the right legal support from Smith Jordan Law. If you have concerns about how your driving record might impact your case, contact us for guidance and representation.

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