Can My Driving Record Affect my Florida Accident Claim?
If you’ve been injured in an accident that’s not your fault, the negligent motorist’s insurance company may try to use your driving record in an effort to either reduce the amount of compensation you receive or to deny your claim outright.
We urge you to get in touch with our law firm as soon as you can to learn more about how we may be able to help. You can contact us online for a free consultation, or you can give us a call at (727) 571-1333.
Our firm has some information to show you how your driving record could be an important part of your case – for good or bad.
Does My Driving Record Need to be Disclosed?
If your attorney is still in the process of negotiating a settlement with the insurer of the negligent motorist, then you may not have to provide any information whatsoever regarding your driving record.
But if that insurer fails to make a fair settlement offer, and you’ve decided to file a lawsuit to get the money you deserve, that’s a different story. The insurer and your attorney will exchange information as part of the discovery portion of your case. That means the insurance company will likely want to see your driving record – even if it has nothing to do with the accident that led to your injury.
When Should I Disclose my Driving Record?
There are a lot of things you should never do after a car accident, such as accepting any blame or discussing your case with anyone – not even friends or family members. You should also not post anything regarding the accident on social media. Remember that the negligent motorist’s insurance company will do everything it can to discredit you and deny your claim.
One of the things you should do, however – especially if you’re going to have to take legal action to obtain compensation – is to tell your attorney about your driving record. This will give your attorney advance warning should the insurance try to use that record to damage your case. The better prepared your attorney is, the better job they’ll be able to do of defending you against an insurance company’s tactics.
How Will a Poor Driving Record Affect My Claim?
Just about everybody has some sort of ding on their driving record. You might have received a speeding ticket a few years ago, or some other sort of ticket for a moving violation. You might have even been in a minor fender-bender at one time.
Even though it’s obvious your past record has no bearing on your current case, the insurance company will still try to use it to hurt that case. For example, it might try to argue that you were hurt in a prior accident, and not due to the accident that actually injured you. Or, they might try to use your record to show you have a pattern of reckless driving, and that you were actually to blame.
If you do have a serious blemish on your record, such as a DUI, it’s going to be more difficult to fight those claims – regardless of how ridiculous you may think their efforts may be. But a skilled attorney with Jones Law Group will work to fight those efforts on your behalf.
How Will a Clean Driving Record Affect My Claim?
On the other hand, a clean driving record could help as you try to obtain compensation for the damages you’ve incurred due to the injury you’ve suffered. If you have a clean record, but the other driver doesn’t, that could help you make a stronger argument that the driver was responsible for the accident. Even if the driver is uninsured, that record could help you pursue compensation from that person’s bank account, or through other means.
There’s another benefit of having a clean driving record, and it has nothing to do with your case. Your good driving history might just help you get lower rates for your own auto insurance. Providers look at a lot of things when determining how much to charge, and your driving record will be at the top of the list. Since you’re a good driver, that means you’ll be at less of a risk of getting into an accident – that means you’re a better risk in their eyes.
So, how do you go about getting your driving record, whether it’s clean or, well, not so clean? It’s pretty easy. All you need to do is go to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website and request it. You can, for a fee, obtain a record that goes back three years ($8), one that stretches back seven years ($10), or you can get your complete driving history ($10). If you want your driving record to be certified, that will cost $10 – regardless of whether you want your 3-year, 7-year, or complete history.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney Today to Discuss Your Options
Insurance companies can resort to some pretty shady tactics to try to hurt your claim, including using your driving record against you. But a skilled attorney will be able to defeat those tactics and make sure you get the full amount of money you’re entitled to.