Firm-Wide blog

Can a Negligent Driver’s Driving Record Be Used in Personal Injury Lawsuits?

By Burg Simpson
February 29, 2016
2 min read

The details surrounding a tragic car accident that injured three and killed two others included a mysterious scene in which firemen found the responsible driver slumped over the wheel of his SUV. When the authorities woke him up, the man took off, with the firefighters in pursuit. Not long after, the man crashed into two vehicles, hitting one so hard it rolled over. The driver was arrested at the hospital, with a vehicular homicide investigation following.

Driver had a poor driving record

In the aftermath of this collision, it came to light that the culpable driver has a driving record that “shows a long list of infractions,” according to a 9 News investigative report. Among these infractions are:

  • Multiple citations for speeding in a safety zone.
  • Accusations of driving without insurance.
  • Operating a vehicle with expired plates.

Notwithstanding this record, local law enforcement announced the driver had a valid drivers’ license and no restrictions at the time of the accident.

How useful are driving records in Personal Injury lawsuits?

Victims who suffer personal injuries in motor vehicle collisions and their families may wonder whether a responsible party’s past driving record can be used to recover damages. The answer to this question depends on the purposes for which the driving record is used. Generally, under the rules of evidence in many courts, a poor prior driving record cannot be used as evidence that the driver drove negligently at the time of the accident.

But the driver’s record may be introduced if the driver testifies to the contrary, falsely claiming, for instance, to have never received tickets or had any accidents. In that situation, the driving record may potentially be used to contradict incorrect or false testimony. In addition, a driver’s record may potentiality be admissible in cases in which the driver’s employer or the vehicle owner is being sued for wrongfully allowing the driver to operate a vehicle Experienced trial attorneys are able to identify all necessary and important evidence, like driving records, that can potentially be used to help obtain compensation for their clients in personal injury lawsuits.

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