Various factors can affect your injury claim after a car accident. Your driving record is one of them. You might struggle to negotiate an adequate settlement if your record shows a history of accidents, traffic violations, and tickets. The insurance company could try to use that information against you to justify reducing the value of your claim or blaming you for the crash.
Here we discuss the potential impact of your record on your case, when a driving record might be helpful, and how to remove an accident from your driving history.
How the Insurance Company Can Benefit from Your Driving Record
Insurance companies don’t want to pay claims. They investigate accidents and search for evidence that can be used against accident victims. The insurance adjuster handling your claim might look into your driving record.
Your record might include traffic citations for speeding, reckless driving, and other violations. They can also view information about previous accidents and injuries before the most recent crash. Any of that information can be valuable.
They might prove you have a history of careless driving behavior. That could show you might be at fault instead of another driver. The adjuster might refuse to offer a settlement if liability is unclear or disputed. The adjuster can also discredit you as a reliable witness if they discover your record shows traffic citations involving criminal acts, such as driving under the influence.
Another aspect of your driving record affecting your case is any prior car crashes you were involved in. Some might have been your fault. Even if someone else caused those accidents, the insurance adjuster could review your medical records to determine if your injury is a pre-existing condition that was due to those accidents instead of the most recent crash.
You can’t hold another driver financially responsible for a pre-existing injury you had before the collision. However, you can pursue compensation if the accident aggravated a previous injury.
When a Driving Record Might Help You
You can benefit from submitting your driving records during an injury case if they show a clean or nearly spotless driving history. Your car accident lawyer might present it as evidence during court proceedings. They can use it to demonstrate your commitment to driving responsibly. Since it doesn’t show prior accidents, traffic citations, and other negative activity, it can improve your chance of financial recovery.
Your lawyer can also obtain a copy of the other driver’s driving record. If it shows a history of moving violations or car wrecks they caused, it might establish a pattern of carelessness while operating a motor vehicle.
How Long Does a Car Accident Stay on Your Record?
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) maintains a person’s driving history for three years. The record starts when you receive your learner’s permit. It includes information such as:
- Your name, home address, birth date, driver’s license status, and application date
- Moving violations and accidents with other vehicles involving receiving a ticket
- Non-moving and moving violations and accidents where a ticket wasn’t issued
- All driver’s license suspensions
How Can I Get an Accident off My Record?
You can take a defensive driving course to get a traffic violation removed from your record. However, the Texas court must check your record first to verify your course eligibility. You’re allowed to take a defensive driving course once annually. If you took one within the last twelve months, the court wouldn’t let you take it again.
The number of traffic violations previously removed from your record can also affect your current request. If the court notices it has already dismissed multiple prior moving violations, it might refuse to remove the most recent one.
Getting information removed from your driving record is also possible if inaccuracies exist. For example, an officer might have pulled you over for running a stop sign but didn’t actually write a ticket. You can request a copy of your records to look for mistakes that need correcting.
Get Help from a Skilled Car Accident Lawyer
The Gibson Hill Personal Injury legal team takes our clients’ cases personally. We understand the challenging time you’re going through and want to help you through it. You can count on us to aggressively pursue action against the at-fault party and try to achieve a positive outcome.
Call Gibson Hill Personal Injury at 512-580-8334 today for a free consultation if you sustained injuries in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence. We have car accident attorneys in Houston and Austin and are available 24/7, so you can reach us whenever you need us.