What does your driving history have to do with your accident lawsuit? There are people out there who tend to get into a couple of car accidents every year. Either they’re terrible drivers or something else is at play. It could be a matter of them being a habitual offender. For example, their driver’s abstract may show that they’ve been cited for speeding half a dozen times. The defendant may try to argue that you purposely get into car accidents so you can collect damages. Your Athens accident lawyer will show that this isn’t the case.
All Defense Counsel Has to Do is Pull a Driver’s Abstract
The defendant is going to argue that you were responsible for the accident. Their attorney will pull a driver’s abstract from the DMV to see how your track record is. If they see that you’ve been sued before, or that you’ve sued other people, they may not be willing to pay your claim. They figure they’ll have a much better chance of settling for less later. They’re hoping that your poor driving history will convince a judge that you were at fault.
Have You Been Sued Before?
One thing the defendant is going to look at is your driver’s history. They’ll check to see if you have been in accidents before. They’ll also look to see if you have received tickets for things like speeding, distracted driving or DUI. If you have a bad record, they’re going to argue that you were at fault here too. In other words, if you’re a bad driver, then odds are that you were a bad driver in this case too. Your Athens accident lawyer will have to dispel this assumption.
Your Athens Accident Lawyer Will Have to Prove Fault
Like it or not, you’re going to have to prove fault in order to collect damages. This means your Athens accident lawyer will need to show negligence. To do this, they’ll need to show the following:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care
- They breached this duty
- You were hurt
- Your injuries were directly caused by the defendant’s breach of duty
If you can prove all four of these things, you may collect damages. There are still a few more things you’ll need to do. For example, you still have to prove that you were hurt. You also need to show how serious injuries were and what kind of medical care you need.
You May Be Found Partially at Fault
It’s important to remember that very rarely is one person 100% at fault. There’s a good chance the court may find that you were partially at fault. For example, if you were involved in a rear-end accident, the rear driver is almost always at fault. However, if the defendant can prove that your brake lights were out, it’ll raise some eyebrows.
You’ll likely be deemed at least 20% at fault. If this happens, your damages will be reduced by 20%. So, if you were demanding $100,000 in damages, and the court says you’re 20% responsible, you’ll only be eligible for $80,000. This is because Georgia follows a comparative fault rule. Even third parties can be found partially at fault. This can further impact your recovery.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Our Seasoned Athens Accident Lawyers
Whether you have a perfect driving record or are accident-prone, you should still pursue your accident claim. A lot of insurance companies deny your claim hoping that you’ll walk away. They aren’t counting on you hiring an Athens accident lawyer. When they find out you have an attorney, they may change their tune. They may be more willing to discuss a settlement.
If you have a bad driving history, it may impact the amount of your settlement. You know the defendant is going to raise this issue in court. You may also be found partially at fault for your crash. Rather than risk this happening, your Athens accident lawyer will try to negotiate a settlement of your claim.
The first thing you need to do is call our office and schedule your free, initial consultation. You may feel overwhelmed. But you’re not alone. Sit down with one of our attorneys and tell them your story. If you have a bad driving history, be upfront about it. The more information you give your Athens accident lawyer, the better they can prepare your case.
The last thing you want to do is allow your attorney to be blindsided by the defendant’s lawyer. Call today and set up a date and time to meet with one of our staff.