By: Matthew Tievsky
Every so often, we have a case in which our client is worried that their
bad driving record is going to come back to haunt them. On the other hand,
sometimes we learn that it was the
defendant who had a long record of speeding violations, multiple prior car crashes,
a suspended driver’s license, or something similar.
Usually, however, a person’s driving record will not make a difference in a
car accident lawsuit. There is a legal rule that bars evidence of "prior bad acts,"
which means that just because a person has done bad things in the past –
e.g. gotten into previous car accidents – doesn’t mean this can
be introduced at trial, to prove that the person caused
this car accident. That’s true no matter how many times a person has crashed
their car. Generally, the
only facts that can be introduced at trial in a car accident lawsuit, are the
facts of what happened in the accident itself.
But there is at least one scenario where a defendant’s bad driving
record may come into play: If the defendant driver who caused the car
accident had a bad driving record, and was working as the employee of
a business, you may be able to sue the business on the ground that it
was irresponsible for the business to hire the defendant. In that case, you
can introduce the defendant’s driving record at trial.
It takes good legal advice to know whether a person’s poor driving
record can be used against them in court. If you have been injured by
a driver who had a history of causing accidents, you should contact the
injury lawyers at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel for a
free case evaluation.