Personal Injury Blog

Why a Person's Driving Record Makes Little Difference in a Car Accident Lawsuit

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.

Maryland Car Accidents

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.