News & Resources

April 30, 2020. Category: Car Accidents

Prior Accidents: Insurers Can (and Will) Attempt to Use Them Against You

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says that the average driver spends over 17,600 minutes operating a motor vehicle each year. That means that over the course of 60 years, you will be on the road for at least 2 of those years. That said, the odds of even the most careful driver of getting into one car crash during their lifetime are fairly high. Moreover, the chances are also good that you’ll be involved in more than one accident. But what if you’ve already been in one accident and you ultimately become involved in another collision that results in injuries and you want to seek compensation from the other vehicle operator via a lawsuit? Can the earlier crash be used against you in the suit? Our Tampa car accident lawyer discusses the issues.

Unfortunately, Prior Accidents Can Be Used Against You in a Lawsuit

Undoubtedly, the other driver’s insurer will try to obtain evidence of your past driving record, including any crashes in which you’ve been involved, and present it to the judge or jury in your case. Why? Because insurance companies are all about making as much money as possible, and every penny they pay out in settlements/judgments is a penny stolen from their overall profits.  

That said, insurance companies will definitely be aware of your prior accidents, as well as any previous injuries you claim to have sustained as a result of those accidents/claims. Please note that such facts will be either in public records or will be revealed during the discovery process.

The Defense Will Try to Use Your Pre-existing Injuries to Undermine Your Case. Let Our Tampa Car Accident Lawyer Help

The defendant’s insurer will attempt to use your prior collisions, injuries, and/or claims to argue their case and weaken yours.  

  • You’re a Repeat Filer. If you have filed multiple personal injury lawsuits, disability or workers’ compensation claims, the insurer’s attorney may attempt to make you look like a litigious individual who sees every accident or mishap as a payday. Naturally, doing so will make you look less like a true accident victim and more like an opportunist.  
  • Pre-existing Ailments. In car accident cases, you are ultimately asking for compensation from the other driver for injuries stemming from the collision. However, insurance companies will likely argue that the injuries for which you are seeking compensation resulted from your previous crash and therefore cannot be deemed the fault of the defendant. Insurers get access to your whole medical history and they will take the depositions of the physicians who treated you after your recent accident, as well as hire their own experts.

Just because the insurance company will attempt to get evidence about prior accidents in front of a jury, that doesn’t necessarily mean they will have success. Fight back against insurer’s tactics and make sure that you have work with a skilled Tampa car accident lawyer on your side if you’ve been injured or have lost a loved one in a crash..

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