I Have A Bad Driving Record. Will That Hurt My Florida Personal Injury Car Accident Claim?
In this article, you will discover:
- If a bad driving record affect personal injury claim recovery
- Whether not wearing a seatbelt affects your personal injury claim
Under Florida law, evidence of similar traffic violations is not admissible to prove propensity. In other words, just because you were a bad driver in the past does not necessarily mean you were a bad driver on that particular day in question. However, evidence of the injuries from those prior accidents or prior traffic violations would be admissible.
If I Was Not Wearing My Seatbelt, Could That Impact The Settlement Amount In My Florida Personal Injury Case?
It certainly would be a factor in your case, but it is not the end-all be-all factor. In Florida, it is unlawful for a person to operate a motor vehicle unless the person is restrained by a safety belt or a seatbelt. Violation of this law is evidence of negligence; however, it is not the end-all be-all of evidence of negligence. A jury or a fact finder would have to consider the non-use of the seatbelt together with the other facts and circumstances, such as speed, impact, or direction in deciding whether or not the person was negligent and whether their negligence contributed or caused or would have prevented an injury from happening.
In other words, the defense would be able to prove that wearing the seatbelt would have prevented the injury altogether. That would be an affirmative defense that the defense would present evidence to say, “Well, we wouldn’t be here today if she had her seatbelt on”, or the plaintiff side, our side would prove that “No, even if she had a seatbelt on, she would still be injured, maybe not to the same extent but still injured, and then it becomes a matter of degree.
Even if you are not wearing a seatbelt and you get into a car crash, it is always important that you contact a Florida Personal Injury attorney to build a case proving that just because you were not doing what you should have been doing at the time does not mean that you are precluded from recovering anything.