Can Past Driving Convictions Be Used Against Me in a Car Crash Claim?
Posted by PKSD Law Firm on March 31, 2022 in Car Accidents
Were you previously convicted of one or more traffic violations? Are you concerned how those convictions could hurt your ability to recover damages after a crash you did not cause? Past driving convictions may be the result of lessons learned, but they could still cause you trouble today.
At PKSD, our Milwaukee-based auto accident lawyers fight hard to protect the injured victims we represent. Even if you have past driving convictions, you should not have to pay for damages caused by another’s negligence. Contact our law firm today to learn more about your potential legal options. We are ready to help, even if you are unsure if you have a claim. It costs you nothing to get answers to your legal questions.
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Are Traffic Tickets and Driving Convictions the Same Thing?
Most people think of a traffic ticket as a driving conviction. However, just because you have been issued a ticket does not mean you are guilty. There are two ways that your ticket becomes a driving conviction:
- You fight the ticket in court and lose your case
- You pay the ticket, which, under the law, is the same as pleading guilty
Once your ticket becomes a driving conviction, it is added to your driving record, along with assessed demerits against your license. Drivers who get 12 driving demerits within 12 months could have their license suspended.
Can I Still File a Car Crash Claim if I Have Past Driving Convictions?
Having past driving convictions does not automatically void your ability to file a car crash claim. A past driving conviction also cannot be used to prove your negligence in a current car crash. However, past driving convictions could still hurt your case.
Evidence Could Be Admitted to Prove Dishonesty in Your Testimony
Past driving convictions can be used against you to damage your credibility. For example, say you have past driving convictions for speeding. However, in your current car crash case, you testify that you are always careful to follow the posted speed limits. This may open the way for your old convictions to be used to make you look dishonest. Credibility is critical in any injury claim. If you are caught being dishonest about anything in your statement, it casts doubt on anything else you say about your crash.
Every case is different, and there are multiple factors that could affect the outcome of your car crash claim, such as:
- The other party was at fault for the crash and received a citation for a traffic violation
- You were partially at fault for the crash and have received tickets for similar past violations
- The other party caused the crash and has past driving convictions on his or her record
Having a car crash claim with a past driving conviction creates a lot of challenges and could make it harder to recover compensation. This is something we encourage you to speak about with a qualified attorney as soon after your crash as possible. He or she will have questions to ask you about the crash to clarify certain details. However, you can also get answers to your legal questions in this zero cost, risk-free meeting.
How Long Does a Driving Conviction Stay on My Driving Record?
Convictions for a traffic violation remain on your Wisconsin driving record for five years. However, the DMV does not remove alcohol-related convictions. These past driving convictions remain part of your driving record indefinitely.
The most common traffic violations that add demerit points to your Wisconsin driver’s license include:
- Exceeding the posted speed limit
- Driving distracted
- Failure to yield the right-of-way
- Tailgating – following another vehicle too closely
- Operating your vehicle without a license
- Driving with a suspended or revoked license
- Operating under the influence of alcohol or other substances
Have a Past Driving Conviction? Learn Why Hiring an Attorney Could Benefit Your Claim
If you have past driving convictions, your claim will be challenging, even if you did nothing to cause the crash. Having an experienced attorney to fight for and protect your interests could help by:
- Helping you avoid mistakes that could hurt your claim
- Develop a strategy for presenting your case
That said, when hiring an attorney, it is absolutely critical that you be completely straightforward with an attorney about your past driving record. Remember that you are protected by attorney client privilege, so anything you share with your attorney is confidential. It is better for your attorney to have full information about you up front so he or she can prepare a strategy to protect your best interests. Finding out damaging details later could make it much harder to reduce the potential damage to your claim.
Get a Free Case Evaluation With Our Trusted Law Firm
At PKSD, we have been representing injured victims and protecting their interests for decades. We have recovered millions for our clients and are ready to help you recover maximum compensation.
Find out what your legal options are in a completely free initial case review. There is no pressure to hire our services after this meeting. However, it is an opportunity to get answers to your legal questions at zero cost to you.
If you have a case and we represent you, there is nothing to pay our firm up front. We do not collect payment until your case concludes, and only if we win compensation for you.
Schedule your FREE case review today. 877-877-2228