Ochs Law Firm Blog

Will My Previous Traffic Violations Affect a Car Accident Lawsuit?

close up of a cop writing a ticket.

Navigating the aftermath of a car accident is always hard, especially when legal proceedings come into play. An immediate concern you might have is whether previous traffic violations could affect your car accident lawsuit. Your car accident attorney in Cheyenne, Wyoming and Laramie, Wyoming can help you understand how previous violations might come into play specifically in your unique case, but we can also provide some general clarity here.

The Basics: General Impact of Prior Traffic Violations

Traffic violations, whether minor infractions like speeding tickets or more serious offenses such as DUI convictions, are part of your public record. These records can provide a snapshot of your driving history and, under specific circumstances, might become a focal point in a car accident lawsuit. However, it’s crucial to comprehend that past violations are not necessarily detrimental to your case.

In Wyoming, the primary focus in a car accident lawsuit is on the incident in question. The court’s aim is to unravel the facts of the accident, identify the parties involved, and ascertain the degree of negligence, if any, that led to the accident. Prior traffic violations are not typically introduced as evidence unless they are directly relevant to the current case.

For example, if a previous violation indicates a pattern of reckless behavior, and if reckless behavior is being asserted in your case, your record may be considered. But remember, these are exceptional cases and not the norm. Your attorney will also work hard to show that even if you have been reckless at times in the past, that you were not being reckless at the time of the accident.

The Complexities of Negligence and Liability

Determining negligence and liability in a car accident lawsuit is sometimes a long and hard process. As a law firm that prides itself on thoroughly researching every facet of a case, we understand the importance of these details in shaping the outcome of litigation.

Wyoming has a modified comparative negligence system. This system allows you to recover damages even if you’re partially at fault in an accident, provided your degree of fault is less than that of the other party involved. Your past traffic violations would not factor into this determination unless they have direct relevance to the circumstances of the accident. This is a nuanced area of law, and understanding it can often be the key to a favorable outcome in a lawsuit.

Dealing with Insurance Companies

In addition to court proceedings, insurance companies are always involved in the aftermath of a car accident. It’s common for insurers to conduct their own investigations, which might include a review of your driving record. Like courts, insurance companies are primarily interested in the circumstances of the accident itself. However, they may take note of any significant or relevant past violations. In a worst-case scenario, an insurance company trying to pay out as little as possible may attempt to claim that you must bear some negligence for the accident based on past traffic violation history, even if there’s no evidence to suggest you did anything in this case.

At Ochs Law Firm, we are equipped to handle negotiations with insurance companies. Our aim is to ensure your past does not unduly influence the compensation you receive. We understand the tactics insurers may use and are prepared to counter them effectively.

The Role of Good Legal Representation

Good legal representation can make a substantial difference in how your previous traffic violations are viewed in a car accident lawsuit. An experienced attorney can object to irrelevant or prejudicial evidence, including traffic violations that have no bearing on the case at hand. We can even anticipate many of the underhanded tactics that might be used against you and stop them before they even get off the ground.

We are committed to ensuring your case is assessed fairly and that the focus remains on the accident’s specific circumstances. Our role is not just to provide legal advice, but also to present your case effectively in the courtroom.

The Litigation Process for Car Accident Cases

Initial Case Evaluation

The first step involves an in-depth case evaluation. This involves reviewing all available evidence, from police reports and witness testimonies to photos of the accident scene and medical reports. We assess the strength of your case and devise a plan of action tailored to your specific circumstances. This is a critical stage where your previous traffic violations may be examined in light of their relevance to the case at hand.

Filing the Lawsuit

Once we’ve evaluated your case, the next step is filing the lawsuit. This involves drafting a complaint that outlines your claims against the other party and serves it to them. The defendant then has a chance to respond, often by denying the claims or asserting their own defenses. It’s during this stage that we ensure your past traffic violations, if they are not relevant, are kept separate from the current litigation to avoid any potential prejudice.

Discovery Process

The discovery process is where each side investigates the other’s legal claims and defenses. This can involve written questions called interrogatories, requests for documents, and depositions, which are sworn statements made in front of a court reporter. It’s a critical stage where we work diligently to uncover any evidence that supports your case while countering any evidence that may be used against you, including past traffic violations.

Negotiations and Settlement

Many car accident lawsuits never reach trial, instead being resolved through negotiations and settlements. As your legal representatives, we engage in negotiations with the aim of achieving a settlement that compensates you fairly for your losses. It’s during this stage that we might need to address your past traffic violations, especially if they are raised by the other party as a negotiation tactic.

Trial (If Necessary)

If a settlement cannot be reached, the case proceeds to trial. Here, both sides present their case, and a judge or jury makes a final decision. Our role is to advocate for you, presenting the facts of the accident in a clear and compelling way, and refuting any attempts to tie in unrelated past traffic violations.

Post-Trial Motions and Appeal

Even after the trial, there may be post-trial motions or even an appeal, which could further extend the litigation process. Regardless of the duration or complexity of your case, we will stand by your side until justice is served.

At every stage of the litigation process, Ochs Law Firm is committed to providing professional advice and robust representation. Whether it’s addressing the impact of past traffic violations, investigating the accident details, negotiating with insurance companies, or presenting your case at trial, we work tirelessly to protect your rights and pursue the justice you deserve.

Choose the Best Car Accident Attorney in Cheyenne, Wyoming and Laramie, Wyoming

While previous traffic violations may cause anxiety when you’re facing a car accident lawsuit, it’s essential to remember that every case is unique and assessed on its individual circumstances. The primary focus will always be on the specific details of the accident. Contact us right away at The Ochs Law Firm, where we are committed to guiding you through this challenging process with expertise, professionalism, and unwavering dedication to justice.

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Our experienced Wyoming personal injury lawyer, Jason E. Ochs will fight to help you recover proper compensation in a class action, pharmaceutical, and medical cases throughout multiple states. Contact us today.

Jason E. Ochs

Jason began his legal career in 2002 with a national multi-district litigation law firm in Newport Beach, California. There he worked on a variety of high-profile, complex-litigation projects including pharmaceutical and medical-device litigation across the country.

The Ochs Law Firm epitomizes professionalism and commitment to all of our clients, regardless of the size of the case or the might of the Defendant. We practice in Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas and California in personal injury litigation, medical malpractice, defective products, class action lawsuits, Qui Tam lawsuits, litigation across multiple districts, bad faith insurance, and civil litigation.

We look forward to providing top quality service and representation for you and your family.