After a car accident, the insurance companies involved will look into what happened to determine who’s at fault for the damages. They’ll pay close attention to your driving history, especially if you’ve had any previous tickets or charges for traffic violations.

Many states log these infractions with a points system, attributing points for violations. Louisiana uses a direct reporting system, noting offenses without assigning points. It also participates in reciprocal programs like the Driver’s License Compact (DLC)/Non-Resident Violator Compact (NRVC), which share information across state lines. 

If you come to Louisiana with points on your license from a state that also uses these agreements, it could affect your settlement amount after an auto accident you were involved in. Read on to learn how past infractions can potentially influence your injury settlement and how a seasoned Louisiana car crash lawyer from Dudley DeBosier can help you get the compensation you deserve.

How Does Louisiana’s Traffic Violation System Work?

Louisiana does not use a point system to track driving behaviors and violations. Instead, the state participates in the Problem Driver Pointer System (PDPS), which is part of the National Driver Register (NDR) and offers a detailed record of drivers’ license histories across all states.

The Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV) in Louisiana also tracks your driving, monitoring your license status and any offenses you commit. This includes moving violations, like speeding or driving under the influence. If you rack up several traffic violations, you could face serious consequences from the OMV, including a suspended or revoked license.

Can Past Infractions Affect Your Injury Settlement?

You might think your previous driving violations won’t matter when filing an injury claim after a car accident. However, your driving record can influence decisions regarding fault and compensation. Insurance companies and courts may scrutinize this history more closely if your past includes behaviors that indicate a pattern of reckless or negligent driving.

  • DUI/DWI History: A history of DUI or DWI can be a red flag. It might lead others to speculate that alcohol or drugs were also involved in the current accident based on your past. Insurers might claim you have some responsibility for the accident because of this, potentially reducing the compensation you receive.
  • Driving Without Insurance: If you’ve been caught driving without insurance before and still don’t have it, Louisiana’s “no pay, no play” law is enacted. This law limits your ability to collect full compensation after an accident if you don’t have the necessary coverage.
  • Suspended License: Having a car accident while driving on a suspended license is considered reckless. This choice suggests a disregard for legal driving requirements, which could lead others to believe that such recklessness contributed to the accident.
  • Excessive Speeding Violations: A pattern of speeding tickets suggests a tendency to drive recklessly. If you’re involved in a new accident, this history might be used to argue that your speed was also a factor in this incident, affecting judgments about your responsibility.
  • Failure to Yield or Stop: Consistently failing to heed stop or yield signs can create the impression of ongoing carelessness. If this behavior is connected to your most recent accident, there might be a case that your habitual disregard for traffic laws contributed to the incident.

Minimizing the Impact of Past Traffic Violations

If your driving record includes traffic violations, there are measures you can adopt to lessen their effect on your current injury claim. Here are some strategies to help better the chances of a favorable case outcome:

  • Maintain a Clean Record: Make an effort to avoid any new violations. A period of clean driving after your last offense can demonstrate to insurers and courts that you’ve made a genuine change in your behavior.
  • Complete a Defensive Driving Course: Enroll in and complete a defensive driving course. Many insurance companies view this favorably, which may positively influence your claim.
  • Consult with a Legal Professional: An experienced attorney can provide advice on how to address and counteract potential concerns about your driving record. At Dudley DeBosier, our skilled lawyers can strategize the best approach to minimize the impact of past infractions on your current situation.

While Louisiana may not use a traditional points system to track driving violations, past infractions can still affect injury settlements following a car accident by making the insurance company more likely to believe you caused the crash. Our legal team at Dudley DeBosier understands that your past record does not reflect the driver you are today or the specific circumstances of a new collision, and we want to help you get the compensation you deserve.

Contact us today for a free case review. We can investigate your case and help minimize the impact of your driving history so you receive a fair recovery award.

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