Regardless of how negligent the other driver was, if you are involved in an auto accident, the opposing party's insurance provider will do everything they can to hold you responsible for the accident. They may even research previous accidents you have been involved in to determine if there is evidence that you were negligent.
Who Should You Disclose Accident Information to?
You should inform your car accident lawyer about any accidents you have been involved in. This information is confidential because of your attorney-client privilege. You will not have to disclose your accidents to anyone else until they become relevant to your claim.
In some cases, the other insurance provider will already have information on any prior accidents you have had. Otherwise, there is no reason why the company should find out about your prior accident unless you decide to file a lawsuit and the information is obtained through discovery.
How Should You Disclose Accident Information?
You shouldn't disclose information related to your accident without the help of your attorney. You may be able to disclose information in a way that would minimize the damage that would be done to your case and your attorney will be prepared to make an argument for why the prior accident shouldn't be used to deny or reduce your claim.
For example, the insurance provider might attempt to argue that your injuries are not the result of the most recent accident but are instead the result of a prior accident. Also, if the liability of each driver is in question, the insurance company might try to argue that you must have been negligent and caused the accident.
Will Your Case Go to Trial?
While most cases are settled out of court, the insurance provider might try their best to not give you a payout. If this is the case, the insurance provider might try to use your prior accident as a way to attack your credibility. In addition, they might also argue that you're trying to work the system to generate a profit.
Under these circumstances, you will need an attorney who can gather evidence to support your version of the events and prove that the other driver breached their duty of care. In extreme cases, while you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, you may also be entitled to punitive damages because of the behavior of the insurance provider. Contact a car accident lawyer to learn more.