A Police Officer Will Come to the Accident Scene
After an auto accident, you should always call the police. They will arrive and survey the scene.
Law enforcement will speak to drivers and people who witnessed the crash. In some personal injury cases, they will issue a citation for a violation filed in traffic court. Determining who was at fault for the crash can be crucial to your car accident claim.
Even without a ticket for traffic violations, the officer will create an accident report. The insurance company will consider the officer’s investigation when resolving your claim.
However, the police report cannot be introduced as evidence at trial because it would be considered hearsay.
Common Traffic Laws That Are Broken in Car Crashes
There are many reasons why a driver would receive a ticket for the events that led up to the auto accident.
Common examples of post-accident citations include:
- Running a red light
- Illegal turns
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Running a stop sign
Pleading guilty is not something that a driver should take lightly. It could have severe ramifications for them, especially regarding liability for the crash.
Legal counsel would advise a driver to plead no contest to the charges. This would keep the evidence out of the personal injury case.
Does a Traffic Ticket Guarantee Success of a Claim?
In most cases, a traffic ticket impacts your personal injury claim for the better.
One of the biggest challenges in a car accident lawsuit is proving what the other party did to cause the crash. Liability is never assumed in a car crash.
You may claim that the other party was speeding, but you must have the evidence to back it up, especially when the defendant denies your allegations.
When police issue a traffic citation, it helps evidence your side of the story when the other side is convicted.
If the driver pleads guilty, you can use that plea in your personal injury case as an admission of the facts.
You Can Introduce a Traffic Conviction as Evidence in Your Personal Injury Claim
While your personal injury case is a different process than the one used for traffic tickets, there is some overlap between the two.
You must still prove your personal injury case by a preponderance of the evidence, meaning that what you allege is more likely than not to have happened.
However, if the defendant has chosen to plead guilty, You can use that as evidence in your personal injury case.
As you will see below, it will go a long way toward proving negligence on the part of the opposing party if the driver received a ticket.
According to Illinois case law, the guilty plea is admissible, but the other driver will get to explain the circumstances behind the guilty plea.
So long as they have this chance, this can help your personal injury case.
Anything Said in Traffic Court Is Admissible
What the other driver says at the traffic hearing can be used as corroborating evidence in the civil claim. It may not be used as evidence (for hearsay reasons), but their statements can support your claims.
If you find yourself in traffic court, you must take extra care with everything you say if you plan on filing a personal injury case.
The wrong statement could break your case.
This is why you must consult with a licensed attorney beforehand and watch the precise wording of what you say because it can be treated as an admission of fault in a personal injury case.
What Is a Personal Injury Case and Per Se Negligence?
A concept in personal injury law is that certain things are evidence of negligence. You would not need to prove that the other party was negligent when these things occurred.
Once these things happen, there is a presumption of negligence that the other driver must rebut.
The most common example of per se negligence is a traffic ticket.
Being found guilty of a traffic violation proves that the driver acted unreasonably. A reasonable driver follows traffic laws.
You Can File a Civil Lawsuit After a Misdemeanor Case
A traffic citation is a driver’s only possible consequence after an auto accident. There are two legal processes.
There is a traffic citation hearing, where the state will punish the driver for breaking the law. They could receive a fine, license suspension, or even jail time.
That has nothing to do with your legal rights. Your legal right is financial compensation when the driver has violated the law.
You can file a lawsuit even after the defendant pleads guilty to a traffic violation.
Do I Have a Personal Injury Case? What If I Received a Traffic Ticket?
If you have been injured in a car accident and you are facing a traffic ticket case, you must be very careful. The insurance company or a jury will closely examine your role in the auto accident.
The rule in car accidents is that you cannot receive financial compensation if you are more than 50% at fault. Therefore, you must also be careful about a guilty plea in a traffic case.
You should always consult a personal injury attorney before you go into traffic court to get legal advice about how a traffic hearing could affect your case.
If you plead not guilty and are convicted, or if you plead no contest, the ticket may not be able to be used against you.
Contact an Attorney to File a Personal Injury Claim
You have legal rights if you or a loved one have been injured in a traffic accident.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers helps accident victims as they seek financial compensation in personal injury cases.
Call us today at (888) 424-5757 or contact us online for a free case review.
We will discuss your possible personal injury lawsuit and give you legal advice about the best financial recovery in your car accident settlement at your free consultation.
Do not delay calling for your free case evaluation.