A car accident is a nasty experience for everyone involved. A minor car accident can be lousy and inconvenient, and a more serious accident can be brutal for your health and car. A car accident could be even worse if it were your fault. A car accident can leave victims feeling powerless. The resulting property damage, medical bills, and lost wages can pile up making victims feel as though there is nothing they can do. However, understanding your rights can help you better protect yourself if you are ticketed in a car accident.
Before the police arrive on the scene of the accident, don’t assume that the accident was your fault. There could be a multitude of reasons the accident happened. Usually, at this point, you don’t know what the other driver was doing before the accident occurred; therefore, try to refrain from admitting fault at the scene of the accident. The police will arrive and try to determine who was at-fault and issue a ticket if necessary.
If you were ticketed following an accident, it could mean that you were at-fault for the accident; however, this is not a final verdict. People who were issued a ticket can appeal the citation using the appropriate channels. Although it can be rare for a judge to overturn a ticket, it is possible. During this appeal, it could be determined that you were not at-fault for the accident. Similarly, the other driver could have been issued a ticket as well. This situation can make knowing who is at-fault a little murkier.
Generally speaking, the driver who receives the ticket will usually be considered at-fault for the crash. This situation does not necessarily apply if the other person likewise received a ticket. Under the circumstances where only you receive a ticket, if you turn and try to take legal action, accusing the other driver of being reckless, you likely won’t have a case. Many attorneys would not consider this to be a viable case.
If the person who was not ticketed tries to sue you for damages, consult with a personal injury attorney. A personal injury attorney will be able to assess the details of your case and determine whether you have any options. They will likely tell you to settle the case simply because the evidence is not in your favor. The personal injury attorney will also be able to recommend if you should contest a ticket or not. Usually, contesting a ticket will need legitimate reasons for doing so. Usually, the procedure for contesting a ticket is printed on the ticket itself.
If both drivers receive a ticket in the accident, then the state laws where you live come into play. For example, if you live in a state where comparative negligence laws are in effect, then you will need to determine who is more at-fault. If the other driver were 51 percent at-fault for the accident, they would be responsible for paying 51 percent of the damages. If both drivers were equally at-fault, then you do not have a case. In situations where you are unsure about your state laws regarding comparative negligence, consult with a personal injury attorney. They usually offer free case evaluations. A personal injury attorney will be able to help you understand how the state laws apply to your case specifically.
Unfortunately, if you receive a ticket and are considered at-fault, unable to repeal, there aren’t many options other than paying for the damages of the accident. If this is the case, it still might be advisable to speak with a personal injury attorney. He/she can recommend a course of action.
Thanks to authors atThe Advocates for their insight into Personal Injury Law.