A car accident can obviously lead to a lot of expense. You might lose wages because you’re too hurt to work, and you also might pile up huge medical bills. If you receive a ticket on top of that accident – even though you’re 100% certain the accident wasn’t your fault – you might assume there’s no chance that the other driver could be held liable.
Thankfully, that’s not necessarily the case. Getting a ticket could make it more complicated to obtain compensation for your damages, but it doesn’t automatically mean you won’t be able to do so.
In order to have the best chance of doing that, however, you’ll need the help of a seasoned car accident attorney. At Sand Law, our attorneys will work to help you get the money you deserve – even if you were cited after your accident. Learn more by scheduling a free case review. You can contact us online, or you can give us a call at 651-291-7263.
Here’s some information to help reduce some of the confusion regarding how getting a ticket will impact your case.
A Traffic Ticket Can Help Determine Fault
Suppose the driver that hit you received a ticket for speeding, or running that red light, that could be a huge piece of evidence that proves you weren’t to blame, and the other driver will face liability.
How Will a Ticket Affect My Car Accident Claim?
If there’s a ticket involved, that could either help or hurt your case, depending on the circumstances. Here’s a quick look at a couple of possible scenarios.
If the Other Driver Received a Ticket
This could make it a lot easier for you to prove negligence. But it could help even more if that person has a history of committing moving violations, such as reckless driving or speeding. Of course, you can only benefit if your attorney is able to gather the evidence needed to prove your case.
Also, just because they were ticketed, that doesn’t mean your case will benefit. It will be just as important that the person is convicted of their offense. Getting a ticket, of course, doesn’t mean you’re guilty of the violation. A Sand Law attorney will keep a close eye on how the violation is adjudicated, obtaining whatever documentation is needed to show that a conviction did occur. That conviction could boost your chances of obtaining compensation.
If You Received a Ticket
If the police report shows you received a ticket, that won’t automatically sync your case. Yes, it could be an indication that you were at fault for the accident, and that will make it a lot harder to obtain compensation. But you could have received a ticket for something completely unrelated to the accident. For example, you might have been driving with an expired driver’s license. That’s an offense, of course, but it won’t have any bearing on who’s to blame for the wreck.
It will be very important that you don’t do anything regarding the ticket until you’ve spoken with an attorney. If you pay the fine or admit guilt in any way, that could eventually be used against you – even if that ticket had nothing to do with the accident.
Also, police officers aren’t infallible – they can make mistakes, just like everybody else. There’s a chance you aren’t even guilty of committing the violation. There’s a very good chance you could have a valid defense.
If You Were Both Issued a Ticket
There are obviously a lot of complications that can be involved with a car accident – especially one that involves injuries. When both drivers receive a ticket, that’s where things can get really complex.
As we’ve stated previously, however, even if you get a ticket, that doesn’t mean you should give up all hopes of winning your car accident case. Let’s say you received a ticket for having a broken taillight, but the other driver was cited for not only reckless driving, but also failure to yield the right of way. The odds are the other driver will face more liability because of the dangerous nature of those violations. You could argue that driving with a broken taillight is obviously bad, but speeding or driving recklessly is even worse.
Minnesota law follows a practice known as modified comparative fault. This basically addresses accidents where both drivers share the blame. If this comes into play in your case, you’ll still likely be able to obtain damages. You just won’t be able to obtain the full amount.
Consider this scenario. Ted is found to be 20% at fault for a crash. Joe is 80% to blame. Ted won’t get 100% of his damages – he’ll receive 80% instead. If his damages total $100,000, he’ll receive $80,000.
There are some accidents where both drivers receive an equal share – 50% – of the blame. If this happens in your case, then you won’t be able to obtain any damages.
When a Ticket Impacts a Personal Injury Claim
It’s important to reinforce the fact that getting a ticket doesn’t mean you’ll lose your case. Let’s say you’re ticketed for not wearing a seatbelt. That might impact your case, but it doesn’t mean you’ll bear all of the blame for the accident. Say you were traveling 10 miles over the speed limit, and were broadsided by a driver who ran a red light. You might have contributed to the accident (and received a speeding ticket), but the other driver will be more to blame.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney For Your Car Accident Claim
These are just some of the intricacies of motor vehicle accidents that can make them very hard to win. Not only will you need an attorney – especially if you received a ticket after your accident – you’ll also need to hire one as quickly as possible.