By David Peel
One of the most common myths about car accidents is that the ticket establishes fault for the crash. In fact, the ticket is not even admissible in the civil case for damages. Don’t get me wrong that’s all that matters in the traffic court.
So, for instance, if you got a ticket for failure to maintain a proper lookout, if you go to traffic court the only issue is whether or not you’re guilty of that infraction.
However, in a civil case for damages that might have resulted from such an accident, the fact that you may have been ticketed for failure to maintain a proper lookout does not automatically preclude you from winning the case.
I mean it is unusual. But I have done it. I have recovered in several cases both through verdict and in settlement, where my clients have received the ticket.
The ticket itself is known as hearsay. If it is offered in the court for evidence of who is at fault, it is a statement that is based upon interviews with people. Those people should come and tell their own story rather than what the police officer jotted down that he or she understood.
Additionally, when we investigate disputed liability crashes resulting in serious injuries or death, our team looks for surveillance videos, other witnesses not on the report, and physical evidence to help determine fault.
It won’t surprise you that many witnesses this day and age do not stick around to wait on the police officers and give their information. Never ever assume they will. Get information from them, at least the plate number, so that they could be contacted later. We can look up any plate and identify the person.
After a crash, gather information, take photos or videos, and go ahead and get medical treatment. After a traumatic crash, we are in no shape to determine if we’re OK. The adrenaline will mask pain and many things that are currently just tight become very painful within a day. In addition, there are some scary problems such as internal bleeding that need to be caught right away.
Peel seeks justice for those injured in tractor trailer and car accidents, medical malpractice, and disability. He often addresses churches, clubs and groups without charge. Peel may be reached through PeelLawFirm.com wherein other articles may be accessed.