I Was Ticketed After My Car Accident: Do I Still Have A Case?
If you were injured in a Florida car accident because of another driver’s negligence, you have the right to obtain compensation from the other driver. But, if the police officer that came to the accident scene issued you a ticket, can you still recover compensation? Do you still have a valid case if you were given a ticket after your accident? Well, you may still have a valid case even if you received a ticket after your Florida auto accident, but the truth is that a traffic ticket can impact the strength of your claim for damages. However, whether a traffic ticket affects the strength of your case generally depends on the reason for the ticket.
When Can a Traffic Ticket Impact the Strength of a Case?
A traffic ticket might impact the strength of your case if you were issued with the ticket because of a violation that directly contributed to your accident. For example, if you were given a ticket because you made an illegal lane change that contributed to your accident, the strength of your case may be impacted. The insurance company may use such a ticket against your claim for damages. Below are other traffic violations that can result in a driver being issued a ticket that ends up affecting their claim for damages;
- Distracted driving
- Failure to yield
- Failure to stop at a red light
Unfortunately, even a traffic ticket in your past can be used against you. For example, if your past driving record contains a speeding ticket, the insurance company may use that ticket to establish a pattern of negligence. The insurance company may use that citation to show that you are an irresponsible driver and were also at fault for your accident.
When Is a Traffic Ticket Not Likely to Impact the Strength of a Case?
There are several situations where a traffic ticket may not impact the strength of your personal injury case. Generally, if you were issued a ticket for a traffic violation that did not directly contribute to your accident, the ticket will likely not impact the strength of your case. Usually, citations given at the accident scene because of concerns such as a missing license plate or broken taillight do not impact the strength of a car accident claim. With that said, it is crucial to note that depending on the circumstances surrounding your accident, a traffic ticket issued because of a broken taillight may impact the strength of your case.
Additionally, it is crucial to note that sometimes, citations not related to the cause of an accident can impact a claim for damages in other ways. For example, suppose you were cited for not wearing a seat belt. In such a case, the other party’s insurance company may argue that your lack of wearing a seat belt made your injuries worse. Indeed, such a citation cannot be used to establish negligence. However, it can be used to justify why you should not be paid a certain amount for your injuries.
Suppose the insurance company uses the ticket that was issued to you after your accident to establish that you are also at fault for your accident. What happens in such a case? Will you be barred from recovering compensation? Fortunately, you can still recover compensation from the other party even if the insurance company uses the ticket that was issued to you after your accident to establish that you are also at fault for your accident. This is possible because Florida uses the comparative negligence rule that allows you to recover compensation in a car accident case even if you are partly to blame for your accident.
However, if you are found partially liable for your accident, the amount of compensation you recover will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For instance, let’s say you were ticketed for a broken taillight that contributed to your accident happening, and the other driver was guilty of speeding, which also contributed to your accident happening. In such a situation, the defendant’s insurance company would, for instance, determine that you were 30% to blame for your accident. Therefore, that would mean the insurance company still has to pay you 70% of the damages awarded. If, for instance, the total of your damages is $100,000, in such a case, you would recover $70,000.
Contact a Naples Auto Accident Attorney
If you suffered injuries in a Florida auto accident and also received a traffic ticket, it is vital that you reach out to an attorney. An experienced Naples auto accident attorney at The Law Offices of Marc L. Shapiro can help you counter the attempts of the at-fault party’s insurance company to use the traffic ticket against you. We can also help you obtain compensation even if you are partially to blame for your accident. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.