What if no motorist was issued a ticket?
After a car accident, the police are called to safeguard the scene and investigate who was at fault. They compile a report which drivers will use to submit claims to their insurance companies.
In many cases, a police officer will also issue a traffic ticket to the at-fault driver for violating local safety laws. But what if it was a car accident where no one gets ticketed?
When no ticket is given, you can still file a car accident claim for damages. Proving fault doesn’t require a traffic ticket. While a ticket may be helpful evidence of the at-fault driver’s negligence, it is not a required step for a successful car accident lawsuit.
Work with a skilled car accident attorney to help you prove fault without a traffic ticket. They will increase your chances of recovering maximum compensation for your injuries.
When does a police officer issue a ticket?
One of the first things you should do after a car accident is to call the police. The authorities are vital in helping you maintain the scene, ensuring the safety of all involved, and investigating what caused the accident. They will interview witnesses and the drivers and survey the surroundings to determine what happened to cause the collision.
In cases where one driver was disobeying the local traffic laws, they may issue a traffic ticket for the violation. This includes if they were speeding, tailgating, driving under the influence, driving while tired, aggressively driving, or texting and driving. If both drivers were disobeying traffic laws, they may both get a traffic ticket.
The ticketing officer will use their judgment to determine who to ticket. It isn’t always indicative of fault. The drivers can argue the ticket and potentially get the charge dropped, so the ticket is not infallible proof of their negligence.
In some car accidents, no one gets ticketed.
This might be because:
- Weather conditions, a poorly sign-posted road, or an animal caused the accident
- Neither driver broke any laws
- The police officer couldn’t determine fault and there was not a serious enough injury to warrant a deeper investigation
How can a traffic ticket impact a car accident case?
Although traffic tickets cannot prove fault, they do impact car accident cases.
Insurance companies see traffic tickets as a way to determine fault outside of court. If their client was issued a traffic ticket, you can use this to put pressure on them to receive a higher settlement. However, if both of the drivers received a ticket, then they may refuse to offer a settlement amount.
Insurance companies are well-known for denying reasonable claims to keep their pockets lined.
Having any additional evidence of the other driver’s fault, such as a traffic ticket, can sway them, as they know that the claim would win in court.
Work with a car accident attorney to ensure the insurance company gives you a fair settlement, even if no traffic ticket was issued.
Can I still sue for damages?
A traffic ticket does not influence whether or not you can file a car accident lawsuit. Since many end up getting dismissed in court, the courts do not see them as necessary for proving fault. Even if no one was ticketed for a car accident, you can still sue for damages with the help of a car accident attorney.
Some drivers feel it’s not worth the hassle, but then rack up thousands of dollars of medical bills with no way to pay them. Or, they accept an extremely low offer from the insurance company to avoid a court case. This settlement may only cover initial medical costs, not the ongoing ones that they will likely have in the future.
Work with an experienced car accident attorney today to increase your chances of getting maximum compensation.
Determining Fault When No One Gets a Ticket
Fault is determined by proving negligence. To prove negligence, you must prove that the at-fault driver had a duty of care, that they breached this duty, that it caused your injuries, and that those injuries resulted in damages.
A duty of care is a legal principle that states that every individual is bound to not cause undue harm to others or to make choices that will likely result in the harm of others. This is determined using a test of reasonableness. If a reasonable individual would not have made the same choice as the at-fault driver, then they breached their duty of care.
Once you have proven the breach of duty, you must prove that it directly caused your injuries. This means that you would not have otherwise been injured at that moment if not for the car accident.
For example, if you tripped and fell beside the scene of a car accident, you could not sue for damages from the at-fault driver. However, if the car hit you as a pedestrian, you could sue.
To collect damages, you must prove that you have financial and emotional losses. Hold onto your receipts, bills, and invoices showing what you have had to spend or owe due to the car accident.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney Today
If you have been in a car accident where no one was ticketed, you can still file a car accident lawsuit. Call a skilled car accident attorney today at (561) 621-4200 to schedule a free consultation.
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Call us or fill out one of our web forms to speak with a West Palm Beach auto accident lawyer to get help filing your claim to get the money you’re owed.
515 N Flagler Dr, Suite 1150
West Palm Beach, FL 33401