How Traffic Tickets in a Car Crash Could Help or Hurt Your Claim
Posted by PKSD Law Firm on Jul 09, 2021 in Car Accidents
If you are issued a traffic ticket following a car crash, you may worry about how it could affect the outcome of your claim. However, a citation is only one piece of evidence that may be used to assess liability for a traffic accident. What happens if the other driver receives a ticket as well? Depending on the violation and who is cited, it may actually help your claim.
Car crash claims can be complicated, and how you handle the situation from the moment the accident occurs is important - especially if you get a ticket.
Our auto accident lawyers in Milwaukee have decades of experience, and we are prepared to fully manage your case and help you achieve the maximum recovery possible in your situation.
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Do Traffic Tickets Help or Hurt a Car Crash Claim?
Each claim is unique, so it really depends. When a traffic ticket is issued, it can be used to show negligence for a motor vehicle accident. Some violations may provide clear evidence of liability for a crash. However, whether it helps or hurts your claim depends on the type of ticket issued and the degree of the other driver's liability.
For example, what happens if a driver ran a red light and struck your vehicle? In that situation, the driver who ran the red light is very likely to receive a ticket and may also be assessed fault for the crash. In this scenario, the citation issued provides strong evidence of negligence, because if that driver had not ignored the traffic signal, the crash would not have occurred.
Both Drivers Have a Duty of Care
That said, both drivers have a duty of care to take measures to prevent harm to themselves and others. Even if the other driver ran a red light, you could also be held accountable, at least in part, for not checking for oncoming traffic and yielding, even if you had the right of way.
While you may not be assessed with a larger degree of fault for the crash, you still owe a duty of care, and that failed duty can still contribute to the final outcome of a claim.
Traffic Tickets and Wisconsin’s Comparative Negligence Rule
It may still be possible to seek compensation for a crash, even if you receive a traffic ticket. Wisconsin follows a modified comparative negligence rule, so as long as you are not assessed with more fault than the other driver, you may still be eligible to recover compensation for your injuries and other losses. However, under this law, your degree of liability will be deducted from any amount of compensation you are awarded.
For example, staying with the red light scenario, if you and the other driver both say you had a green light and were both ticketed for a crash, the outcome of liability is less certain. Both you and the other driver would need to obtain additional evidence, such as camera footage to show who had the green light. Accounts from credible eyewitnesses may also add weight to a driver’s claims of having the right of way.
What Else Could Impact the Outcome of Your Claim?
If you or the other driver - or both - are issued a citation following a traffic accident, it is especially important to avoid making further mistakes. Any misstep could further damage your ability to recover compensation.
Here are some common mistakes drivers should avoid making following a crash:
- Admitting fault - even if you likely contributed to the crash, never admit fault to the officer, the other driver or any other individual. Let the accident investigators, and your attorney, do their job. If you are at fault, evidence will make that clear.
- Posting on social media - this is a huge mistake people make, even if they believe they have optimum privacy settings on their social media accounts. Insurance companies are trained to gather information they can use on the other driver to help them avoid making any big payouts on a claim. This means the risk of your social posts being discovered and potentially used against you is high.
- Not seeking medical care after a crash - failing to get examined by a medical professional can put your health at risk by not catching and treating serious internal injuries sooner. It can also hurt your claim, because there are no medical records to help link your injuries to the crash.
- Failing to seek legal assistance - especially when fault may not be as clear, it can help to have someone with legal experience on your side to help protect your interests and limit your liability.
Call Our Law Firm for Answers to Your Legal Questions
If you were involved in a car crash and were issued a traffic ticket, we strongly recommend seeking help from a licensed and experienced attorney.
At PKSD, we are prepared to review the circumstances of your situation following a crash and help you understand your legal options. After meeting with a qualified attorney at our firm, you are under no obligation to hire our services. However, if we represent you, there is nothing for you to pay up front or while we handle your case.
Experienced Lawyers. On Your Side. 877-877-2228