Will I Get a Traffic Ticket if I Have a Car Accident? | KNR
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One of the most prevailing concerns people have after a car accident is whether they will receive a traffic ticket. After all, no one wants to pay expensive fines, deal with traffic court, or see their insurance rates increase.
Written by
KNR Legal
Date posted
September 15, 2023

But the answer isn’t always straightforward. Whether or not someone gets a traffic ticket for an accident will depend on the specific circumstances involved. Generally, you will be issued a ticket if you are at fault for the crash and violated the law somehow. However, there are some cases where you may not be ticketed. For example, you may not be ticketed if the accident was caused by a mechanical failure or another driver’s negligence.

Understanding the nuances around when police issue a traffic ticket following a car crash can clarify what led to the collision, especially when evaluating your legal options and eligibility for compensation.

When to Expect a Traffic Ticket After an Accident?

Police won’t necessarily issue a ticket just because an accident occurred. Accidents can happen without either party violating traffic rules. Or, sometimes, there might be no immediate evidence pointing to a violation.

However, there are situations in which a ticket might be inevitable after a car accident. Here are a few common car accident scenarios that may result in one or more parties being issued a traffic citation.

  • There’s Evidence of Speeding – Usually, this is determined through witness statements, tire marks, or the extent of accident-related damage.
  • It Was a Rear-End Collision – These accidents are frequently attributed to following too closely or speeding.
  • A Traffic Violation Caused the Accident – Some crashes, like head-on collisions on one-way streets, can only occur because a driver violated the law. Likewise, you can be ticketed for distracted driving, failure to yield, failing to stop at an intersection, reckless driving, and many others.
  • There are Signs of Impairment – If there’s suspicion of intoxication, it may result in a ticket and potential criminal charges.

H3: Other Factors That May Result in a Post-Accident Ticket

Other factors that can influence whether you or another party received a traffic citation following a car crash are the severity of the accident and the number of vehicles involved. For instance, if the accident is minor and only involves property damage, you may not be ticketed even if you were at fault. However, if there were severe injuries and damages, you are more likely to be ticketed since there will be more focus on assigning blame.

Additionally, determining who is at fault may be more difficult when multiple vehicles are in an accident. In this case, an officer may forego ticketing anyone, virtually leaving it up to the insurance companies to determine fault and liability.

Do Tickets Affect Recovering Compensation?

A prevalent myth is that a ticket post-accident bars you from seeking compensation. But this isn’t the case.

Even if you’re ticketed for your role in a car crash, you can still pursue compensation, especially if the other driver is primarily liable for the accident and your resultant injuries. How a traffic violation affects your claim largely depends on Ohio’s comparative negligence law. For instance, if you were traveling over the speed limit but were struck by a negligent driver, you can still seek compensation for your assorted financial losses.

However, the compensation you can recover may be reduced because you were speeding.

Traffic Tickets & Shared Liability

Comparative negligence considers the fault percentage of each party involved. Say you’re found to be 20% at fault due to a traffic violation and the other driver 80% at fault. In that case, your compensation might be reduced by your fault percentage. So, a $100,000 claim would potentially see a $20,000 reduction.

Conversely, if you weren’t at fault but have evidence of the other driver’s violation, their ticket can bolster your claim, making it evident they were in the wrong.

Communicating with Police & Accident Reports

When a serious car accident happens, the police should be notified. Once at the scene, they are best suited to document the incident, evaluate the conditions, and sometimes assign fault. Once their investigation is completed, they will submit an official car accident report.

While you should always cooperate with the police, you should be cautious about the details you divulge. There are things you should do after a car crash, but by law, you must provide your name, driver’s license, vehicle registration, and insurance proof. You can opt not to answer further questions or provide additional statements without legal counsel. It’s crucial never to admit fault. Even if evidence might work against you, a police officer doesn’t strictly need your statement to issue a ticket.

Suppose you were ticketed after a car accident but believe the other party was more responsible for the collision. In that case, you should discuss the details with an attorney and provide your lawyer with a copy of the ticket and police report. If you are looking for details about the other party and if they were ticketed, you can learn about getting Ohio accident reports here.

Should You Fight a Post Car Accident Ticket?

You always have the right to fight a ticket. But whether you should argue it depends on the situation, your likelihood of winning, and the punishments for the ticket.

Minor Violations May Not Matter

If the ticket is for a violation that did not significantly contribute to the crash, it may be best to plead guilty and pay it. Suppose you’re involved in a collision at an intersection where another driver ran a red light and hit your car. The primary cause of the accident was the other driver’s failure to stop. Upon inspecting your vehicle, the police officer notices that one of your brake lights is out and issues you a ticket.

In this scenario, the malfunctioning brake light wasn’t a significant factor in the crash. So, it might be more straightforward and cost-effective for you to plead guilty to the brake light violation and pay the fine, rather than contest it.

Contesting Tickets That Blame You

On the other hand, if pleading guilty to the ticket would make you look predominantly at fault for the accident, it may be crucial to fight it in court. Now, let’s say you’re driving slightly over the speed limit. As you enter an intersection on a green light, another driver runs their red light, colliding with your vehicle.

When the police arrive, they issue you a ticket for speeding. If you plead guilty to this ticket and pay the fine, the other side could argue that your excessive speed played a significant role in the accident, even though they ran a red light. Your speeding violation might be seen as a substantial contributing factor, and you could be deemed predominantly at fault, even if you believe you could’ve not avoided the collision regardless of your speed.

In this case, it would be imperative to challenge the ticket to avoid bearing most of the blame, which could severely limit or bar you from any compensation.

Regardless of your exact situation, if you were ticketed after an accident or believe the other party was cited, you should speak with an experienced car accident attorney to determine your best course of action.

The Ohio Car Accident Lawyers at KNR Can Help

While getting a traffic ticket after an accident can be daunting, it doesn’t seal your fate regarding compensation. Through the lens of comparative negligence, the ticket can work for or against you, depending on the details.

If you’ve been ticketed following an accident or need to navigate the complexities of comparative negligence, contact KNR immediately. Our experienced Ohio injury lawyers will review your situation, explain your options, and fight to secure the maximum amount possible. Call 1-800-HURT-NOW for a free, no-risk consultation.