Does a Ticket Affect My Car Accident Claim?
Yes, receiving a ticket could affect your car accident claim, particularly if the citation revolves around placing some of the blame for the incident on you. However, that does not necessarily mean that you will recover no compensation at all. Here, we want to review how a citation could affect your car accident claim as well as how the California comparative negligence laws could change the compensation situation.
Most Common Citations Issued After a Traffic Accident
After a vehicle accident occurs in California, law enforcement officials typically come to the scene to conduct an investigation and fill out an accident report.
Additionally, if there were any traffic laws broken during the chain of events that led to the collision, the officer will likely issue a citation to the driver responsible for the traffic violation. There is almost always going to be some sort of traffic violation related to a vehicle accident on the roadways.
Some of the most common citations issued to drivers after a vehicle accident occurs include citations for the following:
- Speeding or driving too fast for conditions
- Operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Disobeying stop signs or stoplights
- Reckless driving
- Following too closely or tailgating
- Distracted driving
- Improper lane usage
Could a Ticket Affect Your Claim?
If you are issued a traffic citation after a vehicle accident occurs, do not think this means that you will automatically be responsible for the incident overall. There are certain situations where multiple parties are at fault for an incident, and more than one party could receive a citation at the scene of the crash.
Yes, a traffic ticket could affect your claim, particularly if you are convicted of the violation. A citation could place some of the blame onto you for the incident, but that still does not mean you will receive no compensation.
California operates under a “pure comparative negligence” system. This means that when there are multiple parties at fault for an incident, individuals can still recover compensation. The entire situation will be examined, and individuals will because signed a certain percentage of fault for the incident. This percentage will then dictate how much compensation they are able to receive.
For example, suppose a driver is issued a citation for failing to yield the right of way after an accident. While it may seem that this would make that driver at fault, let us suppose that the driver who failed to yield the right of way was struck by another vehicle with a driver who was operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In this particular situation, a jury could find that the driver who failed to yield the right of way was only 30% responsible for the incident. If the driver sustains $100,000 worth of damages, they would receive $70,000 instead of the full $100,000 to account for their 30% of the fault.
Contact a Lawyer
If you or somebody you care about has been injured or sustained property damage in a car accident but you also received a citation, you should still reach out to a skilled Sacramento car accident attorney as soon as possible. You may be able to recover compensation, but without seeking legal assistance, insurance carriers may try to deny your claim. Contact an attorney who can offer a free examination of your case today.