If you’ve ever been involved in a car accident, you know someone is usually going to be written a ticket by the police officer who responds to the crash. However, what happens when you’re the one who gets a ticket, but you were also injured and need to file a claim to pay your medical bills? Can you still get compensation?
Yes, you can get compensation after a crash if you got a ticket, but it will be significantly harder. You will likely also see the amount of compensation you can get reduced. If you find yourself in this situation, call a New York car accident attorney right away to discuss your options.
A Ticket Isn’t Proof You Were at Fault
If the police officer writes you a ticket at the scene, this will be used as evidence to help prove you were at fault, but it is not proof by itself. Unless the police officer witnessed the crash, the ticket just means it is their opinion you were at fault, based on the statements given by you and the other driver, and whatever evidence they can observe (such as the condition of the vehicles involved).
However, an experienced injury attorney can help prove you were not actually at fault, or only partially at fault, for your accident through various other pieces of evidence, such as witness statements, dashcam or security camera footage, accident scene reconstructions, and so on.
If You Need Compensation, Don’t Pay That Ticket!
While getting a ticket doesn’t automatically mean you are at fault, paying the ticket does! If you receive a ticket after an accident in which you were injured, make sure to contest the ticket and do not pay it. This is extremely important, because paying a ticket means you are accepting fault for the accident.
You should also consider hiring a lawyer for when you go to contest the ticket, because everything you say while in traffic court is “on the record.” This means it can also be used as evidence in your car accident claim, and you may accidentally make an admission of fault without realizing it. For example, it is very common for a judge or jury to interpret an apology as an admission of fault.
If You Can’t Contest the Ticket, You May Still Be Eligible for Compensation
Even if the court rules that you are at fault for the accident, as long as you are not the only person at fault, you can still get compensation. This is because New York uses a “pure comparative negligence” rule for assigning fault for car accidents.
As long as you are not 100% at fault, even if you are more at fault than the other driver, you are entitled to compensation. However, the more at fault you are, the less compensation you can get.
For example, if the judge decided you were 60% at fault for the accident, your settlement would be reduced by 60%. So if you would have been entitled to $100,000, you will instead only be able to receive $40,000.
This is why it’s so important to hire a lawyer when filing a personal injury claim after a car accident where you received a ticket. An experienced New York car accident attorney will be able to help reduce your percentage of assigned fault, and thereby get you more compensation.
Call Our Team for a Free Case Review
There is very little that is more stressful than being in a car accident, except getting injured in an accident, and then getting a ticket! However, if another driver contributed to your injuries, you deserve compensation, and you can get it, even if you were issued a ticket. Allow our Syracuse car accident lawyers to help you get the compensation you need after a wreck, and call Catalano Law today for a free case consultation.