When you get into a car crash, you have to call the police to come and file a report. And usually, someone is going to end up with a ticket and the blame.
Because New York is a no-fault state, you typically have to file a claim with your own insurance to get compensation for any injuries, regardless of who was at fault. However, if you suffer serious injuries, you’ll need more compensation than your PIP insurance provides. In those cases, you can file an injury claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance.
Even if you aren’t injured, you’ll still need to determine who was at fault for the crash to know whose insurance, yours or the other driver’s, will be paying to repair your car.
So what happens when no one gets a ticket? How do you know who is at fault, and whose insurance pays? Our blog explores this important question.
Reasons Why No One Was Written a Ticket
The two major reasons why no one could potentially receive a ticket after a collision are simpler than you might think.
- No laws were broken. Unfortunately, being a bad driver isn’t against the law. While crashes and collisions usually happen because someone was breaking traffic laws (speeding, driving under the influence, following too closely, and so on), they don’t always. Essentially, if there weren’t any traffic violations, there’s nothing to put on the ticket.
- The police couldn’t determine fault. Thousands of car crashes occur across the state every day, and police usually don’t have time to conduct a thorough investigation at the scene of a crash. If the police don’t witness a crash themselves, its cause is not immediately obvious, and if both drivers deny liability, they may not write a ticket.
Does That Mean No One Was At Fault?
No. In a collision with two or more vehicles, someone is pretty much always at fault. It’s just a matter of determining who. And while police officers typically don’t investigate car crashes unless they involve severe injuries or a death, a good car accident lawyer can collect evidence that shows you were not at fault for your accident. Although a ticket is one piece of evidence car accident attorneys can use, it’s not the only kind. Other types of evidence may include:
- The police report
- Testimony from witnesses
- Video footage from dash cams, traffic cams, or security cameras from nearby businesses
- Physical evidence from the crash or a reconstruction of the accident
What Happens If I’m Found Partly At-Fault?
New York has a “pure comparative negligence” law, which states that as long as you are not 100% responsible for the crash, you can still get compensation. But you can only collect up to the amount that you are not responsible.
For example, if you are ruled to be 40% responsible, then the amount of compensation you can get will be reduced by 40%. In other words, if your damages (vehicle repair costs, medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering) total $100,000, you cannot collect more than $60,000 in compensation.
This is why it’s so important to have an experienced lawyer on your side who can collect and present evidence to revise your degree of fault.
Need an Experienced New York Car Accident Attorney?
The Syracuse car accident lawyers at Catalano Law has succeeded in many types of car accidents cases for our clients, including those were no one was issued a ticket at the scene and the at-fault driver denied all liability.
But Catalano Wins, and we do it through a combination of experience, pursuing evidence with determination, and a passion for helping people who need legal representation after crashes that upended their lives.
If you or someone you love has been involved in a wreck and was seriously injured, call our team today for a free case review.