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Andi's Law: Personal Injury & Criminal Law

Question: If I was issued a traffic ticket after an accident does it mean I cannot file a claim against the other driver for damages?

Answer: Absolutely not! Why?  There are many different reasons.  Let’s discuss a few important ones:

Police officers who issue traffic tickets are not lawyers and often get the law wrong and consequently ticket the wrong person.

Case in point:  I had a client who was given a ticket by a police officer for violating the right of way of the other driver he collided with.  My client was turning right at an intersection and the other driver was traveling straight.  When he went to make a claim with the other driver’s insurance, the insurance company denied the claim stating he was the one given the traffic ticket so he was at fault.  He hired me and I pointed out to the insurance company that the intersection lights were not working properly. The intersection lights were blinking a steady yellow and Florida law states that blinking yellow in all directions at a 4 way intersection is considered a 4 way stop. I then pointed out to the insurance representative that if the case went to trial the jury would be informed of that aspect of FL traffic law. The insurance company paid our demand almost immediately.

Even if you were at fault/guilty for violation of a traffic law and issued a ticket it doesn’t mean it was a cause or contributing factor of the accident.

Case in point.  I had a client who was blamed for causing an accident because he failed to have his lights on when it was dusk (just before sunrise) as required by Florida law.  I went to the accident scene (not on the same day, but at the same time of day at the same time of year the accident occurred) and had my client reenact the accident scene with a go-pro on his helmet (he was a cyclist).  What the video showed was that his failure to have his lights on played no part in causing the accident.  This case went to trial and the jury found my client zero percent at fault in causing the accident and awarded him the full amount of damages we were asking for.

There are many other reasons why being issued a traffic ticket doesn’t mean you were at fault.  In fact, evidence of you being issued a traffic ticket is not even allowed to be brought up in court should your case be brought to trial.  And if any attorney tells you or leads you to believe it means you were at fault, run the other way.

For more information, contact Andi at Andi’s Law.  Serving all of Florida.