I was recently involved in an accident at a T-intersection. I was at a stop sign and was preparing to make a left-hand turn. I looked to my left, saw no vehicle, and proceeded to make the left turn and hit into the middle of a van coming from my left.
The road the other driver was on has two lanes in each direction. In the direction he was traveling, right lane is a turning lane into the road I was on and is divided off by a line of white sticks. As I did not see the driver, I believe he was speeding and changed lanes out of turning lane just before divider. This would have given me only a second or two to react.
The officer was not present for the accident. My Vehicle = Front End Damage, His Vehicle = Middle of Passenger Side.
Criminal Defense Attorney
This will be a close call. The burden of proof in traffic court is quite high - beyond a reasonable doubt.
If you have set the matter for hearing, I suggest bringing photographs (of the scene, vehicles, etc.), witnesses, and/or other evidence to the hearing.
If you have a lawyer, he or she will attempt to exclude or limit statements of the other driver under what is often called the 'accident report privilege' if the other driver is not present at trial.
Perhaps prior to trial you can determine if the officer estimated the speed of the other driver and, if so, how fast.
Admiralty / Maritime Attorney
You should challenge this ion court if you believe the other car was speeding. Often if the officer or other driver does not show the case can be dismissed. if they show you explanation may be accepted. You can also hire a lawyer specializing in traffic tickets, as there are many in Miami and are reasonably priced.
Car / Auto Accident Lawyer
Sorry to hear of the unfortunate situation you find yourself in. Florida Statute 316.122 states, "The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left within an intersection...shall yield the right of way to any vehicle approching from the opposite direction...A violation of this section is a noncriminal traffic infraction". Reading the facts as you describe above i would have to say you are probably guilty of the inffraction. THe speed of the other vehicle and whether or not he changed lanes just prior to the accident do not absolve you from guilt with regard to the traffic infraction for which you have been cited. However, his speed and or driving patern may be intorduced in a subsequent civil matter with regard to injury. The other driver's driving pattern can be introduced for purposes of establishing comparative negligence. I would recommend going to traffic court on the citation. Both the officer and the victims will receive a subpoena to appear. In the event the victims/witness does not appear you can maintain a not guilty plea and move for a motion to dismiss. The officer should not be able to testify becasue he did not witness the accident. In the event the victims/witness does appear i would plea my case to the judge and request that he resolve your citation with a "withhold of adjudication" this meand you will not be formally convicted of the infraction and no points will be assessed against your driver's license. Good Luck!
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