I was charged with running the light, but it was the other person who ran the light. I would stake my life and the lives of everyone I care about to this FACT. However, there was a witness who backed the other person. My insurance company is assigning me blame. I will not accept this and will go broke if necessary to clear my name. How best to go about clearing my name?
I'm also bracing for a civil suit from this scumbag, so I'm pretty sure I will be broke after this all plays out. Serves me right for living in South Florida, the cesspool of the world.
To fight the tix, you'll want to hire an atty who handles traffic matters.
The citation isn't admissible in a pi suit should one eventuate. Your ins co has a duty to defend you, including if necessary hire counsel for you. You should cooperate with them.
You simply need to retain a local traffic court lawyer for a couple hundred bucks who will fight it.
Licensed in PA & NJ. 29% Contingency Fee. Phone: 215-510-6755 www.InjuryLawyerPhiladelphia.com
With an independent witness against you, it will be very difficult. Accidents happen very quickly and in the excitement, well meaning people get their facts mixed up. I have met with witnesses who on going over the facts agree they got the cars mixed up. In other cases (usually very significant injury claims) I have fully scouted the area where the witness was located, where the accident occurred and the paths of the vehicles, etc. More than once I have shown the witness could not have seen what he “thinks’ he saw. You could also check to see if there are stores with security cameras showing the roadway. However, if all you have is your word vs an independent witness, you will not prevail in either the traffic court or in the civil case. For example, in a civil case, the jury may assume a plaintiff or defendant might lie to prove their claims, but the “independent” witness has no motive. So, even if you are correct, you are unlikely to prevail.
As the other lawyers noted, who got the ticket is not admissible in a civil case unless you actually plead guilty (vs, no contest). If you chose to challenge the ticket in traffic court and loose, the court will give you points and assess more costs against you then if you had merely plead no contest. Also, your insurance company is also not necessarily obligated to fight the civil case against you if they can settle it within policy limits (no further liability to you or them). I know you are upset, but bankrupting yourself will only make matters worse. Our justice system is the best in the world, but in the end it only guarantees you the opportunity to seek justice, it cannot always guarantee that justice will be done.
Jonathan Groff's practice is devoted to all aspects of personal injury litigation throughout Florida However, this reply should NOT be considered a legal opinion of your case / inquiry. At this time I do not have sufficient factual/legal documentation to give a complete answer to your question and there may be more to the issues you raised then I have set out in my brief reply. Further, unless your matter concerns Florida law, I am not licensed to practice or give legal advice in your state.
Try to calm down; South Florida is a great place to live. I tell client's tickets and court that involves tickets should be considered in a vacuum. The only thing at stake is the fine. Nothing that happens in court for a ticket is relevant to a civil law suit. The court's findings are not admissible. Fortunately you have insurance; let them handle it. That's why you bought it.
If you do get sued your insurance company will provide you with a lawyer
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