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Got into an accident, I was blamed but it's not my fault. Got a ticket.. What do I do next?

Troy, MI |

Hello a lot of stop lights in Troy,MI are very confusing. They don't appear to have a set pattern. It could be a Green for both sides going straight, and it could be flashing yellow for the left turn lanes. Or, it could be on 1 side, green left turn lane, green for both straight lanes, and on the other red for both.
Confusing, right? Theres a bunch of other patterns. Troy police officers even admitted to me that they themselves get confused by the traffic signals.
So anyways I got in an accident which was NOT my fault. I have a witness to confirm this who is willing to testify on my behalf. The officers believed the other guy, over me (prob because I'm 18). I got a ticket for fail to yield. Do I call court and request a informal hearing? What to expect? Lawyer or no?

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Attorney answers 9

Posted

First question, were you insured at the time? Was the other driver insured at the time? If you were not insured in Michigan, then the accident was your fault.
Next, were there injuries to you or the other driver or any passengers? If you want to protect your record and possibly your future earnings -- hire an attorney. Follow his or her advice. You only have about 10 days to call the court and request a "FORMAL" hearing.

Asker

Posted

I was, I have full coverage. Not sure about the other guy. No one was hurt. It was only myself in my car and the other guy was also alone. But my record is clean, no tickets, no accidents (till now) nothing. I've been driving for 2 years now. I was thinking of requesting a informal hearing and present myself to the judge since it's just a traffic ticket. I'd have a written and signed statement from the witness. And see what the judge does after that. What do you think? And why request a formal hearing? Do I have a good case? That other guy that hit me was probably distracted. Keep in mind I have a witness who was right behind me, who is wiling to testify on my behalf. Also keep in mind what the cops told me, they even get confused by the traffic signals, so that means Theres a big chance that the guy was distracted and seen 2 lanes coming straight from opposite side, and figured he's green as well. Do I have a good case? Thank you very much.

Robert E. Harris Jr.

Robert E. Harris Jr.

Posted

Hire an attorney and ask for a "FORMAL" hearing. It's likely there'll be no hearing at all and you will likely walk without a blemish on your record. Any other action is risky.

Thomas William James

Thomas William James

Posted

Whether someone is insured has NO BEARING on fault for an accident. That is the oddest thing i have ever heard and completely contrary to the Michigan Rules of Evidence. MRE 411 states that whether someone was or wasnt insured against liability is not admissible on the issue of whether the person acted negligently or otherwise wrongfully.

Posted

I agree with the previous answer that you need a lawyer but I disagree with the notion that if you did have insurance, that means you were at fault. If you didn't have insurance, it means no one will protect you if you get sued but if you were not negligent, you were not negligent. Your lawyer should request a formal hearing.

Posted

Take a look at the ticket front and back. They usually tell you how to proceed. It's not just a matter of paying a fine, it impacts your driving record if you are in a points state. Also important is it can have a BIG impact on your insurance rates and ability to get insurance. I would get a lawyer to contest it.

The information provided is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. I am only licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and I am not providing you with specific legal advice. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Being general in nature, the information provided may not apply to any specific factual and/or legal set of circumstances and/or the jurisdiction where you reside. No attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. The information provided is of a general nature is not intended to substitute for the advice of an attorney, especially an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. Your question, although you may believe is simple, it is not simple. You require legal advice, please consult with a competent attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.

Posted

Generally, you have the right to force the City or State to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. You also have the right to call witnesses to testify on your behalf. I would hire an attorney to handle your defense for you.

For information purposes only and is NOT intended to be legal advice and/or tax advice. You should always consult with an Attorney to discuss your rights and responsibilities.

Ezra N. Goldman

Ezra N. Goldman

Posted

Jeez. This is totally wrong. In Michigan, failing to yield is a civil infraction and you are not entitled to a presumption of innocence until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. PLEASE, counselors, don't guess! If you don't know, don't say anything,

Thomas William James

Thomas William James

Posted

Mr. Goldman is correct. I'm disappointed that 6 other attorneys AGREED with this completely wrong answer.

Posted

In most states tickets are not admissible in personal injury actions. If you have insurance tender the claim to your carrier.

Posted

Get a lawyer to fight it

Posted

You can have a hearing or ask it be dismissed. Maybe they will let you have a no points impeding traffic ticket.

Always consult an attorney IMMEDIATELY as there are time limitations on filing a lawsuit.

Posted

You should look at the ticket and read the back it will tell you what you have to do to fight the case. Do it right away. You usually start with an informal hearing hearing. If you lose that informal hearing, then you have aright it appeal to district court. If you have to appeal to district court, you should get a lawyer a that point. Most traffic infractions are civil not criminal, so the standard of proof against you is not beyond a reasonable doubt, it is a preponderance of the evidence. Good Luck!

Posted

Do yourself a favor. Call an attorney and meet with them face to face. Don't take substantive advice from sites like this one.
Good luck,
Tom James
Trial Attorney at Michigan Auto Law

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