I was in a very minor car accident on May 15th, 2016 at approximately 9:15 pm. I needed to cross over one lane to the left to have access to the turning lane to the left of that lane. Before crossing the lane I turned on my signal light and made sure that the first lane and the turning lane were clear. I didn't cross immediately after turning on my signal light. It was on definitely more than 5 seconds. There was a car next to me in the first left lane and I sped up slightly to create a safe space for me to cross. It was less than 10 miles per hour. Maybe 5 at the most. I kept my signal light on and checked the turning lane again to make sure it was safe and crossed into the turning lane. A car ended up hitting me from behind. There are small paint scratches on the back left of the vehicle I was driving and the other driver's left head light popped out slightly. He asserted that I hit his vehicle which was untrue because if I did the damage would have been the reverse nor would I have had space to enter the turning lane as my car would have been outside of the confines of the turning lane. I was cited for an unsafe lane change and found at fault for the accident. I disagree.
2 considerations. The first is what your insurance company will think. If you are found guilty it could effect your coverage. The second is the risk of having this on your record. You already have an insurance claim on your record, do you want to give more reasons for the insurance company to increase your rates, hire a traffic attorney and get your case taken care of.
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In Georgia you can always have a trial. As to your question the answer really depends on you. If you plan on becoming a commercial driver, or are a commercial driver you need to speak with an attorney. If you just pay the ticket it will go on your permanent driving history. Hiring an attorney may be able to prevent this appearing on you driver license. The other factor to determine is you age. If you are under 18 you should speak with an attorney to determine how this affects you driving privileges. (it could result in a suspension if this is your second ticket)
If you just "pay the Ticket" you have admitted that you are guilty. Paying the Ticket is the same thing as a Guilty plea. If you do this the citation will go on your drivers history and could cause your insurance company to raise your rates or even cancel your policy. If you are Under 21 this citation could affect your ability to drive in Georgia and if you are a Commercial Driver it could affect your license, insurance and even your job. I would recommend that you contact an experienced Traffic Attorney that regularly practices in that court to represent you. There is a very good possibility that the attorney will be able to prevent this citation from going on your driving record and being used against you in a civil suit. I hope this information has been helpful to you. Good Luck!!!
George McCranie - Offices in Valdosta & Douglas, GA -
The information provided in this response to a question is not legal advise and is provided only for general information purposes. My response should not be taken as legal advise as no attorney / client representation exists. Additionally, the information given in this answer is specific to the State of Georgia only and should not be applied to any other state.
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