Florida – If I got the ticket, can I still sue for my car accident injuries?
Many people believe that if they are issued a ticket at the scene of a car accident involving two or more parties, then they are at fault and have no legal options. However, this is not always the case for several reasons. This guide will show you what options you may have in this situation.
Being issued a ticket is not the same as having been found liable.It is important to know that traffic tickets are not allowed to be entered as evidence in a Florida court of law. According to FL 316.066 - Accident Report Privilege - statements pursuant to an accident made to police are inadmissible in court, and this is typically what a police officer bases his decision on who to give a ticket to. The police officer essentially does his best estimate of what happened based on the available evidence at the time, but this report is not considered to be a concrete evaluation of the actual events that occurred unless the officer was a direct witness of the accident.
It is up to the jury to determine who is at fault.Unless there's an independent and/or unbiased witness or camera, it will be difficult to determine exactly whose fault it was. As a result, liability would then be decided by a jury's determination of the facts. The events that occur at the scene of an accident all contribute towards a jury's decision, but nothing is completely determined. Despite how an accident may have been seen to occur at the time, there is no guarantee that a jury will see it in the same light. Therefore, even if you are unsure of who was at fault and/or who is entitled to compensation as a result of an accident, you should follow up with professional legal help to explore your options with a trained professional.
Florida is comparative negligence state.In Florida, liability for an accident is assessed to the percentage you are found at fault. This means that while you may be partially at fault, other people could be at fault too. Comparative negligence can be the difference between being completely responsible for your medical bills and having someone else pay for at least a portion of them. Proper legal representation is critical for recognizing this, as your lawyer can work with the insurance companies, private investigators, and other resources not readily available to determine exactly how much you owe for your part in an accident.
How to apply this information.The bottom-line of this information is that if you are hurt in a car accident and you got the ticket, you should still consult with a personal injury lawyer about your options. Having legal representation can provide you with options that may not be immediately apparent in the aftermath of an accident, especially if you were issued a ticket or citation. Many attorneys offer free consultations and will help you decide which path is best for your specific case.