Does A Ticket In Personal Injury Accident Cases Matter?
A personal injury lawyer seeking compensation for someone injured in a motor vehicle accident must prove that the other driver was negligent. Often, the other driver will have been issued a traffic ticket by the police for an offense such as Speeding or Following Too Closely. While this can be helpful when trying to prove negligence, the mere fact that a ticket was issued does not, by itself, prove negligence in a personal injury case.
The traffic ticket is a separate issue from the personal injury case and will usually be handled in the local village, town or city court. In larger jurisdictions, such as the City of Buffalo, there may be a special court that only handles traffic tickets. If it is necessary to file a lawsuit and go to court in the personal injury case, that matter will usually be heard in the New York State Supreme Court for the county where the lawsuit is filed, not in a local town or city court.
New York State Law On Traffic Ticket Following A Motor Vehicle Accident
The degree to which a traffic ticket may be used to prove negligence in the personal injury case largely depends on how the defendant chooses to handle the ticket in the local court. Under New York State law, getting a traffic ticket following a motor vehicle accident is not evidence of negligence by itself, even if the driver is found guilty after a trial. If, however, the other driver pleads guilty instead of being found guilty after a trial, that plea is considered an admission by the other driver to the conduct that led to the ticket being issued. This admission may be used as evidence against the other driver in the personal injury accident case.