A common query at The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary is "What happens in a car accident when no ticket is issued to either party?"
It often helps when a citation is issued, as it represents persuasive evidence for the insurance company.
A traffic citation is an allegation of fault. Although no-fault insurance rules apply in Florida, the fault can still be an important question after a car crash.
The no-fault law knows certain exceptions, such as when a crash causes substantial injuries, disabling or disfiguring, or medical bills beyond the limits of no-fault coverage.
To recover compensation beyond what is available for personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, the injured party must prove that the other driver or some other party was at fault in the crash.
A Lack of a Ticket Does Not Mean a Lack of Fault in a Car Accident
Just because a driver is not cited for a driving violation resulting in an injury does not mean they are free from liability. Cited is not the issue. Negligence is the issue. Injured drivers should pursue their claims, as they normally would, by contacting their insurance companies.
The officer, the drivers, and the insurance companies are all going to investigate who was at fault. Establishing fault in a car accident is the ultimate factor in deciding who's insurance is paying for what. But by itself, the ticket is not sufficient evidence to prove a driver was negligent.
To resolve claims, the insurance companies will make a determination of fault by:
- Reviewing the police report
- Interviewing witnesses
- Reviewing medical reports
- Analyzing video footage
- Reviewing pieces of physical evidence from the accident
- Consulting with traffic reconstruction experts
If a person is at fault, they are liable. If the other driver's insurance finds its insured was at fault, it will pay. In some cases, they may decide every driver had some responsibility for the accident and assign each a portion of the fault.
It's crucial to understand that neither a police citation nor an insurance company's liability decision will dictate the outcome of a court case.
If the car crash involves severe or fatal injuries and there is a dispute about who is at fault, an injured person or surviving family members have the legal right to file a personal injury lawsuit. The person who filed the lawsuit will present evidence seeking to prove that the other driver was negligent and they or their auto insurance companies owe damages.
Compensation in A No Ticket Scenario Depends on The Severity of Injuries
If driver negligence and determination of fault are confirmed, the auto insurance company of the driver at fault owes damages to the injured person or the deceased person's family member. Car accident personal injury claims can take a course in two different ways:
- a settlement with the auto insurance company of the driver at fault
- a court verdict
When a settlement is the goal, the injured person may negotiate compensation to release future claims concerning the accident. If the case gets to court, the jury or judge will first decide if the defendant can be held liable for the injuries, and if so, it will decide on fair compensation.
Common injury types that occur after a car accident and that affect the amount of compensation include:
- Whiplash - caused by a sudden snap of the neck forward or backward due to impact, whiplash is among the most common injuries after a car accident.
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI) - a result of the skull hitting the dashboard, the side window, or the steering wheel, is an injury to the brain cells. It is dangerous because it may have long-term effects and can be challenging to detect.
- Concussion or mild brain injury
- Spinal cord injuries - these damages carry the hidden risk of late paralysis onset. Injuries to the spinal cord need immediate and thorough medical assistance.
- Broken ribs - a painful type of injury that can heal on its own. In rare cases, it may result in a punctured blood vessel or a punctured organ.
- Dislocated joints
- Loss of limbs - apart from getting immediate medical assistance, it is also recommended to inform law enforcement staff.
- PTSD - post-traumatic stress disorder is laborious to diagnose, but it is a health issue that requires attentive medical care. If you believe you show symptoms of PTSD after a car crash, seek medical help as soon as possible.
If you suffer from injuries following a car accident in Miami or the State of Florida and would like to file a personal injury claim to get rightful compensation, contact The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary to gain an understanding of your legal options and how to proceed.
Involved in a Car Accident in Miami, Florida? We Can Help!
Evidence of the traffic citation is inadmissible in court. So, whether or not the police cited the other driver is of no concern. The person who files a claim must argue successfully that the other driver was negligent, whether or not they were cited. To prove the claim, the plaintiff can use testimony from:
- The investigating police officer
- Traffic reconstruction experts
An experienced and dedicated Miami car accident attorney, Sean M. Cleary will advise and help you through the entire legal process.