Can a Traffic Ticket Impact My Car Accident Claim in Georgia?

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It is a common perception that whoever is given a traffic ticket by police personnel automatically loses the claim or case. Establishing whether a citation was issued is less important than what eventually happens to the ticket. Such tickets do not prove guilt and can be admissible and helpful in many circumstances in a car accident claim in Georgia.

As per  Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. 375-3-3-.12, if the person ticketed was you and you do not appear in a traffic court upon being called, your valid driving license can be suspended and a judge is likely to issue you a bench warrant. You may be excused if you mail in the fine. This, however, will be considered a legal admission of guilt to the traffic charge.

The final verdict of the case depends on who was ticketed and how the traffic ticket was handled.

How the Police Investigates and Decides Who to Ticket:

Police officers examine any evidence and investigate witnesses after arriving at the scene of the incident. The officers may express an opinion by analyzing whether any laws were obstructed. Most of the time the cops have not witnessed the collision. In very rare circumstances, a police officer may issue a ticket on the basis of what they witnessed from their sight. Such a police officer can be an eye-witness in a personal injury case later or appear in the hearings of the traffic court as a witness.

Does the Police Officer’s Opinion Decide the Case?

Their opinion does not decide the case’s final verdict and it also has nothing to do with the ticket. Judges and Juries are authorized to decide who was at fault in a car accident claim in Georgia. The officer’s opinion about the incident is not admissible in court unless they actually saw the car crash. The officer can only give a testimony about the accident. The officer’s dash-cam along with body-cam, containing video recordings can be used as evidence and are admissible in court.

Is a Traffic Ticket Admissible in a Car Accident Claim in Georgia?

The culprit of the Georgia car accident is decided by the court. A traffic ticket issued by the police personnel can also be presented in court, and its admissibility will depend on whether there was a guilty plea to the violation.

A person may plead guilty, not guilty, or nolo upon issuance of a ticket. Nolo is described as having no contest. In Georgia, simply paying the fine is considered to be the legal admission of guilt. It is just like a person showing up in court and pleading guilty in front of a judge or jury. In the scenario of a civil injury case, the traffic violation and citation becomes admissible in court when there has been a guilty plea. Pleading guilty or paying the fine can also be challenged by a person claiming that they did so only to avoid the inconvenience of going to court or appearing in a trial.

What Happens If a Driver Pleads Not Guilty or Nolo to a Ticket?

The ticket is inadmissible in the court of law when a person pleads not guilty and is subsequently proven to be at fault. On the other hand, nolo is not admitting to the obstruction and the jury can often not be told about the ticket.

What if the Other Driver was Ticketed and is Now Blaming You?

Many individuals have gone through this. The driver or the concerned insurance company tries to shift the blame on you for causing the accident. If you have experienced this, it is important to find out what happened to the ticket. For example, you should determine if they appeared in court or mailed the amount of the fine. It is deemed as an admission of guilt to the traffic charge when the faulty driver pays the fine and does not enter into a not-guilty plea or a nolo plea. This means that this fact can be used against the driver at fault.

What Happens to a Ticket if I Do Not Show Up in Traffic Court?

A bench warrant by a judge can be issued to your name in case of absence at a court hearing. The court might dismiss the ticket if another driver was ticketed and you are a witness.

Contact a Skilled Attorney for your Case:

In a civil personal injury case, citations are not automatically admissible. The way someone pleads to the violation majorly contributes to the outcome of the car accident claim in Georgia. Contact our offices today if you are ticketed wrongfully.

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