Most people know to call the police after an accident. But what happens when no motorist is issued a ticket by the responding officer? If you are curious about the legal implications of traffic citations after an accident, keep reading. You’ll also learn the answers to usual questions regarding a car accident where no one gets ticketed.
When it comes to determining fault, most people assume that the party who receives a citation from an officer is the responsible party. However, that is not always the case. With that in mind, what are the implications of receiving a citation?
Does an officer citation automatically make me at fault for an accident?
Throughout different jurisdictions within the U.S., there are various car accident laws. In certain states, an officer needs to arrive at the scene of a crash and inspect the damages. In others, police officers respond only to auto collisions where there is an injury. However, in Washington D.C., you must contact law enforcement. This serves several purposes.
First, a police officer can help you collect contact information, witness statements, and an accident report.
Second, an officer will determine who likely broke driving laws and issue a citation to the allegedly guilty party. Yet, what most do not know is that an officer does not determine civil liability for damages. Instead, that is up to a judge or jury to decide.
I was in a car accident where no one gets ticketed. What are my next steps?
After an officer responds to your accident and you make a claim with your insurance company, you should find a local attorney. There are several reasons why, including:
- The fact that your attorney can inform you of what to do or avoid doing.
You will wonder if you should speak to the other person’s insurance company. An attorney can provide you with accurate advice on which steps to take after your accident and save you money in the process.
- It will be easier to start the investigation process.
Even if you believe that you are at fault for an accident, this might not be the case. It’s important to start the investigation process so that you can have all the facts about your accident before proceeding.
- Your attorney can speak on your behalf and help you decide whether to take legal action.
Perhaps you have decided that the other party is liable for your damages and want to collect. What are your next steps? The right attorney can help guide you through the process of filing a claim or a lawsuit, if appropriate.
In addition, your attorney will speak and negotiate with insurance companies. It might be the difference between receiving a reduced claim and being paid in full for all your damages.
Were you in a car accident where no one got a ticket? Here’s what to do now.
Evidence is crucial for getting the full compensation that you are entitled to receive. Document anything that proves the damages you’ve incurred from the accident. This may be done through photos, videos, a written note, testimony, bills, and more. At a minimum, you will need to take down the contact and insurance information of the other driver. Also, look for potential witnesses and write down their contact information. You will need to retain a lawyer quickly and this initial information could really help the investigation of your claim.
Do you have more questions regarding the details of your car accident? If you need guidance, we can help. Our Washington DC auto accident attorneys here at Regan Zambri Long PLLC are ready to share their expertise with you.
We will help represent you if you or a loved one is the victim of a car accident and needs help recovering damages. Contact us at (202) 463-3030 for your free consultation. We will explain your legal rights and help you decide whether bringing forward a lawsuit is the best thing for you and your family.
However, note that you must file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations in D.C. is up. Contact us now.