If a police officer issues a traffic ticket for an offense in relation to a car accident, the ticket could help or hurt your claim depending on the circumstance. In this blog post, we’ll review how a traffic ticket could affect your car insurance claim.
It can be difficult to determine if you have a solid claim for compensation after a car accident. Or, the insurance company may be trying to deny or devalue your claim if a traffic ticket was issued. If you need help with a car accident claim, the New Jersey car accident lawyers of Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, can help. Contact us for a free consultation.
Traffic Tickets and Liability
A traffic ticket issued to one or both drivers may help determine liability in a car accident. Keep in mind, police officers and accident reports may help determine liability but insurance adjusters are the ones ultimately deciding liability in relation to an insurance claim.
If the other driver is issued a traffic ticket for a moving violation, like running a red light or speeding, that offense may help your claim. Speeding and traffic violations are often considered negligent driving and insurance adjusters may assign liability to the other driver because of the traffic ticket.
Generally, moving violations tend to carry more weight in determining liability than a non-moving violation, like an expired registration tag. However, if you or the other driver has a long history of traffic violations, that could hurt or help your case, depending on who has the history.
If both drivers are issued tickets in relation to the same car accident, the concept of comparative negligence may come into play. According to New Jersey Statute 2A:15-5.1, compensation and damages can only be awarded based on the standard of "comparative negligence". This means the total damages you will be able to recover will be determined by subtracting the percentage of negligence the insurance company attributes to your actions.
For example, let’s say you received a traffic ticket for a non-moving violation like a broken headlight but the other driver was speeding and failed to yield the right of way and received tickets for both of these violations. The insurance company could determine that you were 20% responsible because of your failure to repair and maintain your vehicle, thus you will only be eligible to recover 80% of the compensation you originally sought from the negligent, careless driver.
What If You Were the Only Driver Who Received a Ticket?
Even if you were the only driver to receive a ticket in the car accident, you still may be able to recover compensation for your medical bills and lost wages. New Jersey and New York are both no-fault car insurance states and require personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. PIP pays for medical bills and lost wages, up to your policy’s limits, in the event of a car accident – regardless of fault.
Your own insurance company, however, may still try to deny or devalue your claim for a host of reasons. Your best option after an injury accident is to contact a personal injury attorney like Brandon J. Broderick to discuss your case and understand your options.
Get Help with Your Car Insurance Claim
Navigating the car insurance claim process can be stressful, frustrating and not end with the outcome you were expecting. The compassionate, experienced car accident lawyers of Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, have decades of experience and a track record of results. They can help you get the compensation you’re entitled to after a car accident.
Contact our legal team for a free consultation. Our clients tell us they feel a sense of relief once they make that first phone call. Get help with your car accident claim today.