Will I Get a Ticket if I Am in a Car Accident?


As an attorney, I am regularly asked about traffic tickets and whether getting one will influence the outcome of a case.  This is a complicated situation, so here are the answers to some frequently asked questions related to tickets and accident cases:

Am I going to get a ticket after being in an accident?

Potentially. There is no real way to say for certain because this depends on the type of accident, the circumstances surrounding it, the severity of the crash, and the officer’s interpretation of the events leading up to it.  If the police think you had some responsibility for the crash, they may issue you a ticket, although some officers issue one to each driver involved regardless.

Does receiving a ticket make me guilty or to blame for the car crash?

No, it does not.  You can contest the ticket in court, and, as an attorney, I can help you do so.  In fact, I encourage you to work with an attorney before ever pleading guilty to a ticket, especially after a crash as doing so could impact your civil case.

If I am not to blame, do I have to sign the ticket?

Yes, you do. Even if you are planning on contesting the ticket, you are going to have to sign it initially.  Otherwise, you could be arrested, and there is no benefit to putting yourself in that situation.

Why would I get a ticket after my crash?

As a car accident attorney, I have seen people get a ticket for a variety of reasons, but some of the most common include speeding, not wearing a seatbelt, driving while intoxicated, and not having an insurance card or registration on hand.  If you were ticketed for not having your registration or insurance card, it is easy to fight the ticket by simply proving that you do have it.  If you were ticketed for speeding, this is something that you should probably contest.

How do I contest a ticket?

There will be instructions on your ticket for what to do, or you can call my office to discuss your accident and your ticket at the same time.

Do I still have to file an accident report?

Yes, you are required to file a report within ten days in any accident where someone was injured, someone died, or there was over $750 in damage.  A ticket does not replace the actual report.

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