Car accidents can be bad enough without also involving traffic tickets or even arrests. The question of who caused an accident is important for insurance, legal, and financial reasons. When a ticket or arrest is involved, it can change things. Read on and find out more.
How is Fault Figured Out?
The faulty party is often obvious at a car accident scene. However, the fault may be uncertain in some accidents and that can be unfortunate for potential victims. If you have been injured in a car accident, you cannot move forward and get paid the full extent of compensation until the fault is resolved.
In most accident situations, fault relies on the opinion of the law enforcement officer investigating at the scene. The officers responding to the accident may interview the drivers, passengers, and any other eyewitnesses to the accident. When most witnesses point the finger of fault at a driver, chances are they are at fault.
When Drivers are Ticketed
It's not common to actually witness a driver get a ticket at an accident scene. The focus at most accident scenes is the health and welfare of the injured parties so ambulances are almost always called to transport the injured to the hospital. All this happens while the officer is gathering evidence. They observe the location of damage to the vehicles, how they came to rest, and gather statements from bystanders. All of that together forms a picture of what occurred. That summary goes into an accident report. This report is heavily relied upon to provide guidance when it comes to fault. Talk to your personal injury lawyer about accessing the accident report and learning more about tickets and arrests because of the accident. This issue affects how eager the other insurer might be to settle the case.
How Fault Affects Compensation
In some cases, victims who opt for a jury trial could be paid more in compensation if the other driver was ticketed or arrested. Punitive damages are meant to send a message to the other driver and others about disobeying traffic laws and putting others in danger. Punitive damages can add a huge sum of money to the usual compensation judgments. This form of compensation is only used with court judgments and not in settlements. However, the other side will be aware of the possibility of punitive damages when deciding on a settlement offer.
To learn more, speak to an accident lawyer.