Does it matter if either driver received a traffic citation for the accident?

It could make a difference if either driver received a traffic citation for an accident in Denver. Many times it can help establish what caused the accident and who was at fault. But it’s not always the determining factor when assigning fault and liability to the drivers.

How a Traffic Citation Could Impact a Car Accident Case

A violation of traffic law(s) is many times the direct cause of an accident. For instance, in Colorado it’s against the law to text while driving. If the other driver is given a citation for this, you might argue argued that it was the reason for striking the back of your vehicle. Of course, a rear-end accident is almost always the fault of the person from behind. But this type of traffic citation could help solidify fault.

Sometimes a citation is given and it doesn’t necessarily indicate complete fault. One example would be someone who is speeding through a busy Denver intersection. Although the person was going over the posted limit, another driver running a red traffic light and crashing into the car is something that may have occurred no matter the other vehicle’s speed.

At the same time, an insurance company may place some of the blame on the person who was speeding. It might argue that the vehicle wouldn’t have been there at the moment of impact had it been traveling at the posted speed limit. So even though the other driver is mostly at fault, this may end up diminishing the damages recoverable because the speeding driver may be partially to blame.

Colorado follows modified comparative negligence in assessing whether a claimant or plaintiff can recover damages and in what amount. Drivers 50 percent at fault or more cannot recover damages, and those less than 50 percent at fault will see their recovery diminished by their proportion of fault. So if the speeding driver is 30 percent at fault and suffered $50,000 in damages, he would recover $35,000 ($50,000 minus 30 percent).

Each accident claim would have to be investigated to uncover all of the facts and establish each driver’s liability. There can be many elements to consider, whether one of the drivers received a ticket or not. When both drivers receive citations, this can make it even more challenging to determine liability.

Other Ways of Proving Fault in a Car Accident Case

Although citations can be important, there are other ways to establish liability for an accident as well. The police report will likely indicate when tickets if either driver received a citation and why. But it may also provide additional information that sheds light on what occurred. For instance, statements provided by a witness play an important role in determining fault.

It usually takes a combination of information and documentation to piece together what happened and the proportion of blame that each driver holds, like:

  • photographs of the accident scene;
  • damaged vehicles;
  • skid marks; and
  • property damage.

For help learning how a traffic citation may impact a car accident case in Denver, talk to attorney D.J. Banovitz. Call us at 303-300-5060 or fill out our contact form. Although it can help show fault, a traffic citation may not fully demonstrate another driver’s liability. Of course, if you are the one to receive a citation, it could impact the ability to recover damages.

D.J. Banovitz’ career has always concentrated on trial practice and he has litigated hundreds of cases. His passion and sole career focus has been to seek justice for people suffering from personal injuries as the result of someone else’s negligence. The hallmark of the Law Office of D.J. Banovitz, is the total commitment to professionalism, quality, and personalized care of your injury case. D.J. has dedicated his professional life to helping those most in need and is a proud and active member of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association. His experience includes volunteering for Colorado Rural Legal Services in Montrose, the Colorado Aids Project, consumer law, family law, criminal defense, and Alternative Defense Counsel for juveniles in Denver.