Filing a car accident claim will require showing evidence of the other driver acting in a careless or reckless manner. One piece of evidence that could be helpful in a personal injury claim is when the other person was issued a traffic citation.
Not only may this lead to a bad driving record or impact the driver’s insurance in Colorado, but it may be used as evidence by the plaintiff to show to the insurance company in efforts to establish liability and thereby negotiating a fair settlement.
It’s wise to gather all the necessary information about the traffic citation beforehand. Doing so will strengthen your case and more likely prevent the insurance company from denying you compensation. In turn, court proceedings could be avoided. This is important to know as traffic citations cannot be used in court to prove liability.
Using a Traffic Citation as Evidence in a Car Accident Claim
When a citation has been issued, it is usually indicated in the police report. In Colorado it may take several weeks for an accident report to be entered into the system. However, when Colorado State Patrol has responded to a crash, it may be available as soon as a week. To receive a copy, a written request must be sent to the appropriate law enforcement agency.
Information that must be included in the written request for an accident report is the person’s:
- date of birth;
- driver license number;
- mailing address;
- signature; and
- accident info (date it occurred and location).
For a current fee schedule, the department should be contacted.
A traffic citation could establish cause for the accident or may indicate a contributing factor. A Colorado auto accident lawyer in Arvada may also draw on additional pieces of evidence in a car accident claim, such as photographs of the scene or statements from witnesses to the accident.
Types of Traffic Citations That May Help Establish Fault in a Claim
One type of citation that could be given that may indicate fault is for distracted driving. When a driver receives this type of ticket, it could help prove that he or she wasn’t paying attention at the time of the accident.
In Colorado all drivers are banned from texting while driving, and drivers who are novices or under the age of 18 are banned from talking on a cell phone. Additionally, Colorado is a primary law state, which means a citation may be issued even if another violation is not observed.
Another type of traffic citation is one issued for drinking while driving. While this can certainly lead to a bad driving record and impact insurance costs, it could also show that the other driver was reckless.
Other types of citations that may indicate fault include:
- making an illegal U-turn;
- reckless driving (driving with a willful or wanton disregard for others);
- running a stop sign/red light; and
Although it doesn’t necessarily mean the other driver is automatically at fault, it might at least be considered a contributing cause of the accident.
Colorado Auto Accident Lawyers Can Help Build a Case in Arvada
When injuries from a crash are serious, talking with a Colorado auto accident lawyer in Arvada can be beneficial. D.J. Banovitz can go over the circumstances of the accident and help injured drivers collect other types of evidence such as photographs, witness statements, and expert testimony.