Ticketed – What Can I Do if I was Injured and Not at Fault?

Posted by | October 31, 2014 | Car Accidents, Personal Injury Blog | No Comments
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There are many reasons why you might have been ticketed, there are also many reasons to fight the ticket before it becomes a conviction.  Those reasons will be discussed in this document, along with the importance as to why you need to deal with the criminal aspect of your case just as you need to deal with the personal injuries you have sustained.

CRIMINAL REPERCUSSIONS OF A CONVICTION ON YOUR ACCIDENT CLAIM

Increases your insurance bill-  Because you were found at fault and received a moving violation (most likely), your insurance company now has reason to increase your premium.  They also have cause to possibly cancel your coverage altogether.

Adds points to your driving record- Because you were found guilty, you now have penalty points assessed to your driving record.  You might not have thought about this since you were a teenager, however, if you receive more than a certain amount of points in a certain time period, (12 points in 12 months in Nevada) your license will be suspended and you might have to attend an administrative hearing.

Conviction can be used in your civil case as evidence- Should your injury claim have to go to trial, a jury would be able to hear facts surrounding your criminal matter that was also a result of the accident you were injured in.

Nevada personal injury attorneys also are usually skilled in handling traffic court matters.  It is doubly important to seek counsel if you were injured as a result of the accident.  It is best for your personal injury claim, and to avoid the repercussions listed above, for you to fight and win your criminal case prior to bringing your civil claim for damages.

It becomes increasingly difficult to avoid a civil trial on the injuries and damages if you have not fought and won the criminal case.  There is likely an impact on your personal injury claim if your case was tried in court and lost.  Because personal injury claims are generally paid for by contingency fees, you would need to find a lawyer who is willing to fight for your case even if you were convicted.

WHAT CAN BE DONE IF I WAS CONVICTED OF THE TICKET?

It has been stated that your conviction may be used as evidence in your personal injury case, however, there is legal practice and theory, as well as precedent that allows for extemporaneous evidence to be brought to your civil case to rebut the conviction in the eyes of the jurors and court in your civil case.  There are questions that your Nevada personal injury attorney needs to have the answers to in order to best plan your civil claim:

On what basis was a conviction brought against you?

*Did you miss your court date?

*Did you plead Nolo Contendere?

*Was there a jury trial?

*Did you enter a plea bargain with the DA?

*Was a witness unavailable for the criminal court?

*Was there evidence now available that was not at the time of trial?

*Did the police make a mistake or not take into account evidence?

There is great difficulty in appealing your traffic conviction, the costs and effort could be prohibitive, however, your Nevada personal injury attorney might be able to use the civil case forum to discredit the findings of a criminal case or even convince a jury that you were not at fault. Jury members would still likely give a criminal conviction much weight in determining liability, however, a good Nevada personal injury attorney would be trained in methods to attack your conviction.  There is never a guarantee when it comes to dealing with a jury, however, a well documented and well presented argument might be able to move your civil claim past the presumption of fault that your criminal case has tainted it with.

Civil court uses a preponderance of the evidence in which to instruct jurors on fault.  This standard is not as strict as a criminal case and should circumstances warrant a different finding, your Nevada personal injury lawyer will seek all pieces to the puzzle that could benefit your claim for personal injury.

Not all tickets issued are accurate, and police, like everyone else, can make mistakes.  Not all juries are infallible.  You might have been experiencing other personal issues at time of trial or disposition in the courtroom.  Witnesses can be difficult to find, other evidence such as street cameras might become available when they were not found for the criminal matter.  There are dozens of issues to look at and that is why is so important to have competent counsel with you to fight for your rights of compensation for your injuries.

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