If you were involved in an accident on a public street and there is damage or injuries to either vehicle or person, it’s a pretty safe bet that someone is getting a ticket. Whether you are the one who gets the ticket depends your actions during the wreck.
Even if it’s questionable and hard to determine who, if anyone, was at fault, police will likely issue a citation to someone at the scene. There are rare cases, however, when officers cannot determine fault at the scene and it will be up to your insurance companies to decide who was at fault, or who was more at fault.
The reason that traffic tickets are so often issued at accident scenes is two-fold: There is often evidence that a traffic violation did occur, and it also helps with the insurance and claims process.
What are some common types of tickets issued after an accident?
Here are some common types of tickets that police give after a traffic accident:
- Careless operation: This is a fairly unclear traffic law that requires drivers to drive “carefully and prudently,” while not putting anyone’s life in danger. If you do not get a traffic ticket for something specific like speeding, following too closely or texting while driving, this is something police will often fall back on as a way to determine fault at the scene. It is a very common citation given after a wreck.
- Speeding: If you were going faster than the posted speed limit sign and it caused a crash, you can expect a pretty hefty fine. Sometimes, it is your word against the word of the other driver, but in some cases, traffic investigators can determine if you were speeding by examining certain elements of the crash scene. Hiring an experienced traffic attorney can help to reduce the fine or have the ticket thrown out. However, this is very dependent on the accident and damages.
- Failure to follow traffic signs: If you or the person you were in accident with blew through a stop sign or red light, that will be grounds for a traffic ticket. If it’s your word against the other driver’s, there might be witnesses at the scene who can help corroborate your side of the story.
- Following too closely: Again, this is vaguely defined by Louisiana law. The statute says you shall not follow another vehicle closer than what is “reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicle and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway.” If you rear-end someone, chances are you will get a ticket for following too closely.
- DWI and vehicular negligent injuring: If you are suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs and you are involved in a crash with injuries, you could be facing charges of DWI and vehicular negligent injuring. These are criminal charges that you will have to address outside of traffic court. You will need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney who is also skilled in traffic cases.
Traffic accidents are a common occurrence in New Orleans, but unfortunately, are also very costly. Beyond having to pay expensive accident tickets, these tickets often lead to an increase your auto insurance premiums. Having an attorney assist you can help prevent the costs of an accident affect you down the road.