Yes, you can receive a citation several days or even weeks after a collision in most states. Just because you did not receive a traffic ticket at the accident scene does not mean you will never get one. It could take hours or several days for law enforcement to wrap up its investigation of the accident.
If it was a property damage collision, the other driver likely filed an accident report instead of having police report to the scene. This makes it much more likely for it to take several days before the police to issue any citations based on the accident.
Reasons People Receive Tickets After Traffic Accidents
Any violation of a traffic rule or criminal law could lead to a citation following a traffic accident. However, the most common citations stem from violations of traffic laws that caused or contributed to a crash. This could include:
- Speeding tickets
- Going too fast for conditions
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Running a traffic light or stop sign
- Failing to signal when merging, changing lanes, or turning
- Failure to maintain lane
Other violations that could occur and contribute to a collision include:
- Drunk driving
- Drugged driving
- Distracted driving
- Driving without a driver’s license
Some may have little to do with the crash, but the police learned of illegal activity because of the accident. Examples include:
- Not having the required insurance coverage
- Drug possession
- Possession of stolen property
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Delays Occur Due to the Process of Figuring Out What Happened
When law enforcement officers investigate a traffic accident, the investigation is not only what you witness at the scene. They may also take additional steps over the following hours and days, such as:
- Interviewing witnesses
- Obtaining and watching videos of the accident
- Looking at a survey of the scene
- Analyzing other accident-related evidence
Some of these steps can be time-consuming or cause delays. However, they are also critical in determining what happened and who caused the crash.
For example, an officer may not know which car ran the red light and caused an intersection collision. Once the officer requests, obtains, and views the surveillance video from a nearby gas station, it can be apparent which driver violated the law. This driver caused the accident and should receive a citation.
Getting a Ticket Does Not Always Mean You Are Liable
While it is generally the liable party that breaks traffic laws and receives a citation, this is not universally true. There may be some situations, especially when both parties received citations, when you can get a ticket and still recover compensation for your damages as the accident victim.
For example, if a drunk driver runs a red light and slams into your vehicle, but you received a citation for not having a seat belt on, the other driver is still at fault for the crash.
You may want to work with a personal injury attorney in these cases, which often bring contributory negligence accusations with them. This means the other driver can claim you are partially responsible for your injuries, greatly reducing your payout if they have the evidence to support it.
Work with a Car Accident Lawyer to Protect Your Rights
Some states bar you from financial recovery or significantly reduce your compensation if you contributed to your collision and injuries. If you received a ticket but believe the other driver caused the crash, you will likely want someone on your side to mitigate the accusations against you.
Our attorney may be able to pursue damages on your behalf that include:
- Medical bills and related costs
- Future medical needs because of your accident injuries
- Lost wages and reduced earning capacity
- Property damages
- Related expenses and losses
- Pain and suffering
Generally, the following deadlines apply when filing a personal injury lawsuit based on a car accident. The time begins running the day of the accident. Exceptions to the statute could also mean you have more or less time than you think. Always discuss the deadlines in your case with your lawyer.
|Alabama||Ala. Code § 6-2-38||Two years|
|Arkansas||Ark. Code Ann. § 16-56-105||Three years|
|Louisiana||La. Civ. Code Art. 3492||One year|
|Mississippi||Miss. Code Ann. § 15-1-49||Three years|
You should connect with our law firm’s office near you as soon as your injuries are stable enough to make the call. You have a limited time to file your civil case. Your attorney may also be able to offer advice about your traffic citation and how it may affect the case.
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Morris Bart, LLC, Can Help You Review Your Legal Options for Free
You can talk to a lawyer familiar with cases like yours and learn more about the next steps to take. The Morris Bart law firm provides complimentary consultations for car crash victims at each of our 15 locations. We are a contingency fee personal injury firm handling cases in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
Call (800) 537-8185 today to reach our attorney’s office that is closest to you for a free consultation.
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