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Using Traffic Violations As Proof In Personal Injury Cases

In a lawsuit for personal injuries sustained in a car accident, a person usually has to show four key elements:

  1. That the other driver owed him or her a Duty of reasonable care;
  2. That the other driver Breached this duty;
  3. That the breach of duty Caused the injury to the person suing; and
  4. Damages incurred.

One way in which a person may seek to prove that the other driver breached the duty is by showing that the other driver committed a traffic offense and caused the accident.

Depending on what a driver is ticketed for, there are three main ways to resolve the ticket: plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest. Usually, admissions of guilt are admissible in a personal injury trial to show liability. For example, a driver is speeding and runs a red light resulting in an accident. The driver is issued a traffic citation. Using the evidence of the citation and whether or not the driver was found guilty of traffic offense depends on how the driver pleads. If the driver pleads guilty to the traffic offense, then this information may be admissible because the driver is admitting liability. While it makes proving the breach of duty easier, the use of a guilty plea is only one part of the evidence. The person who pleaded guilty can counter the evidence with additional evidence on the issue.

Thus it is important for drivers to consider contesting any tickets issued for traffic violations in relation to an accident. A driver accused of violating a traffic law should seek advice from an attorney on how to contest a traffic violation case, and whether or not to plead guilty depending on his or her circumstances.

Additionally, under Ohio law, the defendant driver can also present evidence of the suing driver’s fault in causing the accident. Drivers should note that in Ohio, a driver who is found to be fifty one or more percent at fault may not recover in a personal injury lawsuit. Therefore, it is in the other driver’s best interest to show that, despite his own traffic violations, the suing driver was also at fault, and to a greater degree than himself.

Contact Us For Legal Assistance

If you or a loved one suffered injuries as a result of a negligent driver breaking a traffic law, contact the experienced Columbus, Ohio car accident attorney Ed Schottenstein of Schottenstein Law Offices for a complimentary consultation. We will also arrange free valet parking for you. Call us at (614) 467-8474 TODAY to schedule your appointment.