Does Someone Always Get a Ticket After an Accident?
If you are involved in a traffic accident in Wisconsin, the law requires all parties involved to notify the police under several circumstances. If the accident involves severe injuries or death, if resulting property damages exceed $1,000 (or $200 to government property), or one or more vehicles require towing from the scene, you should contact the authorities.
You must also call the police if a wild animal like a deer has been injured or killed on a roadway.
Although it is reasonable to assume that at least one of the involved parties will get a ticket when an accident occurs, this isn’t always the case.
How to Report an Accident in Wisconsin
Even if your accident doesn’t meet one of the criteria that requires you to contact the police, it’s still a smart idea to involve authorities. Police can document the accident scene in an official police report, which can then be used to support an insurance claim or personal injury claim.
If the police do not respond to your call, all involved parties have 10 days following the accident to send a Form MV4002: Driver Report of Accident to the Wisconsin DOT.
When Law Enforcement Issues Tickets
When responding to a traffic accident, the role of the police is to determine whether anyone has broken traffic laws. They conclude who is at fault and issue a ticket to that person.
The most common reasons for issuing a ticket are:
- Running a stop sign or a red light
- Following too closely (typically resulting in one vehicle rear-ending another)
- Driving under the influence over the state’s BAC limit (0.08)
- Using a cellphone while driving
However, there are occasional instances where law enforcement officers leave the scene without issuing a ticket. It may happen when the responding officers couldn’t determine which parties broke the law or believed that no parties were at fault.
On occasion, the police may let both parties go without a ticket, only for one of them to receive it in the mail, sometimes several days after the accident. This occurs in cases where the police need time to investigate, gather evidence, and determine fault.
Can I Still File an Injury Claim if No One Got a Ticket?
Yes, you can file an injury claim even when no one receives a ticket for the accident. Even if the police do not issue anyone a ticket after a crash, it doesn’t mean that no one was at fault; it simply means the officers couldn’t determine which party was responsible.
If you sustained injuries and believe the other driver is at fault, you can still file a personal injury claim against them.
Can I Sue if the Other Party Already Paid the Ticket?
If the responding police officers issue a ticket to the other party, it shows law enforcement believes the receiving party has broken at least one traffic law.
Consequently, if the other party pays the ticket, it means they voluntarily admit fault. Legally, paying a ticket is equivalent to entering a plea of guilty, which is admissible in personal injury cases, making it the best possible scenario for your claim.
Can I File an Injury Claim If I Got a Ticket?
Theoretically, even if the police issued you a ticket, it doesn’t mean you can’t file a personal injury claim. Traffic citations alone are not absolute proof of liability.
However, a ticket affects your claim depending on how you respond to it. You should consult an experienced Green Bay car accident attorney before proceeding or entering any plea.
Since paying the ticket means entering a plea of guilty, you essentially admit fault by paying the fine. Doing so makes it significantly more challenging to receive compensation.
A skilled car accident attorney at our law firm can guide you through the procedure, help you fight the ticket, and get the compensation you deserve for your injuries and property damage.
To increase your chances of winning your case:
- Never admit fault: Even seemingly innocuous statements like “I’m sorry” or “I apologize for what happened” can be used as statements of guilt against you in traffic court.
- Gather evidence: To prove the other party was at fault for your injuries, you’ll benefit from witness testimonies, photographs, and video recordings of the scene that support your claim.
- Document proof of your injuries: Seek appropriate medical care as soon as possible and make copies of your medical bills and records.
Contact an Experienced Wisconsin Auto Accident Lawyer Today
If you sustained injuries in a car accident, our legal team at Brian Hodgkiss Injury Lawyers can help you with your case. We will fight for the maximum settlement amount you deserve and, if necessary, represent you in court.
Contact our law firm today for a free case review with one of our experienced car accident attorneys.