Accidents happen. Of course, the primary concern in wake of any automobile accident is the health of those involved in the crash. However, there are other collateral concerns that can affect your license and driving record, and present significant consequences.
After an accident occurs, investigating police officers will determine whether fault exists. Very often, officers do not witness the accident and, as a result, are unable to make assessments based on personal observations of the incident. As such, the officer will often consider other factors: eyewitness accounts, tire marks, damage to the vehicles, property damage, and nature of injuries sustained.
If the police determine that fault exists, a traffic ticket will be issued. There are many tickets that can result from an auto accident, including careless driving, reckless driving, speeding, failure to maintain lane of travel, failure to obey traffic signal and improper passing. Of course, if the police suspect that alcohol or illegal drugs were ingested prior to the accident, more serious charges of DUI may be brought.
If you are involved in an auto accident and received a ticket as a result, it is important that you are also aware of the New Jersey Victim’s Right Law. In essence, this law requires that the Court notify the alleged victim of your charges and appearance date. The victim is permitted to appear in Court and speak with the prosecutor and/or Judge about how the accident has affected them and offer their opinions concerning punishment.
Automobile accidents can also present the possibility of a civil lawsuit. In New Jersey, individuals injured in accidents have two years from the date of the incident to file a lawsuit. While such a civil action is unrelated to municipal traffic charges, there are nevertheless things you can do in municipal court to limit your civil exposure in the future. An experienced traffic attorney can make a Motion for Protective Order (also known as a “civil reservation”). In essence, this will seal the record of your traffic charges so that a personal injury plaintiff cannot use certain facts against you in civil court.
These are just some of the factors you must consider when you received a traffic ticket in connection with an automobile accident. It is important that you contact an experienced New Jersey traffic ticket attorney to discuss your options and rights. If you have been in an accident and issued a ticket, contact our office at 732-747-1844 for a free consultation. Or, simply click below for a free consultation.
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