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Does a Traffic Citation Automatically Mean a Driver is at Fault for a Crash?

Posted on behalf of Anderson Cummings on Feb 11, 2022 in Auto Accidents

traffic citation Insurance companies review the police report about a car crash to determine fault for the crash. For example, they look to see if one of the drivers involved in the crash was issued a traffic citation.

While drivers who were issued a traffic ticket following a crash are often found at fault, this is not always the case. It often depends on the reason the citation was issued and whether it has anything to do with the cause of the accident.

If you have questions or concerns about seeking compensation for a crash in which you were injured, you should strongly consider speaking to our Fort Worth car crash lawyers to learn more about your legal options.

The consultation is free and there are no upfront fees.

How Traffic Citations Play a Role in Determining Fault

When the other driver involved in a crash is issued a citation, it may be helpful to your case against him or her, but only if the ticket is directly related to the cause of the crash. Your lawyer needs to prove the other driver acted negligently and this negligence directly contributed to the crash.

For example, tickets related to the following may help prove your case:

  • Speeding
  • Running a red light/stop sign
  • Following too closely
  • Texting and driving  
  • Driving under the influence
  • Failure to stay in a lane

If the other driver was ticketed for an expired license plate and expired license, the ticket probably will not help your case. Driving with an expired tag or license is certainly negligent, but it does not have much to do with the cause of the crash.  

What If You Received a Citation?

If you were the only driver who was issued a citation, you may be unable to seek compensation because the crash may be your fault. However, the reason for the ticket is also important.  

If you were ticketed for speeding, but the other driver rear-ended your vehicle, you may share fault for the crash. Your lawyer may also be able to argue speeding had little to do with the cause of the crash.

What If Both Drivers Received a Citation?

If both drivers involved in a crash were ticketed, it is still important to consider the context of the citation and how it relates to the cause of the crash.

The police report will say whether one or both parties were issued a ticket, why they were ticketed and possibly why one party may have played a larger role in the cause of the crash.

For cases in which you (or you and the other driver) are ticketed, the insurance company may try to pin at least partial blame on you. Even if they can successfully prove you are at least partially at fault, Texas allows you to recover some compensation under the modified comparative negligence law.

How Do Non-Moving Violations Play a Factor in Determining Fault?

One or both drivers involved in a crash may be issued a ticket for a non-moving violation, like a parking violation or broken taillight. Citations for non-moving violations may be significant or insignificant depending on how the crash occurred.

For example, a driver whose vehicle is rear-ended by another may be ticketed for idling his or her vehicle in a no stopping zone. However, most of the fault for the crash may rest on the driver of the vehicle that crashed into the other.

On the other hand, a driver who is ticketed for a broken taillight after having received a previous written warning about it and is then rear-ended by another driver may be at least partially liable for damages.

Schedule a Free Consultation. Call Us Today

A traffic citation may help establish who was negligent. However, sometimes it is necessary to do more digging into the cause of the crash and the reason the ticket was given.

That is why it is important to hire an attorney to help you through the legal process. Building a strong case on your own is very difficult, and those who go it alone often struggle to recover full compensation for their damages.

Let our knowledgeable attorneys help you through the process of filing a claim and seeking full compensation. We offer a free consultation and there are no upfront fees. We only get paid if we win, so there is no risk to you.

Call (877) 920-9009 to get started.