Using a cell phone while driving; speeding; failing to yield; running red
lights; all of these actions violate New York Vehicle and Traffic Law.
If caught doing any one, a driver is surely going to be issued a traffic citation.
Newburgh car accident attorneys know that the police will not always catch these offenses before an accident
is caused. It is sad, but true. Merely obeying traffic rules will save
lives and prevent injuries all across the Hudson Valley regions of New York.
When a ticket is issued, the offending driver will have to answer to the
accusations. This can be as simple as checking off the guilty box on the
ticket form and mailing it back to court. Then the time for payment comes!
But of course, pleading guilty can occur in person at court, and even
after getting a reduced charge in exchange for a guilty plea.
What happens when a driver is ticketed as a result of a
car accident? If the offending driver pleads guilty to the traffic offense, can that
plea be used against him/her in civil court? Yes, a guilty plea in traffic
court can be used against the offending driver in civil court. But a mere
guilty plea does not mean that the injured victim will win a negligence
claim in a subsequent civil case.
Pleading guilty to a traffic offense is an admission to committing the
act charged and the guilty plea will be evidence of negligence in a civil
trial. This is certainly good for the plaintiff. But the defendant will
have the opportunity to explain why he/she entered the guilty plea. The
jury is left to give weight to the defendant’s testimony.
Additionally, even though the offending driver pled guilty in traffic court,
the plaintiff will still have to prove all of the negligence elements
in order to prevail in civil court. Those elements are duty, breach, causation,
and damages. Again, the guilty plea will make it easier to prove a breach
of duty. But the hard part for the plaintiff will be proving causation.
The plaintiff must prove that the offending motorist’s breach (say,
speeding and running a red light) caused the
victim’s car accident injuries. The defendant will try to prove that something else was the cause, including
actions the plaintiff might have taken.
Learn more about who to sue and important concepts to know regarding New
York car accidents in
our latest article posted here. Read about suing the owner of a motor vehicle after the driver causes
an accident in
our blog post available here. Learn about how to obtain monetary compensation from a car accident caused
by an unlicensed driver in our
blog post available here. Read about employer liability for car accidents caused by employees
in our blog post available here.
Our personal injury attorneys at
Mainetti, Mainetti, and O’Connor, P.C. have over 100 years of combined experience working with victims of personal
injury accidents throughout New York. We understand how to effectively
represent clients who have been injured in serious car accidents, particularly
throughout the Mid-Hudson Valley region in Kingston, Poughkeepsie, and
Newburgh where we have offices. Hear
what our clients are saying about us here and learn about just some of our
successful results here. If you or a loved one has been injured in a personal injury accident,
please do not hesitate to contact us by calling 845-340-HURT (4878) or
toll free at 866-440-4452, or by using the
convenient contact form here.