While the majority of Miami car accidents are linked to careless acts by drivers, the most common root cause of these incidents is violations of Florida Rules of the Road. Traffic laws are well-known to all motorists, so they are aware of their legal duties. When they do not comply with regulations aimed at keeping people safe, drivers put other road users at risk. If you were hurt in such a collision, you probably expect that the at-fault motorist will be ticketed, and you can use this information to support your claim.
However, you might be surprised to find that drivers often do not receive a traffic citation after a crash. You probably wonder about your rights under these circumstances, so trust a Miami car accident lawyer to explain how the laws work. Some general information may also help you understand the relevant concepts.
Traffic Tickets are Separate From Civil Remedies
One practical consideration should reveal why drivers may not receive a traffic citation after an accident: Police typically arrive at the scene of a crash because they are responding to a call. Officers did not witness the causes and contributing factors that led to the collision, so they will often not issue tickets based on “he said/she said” allegations.
Regardless, a ticket is a penalty issued by law enforcement. Even if police issue one, you do not receive the fines just because you were hurt. Instead, you need to pursue your legal remedies through a civil lawsuit, which is completely separate from the criminal process for moving violations.
Negligence is the Key to Compensation for Miami Auto Collisions
In a civil matter involving a car accident, you must prove the four essential elements of negligence:
- The other motorist had a duty to drive safely;
- He or she breached this duty through careless acts;
- The breach was the direct cause of the crash in which you were injured, such that you would not have been hurt but for the other driver’s actions; and,
- You suffered losses because of your injuries.
If a ticket WAS issued to the responsible driver, this evidence may be useful in proving element #2. When police do not cite him or her, there are usually many other sources of evidence that are sufficient to meet this element. Examples include:
- Photos and video you captured at the scene;
- Statements from bystanders and witnesses;
- Surveillance video from businesses in the vicinity of the collision;
- Location and extent of damage to vehicles;
- Skid marks on the road.
A Miami Auto Accident Attorney Can Explain the Legal Process
As you can see from this information, issuance of a ticket does not make or break your claim as the victim of a motor vehicle collision. For more information about your rights and remedies, please contact Gerson & Schwartz, PA today. We can set up a free case evaluation at our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL. Once our team reviews your situation, we can advise you on going forward with a car accident claim.