Automobile Accident – Admissibility of traffic tickets

Automobile Accident – Admissibility of traffic tickets

Many of my clients are interested about the relevance of who got the traffic ticket and why.  Although the traffic ticket is helpful prior to filing suit to prove negligence, the admissibility in a trial court never occurs. The short reason is that the traffic ticket is a hearsay document created by the investigating law enforcement officer.  The definition of hearsay is an out of court statement which is inadmissible in a court of law.

The traffic officer arrives on the scene and listens to the out of court statements about what happened and issues his statement as to who is at fault.  The jury will never hear who got a ticket and this frustrates many of my client.  The investigating officer can testify as to where the vehicles were when he arrived on the scene and the damages to the car but he cannot state who got the ticket.

The fact that the traffic ticket is inadmissible is why you need to retain counsel early in a case. It is important to obtain statements from the various witnesses in the case.  The insurance industry dispatches investigators immediately and it is crucial that my client’s rights are protected by obtaining our statements early.

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