Proving fault is an imperative part of an automobile accident case. If an attorney can successfully establish fault for a crash, they can hold the at-fault party liable for all damages. Attorneys at Siegfried & Jensen consider all evidence in car accident lawsuits when they are building claims to prove fault on behalf of injured clients.
Quite often, traffic tickets and citations can play a critical role in proving a party at-fault. It is imperative to see how these can play a crucial role in your automobile accident claim.

Traffic Tickets After An Accident

After a police officer responds to an accident report, they may issue a traffic citation. The citation issued is often based on the nature of the crime. Some citations apply to moving violations that lead up to collisions. Violations can and often do play a critical role in causing accidents in Utah.
Some of the most common traffic citations in Utah include:

  • Speeding;
  • Texting while driving;
  • Reckless driving;
  • Failure to yield;
  • Tailgating;
  • Making an illegal turn;
  • Running a stop sign or traffic signal;
  • Drunk or intoxicated driving; or

It is often imperative to review the police report for critical details for your case.

Does A Traffic Violation Prove Fault?

Traffic violations do not, in themselves, prove fault in an accident, although it can help to prove a party negligent. The applicability of the violation to the case is highly dependent upon the nature of the collision and the specific citation that was issued. For example, if a person is cited for drunk driving, the fact that the driver was under the influence while driving does demonstrate that they were likely the cause of the accident. The same is true for citations to drivers for running red lights or making illegal turns. All of these show that an illegal action occurred, which could have been the primary cause of the accident.

When Other Evidence Is Considered

There are often additional factors considered when determining the fault of the crash. These factors include the number of vehicles involved in the accident, whether bad road conditions existed, if there as inclement weather at the time of the accident, or whether a vehicle defect was present.
Personal injury lawyers and insurance companies will note various factors when determining who is at fault for the collision. By working with your own car accident attorney, you will be in a better position to help build a strong case based on traffic citations, information in the police report, and other important evidence.

Details Included In Police Reports

If any driver is issued a citation for moving violations, they will be noted in the police report. The police report will include critical details pertinent to the collision. Some commonly included details noted in these reports include the types of injuries sustained, if there are any fatalities, the nature of the collision, what makes and models of vehicles were involved, information about the drivers and witnesses to the accident, as well as the type, date, and location where the accident occurred.
Police reports also include an officer’s opinion as to what transpired. Although the opinion written by the police officer is subjected and based on what was found at the site of the accident, it can be utilized by a claimant in the legal process.
When a police officer investigates the scene of an accident, they will write a report outlining specific details about the accident. These details often include:

  • Statements from the drivers and passengers;
  • Witness statements;
  • A visual representation of the accident;
  • Lighting conditions at the time of the accident; and
  • Where the damage is located on each vehicle involved.

How Police Reports Can Be Used To Help Establish Fault

Although the level of details included in a police report can vary, the information in which they contain is imperative to secure. When reviewing police reports, it is important to determine what information is fact and what is an opinion. Although the majority of information included in the report is factual, the opinion of the officer is quite subjective. For this reason, it is important to consider any mentions of any citations or broken laws as extremely valuable components to the report.

Obtaining The Police Report

If you are involved in a car accident, there are two ways in which you can obtain a police report after an accident occurs. One, you can contact your insurance company. If they have already requested a copy of the report from the responding agency, you will be able to obtain a free copy from them. If not, you can contact the law enforcement agency directly to obtain a copy. You will have to pay for a copy of the report. After the accident occurs, the officer will often provide you with a receipt and a report number you can use at a later time to look up the case.
Working with an accident attorney will ensure you are able to obtain a copy of the police report, additional documents, and other physical evidence to build a stronger case.

A Utah Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You

Attorneys at Siegfried & Jensen work diligently to protect the best interest of those injured in car accidents caused by negligent or reckless drivers. With over 30-years of experience, we have helped tens of thousands of accident victims collect over $850 million in damages for their personal injury claims.
Our attorneys are skilled and extremely knowledgeable of personal injury laws in Utah. We work hard to establish strong cases on behalf of injured clients and aggressively negotiate full and fair settlements so victims can take care of their financial burdens while recovering from their injuries.
We help our clients with their claims every step of the way. Whether we are gathering police reports, speaking with witnesses, filing legal documents, or engaging in negotiation settlements, we always keep clients well-informed on details pertaining to their claims. Contact our law firm today at (801) 845-9000 to see how we can help you.

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Content checked by personal injury attorney Todd Bradford. I worked for a small law firm in Utah County, where I handled various types of cases. My main focus was personal injury and I decided that is what I enjoyed doing the most. I rejoined Siegfried and Jensen in 2012 where my focus is solely on helping personal injury clients. I take pride in helping personal injury clients and enjoy serving them. If you need an attorney for auto accidents or injuries of any kind in Salt Lake City, UT, Ogden, UT, Spokane, WA, or Boise, ID, contact us.