If you or a loved one is pulled over by a police officer due to a traffic violation, it’s not uncommon to receive a ticket at the end of the interaction. But if you are wondering about the potential consequences of receiving a ticket days after an accident, or how this could impact your ability to file a lawsuit against the party responsible for the traffic incident, the answers to these questions can be complex.
What Is A Ticket?
A ticket (also called a traffic citation in some cases) is a notice that a motorist or other citizen has violated one or more laws. Police officers may write tickets to citizens that they stop for a number of reasons.
For example, if you are caught speeding by a police officer, you may receive a ticket. The ticket will likely know the nature of your traffic infraction and the monetary fee you must pay.
However, tickets don’t always come with fees attached. In some instances, the officer may let the at-fault party go with a verbal or written warning. Still, a ticket is rarely a good thing, and too many tickets on your driving record can result in the suspension or loss of your driver’s license.
Can You Get A Ticket Several Days After An Accident?
You’ll often receive a traffic ticket or citation immediately after an accident or incident. For instance, say that you and another driver get into a fender-bender accident at an intersection. A police officer arrives at the scene to take statements. They also give you both tickets, as they initially determine that you both failed to heed traffic laws.
That said, what happens if you get into an accident, a police officer takes your statement, and then you check into the hospital? Is it possible to get a ticket several days after the accident?
You can get a ticket several days, weeks, or even months after an accident or any traffic violation you commit.
Imagine the previous scenario again, in which you and another driver are involved in a fender bender. After taking the statements from both you and the other driver, the police officer recommends you both speak to medical professionals and drives away. No one receives a ticket.
Several days later, you receive a ticket in the mail. It includes an explanation that, upon reviewing traffic camera footage, the local police department discovered that you failed to give the other driver the right-of-way. As a result, you receive a ticket because of your traffic violation.
Bottom line: It’s always possible for you to receive a ticket after an accident.
Why Might It Take Several Days Before You Get A Ticket?
A ticket may be issued for various reasons long after the incident to which it pertains has taken place. For example:
- It may take police officers or departments a long time to review the evidence and determine that you or another driver violated one or more traffic rules.
- There might be more pressing concerns on the part of the police officer aside from giving someone a ticket. For instance, if you and another driver are involved in a very serious auto accident with severe injuries, the police officer will likely (rightly) focus on getting you both to safety instead of giving either of you tickets.
- The police department responsible for the ticket may have difficulty tracking down your address. If your address is not permanent, or you move around frequently, it may take some time for your ticket to “catch up with you.”
However, the time it takes for you to receive a ticket does not impact its validity nor the due date for any attached fees. If you see a ticket in your mailbox, read it quickly and be sure to pay any fees ASAP.
How Long Does A Ticket Stay On Your Record?
In New York, a traffic ticket will typically stay on your record for up to four (4) years, depending on the nature of the ticket, whether it is your first ticket in the last four (4) years, and a variety of other factors. Note: New York laws focus on the Driver Violation Points System, which penalizes drivers with multiple traffic violations.
Most speeding tickets stay on a driver’s record until the end of the year, plus three (3) more years. For instance, if you receive a ticket on July 1 of 2023, the ticket will likely stay on your record until January 1 of 2027.
Once that time period passes, the ticket will likely vanish from your driving record, and it will likely be effectively wiped clean. However, if you continue to build up more tickets, they will likely remain on your driving record for much longer.
To speak with an experienced car accident attorney right away, dial 1-516-342-2200 and allow the award-winning team of Schwartzapfel Lawyers to help you as best we can, however we can, no matter your situation.
Are You Automatically Liable If You Get A Ticket?
As such, it’s possible to be without fault for an auto accident but still be in violation of the law. For example, you can get into an accident with another driver while you aren’t wearing your seatbelt. In the accident’s immediate aftermath, law enforcement officers get you to the hospital and focus on your recovery.
Later, they send you a ticket because you broke the law by not wearing a seatbelt. In this way, you aren’t responsible for the accident, nor are you necessarily responsible for your injuries, but you still broke the law and must pay an associated financial penalty.
Does A Ticket Affect Compensation For Injuries Or Damages?
Tickets don’t always affect your financial compensation or lawsuit abilities for related injuries and damages.
Let’s consider the above example once more. If you aren’t wearing a seatbelt and are injured in a serious auto accident, you can still potentially sue the at-fault driver, especially if they were grossly negligent in their behavior.
That said, the facts of the ticket can impact what a court ultimately decides regarding assessment of blame and/or damages awarded. To this end, laws of pure comparative negligence may affect the outcome of your lawsuit. Under laws of pure comparative negligence, you and the other party may each be partially to blame for the damages you both suffered.
For instance, if you weren’t wearing a seatbelt, and the court can reasonably prove that your injuries would have been less severe if you were wearing a seatbelt, that may impact the overall compensation you receive from the defendant in your case. You might receive, say, 30% blame for your damages, while the other party is found to be 70% to blame for your damages.
As you can imagine, this can be difficult. If you have questions about whether a traffic ticket can affect an upcoming auto accident, personal injury, or construction accident lawsuit, speak to knowledgeable lawyers right away. Schwartzapfel Lawyers’ auto accident attorneys are the perfect people to talk to, so give us a call at 1-516-342-2200 or visit us online today!
What Should You Do With A Ticket You Receive Days After An Accident?
Once you receive a ticket, read through it carefully. Instructions to do so should be printed on the document if you wish to dispute the ticket.
However, if you wish to pay for the ticket without disputing it, do so promptly. Most tickets can be paid online or by mailing a check to the requisite county office or police department. In any case, do not allow a ticket to sit in your mailbox for too long.
Note: Being unaware of a ticket’s existence or failing to promptly respond to it are insufficient reasons to avoid addressing the matter. More importantly, those reasons will likely not matter to the police department and courts, which may hold you in contempt for failing to abide by ticket instructions.
Contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers Today
In general, it’s possible to receive a ticket several days after an auto accident and/or a ticket for a traffic violation months after the fact. This will largely depend on the evidence the police gather and what your role was in the given incident.
Fortunately, receiving a traffic ticket does not necessarily remove your ability to file a lawsuit against an at-fault party.
If you still have questions or you want to know how a traffic ticket can impact your chances of recovering financial compensation, contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers at 1-516-342-2200 for a free case evaluation today. It will be our honor and privilege to fight for you in and out of court, every step of the way!
DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this page should be considered legal advice. You should seek the appropriate counsel your situation requires. For more information, call 1-516-342-2200 now!