In the aftermath of a car accident, you can be dealing with an overwhelming amount of things at once, between talking to other parties, addressing car accident injuries, and calling the police. With so much going on, sometimes you leave the scene of the accident and realize that, even if you were at fault, no ticket was issued. This may be a relief in the moment, but is it really over? The police can still send a citation via mail, adding another stressor as you deal with insurance and undergo potential treatment for whiplash. It can be helpful to understand when and why you may receive a ticket after your accident.
Why Citations Can Be Delayed
When the police arrive at the scene of an accident, it is likely there is chaos happening already. Traffic may be stopped because of the crash, people may be seriously or mildly injured, and tensions are likely high. In addition to other first responders, their first goal is to make sure that anyone involved is as safe as possible and receiving proper medical attention.
The other reason police are called to the scene is typically to create a police report. This will become part of any litigation or insurance claims that follow the accident, so they need to do their best to get an objective idea of what happened. Because the police officer typically didn’t witness the accident, they will need to reconcile the stories of everyone involved.
In order to get an accurate timeline, police will often go back to look at traffic cameras, talk to witnesses, and gather evidence to complete their report. In doing so, they may be able to determine if any parties broke the law, and if so what laws, but this would likely not be done in the immediate aftermath.
When Will I Get A Citation?
Unfortunately, there is no single statute of limitations on when the ticket can be sent. State and local laws will have a hand in this, as well as the law enforcement body’s own operating procedures. The type of accident and party at fault can also influence this.
If you know that you violated a law, you should expect a citation to come in the mail. Speeding, driving recklessly or under the influence, or ignoring stoplights can are all actions that will almost always get you a ticket. In some cases, a ticket may never come, but until an investigation is closed, you aren’t in the clear.
What Happens if I Get a Ticket?
The answer to this can vary depending on where you live. Some states are what is called no-fault, and a traffic citation cannot impact your insurance claim. In Georgia, this is not the case. Somebody needs to be determined to be at-fault for every accident and this can have an impact on the legal process that occurs after an accident. This can make it more likely the responsible party will be issued a citation.
If you suffer an injury in a Georgia car accident, you are able to sue the other driver for the full cost of damages. This means that the party at fault can have to pay for car repairs, treatment for whiplash and other medical issues, legal fees, lost wages, and more. When thee items are being litigated, any citations will be taken into account as a part of determining who is at fault and responsible for these costs.
Steps to Take After an Accident
Once the crash has occurred, there is nothing you can do to reverse the incident. However, whether you are at fault or not, you can take steps after an accident to protect yourself in any legal proceedings. A thorough police report is an important first step, and you will want to make sure to have copies of your own.
It is also important to quickly document any potential injuries you may have suffered as a result of the crash, for insurance as well as legal purposes. If you are the one suing, you will need to have detailed information on your diagnosis as well as any treatments you received. Even if you were at fault, showing any damage you yourself suffered can be helpful.
When you visit AICA Atlanta, you will work with a team of experts who specialize in injuries sustained in car accidents. We offer treatment for whiplash, concussions, and a range of other injuries that are common in these scenarios. The chiropractors and orthopedic specialists on our team are adept at recognizing car accident-related injuries and creating personalized treatment plans that can be documented thoroughly as you move forward with your case. Call us or visit AICA Atlanta today for an initial consultation!