Clients often ask the question, if the wrongdoer in my Fort Lauderdale car, van, pick up, truck or motorcycle accident did not receive a traffic ticket or was issued a traffic citation in the accident are they still liable or will they automatically be liable in a civil court of law for a victim’s injuries and damages . Generally speaking, accident cases are tried in civil court, usually in the circuit court for the particular county where the accident occurred. For instance, all injury accident cases which occur in Broward County that have alleged value in excess of $15,000, shall be brought in the Circuit Court for the 17 Judicial Circuit in and for Broward County, Florida. In contrast, most traffic violations are heard in the County Court and are considered to be a criminal violation of the law.
A traffic violation trial generally does not adjudicate whether the alleged violator caused a Fort Lauderdale accident, they are tried to determine only whether the individual issued the citation violated a very specific Florida Statue. For instance, in any give accident, one or several of the operators of vehicles involved may be issued traffic citations; such as: careless driving, for failure to signal, failure to obey traffic control device, failure to have head lamp, or appropriate reflectors on the vehicle or motorcycle, or failure to use due care.
Nevertheless, if one is found guilty of violating one or all of those specific traffic violations, not only does it not necessarily mean that person will also be found guilty of negligence in civil court, but in fact, pursuant to Florida’s evidence code which essentially mirrors the Federal Evidence Code unless the defendant pleads guilty in open court for the purpose of admitting guilt and not for the convenience of a plea, the traffic citation is not admissible in the civil proceedings at all.
For further discussion regarding this topic please feel free to contact the Fort Lauderdale Accident Lawyers at 1-877-529-0444 or by email at email@example.com