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The other driver clearly caused my car accident; why weren’t they cited?

Receiving a citation for a trafficOne of the most common questions we hear relates to civil liability and the question of whether or not there is a valid case against another driver that may have caused the accident but was not ticketed at the accident scene.  A lot of people think that the driver that caused their accident should always receive a ticket.  They wonder if that person does not get a ticket, does that mean that they do not have a valid case against them.  The answer is no.  There does not have to be a citation against the other driver that caused the accident for you to be able to have a successful personal injury claim against the driver and their insurance company.  Many times we see Charlotte, NC car accidents where an at-fault driver clearly causes an accident but does not receive a citation.  There are multiple reasons for this kind of situation.  Typically it is the fact that the officer may not have enough evidence or there is no witness to verify the necessary facts that would warrant a ticket.  Additionally the officer that responds to a motor vehicle accident scene generally does not witness the accident and they may have limited information to be able to make the determination on whether or not a driver receives a citation.

It is generally up to the discretion of the police officer to make the decision on whether or not someone is cited for contributing to a motor vehicle accident.  Speaking of North Carolina car accidents and citations, we see that some jurisdictions or branches of law enforcement cite drivers more often than others.  For instance when we evaluate car accidents reported by the NC State Highway Patrol, more often than not we see the person that is considered to be the cause of the accident receive a citation.  Every accident case is different so there is no exact formula that suggests the criteria required for the writing of a ticket against the driver you consider to be at fault.  If you are involved in a car accident and the other driver did not receive a citation you may very well have a valid case against that driver.

Please feel free to contact our office for a free evaluation of your motor vehicle accident.  We can help you get your accident report and we will help you understand it as well. Drive safely North Carolina.

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