Anytime a person is involved in a car accident, he or she will likely report that it was very stressful and overwhelming. This is true regardless of who was at fault. Unfortunately, the mistakes that we make on Pinellas highways can cost us in more ways than one. Police officers responding to an accident scene reserve the right to hand out traffic tickets to those who may have violated any traffic laws, thereby enhancing the chances for an accident occurring.
If the police officer feels that you were speeding, that you failed to yield the right-of-way, you were texting while driving, or were otherwise disobeying the laws, he or she will likely file a charge against you in the aftermath of the accident. While disappointing, this is not uncommon, and it is something that will have to be dealt with.
In Florida, you will likely have to report to traffic court if you hope to fight the charge against you. You will be provided the opportunity to explain what happened from your point of view, and the court will decide whether an appropriate penalty is deserved or they may decide to waive the ticket altogether. In many cases, these trials will result in your attendance at a Traffic Collision Avoidance Course (TCAC).
Taking a TCAC course in Saint Petersburg can be in one of three forms: an online course, a classroom setting, or watching a video and taking an exam on the content. When the course is complete, the court must be alerted.
Some believe that it is best to avoid speaking with the police officers at the scene of an accident. However, in most cases, it is not advisable to avoid the police. If you are not at fault, they will only have the other person’s version of events to make their conclusions. This can very easily lead to a written citation (against you).
So, the biggest question that people have after being ticketed in conjunction with an accident is whether or not it is worth going to court to fight the ticket. If you just pay the fine, it is usually considered a “no contest” plea, which is not usually admissible later in a civil court. What that means is that if you need to make an insurance claim for compensation against the insurance of the person who negligently caused an accident, and their insurance carrier forces you to sue the person who hit you (their insured), the jury will probably not hear that you got the ticket unless you actually fight the ticket and lose. Like all things, there may be exceptions.