The Other Driver in My Car Accident Plead Guilty in Traffic Court

Have you suffered an injury resulting from a North Carolina car accident? If so, you might be entitled to compensation. Under North Carolina law, when a driver negligently causes an accident, he or she may be liable for any injuries that result. Did the driver who caused your injuries plead guilty in a North Carolina traffic court? If so, you may be wondering what effect that will have on your claims for compensation. In some cases, a guilty plea made in traffic court will not help you win a civil personal injury lawsuit.

Traffic Violations and Civil Personal Injury Lawsuits in North Carolina

Police officers often cite negligent drivers with tickets when they arrive on the scene of an accident. When someone pleads guilty in traffic court, a traffic court judge will typically enter the guilty plea. North Carolina traffic courts fall under the domain of criminal law. Thus, traffic courts use different standards of evidence than civil courts. Nonetheless, guilty pleas in traffic court may be allowed as evidence in North Carolina civil personal injury lawsuits.

North Carolina is one of several states that allow the admission of some guilty criminal offense pleas in subsequent civil lawsuits. If the at-fault driver in your accident pled guilty in criminal court or traffic court, you might be able to use this admission of guilt in a civil personal injury lawsuit. North Carolina allows guilty pleas in evidence as an “admission against interest” or as an admission by a party opponent. Teachey v. Woolard, 16 N.C.App. 249 S.E.2d 903, 906, (1972).

To succeed in a personal injury lawsuit, you will need to prove that the other driver's negligence caused the accident and your resulting injury. The admission of a guilty plea can be helpful for those injured in a car accident caused by a negligent driver. In some cases, discovering evidence of negligence is difficult.

When the at-fault driver admits to a traffic violation, the admission likely goes to show that the driver acted negligently when the accident occurred. If you do end up filing a civil personal injury lawsuit, you can submit a certified copy of the defendant's guilty plea. Using the plea as evidence of his negligence could help you prove negligence.

Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney Soon After a Car Accident can be Beneficial

There are a few key reasons why hiring an attorney soon after your accident is beneficial. First, many people who suffer injuries in car accidents can experience shock and disorientation. Sometimes, injured parties might admit guilt accidentally or without thinking through what happened. We help our clients throughout the entire legal process and fight tirelessly for their best interests.

Our Attorneys Will Fight for Your Best Interests with Insurance Companies

Insurance companies often pressure drivers to give statements immediately after a car accident. Insurance companies can then use the admission of guilt against the driver seeking payment via an insurance claim. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC we assertively represent our clients immediately after entering into an attorney-client relationship.

If you have just been in a car accident, we will deal with the other driver's insurance company as well as your own insurance company. We will ensure that insurance companies do not mistreat you. If you are entitled to a payout by the other driver's insurance company, we will fight to make sure that you receive the highest insurance settlement possible.

Our Experienced Trial Attorneys Will Fight Skillfully for Your Rights in Court

If an insurance settlement will not cover your expenses and loss of income, filing a civil personal injury lawsuit might be advantageous. If the other driver pled guilty in a criminal court or a traffic court, we would seek to include the admission as evidence in your civil lawsuit. Our attorneys are familiar with the North Carolina rules of evidence and trial court procedures. We have successfully fought for the rights of many car accident victims at trial.

We will thoroughly investigate the facts involved in your case to determine who is at fault. You might be able to bring a lawsuit against a large company if their employee driver caused the accident that resulted in your injuries. If a city employee such as a bus driver caused your injuries, you might be able to file a claim against the municipality. To discuss your legal options, contact our law office and schedule your free initial consultation.

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