Is a Driver Automatically Liable for Injuries Caused in a Car Accident if the Driver Pled Guilty to a Traffic Violation for the Accident?

All New York motor vehicle operators are required to use reasonable care while operating a vehicle so as to not cause harm to others.  Failing to follow this duty is an act of negligence.  As you are well aware, car accidents can carry a significant toll on the physical and mental well being of those injured, including the friends and families of those injured.  Anytime someone is injured in a Hudson car accident, it is important to call and discuss the circumstances surrounding your accident with an experienced New York car accident attorney.

Quite frequently, accidents could have been avoided if the operator had not violated the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law.  Drivers frequently speed, allow themselves to be distracted, fail to yield, stop at intersections, or fail to obey traffic signals. 

Police agencies issue traffic tickets for these types of offenses every day in New York.  Of course, it is not always at the scene of an accident.  But whether issued at the scene of an accident or not, the court process for traffic violations is always the same.  The person subject to the ticket must report to court either by mail or in person and plead guilty as charged, negotiate a lesser charge, of elect to go to trial. 

Even if the driver pleads guilty, such might not automatically liable for any harm caused to others as a result of the traffic violation.  This is because in a subsequent civil suit, the driver is allowed to explain the circumstances of the event to a jury, allowing the jury to determine liability.  Further, in a civil suit, the plaintiff carries the burden to prove that the driver was negligent.  More than committing a traffic violation is needed to prove liability; for example, the plaintiff must show that the violation was the actual cause of his or her injuries.  This doesn’t mean that a guilty plea will not work in a plaintiff’s favor in a later civil suit.

A guilty plea to a traffic violation may be considerable evidence of negligence.  For example, where a person pled guilty to DWI and was later sued civilly for such, the guilty plea was enough proof to establish negligence. 

Some accidents can result in serious personal injuries, such as spinal injuries or traumatic brain injuries, and even death.  An experienced Hudson car accident attorney may be able to help if you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a motorist’s failure to obey traffic laws and help you and your family focus on your recovery.

Here at Greenberg and Greenberg, we are compassionate Hudson car accidents attorneys that will take the emotional and physical burdens of your car accident off your shoulders and onto ours.  Our attorneys at Greenberg and Greenberg handle cases throughout New York State, including Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, and Albany County.  Our legal team has earned a reputation for dedicated service to our clients injured in New York personal injury accidents.  Please contact us today to receive a free case evaluation by dialing locally to 518-828-3336 or call toll free at 877-469-9300.