Typically, the answer is "no," but there are some possible exceptions. How and whether a Louisiana traffic citation or "ticket" can be used as evidence in your Louisiana auto accident claim is a bit complicated.
We begin by distinguishing your insurance accident claim and what might happen if the car accident case must go to trial in a Louisiana civil court. In Louisiana courts, there are rules of evidence that limit the use of certain types of documents and testimony. A traffic violation ticket is one such piece of evidence – a document. This means that the jury or judge hearing your car accident case may not hear about the traffic citation/ticket. See the case of Shephard ex rel. Shephard v. Scheeler, 701 So.2d 1308 (La. Supreme Court 1997).
By contrast, such is not the case when making an insurance claim. The insurance adjuster assigned to your claim may hear about all the evidence, even evidence that might not be allowed at trial. Practically speaking, then, if a traffic ticket is issued by the Louisiana police to the other driver, the insurance company will know about it. So, if the other driver was given a traffic violation ticket, it will support your insurance claim. But, the insurance company employees know the Louisiana rules of evidence, too. So, the fact that the police issued a traffic violation ticket might not help you too much.
That being said, experienced Shreveport auto accident attorneys – like the ones at the Law Offices of Philip B. Adams – know that there are options and other methods of excluding or getting certain types of evidence into court. For this discussion, it will help to look at an example. Assume you were injured in a car accident here in Shreveport, Louisiana. Further, assume that the other driver was going 10 to 20 miles over the speed limit and that the cause of the accident was the fact that the other driver was speeding. Speeding is, of course, a violation of Louisiana's traffic laws. The fact that the other driver was speeding will "help" your case since violating traffic laws generally means that the other driver is at fault. An at-fault driver is legally liable to pay compensation for any injuries or property damage caused by the accident. However, in Louisiana, it is necessary to offer evidence that proves each fact, such as the fact that the other driver was speeding.
So, some might argue that a speeding citation/ticket can be used as evidence to prove that the other driver was speeding. That might be true for an insurance adjuster, but, as noted, the Louisiana rules of evidence prohibit the use of the traffic ticket as proof that the other driver was speeding.
What are the other options?
Remember that, in our hypothetical, the goal is to prove the other driver was speeding. The traffic ticket is only one possible method of proving that. Another option is to provide evidence that the other driver pleaded guilty to the speeding ticket. That guilty plea is allowable as evidence to help prove fault. It is also allowable to introduce evidence that the other driver was held guilty of speeding by a judge in a bench trial. In addition, there are still other methods, such as eye-witness testimony from the officer who issued the ticket, testimony from other witnesses, data from the car's "black box" data recorder, and more.
Contact A Louisiana Personal Injury Attorney Today
For more information, contact the Law Offices of Philip B. Adams; if you have been injured in a Louisiana accident, our Louisiana personal injury lawyers can help you recover the full compensation you are entitled to according to Louisiana law. To contact us, complete our "Contact Us" page here. You may significantly benefit by having an attorney with legal competence and experience assist you with your Louisiana personal injury case. We have offices in Shreveport and handle personal injury cases throughout all of Louisiana. Thank you for reading this blog and visiting our website.