The answer to “SHOULD you attend the traffic court hearing?” is “Yes.”
Sometimes after a car accident, the police will come, investigate and issue a traffic ticket to who he thinks was at fault for the accident. This is especially true if someone was injured in the accident. The person who is not at fault often will ask our car accident lawyers if he or she needs to attend the hearing in traffic court. The answer to, “Do you NEED to attend the traffic court hearing?” is “Not necessarily.” The answer to “SHOULD you attend the traffic court hearing?” is “Yes.”
So why SHOULD you attend the traffic court hearing if the other guy got the ticket? What may be important in the civil matter, the personal injury claim, is that the at fault driver, pleads guilty to the traffic ticket he received. Keep in mind that traffic court is misdemeanor criminal court and personal injury matters take place in a civil court. If the at fault driver pleads guilty to the traffic ticket in traffic court, this plea can be used against him in civil court. If he pleads not guilty in traffic court, the ticket will be inadmissible in civil court. As a personal injury victim, it makes sense to attend the traffic court hearing, if possible, because the person who received the ticket is more likely to plead guilty to the traffic ticket if the chief complaining witness is present.
When we represent our personal injury clients, we make sure to advise them of all elements that are crucial to their case, so that they can take advantage of every edge that will help them. As such, it is important that our clients realize it can be advantageous for them to attend the traffic court hearing of the individual who was at fault for the auto accident. If we think it will help, sometimes we’ll attend the hearing with them.